Buying and selling

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

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

It’s fun time! The best cheap small cars that are a hoot to drive

 

It’s fun time! The best cheap small cars that are seriously big fun. Including The Suzuki Swift Sport

When was the last time you laughed out aloud when driving? And no, listening to comedy on the radio doesn’t count. As cars get larger and safer, and their engines become whisper quiet and cabins are lavished with creature comforts, the simple pleasure of driving for driving’s sake is slowly but surely disappearing like a tyre losing its air pressure.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. There are still some cars that can put a smile on your face like the best punchlines. And you don’t have to shell out a small fortune on the likes of a Ferrari or Porsche to have a good time behind the wheel.

The Suzuki Swift Sport, Citroen DS 3 and Ford Fiesta ST are cheap small cars that are a hoot to drive. You can snap them up for under £7,000 and there’s plenty of choice. So what are you waiting for? Let’s have some fun…

The coolest small fun car: used Citroën DS 3

Continue reading

Great escapes: the best new and used cars for a road trip

Jaguar F-type convertible

The road trip is an American institution, a right of passage for drivers who crave the freedom of the open road, the feeling of the wind in their hair and the thought of leaving life’s worries behind. Little wonder then, that like rock n’ roll, super-size portions and sponsored weather reports, the road trip is catching on with British drivers.

A great escape could involve a gentle amble to view the setting sun from the perfect vantage point just as much as it could a two-week long tour of landmark cities or a blast through the French and Italian Alps.

To make it more memorable, however, you need the ideal driving companion. We’re not talking about Thelma and Louise; we’re talking about the perfect car for your chosen road trip. Here are three new favourites, and three used alternatives, that won’t let you down when the time comes to keep those wheels rolling. Continue reading

How to make the most money out of selling your car to a dealer

Selling your car to a dealer

Selling to a dealer you could be up against him. Follow our tips to ensure you don’t come off second best

Although you frequently get the most money shifting used cars privately, selling your car to a dealer is surprisingly popular. Nearly half of the 7.2 million used cars sold every year go to traders according to British Car Auctions. But if you thought buying a car from a dealer was hard work, you should try selling to one.

Getting the best price can be tricky: traders are hard and often skilled negotiators. It is, after all, something they do every day of their working lives, not once every couple of years like the rest of us. The result is that sellers often don’t get as much as their car is really worth. Here are seven things to concentrate on that should help you get as much money as possible for it.

How old is it and what condition is it in?

Continue reading

How to get a better deal on car finance: follow these six simple steps

How to get a better deal on car finance - in five simple steps

The first six months of 2016 have seen a record number of drivers collect the keys to a shiny new car. Car finance has been driving this boom with more than 80 per cent of private buyers using credit to fund their purchase.

For buyers, using car finance is a simple way of enjoying a car they might not be able to own outright. For dealers and manufacturers, the explosion in the popularity of finance means increasing numbers of cars flowing out of showrooms.

However, many consumers don’t realise that it is possible to haggle over how much car finance costs. As we motor towards the September registration change, where around a fifth of the new cars sold this year are expected to leave dealerships, here are some simple steps car buyers can follow to get a better finance deal.

Do you want to end up owning the car?

Continue reading