James Rup­pert

Handy al­ter­na­tives to car fi­nance

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - James Rup­pert

£3000 for fi­nance looks steep. You can buy a car for that

Used car buy­ers want an easy life, which is fair enough, ex­cept that I think that the process never ought to be too pain­less. Af­ter all, if you get com­pla­cent, that’s when mis­takes get made.

Any­way, I no­tice that there are more com­pa­nies pil­ing into the ‘guar­an­teed on­line sale with added easy fi­nance’ mar­ket. This is noth­ing new; over the years, I’ve looked at count­less e-com­merce ven­tures that tried to make the whole used car buy­ing thing less stress­ful. Many of those com­pa­nies no longer op­er­ate.

Let’s look at the in­gre­di­ents of one I stum­bled across the other day. For starters, it of­fered ve­hi­cles that had un­der­gone a pro­fes­sional in­spec­tion, which is good. The prices of the ve­hi­cles on­line were pre­sented as monthly costs, then a per­sonal loan ro­bot did all the fi­nan­cial ru­mi­nat­ing on your be­half once you had en­tered all your de­tails.

Now I un­der­stand why some of us need loans to buy cars and there may be some very good rea­sons to do so. How­ever, I would like to po­litely sug­gest that, ide­ally, we ought to save up and spend what we’ve got, rather than pay in­ter­est.

The site I looked at was very good and easy to use, but when I found a 2016 Vaux­hall As­tra 1.4 petrol in Elite trim with 12,000 miles on the clock at £162.91pcm, it seemed too good to be true. You had to put £100 down and the bal­ance was to be paid over a mere 84 months. So you’d be fi­nanc­ing the car’s over­all cost of £10,900 at 6.9% and the ac­tual cost of bor­row­ing was £2784.44. Ob­vi­ously you could ad­just all the el­e­ments, such as the size of de­posit and the num­ber of months for re­pay­ments, but al­most three grand for the fi­nance looks steep. Surely we can buy a clean, in­spected car out­right for that?

For £2500, a cute Hyundai i10 1.1 Edi­tion from 2010 with 80,000 miles, in­clud­ing re­cov­ery and a six­month war­ranty, is a good way to stay re­as­sur­ingly mo­bile. Plus, the car I found was in­spected to the same stan­dard as the ve­hi­cles of­fered by the on­line peo­ple.

Not everyone can cram their fam­ily into a tiny Hyundai, so maybe the Honda FR-V will do. It was prop­erly in­spected and, de­spite com­ing from 2006, was up for al­most £2600. It had 98k miles on the clock and was a diesel in Sport trim.

Is there any­thing re­ally in­ter­est­ing out there? Well, I rather liked a sporty Honda Civic in the shape of a 1.8 I-VTEC SE. Com­ing in at £2600, it had two pre­vi­ous own­ers who had run it up to 90,000 miles with plenty of care and at­ten­tion.

Many on­line com­pa­nies prom­ise to take the fuss out of car buy­ing, but you end up pay­ing more. Think wisely and you can save a bun­dle.

Put a used Hyundai i10 on your drive for less than £3000

Dis­tinc­tive Honda FR-V makes for a good value holdall

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.