Monday 26 October 2009

How to sell a used car - advice from The Good Garage Scheme

Top Ten Tips from The Good Garage Scheme for selling your used car

1. Make your used car look great, sounds obvious but cleaning your car inside and out can make it easier to sell and get you a better price.
2. Have your documents ready. Buyers will want to see your log book (V5) and MOT as well as any receipts, service records and handbooks.
3. Price your car sensibly; an overpriced used car will put potential buyers off. Check online or use a car price guide to gauge the market.
4. Decide where to advertise, whether in local classifieds and/or reach a wider market online. List any faults or extras in your advert and answer any questions honestly.
5. Get your paperwork in order. Your used car will sell easier if it has a recent MOT and has been serviced. Make sure it is taxed so the buyer can drive away. Get any minor faults fixed before advertising your car.
6. Expect to haggle on price but don't accept a price lower than you are happy with. If you're not confident seeing buyers alone, ask a friend to join you.
7. Provide a receipt stating your second hand car is "sold as seen" and keep a signed copy for yourself.
8. Post the paperwork once the car is sold and make sure the new owner has provided their details and signed the V5 owner's document.
9. Always accompany prospective buyers on a test drive when selling a used car. Ask if their insurance covers them to drive other cars and ask to see a copy of their insurance.
10. Once you've agreed a deal never hand over your car until you have received payment. Check that any cash payment is genuine and wait for a cheque payment to clear before you part with your keys.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Smarter Driving Tips and Advice

Through the Good Garage Scheme website, we support the ACT ON CO2 campaign by communicating smarter driving tips to remind drivers how they can continue to reduce their carbon footprint after their engine has been cleaned.

Dashboard Warning Lights

Brake system and ABS warning lights

If both warning lights illuminate at the same time when driving, stop the vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so.

Reduce vehicle speed gradually and immediately move the vehicle to a safe location. Use the brakes with great care. Do not step on the brake pedal abruptly. Seek assistance.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Vehicle maintenance tips

  1. Carrying spare bulbs for your car is always very handy. In fact, on mainland Europe it's compulsory to carry an emergency bulb kit. Just put them in your boot and make sure your owner's manual is handy so you know how to fit them.

  2. Try to avoid hitting your tyres against kerbs, especially when parking. It can cause the tyre to weaken without showing any damage on the outside.

  3. Check your spare tyre from time to time you never know when you might need it. And it's an offence to fit a spare that's not roadworthy.

  4. We recommend you change your wiper blades every six months, even if they haven't been used very often. This is because the rubber deteriorates over time when exposed to the atmosphere.

We'll leave you to decide whether these tips work for you or not. However, please let common sense prevail at all times.

Wednesday 7 October 2009

How to avoid a breakdown

Car drivers may be able to avoid an unnecessary breakdown if they familiarise themselves with their owner's handbook and have their vehicle serviced regularly.
The most common faults the RAC find when attending a breakdown are caused by a lack of maintenance or understanding of the car's systems. For example, a simple routine like checking your tyres for damage and the correct pressure, as recommended by the manufacturer, may prevent you from returning to your vehicle to find a flat tyre or - even worse - experiencing a blow out on the motorway.

RAC top ten breakdowns
The top ten faults and % of total callouts

1. Battery (flat or non-serviceable) - 17.51%
2. Tyre(s) - 9.20%
3. Engine - 4.63%
4. Lockouts - 3.32%
5. Alternator - 2.76%
6. Fuel - 2.71%
7. Starter motor - 2.28%
8. Cylinder head gasket - 1.94%
9. Clutch - 1.66%
10. ECU - Engine Management System - 1.43%

A self help tip for the number one problem
Flat battery
If your vehicle will not start, it may well be due to a faulty battery. If your engine tries to turn over it may not be completely dead. Check to see if any interior or exterior lights, mobile phone or your entertainment system are left on. If they are, turn them off. Leave the car standing for 20 minutes. Do not try to restart your car during that period because 20 minutes is usually the minimum time to allow the battery to regain enough power to start up the engine. Do get into the habit of turning off all controls - including lights, the heated rear window, and radio - before turning off the engine once parked up for the night. This will extend the life of your battery and reduce the chance of a flat battery.