November 2011


Buying a car is a big investment, whether you’re choosing new or used vehicles. However, buying used will often give you more value for money. This seems to be the case more than ever, as recent reports show that the price of the average used car has dropped, with a substantial dip of 3.65% over a three month period. These recent changes now show the average price of a used car is less than £9,000 – this is the first time the average price has been this low in two years.

It’s always recommended to buy from a reputed dealer, such as Evans Halshaw who offer a wide range of used cars and will be able to help you choose a car that is right for you.

Meanwhile, the price of new cars is going up, as more people opt for pre-owned motors. The change in the economy sees people replacing their cars more often, and opting to shop around for better value – something many are finding with used cars. The East Midlands, in particular, has seen an impressive decrease in the number of pre-owned cars being sold, with a drop as high as 5.83%.

Considering these changes to the vehicle market, now is a great time to buy a used car. At the end of 2011 the average used car price is £8,870 so you can expect a very competitive price on your choice of car. If you’re after a younger pre-owned vehicle, then note these prices may be on the up, as demand becomes higher, following the drop in new car sales. Dealers are expecting the costs of these younger models to increase in 2012, so this is the best time to consider making your purchase if you want the best value for money.

If you’re looking to buy a used car, there are a few things you might want to consider.

Always aim to buy from a reputed dealer. Purchasing a car from an auction or from a private owner might offer better deals, but there can be hidden problems, and you will find it more difficult if trouble arises after you purchase the vehicle. Always opt for a warranty, and understand this is in addition to your consumer rights.

At the end of the day you want to be sure you are not buying a faulty vehicle. If the car you are considering is not fit for purpose, or something does not work, then it is not in an acceptable state to be sold as a fully functioning vehicle. Know what you’re buying. If you’re ever in doubt, don’t go through with the sale. Don’t hurry – be sure to always speak to the dealer and ask plenty of questions about what you’re actually buying. Find out the full mechanical state of the car, its prior history, and what kind of checks have been done to the car. If you think you have bought a faulty vehicle, return the car to the dealer, or speak to your fair trading office for more advice.

Many companies use a van or indeed a fleet of vans for their business and for some, these vehicles are the most important tool for their service. So it’s worth knowing there are several new changes and updates to be aware of when choosing these types of vehicle.

Safety and reliability are huge factors to consider, not only for the obvious reasons, but to help keep overall running costs down. In fact, choosing a safer van will help keep your insurance costs down too. Your van insurance provider will be able to help you establish the safety of your vehicles and provide a quote.
However, it’s worth doing your own research on the options available before you invest. There is quite a bit of useful information out there. For instance, recently the UK’s fifty largest contract vehicle hire companies were surveyed about various models of van, and the results were used to produce a list of the top ten most reliable vans of 2010. This information is valuable for anyone looking for a safe van that they can rely on for their business.

The top ten safest vans of 2010 are as follows.

1. Ford Transit 

2. Mercedes Sprinter

3. Ford Transit Connect

4. Citroen Berlingo


5. Citroen Relay

6. Vauxhall Combo

7. Nissan Navara

8. Vauxhall Vivaro

9. VW Caddy

10. VW Transporter

These are all great manufacturers and any of these models will be an excellent choice, although various features will differ so it’s worth considering which will be best for your particular requirements. This is something you might also want to speak to your insurance company about as it may make a difference on what policy you get.

Another thing to consider is the value of purchasing a van which is speed-limited. There has been much support for this from a member of the European Parliament, Martin Callanan, who believes that all light use vans should be designed to go no faster than 75mph. This speed-limiting concept relates largely to the level of CO2 emissions created by these types of vehicles, yet there are many other benefits to this change as well. Plenty of companies who use vans are supportive of speed-limiting as it helps prevent their contractors from exceeding the speed limit and being left with hefty speed fines. Lower fuel consumption is another reason companies are getting on board and law may be introduced across the EU by 2015. The environment committee is currently discussing the implementation of a penalty for van manufacturers whose vehicles are not meeting the agreed levels Co2 output.

As more businesses and van-owners make informed choices when purchasing their vans, we can expect a move towards safer, greener vehicles. Lower fuel consumption and less Co2 emissions are just two of the benefits of this; lower costs for your company and safer, more reliable vehicles are two more. Which just goes to show how valuable it is to do your research before you buy.