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It’s the car that you picked up your now wife in, on your very
first date. The car you drove halfway across the country for a music
festival. But alas, nostalgia is not going to get you from A to B. 
Trading in will afford you not only a new car, but peace of
mind. Get the best out of your bomb, and drive away in something you actually
want with these five tips. 

1.    Know your worth

This is no time for smoke and
mirrors. Having a realistic idea of where your car sits in the market, and how much you
can expect for it will make the whole process easier on you and the dealer
offering the trade. It’s true that going from dealer to dealer in your own time
can be exhausting, so why not find out what you are working with by using Carsand Co who has fortunately done all the heavy lifting for you.
By entering all your car details,
the exact trade in price will be calculated and they even facilitate a new car
delivery if you find what you are after.
Not
only will this type of service provider save you time but they could end up
saving you a bundle against what you thought your vehicle may or may not have
been worth.

2.   Logbook

We all like to think we’re on top
of our life admin, but some things get away from us.
Luckily, mechanics and service staff are diligent with this requirement so logbook maintenance is usually done for you. We don’t always consider a log book an important
part of our vehicle maintenance, but that one missing stamp could be the reason
your trade in doesn’t reap the rewards you are due. A log book is effectively
your evidence that the vehicle has been serviced and maintained to a high
standard.
Missing a service is something
that we have all done, but missing the record in your logbook is not a habit
you want to get into. Make sure that all services, major repairs or additional
add on’s are tracked in your vehicle. This record keeping will help make sure
you get the best trade in value possible and it will also put the car’s next
potential owner at ease.

3.    Multiple markets

I’m sure that Jimmy from ‘Jim’s
Reliable Used Cars’ seems like a trustworthy guy after the valuation you just
received. However, ask yourself this question; if you were renovating your
bathroom would you go with the first quote you received? Or would you seek as
many quotes as possible to ensure you are receiving the best price?
Trading in your vehicle is no
different. 
The first valuation could be the best, but you will never know unless you ask
the question. Seek as many varying opinions and valuations as you can. Go to
your nearest genuine car dealer to have them assess the trade in value, then
visit the local second hand car dealers to do the same.
The more valuations you have, the
greater your bargaining power when it comes to getting the
most out of your trade in. Even if you find another vehicle you want from a
particular dealer, knowing the trade in value someone else is willing to offer
could increase your negotiation value even further. 

4.    Research your next car

Few things in life are as exciting as a new car. There is something truly special about driving in your driveway for the first
time, beeping the horn in anticipation to show off the new beauty to the
family. By researching and knowing what type of car you are looking for next,
you can save yourself a lot of time when looking for a dealer to trade in your
old car. Depending on how particular your preferences are on your next car you
may not have a vast choice of dealers to trade in with, Cars and Co have an
enormous inventory and give the most accurate picture.

Additionally, by knowing what you want next you can
realistically budget based on the value of your trade in and the cost of the
new car. Or if you are particularly savvy you could try to squeeze those few
extra dollars out of your trade in to bring the cost of your next car down even
further.

5. Repairs are important

You may think fixing those dents, scratches or other fault with
your car might be counterproductive before trading in. However the cost of
repairing those issues before trading in could be much less than a dealer
‘estimates’ leaving them to take that off the value of your trade in. What the
dealer considers a fair price for the repairs and what the actual cost is can
vary dramatically. 

Yes, it can be a hassle to arrange repairs and visit the panel
beater or mechanic before trading in your vehicle. However, in the long run you
will thank yourself that you didn’t give the dealer a reason to lower the trade
in value of your vehicle to a point where you aren’t actually saving anything at
all. Take care of those pesky repairs that have been on your to do list before
visiting the dealers for a valuation. 

Trading in your car can be a tricky process if you don’t know
what you are doing, what to ask or who to speak to. The trade in value of your
vehicle is not an easy figure to calculate either. But following these tips
should help you feel more confident in the battleground that is car
dealerships. Trading in your vehicle is a great way to remove the hassle of
selling, but knowing your value is the true key to getting the best trade in
possible.


Grab your maps, international visas and bike insurance – here’s our guide to 4 of the greatest motorcycle journeys of all time. Far from being reserved for petrol heads and rockers, motorbikes serve as the essential means of transportation for a diverse range of people the world over, whilst throughout history they and the journeys they take us on have come to represent iconic symbols in all areas of life, from philosophy, revolution, exploration, art and cult culture.

Motorcycle Diaries – South America

If you’re a Che fan, seen the beautifully shot movie and have enough cash to ship you and your bike to South America, taking eight months to travel the sub-continent is a dream come true. The movie, which follows the book of the same name, recounts a famous journey in 1952 of the 23 year old doctor and his friend Alberto as they travel 5,000 miles across South America on an old 500cc Norton. The journey begins in Buenos Aires and takes in the Andes, Atacama Desert and the Amazon.

 



The Long Way Down – Scotland to South Africa

Follow in the footsteps of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman and drive your bike right the way to Cape Town.

The 15,000 mile journey, which was done by Ewan and Charley on BMW R1200GS Adventure bikes, takes in the pyramids, the Nile, Ethiopia, the Okavango Delta wetlands, Sudan, Libya and the Congo, ending at the southerly tip of South Africa – with 20 countries on the travel agenda visas and border crossing are de rigueur.



Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – mid-America

More philosophical adventure than travel adventure, the 1974 publication of Zen charts a 17-day motorcycle journey across the United States, which is undertaken by the protagonist and his son on a CB77 Honda SuperHawk.

The journey starts in Minneapolis and ends at San Francisco, incorporating Route 55, Camp Buell, Shadehill Reservoir, Missouri River Valley, Miles City, Jefferson Island, Beartooth Highway and Yellowstone.



Easy Rider – America

1969 American road movie, written by Peter Fonda and starring Dennis Hopper, about two bikers who travel through the American Southwest and South with the aim of achieving freedom was awarded cult status from day one.

Four former police bikes were used in the film, their design based on hardtail frames and built by chopper experts – the journey starts in Mexico and Los Angeles, before the bikers head east to New Orleans, Louisiana, in time to catch Mardi Gras.

So go grab a map, get your international visa sorted and bike insurance and get a cool bike trip planned.

The car chase is one of the most fun, action-packed scenes in any film. We all love a high-speed chase and to be wowed over near misses and cool moves. But which cars made scenes like this iconic? We take a look through the five best movie cars ever:



5. Smokey and the Bandit’s Pontiac Trans Am

There’s no doubt that the black and gold 1977 Special Edition Pontiac Trans Am was the star of the show. Directed by stunt performer Hal Needham (who once claimed to be the world’s highest-paid stuntman), Smokey and the Bandit actually contained four Pontiacs. The muscle car’s engine wasn’t strong enough to power the car for the bridge jump sequence, so a Chevrolet engine was fitted into the jump car.

 
 

Unfortunately, Pontiac went out of business in 2010 after 84 years. At the height of its fame, one million Pontiac models were sold in 1968.

4. The Italian Job’s Mini Coopers

Ok, so this could be seen as cheating as there was more than one Mini Cooper in The Italian Job but they have to be in the list. The three Mk1 Austin Mini Cooper Ss, in the iconic red, white and blue became legendary because of their roles in this film.

The cars were designed for racing so actually didn’t need too many modifications for the renowned chases. Starring low key Minis rather than something faster and flashier added to the appeal: by adding a touch of British nonchalance it helped to generate a cult status for the film.

Find out more about the cars used in the movie here.

3. Goldfinger’s Aston Martin

The third film in the Bond series saw the introduction of a new car for James: the 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Achieving 0-62mph in 8 seconds, this was the ultimate in sophistication and a relationship we would see spanning 50 years.

One of the four original cars (made for Goldfinger and Thunderball) sold for £2.6m in auction in 2010. We see the model return for the latest offering, Skyfall, but it is destroyed in the final scene.

2. Bullitt’s Ford Mustang Fastback

An original review of Bullitt by the National Observer said “Whatever you have heard about the auto chase scene in Bullitt is probably true… a terrifying, deafening shocker.”

The 1968 Ford Mustang GT had a 325hp V8 to keep up with the bad guys’ 1968 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum and the car chase is widely recognised as one of the best in history. Stunts for Steve McQueen were performed by Carey Loftin, while bad guy Phil was played by stunt driver Bill Hickman. The cars were modified by Max Balchowsky, a stunt performer and former racer; with the Mustang in particular needing considerable modifications to withstand the filming. He reinforced the shock towers, replaced suspension parts and added a high performance ignition system to the engine.

1. Vanishing Point’s Dodge Challenger 

There was no way we could talk about movie cars and not mention the 1970 Dodge Challenger in Vanishing Point. It is, without a doubt, the coolest piece of American muscle to ever star in a movie.

This film saw a reunion of Bullitt’s Carey Loftin, Max Balchowsky and Bill Hickman as a stunt trio. Loftin requested a Dodge Challenger for the film, known for its strength – combined with Torsion-Aire suspension. Apart from heavy-duty shock absorbers, the five Challengers bought for the film were – amazingly – unmodified.

If you fancy getting your own Challenger, you can build one on the Dodge website. If you want to take it a step further, see how much it would cost to get car insurance and buy one! You wouldn’t be the first; fellow Challenger lovers include Carmen Electra, Snoop Dogg and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So many have been awe-struck by the Challenger: it’s now so iconic that Primal Scream dedicated an album to the car and Quentin Tarantino paid homage with his 2007 feature, Death Proof.

This cool artwork on a Lamborghini Gallardo has no car graphics, decals or stickers – just a simple black Sharpie marker pen! Owner Brett David commissioned the art work by Jona Cerwinske who created it using Sharpie markers on the white paint and then finished with a clear coat for protection.

This cool car art took approximately 2 weeks to complete. Brett David introduced the car in California during the Concorso Italiano at Pebble Beach week in 2007.

Bikes are a cool mode of transport and fitting in with a rock and roll lifestyle, motorbikes are the perfect paparazzi dodging vehicle, which means they’re a favourite for a celebrity get away. Well paid as these following male celebrities are, we wonder just how much they folk out on their bike insurance!

Keanu Reeves must surely win the award for the most expensive motorbike insurance due to his past history on motorbikes. In terms of cheapest bike insurance, Ewan McGregor must win this hands down with the amount of miles under his belt! So without further adieu, here’s our guide to the top ten motorbike wielding superstars.

David Beckham


David Beckham has been sporting the grease monkey look for a few years now, it was just a matter of time until he eventually invested in a bike to suit his attire – he’s recently been spotted cruising LA on a £50,000 F131 Hellcat Combat.



Brad Pitt


Pitt is a complete motorcycle devotee and is often papped out and about on his bikes; his collection includes a Ducati Desmosedici RR, Monster 696, Harley-Davidson choppers, BMW R1150GS Adventure, Triumph Bonneville and Yamaha R1 amongst others.



Ewan McGregor


Joined by his friend Charlie Boorman, McGregor has circumnavigated the globe and travelled from John O’Groats to South Africa on two wheels, a third instalment of the Long Way series is planned for 2011, where the two are expected to ride up through South America. For leisure he rides a cream-and-black Moto Guzzi arou.



Orlando Bloom


Part of the LA biker set, Orlando Bloom has been spotted on bikes the world over; riding a new Norton Commando 961 SE at the Festival of Speed, custom models in Australia and a 1941 WWII Army relic in Buckinghamshire, UK.



George Clooney


Despite a crash in ’07, in which George broke a few ribs, he’s still a two wheel fan and has been spotted most recently on his beloved Harley Davidson cruising the LA circuit.



Ryan Reynolds


The Canadian actor Reynolds gets his kicks from riding fast and is renowned for taking to the open road for long trips with his brother in Australia. His bike of choice in recent years has been a red Triumph Bonneville.



Keanu Reeves


Another old school rider, Reeves is known for his classic choice in motorbikes, including his Norton Commando. A motorcycle crash in Topanga Canyon, whilst on a ‘demon ride’, landed Keanu in hospital with broken ribs, a ruptured spleen and an increased bike insurance premium!



Gerard Butler


In July 2010, Gerard Butler won the role of Sam Childers in the movie Machine Gun Preacher, playing out the story of the ex-biker and reformed drug dealer. A biker in real life, his personal collection includes a newly purchased Harley.



John Travolta


One of Travolta’s first jobs was in a Honda motorcycle commercial, he rose to prominence as the motorcycle toting greaser Danny Zukko and played a disenfranchised middle aged American in Wild Hogs in the ‘00s. His private collection includes the obligatory Harley.



Tom Cruise


The man who rose to huge worldwide stardom whilst riding a Kawasaki Ninja in Top Gun, is one of the biggest motorcycle collectors on the LA scene – it’s rumoured that Cruise was the first American to get his hands on the uber Ducati in 2008.

The history of the automobile in Germany is long a lucrative. The Germans are renowned for delivering practical, functional vehicles that are durable and reliable. But not only that, they can be incredibly stylish too. Sadly, Britain has lost much of its car making industry. But the Germans are still developing pioneering cars. Cars that are breaking records and changing expectations. As well all love a countdown, let’s take a look at the best German car manufacturers to keep an eye on.



Volkswagen



With a history dating back to the 1930s, VW hold a place in the heart of car lovers all over. They’ve produced some of the most iconic vehicles on the road today. This includes the loveable Beetle and hippie-friendly campervan.

Known as the ‘peoples car’, VW continue to make some of the most reliable cars you can take out on the road today.




Porsche



The word Porsche has become synonymous with sexy. Thanks to their hard working German design team, Porsche cars are some of the most coveted vehicles around. They’re known for impeccable style and sensational speed. 


They continue to break barriers and remain loved by teenage boys all over the world. The distinctive shape of the Porsche Carrera GT  is instantly recognisable all over the world. There are now Porsche enthusiast clubs that partake in rallies in Germany and internationally.





BMW



Where Porsche is all about sex appeal, BMW is all about style. A favourite of those in the world of business and leisure, BMW is one of the most respected car brands in the world. James Bond even took a break from his beloved Aston Martin to take a spin in a BMW. Although admittedly it didn’t end up in the best condition (though his cars rarely do). It has been existence since 1917 so you can be sure these guys know what their doing.




Mercedes



This is another iconic German brand with a rich history of pioneering design. They’re perhaps the only car company to have inspired an instantly recognisable song: “oh lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz”. With their headquarters still based in Germany, Mercedes are very much an international company. Mercedes provides services for buyers and owners of Mercedes vehicles in the UK. And when you’re a Mercedes driver, you want only the finest service.




Audi
Known for producing some of the best quality automobiles on the market, Audi are a trusted name in the world of car engineering. They are among the best-selling luxury cars in the world. One of the most recognisable products from Audi is the Audi TT. They seemed to be everywhere on roads throughout Europe and America for the best part of the 2000s. Jeremy Clarkson may have described them as a “hairdressers car”, but that didn’t halt their popularity. Audi has origins that date back to before the 19th century. As with other German car manufacturers, they’re known for combining reliability with luxury.

As you can see, the Germans have to be thanked for playing their part in developing some of the most loved cars in the world. Danke Deutschland!

As cool bikes go, this vintage classic BMW R7 concept motorbike is in a league of its own. Issue #3 of BMW Motorcycle Magazine showcases the amazing R7 concept, describing it as “one of the most important, innovative and visually stunning motorcycles ever produced.” We agree. Although this BMW is over 70 years old, it could almost be a contemporary concept. It was shelved as WWII approached, and put in a box. In 2005, that box was opened, and BMW Classic started the restoration.

Think back 70 or 75 years to a time when design began to break away from the traditional and elaborate rationalism that had ensued for hundreds of years. As the styles of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Streamline and Zigzag Moderne emerged after the Industrial Revolution, designers as well as consumers fully embraced the Age of the Machine. Shiny chrome surfaces lay across curving forms or over expansive horizontal planes and glorified a dynamic new world on the move.

And suddenly, design was muted as World War II approached. Inspiration was buried away, along with some innovative and visually stunning design work. Skip ahead to 2005 when some curious members of BMW Classic opened a box and found the R7 bike 75 assembled – although not in shining condition. The engine was corroded, the metalwork was in dire shape, the battery was unusable, but the opportunity for restoration could not be ignored.

Various specialists at the BMW workshop discovered the original design drawings in the archive collections and conjured up the ghosts from Streamline Moderne’s past. Missing parts were sourced, others were rebuilt, the chrome was polished and the frame was painted black. And the final test, retuning the 1934 BMW motorcycle to the street, proved to be worth the wait nearly three quarters of a century later.

Star Wars fans will love this Storm Trooper Speeder Bike. Just how cool is this motorbike! Not sure how road worthy it is but it will certainly turn heads!

Speeder Motorbike

For those of you who don’t know what a speeder bike is from Star Wars, shame on you! here’s a picture and video of a speeder to help you sad people.

Speeder Bike Chase Video

You don’t need to be an ‘auction professional’ to make the most of the huge range of used cars on offer at car auctions these days. As long as you do your research, take your time and keep your common sense around you, there is nothing stopping you bagging a bargain used car.

Here are a few tips on what to look out for at car auctions and how to ensure you get the best deal on the car of your dreams.

Make your purchase plan early

Don’t just jump out of bed in the morning and decide that you’re going to buy a car from a car auction today, without any idea of what kind of car you want and what purpose that new car must perform for you. It’s true that auctions have a huge stock of used cars, vans and trucks for sale on any one auction day, but having a clear idea of what you want – and sticking to it rigidly – will help keep you away from frivolous purchases that are way out of your budget and go against your buying plan.

What car do you want or need? Is it a family hatchback or saloon, an estate car with tons of space and a frugal diesel engine, or even a city car that’s good for nipping around your town? Decide well ahead of the auction as to a handful of models of the right kind of car, set your absolute maximum budget, and stick to that budget on the day of the auction. Self-restraint is everything.

Do your research before you go

Once you have your handful of models set out in concrete, it’s time to do your research thoroughly. Work out what you should be paying for these cars, up to your budget and no more. Perhaps go online and use a website like Parkers to get approximate valuations of potential cars.

See what age, mileage and condition your budget will get you for each model you have chosen, and use these figures as a guide on auction day. You can then work out how much you’re prepared to pay for each kind of car when you come across them on auction day. You’ll know a bargain then when you see one, instead of guessing what’s a good price, or what isn’t. You can also then keep an eye out for any known faults with the cars of your choice, once you spot them at the auction.

Stick to your budget

Set a maximum budget for what you want to spend, and stick to it. There’ll be other cars along and there’s always plenty of choice at auctions, so if the one you want has gone over your budget, bow out and let it go gracefully. Let your head buy the car and not your heart.

But don’t go too low

You might find a car that fits with what you want, and on the face of it looks like a good deal. But, if no-one is bidding on it, there may be a reason for that. Have you had a good look around this car before the auction? If you have and you’re certain that the car is as good as it looks, then bid away; it could just be that no-one else is interested in the same car as you. If this happens, it’s happy auction days!

Finally, here’s a funny video of the Top Gear guys at a car auction: