Apr 242008

Car ClockingHPI’s National Mileage Register exceeds 125 million records

Confirming its place as the most comprehensive mileage database available in the UK, HPI’s National Mileage Register (NMR) now contains over 125 million mileage readings – providing valuable intelligence for dealers to combat the very real threat of clocking.

The NMR has grown by a staggering 25 million records since this time last year. 1 in every 12 vehicles checked with HPI shows a discrepancy or inconsistency in a vehicle’s mileage.  Whilst upon investigation many inconsistencies are proven innocent, in other cases there is a very clear intention of someone trying to increase the value or the car and deceiving subsequent purchasers.

This consistent growth in the NMR is assisted by manufacturers such as BMW (UK), who provided HPI with a half a million new service and repair mileage records in 2007 – and they look to surpass that number in 2008.

In an HPI investigation, previous owners of the vehicle will be contacted and mileage details confirmed – making sure both dealers and customers are getting exactly what they paid for. The NMR can also provide more than just peace of mind. Any check which uncovers a discrepancy can form the basis of a legal defence against the 1968 Trade Description Act.

Prestige and specialist car retailer the Sytner Group and prestige vehicle manufacturer Bentley Motors are the latest to recognise the crucial role of the NMR – both have recently been given HPI ‘approved’ status, enabling their dealers to benefit from a mileage verification every time they conduct an HPI Check.

Daniel Burgess, director of automotive at HPI comments, “By reaching 125 million records, the National Mileage Register takes us a huge step further towards combating the problem of clocking. Legitimate dealers need to ensure they are protecting both their reputation and customers by making every effort to validate the true mileage of their vehicles, and set themselves apart from the more underhand retailers out there.”

Apr 242008

toplessDespite our notoriously unpredictable summers, it seems British drivers just cannot get enough of open top driving, according to the latest figures from Carcraft, one of the UK’s largest used car hypermarket chains.

The company’s sales figures reveal a 33 percent increase in the volume of convertibles sold between 2006 and 2007, meaning that they now account for almost 5 percent of its total used car sales.

Barry Nightingale, managing director at Carcraft said: “The number of people opting for convertible driving is growing year on year, which is less surprising than it may seem. Used car prices show that coupe and cabriolet models tend to retain more value than their more practical hatchback or saloon counterparts, making them a worthwhile investment.

“The sportier appearance of convertible models helps to give them a wide appeal, meaning their residual value consistently outperforms other models.”

Most popular choices according to Carcraft’s figures continue to be classic models such as the, the MGF and Peugeot 206 but newer prestige models such as the BMW 3-Series and Z4 are also popular sellers.

Nightingale added: “As their appeal continues to grow, we are also seeing more manufacturers competing to tap into the trend by introducing their own convertible models – with 16 new launches in 2007 alone.”

This record number of launches combined with increasing numbers of new convertible sales over the last three years means that the used car market is currently offering its widest selection ever.

Nightingale added: “Savvy buyers know that now is the time to snap up a soft-top bargain as sales rooms are offering greater choice than ever before when it comes to second-hand convertibles.

“Since the start of April we have already seen a significant rise in buyers searching for the best summer sellers at Carcraft and we expect 2008 to be our biggest year for convertibles to date.”

Apr 242008

older carChoosing an older vehicle could be a home-saver for the UK’s cash strapped mortgage holders. Buying a new car could be the difference between “home ownership” or “repossession” claims a new report.

A new car is the worst investment most people will ever make. A £15,000 car will lose around half its value in three years. If you borrow the money to buy the car at 7.7% interest it will cost you an extra £1,847. That’s a total of £9,347 – all out of taxed income.  Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) can cost even more, and there are limits on mileage and expensive penalties should you want to change the vehicle early.

The £9,347 loss on a new vehicle would be enough to pay the interest on a £100,000 mortgage for nearly two years. Cash strapped home owners could use this cash to avoid losing their home when their low cost fixed rate mortgage deal ends.

The car has become both a status symbol and a ‘must have’ social accessory with an increasing number of motorists indulging in expensive cars on finance to impress friends and neighbours. With some mortgage deals set to rise by as much as 40% – many over financed motorists will no longer have a neighbour to impress.

Mail Order specialists, Car Parts Direct claim buying a three year old vehicle or keeping your existing car is financially the most cost efficient way to run a reliable vehicle.

Mark Cornwall of Car Parts Direct said, “Cars are reliable for at least 10 years providing they are serviced. Items such as brakes cost very little. Even the more expensive parts that could fail such as shock absorbers, drive shafts or a steering rack rarely cost more than a couple of hundred pounds – this is peanuts compared to financing a new vehicle.”

Car Parts Direct claims a motorist thinking of buying a £15,000 new car could save themselves more than £250 every month by buying at three years or by keeping their existing vehicle – for most home owners, that’s enough to stay clear of the mortgage debt trap. Motorists can find advice on how to save on vehicle servicing and repairs by visiting www.carparts-direct.co.uk