Cars are a big-ticket item, so maintaining them well is essential. If you don’t, major and very costly repairs are likely to occur and the overall safety of the car could be comprised. To stay on top of this, here are three basic but fundamentally important maintenance tips that will help to keep your car in top shape.

1. Regular Servicing

Getting your car regularly serviced is important for the following reasons:

  • Safety issues are identified and resolved
  • Worn parts are identified and replaced
  • The engine is tuned to keep it running well for longer and to give you maximum fuel efficiency.

BMW Z4 by MB Individual Cars-1

The key to servicing and overall vehicle maintenance is doing it regularly. Car parts and performance aren’t always related to the amount of kilometres driven; items can simply tire over time. So even if you don’t drive very much, it’s still important you stick to a regular maintenance schedule.

By doing this, and ensuring services are recorded in your log book, you will also ensure that your car’s resale value is the highest it can be when you choose to sell it at a later date. To get an idea of what your car is worth and how it compares to others, take a look at some used car websites like Boost Cruising and check out the differences in asking prices, vehicle conditions and modifications, among other aspects.

2. Tyre Pressure and Wheel Alignment

Maintaining the correct tyre pressure for the make and model of your car is essential. If you don’t know what this is, ask your vehicle manufacturer or mechanic. Tyres often get overlooked, but did you know tyre pressure decreases gradually every day? In cooler weather, tyres can lose up to one or two kilopascals after one hour of driving and even more in the warmer months of the year. Tyre pressure is also reduced by general flexing and road impacts.

So why is tyre pressure important? Maintaining the correct air pressure in your tyres will:

  • Help your tyres wear evenly and for longer, saving you on replacement costs
  • Help your engine achieve maximum fuel efficiency, saving you on petrol costs
  • Improve how your vehicle handles, making everyday driving more enjoyable and possibly preventing accidents through better vehicle control.

To maintain the correct pressure in your tyres, refill your tyres every other time you fill up at the petrol station and get your mechanic to check wheel alignment and rotate your tyres when necessary.

3. Detailing

While engine and tyre maintenance are imperative to how your car runs, you experience the inside of your car every time you drive too. This is also a major factor in the resale value of your car. To ensure your car’s interior looks its best for longer, get it regularly detailed or do this yourself at home. You can do this by vacuuming regularly and using special polishes made for car interiors. Remember to give the insides of your windscreen – front and rear – a good clean to ensure you have optimal visibility at all times.

We invest a lot of money to buy our cars, so maintaining them is essential. By doing so, you’ll ensure you get the most out of your vehicle, spend less on fuel, enhance your safety, and maintain a high resale value for when you eventually need to upgrade your car.

When you are in need of a car, you have two choices. You can either buy a car that is new or used. Each one offers a separate set of challenges. Perhaps you are one of the many people who have only been able to afford used cars for your entire life. Now you have finally saved the money necessary to buy a new car. If this is the case, there are some things that you should be aware of before you sign on the dotted line. While being a car’s first owner can be great, you should consider several things. Here are some tips for new car shopping.

used-cars

Should you buy or lease?

This comes down to personal preference. There is no right or wrong answer. If you are a person who quickly gets tired of a car, and you love the thrill of breaking in a new vehicle, then leasing would be the best option for you. However, if you would like your monthly car payments to actually be going towards your ownership of the car, then you will need to buy it.

Buyers have all the power

When you are shopping for a new car, you need to realize that you are the one in charge, not the salesman. The car industry is very competitive, so dealers are willing to bend over backwards to get you to buy a car from them. Take advantage of their desperation by squeezing every last deal you can out of them. You need to be a good negotiator. If you feel that the dealer is not being flexible enough, simply leave and go to a different dealership.

Compare prices

The new car comparison guide on Toyotacostofownership.com is a very valuable tool for people in search of a new car. You will find that the prices of new cars will tend to vary tremendously, even for models that basically offer the same features. This is why it is in your best interest to visit many dealerships and take a look at dealer websites to make sure you don’t pay more than you need to.

Consider resale value

Another thing you should keep in mind is the potential resale value of the car you end up buying. Ideally, you should choose a make and model that will always be in demand. This will allow you to sell it for a decent price when you no longer need it.

Honda has just released the HR-V. It’s a car that’s somewhere between an SUV and a family hatchback. Does it stand up to its many competitors though? It’s time to find out.

Design

The car is similar in length to most family hatchbacks you’ll find on the market today. But the body of the car is a little bulkier and more substantial than most small hatchbacks. This doesn’t look out of place though. The design works in the same way the design of the Nissan Juke works. Both cars are different, but both are SUV-hatchback crossovers.

2015 Honda HR-V
2015 Honda HR-V

There’s no awkwardness to the design. It holds its bulky body very well, and it spreads the weight evenly over the whole of the car, meaning that it doesn’t suffer when you drive it.

Interiors

When you drive the HR-V, you’ll notice that it feels like you’re driving a hatchback. Even though the car looks a lot like a small SUV, the driving position is quite low, so you don’t feel like you’re hovering high above the road as you drive. Some will see this as a good thing and others as a bad thing.

The aim in terms of the dials and displays is clearly simplicity. There’s nothing at all complicated about the design; it’s very minimalist. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t got everything you need. There’s a 7-inch touchscreen display that lets you control everything in the cabin including the climate.

Drive

The HR-V offers a very smooth and comfortable drive. More so than you might expect from this kind of crossover. It’s a bulky car, but it certainly doesn’t feel like one when you’re on the road. It also feels quite sporty, which is not something that is associated with these kinds of cars, but it’s what you get with the HR-V.

There is quite a bit of noise when you drive though. That’s because of the car’s diesel engine. If you’re driving over long distances, this can annoy you a little. But if you’re the kind of person who can cope with that kind of thing, you should find the car quite enjoyable to drive, generally speaking.

Verdict

All in all, the Honda HR-V is a strong car, and it’s one you should definitely consider buying if you want a hatchback with a bit more size and power to back it up. The performance of the engine is good as long as you can deal with the noise. But you’ll never be short of power when you put your foot down and accelerate, that’s for sure.

How does it compare to it’s rivals when it comes to price though? It’s a little more expensive than its rivals at just under £18,000 for the most basic model. But it won’t be long before you can find a used model from a dealer like Hilton Garage. If you can wait that long, it might be a good idea to buy a second-hand model.

Though, if your budget can stretch to a new model, there are plenty of worse cars to spend your money on. The Honda HR-V has a lot going for it, so take it for a test drive and try it out.

Lexus have made its intentions very clear. They have their hearts set on dominating the luxury, executive corner of the car market. Unfortunately, it has entered itself into one of the most competitive sectors in motoring. Surrounded on all sides by BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and even Jaguar, Lexus has a fierce battle on its hands. Lexus’ expertise is in executive saloon cars. The IS model is a true competitor against the likes of BMW’s ubiquitous 3-Series and Audi’s brilliant A4. Now, they’re taking on the luxury crossover SUVs with the NX 300h and 2015’s brand new 200t. Will they bother the top players here? We took them both for a spin to find out.

lexus-2015

Competitors – Before we get stuck in, let’s take a glance around us. The Audi Q7 and the BMW X3 are the ones to beat in this market. At the upper end of the spectrum, the Range Rover Sport is out on its own, but sets a benchmark for quality. Hovering around the £40,000 – £50,000 mark, the Lexus will be hoping to edge out Audi and BMW here.

The Lexus factor – As a brand, Lexus are a little over twenty years old. That’s pretty young when you compare it to their giant competitors. As a subdivision of Toyota, they are focused solely on dominating the luxury market. Visit any Lexus dealer and you’ll see the attention to detail and luxury on offer. They’re certainly making inroads and their cars are fantastic.

Styling – The first thing you notice about the NX 300h is the breath-taking design. It’s enough to make anyone stop and stare. When the car first arrived for test drive, we couldn’t take our eyes off it. The sharp, angular edges and the giant grill distinctly set it apart from its competitors. In fact, it looks more like a sports car than an SUV. It’s quite simply the best looking crossover on the market.

Engine – The NX 300h comes with very reasonable hybrid drive. It features a 2.5 litre petrol engine, complemented by an electric motor. That means you’ll squeeze out a fairly impressive 54 miles to the gallon. Not bad for a large, chunky SUV. A gas guzzler, this is not. Of course, if you’re looking for some serious power, you’ll want to check out the NX 200t.

NX 200t – Released as a follow up to the 300h, this new model is the one we’ve been waiting for. There’s no dual hybrid engine here. It’s all about power and speed.

Driving experience – Unfortunately, it seems Lexus may have tripped at the final hurdle. They have crafted a beautiful vehicle, but the handling and driving experience falls short of its peers. Don’t get us wrong, there isn’t much to dislike here. But, when your competitors are the luxury Audi and BMW models, anything less than perfect is a fault.

Lexus have a little work to do if they’re to leapfrog the bigger players. The company is still relatively young, and it won’t be long before they’re setting the bar even higher.

 

How much do you know about Honda cars? If the answer is “not a lot”, let me tell you a bit about them. The brand itself is Japanese, and the manufacturer first started building cars back in 1963. They also make motorcycles and are the world’s largest builder of engines, believe it or not!

The Honda Jazz is one of their flagship models. Since the model’s inception back in 2001, it became an overnight success. It’s classed as a subcompact hatchback vehicle and is now in its third generation as of 2013.

2013 Honda Jazz ES Plus


Wherever you go in the world, you are bound to see at least one Honda Jazz on the road. But, why is this particular model so popular with motorists? And why are they flocking to buy the latest generation? It turns out there are many reasons for the model’s popularity:

The car is deceptively big

When you look at the Honda Jazz from the outside, it doesn’t seem to look much like a “big” car. It only gives you the impression that it’s a medium sized hatchback with five doors. Of course, appearances can often be deceiving, and that’s true with the Honda Jazz!

I know what I’m about to say is a somewhat bold statement, but I’m going to say it anyway. Entering the cabin of the Honda Jazz is like stepping foot into Doctor Who’s TARDIS!

My curiosity in the car was piqued when I came across someone that was transporting a large three-seater sofa in their Jazz. “How on Earth did they fit that sofa in such a small car,” I asked myself at the time.

Having spent some time at Harratts sitting inside of one and surveying the interior, I can see how. The car’s cabin is practical, as are the seating arrangements. Honda have done well to make such a versatile hatchback, and it’s plain to see what the model is such a hit with motorists everywhere!

A simple choice of engines and transmissions

There are a few powertrains to choose from with the latest generation Honda Jazz. First up, there is the 1.2 and 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol units. Diesel fans can also opt for the 1.3 and 1.5-litre i-DTEC engines.

What if you want to drive an eco-friendly car? Honda also offers a hybrid powertrain in the form of a 1.5-litre “Earth Dreams” petrol power plant and an electric motor. The engines are mated to six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmissions. If you opt for the hybrid, your car will have a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

It’s comfortable on the road

The latest generation Honda Jazz features a revised suspension setup. You might think that a car that has a soft suspension setup handles like a barge on water. Except that’s not the case with this model!

It also helps that the current generation model is slightly longer and wider and has a lower centre of gravity. If you haven’t already, I recommend taking a Honda Jazz out for a test drive and you’ll see why people fall in love with this car!

Are you going to buy a brand new car soon? If so, you’ve probably got some idea of how much your new vehicle is going to cost. Most new car buyers assume that it’s not possible to negotiate on the price at the time of purchase. I’ll let you in on a little secret: there is always room for negotiation when buying brand new vehicles!

The only trouble is, many people aren’t aware of the tactics they should use when haggling on the price. They also don’t know what sales tactics dealers might use on them! Before you hand over your hard-earned cash, follow this guide to become a savvy buyer. Here is what you need to know:

2016 Audi A4 B9
2016 Audi A4 B9

Do plenty of research before visiting car dealers

It’s crucial that you know what it is you want to buy. It’s equally essential that you know how much to expect to pay for your new vehicle. The only way you can be sure on both of those points is to do some thorough research.

Thankfully, the Internet is your friend. Spending some time on the Web will help you find out about offers from local car dealers and even free manufacturer options. After all; the last thing you want to do today is pay more than you should!

It’s also important that you stick to one make and model of vehicle. It’s all too easy to get persuaded into buying a different model. Usually because it’s cheaper, or there’s a better offer getting touted by the salespeople at the dealership. The motto of the day is to “stick to your guns”!

Don’t talk about payment until a deal gets reached

Car salespeople will usually make an extra commission if they can sell you a car finance product like hire purchase or a lease, for example. Early on in the negotiations, they will usually ask you how you want to pay. That’s so they can “upsell” finance to you at the same time, and make it look like you’re getting an amazing deal.

Now is the time to use your poker face, as it were. When negotiating on price, stick to the purchase price of the car. Don’t let outside factors like finance influence your decision.

Discuss deal sweeteners

Car dealers like the Pentagon-Group might offer things like lower finance rates or even a “deposit contribution” if you want to spread the cost of your new car. Some dealers might even offer free servicing for a set period.

It’s worth finding out what offers your local dealers are providing. That way, you can use that as a negotiation tool with a dealership that doesn’t offer what you need. You’d be surprised by how much leeway dealers have when closing a deal on a new car!

Be prepared to walk away

Not all negotiations will go your way. If the person you’re talking to won’t budge, don’t feel obliged to accept a less-than-attractive offer. Just thank them for their time and walk away. Car dealers have different offers to each other. Even if one dealer says no, another one will say yes.

Should the salesperson want to avoid you buying from a competing dealership, they might stop you and have a change of heart. Yes, it’s been known to happen in the past!

Now that you know how to prepare yourself for new car negotiations, it’s time to put your new-found knowledge into action. Good luck!

It’s everyone’s dream to own a supercar once in their life. Who doesn’t want to drive around in a Lamborghini with the top down, and hear that engine roar? What if I told you there were ways you can spend less money and get your hands on a nice little supercar? I’m talking, of course, about second-hand cars. While it may not be the brand new supercar you dreamed of, it’s still a supercar that you can drive around in and have lots of fun. If you’re someone who’s interested in supercars, but can’t afford a new one, have a look at this list of affordable supercars!

Porsche 911

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo-1

Porsche’s are incredibly common these days; they’re often the supercar most people look at buying. This is because there are so many different installments, and so many people out there selling them second-hand. What makes the Porsche 911 stand out is that you can easily use it as your everyday car. There’s enough space there to put things in the boot, so you can drive to work in style! You don’t have to look for a really old 911 to get a good deal; there are some on the market that are just a couple of years old and very affordable.

Lamborghini Gallardo

Lamborghini Gallardo STS-700-1

I asked at the start of this piece “Who wouldn’t want to drive around in a Lamborghini?” well now’s your chance! Granted, it’s not a brand-new supercar, but the Gallardo remains something a cult figure among petrol heads. Styled like a typical Lambo, with those unique doors and front end, it’s certainly a car many want to own. You can pick up a used Gallardo for nearly half as much as the brand new price – which is a brilliant deal! However, they’re still a tiny bit more expensive than some of the other cars on this list. But if you really want one, there are ways you can get a little bit extra money to be able to afford this car. You can look for car loans on sites like http://frontlinecarloans.com.au as a quick way to raise money. If you’re struggling, then car loans can be a great way to finance your car.

Aston Martin DB9

2013 Aston Martin DB9-1

Another classic supercar that’s fantastic value for money. A quick look on the Aston Martin website shows you can get pre-owned DB9’s at a very, very cheap price. In fact, you can probably pick up a used DB9 for the same price as a brand new, mid-range, BMW. What’s awesome about the DB9 is that Aston Martin cars have always looked stylish and ahead of their time. So, even if you get one that’s seven/eight years old, you’ll still be driving round in a modern looking car. Plus, James Bond drives an Aston Martin, and if that’s not a good enough reason to buy one, I don’t know what is!

These three supercars all have fantastic performance and can be pick up a lot cheaper second hand. There’s nothing wrong with buying used, especially if it means you can drive around in a supercar!

When you are looking to purchase a new car, you have a lot of choices as to where to buy. Too many, some people might say! Your next car could come from a large, multi-brand dealership, a smaller single-brand dealership or even a local used-car dealer. Thankfully, you also have the internet to help you decide which of these sales venues offers you the best package, not only in price but long term support. In order to help you decide which local auto retailer you wish to patronize, here are a few things to consider:

dealerships

1)      Dealership Size – If you chose a large dealership, you will generally get a seasoned team of automotive professionals, everyone from sales and financing to service. Remember the sales process is only the first step. Of course, you want a great deal on your new car, but you also want long term support too.
2)      Dealership Inventory – Take a look at the dealer’s inventory. If it is large, this can be a great advantage, especially if you’d like to get just the right car and get it quickly. Typically, you can judge the size of a dealer’s inventory, and examine specific cars they have, right on the web.

3)      Reputation – It shouldn’t be a big surprise that some dealerships are better than others. You, of course, want a great dealership to purchase from and have a long term relationship with. You want a dealership with a good reputation! Here’s where the internet is invaluable. Go out and look at some reviews on Google, Yelp and other sites like Merchant Circle, and see what customers are saying. This will tell you volumes about what a dealership is like.

For example, the above image is an example or a review for an Augusta Georgia based dealership, who apparently has provided this customer some valuable, and respected service. Looking for reviews like this one on Merchant Circle are a great way to establish which dealerships tend to have more positive experiences versus negative.

You won’t regret doing your homework before you begin working with a dealer. As we mentioned before, some dealerships are far better than others. Find out what the scoop is. There is another way to judge a dealership besides the internet also – ask friends. Word of mouth is very valuable. If you hear someone say they are a “loyal customer”, you found the right place to do business with.

Owning a car is often a necessity. It can be difficult to get around without one unless you live somewhere with excellent public transport. But cars don’t come cheap, and the expense doesn’t stop once you’ve bought one. From the fuel to the insurance and maintenance costs, you can spend a lot of money keeping your vehicle running. If you don’t have the option to sell it and get around another way, you need to make sure you keep the expense down. Luckily, you don’t have to put up with your car eating through your bank account. Try some of these methods to save money on maintaining your car.

Car_Repair

Find a Reliable Mechanic

If you need a mechanic to take care of your car for you, it’s essential that you find the right one. However, don’t just choose the cheapest place around. If you go for cost over reliability, you could end up losing out in the end. You need somewhere with reasonable prices that’s guaranteed to do a good job. Compare quotes from different places to get an idea of costs and read reviews to see what others think. Once you’ve found somewhere you like, sticking with them could help you. You might see some benefits from being a loyal customer, whether it’s a discount or priority appointments.

Diagnose Problems at Home

One way you might be able to save money at the auto shop is by diagnosing problems yourself. You can get a scanner that checks the codes your car’s on-board diagnostics gives out. So when a light starts flashing or something starts beeping, you can check what it means. You might not be able to fix the problem yourself, but you can tell your mechanic what the problem is, without them having to charge to diagnose the problem. You can buy a scanner, or you can download a smartphone app and attach a Bluetooth dongle to your phone.

Make Small Repairs Yourself

If you’re fed up of taking your car into the shop, stop doing it. You can learn to make some repairs yourself, as long as you’re smart about it. You might not be able to do some of it yourself, but there are lots of small jobs that you can handle without any help. Buy some books or watch some YouTube videos to make sure you know what you’re doing. There are some things that are better left to professionals, such as electrical work, but you should be able to make some repairs safely.

Buy Used Car Parts

Whether you choose to fix your own car or take it to a professional, buying used parts could save you money. If you use a supplier like Northwest Car Parts, you can avoid spending a lot on brand new parts. You can get used parts that are still in excellent condition, and you may be able to find ones that are no longer manufactured.

You don’t have to spend all your money on maintaining your car. Cut back your costs by looking for ways to save, then see if you can reduce your running expenses too.

If you have been in an accident, you will know the horrible feeling that takes over your entire body. You are no longer able to think straight. Your only thought is: let it be a nightmare. But you never wake up.

The car is still on one side in the ditch. The road is still a slippery mess, and you still do not know what went wrong. Everything is a blurry mess in your mind. There are five steps you should take after a car accident.

Some will change depending on the situation.

Car Accident

Step 1:

Forget about the car for the moment. It is horrible to see your new Porsche wrecked. But remember, it is a machine. You are a person. A person always trumps a machine. Make sure that you are okay. If it was a particularly nasty crash, check for any open wounds or signs of internal bleeding. Do the same with anyone else that was in the car. If you are like me, you will already be worrying about the cost, the damage and whether the crash was your fault. But forget all that. You and your passengers are the main priority. You should always go for a check-up with a doctor the next day no matter how fine you think you are. Encourage anyone who was in the car to do the same.

Step 2:

Take a deep breath. It is important to calm your mind and body. Going into shock is not an uncommon effect of being involved in a car accident. You may be running on pure adrenaline, and that is not a good state to be in. You must do everything you can to relax yourself.

Step 3:

Assess your surroundings. If you can get out the car safely then do so. If not stay put. Obviously, if you have crashed on a motorway or busy road, it will be safer to stay inside the vehicle. At this point either you or an onlooker will have called the emergency surfaces, and they will be on their way.

Step 4:

If you can, make sure anyone else involved is okay. Help them if you can. Do not worry about swapping insurance details or blame. The most important thing is to make sure everyone is safe. Once the emergency surfaces arrive, they will assess the situation. Those who need to be taken to the hospital will be. You may have to speak to the police but remember to remain calm. Chances are the accident was not your fault.

Step 5:

This depends on how bad the accident was.

Either

The car is in a safe enough condition to drive home. It does not need to go to a garage, and you have only damaged certain areas of the vehicle. It may not be difficult to fix.  If you have only damaged the windscreen, you may be able to find a company online that offers windscreen replacement services. Not everything has to cost a fortune.

Or

Your car has gone to a mechanic or garage to be assessed and then repaired. It could be a right off, or it could be fixable. The choice will eventually be yours but remember not to panic. It is after all, nothing more than a piece of equipment. If you were unharmed, then that is all that matters.