• Tuesday, January 09th, 2018

These days there is no excuse for getting a bad deal on a car. The internet has forced dealers into being transparent, and gives the consumer power in that they can have access to deals across the country. So the first thing that you have to do is accept that the best way to lease a car, is to take a little bit of time to do some research and make sure you understand exactly, the contractual agreement you are entering into. Thankfully this is easily do, in my case all I did was search Audi A4 contract hire and the first result gave me numerous options and lease deals to choose from.

If you are new to the idea of leasing a car, essentially it gives you the chance to drive a brand new car every couple of years. Obviously new cars are a pretty expensive purchase for a lot of people, and the fact that the resale value drops so rapidly puts a lot of people off. However there are so many benefits to driving a new car, mainly everything works! Then obviously there is the luxury of having up to date tech etc, and you shouldn’t have to worry about huge service bills. Obviously there is a cost involved, take my example again, on an Audi A4 personal car lease, there was a pretty big margin for prices.

The Audi A4 deal I got worked out at 23 payments of £160 after an initial payment of the best part of £2000. Obviously the £2000 was a hit, but I had saved enough money over the course of the year for a car so I could cover that and had some left over to go towards the monthly payments. So now I have a new S Line A4 for £160 a month! To me that seems incredible, and until I researched it I would have thought it impossible for me to afford to drive a car like that. The only thing I would warn is make sure you are looking at the personal deals, at first I was browsing Audi A4 business car lease deals, and they are a fair bit cheaper than the personal ones, so I was a little disappointed when I realised I wasn’t eligible for those deals.

Nevertheless my personal contract hire Audi A4 is more than affordable and I am loving it. So literally all you need to do is a bit of research on a comparison site and make sure you are clear on the terms of the contract.

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• Monday, November 09th, 2015

The Mazda MX-3 isn’t for everyone, new drivers coming through will no doubt find it foreign as things have come a long way since they were making my MX-3. The car was built from 1991 to 1998, so you have to put the work in when you are driving it. But it is exactly that that makes the drive so rewarding. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t annoying work, it is satisfying, like you alone are the conductor of a 108bhp heavy metal orchestra, unaided by machines and clever technology.Mazda_MX-3_front_20080820

Another thing I have grown to really appreciate after 7 years with my old second hand Mazda MX-3 is the reliability of the vehicle, it has barely ever had anything replaced and still uses the majority of parts it was originally built with. The only thing that does grind my gears is how much fuel it wades through, it is definitely a thirsty beast and I do sometimes fear for my wallets well-being.

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• Monday, August 04th, 2014

The Alfa Romeo Brera is the picture of Italian style and flair and is a larger cooler version of the Alfa Romeo Mito. It has a V6 engine and exceptional Alfa handling. All things considered one would think that the Brera would be a huge hit. Unfortunately, the Brera is close to the bottom of the list among this years top twenty-car shoot out. This is due to the fact that the little Alpha delivers a stunning appearance, but not a stunning performance.


The Brera has consistently under-performed the competition. One reason for this is the long gearing that makes the 260bhp engine seem slow and sluggish and lacking in top-end power. The 322Nm torque is equally disappointing. The Brera looks like it has power that it can’t deliver.

The steering though nicely weighted lacks feedback. The Q4 all-wheel-drive provides excellent traction, but because the Brera has failed to outperform many of its competitors and is not built for speed, it is not likely that the all-wheel-drive feature will be needed much. In fact, when timed around a track the Brera came in last among the cars that participated. The Alfa Romeo Brera is a beautiful car but should be thought of more as a zippy GT than a sports car.


A fully loaded Brera isn’t a cheap undertaking. If driven hard the Brera will prove to be costly at the fuel pump as well. This makes the diesel alternative very appealing. Parts, maintenance, and servicing costs should mirror that of Alfa’s 159.

The Brera’s cabin is small but can accommodate front passengers with adequate room, but passengers riding in the rear may have a difficult time entering and exiting the vehicle. Rear passengers have little legroom, and all passengers have limited headroom. Despite the limited space inside the cabin, the Brera has a spacious hatch.

Clear dials and large controls decorate the Brera’s center console, there are easily accessable controls located on the steering wheel as well. The car has a manual transmission and a gear shift that is long but precise.

Front seat passengers will be reasonably comfortable in the Brera’s supportive seats, but headroom is limited. Road and engine noise has successfully been suppressed in order to ensure a pleasant ride. The rear seats are extremely limited on legroom and headroom.

The Brera has large doors for easy entry, but the low roof can still make easy access a challenge. Exiting the vehicle is far easier than entering the vehicle. One major plus for the Brera is that it has a large hatch for carrying cargo.

The Brera provides a clear view out the front, but the rear view is not as good. The rear window is small and allows restricted visibility, this could make parking difficult.

Life Style

The Brera has great driver appeal. It has a sports car look, but drives more like a coupe. This Alfa delivers a smooth ride and a variety of engine options including a diesel option. The diesel option is very attractive for drivers who plan on driving long distances or commuting between cities.

This Alfa is not a family car. It is not spacious and can not comfortable accommodate a family. It would even be difficult to load and unload small children into the rear of the vehicle.

The Alfa Romeo Brera would not make a good first car. It would be expensive to service and maintain. It is not the fastest car in its sector, but it is a fast car for a first car. Insurance rates would be high for new drivers and limited visibility makes it difficult to park.

Alfa Romeo has always sported a racy image. This car portrays a beautiful exterior that lives up to that image. The performance however, does not live up to the hype. The car does not perform to a true sports car capacity. The lack of quality performance measures have reflected badly on the Alfa Romeo Brera.

Security and Safety

The Brera is definitely a looker, and with such an attractive exterior façade it is easy to see why a theft deterrent system is necessary. The Brera comes with a comprehensive alarm and immobilizer system. The car provides remote central locking, and doesn’t provide an external handle for the rear hatch.

The Brera comes with plenty of safety aids including air bags and electronic stability aids. The safety features only ingage when necessary and allow the driver to enjoy the capabilities of the Brera.

The Finishing Touches

The stereo unit is prominently displayed and functions well. Duplicate controls are mounted on the steering wheel for convenience. Upgrades are available and with each upgrade performance and quality are enhanced.

Alfa Romeo is famous for their red sports cars, and the Brera is no exception. The car looks great in red. The dark interior compliments the bright color and leather interior is one option that really compliments the sporty look.  Other colors are available for those who wish to blend in a little more.



The Brera has an incredibly beautiful and sporty exterior. This car has looks like a race car and has lots of style, but is not designed for speed. The car has some very sophisticated interior features that are designed to enhance the ride. Alfa has delivered another eye catcher that is more about class than power.

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• Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Anybody fancy some useful car buying tips, well you’ve found the right place! As you know, I’ve been in the motor trade for years and I’ve done everything from servicing to selling motors. As you can imagine I picked up a fair few tricks of the trade over the years and they have served me well and got me an excellent deal on my second hand Jaguar XF, so I thought I would share some tips with you guys.

First and foremost, Make sure you know exactly what you want, if you go into a dealership with confidence that is backed up by knowledge and research the dealer will pick up on it, and will be less likely to try and talk you into doing something that you don’t really want. This means know your preferred trim and spec, don’t just go in and give a vague preference for say, a Lexus CT. Doing this will open you up for a variety of imposed “alternate options”, and before you know it you have a completely different car on your drive for a price that was outside of your budget.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to haggle! The dealer will always advertise their best case scenario price, and don’t be fooled if there is a higher number crossed out next to the buy it now price. Chances are that original crossed out price was crossed out before it even reached the showroom. For example, I’ve bought my daughter a Kia Ceed last year and the price tag read as follows: “£8,000 Now £7,500” and I ended up getting it for £6,250 after a bit of bartering. You might not get that lucky every time but it’s always worth a shot.

Finally try and target your purchase for the end of the month. I remember when I was a salesman I would be much more willing to give discounts towards the end of the month when I was trying to hit my targets, I practically gave away an Mg ZT back in 2003 to hit mine. So bare this valuable fact in mind when it comes to buying your next car. The salesman isn’t always the one who is in the position of power and I’m telling you that from experience.

Finally, there is always room for manoeuvre when you are buying your car. The forecourt is a battlefield and these days the buyer has more ammunition than ever before; thanks to the internet you can arrive with quotes and all sorts of different information which will put you in a stronger position to get a good deal. And don’t assume this is just on the cheaper cars, whether you’re after a second hand Mazda 3 or a Porsche, there are always deals to be made.

Jacks Tip: one of the best ways to fund your new vehicle purchase, if you can, is to sell your classic car – it could be worth thousands. You can cash in on it at any of these sites:

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• Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The Boxster has been subtly redesigned by Porsche. The Boxster now sports an exterior design true to traditional Porsche form. The Boxster has been totally restyled to lessen its resemblance to the Porsche 911 and to bring it back to a more traditional form.


The Boxster delivers excellent handling and a choice of impressive engines. The Boxster’s interior is impressive but the most impressive enhancements are not so easily seen.

The Boxster’s engines are more powerful than before and its suspension has been revised along with improvements in handling and the inclusion of electronic aids. The Boxster has enjoyed a great deal of popularity since its introduction the added enhancements will increase the Boxster’s desirability.


The Boxster is more costly to purchase than most of its competitors but it also offers a lot of value for the money. The Boxster is fast and boasts a good build quality. Resale values should be high and maintenance is likely to be routine.

The Boxster is not a spacious vehicle. Available cabin space is surprisingly much more limited than exterior dimensions suggest.  The Boxster does boast pretty impressive boot space however and a decent glovebox.

The Boxster’s instrumentation and cabin design are based on the Cayenne. The Boxster’s main controls and dials are large and well designed. The roof is easy to retract with the pull of a lever and the push of a button.

Passengers will not have any trouble getting comfortable inside of the Boxster’s cabin. The seats are supportive and the Boxster provides fully adjustable seats. Engine noise is better disguised with the top up but has an appealing sound with the top down as well.

The Boxster provides good accessibility. The doors open wide providing a large aperture that facilitates accessibility. The Boxster’s doors are large and heavy and may present difficulties in a crowded parking lot.

Life Style

The Boxster is a fun car to drive with enhanced steering and plenty of grip. Enthusiastic drivers will appreciate the powerful engines that are available. Porsche’s 2.7-litre six cylinder engine is more than competent.

The Boxster is a two-seater and is much too small for a family car. The Boxster was not designed to lug a family or their cargo around. It would make a really fun second car or even third car for a family.

The Boxster would be a really fun first car for those who could afford it. It is unlikely that many first time buyers could afford the initial purchase price, insurance and fuel for the Boxster.

Porsche has never had an image problem and the Boxster will only serve as a compliment to the firm’s already positive image. Some dispute the quality of materials used in the cabin (centre console), but for the most part the baby Porsche is very impressive.

Security and Safety

The Boxster is an attractive car with plenty of curb appeal. Porsche has taken this into account and has included remote central locking and an engine immobolizer as standard. Porsche has even included the option of a hard top for buyers who desire increased security.

The Boxster comes equipped with an array of safety features including twin front airbags, side and head airbags. Other standard safety features include rollover safety features, and Porsche Stability Management.

The Finishing Touches

The Porsche Boxster’s standard audio unit includes a radio and CD player. The standard unit provides good sound quality but optional upgrades are available from the options list including a sat-nav system and a trip computer.

The Boxster’s exterior looks the most attractive in silver. Dark metallic colours increase the Boxster’s charm and a mixture of cloth and leather successfully create a classy and sporty atmosphere in the cabin area.



The Boxster’s traditional design will be appealing to many buyers, but its performance and build quality will impress even more buyers. The Boxster has been enhanced in all the right places and offers buyers a complete package.

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• Thursday, July 10th, 2014

We love a good deal on a nice set of wheels, but usually this can require a fair bit of research work and luck. Now however thanks to the new Dacia Duster, you can get your hands on a brand new 4×4 for the miniscule price of £11,495, there is also a 2WD version which sits at £9,495 which is also incredible value. Due to the Dusters incredibly low listed prices, Dacia have got a strict policy whereby they don’t give out any discounts which is hardly surprising.

So we have established that the Dacia Duster is dirt cheap, but it is also actually a pretty sound car which ticks most, if not all of the essential boxes and usually for a car of the Dusters size you would be spending a good several thousand pounds more than you would with the Duster. Though the Dacia Duster is pretty new to UK streets, it has survived the test of time in other countries, countries which will have also provided a harsher environment in terms of road quality than that in the UK.

The only let down for us is that didn’t do too well in the NCAP crash tests and only managed an overall score of 3 out of 5. I guess there had to be something negative that would reflect with the Duster’s incredible value.

If you want a Duster but £9,495 is a little outside of your budget, it might be worth waiting to get a good deal on a second hand Dacia Duster in a couple of years when they are a bit more common in the Used Car Market. But as of yet, the majority of Dusters on the road belong to first time owners.


So there you have it, the Dacia Duster is one of the best cars there is when considering value for money alone. As far as deals for wheels go it is up there with the best, and it doesn’t look half bad either.

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• Monday, October 14th, 2013

It is inevitable that sales of 4x4s and SUVs will increase with winter just around the corner. They are defined by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) as dual-purpose vehicles, and with more snow seemingly falling every year, it is no surprise that they prove to be a popular purchase as the coldest months approach.

The SMMT has put together a list of the bestselling 4x4s so far this year, here are the top five.


5. Audi Q3
The baby model in Audi’s range of premium 4x4s, the Q3 represents a response to increased demand for small crossovers. Its success has no doubt been largely down its versatility, offering sound performance and a plush interior – all under the roof of a typically stylish exterior. The Audi Q3 starts from £25,270.


4. Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V is practical, reliable and affordable. There’s acres of space inside and it handles smoothly, making it an excellent vehicle for families. With the 1.6-litre diesel engine it delivers up to 63mpg and emits just 119g/km of CO2 – impressive for its size and weight. New CR-V cars cost between £21,505 and £33,215, however they don’t hold their value particularly well. On the plus side, bargains are to be had for people interested in used models. Listings are at


3. Land Rover Freelander 2
One quality which has stayed constant in all Land Rover vehicles over the years is their ability to travel off-road and over challenging terrain, and this gives the Freelander an advantage over some of its main rivals. It will have no trouble ploughing through snow on UK roads and the cabin is a comfortable one. Fuel economy is sound but CO2 emissions are fairly high. New Freelander cars start from £23,705.


2. Range Rover Evoque
The cheapest Range Rover currently on the market, the Evoque is a small 5-door 4×4 which is also available as a 3-door coupe. It is significantly more environmentally friendly than other Range Rovers, and delivers respectable fuel economy too. The Evoque boasts a luxury interior packed with equipment and consequently is a little pricier than rivals, with top-spec models costing in excess of £44,000. Leasing can prove a more financially viable option – deals are at


1. Kia Sportage
The bestselling 4×4 of 2013 to date is the Kia Sportage. It represents excellent value for money, starting from £17,495, and offers a spacious interior. The Sportage is attractively styled and comes with a host of safety features. Fuel economy and emission levels are average for the class, while insurance groups are low. With the Kia Sportage outselling all of its rivals, it would appear that customers in the 4×4 market are primarily motivated by price.

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• Sunday, July 07th, 2013

Alfa Romeo has done it again. The pretty GT looks all business from the outside with its sleek Italian style, but the car’s extravagant interior cabin is also designed to impress. The car is not all looks however; the front-drive GT also drives and handles well.


Alfa Romeo is well-known for designing cars that are showy yet elegant. Some of their more recent designs have not been short on looks, but have fallen short when it comes to performance. The Alfa Romeo GT carries on the tradition of beauty for the Italian company and gives them a much needed boost in the performance sector as well.

German makers tend to lead the market in sales of small coupes. This is due partly to the lack of competition in this area. Many of the leading producers are unrepresented in the small coupe sector, and as a result these cars tend to come with an extremely high price tag. The GT however; is very affordably priced and is a welcomed and affordable option for buyers who are in the market for a small coupe. The Alfa Romeo GT is extremely attractive, reliable, and affordably priced. This is great news for Alfa Romeo fans, but not such great news for the competition.


There is a lot of competition among the high-end competitors giving the GT a huge cost advantage. The GT also brags a high level of standard kit and offers the option of a diesel variant that can save on fuel costs. Despite these money saving features insurance and servicing can be costly.

The GT is not a spacious car. The rear hatch is small and can only accommodate smaller items. The rear seats can fold down hatch-back style to accommodate larger items. Cabin space is adequate for comfortable driving and riding for most passengers. The glove box is also on the small side but various storage bins and trays located inside the cabin allow for storage of small miscellaneous and odd items.

Alfa Romeo’s trademark dials complete the cars interior façade. They are functional and accommodate the comprehensive trip computer. The car’s stereo system is functional, but the buttons are too small making it difficult to change functions. The car is equipped with convenient rotary ventilation controls and digital displays. The main backlight color is red making it difficult to read the instruments at night.

The sporty two-door GT coupe has a more comfortable driving position than past Alfa Romeos, and the cabin is small but comfortable. The cabin would accommodate most drivers easily, but headroom is limited for taller drivers. There is more leg room for the front passenger and driver, but the low seating can pose problems for some passengers. Rear seating would more easily accommodate children rather than adults, and the hatch is small but easily accessible. The GT looks, handles, and sounds more like a sports car than other traditional hatch-backs.

Even tough the GT is a small car; it can be difficult to park. The car is equipped with a rear screen and a rear bootlid making it difficult to see. Door mirrors are also on the small side making it even more difficult to park at times. The car steers tightly and easily at low speeds.

Life Style

The GT true to its image is fast and exciting to drive. A more comfortable driving position makes it an even more attractive choice. The Alfa Romeo GT comes with three engine options. The 2.0 JTS is designed to be driven hard, and the JTD model provides a smoother ride, and of course there is the more standard V6 option. The steering is designed to be accurate, light, and fast.

The Alfa Romeo GT would not make a good family car. It would make a better second car. Access to the backseat is limited and would not be convenient for the daily demands of family life. Also the limited carrying capacity and storage might not be ideal for a family situation.

The GT may not be the best choice of cars for first time car buyers. It is on the expensive side to purchase and upkeep and maintenance are also on the expensive side. It would also be costly to insure and due to limited visibility it may be difficult for new drivers to park. This car is more practical for experienced drivers.

Security and Safety

Alfa provides remote central locking with an electronic code plus an alarm immobilizer. However, due to the cars sporty look and overall appeal it might be wise to invest in additional theft deterrent devices.

Although Alfa Romeo doesn’t boast that it has the highest safety standards, the Italian based company doesn’t take safety lightly. The car comes equipped with twin front, side and curtain airbags. The GT features anti-lock brakes and a comprehensive electronic stability system.

The Finishing Touches

The Alfa GT comes equipped with a standardized stereo unit. The standard unit performs well, but the small buttons make it difficult to manipulate. The access controls located on the steering wheel make it much easier to control. The CD player can be upgraded with an optional disc changer, or the more expensive option has a colour screen enhancement and east to use controls.

The most popular and all-time favorite exterior color among Alfa Romeo fans is red. The bright color makes the already showy car stand out among the crowd.



Alfa Romeo’s GT is the perfect head turner. It feels (and rightfully so) like all eyes are on you as you sit behind the wheel. The cars good looks are matched by the cars power and ability. The GT is an affordable coupe that offers a fresh and welcome change to the less affordable cars offered by BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.

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• Thursday, March 28th, 2013

As a former used car salesman, I have spent the majority of my life learning and teaching others how to make automotive savings. As you’d expect I am a big advocate for used cars rather than new ones. It is beyond me how people can justify paying over the odds for a vehicle just because it hasn’t been driven previously by anyone else, when there are perfectly good used models out there which can be picked up for a fraction of the price.

In my time I have probably driven hundreds of used cars, and have owned around fifteen. Of those fifteen the only real problem I had of any note was having to change the driveshaft on a Ford Escort, and to be honest it caused me very little trouble. In fairness I have been pretty lucky with my motors but I still believe that you shouldn’t be worried by the reliability of a used car.

Volkswagen-Beetle-front-imageNow more than ever it puzzles me that people that people would buy a model brand new, when the current economic climate of the UK is in a state of recession. Surely savings are more important than ever when disposable income is at an all-time low for most people. And it is not like the initial outlay for a vehicle is all you have to pay – there is also road tax, insurance and fuel to think about, as well as MOT and servicing. Moreover, depreciation will occur far less in a used Volkswagen Beetle than a new one for example.

Well today hopefully I am going to help you save a bit on your MOT and servicing costs.

How do you usually go about getting your vehicle serviced or MOT tested? Do you just take it down to the nearest garage in your area and accept any price you are quoted?

Don’t worry if this is a familiar practice for you, it is for most people, but it is not necessarily the best way to go about getting the best deal.

Until recently there has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding what constitutes a good price for an MOT or a service, and to go out and compare prices for every garage in your vicinity would take forever.

However, thanks to leading UK automotive website, all that has changed. They have introduced the country’s first MOT and service centre comparison site.

It couldn’t be easier to use and it can help you to get the very best price and make savings for years to come. All you have to do is enter the make and model of your vehicle as well as your postcode, and within seconds a list of garages will be displayed by proximity to your address complete with a comprehensive pricing guide.

Start saving today!

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• Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Are you a motorist living in the UK?

Has the time come around for you to trade in your vehicle for something different, or are you in the process of buying your first car?

If the answer to these questions is yes then you’ll know that it can be a stressful task and that there are many variables which require consideration. You need to think about which type of vehicle is right for you, how much money you have to spend on one and which make and model will suit your style. And that is not to mention thinking about additional costs such as fuel and MOT and servicing.

Moreover, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is whether to buy a new car or a used model. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and ultimately it will come down to personal preference as well as financial constraints, but to help you in your choice here are five reasons to buy a used car rather than a new one.



The most obvious reason for buying a used car is of course the price. You will pay considerably less for a car which is used as opposed to the same model brand new. Not only does this save you money however, it also allows you to look at a wider range of vehicles. For example a new Mercedes C-Class may be well out of your price range, whereas a used one could be within your budget.


More Choice

Another point that may sound obvious, but there are infinitely more used models to choose from than new ones. For example if you are set on buying a Mazda, you’ll have only a handful of new vehicles to choose from whereas there may be 30 or 40 used models. Moreover, if you have chosen the exact car you want, such as a Volkswagen Golf, buying a used model allows you to browse all of the different generations to find your favourite.



Insurance for new cars is far more expensive than it is for used models. They cost a lot more and so insurance brokers won’t be taking any risks.


Depreciation Woes


As soon as you purchase a new car, it loses a significant amount of value. If you opt for a used model you could recoup almost the full value of it when you sell it a few years down the line.

engineeCar Parts

Newer models are forever being built with body work that costs a lot more to replace, so save yourself the worry of having a bump and go for a used vehicle.

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