Reduce your monthly motoring costs

Car maintenance – DIY can save you money

Regular car maintenance is essential, so make sure you have your car serviced regularly, especially during the winter months. In between services, there are things you can check to ensure it runs efficiently and avoids any unwanted trips to the garage.

Tyre pressure – Low pressure causes tyres to have uneven contact with the road. Not only does this affect the tyres performance, but it will cause your tyres to wear out quicker. It also reduces fuel efficiency and increases C02 emissions. Therefore, it’ll be costing you more in fuel and potentially for a new set of tyres.

Fluid levels – This includes oil, brake fluid, coolant, power-steering fluid and transmission fluid. Topping these up can improve engine life and road safety.

Filters – Relatively inexpensive, changing these can improve engine life, increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

Improve your driving style

Did you know the way you handle and drive your car can save you money and the environment? Most modern cars are well-equipped with technology that reduces fuel consumption and C02 emissions, but making sure your car is well maintained and handled with the right driving style can ensure you get the most mileage from your fuel.

Extra weight – Do you have a roof rack or tend to store a lot in your boot? Roof racks can affect the car’s aerodynamics which cause it to use up more fuel. So, take it off when it’s not needed and remove any extra weight.

When you’re driving – Unnecessary accelerating and braking can cost you in fuel. Try to keep your revs low (between 2000 and 3000), drive in top gear from around 30 MPH and avoid warming the engine no longer than 30 seconds at a standstill. It will warm up faster being driven. Your engine burns fuel whilst idling, so if your car comes with Start/Stop technology – use it.

Shop around to reduce your costs

Fuel – The choice of petrol station can come down to convenience more than anything, but if you have the time to shop around it can pay off. Many of them also offer loyalty schemes with money off vouchers or supermarket vouchers.

Car Insurance – Again shopping around for car insurance guarantees you’ll get the best deal, so take the time to do so. Check the level of cover is suitable for you and relative to the value of your car.

Could you increase the excess or add an experienced driver to the policy? Both of these could reduce the cost. Paying monthly can reduce outgoings but could also cost you in the long run. It’s also worth asking your current provider for any discounts if you’ve been with them for a while.

Parking – Are you paying a lot for parking? Make sure you compare other car parks near you, and expand your search that little bit further. If it means walking an extra 5 minutes or using Park and Ride facilities, it could save you in the long run.

You could also save money by looking at long-term parking or paying monthly. Also consider car sharing with a work colleague to split the cost.

What To Look Out For In The World Of Cars In 2018

The growth of electric vehicles and the move towards driverless

Although electric cars are now very much normal, they still only make up a small percentage of sales. They do, however, continue to grow and 2018 is sure to see them grab a bigger slice of the market.

There will be several new electric cars hitting the road in 2018, with the new Nissan Leaf one of the most anticipated.

With registrations of alternatively-fuelled vehicles trebling over the past five years, it’s set to be a big year for electric. And, although somewhat further off, expect to see real progress in driverless cars in 2018. Sure, they won’t be on the roads any time soon, but manufacturers are working hard on them and expect to see big strides made.

New models – electric and alternative fuel

Audi has been waiting, it says, for battery tech to improve enough to give any all-electric cars it produces a 300-mile range. That time has come, so expect an e-tron SUV to come along in 2018.

 

Hyundai is planning a dedicated fuel cell model, previewed by the FE Fuel Cell concept. It’ll follow the ix35 FCV, which brought the tech close to production territory.

Jaguar will bring its I-Pace to the market, with a range of at least 300 miles, power of 395bhp and 62mph in four seconds. And the best-selling fully electric car in the world will get a major facelift. The second-gen model gets a more powerful battery pack which, crucially, on paper, increases its range to 235 miles.

New models – supercars

While electric cars are sure to make big progress in 2018, that doesn’t mean that the other end of the scale – supercars – is any less lively.

Bentley will unleash its new Continental GT, which shares a platform with the Porsche Panamera and will have the flagship twin-turbo W12 petrol engine at launch. That means a whopping 626bhp, 62mph in 3.6 seconds and a 207mph top end. A cheaper V8 and a hybrid V6 version will follow.

BMW’s hi-tech i8 supercar will go topless in 2018 with the launch, at last, of a roadster version. The petrol-electric drive system will remain and the roof will be fabric to keep weight down and use as little space as possible.

Ferrari’s California T will be replaced by the beautiful new Portofino. Even the name is sexy. It’ll remain front-engined, rear-wheel drive and a 2+2. Power will come from a mighty 592bhp, twin-turbo V8, giving it 40bhp more than its predecessor. It’ll make 62mph in 3.5 seconds and hit 199mph. Despite all of that, it will be the cheapest Ferrari on sale.

Lamborghini’s Aventador will continue its evolution with the roadster version of the S model. It’ll give drivers the chance to enjoy the 730bhp V12 with the roof down, with 62mph in three seconds and a top speed of 217mph.

The best of the rest 

SUVS and superminis are set to be the biggest news in 2018 for those of us who can’t afford supercars.

Highlights will include the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Audi A1 and VW Polo.

For those who like their hatches hot, Ford will give us the Fiesta ST, with 197bhp and 62mph in 6.7 seconds. All that with CO2 emissions of just 114g/km.

In the SUV sector we can look forward to the hot version of Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio – the Quadrifoglio. A 2.9 V6 twin-turbo petrol with 500bhp will get it to 62mph in less than four seconds.

Audi is set to replace its Q3, set to be lighter and more economical than the outgoing car, which is the oldest in its current range. The German marque will also launch the Q8 – a flagship SUV set to have lots of top-end tech on board. BMW will fill another niche with the X2, set to be a sportier version of the X1 and based on the same platform.

Citroen will bring us the C5 Aircross, its biggest SUV to date, which will feature hydraulic cushion suspension and double-glazed front windows to reduce noise.

At the cheapest end of the market Dacia will update the Duster, with all new body panels aiming to make it look more upmarket.

For those looking for a posher French SUV, we will welcome the DS 7 Crossback.

Ford will also update the EcoSport with a new front, new tech and four-wheel-drive.

Honda will ditch diesel for the new CR-V, meaning buyers will have a choice between a 1.5 petrol or a hybrid setup.

At the posh end, Lamborghini will launch the Urus, its first SUV, as it looks to tap into the market. It’ll have a 4.0 twin-turbo V8 and share a platform with the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Cayenne.

Talking of the Cayenne, the third-gen car will join us 15 years after the original was launched. Its smaller sibling, the Macan, will get a refresh as well.

SEAT will launch a third SUV to join the Ateca and Arona. Based on the large Skoda Kodiaq, it’ll be called either Alboran, Aranda, Avila or Tarraco after bosses launched an online competition to decide the name.

Volvo will continue with its XC range, with the XC40 joining the XC60 and XC90. It’ll have plenty of tech from those cars.

Getting the most of our your test drive

Spend Time On Your Test Drive

Ask if you can have the car for the day or the evening: they can only say no. If the answer is negative, try and at least get a few hours with the vehicle and try and ensure that for some of that time, the sales person leaves you alone.

Bring Your Family Or Your Partner

After all, they’ll have to live with the car too and they’ll bring a useful extra perspective.

Get a Thorough Rundown Of The Controls Before You Set Off

Don’t be too proud to do this. You’re not going to be able to properly concentrate on the job in hand and you’re going to be dangerous if you find yourself trying to figure out the stereo or what various buttons are for halfway round your test route.

Choose A Varied Driving Route

You’re not going to learn much about the car if all you do is shoot up and down the local dual carriageway. Try and include a mixture both of challenging roads you know and some you don’t.

Get Someone Else To Drive At Some Point

There are things about the car you’ll discover from the passenger seat that you’ll never know if you constantly stay behind the wheel.

Ask Questions

Don’t worry about sounding stupid. Moreover, some of the things that irritate you might be distinct to the derivative of the demonstrator you’re driving. Dealerships can’t run demonstrators of every derivative in a particular model range and it might be that a different engine, transmission or specification choice would solve your irritations.

Always Drive At Least Two Comparable Cars From Different Brands

Preferably on the same day or over the same weekend.

Never Buy There And Then

At the end of the test drive, always walk away and think it through. 

Don’t Feel You Have To Buy From The Dealer That Gave You The Test Drive

Just because you like the car, it doesn’t mean you have to buy it from that dealer. All they’ve earned from giving you the test drive is first shot at quoting you on the sale. Don’t feel obligated to take it further.

Master the art of haggling

Know what you want and what it’s worth

The first step is to know the market and do some research, this will give you the confidence when securing a deal and will convince the seller that you are a serious buyer. Decide on what your needs are and what you’re willing to compromise on. And set a budget in your mind. Look at similar used cars to get an idea of what they’re selling for.

Know what you’re buying

When the dream car turns up, it’s time for you to think with your head not your heart. Always conduct a vehicle history check to see if it has something to hide; is it an insurance write-off, stolen or has it got a dodgy mileage. Also consider having an expert look over the mechanics and pay attention to the bodywork for signs of rust or a quick touch up with the spray paint.

Open Low

Buyers should go in with an offer that’s lower than the going rate for similar cars on the market, then let the seller negotiate up towards a price that suits both. If buying a new car from a dealer, it’s worth remembering that many car industry sales targets are set on a monthly basis. That means it’s easier to get a bigger discount towards the end of the month, whether it’s a reduced price or optional extras.

Keep an ear out for inconsistent stories about the car’s history and don’t be afraid to walk away.

Equally, never pay more for a car than you can’t afford. There are plenty of deals out there, so never settle for a bad deal. A car is an investment so don’t make any rash decisions.

Haggling ‘Dos and don’ts’

Expert haggling tips: what NOT to say

  • I really like this car.
  • Have you sold many cars today?
  • What sort of discounts are people getting on cars at the moment?
  • Please can I have a discount?
  • Are you sure you can’t meet my budget?
  • Is that all that my old car is worth?
  • What will it cost if I pay in cash?

 

Expert haggling tips: what you SHOULD say

  • I’m interested in buying this car from you, but to do so I need more than you are offering in part exchange on my old car.
  • I’m ready to do a deal today at the right price or I’m a cash buyer.
  • Has this car ever been in an accident?
  • How much discount will you give me?
  • Can you meet my budget – if not, I can buy elsewhere…
  • If your manager is the one making the decision, can I talk to them?
  • I’ve seen a better deal at… (a nearby competitor). Make sure you really have or you’ll look silly.
  • If we can agree on £xxxx (price) then you have a deal.

Don’t get caught out with outstanding finance

Anyone who buys a vehicle that still has outstanding finance against it – including a hire purchase, PCP or lease agreement – could find themselves out of pocket and without a car. Whilst the new vendor is the ‘registered keeper’, the finance company is the ‘legal owner’ and has the right to reclaim the vehicle at any time.

With disposable income under strain for many households, it’s not surprising that buyers are turning to loans to finance their car purchase. Some struggle to continue with the monthly payments they’ve committed to and sell on the car, but rather than paying off the outstanding debt they keep the money to pay for other necessities.

In more cases than not, this is simply an innocent act, but by default, it is also a fraudulent one. A car that has a finance agreement against it remains, legally, the property of the finance company until the loan is paid off and if payments are not kept up or the outstanding amount is not paid off at the time of the sale, the finance company has the right to take it back, at any time.

With one quarter of the 36 million cars on UK roads potentially on outstanding finance, used car buyers really are at risk of falling foul of this type of fraud, no matter how innocently the crime was committed.

We’re advising used car buyers to conduct a vehicle history check that includes an outstanding finance check, before parting with any money.

If their potential dream machine does have finance owed against it, and the buyer still wishes to go ahead with the purchase, the best option to pay off the finance company and the seller, is to raise two bank drafts. A bank draft is a cheque which can be bought from a bank in order to pay someone who is not willing to accept a personal cheque and is a safer transaction when dealing with large payments. One should be in the name of the finance accompany for the outstanding amount and the other should be for the seller for the remaining value of the car.

Don’t be fooled either, even if the seller offers a receipt as proof of purchase the finance house will still be able to reclaim the vehicle if it’s found to be on outstanding finance. If someone unwittingly buys a car on outstanding finance, they should talk to the finance house immediately to negotiate a deal. However, the best thing for buyers to do is to stay vigilant and avoid falling into the innocent fraudster trap.

Top tips for buying Breakdown Cover

Are you going to be helped efficiently and professionally? Will the person who attends your breakdown know what they’re doing?

There are a huge number of types of car breakdown cover to choose from, provided by organisations with a motoring heritage, insurance companies, major retail brands and other sources. But how do you find the best for you?

Here are a few fundamental questions to ask your breakdown company:

Does the scheme cover the vehicle or the driver?

With so many households having more than one car, a breakdown scheme that covers only one car can be a false economy. Even if you have just one car, you’ll appreciate breakdown cover that offers the flexibility of covering you in any car you drive, even if it is one you have borrowed or hired. Similarly, if you change your car, you don’t have to bother to inform your breakdown service.

Can I cover my partner or my family?

Why take out more than one breakdown cover, when one policy can cover you and your partner? Or your whole family or household? Most breakdown providers offer deals for more than one driver or vehicle. But remember cover for the drivers rather than the vehicles is almost certainly the better deal.

What happens to my vehicle if it breaks down?

A prompt, helpful, professional call centre can make all the difference at a stressful time. They should take your details and arrange for a qualified mechanic to be with you as soon as possible. Some call centres will even keep you informed by text message as to when help is expected to arrive.

What happens if it can’t be fixed?

Now’s the time to look at the recovery cover. You may find that under your recovery policy your vehicle can only be towed to the nearest approved garage, or to your home if you are not far away – (the distance will be stated in the cover). However, with the schemes that offer more comprehensive cover you can request a recovery to any destination of your choice, irrespective of how far away that is.

Does it include help at your home as well as at the roadside?

Many breakdowns happen outside motorists’ homes – often on freezing cold mornings, when you need to be at work or take the children to school. And, because this is a high-risk location for breakdowns, many low-cost breakdown services only cover breakdowns more than a certain distance from your home.

What happens to me and my passengers if my vehicle breaks down?

There are many options offered in different breakdown packages for you to choose from. Typically you will have the option of being taken home or to a local hotel. More comprehensive offerings allow you to be taken to your destination.

Will my breakdown policy include overnight accommodation?

If you travel long distances – for business or pleasure – you may want to check that your breakdown and recovery cover will provide you and your passengers with accommodation if you get stuck overnight.

How do I tell how good the breakdown people are?

Let’s face it, one advertiser or web site owner’s claim is as good as another. You need to know about the actual experiences and testimonials of real people. Has the breakdown provider won any awards recently? Customers’ or readers’ awards are generally more valuable than journalists’ reviews or industry awards.

Is it worth paying a little extra?

It depends on how much your time is worth. A better performing breakdown provider will get to you quicker and will more likely fix the problem at the roadside. If your chosen provider is covering your family car, paying a little extra for a well-reviewed service should get you safely back on the road more quickly.

What kinds of vehicles are covered?

If you drive a car 100% of the time, then almost any breakdown policy will give you the basic cover you need. But what about your caravan, trailer, motorbike or even small van?

Check carefully that you don’t have to pay extra – or even simply, that cover for other kinds of vehicles is available.

Time To Focus On The Dangers Of Device Driving

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a modern phenomenon that keeps people glued to their phones and mobile devices, in case they miss something on social media or don’t reply to calls and messages quick enough. This could be a large part of what drives nearly 1 in 3 motorists to knowingly flout the law by using their devices while driving. Despite so many falling foul of ‘device driving’, 69% of people we surveyed believe the penalties are right for those caught in the act.

The top reason for using a phone, according to our research, is making or receiving a call (61%). Unsurprisingly, Google Maps came second, with 32% turning to their phones for navigation, whilst texting was number three for 32%. Whilst 25-44 year old drivers are more likely to use their phone while driving, 18-24 year-olds take a riskier approach and prefer to text.

There are a worrying amount of people who admit to browsing the internet while driving, with 18% of motorists saying they do this and 55-64 year-olds the most likely group to be guilty. Selecting music (14%) and checking social media (11%) are the other main distractions for drivers.

In March this year, penalties for holding and using a phone while driving increased to six points and a £200 fine, but this appears to not be enough to deter drivers from committing the crime. We’re calling all motorists to back the THINK! Campaign, run by the Department for Transport, and the RAC’s Be Phone Smart promise, both of which appeal to drivers to put their phones away while driving or switch their phones to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, to remove the distraction completely. For ultimate ease, Apple users running iOS 11 now have access via their phone dashboard to a new safety feature called ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’.

We have also created an online guide to help raise awareness of the issue, offering tips on how to ignore the distractions.

*Survey of 100 drivers conducted by Gorkana Surveys on behalf of Exchange and Mart

**http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html

Don’t fall victim to car clocking

Although there are very few legitimate reasons for a vehicle to have its mileage altered, there are an estimated 2.3 million cars in the UK that have been clocked, making it something used car buyers need to watch out for. Clocking is used by dodgy sellers to wind back the mileage on a vehicle and crank up its value, but it has other serious ramifications over and above creating a false mileage reading and an inflated price tag. Techniques used by modern clockers are impacting crucial readings in Engine Control Units (ECUs), potentially leading to both safety and legal issues.

Around 10% of all the modules in a modern car, such as the airbag, ABS and ignition, feed information into the central ECU system, and each time an event occurs – such as a faulty airbag warning – a ‘snapshot’ of the vehicle’s mileage will be recorded on these modules. Therefore, unless a vehicle’s mileage is wound back by a particularly ‘diligent’ and skilled clocker who alters the mileage readings on all potentially affected modules, in addition to the odometer, these will be out of sync. This conflict between the cars electronics could interfere with the normal routines for service and repair, ultimately leading to safety issues. What’s more, a manufacturer’s warranty may be invalid if the car is found to be clocked.

There are legal consequences too in the event of an accident, as on board computers store information on a vehicle’s speed, which can be used in evidence. After a vehicle’s been clocked, this data could be compromised, making it inadmissible as evidence.

What can you do to protect yourself? Follow our handy tips to help protect yourself when buying a used car.

OUR TIPS ON SPOTTING CAR CLOCKING

  • Check the service history – Check the mileages displayed in the service history and look for service stamps from a genuine dealer. Ideally the service invoices will accompany the service history. If in doubt, contact the servicing dealers and check the mileages they recorded at the time of the service.
  • Speak to the previous keeper – Get in contact with the previous keeper (details can be found on the V5/logbook). They can identify the mileage of the vehicle when they sold it. Make sure this adds up with the current mileage.
  • Trust your judgement – Check who the car was last registered to on the V5. Was it registered as a company car but has done less than 12,000 miles per year? Or is it 15 years old with only 20,000 on the clock? Look for any evidence that indicates clocking.
  • Check the mileage – It has been known for clockers to wind back the mileage when you first view the vehicle and then return it to its original reading once the transaction is complete. Make sure you check the mileage is the same when you pick up the vehicle.
  • Look for signs of wear and tear – Does the wear and tear on the vehicle match its mileage? Be careful to look out for signs such as worn seats, steering wheels and other vehicle parts. Also look out for brand new easily replaceable parts; the wear and tear should be consistent with the vehicle’s displayed mileage.
  • Conduct a vehicle provenance check – A provenance check will confirm what the mileage of the vehicle should be according to legitimate service and MOT records. Prices start from £1.99 but the higher priced vehicle history checks come with a Guarantee for financial peace of mind, should the information they provide prove to be inaccurate.

* Source Cap HPI October 2017

Know your pre-reg from your MPG – car jargon explained

Appreciation: This is where a vehicle’s value increases over time. Something that’s reserved for rare and classic cars.

Depreciation: Something that every other car suffers – the amount by which its value decreases over time.

Delivery mileage: Cars will often be advertised with ‘delivery miles’. It means they’re new, but will have usually fewer than 100 miles on the clock.

Pre-reg: Car dealers have quotas to meet and often fill them by pre-registering cars before they sell them. This means that the car is new, but is already registered. So, if it’s been sitting in a showroom for six months, for example, its plate might be from the previous registration cycle and not the current one.

Used: Cars that have had one or more previous owner.

FDSH: This stands for full dealer service history and is what it says on the tin – the car has always been serviced by a registered dealer. FSH – full service history – means the car has been serviced according to its timetable but it could have been done by an independent garage, for example.

HPI check: This is a vehicle history checking service. It tells you things like whether the car has ever been in an accident, or stolen, or been deemed a write-off by insurers.

CO2: This is the carbon dioxide output of a car – ie what comes out of the exhaust. It’s measured in grams per kilometre and all new cars pay different levels of tax depending on the output – the lower, the cheaper.

Road tax bands: Cars pay a certain amount of tax every year depending on how much CO2 they emit.

MPG: This is miles per gallon – the benchmark for how efficient a car is. The higher the MPG, the more miles you get from every tank of fuel you fill up with. There are different types – urban is the car’s city average; extra urban is the car’s rural roads average and combined is a mix – it’s also the one to use for comparison.

Range: When it comes to electric cars, this is how far they go, basically, between charges. It can also be used to describe how far a petrol or diesel car will go between fill-ups.

List price/on the road price: This is basically how much a car is advertised at, with all costs and fees included. Savvy customers will treat it as a starting point from which to negotiate.

Segment: This refers to different types of cars, largely as follows:

  • City cars, for example the Volkswagen up!
  • Superminis, for example the Ford Fiesta
  • Small family, for example the Honda Civic
  • Large family, for example the BMW 3-Series
  • Executive, for example the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • Luxury, for example the BMW 7-Series
  • Sports, anything from an Audi TT to a Ferrari
  • MPVs, also known as people carriers, such as the Vauxhall Zafira
  • SUVs/4x4s, anything from a Renault Captur to a Range Rover

 

EV: An electric vehicle.

Crossover: An increasingly popular type of SUV, based on a car platform.

Hybrid: A car that’s powered by a mix of petrol and electric power.

PHEV: A Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, a car that uses a hybrid setup, with the added function that the battery can be charged from a plug, rather than being charged by the engine.

SUV: A sports utility vehicle, generally a 4×4 that has off-road capability and looks, although often designed to perform best on the road.

Transmission: The type of gearbox used in a car – ie manual (with a clutch) or automatic (without a clutch). Semi-automatics allow the driver to change gear manually, but without a clutch.

VIN: The Vehicle Identification Number – this is a unique number given to all vehicles when they are built. It is logged on the car’s registration document and is used to check its history.

Dream Cars On Any Budget

Up to £2,000

Toyota Celica: A rally hero and sporty looking thing, you can pick one up for less than £1,000, let alone £2,000, although nearer to that price will get you a newer one. Then again, the older version is arguably better looking and has more pedigree thanks to those rally exploits.

Toyota Celica

Audi Cabriolet: Made famous by Princess Diana, this is a bit of a 90s icon. And it’s aged very well – it still looks cool. You can have one for less than £1,000 if you’re really lucky, but you can certainly get a good one for less than £2,000. A modern classic, without a doubt.

BMW 7 Series: There’s something pretty cool about a 1980s/1990s BMW and, incredibly, you can have a mighty 7 Series from that era for less than £2,000. That’s a lot of car, with a lot of mod cons, for not a lot of money.

BMW 7 series

£5,000 to £10,000

Porsche Boxster: 20 or so years ago it made Porsche accessible to a whole new range of buyers and now it’s a bargain – and will probably become more and more sought-after. It might not be a 911, but it’s got the Porsche DNA that makes it a cracking driver’s car.

Porsche boxer

Mercedes-Benz CLS 500: A nice bit of executive four-door coupe for less than £10k? Can’t be bad. A car that combines style with performance and luxury. Not a combo you’d expect to get for so little cash, but you can have one that’s less than 10 years old for less than £10,000.

Mercedes-Benz CLS

Mazda MX5: One of the best sports cars of the past couple of decades and, if you can’t afford a new one, you can have plenty of driving pleasure for not a lot of money. The MX5 is a perfectly balanced smile-on-your-face two-seater.

Mazda MX-5

£10,000 to £15,000

Vauxhall VX220: It might be nowhere near as well-remembered as the first-generation Lotus Elise, but the VX220 shared pretty much everything with that car and it’s just as good. Make no mistake, this is a stripped back sports car made purely for driving pleasure. It’s tight, direct and full-on. There are plenty around for less than £15,000 and even some below £10,000.

Vauxhall VX200

Range Rover: While new ones can easily cost north of £100k these days, there are plenty around on the second-hand market for a fraction of that. Kitted out to the hilt, endlessly capable off-road and full of practicality. The Rangie is all the car you’ll ever need. You can have one that’s eight or nine years old for less than £15,000.

Range Rover

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution: A 1990s rally hero to many, the Lancer Evo has a cult following and spent much of the 1990s battling it out around the globe with the Subaru Impreza for world championship glory. And as a road car it’s a masterpiece, with bundles of power and four-wheel-drive-powered handling. It’s always looked amazing, too.

Mitsubishi Lancer

£20,000 to £40,000

Bentley Turbo R: This is one way to get a serious amount of car for not a lot of money. Most people don’t think they will ever own a Bentley, but it’s definitely doable. A late-1990s low-mileage model can be had for less than £25,000. Higher-milers even slip into the sub-£20,000 bracket.

Bentley Turbo

Aston Martin DB9: Given that Aston only stopped making this legendary car last year, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d need six figures to be driving one away. But no – a DB9 of around 10 years old can be bagged for less than £40,000 these days. That’s not a lot for a snarling V12 GT.

Aston Marton DB9

Lottery win

Well, where to start? Well, we guess, how about the most expensive new cars on sale right now?

Topping the bill currently is the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita. Less-than-catchy name aside, one of the reasons for the price tag of £3.6million is the fact that diamond dust-impregnated resin is used in its exterior finish. You also get a 4.8-litre, 1,000hp V8 with two superchargers under the bonnet. 

For those looking for something even more outlandish looks-wise, step forward the £3.4million Lamborghini Veneno. That’ll get you a 6.4-litre V12 with 740hp.

In third place is the slightly lesser-known W Motors Lykan Hypersport, at a cool £2.5million. It boasts a 3.7-litre twin-turbo flat-six with 770hp.

If you’re looking for a new car visit www.exchangeandmart.co.uk and www.s1cars.com