Used Car Buying Checklist

Buying a car used can be a great way to get more for your money, but it can also be a great way to get ripped off if you don’t know how to sort the real bargains out from the duds and scams. We’ve put together a list of five absolute musts to make sure the car you’ve got your eye on is worth everything you’re set to pay for it.

Dealer

You should always make sure your seller is trustworthy. You can look for customer testimonials online if you’re going through an actual dealership, but the fastest way to go about things is to start looking in places that are already known to be trustworthy. If you’re dealing with an individual, meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for suspicious behaviour and don’t let yourself be pressured into making a quick decision. Check the vehicle is registered to the person selling the car and the address that they show it from.

Documentation

Ask to see all the car’s paperwork, like the logbook (V5C) and service history. Cross reference things like the chassis number and mileage with what is shown in the documents and ensure they are all consistent. This will protect you from certain used car scams like clocking (artificially dialling back the mileage) and cloning (presenting one vehicle as another with an illegal duplicate license plate).

Inspection

If you’re confident you know your stuff you can do this yourself, but if not have someone knowledgeable and trustworthy do it for you. It’s vital that the car gets a full and independent inspection to make sure everything’s in good condition. The last thing you want is to end up spending extra money on repairs because you bought a car with a little too much wear and tear on it.

Research

You should do some research online to check the price of anything that has caught your eye and make sure you’re paying close to the market price. You can also do this before seeking out individual cars to find out which models best suit your needs and what you can expect to pay for them.

Test Drive

If you’re going to drive the car you need to be comfortable doing so and the only way to know is to try it out for yourself, so a test drive is vital. This not only lets you get a feel for the experience of driving the car, it’s also another chance to gauge the car’s overall condition. It’s a good opportunity to test out all the electrics as well, so make sure you do that, too.

For more car buying tips RoadWeb Blog covers a wide range of motoring advice articles.

What Protects You While You’re Driving?

by · January 27, 2017

Whether you’re working on it, walking on it or driving on it, staying safe on the road is essential. But what are the driving devices and roadway essentials which help to keep everyone safe on UK roads?

In the Vehicle

Automobile safety is an integral part of modern car design and a real focus for manufacturers. New innovations and improved systems continue to be developed in line with technological advances, with many safety devices now being incorporated as standard into cars:

  • Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) – this system prevents the wheels from locking during heavy braking, to help drivers to maintain control of vehicle. This helps ensure more effective stopping within average stopping distances and particularly upon skid-likely surfaces, such as wet roads or in icy conditions.
  • Electronic stability control – this system is the next up generation from ABS and includes a system of traction control. This corrects driver error by stablising the vehicle and reducing the risk of the driver losing control of the vehicle, for example in a skid. This system varies between vehicle manufacturers and may also be known as vehicle stability control.
  • Brake assist – this system ensures that maximum pressure is exerted when brakes are applied in an emergency. As manual emergency braking sometimes fails because drivers may depress the brake pedal insufficiently, so the brakes fail to engage on the wheels, brake assist technology assesses how quickly the brake has been applied and identifies if it’s likely to be an emergency. If it judges so, then brakes are fully applied via the hydraulic pressure system.
  • Lane keeping and adaptive steering – this system is a branch of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which provides benefits such as cruise control. However, lane keeping and adaptive steering systems put greater emphasis on safety rather than comfort, specifically through aiming to maintain a vehicle’s correct position on the road by utilising lane markings at the side of the car. Any deviation from the correct position and the system alerts the driver so that correction can be made manually. Future development of this system proposes that it will work similarly to brake assist, with the system making the correction automatically.

Many versions of these technologies are already fitted to modern vehicles and continue to be developed as part of a deal to provide better protection for road users, including pedestrians.

On the road

Roadways and surfaces themselves also incorporate safety devices for speed control, accident prevention and risk management:

  • Road humps – also known as sleeping policemen to reflecting their more manual speed-prevention origins, road humps aim to deter speeding by preventing vehicles from speeding up along flat roads. Road humps are commonly found in residential areas, but not main bus routes as the hump height causes passenger discomfort. The humps need to be spaced fairly close together to be effective and must be accompanied by relevant signage at each end of the hump run.
  • Rumble strips – this is the name given to a variegated road surface which is generally applied as a layer to the roadway. When reaching this stretch of the road, the driver is immediately alerted to the need to adhere to speed limits, through the in-car feedback from the suspension and driving wheel, which will sound and feel different, specifically with a low rumble. With their specific aim to alert drivers to reduce their speeds, rumble strips can often be found at the edges of vulnerable roadsides, on the approach to junctions and where faster sections of A roads enter residential areas. Rumble strips tend to be used in outlying areas of towns and villages as they literally sound as they are named and the rumble of a steady stream of traffic can cause a noise-nuisance to residents.  This road safety device is also deployed as transverse rumble strips, which run across the whole carriageway rather than just alongside it, whilst an additional version, known as Dragon’s Teeth, is applied along with a visible narrowing of the road, to also support accident prevention.
  • Speed cushions – as an alternative to road humps, speed cushions are a speed control method developed to cause standard vehicles to slow down, but allow emergency vehicle and public transport drivers through safely at normal speeds. Speed cushions offer an optimum size and placement so that smaller vehicles have to slow down to drive over the cushions, but buses and emergency vehicles are able to straddle the cushions and proceed normally. Cushions are generally installed at regular intervals along the roadway where speed reduction is required, such as in the neighbourhood of schools or pedestrian areas.
  • Pedestrian safety – pedestrians are encouraged to cross roads safely using designated zones such as crossings and traffic island refuges, which are highly visible to traffic.

Roadside safety

Roadside safety is additionally important as it needs to respond to the needs of road workers, as well as the public and road users. The mainstay of roadside safety is crash barriers, which tend to be deployed with safety and risk reduction, rather than speed reduction in mind.

  • Safety barriers – permanent motorway and roadside barriers aim to minimise risk through containment: keeping an errant vehicle on its own side of the carriageway. This method does include the risk of impact and crash injuries to the driver, but with the effect of preventing the vehicle from advancing to the other side of the barrier where there may be a greater hazard. As such, permanent safety barriers are installed only when it presents less risk for an errant vehicle to strike the barrier than to continue onwards at speed.  Permanent barriers of flexible steel construction have frequently been used to facilitate containment, but many have proven vulnerable over time. As such, there is a current move by the Highways Agency to replace many steel barriers with concrete barriers to increase containment, particularly where installed as a central reservation barrier.
  •  Temporary barriers – one example of a temporary barrier solution is the MASS (Multi-Use Safety System) barrier. MASS barriers are designed to actively absorb the impact of a vehicle and use this to stabilise the barrier, both reducing the vehicle’s speed and deflecting the vehicle along the barrier line. Because MASS barriers offer a stable but non-permanent fixing, they are quick and easy to install and reposition at short notice to keep users on all sides of the barrier safe.

Finally, as these innovations continue to develop and change, one of the simplest road safety devices which is essential is road safety awareness: being aware of the roadway environment, conditions, restrictions and changes is a key way to make best use of all road safety devices and to help keep all road users safe.

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5 Items Every Garage Needs in 2017

Every motorist should have a garage that is properly equipped. You do not need to be a mechanic to fix every problem that you encounter, and thanks to some excellent tools and equipment, anybody can carry out minor work on their car. All you need is a few of these tools and an easy to follow guide, which can be found online.

Here are some important tools that you should consider investing in:

Tool Kit

Buying tools that are of the highest quality will turn out to be a great investment. You may already have a few at home, but there are also tools that every beginner mechanic should own; this will allow you to take on all kinds of jobs.

Tool Chest

Having the right set of tools is, of course, essential, but you must also have somewhere to store these items. If you were to leave your tools scattered across the garage floor, you are putting yourself at risk as it is extremely dangerous. By investing in a quality tool chest, it will keep the garage tidy, you will quickly be able to find what you are looking for and you can lock the chest for safety.

Seating & Creeper

When it comes to working on your car, it is vital that you have comfort and manoeuvrability. An adjustable mechanic seat will be required to achieve this, as well as a creeper for inspecting the underside of the automobile.

Jacks & Axle Stands

A lot of the work that you carry out on your automobile will require lifting it off the ground. You will need to be able to do this safely and with confidence, so a top-quality jack is an essential. An axle stand will be strong and sturdy to keep the car in place whilst you work underneath.

Air Compressor

An incredibly versatile item which you will find yourself using constantly, an air compressor serves many different purposes. Inflating tyres, powering air tools and cleaning tools are just a few tasks that are made quick and easy with one of these. Although they can be expensive, it will prove to be a worthwhile investment if you have several cars or work on them regularly.

These are the 5 items that every motorist should have in their garage in 2017. With these tools and a little knowledge (which can be found online), you will be able to tackle many different tasks and save a fortune on unnecessary mechanic bills.

Fiesta to get a Hot Hatch Makeover?

The automotive industry was stunned when the new Ford Focus RS was unleashed in 2016, as the impressive compact car packed a serious punch and delivered excellent statistics. The 345bhp four-wheel drive hot hatchback ticked all of the boxes that a hot hatch fan could want, and many motorists were thrilled to learn that it also had an affordable price-tag.

Rumblings of a Fiesta RS

With the success of the vehicle, there have since been persistent rumblings of Ford’s Performance division turning their attention to the Fiesta and giving it the RS makeover. Ford reported that their sales for hot hatches soared by 21% in September 2016, plus they also recently unveiled the Mk7 Ford Fiesta – this seems to suggest that the Fiesta RS could be just around the corner.

Clues from Ford

Furthering the case for the Fiesta RS is the fact that executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service hinted that Ford was planning to make more use of the coveted RS badge. Steve Odell stated “the RS brand is really valuable. People race it. People collect it. I believe there is room to expand”. The rumours started back in 2015, when Ford’s senior vehicle engineer stated that the current Fiesta had another two and a half years before it was replaced and that there “could be something else” after this.

Estimated Specs

It is reported that the vehicle is currently in development stage, but some people believe that they have figured out the specifications of the highly-anticipated automobile. It is thought that the Fiesta RS could get as much as 250bhp, which would be a considerable amount more than the Fiesta ST (178bhp). It could also feature four-wheel drive as this is something that they have tried to roll out into other models.

Whilst you Wait

It seems that a Fiesta RS certainly is on the horizon, but those in the market right now for a new car will not want to wait as it is only a rumour right now. The current Fiesta is definitely worth considering and it is Britain’s best-selling car of all-time. You can find affordable used Fiestas and different models at reputable car supermarket websites e.g. Motorpoint.

The success of the Ford Focus RS in 2016 and constant rumours of a Fiesta RS has the hot hatch community on high alert – it seems only a matter of time until Ford make the announcement that the Performance division will be working their magic once again.

Rent a Supercar

Have you ever dreamed of driving a Lamborghini or Ferrari? Well now you can, and not just for a few laps around a track. With specialist supercar hire firms you can rent out a supercar for an entire day, weekend or week.

A short 10 minutes of form filling and payment of the applicable fee and you are free to drive away your supercar of choice.  You can even have your chosen car delivered to your door, anywhere in the UK, such as your place of work, home or airport.

Here are 3 exciting Hybrid supercars of the moment which you can rent short or long term.

BMW i8 Hybrid

With a price range starting from £750.00 per day, experience the first supercar with the consumption and emission values of a small family car. The i8 brings comfort, style, economy and power all in one. Apart from drawing stares, the i8 means business on the race track.

BMW i8

BMW i8

Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid

The Porsche 918 Spyder is an awe-inspiring mid-engined plug-in hybrid supercar completely in a class of its own due to Porsches racing and economy pedigree. Did you know that the 918 Spyder is the second plug-in hybrid from Porsche after the Panamera S E-Hybrid? Get behind the wheel for £2200.00 per day

porsche 918 spyder hybrid

Porsche 918 spyder hybrid

McLaren P1 Hybrid

The McLaren P1 is a plug-in hybrid supercar built in limited numbers. McLaren’s F1 background has made a dramatic impact on the evolution of Hybrid Supercars. Being the successor to the F1, it utilizes hybrid power and Formula 1 technology to the extreme. All yours to enjoy for £2200.00 per day.

Mclaren P1 hybrid