When Buying A New Car, Consider Where To Put It

Before they purchased that new car for Christmas, consumers probably determined where it would be stored. Surprising results from an RAC Foundation study revealed that just one-fifth of cars in Britain are stored in a garage.

Ten million British households have access to a garage but seem to be using it for other things.

Over the past ten years, the proportion of vehicles parked in a garage has declined by about one-third. These days, about half of British cars are left in the driveway and one-quarter are parked on a street.

This leaves the automobiles exposed to weather conditions and makes them more likely candidates for vandalism or theft. Where drivers park their cars can affect their car insurance premium so it is an important consideration.

There are several reasons that so many cars are being left out in the cold. Many homeowners use their garage to store other belongings like yard equipment or non-seasonal items.

Some modern cars are too wide and long to fit into an older garage. These cars are also more secure, rust-resistant, and reliable, leading many owners to consider it practical and safe to store them outside the house.

A greater number of households own multiple vehicles. In addition to two or more car loans, homeowners may not have enough space in the garage for all cars.

Some people have converted their garage into livable space like a bedroom or recreation room, so this area can no longer store an automobile.

As some Christmas presents find a home in the garage, the family car may be left outdoors. Though modern cars are more reliable, extreme weather conditions are keeping breakdown companies busy with home-starting.

RAC advises car owners to reconsider the use of their garage because assuming that a vehicle parked in the driveway will start is a mistake.

The Proper Way To Purchase A Car In The UK

During this time of year, many people purchase a car. Whether giving a car as a holiday gift or treating themselves, car shoppers are sizing up the offerings and planning to buy. This process is exciting but it can also be stressful, due to the many decisions involved.

These tips should help people get through the car buying process without difficulty.

Before shopping for cars, determine how much can be spent. When budgeting for the vehicle, consider car cost, tax, insurance, fuel, and ongoing maintenance expenses. Look for cars priced within the budgeted range, shopping online and at dealerships.

Once the desired car is found, compare prices between dealerships and on Web sites like Auto Trader.

If the car is used, review the handbook and service history, certificate of insurance, and MOT certificate. Ask questions about the car because the more you know about it, the better. Before making an offer, test drive the vehicle and have it inspected by a reputable auto mechanic.

During the test drive, take the car through city streets in stop-and-go traffic and on the highway, testing acceleration, high-speed driving, and braking.

Shopping for car finance is a process in itself. Do not take the first deal presented- compare offers from the dealership, banks, and private financing companies. Though dealer financing may be the most convenient, it might not be the best deal.

To avoid paying more than necessary, consider all financing options, especially when high-interest bad credit car finance is the only alternative.

Calculate the amount that will be repaid over the loan period, considering interest rate and loan term. Some lenders provide a lower interest rate to consumers who borrow slightly more than the vehicle purchase price, so consider this option. Be completely satisfied with the vehicle and financing before making a commitment to buy.

Winter Car Maintenance Tips Protecting Your Vehicle This Winter

The past two winters in Britain have been notably bad, causing UK drivers to be more aware of winter driving. Weather forecasts indicate that this winter will be an icy and snowy one, a major concern for people with car loans. Their car finance is expensive enough- the last thing they want is a costly vehicle repair due to a winter driving accident.

According to experts, a large number of UK drivers are looking online for advice on safe driving in winter weather. Winter tires are one especially confusing topic, with many drivers thinking these are studded and can be used in the snow. Winter tires are different from snow tires- they provide increased traction during cold weather. Knowing that these tires are expensive, drivers are worried about the added cost.

As many as 98 percent of drivers do not change from summer to winter tires each year. Road safety experts find this practice very concerning and caution against it. Drivers with car finance in particular should make a point to protect their auto with winter tires. This can prevent the need to pay for accident repairs in addition to their monthly car loan payment.

Winter tires are recommended for use between October and April. To prevent destabilization, all four wheels should be equipped with these tires. Since it is easy to find winter tires, comparison shopping helps drivers save money. However, safety should always be the top priority, not cost, because lives are more precious than dollars.

Drivers who are unfamiliar with these winter tires should inquire at their car dealership or a tire shop. They should have reliable winter tires installed on their car long before the first snowfall arrives. This equipment and safe driving habits can help prevent a winter automobile accident, saving money and preventing injuries.

For Reasonable Ownership Costs, Consider The New Ford Fiesta


American automaker Ford recently released a new version of its popular Fiesta automobile. The 1.25 Studio is cute, zippy, and comes with low acquisition and ownership costs. A personal contract purchase pcp plan features a £2,180 deposit, £129 per month payment, and 4.9 percent APR. This is inexpensive car finance at its best and the supermini is perfect for either in-town driving or a long journey.

If car buyers wish to keep the auto beyond the 24 payment term included in the personal contract purchase pcp plan, their final purchase payment will be only £4,262. Thanks to the excellent visibility, zippy five-speed transmission, and effortless steering of the Fiesta 1.25 Studio, many probably will. The ride is comfortable and there is enough space to make even a long trip pleasant.

Despite all its benefits, this is not a vehicle for aspiring race car drivers. It takes 16.9 seconds for the auto to go from zero to 62mph and the engine loses steam at about 94mph. However, when it comes to fuel efficiency, this car is a leader, averaging 51.4mpg. With 127 g/km emissions, a year of road tax will cost just £95.

A nice assortment of standard equipment is included with the vehicle. Power steering, central door locks, split/fold rear seats, electronic stability, and a CD player come with each model. Despite its small size, the Fiesta 1.25 Studio has a 295-liter boot that expands to 979-liters when the rear seats are folded flat.

This little vehicle features sturdy construction, a stylish appearance, and a pleasant driving experience. If one of the standard paint colors does not suit their fancy, car buyers can select metallic paint for an extra charge of £470. For a personal contract purchase pcp program cost of just £129 per month, drivers get quite a bit of car.

How To Test Drive A Car Properly Before Financing It


Many consumers want to test drive new or used cars before purchasing them. Aside from actually driving the vehicle, several other things should be done during the test drive.

By making the visit to the dealer a comprehensive one, consumers can make a smart car purchase. This will prevent any regrets from surfacing once the car is in the driveway.

The test drive should be taken during the day and after driving the car, the consumer should test the vehicle controls to make sure they work. For second hand cars, consumers should check the maintenance log book.

Both the outside and inside of the vehicle should be inspected. If the individual does not feel comfortable inspecting under the hood, he or she should take someone who does.

Prior to visiting dealerships, shoppers should learn how much it would cost to insure and tax the desired cars. Any unaffordable cars can be crossed off the list. Consumers can get the registration number of desired used cars while at the dealership and look online to find out whether it was stolen, was involved in an accident, or has outstanding car finance.

When buying a new car, the consumer should drive the same model as the desired vehicle. Test drives should be done on a variety of roads and locations that permit acceleration and shifting through each gear.

During the drive, consumers should check the indicators and adjust the steering wheel and seat to get comfortable.


The engine should be quiet and not make any strange noises. The brakes should respond well and not vibrate and it should be easy to transition between gears. If the household has children, they should be taken along to ensure the car has enough room for them.

Cars that will be used for shopping or traveling should have enough room trunk room.

EU Plans Petrol Car Ban In City Centers

The EU recently proposed a ban on petrol and diesel cars in city centers by the year 2050. This would reduce European reliance on oil and lower carbon emissions by 60 percent, reported the European Commission.

The UK Minister of Transport immediately shot down the proposal, which would have a major impact on auto operators throughout the UK.

Norman Baker, UK Minister of Transport, commended that the government will not involve itself in transportation decisions made by individual cities. In the meantime, the European Commission is planning a “Single European Transport Area,” which represents a major shift in traffic patterns. The commission says this move is necessary in order to achieve the stated goals.

Included in the plan is a shift in journeys of “middle distance,” which are greater than 300 kilometers. Rather than driving, travelers would take the railways.

Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas stated that this change and the replacement of diesel and petrol cars within city centers with transport that is more eco-friendly does not need to inconvenience members of the public.

While Mr. Kallas does not believe that the status quo is an option, he also does not promote curbing mobility. He believes that every UK citizen has a basic right to travel freely. The idea that combating climate change requires restricting mobility is false.

He says it is possible to move to a less oil-dependent system of transportation without limiting mobility or reducing efficiency.

Individuals with car loans or who own their vehicles outright should stay tuned. It is still possible that car finance for petrol or diesel cars will be reduced in the future, due to yet-to-be enacted laws regarding transportation options in city centers.

Emissions reduction and decreased dependence on oil are main goals of the EU and the group has placed a high priority on finding ways to achieve these.

Think Pink When Financing Your Next Car


Pink seems to be everywhere…on the fashion runway, in hair color, and now even on automobiles. Pantone, the famous color guide, recently named “Honeysuckle” pink the color of 2011. Everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, taking advantage of the color craze at its peak.

The car finance market in the UK is currently experiencing an unprecedented interest in pink acars.

Honeysuckle pink is not for the weak of heart, as it is a reddish pink designed to be both uplifting and encouraging. Many consumers need the extra boost of confidence inspired by this hue in order to meet their everyday trials and tribulations. This color will quickly clear away any negative feelings and get the adrenaline going. It is intense, to say the least, as well as vivacious and eye-catching.

When men or women are seen in this color, they sport a healthy glow. Apparently, they want to be seen in it while driving because online autotrader.co. uk searches for pink cars jumped from 2,629 in December 2010 to 9,863 in January 2011.


It is too early to predict whether the interest will be enduring.

During recent years, only a few car makers have released pink vehicles. The Nissan Micra and Honda Jazz are the two most well-known. If Honeysuckle pink sticks around for a while, other carmakers may be enticed to release their own pink vehicles.

Applications for car loans that have the word “pink” written in the color field may become more prevalent as car buyers finance their snazzy new rides.

Things sure have changed since 2010, when soothing Turquoise was the Pantone color of the year. We are now being encouraged to address our troubles with the energy and determination that characterize Honeysuckle pink.

Our spirits and confidence will be lifted as we drive our new pink cars off the dealer lot and around town.

Hyundai Offers Free Vehicle Alternative To Popular ix35

Korean automaker Hyundai is providing 200 customers with an alternative vehicle until their desired car is available. These folks are waiting patiently for their diesel 2.0-liter Hyundai ix35 crossover vehicles. During their weight, they will be offered the manual 1.7-liter model of the car.

The automaker will also cover £300 in insurance and car finance fees.

There are long waiting lists for the 2.0-liter diesel version of the Hyundai ix35, resulting from higher demand than anticipated. Hyundai is now allowing customers to immediately acquire the 1.7-liter manual diesel model and keep it until the 2.0-liter model is available.

When their desired car is ready, customers can make the transition, at a price the same as their original order.

This arrangement is available to the 200 customers who have waited the longest. Under the deal, customers must purchase the 1.7-liter model before the end of March. When the 2.0-liter model is available, customers can exchange the 1.7-liter car, paying the difference in price between the two vehicles.

Hyundai will provide each customer with £300 to cover car finance and car insurance costs for covering two vehicles rather than one. 

Should the deal prove popular, Hyundai may offer it to other customers waiting for the 2.0-liter ix35. Though customers may need to negotiate car loans for two vehicles rather than one, it may be worth it. While waiting for the model they want, they will not be inconvenienced by being without an automobile.

Customer satisfaction is at the center of the Hyundai philosophy and the automaker recognizes the inconvenience customers who want the 2.0-liter ix35 are facing. Hyundai continues to look for ways to shorten the wait and hopes that this offer will provide some satisfaction to customers.

From a buyer perspective, immediately receiving the style of car desired, with no extra financial burden, may be acceptable.

Young Drivers Can Lower Their Auto Insurance Rates By Using A Smartbox

A program launched in the UK today enables drivers age 17 to 25 to save over £300 on their auto insurance with the carrier Co-Operative if they use a Smartbox in their vehicles. This small box is fitted to the automobile and monitors the driving skills of the young operator.

Good driving habits, as measured by various criteria, will result in cheaper insurance premiums.

During the past year, auto insurance premiums for drivers in this age group have increased 58 percent on average. A 17 to 25 year-old driver now pays more than £2,200 in car insurance premiums. Costs are likely to increase further due to a recent European Court of Justice ruling that gender may not be used to establish premiums.

By adhering to criteria like not driving between 11 PM and 6 AM, young drivers can lower insurance costs.

Speed, cornering, acceleration, and braking are the other criteria assessed. The Smartbox captures the data and transmits it to the insurance company.

Good drivers will receive either a refund or discounted future payments. Bad drivers will face an increase in insurance costs, up to 20 percent of their initial payment.

Co-operative Insurance developed the program to prevent a generation of drivers from being “priced out of car ownership,” says Co-operative Director of General Insurance David Neave. The company also wants to squash the myth that every young driver is a bad driver.

Co-operative will actually cancel a policy when a driver exceeds the speed limit and receives a court-imposed driving ban.

Young drivers can participate in the program even if they are still paying off their car loans. By driving more safely, these individuals will reduce the number of vehicle-related accidents and decrease overall car insurance rates.

The Smartbox is the size of an MP3 player and can be fitted in several places within the vehicle.

New Car Buyers Turning To The Internet For Purchases


Capgemini and Autotrader report that 46 percent of UK car buyers prefer to purchase their next car online and get home delivery. This is great news for dealerships with an online presence, as well as online car finance companies.

Respondents to the survey stated that when purchasing their next automobile, they want a full-service experience that is fast and convenient.

The respondents want the ability to compare different vehicles and associated prices. They also want to be able to make purchases, arrange car loans, and have cars delivered without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

Whether they are seeking personal contract purchase pcp or bad credit car finance, they want to find it using their computers.

Some people may consider it risky to purchase a car online. For a new car, the risk is reduced due to the manufacturer warranty and the seven to fourteen day cooling off period related to distance selling. New car buyers face little risk that they will be saddled with an unwanted purchase because they can either get the car repaired or return it within the cooling off period.

The Capgemini survey involved 8,000 car finance holders in the UK. In the Autotrader survey, 33 percent of the 5,000 individuals surveyed said they will purchase their next new car online. Results like this have led experts to predict a surge in online car sales.

Some say that over the next decade, more than 400,000 vehicles will be sold online.

Based on this information, it seems that new car buyers are willing to exchange a test drive for convenience. They are also looking for a one-stop shopping experience. Sainsbury Finance research reveals that two-thirds of car buyers have no interest in haggling over prices.

They prefer to compare prices online, without being forced to deal with salespeople.