Cars that maintain their value

It is a fact that most cars lose money year upon year from wear and tear on the paintwork, interior and engine or even because a newer model has come out making yours seem outdated.

There are certain cars that do hold their money or some classics even increase in value. You can also increase the value of a car by doing work to it, such as a respray or completing repairs that needed doing when you purchased it but there is always a ceiling limit as to how much you can recoup.

Studies show that a new car loses approximately 17% of its value within the first 12 months but some cars lose money quicker than others.

The Honda CRV, the Nissan Frontier and the Jeep Wrangler are amongst some of the cars that lose less than 17% in the first year with these three particular models losing on average between 7 and 8 percent. This can mean an additional £1000-£2000 in your pocket should you wish to sell it after a year.


All over safety check

If you have just bought a car or even if you just want someone to give your existing car a once over, there are many garages now offering a free visual inspection. If you call up one of these garages and explain to them that you want a free visual inspection they can often fit you in the same day. The car is put up on a ramp in the work shop and then the mechanic will check over it to find out any damage on the car. They sometimes will ask you over to have a look whilst it is on the ramp so you can see for yourself what needs doing.

This service is usually designed to check many components such as the brakes, suspension, tyres and sometimes the battery. Once the garage has given you a list of items that may need to be replaced they can provide you with a quote to do the work, but you are under no obligation to take it.


Hiring a car in the EU

If you’re heading to Europe, either on holiday or for business, you need to be aware of recent regulation changes regarding the documents you’ll need when hiring a car. You used t need the paper part of your UK driving license but now things have changed.

Earlier this year, the DVLA scrapped the paper part of the license in an effort to save money and red tape. The paper part holds details of any previous convictions and offences and, as such, was used by hire car companies to check a driver’s history. In place of the paper license, you now need to present a hire company with a code obtained from the DVLA’s website. This code allows the hire company to check your history online.

The code is only valid for three days so if you don’t plan ahead you will be relying on being able to access the DVLA’s website or their phone line when you need to hire a vehicle.


Sneaky tricks used at second hand car garages

If you are looking to buy a second hand car then you should read this article that can give you an insight to some of the common tricks used at a used car showroom to entice you in. One of the main ones is the bait car – you may have seen and advert in the local paper or on the website showing a car for sale that seems too good to be true. It might be way below the usually selling price and very low mileage. But when you enquire about it at the garage, it has already been sold. This can be a way for used car garages to entice you in. Even if you call them rather than visit they will often state that the vehicle has been sold but they have many more similar deals on the forecourt and you should pop in. Once they have you at the showroom, and know that you are keen to buy, it is usually a lot easier for them to talk you in to a sale.



Cam belt worries

The engines cam belt drives and regulates the cam shaft, which in turn moves the inlet and exhaust valves in your engine. If the cam belt snaps during operation of the engine, many of the moving parts in and around the combustion chamber can sustain serious damage leading to costly repairs. This is one of the reasons buying a second hand car with only partial or no service history is a risky business. Cam belts usually need changing at around 60,000 miles but the cars service schedule should indicate the correct time for your specific vehicle.

If your vehicle has a higher mileage than this and you don’t know whether the belt has been changed it’s a good idea to swap it as a matter of course. This can be quite costly as it requires a lot of work, though the belt itself isn’t that pricey. However, potentially having to repair or replace all 16 valves in your engine will undoubtedly cost more. Some cars feature a timing chain instead of a rubber belt and these should theoretically never break, though some can eventually stretch and throw out the timing.

At the car wash

If you want to keep your car in show room condition you’ll need a regular cleaning regime. Paying for a professional valet service is certainly one option but with a few pro tips you can get great results and make a great saving. Always make sure you wash out of strong sunshine as irregular drying will leave spotting on the bodywork. Patches of heavy soiling can be spot treated with neat car shampoo. Wash off as much dirt as possible with a hose and then wash with a suitable cleaning cloth or wash mitt. Use two buckets- one with clean soapy water and one to rinse out your cloth. This keeps the particles of dirt out of your soapy water and avoids scratching the paint.
Once you’ve washed the bodywork well, rinse from top down. If the water doesn’t bead off the paint surface you’ll need to replenish the cars wax coat once you’ve finished. When you’ve rinsed, dry the car with a drying cloth or chamois, this avoids leaving unsightly watermarks.

Why is Basic Vehicle Maintenance important?

Basic vehicle maintenance, or a car tune up, is a simple task, but why is it important? Basic vehicle maintenance can go a long ways towards holding off a more serious mechanical issue and extend the lifespan of the car.

If you take neglecting oil levels as an example of what happens to a car when you don’t act to maintain it; oil is essential for ensuring that an engine continues to work correctly, and without it you risk breaking important components in your engine, which can cost hundreds of pounds to replace if you’re lucky, and a few hundred more to get a mechanic to repair it. Likewise with transmission fluid, of which a below than minimum amount could result in serious damage to your vehicle.

On the other side of things, neglecting to maintain suitable levels of brake fluid could mean a braking failure, likely to result in a crash, and potential serious personal harm.

Perform Your Own Car Tune up

A regular vehicle maintenance, also referred to as a car tune up, is a basic maintenance of a vehicle which checks a lot of the basic aspects of a car’s condition. A lot of the tasks are very easy to do, and are well within the abilities of any car owner, whether they have mechanical expertise, are a car enthusiast, or just your average person.

A basic tune up of a car involves a few different tasks; an oil check, tyre check, fluid level check. Oil checks can be done simply by taking the dipstick out of the plug, wiping off the oil onto a rag to see the colour and consistency of the oil, and then adding in any oil needed to get it to its desired level (which should be indicated on the dipstick). With a tyre check, you need to examine the tyres for their general condition (if they are in any way damaged) and for their pressure levels. Lastly, checking the fluid levels is also important, such as transmission fluid, brake fluid, radiator and power steering fluid. Also checking windscreen wiping fluid can be beneficial, but less essential.