Apr 272016
 

Used cars that have covered ‘starship mileages’ of 150,000 or more are no longer off-putting to buyers if the condition and the badge is right, reports car price guide specialist Glass’s Guide. They also believe that a healthy market has developed for prestige cars that would once have been considered almost unsaleable.

Rupert Pontin, head of valuations, said: “A high-level Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi or Jaguar that has covered 100,000-150,000 miles at five to eight years old is probably worth at least 10% less than identical models that have only done an average of 10,000 miles per year.

“However, if it has been properly maintained, the starship car probably looks every bit as good and, thanks to good build quality, is probably not much less reliable or much more expensive to run.

“It’s a cost effective way of getting behind the wheel of a nice car that will impress the neighbours.

“Buyers are waking up to the fact that these vehicles represent something of a bargain and we are seeing an increase in demand. There are also a number of specialist dealers that specifically supply this sector.”

Pontin said the market was catching on to the fact that modern cars were capable of much higher mileages than even just a few years ago.

“Even at the turn of the century, 100,000 miles meant that a car was nearing the end of its useful life. Nowadays, cars at that mileage are just getting into their stride. If properly maintained, most modern models are capable of 250,000 miles and even more.

“This is true of nearly all cars but the advantage that higher level, prestige models have is that the quality of their finish is higher than the mass market.

“This is especially true of interiors. A well-cared-for high mileage Audi A6 or A8 will still be a very nice place in which to sit, for example, with little obvious wear.

“If you make the basic checks on condition and ensure that they have a comprehensive service history, these vehicles can make an excellent buy. They are potentially no more than half way through their lives.”

Pontin added that what tended to eventually kill older cars of this type was not the fact that they were no longer viable vehicles but that the repairs needed to keep them on the road were no longer economically sustainable.

“Big prestige cars like Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series can keep going almost forever if properly maintained,” he said.

“However, they reach a point after a decade or so where they are worth just a couple of thousand or few hundred pounds and something breaks that is small but essential and expensive to repair.”

 

Apr 262016
 

potholesA new study of 3-8 year old cars from Warranty Direct reveals the Mercedes Benz R-Class (06-15) and Saab 9-3 (04-12) are the cars most likely to suffer suspension damage. Hyundai’s Santa Fe (06-12) and the Land Rover Discovery 3 (04-10) have the next most susceptible suspension, with 13.9 and 13.3 percent respectively of Warranty Direct customers claiming for axle & suspension damage annually.

Potholes are typically at their most prevalent on Britain’s underinvested road network between January and April, as heavy rainfall undermines the lower structural layers of roads, creating cracks then more potholes, increasing the likelihood of suspension damage.

The recent Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey revealed that local authorities spent a total of £118.4m filling 2,190,026 potholes across England and Wales in the last year, but also paid out an additional £13.5m in compensation claims.

With the average repair bill for pothole damage now £350, Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 live policies shows that the most vulnerable cars are more than 15 times worse than the most robust models.

At the opposite end of the scale, the Ford S-Max (06-15) and Nissan Qashqai (07-14) share top billing as the cars least likely to be affected by the UK’s pothole-ridden roads; both boast an impressive clean sheet when it comes to model claims relating to axle & suspension damage.

Top 10 cars with the highest % chance of an annual axle & suspension related claim

Number

Make Model Group Year % chance of an axle & suspension related claim annually

1

MERCEDES-BENZ R-Class (06-15) 15.82%

2

SAAB 9-3 (04-12)

15.05%

3

HYUNDAI SANTA FE (06-12) 13.98%

4

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY 3 (04-10)

13.37%

5 MERCEDES-BENZ GL-Class (06-15)

12.61%

6 VAUXHALL ASTRA (04-12)

11.56%

7 LANDROVER RANGE ROVER (02-13)

11.28%

8 BMW X5 (07-13)

11.27%

9 MERCEDES-BENZ E-Class (06-09)

11.17%

10 MERCEDES-BENZ CLS-Class (05-10)

11.15%

 

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “The variation you see in suspension damage from one model to another is remarkable.”

“Potholes are a major factor in causing axle & suspension failure and any vehicle regularly driven over impaired road surfaces or used for commuting over pothole-strewn routes will ultimately incur damage eventually.

“Components such as bushes, track rod ends, drop links, springs and dampers are all susceptible. Visit our Potholes.co.uk site for detailed advice on how best to make a compensation claim for any vehicle damaged by potholes.”

Mar 232016
 

Hatchbacks don’t have to be boring little shoppers, they can be prestige holdalls with a nice badge.

Why Buy?

Neither model is a current anymore, but that does not make them any less desirable. The Volvo is still the cool Scandinavian that looks sophisticated and modern. By contrast the Mercedes is a tad more brash but it is highly desirable for the simple fact that it is a Merc. And why not?

Which models?

The C30 was revamped in 2007 and was available in well-equipped S, SE, Sports and Lux trim. There are lots of diesel and petrol engines to choose from. Before the CLC was the C Class Sports Coupe. This revised model from 2008 was a far better model with lots of new parts.

Are they reliable?

The Warranty Direct stats are very revealing indeed. The Volvo spreads its faults around with the electrics being the weak spot. On the whole though it is very reliable. The Mercedes has only two weak areas, the major one being the axle and suspension, but the repair costs are lower.

How much do they cost?

Volvos are good value and can start at just under £3000 rising to just under £12,000 for a 2012 model. The Mercedes can cost below £5000. Better to spend £6000 for a tidy 200 CDi that has not done too many miles up to £11,000 for a 2011 example.

Sum Up: The Mercedes is more of coupe, but it is classy and reliable. The Volvo still looks different and is an upmarket hatch.

Volvo C30

Average Repair Cost £318.45

Engine 17.78%*

Axle/Suspension 20.00%*

Electrical 24.44%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above average

* failure rate

Mercedes CLC

Average Repair Cost £202.24

Axle/Suspension 80%*

Electrical 20.00%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Good

* failure rate

Jan 272016
 

Apparently it is Mercedes owners based in Gloucestershire that rack up almost 50% more miles than the average motorist, according to a study by Warranty Direct.

Cars wearing the three pointed star in the South West area are estimated to cover an average of 14,684 miles each year, 46% more than the national average of 10,076 miles and some 18% more than the average figure for Gloucestershire itself.

Elsewhere in the UK, Land Rovers prove their ‘go further’ mantra as they are the hardest-working vehicles in Hampshire, West Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Berkshire – more regions than any other car – with each registering an average mileage of over 13,000.

Overall, Subaru’s cars have the most annual mileage put on them, with an average of 13,740; the Japanese brand’s Legacy is also the highest-miling individual model.

Swedish manufacturers Volvo and Saab both were both revealed as popular choices for high milers, appearing in third and sixth place respectively, while vehicles from top-selling marques Ford and BMW clearly appeal to those who cover long distances as the brands registered 9th and 10th overall.

Cars in Scotland or the South West do the most miles in the UK, with Stirlingshire, Perthshire Gloucestershire, and Somerset all featuring in the top 10 locations for high-mileage cars.

Away from rolling hills and countryside, cars registered in London are far more likely to spend more time sat in traffic than negotiating winding roads – Londoners clocked up characteristically low mileage figure of 7,990, or 26% below average.

David Gerrans, managing director at Warranty Direct commented: “The mileage you do will dictate how quickly certain components on your car could deteriorate, as well as how long you have between service intervals. Naturally, some people work their cars harder than others and that means they need to be mindful of the potential for servicing and maintenance costs to rise.”

The highest mileage vehicles according to Warranty Direct data

Highest mileage by region/brand Average annual mileage
Gloucestershire – Mercedes Benz 14,684
Hampshire – Land Rover 14,076
West Yorkshire – Land Rover 13,953
Kent – Volvo 13,714
Essex – Citroen 13,667
Leicestershire – Land Rover 13,615
Merseyside – Audi 13,578
Hampshire – Volvo 13,432
Somerset – BMW 13,396
Berkshire – Land Rover 13,277

 

Highest mileage by region Average annual mileage
Stirlingshire 12,984
Perthshire 12,536
County Down 12,454
Gloucestershire 11,900
East Lothian 11,710
Somerset 11,707
Northumberland 11,537
Oxfordshire 11,470
Wiltshire 11,320
County Durham 11,219

 

Highest mileage by brand Average annual mileage
Subaru 13,740
Ssangyong 12,136
Volvo 11,663
Nissan 11,090
Volkswagen 10,899
Saab 10,884
Audi 10,873
Land Rover 10,766
Ford 10,215
BMW 10,180

 

Highest mileage by model Average annual mileage
Subaru Legacy 15,976
Nissan Navara 15,376
Volvo V50 13,578
Audi A8 13,546
Volvo XC60 13,250
Volvo V70 13,226
Audi A5 12,830
Volvo XC70 12,695
Volkswagen Tiguan 12,402
Audi Q7 12,321
Dec 272015
 

 

 

 

 

 

The UK used car market continues to grow, with recent DVLA statistics showing that used car transactions have grown by three per cent year on year during late summer/autumn 2015. Year to date used car transactions have also increased, by 4.2% and 225,000 units year-on-year according to Autotrader.co.uk.

The 4×4 segment showed the strongest performance with used sales of large and small 4x4s growing by 9.1% year on year as the UK moved towards winter, and savvy shoppers prepare for weather warnings. So right now, and not surprisingly, it costs more to buy a 4 x 4.

Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace for buying and selling new and used vehicles, have revealed the Top 10 most searched for 4x4s.

  • BMW X5
  • Land Rover Range Rover
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • BMW X3
  • Mercedes-Benz M-Class
  • Honda CR-V
  • VW Touareg
  • Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Audi Q5

Auto Trader’s Retailer and Consumer Products Director Karolina Edwards-Smajda, said; “The current increasing levels of used car transactions are a bi-product of the strong new car registrations that have been experienced over the last few years, with these vehicles now re-entering the used car market. Transactions for nearly new cars less than one year old and cars between one and three years old are fueling the growth, showing an increase of 8% and 15% year-on-year respectively.