How Much Mileage Is Good for a Used Car?

UK motorway adding large mileage to a used car

It’s one of the most commonly asked questions whenever someone is searching for a second-hand set of wheels. As an important indicator of how intensively a car has been used – and how much longer it’s likely to last before significant maintenance work must be undertaken – used car mileage is a key consideration for any buyer.

However, it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all when it comes to deciding whether or not to splash out on a used car. The age of the car, its service history and its current condition are all equally as indicative of a car’s likely longevity. With that in mind,  weighing up all those factors is crucial to arriving at a balanced decision.

Age: just a number?

While most buyers will regard mileage as the chief concern when it comes to weighing up a car’s merits, its age can actually be just as influential on how much it could cost you further down the line. That’s because manufacturers are now offering longer warranties with their vehicles. This means that a younger car has a good chance of remaining eligible, while an older one could be discounted on those grounds before any other issues are taken into account.

For example, Kia has set the standard for others to follow when it comes to extended warranties, offering seven years on all of its models. Hyundai, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Subaru are not far behind, with five years of warranty provided for most of their vehicles. What’s more, Renault offer four years for the majority of their models. Remember, of course, that there is often a mileage ceiling for warranties as well – but that age is generally the first factor which will preclude a car from coverage.

Condition is key

Besides used car mileage and age, condition is another incredibly important factor to consider when buying a second-hand car. After all, a 10-year-old vehicle that has covered over 100,000 miles but has been driven sensibly, serviced on time and generally well cared for is a great proposition. In comparison, a car half its age, with a fraction of the mileage, driven recklessly and maintained on a shoestring budget is less so!

The cosmetic appearance of the car is the first thing you’ll notice about it, so pay attention to any dents, scrapes or bumps that haven’t been treated by its previous owners. This will give you an indication of their overall attitude towards the vehicle and will likely reflect how the car has been treated on the whole. The same goes for uneven paint jobs, rusting and discolouration. In addition, any grinding, juddering or unpleasant noises during a test drive are major red flags that shouldn’t be ignored.

As well as subjecting the car to a thorough examination and a test drive, it’s also essential that you cast an eye over the paperwork. Ask to see its complete service history – if one isn’t provided, steer clear straight away – and check for major surgery. In particular, look out for big ticket operations like cam belt replacement, which can affect many other components of the car. This could result in a hefty bill if the work needs to be carried out under your ownership.

How much mileage is good for a used car?

Having said all that, many buyers are still keen to have a ballpark figure in their head when it comes to considering used car mileage. As a general rule of thumb, a car is expected to cover an average of between 10,000 and 12,000 miles per year. With that in mind, it’s simply a case of doing the sums and checking to see whether your prospective new motor has been under or over-performing during its lifespan to date.

For those buyers who wish to take advantage of car financing to fund their purchase, it should be remembered that most lenders will put a cap on the number of miles a vehicle has driven to be approved for a deal. That exact figure will vary from lender to lender and can change depending on the unique circumstances of the arrangement. However, it’s normally around 100,000 miles. Bear that in mind if you wish to obtain a PCP, PCH or HP deal when buying a used car.

Extenuating circumstances

Of course, the above ballpark is meant merely as a guideline that can help influence your decision. There are also exceptions to the rule which can mean that a higher mileage isn’t necessarily indicative of a problem. For example, if the vehicle has been used as part of a professional fleet, it could easily cover upwards of 30,000 miles a year, which sounds like a lot of tarmac under its belt.

However, company cars often spend much more time driving in motorway conditions as opposed to urban metropoles. This can mean that the steady nature of coasting is far less taxing than the stop-start rhythms of a busy city centre. What’s more, a company-owned vehicle is almost certainly going to have been serviced regularly and cared for with a professional approach, meaning it’s less likely to suffer from serious issues under the bonnet.

Trust your instincts

When approaching a potential automotive transaction, thinking about how much mileage is good for a used car is a solid starting point, as is factoring in its age, track record and current condition. However, there’s simply no substitute for your own judgement when it comes to these matters. Buy with your head (and not with your heart) and you’ll find that your own instincts will often alert you to whether a deal is a sound investment or not.

Thankfully, much of your homework can be done in advance of an in-person inspection. With a wide variety of car buying sites available online, you can research different makes and models, ask questions of dealers and see 360° photos of the vehicles in question. You can even use a car finance calculator to ascertain how much the car will set you back in the long run through used car finance! Trust your gut, then reinforce that decision by doing your due diligence and you won’t go far wrong. Happy trails!

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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

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Guide to Insurance Write-Off Categories for Used Car Buyers

Mechanic inspecting a car which falls under one of the write off categories

When most of us hear the term “write-off”, we instantly picture a twisted heap of metal that has been involved in a horrific car crash. However, that image is only representative of one type of insurance write-off categories. Did you know there are four write-off categories in total?

While an insurance company may choose to write off a car if it has been too badly damaged to warrant repairs, they may also do so if the cost of fixing it does not make financial sense to them. As such, cars with even relatively light cosmetic damage can find themselves falling into one of the less severe write-off categories.

Needless to say, this information is vital when you’re buying or financing a used car. For those unfamiliar with such an idea, here’s a quick breakdown of the four car write-off categories that are currently in use today.

Insurance write-off categories

Category A

Category A is probably the one that springs to mind for most people when they think of a write-off. It covers cars that have been so badly damaged that they’re only fit for a date with a crusher, such as those which have been destroyed by fire.

Category B

Vehicles which fall into Category B are ones which have sustained serious structural damage, but which may still contain salvageable parts. For example, the bodyshell may be mangled beyond recognition, but the engine can be removed and installed in another car. After all useful components have been taken out, Category B cars are also crushed.

Category S

Formerly known as Category C, Category S denotes vehicles which have suffered structural damage but that can still be repaired. For example, they may feature a twisted chassis, a collapsed crumple zone or other damage to the car’s structure. After being repaired, Category S cars can be sold and put back on the road.

Category N

Category N (formerly Category D) is the lowest of the four car write-off categories and refers to vehicles which have not suffered structural damage. Instead, they may simply have suffered expensive cosmetic damage, an electrical fault or non-structural issues such as with braking, steering or airbag inflation. Just because a Category N car has not been harmed structurally, that does not mean it is safe to drive. As with a Category S vehicle, it must be fully repaired before it can be sold or driven again.

Is it safe to buy a car that has been written off?

Category A and B cars must be destroyed and cannot be sold. However, both Category S and N vehicles can offer attractive savings for prospective buyers compared to the same make and model which has not been involved in a crash.

As always with a purchase of this kind, however, buyers are advised to proceed with caution. An unscrupulous vendor might try to sell a written-off car without making sure that all repair work is carried out to the highest standard. This can mean some of the original faults which caused it to be written off in the first place could linger. As such, obtaining a vehicle inspection – which can be purchased for a relatively nominal fee – could save you a significant sum in the long run if problems develop after the sale is finalised.

Finally, buyers should also be mindful that they may struggle to obtain insurance for a car that has been previously written off. This can manifest itself in a greater burden of proof that the car is safe or higher insurance premiums going forwards.

Consider car finance

Cars that belong to Category S or N can represent a sound investment if they have been repaired responsibly. This is especially the case if the buyer is working with a shoestring budget. However, this type of purchase is always something of a risk and should not be entered into lightly.

One possible alternative is to secure car finance for a used car, which can boost your budget and allow you to buy a newer or better-specced vehicle that you wouldn’t normally be able to afford. If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of car finance available to you, or would like some friendly, impartial advice about your options, My Car Credit are here to help. Simply give us a call on 01246 458 810 and one of our experienced team will be happy to discuss your situation.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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Excellent

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  • 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
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Good

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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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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!

Should I Start Driving Lessons During or After COVID?

young woman taking driving lessons during covid

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives. Things are no different for those learning to drive, many of whom have put their plans on hold for the time-being or even had lessons and tests cancelled.

The good news is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. December saw the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine administered, which means we can start to get our lives back on track in 2021.

However, for those who have stopped their driving lessons or are yet to have their first, the question still remains – should you start or restart your lessons during COVID or wait until everything is completely back to normal?

Are you allowed to take driving lessons during COVID?

The first consideration is simply whether you’re allowed to take driving lessons and the eventual test in light of the current COVID tiered system. From 2nd December, the government put around 99% of the population of England into tier 2 or 3 – the highest level of restrictions.

Fortunately, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) confirmed they would be resuming all lessons and tests, including theory and practical, from 2nd-3rd December. Of course, things have been changing at a rapid pace over the last year, so it’s always worth checking local regulations to see whether driving lessons and tests are still permitted.

Making driving lessons COVID-safe

If you do choose to start or restart your lessons, it’s worth considering the precautions you can take to minimise the risk of transmission. In Scotland, it’s mandatory for both pupils and instructors to wear a face covering during driving lessons. While that’s not specifically outlined for the rest of the UK, it’s certainly recommended.

According to the DVSA guidelines, all candidates will need to wear a face covering for their test. Refusal to wear one without exceptional circumstances being pre-notified and agreed upon could result in the test being cancelled.

All of the other COVID car sharing advice still applies too. This includes ventilating the car by keeping windows open, avoiding contact with people from other households and washing your hands before and after any lessons. It goes without saying that you should cancel or postpone your lesson if you’re self-isolating after a positive test or experiencing symptoms without yet receiving a negative result.

Start now or wait?

Ultimately, the decision of whether to take driving lessons during COVID is down to you. With the second wave past its peak in most areas and the vaccine slowly being rolled out, it’s much less likely that tests will be cancelled and lessons put on hold again in the coming months. However, for some, the unease of wearing a mask while doing something you’re already quite nervous about, could be enough to put you off.

It’s worth bearing in mind that, even though the vaccine is being administered, measures like face masks and social distancing could remain in place for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, it might be better to bite the bullet and take some lessons rather than holding off for months on end.

Planning ahead

Buying your first car might seem a world away when you’re taking lessons and tests during COVID or otherwise. However, it doesn’t do any harm to plan ahead and get a better idea of what kind of car you’ll be able to buy.

At My Car Credit, we make it much easier to get your first set of wheels, with fast and fair car finance from over 27 trusted lenders. Using our car finance calculator, you can get a clear idea of how much you can borrow and what it would cost, so you’ll be ready to spread the cost of your first car once you’ve passed your test.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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
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Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
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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
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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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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 to Car Share Safely: COVID Rules & Precautions

Two people car sharing during covid

Car sharing is a common practice for people who want to minimise the cost, hassle and emissions involved in getting to and from work. However, with COVID-19 social distancing restrictions advising no contact with people from other households, there are several questions raised about whether it’s still an option.

In this post, we’ll discuss the rules around car sharing and how to make it as safe as possible.

Is car sharing allowed?

First and foremost, car sharing is still allowed during the current COVID-19 restrictions depending on the tier you’re in and why you’re sharing a car. In tier 1 areas, the government recommends avoiding car sharing with anyone outside your household or support bubble wherever possible, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

However, in tier 2 and tier 3 areas which make up the majority of England, car sharing is not permitted with people outside your household or support bubble unless there is an exempt reason. Fortunately, this includes car sharing “for work or providing voluntary or charitable services.”

Gov.uk highlights car sharing being “reasonably necessary as part of your work”, as an example of an exempt reason. In other words, if it’s unreasonable to walk or cycle to work, or work from home  – and car sharing would avoid crowded public transport – then it’s reasonable to share a car as long as you take precautions.

All that said, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t share a car for any reason, in any tier, if you’re self-isolating after a positive test or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms without having tested negative.

COVID car sharing precautions

If you have a valid reason for car sharing, the Government has highlighted a number of measures you can take to minimise the risk of transmission while travelling.

Share with the same people

Firstly, if you need to share for work or another reasonable purpose, try to share with the same people each time. This will reduce the number of people you’re mixing with and minimise the chance of being exposed to the virus.

Cover your face

You should also wear a face covering whenever possible. Respiratory droplets are the most common way the virus is spread, and face coverings are a simple and effective way to stop them spreading when you speak, shout, sing, cough or sneeze. Needless to say, you should avoid shouting or singing when car sharing too.

Keep the car ventilated

When travelling, you should keep the car windows open and face away from each other. This will keep the space well ventilated, allowing any airborne infection to escape the vehicle. Facing away from each other simply means any respiratory droplets will have a harder time moving from person to person.

Avoid touching

Once you’re inside the car, avoid touching things wherever possible. You should also avoid touching any other people unless they are in your support bubble. With that in mind, it’s best to minimise the number of people in a car when sharing, so they can still maintain a decent distance. Having someone in the driving seat and a passenger in the back, left passenger seat will keep them as distanced as possible.

Wash your hands

Using your hands is unavoidable when car sharing. You’ll need to open the door and put on your seatbelt as a minimum. This is why washing your hands is still very important. You should wash your hands using the 20 second guidance before and after every journey.

Clean the car

If it’s your car being used for journeys, make sure you clean it after every use. You’ll need to use an effective household disinfectant and a clean cloth, making sure you clean key areas such as:

  • Door handles – inside and outside
  • Wheel and dashboard
  • Seats and everything around them including seat belts
  • All storage areas like the glove box, central storage compartment and cupholders

Plan your route

As well as the COVID car sharing advice above, the general rules for travelling during the pandemic still apply. This includes planning your route to avoid any disruption when travelling.

Road works, road closures, accidents and stand-still traffic will all lengthen the time you’re sharing a car with someone outside your household or support bubble. By planning ahead, you may be able to avoid these with an alternative route and minimise the journey’s duration.

You should also avoid making stops wherever possible, driving directly to and from the destination like your workplace.

What about breakdowns?

With any car journey comes the risk of a breakdown. If this happens while you’re car sharing, it’s important that you don’t compromise the precautions you’ve already taken. While it may be tempting during something as stressful as a breakdown, try to avoid close contact with other passengers.

By this point, mechanics and break-down teams are all well-versed on social distancing and COVID-safety. However, it’s also important that you act safely to protect them. Keep some hand sanitiser in your car so you can wash your hands before and after they’ve been.

You should also wear a mask while interacting with them. Many drivers won’t feel comfortable or safe driving with a mask – because of glasses steaming up, for example. But this highlights why it’s important to still have one on hand in your glove compartment.

Car sharing made easier

When you’re car sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll want to avoid delays, hiccups and breakdowns more than ever before. If you’re worried your car isn’t up to scratch, social distancing isn’t standing in your way of a replacement.

At My Car Credit, we draw upon a panel of 27 trusted lenders to find you a great car finance deal without the need for face-to-face meetings. Our online application process is quick, easy and completely remote, so you can still upgrade your car during the pandemic.

Use our car finance calculator to get a better idea of your options or contact our team for more information.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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!

Which Types of Tyres Should I Get? Summer, Winter or All-Season?

An Audi wheel showing different types of tyres you can get

While the Great British climate is certainly changeable throughout the year, there are definitely notable variations between the warmer months of summer and the colder ones in winter. In order to adjust to the different conditions of the roads and the demands they place on your vehicle, it’s important to fit the right tyre.

Generally speaking, there are three types of tyres available to car owners – summer tyres, winter tyres or all-season tyres. The clue to the benefits of each is held in their names, but which one should you go for? This guide sets out the pros and cons of each, allowing you to make an informed decision the next time you need to pay a visit to your garage or dealership.

The case for summer tyres

Summer tyres are by far the most popular choice among British drivers, with 95% of motorists favouring them throughout the year. They are specifically designed to offer unbeatable grip on dry roads, excellent stability when cornering and optimal mileage returns – as long as the thermometer reads 7°C or higher.

The difficulties arise when temperatures fall below that 7°C threshold, since the rubber used to make them hardens in colder weather and offers reduced grip. This is especially true when driving in snow, as research has found that braking times are doubled in comparison to using winter tyres.

The case for winter tyres

As you might have guessed, winter tyres are engineered to offer the inverse of their summer counterparts. If it’s 7°C or less outside, the aggressive tread pattern which characterises winter tyres is invaluable in digging into snow to offer greater traction and braking ability, while they can also part slush with greater ease, too.

Another of the main reasons for their enhanced safety is the custom rubber compound used to make them. Unlike summer tyres, this remains both flexible and cushioning in colder weather, offering superior control of the car. They shouldn’t be used in warmer weather, however, since their softness is vulnerable to rapid degradation on dry tarmac – which means they must be replaced more quickly.

The case for all-season tyres

As the name suggests, all-season tyres are a fairly new innovation which offer the best of both worlds. Designed to offer decent handling in all driving conditions, they provide you with the relevant control and safety even when it’s snowing outside. Their bespoke tread pattern also means they’re longer lasting than their winter alternatives.

However, it’s important to remember that opting for all-season tyres does involve compromise. They don’t offer quite the same mileage, cornering or braking capabilities as summer tyres in warm weather, and neither are they as effective in dealing with inclement conditions as winter tyres.

The right tyres for you

Ultimately, the type of tyres you favour will depend upon the time of year, your willingness to switch out your tyres with the changing of the seasons and the budget you have set aside for tyre replacement.

For those who would rather stick with the same set of tyres year-round, all-season tyres are a good option – but don’t provide quite the same performance or longevity as their rivals when used as intended.

Whichever variation you decide upon, it should be remembered that practicing good car and tyre maintenance can extend the lifespan of your vehicle and all its component parts, thus saving you time, money and energy in the long run.

The right wheels for you

As well as choosing the right tyres throughout the year, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right car. Whether it’s fuel efficiency, space or just a sought-after look, My Car Credit can help you take the first step to the right wheels for your requirements. Our quick and easy car finance application process will find an affordable finance deal for you, whatever your credit score. Use our free car loan calculator and then put us to the test by applying online today.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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!

Driving in Winter – 12 Things to Consider for Your Safety

Car driving in winter through snow

With colder temperatures, longer nights and more kinds of precipitation than you can shake a snow shovel at, winter seems like it might have been specifically designed to make driving more difficult. But while the winter months do present unique challenges compared to their warmer counterparts, there’s no reason you can’t stay safe while on the road.

All that’s required is a little forethought before setting out on your journey and a bit of wisdom while undertaking it and you’ll soon be at your destination, safe and sound. Here are a handful of winter driving tips to ensure that both you and other road users remain safe when getting behind the wheel this winter.

Before you go

Adequate planning is important when it comes to undertaking any trip, but it’s doubly so when driving in winter. Take the time to consider the following points before you go, and you’ll be best prepared for all eventualities.

1. Is the journey essential?

Wet, icy and snowy conditions outside can create a perfect storm for motorists, so the most logical of winter driving tips is to avoid it altogether. Reassess whether you need to make the journey today and if possible, put it off until the climate improves.

2. Prepare the car

Performing general car and tyre maintenance is advisable before any lengthy trip, but it’s imperative before all journeys in inclement conditions. Check that your brakes, lights, windscreen wipers and car battery are all up to scratch, as well as topping up all of the relevant car fluids under the hood.

3. Check your tyres

The tyres fitted to the vast majority of cars around the UK are not designed for use in temperatures below 7°C, so consider changing to winter or all-season tyres for the colder months. Having a tread depth of at least 3mm when driving in winter is UK law – almost twice the 1.6mm required at all other times of the year – so make sure you meet those obligations. Carrying snow socks or chains is not a legal requirement but might be a good idea if conditions are particularly bad.

4. De-ice and de-mist

One common mistake when preparing for a winter journey is not giving yourself more time before setting off. Any ice that has accumulated on the windscreen and windows must be cleared before leaving, using lukewarm (never boiling) water, a scraper and a de-icer if you have one. Remember to de-mist the inside of the car, too, since condensation quickly builds up in colder temperatures.

5. Stock up on emergency supplies

You never know what might happen on the road, so it’s best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Your emergency kit should include warm clothing, food, drink, a torch, blankets, wellington boots, a de-icer, a scraper, a snow shovel, jump leads, a first aid kit and a phone charger to keep you connected.

While on the road

Of course, taking the right precautions before getting behind the wheel is important, but it’s just half the battle. Adjusting your technique on the road to practice defensive driving is paramount when it comes to ensuring the safety of yourself and others. Here are some particular points of concern:

6. Go slow

The golden rule of driving in wet, icy or snowy conditions is to reduce your speed. This allows you more time to react to unexpected occurrences (such as a pesky patch of black ice) and increases the likelihood that you’ll be capable of responding in a timely, responsible and, above all, safe manner.

7. Keep your distance

In standard driving conditions, it’s recommended to keep a distance of at least two seconds from the car in front of you. However, studies have shown that driving on ice can increase braking time by as much as ten times! With that in mind, increase your distance to at least six seconds and ideally even more to give yourself plenty of time.

8. Easy does it

As with the point above about maintaining a slow and steady speed, the same applies to acceleration and deceleration. Avoid pumping the accelerator or slamming on the brakes, since smoother application of both will aid in retaining traction and preventing unnecessary skidding.

9. Stay calm in skids

Speaking of skids, even the most careful driver may find themselves having to deal with an unexpected patch of ice at some point and heading into a skid. If that happens, the most important thing is to stay calm and steer gently into it. For example, if the rear end of the car is skidding to the right, steer gently to the right. Do not pump the brakes or take your hands off the steering wheel.

10. Listen to the road

Your car will make different noises based upon the surface of the road and the conditions that the weather exerts upon it. Generally speaking, driving through snow will create a lot of noise, since you’ll be kicking up the white stuff as you go. If the noise stops abruptly, it may signal you have moved onto a patch of ice instead.

11. Take hills carefully

It might be tempting to stamp on the accelerator when approaching a hill, but this will likely only make your wheels spin. Instead, try to build up some momentum before beginning the ascent, then climb gently, using the accelerator when necessary. Once you reach the hill’s crest, avoid switching into a higher gear and don’t brake at all as you descend, if at all possible.

12. In case of breakdown…

If the worst does come to pass and you find yourself stranded, the most important thing is not to panic. As well as following breakdown advice for any other situation, you should also prioritise staying warm (by wearing extra layers and staying inside the car, if safe to do so) and drawing attention to yourself (by tying a brightly coloured cloth or piece of clothing to the antennae of the car, using your hazards or leaving the central dome light on).

Is your car ready for winter?

Winter is easily the trickiest time of year for drivers. It’s also the time when many of us realise our cars aren’t what they used to be. If you’re looking to replace your old ride with a newer model, My Car Credit can help. We make the financing process a breeze with online applications and quick approvals. Get started today by calculating the cost of car finance before applying online.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

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Good

  • You are on the electoral role
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Fair

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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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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Fair Wear and Tear: The Hidden Cost in Car Leasing

Interior of a leased car being assessed for fair wear and tear

When you return the lease vehicle at the end of the agreement, the lender will examine the vehicle for any damage. While “fair wear and tear” is acceptable, if there has been any significant damage or negligence on your part, you may have to face additional fees. Here’s how wear and tear could affect your lease – and the money in your pocket – when it’s time to return the vehicle.

What is fair wear and tear? 

When taking a lease out on a car, it is your responsibility to return the vehicle to the finance company in good condition  as far as possible. The vehicle will be inspected at the end of the contract, and any damage that is found to be excessive wear and tear might incur a penalty so that the damage can be repaired. However, we’re all human and we know that bumps and scratches happen even to the most careful of drivers. 

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) created a guide as to what constitutes fair wear and tear, although leasing companies may use their own set of wear and tear rules.  

The most common lease repairs include: 

  • Scratches on paintwork 
  • Dents or chips in the bodywork 
  • Burns, rips or holes to the upholstery, mats or carpets
  • Damage to the wheels or trim 

Leasing your next vehicle 

When looking for a car leasing deal, it’s important to consider the details regarding the wear and tear policies so that you know in what condition you need to return your vehicle. Always conduct maintenance as necessary and prepare to return your vehicle in good condition ahead of time. 

Are you concerned about your car finance eligibilityAt My Car Credit, we offer a range of cost-effective car financing options for all different budgets and credit ratings. Give us a call on 01246 458 810 or email enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk to get started today.  

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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

Require more help?

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Car Insurance Cost Plummets to Four Year Low

Man driving his car with new lower car insurance cost

Amidst all the stress and uncertainty of COVID-19, there’s a sliver of good news for motorists across the UK. Car insurance costs have reached their lowest levels in four years. The new average annual premium, calculated by Compare the Market, is now £697 annually. Read on to find out more….

Benefitting from reduced accident frequency

According to their research, car insurance prices decreased by an average of £56 since February and £33 since March when restrictions were first introduced. For younger motorists, aged between 18 and 24 years, premiums fell even further – £69 in April and £154 since February. 

These savings are thanks to dramatic changes in driver behaviour. According to the Department for Transport, traffic levels fell by as much as 73% during lockdown, and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reported fewer collisions. As a result, insurers are expected to have saved £1 billion in avoided claims. 

Laurenz Gerger, General Insurance Policy Adviser at the ABI, said: “Our latest motor premium tracker clearly shows that motorists have been benefiting from reduced road accident frequency during lockdown.” Alongside others, he urged insurers to pass on these savings to motorists, and several did. Admiral gave £25 refunds to all 4.4 million holders of insurance policies while LV granted up to £50 to customers who could prove the pandemic had financially impacted them.

Dan Hutson, Head of Motor Insurance at Compare the Market, said “The decreased cost of car insurance premiums will be welcome news for drivers, following years of rising costs… and could help families struggling financially as a result of the pandemic. Insurers should continue to support their customers wherever possible.”

How can I make additional savings?

Alongside car insurance premiums, and thanks to the financial strain of COVID-19, people are on the lookout for ways to make additional savings. 

Cycling became incredibly popular during lockdown and, according to Global Data, 1.3 million Brits bought brand-new bikes in a bid to avoid public transport. The government was keen to encourage this shift as part of an ongoing programme to improve the nation’s health and offered people a £50 voucher to repair their two-wheeled drives and get back on the road.

Additionally, official figures show 33,000 hybrid or electric cars were registered between April and June, compared with 29,900 diesels, suggesting people are keen to buy more eco-friendly vehicles post-pandemic.

Alongside their green benefits, hybrid and electric cars are less powerful than their gas-guzzling counterparts, immediately reducing the cost of insurance. Some providers offer up to 5% off premiums and even make donations to environmental charities on your behalf.

Are you looking for fair and affordable finance deals?

At My Car Credit, we help you through every step of the car finance process to make the process as hassle-free as possible. We’re open seven days a week and our website has plenty of helpful tips, guidelines and answers to any questions you have.

 

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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 Depreciation: Comparing the Fastest & Slowest Fall

red mini is slowest depreciation car

It’s no secret that as soon as you drive out the showroom your brand-new car loses a big chunk of its value. While this doesn’t stop more than 2 million Brits a year from upgrading to new vehicles, it is worth looking at what types of cars hold their value. After all, you never know when you may want to sell, upgrade or downsize.

To help you make a savvy auto investment, here’s a look at some of the top performing brands and models that hold their value in a second-hand market.

Cars with the slowest falling value

Mini

Iconic for good reason, the Mini is a British favourite that’s been charming motorists since 1969. According to the latest data from Autocar, Minis are one of the best brands in the UK when it comes to resale value, losing just under 50% of their value after clocking up around 35,000 miles.

Born and bred in UK production plants, Minis offer motorists the peace of mind they’re driving a premium-quality, British-made vehicle. Another factor worth noting is that Mini drivers tend to be proud, aesthetically conscious people. Sure, this is a bit of a generalisation but most of the time second-hand Minis are in fantastic condition thanks to their fastidious owners who love to keep them clean, polished and showroom ready.

Audi

Synonymous with luxury, Audis seem to hold timeless appeal for British motorists. Similar to the Mini, they lose less than 50% of their value after covering 35,000 miles and are highly sought after in the second-hand market. The Audi A4 is the third most popular car in the UK and also offers excellent resale value. Other sought-after models include the Audi TT, Audi A5 and Audi A6.

Volkswagen

Despite the high-profile emissions scandal, Volkswagens remain one of the best brands in terms of slow depreciation rates. The precision German engineering, high-quality parts and genuine street appeal are some of the factors that contribute to the excellent resale value of Volkswagens. Camper vans are especially timeless, with the VW California offering incredible versatility and enduring aesthetic appeal.

Ferrari

With waitlists topping five years for bespoke Ferraris, it’s no surprise the luxury brand has good resale appeal, especially when it comes to the more affordable models. The 488 GTB V8 model falls into the mainstream class and while it does lose around 55% of its value after three years, the depreciation curve is nowhere near as sharp as other luxury cars. Plus, there’s also the possibility that if you hold onto your Ferrari for long enough it will start to appreciate.

Porsche

Porsche is another manufacturer where demand tends to outstrip supply and help owners secure good prices for second-hand vehicles. In particular, the Porsche Panamera sidesteps serious depreciation thanks to its sharp handling, excellent performance and low running costs. One of the most affordable models in the Porsche range, the Cayman is another reliable purchase that holds just over 58% of its value after three years. Not bad at all for a luxury car.

 

Cars with the fastest falling value

Wondering what not to buy? Here’s a look at some of the manufacturers and models that lost their value much faster than the average car.

Fiat

While Fiats are great cars, resale data suggests they’re also top performers when it comes to depreciation. For example, the popular Fiat Doblo XL Combi held just 26% of its value after clocking 30,000 kilometres, or the equivalent of three years on the road. The Fiat Tipo Station Wagon is another money pit, losing more than 75% of its value over a period of three years.

Vauxhall

While it’s a hugely popular car, the Vauxhall Astra in particular isn’t a fantastic financial decision according to resale data. After three years on the road Astras tend to lose around 72% of their value, leaving sellers with very little cash to upgrade. Getting talked into extras like leather seats and dual-zone climate control only adds to the initial expense and makes the resale blow even harder to swallow.

Citroen

Not even French prestige can save Citroen from finding itself on the list of fastest depreciating cars. While there’s plenty to love about the Citroen range, models like the Citroen C1 don’t always appeal to city drivers in search of a second-hand bargain. As a result, it can be hard to recoup your cash on these compact models. The C3 is also a questionable investment, retaining just over 27% of its value after three years of use.

Peugeot

Like the Citroen C1, models such as the Peugeot 108 suffer from a high showroom price tag and low resale value. When it comes to the second-hand market they just don’t seem to hold their value like other smaller models. As a result, owners encounter a steep depreciation curve when trying to sell Peugeot 108s. The Peugeot 308 is another tough car to sell, retaining less than 22% of its value after three years. This is largely due to its cramped interior and slack handling, which can be a major turn off for buyers.

How to maintain value

While data is important, there are some things you can do to retain value and increase the resale value of your car, even if you own a high depreciation model such as a Fiat or a Citroen. Attention to detail is key, with things like regular servicing and twice annual oil changes helping to keep your car in great condition.

Looks are also important, with regular deep cleans and detailing working magic on the overall appeal of your vehicle. Needless to say, smoking is an absolute taboo and can make or break a sale. Even after a deep clean, the smell of smoke in your car will usually be apparent.

Financing your car purchase

Looking to buy a new car? My Car Credit is designed to make the finance process simple, fuss free and crystal clear for motorists across Britain. Whether you’re looking to invest in value-holding Mini or you think you can look after your Fiat just fine, we’ll streamline the car finance application process and connect you with trusted dealers.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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!

COVID Breakdown Advice: 5 Tips for Roadside Social Distancing

woman calling for breakdown advice at roadside

While restrictions may be relaxing, the coronavirus pandemic is still a very real risk in the UK. It’s never been more important to maintain social distancing and practice good hygiene in all scenarios, including breakdowns.

That’s especially true when many of us are driving cars that are a bit out of practice with weeks of staying home. Not to mention the Government’s extension of MOTs due since lockdown began.

Of course, keeping your distance isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Especially in an emergency or a stressful situation such as a breakdown. So, what should you do if you find yourself high and dry

We’ve put together some handy tips on how to get the help you need, without compromising your personal safety or breaching social distancing rules.

1. Always travel with a mask

While it’s not mandatory to wear a mask in public, stashing one in your glovebox is one of the easiest ways to ramp up protection if you find yourself in a breakdown scenario. If you need to be towed it’s possible you’ll have to catch a ride with the driver or take a taxi home.

If this happens a mask can help to prevent the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 in a small enclosed space. If you are offered a ride, try to sit in the back seat if possible and roll down the windows. It may seem strange, but these are unprecedented times and safety should always be a top priority.

2. Use hand sanitiser

Need to sign documents from the RAC or call a tow truck from the petrol station? A quick squirt of hand sanitiser before and after you touch anything another person has come into contact with can make a huge difference when it comes keeping COVID-19 at bay.

3. Deep clean when you get home

Whether it’s a flat tyre that can be fixed in a matter of minutes or a blown gasket that calls for several days at the garage, giving your car a deep clean when it arrives back in your driveway is a must.

If possible, avoid driving or cleaning the car immediately as research suggests COVID-19 can live on surfaces such as stainless steel for up to seven days. When it is time to clean, be sure to use PPE such as a face mask, gloves and an apron to avoid picking up any surviving remnants.

4. Keep your distance

It’s likely you’ll need to chat to the mechanic or tow truck driver, but this doesn’t mean you have to get too close for comfort. As always, try to keep at least 2 metres apart and avoid shaking hands, using the same pen or standing too close while the expert is taking a look at your ride. Interactions should be as quick as possible. If you have non-urgent questions, consider firing them through later in an email or text.

5. Upgrade your car

Okay, maybe not a social distancing tip per-se. But upgrading your car is a great way to avoid the stress – and close proximity – of a breakdown. Best of all, it doesn’t have to cost the world up front. My Car Credit helps everyday drivers secure finance for new cars that are safe and reliable.

Calculate car finance and start your application today without any hassle or delays.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

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!