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from wear and tear on the paintwork, interior and engine or even because a newer model has come out making yours seem outdated.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.
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.
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Finding a garage or mechanic that can work on your car can be easy as there are quite a few choices, but finding one that you can trust is often a different story. Some people choose to only ever take their car to a main dealer for repair or maintenance work. This is often more so with new cars that maybe are still under a manufacturer’s warranty, but main dealer prices for labour and for parts can be quite a bit higher than a local garage or mobile mechanic.
When shopping around for a mechanic, try and use one that has been recommended to you or that has a lot of good independent reviews. If you are ever in doubt about work that you have been quoted for from a mechanic or garage then I would strongly suggest getting a second opinion, as many places will do this for a small charge or even for free.
If you need work doing on your car and it is not able to be driven to a garage or you cannot have the time off work to take it to one, then you may want to consider using a mobile mechanic. People often assume that a mobile mechanic will charge more to carry out services and repairs that taking it to a workshop but this is often not the case. As a mobile mechanic can save money on the costs of leasing/ owning a workshop and the bills that come with it, they can often significantly reduce their labour charges.
Mobile mechanics may not be able to undertake all jobs if for example it requires the car to be lifted up on to a ramp, but they may have access to a ramp that they use or can take it to a garage that they are affiliated with for you.
Make sure that you always read reviews on mobile mechanics and never just had over your car to someone that you have little information on.
Repairs on vehicles regardless of if mechanical or body repairs can be costly. Garages usually put a good amount on top of the cost price of the parts and labour charges can vary from twenty five upwards of sixty pounds an hour, so what may seem like a small job can soon add up.
If you want to try and save money on your car repairs then you can try and sort out the parts yourself. You do not have to be a whizz with cars to do this, just need to know exactly what parts you need. Some garages will not be happy fitting parts that have been supplied by someone else, but if you use a mobile mechanic then often they will be ok with it.
I recently had to have a new coil spring fitted on a 2005 Vectra and was shocked to be quoted £140 for the pair (they are often done in pairs). After doing a bit of shopping around I managed to get the parts for £32 and found a mobile mechanic that would fit them for £35 saving myself a whopping £73!
A puncture can happen at any time and can not only be inconvenient but can be costly and not to mention dangerous. Often it is caused by driving over debris in the road or even hitting a pot hole too hard and can happen to a brand new tyre. Some punctures can be repaired whilst other will require a new tyre to be fitted. You can expect to pay upwards of fifteen pounds per repair.
If you have a slow puncture then it is tempting to just keep inflating it every couple of days to get you through, but you are running the risk of making the puncture worse and also of the tyre becoming dangerous and causing the car to lose control.
If you notice that you have a flat tyre or under inflated tyre then you need to fill it up with air but check it again the next day to see if it has gone down again. Tyres do lose pressure naturally over time but it should not be happening in the space of a few days or even a few weeks.
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.
While a dealership will fit genuine or Original Equipment Manufacturer parts (OEM for short) an independent garage will probably use aftermarket car parts but is this something to be concerned about? Aftermarket parts will probably be cheaper but does this mean they are lower quality?
While the old adage “you get what you pay for” is often true, it could also be said that you pay a lot for a name. You may assume that genuine parts will be of better quality but this may not be the case, aftermarket parts may be reverse engineered so money is saved on development allowing the manufacturer to improve quality at a lower cost. Genuine parts may differ from OEM parts only in the packaging. Factor in the price difference which can be up to 70% and those non-genuine parts can look pretty appealing.
Cheaper parts may not come with a warranty and you should check the terms of your vehicles warranty when getting it serviced. If you’re concerned about non genuine parts, you could insist that your garage orders in the genuine parts.
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.