Buying A Preregistered Car

A pre-reg car is bought by a dealership and sold at less than the recommended price – it is one way for manufacturers and dealers to hit particular targets. In short, a pre-reg is actually a new car with delivery mileage but is legally registered with a dealership, thus making it technically second hand.

Pre-reg cars account for up to 30% of all new car sales each year and we want you to know what to look out for when you buy your next car. The upside of buying a pre-reg is that you are getting a car at a lower price – and is technically a new one – however you lack the choice of optional extras you want.

Below are our top tips to look out for when buying a new pre-reg car:

  1. Do your research
    List what you want in a car and search through the listings via Exchange and Mart/s1cars. You should note down the prices of each model you find just in case you want to negotiate a better offer.

  2. Check the mileage of the car before you go any further
    It is important to find the car you want has the mileage as the one you found, if it is much higher than anticipated you should move on and find another car. When you’ve found the car you want to buy, make sure to check the mileage is not much higher than stated.  If it is you should continue looking to find another one. 

  3. Test drive the car
    If the car is definitely the one you want, take a test drive so you can see what it is like to drive that car.

  4. Look for chips and scrapes
    Check out the car inside and out, look for minor chips, bumps, scrapes, before you commit yourself to buying it.

  5. Check if there is a log book
    Cars should have the log book. If the car doesn’t have one for any reason, you should ask and negotiate with the dealer to provide it by requesting a new one.

  6. Find out about the warranty of the car
    The moment a car is registered with the dealer, the warranty on the car starts. By the time you drive away with your new car, you will inherit whatever is left on the warranty, it won’t be a problem if the car is only a few weeks old, but if the car is any older you may want to negotiate the warranty before you buy it or move on.

  7. Avoid buying an ex-demo
    An ex-demo car is a car that is of a higher spec with lots of optional extras added which is taken on a test drive by prospective customers and these cars will have covered a lot of mileage before it is sold on. Even though the price of an ex-demo is lower than a pre-reg car, you don’t know how many people have driven the car or what condition the engine, gearbox and brakes is in.

  8. Section 10 from the V5C
    Before you drive off in your new car, make sure you get the Section 10 tear off from the V5C document from the dealer. The dealer will send off the documentation to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to confirm that you are the new keeper of the car and you should have your new V5C document in about 2-4 weeks. Make sure you don’t lose the V5C certificate as the DVLA will charge you for a new copy and you need this when you decide to sell the car on.

We hope this helps when buying a pre-registered car, if you have not decided yet which car will you go for, get some inspiration for your next car at Exchange and Mart and s1cars.

From Big Old Engines To An All Electric Promise

On one hand we see the final iteration of a true monster – the Vauxhall VXR8 – and on the other we see a major manufacturer announce their intention to do away with internal combustion-only power. Inbetween the deaths and conceptions there are anniversaries and births to boot. 
 
If you’re looking for a new car visit www.exchangeandmart.co.uk/new-cars and www.s1cars.com/new-cars 

Monster Vauxhall gets more monstrous… 

 
There’s something to be said about the classics. In a world of ever-shrinking engines, Vauxhall’s mighty VXR8 sticks nicely to its massive supercharged beast under the bonnet. So this is the new VXR8 GTS-R. And, sadly, the last one.
 
In short, it means that the current GTS’ supercharged 6.2-litre V8 now pounds out 595PS – up from 576PS. It’s also good for 740Nm of torque. Needless to say, it’s Vauxhall’s most powerful car ever.
 
Production of the Holden Commodore model, on which the GTS-R is based, comes to an end in Australia this October, when Holden’s manufacturing plant finally closes.
 
Vauxhall – a sister brand to Holden in the GM family – has been importing the VXR8 in various forms since 2007. As befits its last-of-line status, the GTS-R is no ordinary VXR8 – and in this form it’s exclusive to the UK, too. 
 
Visually, the GTS-R has a fresh face, with a new front fascia, splitter, wings and carbon fibre vents, while at the rear there’s a new-look diffuser, spoiler with carbon fibre upper, lower panel and quad exhaust outlets with diamond-shaped exhaust tips. 
 
Inside, the diamond theme continues in the Alcantara and leather seat trim. The current supercharged LSA engine has been re-mapped and is fitted with a high-flow air filter to achieve its hike in power. Just 15 examples will come to the UK, priced at £74,500.
 

Skoda updates its little city car 

 Skoda has launched a new version of its Citigo. The close relation of the VW up! and SEAT Mii now has a redesigned bonnet, bumpers, fog lights and radiator grille.
 
 
Skoda is promising many new design, technology and equipment features, including light and rain sensors and is being launched with three or five doors.
 
The line-up will consist of S, SE, Colour Edition, SE L and Monte Carlo and process will start from a decidedly reasonable £8,635.

 And so does Fiat…

 Never ones to miss a retro trick, Fiat is bringing out a new version of its 500 model to mark its 60th birthday. Now, of course, the ‘new’ 500 has only been around since 2007, but we all know that the pioneering motor of mass ownership was first launched in Turin on July 4, 1957.
 
So, to that end, the Italians have launched the Fiat 500 Anniversario. It’s available as a hatchback or a convertible and “honours the 1957 Italian-made icon with a contemporary re-interpretation of the stylistic features that made it famous in the Dolce Vita years,” says Fiat.
 
 
This new series has a 1960s look that references some of the historic characteristics of the car, such as the two new exclusive colours, Sicilia Orange and Riviera Green, the chrome accents on the bonnet and door mirror caps, the vintage Fiat logos and the 16-inch vintage alloy wheels.
 
An alternative 16-inch diamond finish alloy wheel is also available, as a no cost option, offering a modern take on the spokes of classic car wheels. The vintage elegance of the car is completed by the cursive “Anniversario” logo sported on the boot.
 
It comes with the 1.2-litre 69hp petrol engine, returning 60.1mpg on the combined cycle, emitting 110g/km CO2, combined with the Dualogic gearbox this reduces to 105g/km CO2, while returning 62.8mpg. The Fiat 500 Anniversario is available to order priced from £14,265.

Volvo makes electric promise 

 In what is a truly landmark move, Volvo has announced that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that have only an internal combustion engine.
 
Volvo says that the announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker to embrace electrification “and highlights how, over a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine, electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history”. 
 
 
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.” 
 
Volvo plans to introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars and mild-hybrid cars. 
 
It will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high-performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo’s performance car arm.
 
These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid 48-volt options on all models. This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure internal combustion cars are gradually phased out and replaced by cars that are enhanced with electrified options. 

The new Ford Fiesta is hitting the road 

 The new version of Britain’s best-selling car is about to hit the road. The first new Fiesta to be unloaded was a five-door Titanium with premium B&O PLAY audio, 1.0-litre EcoBoost 100PS engine and eight-inch touch screen connectivity.
 
It was transported to a dealership in Birmingham, where most Fiestas are sold. Across the country, 1,000,000 Brits have ordered new Fiestas since 2008 and more than 4,500,000 since the car first arrived in 1976.
 
 
Of the 120,000 Fiestas registered in the past 12 months, 70 per cent were five-door models, 90 per cent petrol and 60 per cent Zetec, while 20 per cent chose the Titanium series.
 
Ford is billing the new Fiesta as the most technologically advanced small car on sale thanks to 15 high-tech features ensuring a safe and smooth journey such as Pre-Collision Assist featuring pedestrian detection, meaning that the driver is warned of people who are in or near the road ahead, automatic perpendicular parking, blind spot alert and auto high beam.
 
Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said: “This year the eyes of the car world in our market are on new Fiesta as it takes over the reign as top seller.  
 
“Having seen all Fiesta models coming over the next nine months, I’m confident it will remain on top.”
 
Joining the Ford Fiesta’s core range of Zetec and Titanium in dealerships this month will be sporty ST-Line and luxurious Vignale models in early autumn, both offering the acclaimed 1.0 EcoBoost 140PS engine, followed by an all-new Active crossover and hot ST in spring next year.

Top 5 Family Cars To Buy Today

However, these past few years, we have seen an increase in SUV and hybrid models, such as the Dacia Duster and the Volkswagen Passat GTE, hitting the market giving more options when choosing your next family car.
 
Here at Exchange and Mart/s1cars, we have looked into a wide range of cars and below are our top 5 family cars we can recommend.

1) Renault Captur

The Renault Captur is a very spacious car that can easily fit you and 3 passengers with enough space in the boot to carry all your luggage on holiday. One of the great stand out features of the Captur is the styling of this car as it is much different to its bigger brothers: the Kadjar and Koleos. With this car, you are given a choice of packs to choose from including the Techno Pack which gives you a reverse parking camera and TomTom powered sat nav – ideal for those who love going on family adventures.
 
 

2) Vauxhall Astra

The Vauxhall Astra is one of the best family hatchbacks thanks to the styling and the fact that the Astra has been developed and built in the UK. The Astra comes with some great tech including Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Vauxhall’s OnStar – which automatically requests for roadside assistance should there be an issue, allows the car to become a Wi-Fi hotspot and more. The Astra comes with a selection of efficient petrol and diesel engines which produce less than 100g/km, thus helping you save money onroad tax to spend more on toys for the kids.
 
 

3) Toyota Prius

Toyota has been one of the most innovative car companies with the Prius hybrid car. The hybrid system allows the car to drive up to 30mph on electricity before the petrol engine kicks in and takes you to higher speeds – this in turn saves power which is great for when you are stuck in traffic. The interior is very spacious and for the base model, you get a lot as standard including a reversing camera and automatic headlights. If you want to charge your Prius whilst you are out and about, that is also possible as Toyota has created a plug-in variant of the Prius.
 
 

4) SEAT Leon

The SEAT Leon is a car that keeps getting better with each evolution which is no surprise as this shares the best parts from the Volkswagen Golf and the Audi A3. The Leon comes with a lot of standard equipment including sat nav and cruise control making this car great value for money. The car also comes with some great efficient engines, including one that comes with an energy recovery system which helps recharge the battery as you brake enabling you to reach up to 70mpg – this is similar to the technology seen in Formula 1 and LMP1-Hybrid racing cars. 
 
 

5) Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 is ideal for those who carry a lot on holiday or for a large family as the car comes with 7 seats. The XC90 comes with a lot of standard equipment including heated front seats, a touch screen centre console and a fantastic all-wheel drive system. Unlike many cars on the market, Volvo gives you the option to buy a 360 degree camera which will act as a visual parking assistant and you could decide to be more eco-friendly and get the XC90 T8 Twin Engine – which has an electric and petrol engine. 
 
 
Even though these are our top 5 family cars, there are plenty of new and used cars on sale at Exchange and Mart/s1cars

How Tech Enhances Todays Driving Experience

Apple head honcho Tim Cook, meanwhile, has confirmed his company is also working on autonomous vehicles (AVs). Not one to be outdone, Elon Musk expects his first fully hands-free Tesla by 2018.

Mainstream carmakers are hot on their heels. Audi plans to introduce a self-driving car by 2020, while Ford wants an AV mobility services fleet operational by 2021.

Volkswagen aims to have its first self-driving cars on the market by 2019 and General Motors’ and Toyota’s models will be in action by 2020.

Next? Well, BMW is to launch the autonomous iNext in 2021.

Thankfully, for those of us who really do enjoy the driving part, there is technology that incorporates the best bits of autonomous driving yet still focuses on drivers and our driving experience.

Safety functions are foremost, which means we can concentrate on enjoying the drive with an extra level of tech helping to keep us safe.

The 2017 Mercedes E-Class, for example, forges ahead with its Blind Spot Assist, a system that emits a warning sound if we try to change lanes in a dangerous situation.

Several Audi models, meanwhile, come with night vision, a feature that uses thermal imaging to show if a person, animal or alien is nearby by displaying them on the dashboard – a much better way to avoid a close encounter on UK’s dark winter nights.

One feature we’ve already grown used to is automatic emergency braking, which red alerts an imminent collision. No response? The car automatically hits the brakes for us, thank you very much.

This year, as well, we’re seeing this system fitted in many more German and Japanese models as standard, making safer driving more widely available.

Driving a car not quite fun enough? Let’s pretend we’re fighter pilots with a next-generation heads-up display. With information directly in our line of vision, there’s no need to glance away from the skies, sorry the road, ahead.

BMW is leading the way here for 2017 with the market’s most comprehensive displays available across its model range.

The Bavarian’s best boffins are also developing an Augmented Reality system, showing not only info but also navigation signals ‘painted’ directly onto the road in front of the car.

It’s a sign of things to come – and could well be pointing the way to a future of drivers’ cars with all the best driverless functions.

Discover a range of models that put you in control with driver-focused cars on s1cars / Exchange and Mart.

Choosing A Car Dealership

We’ve listed some of the key things you need to look out for when buying a new car.

  • Seek out independent reviews, ratings and comments from previous customers – do this by going online and of course visit the dealership itself.

  • Dealer expertise, when it’s a car you’re buying you’re going to prefer a well-established car dealer with experience in the business, one you hope will be around in the near future.

  • Shop around, before you come to an agreement with a car dealer make sure you check competitors to compare prices as well as the service they’re offering.

  • Educate yourself about the car you want to buy in order to have better knowledge during the negotiation process. Think price, mileage and extras they could throw in.

  • Consider assistance, customer service, warranties and post-sale service, buying a car normally isn’t a one-off transaction, you’ll likely need some sort of service from your dealer in the future. So check what kind of service, warranties and support the dealer can offer.

If you are not yet sure about your next car, take a look at the great vehicles and offers available at s1carsExchange and Mart.

Top Electric Cars Available To Buy Today

Since the turn of the decade, we’ve seen car manufacturers increase their focus on producing electric or alternative fuel cars, such as the Toyota Prius or the Honda Clarity. We’re also seeing manufacturers pushing the limits of electric cars and trying to maximise their potential against petrol powered cars. In recent years we’ve seen increase in interest from the public towards electric cars because of competitions such as the Formula E Championships and the bi-annual World Solar Challenge in Australia.

Here at Exchange and Mart/s1cars, we’re really excited about what the future lies in store for electric cars and we’ve listed our top 5 electric cars below that you should consider buying.

1)      Nissan Leaf
If you want to have an everyday family car that will become the workhorse of the family but also looking for a car that is kind to the environment then the Nissan Leaf is for you. Since its launch back in 2010, Nissan’selectric car has taken the world by storm, as the Leaf gives you plenty of room and comfort inside just like their petrol powered rivals. The Leaf is leading the way on how we view electric cars and is one of the bestselling electric cars in the world.


 

2)      BMW i3
The BMW i3 is one of the more futuristic looking electric cars on the market today and one of the most environmentally friendly as they claim to say that up to 95% of the car is recyclable. The car has one of the best interiors and also comes with now-standard iDrive system – ideal for navigation or checking on the status of your battery life. If you are worried that the range of 125 miles is not enough, BMW gives you an option to buy a petrol range extender which takes it to 206 miles – essentially you are buying a small petrol engine that powers the battery.


 

3)      Volkswagen e-up!
The Volkswagen e-up! is basically a VW up! with an electric motor but gives you more room for you and 3 passengers and more boot space as there is no petrol tank. The e-up! takes some notes from its petrol cousins by providing great handling and surprisingly good amount of power. The car has 3 driving modes, each has their own power saving function should you want to maximise the range of the car. However should you want to get a bigger, more spacious Volkswagen electric car then you’re in luck as VW also makes the e-Golf.


 

4)      Renault Zoe
The Zoe is Renault’s take on the electric car, it’s very stylish and can easily fit 4 people inside. The Zoe also very clever in how it uses the electricity, put your foot down and you get instant acceleration, although the magic happens when you decelerate since the unused power will be given back to the car – this is the same technology that is used in Formula E cars. Should you decide to get the Zoe, you are getting a car built by a company that has put a lot of effort in Formula E and using the technological advances learnt in Formula E to give you a great electric car.


 

5)      Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S completely revolutionised the electric car industry by proving to everyone that it is possible to create a luxurious sports car running on only electric power. The Model S allows you to select acceleration modes from the standard sport to insane and more recently ludicrous, either way, you are guaranteed to drive in one of the best luxury cars in the world – and it’s electric!

If you do decide to buy yourself an electric car, the UK government will contribute up to £4,500 for each new electric or plug-in hybrid car sold. If the car you want to buy is worth more than £60,000, you will unfortunately will not receive the government grant.

Have we convinced you to get an electric car? Then check out all the great cars available today from Exchange and Mart/s1cars.

Holiday Accessories Five Of The Best

As well as the suncream and sunglasses, when driving to our dream destination there are must-have accessories that can turn a simple vacation into something really special.

And we’ve five of the best to share with you.

1. Dog-friendly drives

For those planning a driving holiday with Fido, and even his special friend Fifi, Nissan has created the ultimate dog-friendly crossover concept. The X-Trail 4Dogs features a 445-litre boot bristling with features designed for furry friends.

Highlights include a two-way dog cam to make sure Fido and Fifi are behaving, a 360° pull-out shower, warm air blow dryer and access ramp.

There’s even a luxurious bed, no-spill water bowl and treat dispenser.

It may be a concept but you can find your very own dog-friendly vehicle by browing our range of Nissans. 

2. Branded luggage

Do you really want to turn up at a five-star hotel with that fragrant gym hold-all?

Then why not go for the best? No one’s going to know the branded luggage at your feet in the foyer doesn’t match the family runaround in the car park.

And we can’t do better than the Metropolitan, a lightweight, two-wheel XL travel bag from Porsche.

Much like their cars, from the Cayman to the Cayenne, the luggage created by Porsche is not only elegant but includes high levels of functionality – such as a main compartment with front pocket, divided into three sections. All yours for £330.

 

3. Room on the roof

What with the branded luggage, furry friends and human passengers, often there’s no room left for the snorkels, mask and mankini. That’s where the Exodus 470L Roof Box in gloss black offers an open and shut case.

With its aerodynamic design reducing wind resistance and noise, it’s built to be robust and scratch resistant. Its 470-litre lockable storage space also has a load capacity of 60kg. It’s available for £249.

 

4. Bike rack

More of us than ever are taking our trusty two-wheelers on holiday, which means fixing a cycle rack to the car. The MaxxRaxx rack’s ratchet strap design means up to four bikes can be held differing widths apart, making the rack completely customisable. Loading and unloading is easy and the rack tilts for easy boot access. Prices start at around £270.

 

5. Car top tent

Eager for a MINI adventure but stuck for accommodation? Don’t worry. This AirTop tent has been designed to mount perfectly onto the roof rails of a MINI Countryman. Closed it looks like a roof box. But raised, using four gas pressure springs, it becomes a holiday home with high-density mattress, two doors, two windows with zips, mosquito nets and battery-operated LED interior light. Access is via an aluminium ladder. It costs around £2,400. Don’t have a Countryman yet? Take a look our range on site today.

Should I Buy A New Or Used Car

New cars

The big advantages of buying a new car are quite obvious: the car is completely new and no one has owned or driven it before so there’s no history to worry about.  You can, of course, choose the specifications that you want (colour, engine size, equipment etc.).  They’re entirely up to you and your budget! And the third advantage is that manufacturers always offer good finance deals and a full warranty package.

The other consideration is buying a new car is more expensive than buying the same model as a used car especially after the new car tax that started last 1st of April, and it always takes at least a month to take  delivery of your new car.

Used cars

Starting with the advantages, buying a used car is cheaper so your pocket will be glad if you choose this option. Another pro is that you avoid the depreciation issue.  Every new car loses its value as soon as it leaves the showroom and at the end of the first year the value is a third less.  Buying a used car also has the advantage that you have more cars to choose from as the range of second-hand cars is bigger compared to new ones.

On the other hand, there’re cons if you decide to buy a used car. First it’s the uncertainty about the history, you have to check the car’s history and of course you need to check the condition and test it before you decide to buy. Here’s our checklist for buying a used car on s1cars and Exchange and Mart

If you buy a second-hand car, you can’t choose your specifications although you can always include some improvements, and another inconvenience is that a used car will probably be outside its warranty.

If you can’t decide yet, you can take a look at the used cars and new cars for sale available on s1cars & Exchange and Mart.

Top 5 Cars For New Drivers

There are other factors you need to take into consideration such as insurance bands, MPG and road tax to name a few, but today we are going to show you what we think are the best first cars you can buy today:

1) Toyota Aygo

The Toyota Aygo, along with the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 108, are very cheap cars to buy and cheap to run. Economical, spacious and surprisingly practical, the car itself also comes with some perks including ABS and 4 airbags for safety and also a CD player that has an aux plug so you can connect your phone or MP3 player and play your own music instead. Toyota have been lauded with their design of the car and has won some awards including the iF Product Design Award in 2006.

 

2) Volkswagen Up!

The Volkswagen Up! we feel here at Exchange and Mart / S1 Cars to be the true successor to one of their best selling cars of yesteryear – the Lupo. The Up! is cheap to run, comes with excellent fuel economy and is excellent to drive whether in the city or on the motorway. The car also takes some cues from the Lupo such as small but spacious, foldable back seats so you can have a bigger boot, and a simplistic DAB /CD/MP3 player so you can listen to Radio 1 or even use the aux port to listen to your tunes on Spotify whilst driving!

One more thing, the Volkswagen Up! is the same car as the Skoda Citigo and the SEAT Mii, the only difference is the styling of the body and the badges they wear.

 

3) Hyundai i10

The Hyundai i10 (the ones built since 2013) has definitely seen a massive improvement over its predecessor but also a potential first car candidate against their supermini and city car rivals. Here at Exchange and Mart / S1Cars, we feel that the i10 is excellent when it comes to price, engines and the style of the car. The car is very economical and the quality of the interior, from the seats to steering wheel to the boot, is excellent for a great little car.

4) Renault Twingo

The Renault Twingo is a great car to drive, packing a lot of oomph in style and is extremely fun to drive, you are guaranteed to have a big wide smile at any corner you throw at this car. The unique thing about this city car unlike others is that this is a rear wheel drive car and the front wheels turns to almost 90 degrees, which will be extremely handy in tight situations and perfect for city life. The interior of the Twingo isn’t that bad too – simple, effective, full of character!

 

5) Fiat 500

If you are looking for a car that is very chic and economical then the Fiat 500 is for you. Ever since the relaunch of this car, Fiat has sold over 1.5m cars and has consistently been one of the best cars you can buy today. There are lots of customisation you can do to the car, both interior and exterior, plenty of colours to choose from and options to play with so that no one Fiat 500 will be the same. The 500 has also a great selection of economical engines starting off on its revolutionary TwinAir engine.

If these cars are not to your taste then check out the great selection of cars available to buy today from Exchange and Mart / S1 Cars

Top 5 Things To Consider When Buying A Used Car

1.       Exterior: have a good look around the car and boot to see if there is any damage, scratches, dents or rust. You should also check the condition and tread depths of the tyres (remember the minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm).

2.       Inside: start with the seats for any damage or tears, make sure the fan and heating is working (including the air con if the car has this), check if you are able to adjust the mirrors and make sure the odometer matches the paperwork that goes with the car.

3.       Before driving: make sure everything works from seat belts, seat adjustments, steering wheel and all  equipment  – central locking, stereo, interior lights  – and don’t forget the exterior lights too, including the indicators and brakes.

4.       While driving: check the brakes work by pressing down to decelerate, or if there’s trepidation, make sure that the mechanical direction is working too and pay close attention to any unusual noises.

5.       Car’s records: make sure the car comes with 2 keys and the appropriate documentation such as the V5C logbook and car service history, but also check out the history of the car by going to sites such as HPI Check. Ask the seller as many relevant questions as you can, the more you know the better judgement you can make.

With these top 5 great tips in mind let’s get started by looking at the range of used cars right now on s1cars.com and exchangeandmart.co.uk