The 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure For Young Drivers

Two happy young drivers looking for cheap car insurance

What’s the best way to finance a new car? If you don’t quite have the funds to buy a new car outright, you’ll be Car insurance isn’t cheap regardless of your age or experience. However, young drivers often have to fork out considerable sums in their first year of driving. From putting their foot on the pedal as a new driver to the last journey in their first year, young drivers can pay in excess of £2,000 for their insurance. To help the young drivers out there, here’s our advice for the 10 cheapest cars to insure.

Cheapest Cars to Insure

Passing your driving test is an important part of growing up. However, the costs attached to being a new driver can be worrying too. According to comparethemarket, half of the costs in your first year are down to your insurance. That’s why we believe it’s important to choose a car that keeps these costs down. If you choose from our top 10 cheapest cars to insure, you’ll be on the right track!

Car
Average Premium
Average Value
Volkswagon Up!
£804.79
£5,238
Hyundai i20
£809.67
£7,027
Fiat 500
£814.72
£3,113
Vauxhall Adam
£829.37
£3,791
Hyundai i10
£838.08
£5,750
Volkswagon Fox
£842.44
£4,945
Fiat Panda
£867.27
£6,537
Mazda 2
£868.40
£5,986
Peugeot 107
£871.10
£4,060
Toyota Aygo
£874.95
£4,709

City Car Insurance

Topping the list of the top 10 cheapest cars to insure is Volkswagen’s smallest (yet very sophisticated) Up! The ‘City Car’ costs an average of £805 per year to insure for 17 to 24-year-olds. This is closely followed by the Hyundai i20 which has become an increasingly common sight on the roads and is also cheap to insure.

According to comparethemarket, £8,000 is the astonishing figure that young drivers between 17 and 24 have to spend within the first 7 years of passing their test – over half of which is the cost of insurance. To make sure you avoid this money-trap, it’s important to avoid cars with higher premiums.

Choosing the Right Car

Simon McCulloch, Director of Insurance at comparethemarket, said:

“Newer models can come with hefty price tags but older cars tend to have higher premiums and maintenance costs as there is a greater chance of them breaking down and causing an accident.

“When picking your car, it is important to choose a model which won’t carry hefty insurance premiums.”

If you’re looking for a way to finance your first car, get in touch with the My Car Credit team for more advice or do the maths with our car finance calculator.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

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Good

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  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
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£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

I’m looking to finance a used car, what are the age and mileage requirements?

Woman driving a car she's bought using car finance

Ultimately, the limits on used car age and mileage will be determined by each individual car finance lender. These will vary depending on people’s individual circumstances, and whilst each lender will have their own set of specifics when it comes to this area, there are some guidelines that are seen as general rules for financing an older car model.

General rules

  • A car’s age at the end of the proposed finance term will be restricted to 12 years old. If you want to apply for car finance loaned over a five-year period, for example, the car cannot be over seven years old at the time of the initial purchase.
  • A car’s total mileage will be limited to 100,000 miles from the start of the proposed car finance term.
  • There might be some mileage restrictions included in the term of your loan, with some car finance lenders allowing for around 10,000 miles a year.
  • A less general rule involves the value of the loan, whereby lenders will only grant a car finance application for an older vehicle depending on the amount of the loan. Usually, this amount is set around the £3,000 mark, but this can vary.

The exceptions

Some of our lenders will review your application on a more individual basis and may disregard some of the general rules outlined above in exceptional cases. Factors such as the strength of your credit profile and the type of car you are looking to finance will be considered. In these cases, My Car Credit and the lender may request extra checks on the car such as an MOT or HPI check.

If you are looking to finance a used car that doesn’t quite meet the general guidelines used for most applications, it would be better to discuss in more detail with your allocated Car Credit Specialist at the time of your application. There are a number of ways we can help you with your car finance application, with finding a car, and a car finance lender, that suit your criteria.

How My Car Credit can help you find the right used car

My Car Credit offers a comprehensive ‘My Car Search’ as part of our promise to provide the best car-buying experience.

We have an extensive stock feed of quality used cars, which is updated on a daily basis. All the cars we have available are sourced from our network of trusted car dealer partners.

All of our dealers have been vetted by My Car Credit based on their status with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), for their financial stability and customer service standards. This means that you can be assured that choosing your car through My Car Credit will provide you with the best choice of cars, the best car buying experience and excellent after-sales service.

So why not click here and access My Car Credit’s My Car Search to browse your local area for used cars?

If you would like further advice, contact our Car Credit Specialists, who will be more than happy to guide you through choosing the right car for you and your online car finance application. Alternatively, you can visit our Help and Advice pages for more information.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
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Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

5 Tips for Buying a Used Car from a Dealer

Selection of quality used cars for sale from reputable car dealer

Fourteen hours. That’s the average amount of time people take to research the used car model they want. This makes sense to us: buying a car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. However, the same amount of time isn’t taken to research the car dealer to buy it from, which needs to change. We think you should give serious thought to the car dealer that you use because the right car will always come from the right place.

Choosing a reputable used car dealer comes down to lots of things, so we’ve outlined the five main questions you should ask yourself before making any final decisions.

1. Does the dealer have a strong online presence?

A good, functional website is a positive sign of a reputable business. Take a look around and see if it’s easy to browse and navigate – a disorganised website could indicate a disorganised company.

Secondly, search for information around the dealer’s reputation – all reputable branches will want to promote the way they operate and their previous success. This will also give you a good idea of whether their approach to doing business matches with the way that you like to do things.

Thirdly, make sure there is plenty of information on the cars they have listed – i.e. lots of images of the interior and exterior, and a detailed record of specification, previous owners, mileage, etc.

2. Have you read the dealer’s reviews?

Reviews can provide a good understanding of the overall quality of the dealership, as well as their previous customers’ experiences. The fact the dealer is comfortable asking for reviews and then posting them on a website or social media platform suggests that they are passionate and confident about their customer service.

You should check for reviews on their website but it’s also good to have a look at their social media platforms. These more modern platforms usually encourage more interaction between customers and business, so you will gain insight into their customer service levels by looking at them this way. If there are questionable conversations on their social media platform, that’s not a good sign.

3. How long has the dealer been trading for?

Selling used cars can be a tough business, so many used car dealers come and go. Whilst this is can be due to a number of uncontrollable factors, it’s also important to consider that well-established dealerships remain in the market for a reason.

For example, if you end up having issues with your car and it is under warranty, you’ll not be able to go back to the dealer for a resolution if they’ve stopped trading 12 months later! It’s therefore usually safer to choose a well-established dealership.

4. Is the dealer a member of any industry-recognised associations?

Being a member of recognised associations proves that you are proud of what you do and are willing to be held accountable for your work. All reputable dealers should display a trade association member logo – more than other industries, this is considered a must in the car dealership trade.

Examples of associations that are worth looking out for are the ‘Financial Conduct Authority’ (FCA), the ‘Institute of the Motor Industry’ (IMI) or ‘Retail Motor Industry Federation’ (RMIF).

5. What aftercare would be available to you?

Buying a car is a substantial commitment, and you want to be sure that you are safeguarded if anything should go wrong. That’s why we believe every reputable dealer should have at least some form of an aftercare scheme in place.

If a dealer is willing to offer good aftercare services, such as MOT, car repairs or car servicing, you know that they are respectful of the commitment you’re making as a customer.

What My Car Credit offers

My Car Credit recognises the challenges presented to customers looking for a used car, which is why we have our own network of approved ‘My Car Dealers’.

My Car Dealers have been vetted by us for their status with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which establishes their trustworthiness and financial stability. We also conduct customer service standards inquiries to ensure that they are personable too. Our dealers have access to an extensive stocklist of quality nearly-new and used cars, so you can be assured that choosing your car through My Car Dealers will provide you with the best choice, the best experience and excellent after-sale service.

We hope this helps you in your search for the perfect used car. Remember, a large part of getting the right car is down to getting it from the right place.

Please feel free to get in touch if you need any advice or guidance.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

The Six Golden Rules of Buying a Used Car

Woman driving whilst thinking about buying a new car

Buying a car is by no means an easy decision – you are making a commitment to something that you will be relying on daily. That’s why we’ve come up with six golden rules of buying a used car – follow them and you should be on the right track.

1. Test drive the car you want

This seems like the most obvious rule you can think of, but it is staggering how many people don’t test drive the car they are looking to buy. You can look at a car for days and read its list of specifications until your eyes go blurry, but without taking it for a test drive you will never know what it’s like to drive.

2. Pick your time

This sounds dubious but picking a time to buy your used car is a great way of saving money. August and February are often seen as two good times, as this is just before number plate formats are changed, which is a quieter time for dealers. Also avoid weekends and aim for towards the end of the month – it’s more likely that dealers will be looking to make their bonus quota.

3. Make yourself a used car checklist

Unlike a new model, a used car requires you to look for some tell-tell signs. The main things to look out for are:

  • Mileage: Check the clock against the age of the car and ask yourself if there’s anything that doesn’t add up
  • Engine: Ask to see the engine and look for any signs that there has been any undisclosed work or any leakages under the engine
  • Overall condition: Check for any scratches, dents or marks inside and outside the car
  • Test the gadgets: Make sure that every gizmo in the car is working as it should
  • Check the essentials: Windows, lights, doors (including boot) and safety locks

4. Always haggle

A general rule of thumb is never, ever pay the listed price. Haggling is part and parcel of buying a used car and a totally accepted part of the process. You can ask for anything from additional extras (i.e. free sat-nav, better aftercare) to a heavily discounted price, just make sure you do so with confidence and manners. If you love the car but not the price, walk away – there’s always other cars and if you leave your number you might even get a call back.

5. Choose a good car dealer

Choosing a good car dealer is the number one, best way of buying the right used car. Essentially, the more reliable the dealer is, the less likely they will be to sell you a bad car. So, do your research! Look for reviews, extensive listings on their sites and their association with relevant authorities (e.g. FCA, RMIF). In addition, look out for car dealers who offer a warranty – always a major plus.

6. Conduct an independent report

If you’re still unsure about whether the car you are looking at is reliable, you can get an independent report. This should be a last resort, but if you are making a big investment in your dream car, you can get a report from The Motor Ombudsman – they are a government-backed body that deals with the motoring industry.

Purchasing a used car is a big commitment, so you should make sure that you stick to these key golden rules. We hope that our tips will steer you in the right direction and get you behind the wheel of a quality used car.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

L Plate: Tips for First Time Car Buyers

First time car buyer driving car bought on finance

Buying your first car is a major milestone, and something you’ll probably remember for the rest of your life. It’s easy to get caught up with all the exciting details such as the model, the colour and specifications – imagining yourself cruising around in your own set of wheels. However, you need to take a few important (and perhaps less fun) things into account first, to make sure that your final decision is a happy one.

Do your research

This is something we can’t stress enough. It has never been easier to find out everything you need to know about the car you want and the ways to finance it. The more research you do, the better prepared you will be to get your ideal car. It will be especially useful when it comes to discussing with your vehicle trader – if you can demonstrate your knowledge to a car dealership salesman, they will be far more likely to get the best deal possible.

Set your budget

Financing your first car is probably the biggest budgeting responsibility you’ve had. It’s vital to understand what you can afford to avoid any future financial problems. It’s best to start with any living costs you might have, such as your food, social events and rent/mortgage payments. Once that’s been calculated you’ll know how much is leftover to pay for car insurance, petrol, car maintenance and your finance plan. It’s best to be conservative with your numbers to make sure that you’re financially secure.

Car finance options

You may be purchasing your first car through a car finance agreement. There are plenty of options available to you and you should take your time to understand each one to make your final decision. Many lenders will accept first-time car buyers, especially if you have built up a good credit profile. Alternatively, you may be able to secure a Guarantor Loan, explained in more detail here.

Negotiate the price

Regardless of the fact that you’re a first-time car buyer, you should still be able to negotiate on the price of a vehicle. A lot of this comes down to your research on the vehicle – you can conduct an online investigation into the car’s true value to give you some idea. It’s also good to understand what factors contribute to the value of a car and express your knowledge to the car dealer.

Take a test drive

This is one of the final and most important parts of buying your first car – always ask to drive the car you’re looking to buy. Be wary of any dealer who offers you a test drive in a similar car when there’s no feasible reason for it, this could mean that the car you’re looking to buy has some undisclosed issues. It’s also important to test drive a car as it will most likely be very different from the car you’ve been learning on. It’s vital that you feel comfortable in your first car to avoid the chances of you driving the car improperly.

We understand that buying your first car is a very exciting experience, but it’s also important that you go through all the necessary processes before you sign on the dotted line. We hope that our tips will help to make this easier for you and (more importantly) we hope that you get the perfect first car for you!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Will my dealer repair or replace the faulty car I bought?

Car mechanic checks over faulty car bought on finance

When you buy a new or used car, the last thing you want is for something to be wrong with your vehicle. However, this does unfortunately happen from time to time, and it’s best to know where you stand if anything should go wrong. Thankfully, there are guidelines in place – The Consumer Rights Act of 2015 – protecting you as the customer.

So, if you are experiencing issues that prevent your new car from operating as it should – you are legally entitled to have the car fixed or refunded. However, it’s important to be 100% sure that your situation falls within the remit of the guidelines. Here’s everything you need to know:

What is the Consumer Rights Act of 2015?

The Consumer Rights Act of 2015 was introduced in October 2015 and applies to any new or used car bought from a vehicle trader. This includes cars bought from a car dealership franchise and independent garage, but importantly not those bought privately via an individual or at a car auction.

This piece of legislation outlines the main criteria under which a car can be returned by you to receive a full refund. When you buy a car from a franchise or dealership: it must be of ‘satisfactory quality’, be sold ‘as described’ and be ‘fit for purpose’. If there is any breach of these conditions you can return the car within 30 days and receive a full refund. This includes any fault to the vehicle which has not been caused by you during that 30-day period time.

If there is a fault with your car, and it occurs after this 30-day period but before you have had ownership of the vehicle for more than six months, the vehicle trader must correct the fault. If they are unable to fix the vehicle, you can then return the car (note: the refund will however consider any use of the car up to this point).

In both cases, a replacement may also be a viable option. So, if you buy a car and really like the model, it might be more beneficial to ask the dealer for a replacement of the same model as opposed to pushing for a refund.

What counts as a fault with your vehicle?

This is where things get slightly more complicated. The basics of the matter is that anything which prevents your car from operating properly is a fault. For example, your engine cutting out, your windows not working or something wrong with the wheel axis, are all considered major faults. This would entitle you to a full refund.

If there are lesser issues, such as the seats not being able to be adjusted, the headlight bulb ceasing to work, or a problem with air conditioning (that was not specified on your purchase of the vehicle) your dealer is obliged to fix them. However, these issues do not entitle you to a refund.

Should there be any debate between parties over whether a fault is major or minor – we advise seeking legal advice and/or support.

How do you go about returning a car or having it repaired?

The first thing to do is make sure your complaint is recognised. ‘Recognised’ simply means calling up your dealer directly and informing them of the major or minor faults with the vehicle. This is standard protocol and gives you the reassurance that they know of your complaint. To back this up, you should always put your case in writing as well, this can be via email or post. We recommend email as the communications between you and the dealer are recorded and can be used for any legal procedures, if necessary.

If you have bought a car on finance, you follow exactly the same procedure but (depending on circumstances) the dealer will contact your finance lender on your behalf. To safeguard yourself, it’s always best to ask to be kept aware of these communications (via CC). You can also follow up with the finance lender yourself, if you wish.

When you buy a new or used car, the last thing on your mind is the possibility of something going wrong with the vehicle. In the unfortunate case that this does happen, it’s always best to know your options and have a good understanding of The Consumer Rights Act of 2015.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Scammers: How to Avoid Rogue Vehicle Traders

Man signs finance agreement with rogue vehicle trader

Buying a car is a major commitment and the last thing you want to do is end up on the losing end of a bad deal. In case you haven’t seen the countless television shows and films that we have, not every vehicle trader can be trusted. So, we’ve come up with a checklist of things to do before you sign on the dotted line.

Do your research

The is the absolute-must of purchasing a car – the more online research you do before stepping onto a forecourt, the more chance you have of driving off it with a quality car! The first thing you want to be checking is their website, you should have good nosy around and make sure the website all works – a broken or disorganised website could indicate a broken or disorganised vehicle trader.

Also, make sure that there is plenty information on every car they have listed (e.g. a detailed specification, record of mileage, any minor damages)… essentially, the more detailed the car info, the less they have to hide.

It’s also worth checking out their social media platforms – if there are any unsavoury conversations in the comments section then you’ll know that their customer service isn’t up to scratch.

Check for reviews

It’s vital that you check a dealership’s reviews, they’ll give you a very good understanding of customer-facing experiences with said dealership and any issues after purchase. If people have had a bad experience with a dealership, you can be sure that they will have left a scathing review online. If you can’t find any reviews or testimonials, that is a big no-no – every car dealer in the country will put their reviews up online, it’s just basic salesmanship.

Also, if there are very few reviews for a relatively big dealership or loads of reviews for a small one, be wary – it could mean that reviews have been deleted or fake ones have been added to create a more positive appearance.

When you’re there

Always (and we mean always) ask to test drive the car before buying it – this is the only way to give you some reassurance that the car they are selling to is in the condition they say it is. Be wary of them asking you to drive another car in the same model, especially if the prices are different.

Ask for the MOT certificate and service history, and make sure all the details are correct. Also, take a good look at the V5 registration document, especially looking for any misspellings or slightly vague information.

If you don’t know much about cars, you should take somebody with you. A car salesman’s best skill is pretty much in the title – they are primarily good at selling stuff!

After the forecourt

To be 100% sure that you are getting a good deal on a car you’re about to buy, perform your own private history check online. This will tell you of any dodgy business, such as the car being stolen, having been in an accident, the correct mileage or if it has any outstanding finance. There are lots of companies that will do this and whilst it might set you back a few quid, it’s definitely worth it – especially if you’re making a big investment.

Just like Harry Wormwood in Matilda and Joey O’Brien in Cadillac Man, there are dodgy vehicle traders out there, people! The best way to guard against this is to do all the possible research that you can before you even take a step onto a forecourt, and to make sure you have verified everything before you make a purchase. We hope our checklist will help you to do just that!

My Car Credit is committed to providing trustworthy services for anyone looking to buy a new or used car. Our network of ‘My Car Dealers’ have been vetted by us for their customer service standards, after-sale service and their affiliation with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to make sure you get the best car buying experience. With a vast selection of quality used vehicles available, all that’s left is for you to do is find the perfect car.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Car Damage Categories: What’s the difference between Cat A, B, S and N cars?

Red car being assessed for crash damage category

When you’ve been in an accident, occasionally your car can be crash-damaged to the point where it becomes a ‘write-off’. Essentially, this means that the car is so damaged that it no longer safe to drive, or the repairs on the car are more expensive than the value of the vehicle. There are a number of strict guidelines which your car insurance company use to determine what happens to your car in this scenario – these are known as car damage categories.

Category A Cars

The damage to your car is so extreme that no part of the vehicle can be salvaged.

If your car is put in Category A, it will be completely scrapped and you will receive a cash payout equivalent to the car’s market value prior to the accident.

Category B Cars

The damage to your car is extensive (i.e. the body, frame or chassis of the car could not be used again) and the vehicle will have to be scrapped.

If your car is put in Category B, the body will be completely scrapped, but some parts will be reclaimed to use in other vehicles. You will receive a cash payout equivalent to the car’s market value prior to the accident.

Category S Cars

The damage to your car is structural (i.e. the wheel axis is bent, a part of the chassis is crumpled or twisted and deemed unsafe) and is uneconomical to repair. This means that the car will avoid being scrapped but will have to be professionally repaired before being driven on the road.

In this case, the insurer will sell the car to someone who chooses to repair the car, which covers the costs of your insurance plan. You can choose to re-buy the car if you so wish.

Category N Cars

Your car hasn’t received any structural damage but has an issue which makes it uneconomical to repair. This is normally based on whether the repairs will cost more than 50% of the car’s value. This can be cosmetic damage, such as a significant dent or collapse in the chassis, or damages to the steering or braking system.

In this case, your insurer will pay you the equivalent of what your car would have cost before the accident.

Write-off advice

If your car has been written-off in an accident, your insurance company will ask to take ownership of the car in order to provide some of your cash payout – this will have been included as a condition in your insurance plan. However, the insurance company can’t do so until you agree the price for the car. So, don’t accept their offer if it doesn’t reflect the true value of your vehicle. You should base your value on market research and factors such as service history and any private work you had done (i.e. new alloys).

Sometimes car traders an attempt to hide a car’s history from you and attempt to sell you a Category S or N vehicle. It’s important to always ask for a full service history check before you buy any car!

When it comes to crash-damaged cars, it is important to know where you stand with your insurance company. We hope our breakdown of car damage categories and write-off advice will help.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Our Guide to Selecting a New Car

Alloy wheel Subaru car for sale in used car dealership

Your car is something you’ll come to rely upon near-enough every day for several years, so buying a new model is a big commitment. There is a vast range of options available on the market today and, as long as you know what you’re looking for, it should be a fun and exciting experience. We’ve designed this guide with all the information you’ll need to put you in the (right) driving seat!

Do I need a new car?

This is the first thing you should ask yourself. Put simply, new cars are expensive and you need to be sure that you’re buying it for a reason. Buying a new model is an investment, so you need to make sure that you’re prepared to have the car for some years to validate your purchase. This is mainly since the car depreciates in value considerably within its first few years. However, the warranties and surety of quality that you get with a new car are often seen as good reasons for purchasing.

What car should I buy?

Ultimately your car should be suited to your circumstances. Here are some crucial factors to consider:

Usage: Your mileage is the most important thing to consider when you buy a new car. If you know your mileage is going to be high, a fuel-efficient model is the priority. You may also want to consider a slightly larger engine. On the other hand, if your mileage is lower (e.g. for driving around town) then a smaller model will be cheaper and more appropriate to your needs.

Number of seats: If you have four regular passengers in the car, a two-seater is immediately ruled out. On the other hand, a seven-seater would be excessive. You ultimately need to consider the comfort of your passengers as well yourself.

Boot space: Many people see a larger boot as being a priority exclusively to families. However, this is not true. It’s important to consider how much you travel and hobbies that require equipment too.

What other factors are there?

There are various immediate practicalities when you buy a new car (i.e. number of seats, car type) but there are also some long-lasting factors you should consider:

Fuel: You may love all the specifications of a car and then find out it’s far too expensive to run. Make sure you check the rough costs of running the car you want via a fuel consumption tool.

Tax: Every car has to pay a road tax but depending on the CO2 emissions this can vary from model to model. It’s important to know what band your car sits in using the GOV website before purchase.

Insurance: This is probably the most important factor that can easily get forgotten when you’re buying a new car. Insurance is determined by many factors such as the car’s 0-60mph, horsepower, model type (e.g. sport versus people mover); insurance can often be one of the most expensive mistakes to not look into.

Haggle, always

Last, and by no means least, you should always haggle when it comes to buying a new car. The most important part of this is doing your research. Here are some things you should know before you step into the dealership:

  • Have a good understanding of the model, engine and specifications you want and what you should be paying.
  • The price on the window screen is always a starting point.
  • Always be prepared to walk away. It puts you in a stronger position and you don’t lose anything.

Also, remember: When you’re haggling you have to be reasonable. If you present a ludicrous offer to the dealership on your perfect car, you’re hindering your chances of securing a purchase.

Ready to buy a new car?

If you’ve considered all of the factors concerning your new car and you feel ready to make a purchase, the last thing to consider is your car finance. My Car Credit have a panel of trustworthy lenders that will be happy to discuss your purchase. Start your journey with an application with us today!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

How Car Value Affects Insurance Premiums

man using apple laptop to research car insurance premiums on used cars

The value of your car is one of the many things that underwriters will factor into your car insurance premium. However, it’s important to know how much affect it will have so you can take it into account for your next car purchase.

Insurance groups

Let’s start by saying that every car is put into an insurance group. These groups are ordered from one (cheapest to insure) to fifty (priciest to insure) – determined by a number of factors. When underwriters set these insurance groups, they take several factors into account, these include:

  • Car value
  • Car performance
  • Safety features
  • Security features
  • Cost of repairs and parts

How much affect does my car value have?

Although car value is considered, it’s not necessarily the determining factor of your insurance group. For example, you could buy a 1990s Skoda and assume that because it is a cheaper and older model, you will get a cheaper insurance premium. However, due to the lower safety and security features as well as the difficulty to get parts would make give it a higher insurance rating.

Why is my car value important?

When you apply for car insurance you will be asked to enter the estimated value of your vehicle. It’s important that you provide an accurate estimation that is close to the price you first bought the vehicle at. Although an insurance company won’t pay this initial price back to you (in the event of your car being written off, for example) this allows them to calculate an accurate current value for them to pay back to you. If you give an inaccurate estimation you may be liable to fraud allegations and/or cancellation of your policy.

What else affects my premium?

However, it’s not just your car that affects your insurance premium. Additional factors are also taken into account such as your personal circumstances. Your driving record, car usage, gender, age, and where you live are all considered as factors that increase or decrease your risk of an accident.

The next time you’re making a car purchase, we hope that our information on car value will be helpful. Alternatively, if you’ve found the car you want to purchase and are looking for a finance plan, get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!