Buying and selling

Diesel car ban: Will it really happen and what does it mean for drivers?

Diesel car ban

About half these cars will be diesel. Could they really be banned?

Will there really be a diesel car ban? It’s been a hot topic among drivers for the past couple of years and as time passes it seems to get ever hotter. At the end of 2016 it was revealed that by 2025 diesel cars would be forbidden from entering Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City. And there are already rumours that London could follow suit.

Even if the capital doesn’t, it plus five other UK cities have been told they can create clean air zones. These would permit local authorities to charge diesel drivers for coming into city centres. In London the fee, which would be on top of the current congestion charge, is mooted as being £10. But what do these proposals mean for owners of diesel cars and drivers considering buying them?

Why are diesel cars being punished?

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What every driver needs to know about the 2017 VED car tax changes

Car tax

Did you know that the car tax regulations will change in April, 2017? Big alterations are afoot after the government calculated that increasingly fuel efficient cars are leaving it out of pocket.

That’s because currently, the annual tax drivers pay to be on the road is calculated according to how much carbon dioxide (CO2) comes out of their car’s exhaust. And around 25 per cent of all new cars are so clean that, guess what? They’re exempt from road tax.

But from next April anybody that buys a new car will face a new regime of car tax. And overnight it will make many of the UK’s most popular new motors much more expensive to own.  Continue reading

December car buying: We weigh up pros and cons

December car buying

Car showrooms aren’t exactly rammed with people in the run-up to Xmas. But there might be a good reason for that…

Is it time to change your car? Looking for a bargain new or used motor? If that’s the case, it could be time to dust off your haggling skills and go December car buying. Of all the times of the year, the run up to Christmas is arguably the best to grab a car bargain. But will it save you in the long run? We weigh up the pros and cons of buying a car in December.

Why December may not be the best time to buy a car

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Buying used cars: how to spot a bad one

Buying a used car: how to spot a bad one

British drivers like to make their money go a long way, which is why most of us buy used cars. Around 7.2 million are sold every year, compared with 2.6 million new models. And because a new car can’t have been crashed, clocked or cloned, this means the majority of car buyers are vulnerable to unscrupulous sellers trying to pass off a bad used car as a good one.

There are all sorts of tricks of the trade that can be employed to pull the wool over the eyes of a used car buyer. The Green Flag blog has covered some of the important checks that drivers should carry out before parting with their cash for a car. But here we’re looking at less obvious tips that can help drivers spot a bad car – also known as a dud, or lemon.

To make sure your next car doesn’t leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth, read on.  Continue reading

How to buy a used electric car with a lapsed manufacturer warranty

Warranty wisdom

Nissan’s Leaf has now been on sale in the UK since 2011 (Picture © Nissan)

Electric cars have become increasingly popular among savvy drivers looking to plug into cheaper running costs. With the most successful model ‑ Nissan’s Leaf ‑ now five years old, ever more used electric cars that are no longer covered by a manufacturer’s warranty will be for sale. This guide should ensure you end up with a car that puts some spark into your life rather than leaving you feeling flat.

What is there to look out for?

There might not be much to do beneath the bonnet of an electric car, apart from topping up the windscreen washer bottle, but there are still

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Part-worn tyres shock: Second-hand rubber that may cost drivers dear

Part-worn tyres

This tyre is illegally damaged but it was still sold by a dealer as a part-worn (Picture © TyreSafe)

Second-hand or part-worn tyres are a booming business in Britain. But these tyres, often sold under the premise of saving drivers money, could be at best a waste of money, at worst lethal.

Tyre trade experts estimate that every year between four and a half and six million part-worn tyres are sold in the UK. However, when campaigning charity TyreSafe conducted research it found that 98 per cent were sold illegally and 34 per cent had potentially dangerous defects.

What is a part-worn tyre?

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Why October is a great time for a used car bargain – and how to haggle with dealers

Used car bargain

What driver doesn’t love bagging a used car bargain? Saving thousands of pounds can give a warmer glow than spending two weeks on a sun lounger in the Med. And there are few better times of the year than October to buy a great car at a knockdown price.

Every March and September, the registration prefix changes for new cars. It’s a way for drivers and the motor trade to differentiate between the age of cars, and in a nation obsessed about keeping up with the Joneses, the effect is to create dramatic seasonal spikes in new car sales.

This is great news for the canny car buyer. The market is flooded with second-hand cars that have been traded in as a part-exchange, and when there’s more supply than demand, car dealers have to pull together some seriously competitive deals to help sell all that second-hand stock.

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UK road safety: car buyers urged to pick safer cars to cut deaths in at-risk road users

UK Road safety

It’s claimed drivers should buy EuroNCAP 5-star cars such as the Volvo XC90

British car buyers have been urged to choose only top rated cars for safety after new research revealed a worrying trend that could be costing lives. When it comes to sales of new cars that are ranked best for pedestrian protection in crashes, the UK lines up 19th of the 28 European countries. According to the executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), this could be preventing Britain from cutting deaths to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

The UK’s road safety struggle

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Expert advice: In-car must haves

In-car must haves

A mobile phone and reflective jacket could save your life if you break down

Many of us treat our cars like a home away from home. Yet frequently we don’t have even the most basic equipment to cope with the unexpected. So I’ve created my own list of in-car must haves. These are the essentials that I carry in my car and I recommend that you do too. You can buy most of them for less than a fiver. It could end up being the best money you’ve ever spent.

First aid kit

I read somewhere that fewer than one in five of us know even basic first aid. I like to think that I do know the basics and I always carry a first aid kit just in case. For a start, you never know when something as simple as some bite or sting cream will come in handy. Equally, if you’ve got kids, plasters can be needed when you least expect it. And if you have bandages at the scene of an accident and you don’t know what to do with them, someone else might. Continue reading

Pre-registered cars: All you need to know about buying a bargain motor

Pre-registered cars

Car dealers frequently sell ‘used’ cars that are virtually brand new

When’s a new car not a new car? When it’s one of the tens of thousands of pre-registered models that go to new owners every month. Pre-registering is a practice encouraged by car makers because of how dealers receive bonuses. And it means there are bargains to be had for car buyers. Here’s our guide to buying a car with a handful of miles on the clock for a lot less than its brand new equivalent.

What are pre-registered cars?

It’s no secret that car dealers up and down the country carry out what are known as pre, self, or tactical registrations. This is when they buy the car themselves and register it. They can then sell the car to customers for a discount price because although it may only have covered a handful of miles, it is effectively second-hand.

What are the advantages?

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