Used car buying guide

Used car buying guide: Luxury cars for £6000

Used car buying guide: Luxury cars for £6000

There’s one certainty about luxurious executive cars that cost a small fortune to buy new: they quickly lose a bonfire-size pile of money and become affordable for drivers from all walks of life.

So if you’ve always craved a car that pampers passengers with more creature comforts than a five-star hotel, the good news is you can spoil yourself without breaking the bank.

As ever, you must check a car’s history carefully and seek out the best cared-for example, rather than the biggest bargain. But do your homework, choose wisely and you could live like a Lord and drive in the lap of luxury.

Here are three executive cars that aren’t the usual suspects yet are worth going the extra mile for.
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New car add-ons: Do you really need them?

new car add-ons

They might not be smiling as much when they realise they’ve paid over the odds for a product they don’t need…

September is one of the busiest months for new car sales. For the tens of thousands of drivers upgrading their car, one thing’s certain: they won’t escape the dealership without being offered a host of new car add-ons which will come with the promise of protecting their investment. But do drivers really need them?

For sales executives, extras such as GAP insurance, wheel and tyre protection, an extended warranty and pre-paid servicing are ways of getting extra money out of customers. Just as extended warranties are a tried and trusted means of electrical goods retailers getting customers to pay more for their purchases, so are new car add-ons. We look at the most popular and assess whether they’re worth ticking on the list or flicking and ignoring.

New car add-ons: servicing packages

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Used car buying guide: super-saver plug-in electric cars

Used car buying guide: super-saver plug-in electric cars, including the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf and Vauxhall Ampera

Plug-in electric cars do what they say on the tin: they feature an electric motor powered by a battery that can be charged by plugging into a mains electricity socket. Some plug-ins are purely electric, others come with a hybrid type of car that combines an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine. Their attractions are obvious: low emissions and low running costs. But all require a leap of faith for first-time buyers, especially as when new they’re expensive. As used cars, however, they’re cheap. Here are three that are worth taking the plunge for… Continue reading

Used car buying guide: cars that make you laugh out loud. Why the Mazda MX-5, Mini Cooper S and Toyota GT86 are the best £15,000 fun cars

 

£15,000 fun cars

The Mini Cooper S is one of the most fun used cars for £15,000 (Picture © Mini)

When was the last time you laughed out loud while driving? If the answer’s no, you’ll be needing one of our £15,000 fun cars.

Admit it, the fun has all but vanished from driving. Or has it? Don’t let torturous traffic, potholes the size of a swimming pool, and wearisome weather get you down. Change your car for one that will make you laugh out loud, and open your eyes and mind to how getting from A to B can be a pleasure rather than a chore.

As a starter for 10, here are three of the most fun used cars for £15000.   Continue reading

Used car buying guide: Best petrol-electric hybrid cars for £10,000

£10,000 hybrids

The Ampera is well equipped and comfortable for £10,000 (Picture © Vauxhall)

Hybrid cars that combine electric motors with a conventional engine are becoming increasingly popular. And now that they’ve been on our roads for a few years, there are ever more available as used buys. We take a look at three petrol-electric hybrid cars that you can buy for £10,000. Our selection includes a four-wheel drive SUV and one car that’s more electric than petrol.

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Used car buying guide: The best small cars and superminis for £8000

Used car buying guide: £8000 superminis

Superminis are the Swiss Army penknives of cars (Picture © Ford)

The most popular type of car in Britain is the supermini. It’s hardly surprising: they’re the Swiss Army penknife of cars, fulfilling most drivers’ everyday needs. Each year, hundreds of thousands of these small cars are sold new, as drivers vote with their wallets and pick a car that’s going to be affordable to buy, economical to run and safe, stylish and sufficiently practical to adapt to their demanding lifestyles.

It means that used car buyers with a budget of around £8000 and a burning desire to bag themselves a tidy hatchback are spoilt for choice. Here are three of the most stylish, best value and reliable superminis that car buyers should put on their shortlist and test drive in 2016.

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Used car buying guide: Best four-wheel drive cars for £7000

Used car buying guide: Best cars with four-wheel drive, including the Audi TT quattro

Whether you want the merits of a car with four-wheel drive to cope with wet winter weather, or simply need a car that can venture off the beaten track or tow from time to time, we have some good news: it doesn’t necessarily mean buying a bulky SUV. Having power going to all four wheels is an increasingly common feature on regular road cars. Here we pick three very different four-wheel drive cars that you can get your hands on for £7000.

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Used Car Buying Guide: Best £12,000 Compact MPV

Finding the best £12,000 compact MPV is top of many people’s car buying agenda. Their popularity is down to their versatility; their ability to transform in a matter of moments from being a car that can carry a five-a-side team to a van for a trip to the tip. Over the past decade, the success of the compact MPV has done for some full-size examples such as the Renault Espace. The smaller cars now offer seven seats yet in some cases they ride and handle like a regular hatchback. In the latest of our series of used car buying guides, we take a notional £12,000 and nominate our pick for practicality, best to drive and value for money.  Continue reading

Used car buying guide: Best family cars for the school run

dropping off a girl at school Green Flag

September means one thing for millions of parents across the country: back to school. But after the fun of the summer holidays it can be a rude awakening – especially if the family car is on its last legs.

Just as children outgrown their school uniform and shoes faster than parents can ask ‘Does that still fit you?’, so they can outgrow the family car. One minute your Ford Fiesta fitted them perfectly, the next they’ve got their knees wedged into the back of mum or dad’s seat and are grumbling that there’s no way to stream music or charge their smartphone.

As a parent of three who knows what it takes for a car to make light work of the school run, I’ve rounded up three of the best used and new cars for busy families: cars that are as practical as they are safe, and as affordable to run as they are good to drive. Continue reading