Forget those same old cars, and find new ways to put your own stamp on your motor. What would you do to your car?
Forget those same old cars, and find new ways to put your own stamp on your motor. What would you do to your car?
When was the last time you took a long, hard look at your tyres? They can tell you more about your car’s condition than you think. Your tyres are one of the most important aspects of your vehicle. The wear down quickly and many drivers don’t take the time to care for them. New drivers are particularly oblivious to their tyre condition. Did you know, for example, that there’s an optimum tyre pressure that you must stick to? Did you know there’s a legal limit when it comes to tyre wear and tread depth?
So long as you use that advice wisely, you should get a good outcome. The only other thing you need to think about relates to your negotiation skills. It’s a good idea to brush up and learn some savvy techniques before talking money with the seller. When all’s said and done, people who use the right strategies tend to save a significant amount of cash. That is money you should put towards paying for your insurance costs.
For many buyers, this is the only way to get your hands on your dream car. We wholeheartedly recommend browsing the used market. We’ve picked up some fantastic bargains ourselves, including a stunning Mercedes at motorlinedirect.co.uk. However, it’s not all plain sailing on the used market. Buyers are easily overcome by the luxury badge, and forget to check the condition. It might have a low price tag, but luxury cars are seriously expensive to maintain and repair. By all means, buy a used luxury car, but avoid the following pitfalls at all costs.
Follow this advice, and you’ll make a sensible investment. Follow your heart, but listen to your head too!
I’ve always found that buying a second-hand car, as opposed to a new car is generally a better deal – as long as you’re prepared to shop around to find a vehicle that’s in good condition for its age.
The main advantage to purchasing a used car is that it’s much cheaper than driving a shiny new model off the forecourt.
However, there are some risks involved with going down the second-hand route, so here are a few things to bear in mind when you begin searching for your next motor.
Know what you want
As there are so many cars on the market, it helps to know what you want before you start looking. Carefully consider what you’ll use your vehicle for. This means thinking about things like whether you need the extra space an estate model affords or if you can manage with a hatchback, how far and how often you’ll drive it and whether it needs to project a professional image for work purposes.
You should also calculate your budget and make sure you stick to your uppermost figure. While it can be tempting to view used cars that are a little bit more expensive than this in the hope that you can negotiate the price down, it can be a slippery slope that sees you overspending.
Always view the car
I can’t stress how important it is to thoroughly inspect any used car you’re considering purchasing. You should look at the condition of the car – both in terms of its outward appearance and its mechanics – to decide whether the price being asked for it is fair.
If you want extra peace of mind, ask the vendor if you can drive the car to a mechanic you trust who can give it a once-over and let you know whether there are any serious faults that need to be fixed. This will mean you can make an informed decision about whether to walk away from the purchase, or to negotiate with the seller on how much you’ll pay for the vehicle.
Another reason to view the car you’re considering buying is to check that both it and the vendor match the description given in your local newspaper or online. For example, you should always compare the mileage advertised with that in the vehicle, as well as looking through its service history and list of previous owners.
Research the seller
When you’re buying a used car, it isn’t only the vehicle you should be checking out, but also the person selling it. This is especially the case if it’s a private sale, as you’ll need to know that the auto in question has not been in any accidents, is not stolen and is legally owned by the vendor.
If you are buying your car through a dealer, do some reading to be certain the company is reputable. Choosing to purchase a vehicle from this kind of firm can be beneficial in many ways, as they typically have a wide range of motors, the cars tend to be reasonably new and have usually had a full service and MOT before being put on the market.
Used car dealerships can also help you arrange a finance package to make your purchase possible if you need to. For example, at CarShop you’ll find a range of second-hand vehicle financing options to help you get the motor you need at a good price.
MINI is a distinctive and cool car brand that’s instantly recognisable, whether you see one of the old models on the streets or a modern interpretation of the small, quirky car. Although you might think there’s not much else MINI can do, you’d be wrong, as they’ve just introduced another new addition to the line up.
Stand aside for the MINI Paceman – a coupe-style version of the MINI Countryman, according to the manufacturer. So, this means a new sporty, sleek design will be hitting the roads in the UK in March next year. Here’s a bit of information about the new arrival starting with a review from Auto Express:
Although the Paceman is based on the Countryman, there are some notable differences in its appearance – one of the most obvious being its low, sloped roof. Coupled with the long doors and large front grille, this gives it a very sporty look. Here’s some pics of the Paceman:
Another difference to the Countryman is that there are only two doors – although the rear seating is spacious and comfortable as there are two individual seats fitted in the back, rather than a three-person bench seat.
Inside the car you’ll find styling that fits in with the rest of the MINI range but that has its own, subtle differences, such as the controls for the windows being moved to the door armrests from the central console (although this is now also a feature in the updated Countryman models).
On the road
As you’d expect, the Paceman is designed to be nippy – both the petrol and diesel versions can go from zero to 62 mph in under 11 seconds and if you go for the MINI Cooper S Paceman with a twin scroll turbo charger you can accelerate to this speed in 7.5 seconds.
There’s also the option of adding all-wheel drive transmission to your MINI, which only serves to enhance the handling of the car.
Even though it’s a sporty car, you can still get good fuel economy depending on the model you choose. The MINI Cooper D version, for instance, boasts 64.2 mpg and CO2 emissions of 115 g/km.
There are also a host of driver aids included as standard on the Paceman, including dynamic stability control and dynamic traction control. A range of features designed to improve the environmental credentials of this MINI are also noticeable, including auto start-stop functionality, brake energy regeneration and a shift point display.
Other MINI news
While the introduction of the Paceman may be the biggest news from the MINI camp, there was also the announcement that a new version of the Countryman will be rolled out from November this year. Most of the changes are largely cosmetic, with new interior features like a redesigned central speedometer and air vents on the dashboard, as well as the decision to move the electric window controls to the armrest in the door, rather than leaving them in the central console.
If all this talk of updated features and new vehicles has got you yearning for a new set of cool wheels, but your finances won’t allow you to splash out on a car, consider leasing a motor instead. You can get some great deals on MINI leasing contracts if you shop around, especially if it’s for business use.
Some companies include a host of extras like breakdown cover, annual MOTs and regular services in their contract hire deals, which could save you money and will certainly save you time.
If, like me, you have a passion for adventure, you may want to think about getting an offroad motorbike. By doing so, you’ll have the freedom to explore a vast range of terrain and won’t be restricted to only wherever paved roads lead you.
This, I feel, offers the chance for you to really experience the destinations you are riding through, and I often find that sticking to streets isn’t always the best way to get an appreciation of a place’s natural beauty. Of course, an offroad motorbike is also a great choice if you fancy taking part in amateur motocross events during your free time. No matter what intentions you may have in mind when riding such vehicle, it’s important to get the model that’s right for you.
Although it should be pretty obvious that taking the time to thoroughly research what motorbike you are going to buy is something you ought to be doing at all times anyway, it is especially important to do this if you’re not going to be riding on well-maintained roads for some, if not all, of the time.
Perhaps one of the most important things to look at when buying an offroad bike – be it a Honda, KTM or a Kawasaki motorcycle – is the position of the footrests. The fact these vehicles are designed to be ridden across a variety of terrain means you should expect to spend a significant amount of time standing on top of the pegs to help you take on challenging inclines and tight turns.
Ideally, the footrests of the bike you buy ought to be situated as close to the centre line as possible, in order to assist you in navigating tricky conditions. You should also look for models that have adjustable inverted front forks, as these can be altered to suit your riding style and the conditions you are riding in wherever possible.
Certain offroad bikes also enable you to set the level of rear suspension provided and, as a general rule, you will find this tends to be significantly higher than that offer on standard sport models. Fairly often, you’ll find offroad vehicles have around 25 cm of rear suspension, roughly twice the level of their counterparts that are designed to be ridden on the road.
If you’ve never owned this kind of bike before, you’re best off buying a second-hand model. Not only does this tend to be cheaper in comparison to purchasing a brand new vehicle, but it also means they shouldn’t cost as much to repair. This is likely to be particularly beneficial as the fact you’ll be driving across more uneven terrain means you’re at greater risk of falling off your bike and damaging it.
No matter what kind of model you wish to buy or your level of experience when it comes to offroad biking, it’s always important to have a good standard of motorcycle insurance. You are, of course, required by law to have cover, but you should always ensure that the particular policy you get will financially protect you and your bike at all times.
Another vital thing all offroad bikers will need to think about is the kind of safety equipment to buy. While the law requires you to wear a helmet, I recommend you invest in a wide range of other gear, including an armoured jacket and chest protector, to help minimise the chances of sustaining a serious injury while riding.
If you’re thinking of getting an offroad motorbike, what features are most important to you? Post your thoughts below and let us know.
It’s a common question asked especially in the second-hand car market and we now have the answer – the Mazda MX-5 has been voted the most reliable sports cars according to 2012 feedback from 52,563 people in The Which? 2012 Car Survey. People voted the Mazda MX5 the most reliable sports cars both new and second-hand with a 90% reliability score.
The Mazda MX-5 is the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car and it’s easy to see why – affordable, reliable, great looks and such fun to drive, the Mazda MX-5 is the modern-day MG Midget but with the added benefit of being an extremely reliable sports car.
Early MX-5 models have excellent records of reliability so those looking to buy a reliable second hand sports car would find it hard to find anything more suitable than an MX5 mk1 or mk2. In The 2012 Which? survey these models scored five star ratings for not breaking down.
Modified Mazda MX5’s
There’s so many different types of Mazda MX5 out there with many owners choosing to customise their MX5 from chrome bars to full on paint jobs and here we showcase some of our favourites:
Top Gear Mazda MX-5 Videos
If Top Gear think the Mazda MX5 is good, it’s good enough for us…
The Mercedes-Benz CLC Coupé was voted second most reliable car and the Audi TT came in third place in The Which? voting.
However reliable the Mazda MX5 is, you should always purchase breakdown cover from Greenflag or similar just to cover you should the worst happen.
Owning the latest model of your favourite car manufacturer or the newest sports car is an important part of life for some. Taking to the open the road in your prized possession is an exhilarating experience, though it is also important to consider the legal and financial implications of owning a cool desirable car.
No one likes to dwell on the possibility of road accidents, though all car owners should be equipped with sufficient knowledge in the event of an occurrence. Even for smaller incidents like whiplash claims legal advice will often have to be sought, so finding a trusted and professional legal firm is essential.
Many owners of desirable and luxury cars will have invested a substantial amount of their earnings into the purchase, so receiving the right kind of insurance cover is important. Vehicle insurance is a requirement for all cars on the road, and third party insurance is the legal minimum, which covers you in case of an accident causing damage or injury to any other person, vehicle, animal or property.
However, this level of insurance is not enough to cover any other costs like repair to your own vehicle.
Many companies do not offer insurance packages for cars over a certain value, so owners of luxury vehicles are advised to use a specialist insurance firm.
Classic cars are also a specialist area and as such, owners of vintage models often require a specially tailored insurance package. As the cost of premium car insurance can be hefty, you may wish to seek the advice of an insurance broker who will work to find the most cost effective insurance protection as well as offering advice on how to make a claim in the case of an accident.
If you are involved in a road traffic accident you will have to provide your name and address as well as vehicle registration number to your insurance company at the time of the incident. If not, and in more serious incidents, the police must be contacted within 24 hours. Your insurance company will then be able to provide you with further advice and steps you need to take.
If you are involved in an incident with an uninsured driver, you should inform the police immediately. Although this can sometimes complicate the situation, it is still possible to receive compensation in some cases. This will involve contacting the Motor Insurers’ Bureau and you should remember that if you decide to start legal proceedings against an uninsured driver you must give MIB notice in writing within 14 days after those proceedings are issued by the court.
Compensation after any kind of road accident may be possible by seeking the assistance of personal injury solicitors. The amount you can claim will depend on a number of factors: the pain suffered as a result of injuries, how this has affected your day to day life, and any loss of earnings as a result. You may also have incurred extra expenses, like travel or medical costs, which you may be able to claim back.
Owning a luxury car can be a source of great pleasure, though your vehicle’s high worth means that extra steps have to be taken to ensure you receive suitable insurance and legal support in the case of an accident.