Why car sharing may be better than car ownership

Sales of new cars fell by 9.3% in September this year. Car insurance, petrol, maintenance and the congestion charge all add up for car buying consumers. So much so that the trend is increasingly towards not owning a car at all. The demands of family life, school runs, weekly shops or emergencies such as a doctor’s visit might seem to necessitate your own set of wheels. However, for many – especially Millennials – that’s simply no longer the case. And build in the fact that on average a car is parked for 95% of the time! And when not parked your commute is likely to be at an average 20 mph such is the effect of traffic congestion. What are the alternatives to car ownership? The only alternative to car ownership used to be a standard rental. This came with its own set of costs and conditions and was a pretty inflexible method for those who didn’t need a car for a particularly extensive length of time. Today, there are many more options, from those that let you “rent” a sea
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How to find a really good second hand used car

The second hand car market in the UK is expanding. In the first quarter of 2017, sales of used cars reached an all time high. In fact, we’re buying so many used cars now that earlier this year the sales of new cars fell for the first time in eight years! There are a number of different reasons why used cars have become so incredibly popular. Perhaps the most significant is the Personal Contract Purchase (PCP). The PCP is the type of financing that many people use to buy a new car. It enables a buyer to make payments over a period of time and then at the end of say 3-4 years decide whether or not to make a large final payment to keep the car – or to hand it back and enter into another PCP for a different car. As more and more people choose to hand back these slightly used cars the vehicles make their way into the used car market, increasing both the volume and the options available. Why opt for a used car? ‘Second hand car’ might once have conjured up an image of an old banger
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How to buy a used car using car finance

The UK market for used cars is thriving. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2016 was a bumper year for the used car industry and set a record for sales. 8.2 million used cars were sold last year, which represents a 7.3% increase on the year before. So, the market is booming – and for many people the simplest and fastest way to secure the right second hand car is with car finance. But what are the options if you’re looking for used car finance and are there any risks in doing so? Used car finance – the market If you’re looking for a cost effective car purchase then the chances are you have considered a second hand vehicle. The market for used cars is very different today to 20 years ago. Back then, if you were looking for a used car, then you were most likely going to be buying from an individual or a dealership handling genuinely second hand cars that had seen relatively intense road usage. Today, it’s a different story. When it comes to buying bran
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How to protect yourself from being ripped off by car hire companies

The car hire industry in Europe and the UK is going through a pretty tough time right now. Consumer confidence is at an all time low, with a 30% rise in complaints about car hire practices in the past 12 months. Plus, one of Europe’s major rental companies is now the subject of an investigation into systemic over charging of customers. Of course, not all rental operations are the same – but if you’re looking to hire a car then you need to make sure you protect yourself from being ripped off. What’s going on in the industry? Problems in the car hire industry have got to a critical point. The Spanish Tourist Board has even said that the issues with hire cars and hidden fees, for example, are damaging the reputation of the country. Consumers have less confidence in car hire companies than ever before and it’s not helped by the fact that some of the biggest names are currently in the dock for bad practices. Europcar, for example, is under investigation by Trading Standards for s
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Is it finally time to buy an electric car and join the party?

There used to be a time when an electric car was a serious novelty. The idea of being able to plug in a car and charge it up like a mobile phone was a bit of a conceptual leap for some. Today, however, that’s no longer the case. By the end of June 2017 new registrations for plug in cars had reached 105,000 – up from just 3,500 in 2013. Many major manufacturers now offer electric vehicles as part of their range and more and more drivers are switching on to the benefits of leaving petrol behind. So, is now the time to buy an electric car? The cost of buying an electric car In the early days the cost of manufacturing electric vehicles meant that the sale price was pretty high. Motorists would pay a premium to buy but then make savings later, such as the cost of fuel and avoiding the Congestion Charge in London. Now, however, electric car costs are dropping fast. A 2017 forecast by the investment bank UBS predicted that electric cars would soon be on a level, price-wise, with your sta
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Will self-drive cars ever become reality?

The self-drive car has been in the headlines a lot recently. For all the backseat drivers out there – or anyone with control issues – it seems like a terrible idea. And for the rest, it’s still something most of us feel that we’re more likely to have seen in a 1960s vision of the future than actually on our streets. But the relentless quest for shinier, better, more efficient tech is driving all the resources in the self-drive direction. So, whether you like it or not, questions such as whether a self-drive car is safe (and maybe even, can you car finance it?) are likely to become inescapable. The self-drive car Experts tell us that by 2030, self drive vehicles could make up as much as 60 percent of US auto sales. As the UK often follows where the US drives us (haha) the same stats are likely to apply here too, sooner or later. These vehicles are being developed, not to have human responses, but to be able to drive safely using a range of sensors. It’s probable they will be
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Crunch – Are Car Loans the next subprime crisis?

A massive boom in new car registrations fuelled by new financing methods are storing up trouble for British consumers already stretched by rising fuel and food prices, according to economic analysts. Households in the UK are increasingly choosing personal contract hire (PCH) and personal contract purchase (PCP) schemes to finance new cars. Recent figures showed that a record £31.6 billion was borrowed by households last year to finance brand new cars. The figures represented a 12% increase on 2015, according to the Finance and Leasing Association. How are people financing new cars? The largest growth in car finance has been with PCPs with 90% of all new car sales now financed through this method. It involves putting down a small deposit and then making monthly payments over the following two, three, four or five years before making a final payment covering the residual value of the car or handing it back. Another rapidly growing area is PCH where a motorist makes a deposit on a new c
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