Top 10 Car Theme Tunes To Add To Your Road Trip Playlist

With so many classic road trip songs to choose from it was no easy task, but here’s our top 10, essential for any successful road trip.

Little red corvette – Prince

Ok so the title says it all, a catchy tune that will have you imagining you’re behind the wheel of something a little bit sportier!

 

Life is a highway – Tom Cochrane

A great one to get everyone singing along to, covered by a few different artists in its time, the kids might remember it from the movie ‘Cars’ – guaranteed crowd pleaser.

 

Fast car – Tracy Chapman

Everyone knows the words to this song, whether they like to admit it or not. Perfect for a more chilled out drive through the country.

 

Greased lightning – Grease

Unleash your inner Danny Zuko, slick back your hair and brush off those old dance moves for this one – well save the dance moves for the final destination. 

 

Shut up and drive – Rihanna

A more modern classic but still pretty iconic, with the engine roars, tyre screeches and tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

 

Paradise by the dashboard light – Meatloaf

At over 8 minutes long, you might want to save this for a longer part of your journey to fully appreciate it. Perfect for a little dashboard duet.

 

I’m gonna be (500 miles) – The Proclaimers

So, we’re not ones for walking much, especially not 1000 miles so how about a drive instead? Guaranteed to lighten up even the longest of journeys.

 

Jump in my car – David Hasselhoff

Not heard of this one? Not to be taken so seriously, especially when you see the video, but a fun song for everyone to enjoy and have a chuckle at.

 

Mustang Sally – The Commitments

You can’t have a road trip soundtrack without Mustang Sally. Originally by Wilson Pickett back in 1966, it’s been covered a few times but our favourite is this version by The Commitments.

 

Route 66 – Chuck Berry

Named after one of the world’s most iconic roads, the song takes you through the full journey, from Chicago to L.A. So sit back and get your kicks down Route 66.

Has our soundtrack got you thinking of a new car? Check out our range of used cars throughout the UK at www.exchangeandmart.co.uk and www.s1cars.com

Car Finance Explained

While most of us might have once had to settle for an old banger because it was all we could afford, todays finance deals mean that getting into a new car is more accessible than ever.

There are pros and cons, though, versus buying outright.

Here we look at the different types of finance on offer to help you decide which is right for you.

Leasing

These types of deals are hugely popular and it’s not hard to see why – it’s an easy way to drive away a new car if you can’t afford to buy one outright.

This is basically a long-term rental – you make fixed monthly payments to use the car until the contract expires.

There are two types, known as personal contract hire (PCH) and personal contract purchase (PCP).

The payments are generally lower than other types of finances, but there’s often a mileage restriction – you pay a one-off charge at the end if you exceed it.

The difference between the two is that with PCH you simply hand the car back at the end of the term.

With PCP there is the option of buying the car by making a final ‘balloon payment’.

If you don’t do that you can simply hand the car back, or negotiate another deal for a new one.

There’s no denying that this is an easy way to drive a new car – with few maintenance costs to pay while you have it – and it means you can switch cars every few years.

Personal loan

This is arguably more simple than PCP, but less flexible.

While PCP agreements can have lower monthly payments over a shorter amount of time because you often won’t be paying for the full value of the car, with a personal loan you will.

These are straightforward loans with a bank where you borrow the amount of money you need for your car and pay it back monthly, usually over several years.

The plus point here is that you will own the car because you will be buying it outright with the money lent to you.

But, because you are borrowing all of the money needed for that car, your monthly repayments are going to be higher, and probably over a longer period of time, than if you did hire purchase.

The total amount, however, would be lower overall.

Personal loans usually offer the lowest interest rates, but any issues with your credit score could make it difficult to get one.

Hire purchase

This doesn’t happen much these days because of the popularity of leasing deals, but it’s pretty straightforward.

There will be a deposit, often around 10 per cent of the car’s value, and you make fixed monthly payments until the full value of the car is paid off.

At that point, you own the car, simple as that.

This could be a good option if you have a certain amount of money saved up to put down as a deposit but don’t have enough to buy outright.

Credit card

One advantage to using a credit card is that you’ll have extra protection on the full purchase cost of the car, as long as you pay at least £100 of it by card and meet your monthly card payments.

The drawbacks are that credit card interest rates will be higher – often much higher – than the rates for personal loans, hire purchase, or lease deals. Make sure you compare like-for-like APR.

If, however, you have a 0% or low interest rate offer on the card it could work out nicely if you can afford to repay it before the offer ends.

Finally, some dealers will charge a credit fee, often around 3%, which will add to the cost.

Cash

It’s pure and simple, this one. If you have the money, buy it outright. There will be no interest rates, final payments or extra fees.

The only negative is that you won’t get the same protection that you get when buying with a credit card.

So, which one is best?

It’s all about personal circumstances – how much money you have to spend both up front and on a monthly basis, how long you want the car for and whether you want to own it or change it every few years. Remember taking out any kind of finance can affect your credit rating and have other implications if you fail to keep up the payments. Make sure you are making an informed decision before agreeing any deals.

Hopefully we’ve made it easier for you to decide.

Turn Heads With Our Most Eye-Catching Cars

Choosing a car can be difficult, especially with the choice on offer. So, if fashion and style are your thing, we’ve picked out the most eye-catching cars we have, based on some popular trends hitting the runway, or road.

A pop of colour

The colour of your car can be really important, it can turn something ordinary into something spectacular.

Have a look at this bold pink Fiat 500 from one of our dealers in Leicestershire. Fiat 500 are continuing to be a popular choice and are regularly seen in a variety of eye-catching colours. This pink shade will certainly ensure you stand out from the rest. It’s an ideal first car and has been kept in great condition, with only one previous owner and is less than £6,000!

Pink not your thing? How about a nice neon green? Under that bright paint job is a powerful 3.0 litre diesel engine, so not only looks good but will sound great. You’ll certainly get noticed around town! This Automatic BMW 3 Series has only 30 miles on the clock and is based at one of our dealers in Glasgow. No doubt a popular deal already, so contact the dealer today.

Bold patterns

Although the kind of patterns hitting the runway recently have been a bit more floral and feminine, we couldn’t resist showing off this truly unique car. As car makes go, Lamborghini is pretty eye-catching already but with this camouflage wrap you’ll definitely turn heads. Complete with leather interior, scissor doors and carbon fibre accents, the £289,990 price tag is totally justifiable.

Vintage

At Exchange and Mart, we’re known for being experts in classic and vintage cars, so we had plenty to choose from for this trend.

As the oldest car on our site, the Overland 79TE is the definition of vintage. For being over 100 years old, it’s in pretty good condition and is looking for a loving new owner. A perfect collector’s item.

What’s more fashion than the Ford Model A? This stunning hot rod is available for just under £25,000 and has been restored to pristine condition. It comes with its original steel body and leather interior, plus it drives like a dream! Why not bring a little Hollywood in to your life?

Luxury

We all know fashion can sometimes come with a hefty price tag, so we’re going from the oldest car on our site to the most expensive!

For a cool £1.5 million, you can drive away with this 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach from one of our dealers based in Leeds. It really must be seen and driven to be truly appreciated, perfect for an avid petrol head.

 Hunting for your dream car? Maybe one of these has caught your eye. Why not use our new shortlist feature to create a dream car wishlist?

Search our full range of cars at www.exchangeandmart.co.uk and www.s1cars.com

Perfect Cars For First Time Buyers

Every major manufacturer wants a slice of the first-timers market and they all offer tempting deals to bag them.

It’s about price, of course, but the cars that are aimed at first-time buyers, especially young first-time buyers, are also packed with kit and customisation options.

Many first-time buyers will be looking at monthly deals rather than buying outright, so here we’ll look at some great options and what they cost both upfront and per month.

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

Kia Picanto

Kia has come a long way since it came to the UK with the Pride in 1991, but the ethos of basic, cheap, motoring still holds true with its successor, the Picanto.

It’s functional, still cheap – you can have one for as little as £9,450 – and offers basic, affordable motoring, but with a 2017 spin.

And it’s still got plenty of charm and is a fun little city car.

For first-time buyers it’s a gem, packed with standard spec.

That means electric front windows, USB socket, auto headlights, hill-start assist, split folding rear seats and six airbags.

For another £1,300, you can add air con, electric rear windows, Bluetooth, heated mirrors, leather trim, alloys and body-coloured bumpers and door handles to that list.

To drive it’s light and lively, even if the base 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, 66bhp engine has to be worked a fair bit

The manual gearbox is light and easy – a four-speed auto is also available – as is the handling, which is precise with little roll.

Kia doesn’t go big on the monthly payment deals, but with a bit of digging you can be driving a Picanto for as little as around £100 a month.

 

Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108

 

If you didn’t know already, these three cars are pretty closely related – sharing the same underpinnings and many parts.

So, really, it’s down to which badge you want.

All three are great little city cars – small, nimble, light and easy to drive – making them ideal for first-time buyers of course.

They’re offered with lively little engines that are great for nipping about and they have plenty of personalisation options inside and out for those looking to make their first car stand out.

And they can all be had on attractive finance deals.

The C1 can be found from as little as £109 per month, while both Toyota’s and Peugeot’s deals start at around £129.

To buy outright, the starts from £8,570, while the Aygo and 108 are both from £8,995.

               

VW up!/Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii

Another trio that are all tough to tell apart at a glance.

They are all part of the Volkswagen Group, of course, sharing the same platform and many parts.

And they’re all great little cars, offering a fun, economical package that will suit first-timers down to the ground.

Unless you’re craving the VW badge we’d recommend the bargain that is the Skoda, but the truth is any of three will serve you well so it’s down to your own preference.

The VW starts at £9,135 outright, while the SEAT is £9,795 and the Skoda £8,635.

Monthly deals can be had from £105 on the up!, £149 on the Mii and £119 on the Citigo.

                 

Renault Twingo

A bit of Frenchness is hard to resist – and the Twingo has it in spades.

It existed in France for many years before finally making a break in the UK in this carnation.

It’s cute, fun to drive and different – not least because of its unusual rear-wheel-drive, rear-engined setup.

It’s good-looking, bearing more than a passing resemblance to a Fiat 500, and is a five-door dressed up as a three-door, sharing the bigger Clio’s hidden handles.

The rear-drive, rear-engine configuration means that the handling takes a bit of getting used to – you have to remember where the weight is.

The front end feels lighter than usual, as you’d imagine, but get the hang of it and it’s good fun.

The interior is fun and individual and the engines are lively and frugal.

You can buy it outright from £9,995 and there are monthly deals starting from around £129.

 

Vauxhall Corsa

If ever there was a go-to car for first-timers, the Vauxhall Corsa is it.

Chances are you might have even learnt to drive in one – they’ve always been a favourite of driving schools.

And the other appeal is that Vauxhall often has great finance offers going.

At the moment, for example, you can currently have one for £185 a month.

The other good news is that the Corsa has come on in leaps and bounds over the previous generation.

The latest Corsa is now nearly three years in to what is probably going to be an eight-year lifespan if previous experience is anything to go by.

The interior is much better than before, with quality materials and switchgear and a nice touch screen infotainment system.

There are lively and efficient engines to be had as well.

If you want to buy one outright, prices start from £10,635.

The Future Is Electric And Everyone Is Plugging In

And that’s because governments are getting tough on emissions and climate change.

This summer two major European countries – France and then the UK – said that they’d be banning the sales of new petrol and diesel cars in the not-too-distant future.

And so things have just got serious.

Here we look at what’s changing, why it’s changing and what the future holds. If you’re looking for a new car visit www.exchangeandmart.co.uk/new-cars and www.s1cars.com/new-cars

 

Why does it all seem to be ramping up now?

While most car makers have been working away on an electric future for some years – most offer at least one model already – things have taken on a renewed impetus because two major European countries have made landmark announcements.

Both the UK and France have said that they will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 in a bid to clean up the atmosphere.

This is a big deal – given that electric cars still make up a relatively small slice of car sales things have got to change pretty quickly.

 

Who’s doing what?

All of a sudden some of the biggest manufacturers in the world seem to be making landmark announcements when it comes to electric.

In the past month or two a lot of the big names have set out their stalls for the future. Mercedes says it plans to sell electric cars in the future and they’ll be branded as EQ models. The firm has already unveiled its EQ concept SUV and is rumoured to be showing off a hatchback at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Production won’t be far off – likely 2019.

BMW is going all out, too. In July it said: “The company has announced that all brands and model series can be electrified, with a full-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain being offered in addition to the combustion engine option, “Additional electrified models will be brought to market in the coming years and beyond 2020, the company’s next generation vehicle architecture will enable further fully-electric vehicles.” It’s also said that the new fully electric MINI will go into production in 2019 – at the plant in Oxford – meaning that the range will include electric, petrol, diesel and a plug-in hybrid.

Volvo, as we’ve already reported, has said that every new car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor. It’ll mean a mix of fully electric, hybrid and plug-in 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 Cars’ performance car arm.

Even the performance brands are on board, with Porsche progressing its use of electricity further from its 918 hybrid supercar. The Porsche Mission E is set to be in production in the next few years, with prototypes built and summer testing being done before harsh winter testing gets under way. Porsche says the car will sit below the Panamera and will manage a 300+ mile range and charge in just 15 minutes. And this is no cheap stunt to lower average brand emissions – Porsche wants to sell 20,000 a year and is planning a high-performance version too.

Tesla, meanwhile – the firm that was there on the ground floor when it came to building sporty electric cars with a decent range – continues its development apace with the Model X and Model 3 complementing its ground-breaking Model S.

These are just some of the more recent game-changing announcements, of course. As we know, practically every manufacturer has an electric model, or at least a hybrid, in their current range and that will only grow.

 

And motorsport is changing too

It’s long been said in car circles that if you win on a Sunday, you sell on a Monday. And it clearly still stands, as manufacturers are making big moves with their motorsport participation.

Everyone is piling into Formula E – the all-electric single-seater race series. Audi, DS, Jaguar and Renault are already there and they’re set to be joined in 2019 by Mercedes-Benz. Fiat is also looking to join Formula E – most likely before 2022, racing under either Fiat, Alfa Romeo or Maserati.

Perhaps even more significant is the fact that Mercedes is leaving its home country’s touring car series – the DTM – at the end of 2018, while Porsche is leaving the World Endurance Championship to focus on its electric future. And there’s a whole new series coming too – The Electric GT Championship. It’s due to launch in November 27, with teams using a modified Tesla P100D Model S – though it’s open to other manufacturers, who are sure to join later on.

 

So what’s next?

Expect more announcements as the big players vie to stay one step ahead of each other. This is just the beginning – electric cars are going to get better and better. We can expect to see faster charging times, longer ranges and more exciting performance. We’ve already seen that electric doesn’t have to mean boring – far from it. The future is different, sure, but it doesn’t have to be any less exciting.

It really is a seminal time in the history of cars.

What Optional Extras You Should Buy For Your New Car

We understand how long the list of optional extras can be and we want to help you with your choice. Not everything in the optional extras list will add value to the car and some extras will help the car keep depreciation at a minimum (depending on the state of the car). Here are our top 5 must buys and 5 you should think twice when choosing optional extras for your next new car:

Top 5 options you must buy:

  1. Parking Sensors
    Parking sensors add a lot of value to the car as they help you to keep the car safe when you park and reverse away as it will let you know in a series of beeps. In some models there will be a screen graphic and a parking camera to show you how close you are to an object.

  2. Bluetooth
    With new cars integrated with the latest tech, Bluetooth connectivity is a must have and you will be able to integrate your smartphone to either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (which is sold separately to Bluetooth depending on make and model).

  3. Buy a Spare Wheel
    Most cars these days come with a foam tyre inflator which can only be used once and once used, you need to pay to replace it at the dealership. On the other hand, a spare tyre does not need replacing each time you are forced to change a wheel and is easier to maintain.

  4. Alloy Wheels
    It is a little known fact that having a set of alloy wheels different from the standard set adds presence and character away from similar style models therefore when it comes to selling the car on – you will get more money than a car with normal standard alloys or steel wheels.

  5. Purchase a Service Plan
    Not a visible extra you can have but a service plan is necessary for any new car – the price will pay for itself throughout the plan you have paid for. If you don’t have a service plan then the price to service a car over a 3 year period will be at least 3 times more expensive and that doesn’t take into account any nasty surprises.

Top 5 options you should think twice:

  1. Leather Seats
    If you are buying an expensive luxury car you probably want leather seats.  But for everyday cars these seats will make the wear and tear clearly more visible especially with children around.

  2. Sat Nav
    We live in the age of the smartphone and there are lots of apps you can use as a sat nav such as Waze and HERE WeGo (both have speed limits and real time traffic info). You can also buy standalone sat navs which start from £35.

  3. Xenon/LED lights
    Your car comes with bright headlights as standard therefore there is no need to make the headlights brighter with xenon or LED lights as these can dazzle other drivers.

  4. Keyless Entry
    You should seriously reconsider if you want keyless entry as there has been a string of thefts and security concerns. This has led to some insurance companies requiring assurances that the car will be kept in a garage or in a secure car park, or in some cases decline to insure the car.

  5. Any bodywork enhancements
    Car manufacturers always allow you the chance to add special items such as a rear roof spoiler or mud flaps however these additional body panels are not given so much extra value.

Signing off an agreement to purchase a new car

When you buy a car and take into consideration on what options you want to have, it might be worth researching what each trim gives you as standard. This in turn will help you see what you are getting for each trim and it might be better off to spend that little more on other additional items. Check out on the amazing deals for buying a new car today at Exchange and Mart / s1cars.