Insurance Categories Updated.

Insurance Categories Updated.

New Insurance Cateogries for UK Cars.

As of the beginning of October there is a new set of insurance categories being introduced for used cars in the UK.
Previous we had categories C and D that are now being replaced by S and N. The new styles are intended to focus on car condition instead of repair costs.
The Associate of British Insurers (ABI) state that both S and N categories are repairable and potentially roadworthy.
Category S means that a vehicle has suffered some type of structural damages that resulted in the vehicle being written off due to an uneconomical repair bill. Damage may be suffered to any part of the car including the chassis! Something of a red flag.
Category N means the car was again written off via an insurance company because it was uneconomical to repair but the damage was not structural i.e. the vehicle has not suffered damage to the chassis or frame.
The old style category A and B pretty much remain the same with Cat A being the most severe of all damaged vehicle types. So, these types are deemed irreparable by insurance companies and that parts are also non salvageable. This almost always means the Cat A cars are crushed/destroyed.
Cat B is the next most severe damage type. The main difference between A and B is that B may have some reusable parts but you are advised to not buy a Cat B car as it will likely not be roadworthy.
However, Cat S and N vehicles are deemed acceptable to buy after a full repair. Used Car Guy’s advice is to tread very carefully when buying a Insurance Category damaged car. Not only is roadworthiness in question but the value of the car is dramatically reduced. I avoid all Category cars with a blanked policy. I’d advise you do the same.
Used Car Guy.

The Europcar Initiative.

The Europcar Initiative.

Should I buy or lease a car?


Which option should I go for?

Below are the main benefits of a long-term car rental solution. Click here to find out some of the pros to leasing a car. You might also be interested in my used car leasing page which is a great read for those looking to save some money their next car.
best financial choice for today's motorists
Europcar UK, a subsidiary of Europcar Group, the European leader in vehicle rental services and a major player in mobility markets, is challenging the concept of ‘car ownership’ with new enhancements to its fixed rate long-term rental solution. Europcar Long Term Hire may take the unknown out of the question of should I lease or buy a car as they’re offering the benefit of no depreciation or maintenance. The car comes with a free Deliver & Collect service, and additional drivers can be added at no extra cost. And starting from just £317 per month* with only a £70 deposit required, it can be more cost-effective than other forms of car finance.
“With the cost of car ownership set to increase significantly, thanks to the new Vehicle Excise Duty Rules and hikes in insurance costs, many motorists must be wondering how they can stay on the road”, explained Gary Smith, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group. “We’re tackling that challenge with a longer term car hire solution that doesn’t require any long-term commitment.”
Analysis has shown that Europcar Long Term Hire provides motorists with a genuine alternative to other forms of car ownership, whilst still being competitively priced. The basic Europcar Long Term Hire starts from £317 per month for a mini category vehicle, with a monthly mileage allowance of 2,520 miles and an excess of £1,000. Europcar Long Term Hire Premium provides complete peace of mind, with zero excess on insurance for a starting price of £422 per month and a deposit of £70.
Should I buy or lease a car? For a vehicle such as a Peugeot 208, over a year, a high mileage driver could expect to pay £8,470 with Europcar Long Term Hire. To lease this vehicle for the same period would cost £1,043 more.
Europcar believes its flexible new solution provides motorists with an ideal alternative to car ownership, maintenance and servicing costs. And unlike car ownership or leasing where the driver is stuck with the same car for years, they can change the vehicle every month. Whether drivers would like to take advantage of the warmer weather in the summer and hire a convertible, or a compact vehicle for the winter months, Europcar Long Term Hire provides flexibility year round.
“With research commissioned by Europcar identifying that half of UK car owners spend 10% of their monthly income on running their car but use it for less than an hour a day, Europcar Long Term Hire could provide a helpful boost to disposable income”, added Gary Smith. “Especially as news of increases in insurance premiums, as well as the new Vehicle Excise Duty, will put an even greater financial burden on motoring.
Customers using Europcar Long Term Hire can book and rent their car immediately, with no forms or credit checks – just a simple credit card payment. It’s ideal for motorists who don’t want to be pinned down to the long-term commitment of car ownership. Picking from a fleet that, on average, is less than 6 months old and with no yearly contract, customers can either change their vehicle every month or keep the same car for 3 months at a time and have a free monthly valet.”
The Used Car Guy


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The Slog of Applying for Car Finance.

The Slog of Applying for Car Finance.

Consumers Demand Transparency and a Digital Approach to the Vehicle Financing Process.


Is it hard to get accepted for car finance? It depends on your credit score but you are guaranteed a complex and confusing application?


  • Research by financial technology company Intelligent Environments finds half of consumers polled are left perplexed by overly complex vehicle finance processes
  • Meanwhile, a third agree they would rather take out a personal loan than contend with complicated vehicle finance procedures
  • Consumers demand a digital approach in the financing process, with 44 per cent of those surveyed naming it as a decisive factor in choosing a provider

the process of being accepted for auto finance
London, 21 March 2017 – With an abundance of offers it can still be hard to get accepted for car finance. The process is overly confusing and a seemingly never-ending stream of paperwork. Attempting to buy a car is enough to drive even the sanest of us crazy. The vehicle financing process in particular is sending many of us into a tailspin, confusing customers and, in some cases, even putting customers off buying cars.
According to new research by financial technology company Intelligent Environments half of consumers are left scratching their heads thanks to the complex processes they have to go through to apply for vehicle financing.
The research identified that:

  • 50 per cent of drivers think vehicle finance agreements are complicated and difficult to understand
  • 29 per cent believe it is harder to apply for vehicle finance than to buy insurance
  • 26 per cent have avoided applying for auto finance due to lengthy, paper-based processes
  • 32 per cent of consumers would rather take out a personal loan to cover the costs than apply for vehicle finance
  • 34 per cent felt that having access to digital application tools would play a big part in choosing their vehicle finance provider

These findings suggest that if vehicle finance lenders are to succeed, digital disruption is needed in the industry.
Consumers are used to doing everything online, where everything is as simple as a swipe of a finger – and they expect the vehicle finance application process to be no different. Customer expectations are rising, and the automotive industry needs to do more to meet them.
Digital investment is the first step to success, with over a third (36 per cent) of consumers asking for the introduction of more digital applications and management tools that can help them navigate the labyrinthine processes of getting vehicle financing.
The benefits of digitising are obvious, with two in five (39 per cent) consumers declaring they would look to upgrade their vehicle if they could get a good financing deal.
David Webber, Managing Director at Intelligent Environments, comments:

The answer is clear: businesses must digitise. If half of consumers agree that the vehicle finance application process is too complex, then something must change. And once a change has been made, both the consumer and business benefits are obvious.

“Of course, a commitment to change is easier said than done. Moving to a digital-first approach requires a significant shift in the way an organisation operates and can be a daunting experience. However, no one is expecting you to go alone; with the right partner alongside, investing in the digital tools and processes that today’s consumers are demanding is a much simpler prospect.

“Ultimately, as more and more vehicle financing companies begin to embrace change and digitise their processes, those who fail to invest will quickly find themselves being overtaken by more agile rivals. Right now, businesses have a choice: start their engine early and accelerate ahead of the competition, or wait and risk being left behind.”
The Used Car Guy


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Car Leasing Reviewed.

Car Leasing Reviewed.

How to get the new car you want, at a price you can afford.

Whether you are a growing family looking to upgrade to a MPV or looking for a city car just to get you from a to b, the choice available to us in the UK is vast.  Once you have decided on the lifestyle of the car, there are the choices of colour and specification, but all this comes at a cost.  How do you get a new or nearly new car without having to shell out thousands of pounds in one payment?  One modern answer is to lease.
guaranteed car leasing image

Car leasing

For many years’ car leasing was aimed at businesses but in recent times, more and more people are taking advantage of personal car leasing. Furthermore, even if you do not have a great credit score there are still plenty of car leasing companies out there which can cater for you needs. Compass Vehicle Services Limited (CVS Ltd) is one of the leading bad credit car companies in the UK.  Take a look at their bad credit car leasing page for more information.

How does a car lease work?

There are two different types of lease and these can be a little confusing. Basically, a PCP lease deal allows you to purchase the car at the end of your agreement should you want to. Below is a short description of the two types of leasing available: 

PCP = Personal Contract Purchase

This is where you pay on average 10% of the value of the car as an initial payment, you then pay monthly repayments to the end of your agreed term.  When you take out the agreement the value of the car will be specified, and it will be this ‘balloon payment’ you will need to pay at the end should you want to take ownership of the car.  
At the end of the PCP you will be given 3 options

  1. Buy the car ‘Balloon Payment’
  2. Exchange for another car using the equity of the car you already have
  3. Walk away

Notes for PCP:

  • When your agreement comes to an end the car must be in good condition, you will be liable for any repairs that need to be made to the car.
  • You will have an agreed mileage, if you go over the mileage you will have to pay extra / mile (this is hugely significant as you could pay as much as 10 or 20 pence per mile that is over your annual allowance)!
  • Your equity is in that car, therefore you will have to stick with that specific dealership to be able to benefit from the equity.  If you wish to move to a different dealer your equity is lost.


PCH – Personal Contract Hire

There are a lot more deals out there for PCH, with some deals even waivering the initial payment, and just requiring the normal month in advance repayment.  As a rule, PCH will require an initial payment, this will be ‘x’ times your monthly repayments, for example –

If your monthly repayments on a car are £200/month, you may be asked for 3 repayments up front meaning your initial payment will be £600. This is a 3 (3 months payments in one go) x 36 (followed by 36 single monthly payments) payment profile.  

Look out for payment profiles when looking at advertised vehicles on car leasing sites, this will help you work out what you will need to pay as an initial payment.  Some companies such as CVS Ltd are able to create leasing agreements tailored to your individual budget, and therefore only show example cars and prices on their website.
At the end of the PCH you will be given 2 options

  1. Renew 
  2. Walk away

Notes for PCP:

  • When your agreement comes to an end the car must be in fair wear and tear condition, you will be liable for any major repairs that need to be made to the car.
  • You will have an agreed mileage, if you go over the mileage you will have to pay extra / mile.
  • You do not have any equity in the car, which means you are able to shop around to find you next car leasing deal.
  • Monthly repayments are usually lower than PCP or a car loan.
  • No car depreciation value worries
  • No Road Tax to pay


The leasing secret

So, if you have ever wondered how your neighbours can afford the latest model of car, or how they can afford to change their car every 3 years, the secret is out, they probably have the vehicle on a personal lease.

Many drivers are taking advantage of leasing to get a better car with more spec, at a monthly budget they can afford.  Choosing cars that perhaps they would previously avoid due to depreciation values and the worry of having to sell them in the future.

If you go for a nearly new car, be aware of the cars plate, remember if something is too good to be true, then it probably is.  If you are being offered a car for £100 / month, but the car is 8 years old you could be opening up all sorts of problems for yourself.  Remember you are responsible for the maintenance of your leased car during your agreement term.

At CVS Ltd for example, their cars are never more than 12 months old, which means they have plenty of manufacturer’s warranty left on them.  As new cars only require a MOT after 3 years you will only be paying out for one MOT at the end of your lease.
Debbie Goodsell
Debbie is the marketing manager at CVS Ltd, a leading poor credit car leasing company from Kent in the UK.


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RAC Check Approved Cars and Dealers. Does It Make A Difference?

RAC Check Approved Cars and Dealers. Does It Make A Difference?

Revealed: RAC Approved Cars Scam?


Can you trust the RAC BuySure Scheme?

It’s one of my bad habits and my wife does complain.

To me, cars are a little addictive and I spend a lot of free time surfing the internet checking out used car prices, warranties and finance packages that are new on the market.

During one of my surfing sessions I came across a dealer known as Car Base. I visited their site because earlier that day I’d heard an ad of theirs on the local radio promoting the fact that they’ve joined the RAC’s Sure Buy Initiative.

RAC Approved Garages ?

If you’re wondering what their initiative is I found an excerpt from the RAC’s press release department, regarding the Car Base certification.

Here’s the official quote:

Carbase has committed to an 82-point RAC Approved Preparation Standard on every vehicle, a minimum of three months’ RAC Warranty cover, three months of complimentary RAC Roadside Breakdown cover and enrolment to RAC Accident Management Service in support of its customers in the event of an accident.

Reference link here

So, does this mean the RAC have carried out their own 82-point check on every used vehicle that Car Base sell?

Need a First Car? 6 Great Motors For £2,000

Need a First Car? 6 Great Motors For £2,000

Marcus Rockey

Marcus Rockey

The Used Car Guy

The Used Car Guy, a website and blog authored by Marcus Rockey. In-depth car buying guides, selling tips, tricks and specialist information for motorists across the UK.

Here’s 6 Great Motors For £2,000

If you’ve just passed your driving tests and are looking to purchase your first car, you’re in luck. With a budget of £2000, you can get a car that has everything you could want or need, including style, power, and space. Not so sure? Check out the our list of the top 6 recommended cars for first-time drivers and buyers below.

image of a Nissan Note

Always Does A Good Job: The Nissan Note
If you are searching for a small car that is easy to drive, yet offers more than enough space, the Nissan Note is a great option. The Note’s cabin shockingly spacious and provides flexibility regarding how you arrange your seats. It also comes with economical engines, while also providing plenty of power to ensure you can easily whip around town. The Note does have a bit of a boxy look to it, which some people may not love, but this is what gives it so much room.

Image of Skoda Fabia

Reliable and Dependable: The Skoda Fabia
When you simply don’t have time to sit on the side of the motorway waiting for roadside service, you need a car that is known for reliability. According to a report prepared by market researchers at JD Power, Skoda’s are the most dependable cars on the market. After careful thought, the Fabia appears to be the best option for first-time buyers. It’s compact, meaning it’s easy to drive, yet has plenty of interior space. Of course, the most important aspect of the car is its excellent build quality. As an added bonus, there are a variety of Fabia models to choose from, allowing you to find the one that best meets your specific needs, whether that’s low running cost, performance, economy, or something else.

Another image of a Ford Fiesta

My Preferred All Round Small Car: The Ford Fiesta
Ford has been manufacturing Fiestas for 40 years, which means there is a quite a selection of used models available for purchase. Additionally, as a top seller for decades, the Fiesta has developed a reputation for being all things to all people, making it a great option for first-time buyers. The truth is you won’t find a car offers a comfier ride or is easier to drive and manoeuvre than a Fiesta. Thanks to all the used options to choose from, you can find one that meets your specific needs, such as one that is cheap-to-insure or cheap-to-run.

MX5 Mazda soft top

Topless: The Mazda MX-5
Who doesn’t dream of a two-seater at some point? The Mazda MX-5 is one of the best options on the market for a first-time buyer because it offers decent performance, sharp handling, and reliability, while looking every inch the perfect sports car. The MX-5 is even considered one of the more long lasting and reliable cars in the Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index. On the downside, the insurance costs are going to be a bit steep, but if you are dead set on a sports car, that’s the price you’ll have to pay.

A red Mini Cooper

Swanky and Sassy: The Mini
If style is an absolute must for your first car, you should focus your search on the Mini. It’s a small car that is easy to drive and offers sharp handling, which also makes it fun to drive. Currently, you’ll find an array of used Minis on the market, many of which has been personalised by past owners. This gives you a huge selection of distinctive and different Minis to choose from, though it may take time to find the one that perfectly matches your sense of style.

SUV car type Honda CRV

A Sturdy SUV: The Honda CR-V
If you prefer a larger vehicle that offers versatility and practicality, an SUV might be ideal. The Honda CR-V was one of the first SUVs available and remains a great choice for first-time buyers, especially those with a budget of £2000. There are plenty of used models to choose from, though they may have high mileages. According to Warranty Direct, the CR-V is well above average for reliability, so a lot of miles shouldn’t be a problem. The CR-V is a four-wheel drive that is big enough, yet not so big that it makes you nervous to drive it.

The Used Car Guy

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