Last night saw the winners of the 2017 What Car? Car of the Year Awards announced during a prestigious ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House in Park Lane.
Every year, What Car? crowns the best cars on the market, and acknowledges outstanding manufacturers at its annual awards. Warranty Direct reprised its partnership role with What Car? as the event’s headline sponsor for the fifth year running and sponsored the individual City Car award category.
The awards are the accolades every manufacturer wants to win. More than 40 different cars competed across 18 separate categories, with What Car? awarding automotive prizes from the best city run-around and family hatchback on sale, to the best large SUV and sports car.
The most coveted prize, the What Car? Car of the Year award, was given to the best newcomer on the automotive scene, the BMW 5 Series. There was a diverse array of brilliant models competing for the top prize, ranging from a Maserati Levante to a Ford Ka+.
According to What Car? the BMW 5 Series earned the top accolade due to its spaciousness, excellent finish and sophisticated infotainment system. The award marks the pinnacle of success for a motor and its creators and is an indication of a terrific year ahead for that model.
The City Car award, sponsored by Warranty Direct, was won by the Hyundai i10 due to it answering a range of strict criteria, including a keen list price with low running costs, ease of use and compactness to fit into small spaces.
Other awards were won on the night by the Audi A3 Sportback (Family Car award), the Audi Q7 (Luxury SUV award), Mazda MX-5 (Convertible award), the Renault Zoe (Electric award) and the Porsche 718 Cayman (Sports Car award).
Speaking about the results of last night’s ceremony, Philip Ward, COO of Warranty Direct said:
“The What Car? Awards epitomise one of the most celebrated events in the motoring calendar, recognising the outstanding achievements of individual car manufacturers and creating insight from which expert advice can be offered to consumers. It was a very memorable evening and we are thrilled the Hyundai i10 won our sponsored award for best City Car – especially as the competition this year was so fierce! We are also delighted to be working with our partner, What Car? for the fifth year running.”
Warranty Direct has sponsored the celebrated Car of the Year Awards since 2013, this year’s event marks the fifth year of the extended warranty company’s headline sponsorship.
For a full list of award winners please visit: http://www.whatcar.com/awards/
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.”
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.”