Buying A New or Used Car

Before Buying a New or Used car read on for good advice

Whatever type of car you choose - there are now plenty available.

The Internet is a fertile hunting ground for all types of new and used cars.

Electric cars are making an appearance, but this just seems to change one type of energy burning for another and the take-up rate is reported to be very slow.

Hybrid cars are now toe-testing the market. Somewhere on the subject of buying a new or used car, the need to save fuel and Climate Change must surely feature?

If you are contemplating buying a new or 'nearly new' car, please be aware that some manufacturers are no longer including a spare wheel in their latest models. They site the reasons for this as saving space and economy of fuel - less weight in the car. Unfortunately some motorists have a very rude awakening when they break-down with a flat tyre and find there is no spare.

Make this one of the first questions you ask when buying such a car, because it will cost between £400 and £600 to buy a spare wheel.This is not the way to save money.

Amongst the many ways of buying a new or used car is via the local paper - which is usually the first port of call, a 'friend', a local main dealer, or an independent dealer. So really the onus is on the buyer - again caveat emptor - buyer beware - comes to mind. Amongst all these pressures you need to remember the need to save fuel and cut down on expenses.

There are so many cautions here - doctored mileage, 'cut and shunt' where a vehicle could have been written off in an accident and been 'revamped’ to live another life, legal claims on the vehicle dating back to a previous owner and cloned vehicles to name but a few.


A good place to start your checking is at Hire Purchase Information check. A visit to this site to check a potential purchase will only cost you around £20, but could save you hundreds, even thousands of pounds if there is an outstanding H.P. debt on the car.

1. If you are thinking of buying new or used car of a special type - Google it. You can bring up all marques to do your homework before you even leave home.

2. Another point to be considered when buying a used car is flood damaged cars These damaged cars have started appearing in areas that have not been the subject of flooding, so do be careful

3. If you have an expensive vehicle either new or used car you will probably be paying heavily in tax and insurance and other running costs. If you have only short journeys to cover it may be better to sell the expensive model and consider buying a new or used car of a smaller but cheaper more economical type. Hard to contemplate, but a snazzy, smaller version of your large new or used car might well be kinder on the environment as well as on your budget.

4. It will also be interesting to look at vehicle reliability figures. e.g. in 'Which' magazine or in 'What Car' once every year. These sites also can be found on the Internet. Your repair bills are likely to be a lot lower with some makes than other. This applies to both buying a new or used car. Thanks to Brian Thomas in Suffolk for this interesting piece of information.

This has been further reinforced by recent press articles on the fact that Renault Meganes are more likely to fail their first MOT. This is according to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. Its figures showed that 28.1% of three-year-old Meganes failed to satisfy MoT examiners that they were roadworthy in 2007. A number of other best-selling cars were also poor performers, including Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 307 and Renault Scenic. More than one in five of these cars failed their first MoT test. Another reason to be careful when buying a new or used car.

5. Car Auctions can be the final resting place for cars that are not good enough for the forecourt. Even if you spot a decent looking car, potential bidders have no opportunity to test the vehicle. The only time you'll even hear it start is as it's driven in front of the auctioneer for sale. Decent vehicles, such as reasonable mileage ex fleet/company cars, are more likely to be sold at car supermarkets or main/independent dealers.

Whereas not every auction vehicle is dodgy, the modest potential saving may simply not worth the risk. Proceed with caution when buying a new or used car.

6. For the enthusiast capable of doing their own running repairs A Haynes manual is a must whether you have been buying a new or used car.

7. Another interesting source of motoring information is Honest John, (left), who has a very entertaining and informative column in the Motoring Section of the Saturday edition of the Daily Telegraph. (See above for link). This page gives good information on buying new or used cars. Alternatively just Google - Honest John and read it there. Honest John is also approachable via email for good down-to-earth advice on cars.


8. Perhaps the vision of the ultimate in vehicle transport is lurking at the page http://environment.about.com/b/2008/02/14/new-car-runs-on-compressed-air.htm This is an idea from a Frenchman who has designed a motor that runs on compressed air, produces no emissions on short trips, and can be refuelled in three minutes flat. An interesting read which begs the thought - would the oil cartels 'allow' such an idea to flourish? Would it suffer the same fate as the 'everlasting match' idea that came from an inventor early last century.? The Match manufacturers bought it out.

9. 4 x 4 cars have been much vilified in the press recently and also suffer punitive Road Fund Tax charges. These sturdy vehicles have recently been proved indispensible in the recent heavy snowfalls experienced in the UK. So high is the demand from the Police for these vehicles that owners have formed charitable organisations whereby they will help people whenever possible. Even remote Dartmoor is covered. These organisations are 4 x 4 Response. The owners of these 4 x 4 vehicles will probably be well prepared if they start to be the 'bad boys' once again when the snow has disappeared. That's life and viewpoints.

In The Daily Telegraph Simon Heffer writes:

"As John Redwood (MP.) so aptly put it a few years ago, the surface temperature of Mars has risen markedly in the past few decades, but they have yet to find the 4 x 4s that caused it."

10. For UK readers - If you renew your tax disc on-line as the Government is now urging us to do - think twice. If you use your credit card as the method of payment, you will be charged an extra £2.50. Renew your car tax annually instead of every six months. This will save £40.00 per year whether for a new or used car.

11. Another consideration when buying a new or used car is the amount of insurance you will need to pay. Take don't forget car breakdown insurance.

Have a look at this superb site- Lift Share

It may be just what is needed to counteract the horrendous price of petrol/diesel fuel. You could find a driving or even a walking or cycling companion on this site. Typical lift-share members who are drivers can save themselves up to £1,000 per year by sharing their daily driving journey costs. The 'lift-sharer' will obviously save fuel.

13. On the subject of speed, one sure way to save money is to avoid collecting speeding tickets. We don't wish to preach, but this is a fools game that could end up with tragic results. It's all the same - whether you are buying a new or used car - you can still get caught.

14. Another one for UK drivers. If you have one of the 'new' photo card driving licences and you fail to renew it, you are likely to be fined £1,000. When these licences were first introduced most people assumed they were for life. Not so. They need to be renewed every ten years. The renewal date is stated on the card, but it is in quite small print. Take a look to be on the safe side. The licences cost £17.50 each to renew. If you receive a demand for a new photograph and you hold a passport, the DVLA website says it can now copy your latest image held by the Passport Agency.


If you missed the latest edition of the Newsletter you can read it here.

RELATED PAGES

Winter Tyre Safety

Airless Car Tyres

Changes to MOT Test

Car Finance

Scrap Cars – Giveacar?

Tell Your Story

Car Clinic Help

Cheapest Motor Insurance

The New DAB Radio System

Winter Driving Safety

Safe Driving in Rain

Vehicle Excise Duty

Negotiating Tactics with Car Dealers

Flood Damage in Cars

Car Depreciation

Petrol Consumption of Cars

Car Safety Advice

Driving in Snow

Government Car Scrappage Scheme

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