New Car!

April 30, 2015 Posted by admin

As you know me and the wife went on a trip away last September for 6 months to see a bit of Europe, We got rid of the Lexus GS to help with a bit of extra spending money and leased a bigger car instead. However that lease is now coming to an end and we are looking at getting a new car. When I say new car, I’m not excluding second hand ones, just pointing out that it will be new for us. I do wan a practical car but i don’t want it to be too big, after driving one around Europe for 6 months I’ve realised I’m not a huge fan of huge cars, I was thinking something like the second hand Mercedes Benz GLA Class, though there is something about it I am not so sure about, it looks a bit cartoony or something, but I do love the interior.

The five seat Hyundai Santa Fe was another one that caught my eye, though it is a bit bigger it has racked up some pretty decent reviews and it is a fair bit cheaper than the Merc, especially if you get a second hand Hyundai Santa Fe.  Basically I don’t want a saloon or a hatchback, a 4×4 or a crossover would suit me to a t, maybe even a estate model, they are looking a lot better these days. The Volvo V60 for example, I remember back in the day Volvo estates were some of the most hideous vehicles on the planet, looking like they were modeled on a cardboard box. The Volvo V60 is kind of a crossover estate, a bit more rounded than the older ones, however as it is a relatively new car, even the second hand Volvo V60 options are pretty expensive.

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Back Again

April 29, 2015 Posted by admin

Its been a while, after a busy year for Garten Rothkopf of marriage and European Road Trips I am back. Since getting home I have been selling many cars, which is obviously great news, but now I feel like a rest so I have reduced the amount of stock coming in and am going to put my feet up for a bit, and devote a bit more time to myself, rather than selling the second hand Nissan Qahqai+2 that I see from my office as I write this. Not exactly the Lambos I used to dream about selling, but hey, it is profitable. I guess not many people are in the market for a Lambo or a Ferrari, whilst the profit margin is bigger, I prefer feeling busy, I guess it is similar to sitting in a traffic jam knowing that it will take less time, or taking back roads unobstructed even though it will end up taking long, I’m more of a back street kind of guy. That is why the other car i can see from my office is a second hand Ford S-Max, could my forecourt be any more dull….

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I’m not sure what the point of this post is, other than to let you know I am back, and am going to try and start writing on this web page again, as I now have the time… Hopefully. Speak to you soon. Garten

Daughters First Car

August 27, 2014 Posted by admin

My daughter is fast approaching her 17th birthday and she has passed her driving test so it seems to be my task to buy her first car. I’ve looked at a few of the more obvious cars like the Fiat 500 but I’m thinking they might be a little on the expensive side for a first car.

Don’t get me wrong, I want her to have a nice one but my eldest wasn’t exactly a saint in her first car and to say it had a few scrapes would be an understatement. I had a little look over her should whilst she was on the computer yesterday morning and saw she was looking at a second hand Audi TT. So I then did some research myself and I’m thinking it might not be the best choice for a first car as it is more performance oriented, not to mention they can also be pretty expensive.

I also happen to know she is pretty fond of an Audi A3 that belongs to our neighbour but I doubt she would expect a car of that calibre for her first, but I’m thinking something of similar size might do the trick. She’s been practicing in my wife’s second hand Chevrolet Spark and seems happy enough in that but again they lean a little on the expensive side at £3000- £4000.

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So far my favourite is an Orange Citroen C3 I came across on gumtree for around the £1000 mark, let’s just hope Kelly likes it and didn’t have her heart set on the Audi TT.

The unluckiest driver I know!

July 9, 2014 Posted by admin

A little story about my pal Craig: He has recently purchased himself a second hand Audi A1 which was already outside of his budget, but he thought the extra money was worth it for the car he was getting. Less than a week after buying his Audi A1 he was running late for a meeting at work, and in his haste drove a little recklessly.

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He steamed into the car park and smashed straight into his boss’s car, now they didn’t have the best relationship as it was, but the fact that he’d smashed up the bonnet of her newly bought BMW 1-Series has really put the cherry on top.

Luckily there wasn’t much damage on his beloved Audi, nevertheless he took it to the garage to get it checked out. Unfortunately he hadn’t quite got to grips with the handbrake, and as he was in the garage asking where he should leave his car, a panicked look spread across the receptionist’s face, whose eyes fixed on the Audi, as it began rolling down the hill. Not long after the car was out of site they heard a crash.

Fortunately no one was hurt, but as was Craig’s luck, his Audi managed to roll into a Ferrari F355, possibly the most expensive car to ever drive up the road he was on. It was a second hand Ferrari F355 but a Ferrari nevertheless.

European Road Trip

July 9, 2014 Posted by admin

Morning all, just a quick one, the fiancée and I are off on a road trip to Europe for our honeymoon come September, and we were wondering if any of our beloved followers could suggest a good way of getting a vehicle sorted for the trip.

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We are planning on doing 6 months in total and we are doing 4 months of the 6 with another couple so it might be an idea to get a larger car as we will need to carry tents as well. We have considered taking the Lexus GS but are thinking it might be a bit pushed for space especially if we have a problem with the tents/weather and need to sleep in the car, not to mention if we fancy picking up the odd hitch hiker or two.

 

Catherine’s mother has a contract hire Renault Grand Scenic which is the kind of thing we are after, plenty of space, comfortable and practical with folding seats etcetera. But two rows of seats should suffice. We were wondering if anybody knows of a cheap way of having a vehicle for just six months as rentals look pretty steep and to be honest we aren’t too keen on the idea of being a cheap second hand car and having the agro of selling it back to a garage at the end of a trip as we have read a lot of stories of people having the last few weeks of their holiday ruined because they were busy/worrying about selling the car. Here it wouldnt be so bad because of sites like CarDealerLocator or WeBuyAnyCar where you can just find a list of dealers who will buy cars off you but god knows if they will have something like that in the country we end up, and even if they did, the language barrier will be a tricky one to navigate online.

 

A friend told us that leasing could be a good Idea so we have been looking at a few different contract leasing deals which last for 6 months so we looked into Volvo XC60 Leasing and second hand Volkswagen Touareg leasing but we couldn’t find any that only lasted for 6 months. Are 6 month lease contracts common with cars or am I wasting my time? Maybe he just meant rental rather than leasing.

 

On the other hand we will be needing a larger car sooner or later anyway, so we have considered selling the Lexus as a second hand Lexus GS and starting a 3 year contract Volkswagen Touareg leasing, and using it for our European road trip anyway. But before we committed to anything we thought we would try and get some advice from here.

Mercedes Benz CLS Review: The Rivals

July 9, 2014 Posted by admin

Hello and welcome to this exclusive look at the Mercedes Benz CLS’s rivals. The Mercedes Benz CLS has always found itself among stiff competition including the likes of the Audi A6 and other prestigious cars such as the Jaguar XF.

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It was introduced in 2003 as a concept in an attempt to create a seamless blend between saloon and coupe. The CLS was put into the production and the 4-door coupe picked up a fair bit of popularity, which was amplified by the fact that the CLS didn’t have any true competition at that time. It was a couple of years before the real competition arrived when BMW responded to the CLS with the BMW 5-Series GT.

There are some other competitors coming from outside of Germany. Whilst Cadillac isn’t a huge brand in the UK the Cadillac CTS is a luxury saloon that does well over seas, and if you fancy something a little different, then it is well worth considering. Another American rival comes in the form of the Infiniti M, it was produced to go directly against the Mercedes E-Class, yet it also treads on the toes of the CLS.

The Mercedes CLS itself isn’t a cheap car, as you can probably imagine. It’s on the road price currently starts at £47,610. If you were to get a second hand Mercedes-Benz CLS the price you can get a pretty good bargain, especially for model years 2010 and under.

German Cars

July 9, 2014 Posted by admin

When it comes to cars us Germans seem to have really got the knack, many roads are awash with Volkswagens, BMWs, Audis and Beamers, and it’s not because they are cheap, but because they have got such excellent reputations and are highly sort after. Here are some of our favourites.

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BMW 6 Series

The BMW 6-Series is the biggest car on offer from BMW and it has been designed to compete against the Audi S5, Porsche 911 and the Jaguar XK. The first thing that will strike you about the BMW 6-series is how good looking it is! The body shape is awesome and it offers a comfortable amount of room up front for the driver. As you would expect with a car like the 6-series the running costs very much depend upon which engine you opt for, the most efficient of the engines will give you a good 52.3 mile per gallon however if you go for the M6 model the mpg will pretty much get cut in half, though I guess that’s the price you pay for that superb performance.

BMW X6

The BMW X6 is an excellent feat of engineering and it looks like an absolute monster, like a coupe on steroids almost. Ultimately it is a bit of a mix up of a few different types of cars, a coupe a hatchback and a large SUV but it blends the 3 seamlessly as nothing feels forced. The unusual look of the BMW X6 sets it apart from its rivals immediately but it isn’t just a looker, it has a lot of brains too. It packs a lot of power, superb handling and it is fun to drive, yet it is very comfortable and spacious for when you get stuck in traffic.

Audi Q3

The Audi Q3 is another big German crossover that demands respect. It isn’t quite as menacing as the BMW X6, it is a little more discrete and perhaps classy. It is a little disappointing in terms of MPG and running costs, especially when you compare it to its main rival the Nissan Qashqai, but the build quality is top notch and really does reflect the German precision we hear so much about. You can adjust the steering wheel and the driver’s seat to your heart’s content so getting comfortable is by no means an issue. You also find plenty of luggage space in the Audi Q3 but none of this practicality sacrifices the quality of the ride with the slowest diesel engine able to hit 60mph in less than 10 seconds.

Audi A1

The Audi A1 is one of the most desirable superminis available today and is a testament to how far Audi has come over the last 10 years. The A1 has some tough competition in the Ford Fiesta, the MINI Cooper and the Citroen DS3 yet we feel that the A1 always comes out on top. You have the choice of some excellent engines which are all efficient and capable of superb performance. It is also a very reliable vehicle and has achieved a five star safety rating from Euro NCAP so there is not much to dislike about the Audi A1. The only thing that might put you off the Audi A1 is the price tag, though you do get something for that money that you don’t get in other superminis on the market, and that is the A1’s level of luxury and quality.

Mercedes Benz A Class

The latest A Class has gone in a different direction to the A Class’ that came before it as it has now moved away from its MPV, high roof hatchback look for a more sporty streamlined body type. We think it is the best looking of its German counterparts, the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. The Mercedes Benz A Class is a pleasure to drive and the handling is good though it can be a little unresponsive. As you can probably imagine it is a very practical car though the current generation isn’t quite as good in terms of practicality as the previous generations. What may come as a shock is how low the running costs are kept with the most economical engine capable of 78.5mpg!

Volkswagen Scirocco

The Scirocco is possibly our favourite car to feature on the list, it is a coupe which competes with the likes of the Audi TT and the Peugeot RCZ which you may not have guessed from looking at it as it does have a pretty unique look about it. Volkswagen are not strangers to unique looking cars, look at the Volkwagen Beetle for example, but it has been a while since VW brought something this fresh to the market. The Scirocco is affordable to run for the most part but the top spec Scirocco R looks like it might be pretty costly, in fact we would probably suggest you avoid the R model if you are considering a Volkswagen Scirocco, the lower spec models are more than capable and maybe even better in some instances.

Ford EcoSport goes European

February 25, 2013 Posted by admin

Ford have announced that the EcoSport SUV is going to break Europe, and the Ford Fiesta based SUV has been unveiled this week at a mobile tech show in Spain.

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The engines on offer with the Ford EcoSport consist of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost and a 1.5-litre. It is based on the Ford Fiesta and has so far cracked developing markets such as India and Brazil. The EcoSport doesn’t feature typical styling and is a bulky looking model and kind of bulbous so we are interested to see how it is received in the European market. If it is popular, regular servicing should help retain the value of the model.

It is set to arrive in Europe next year, harbouring some interesting new technology known as ‘SYNC AppLink’ which allows the driver to control their smartphone through voice commands and it is expected to cost around £14,000.

Defective cars on the rise

February 25, 2013 Posted by admin

Random checks across Hull and East Yorkshire have revealed that defective cars are all too common on British roads.

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It is no secret that many people are having their pockets stung by the current economic climate, and now it seems many are neglecting necessary maintenance on their cars in order to save a few quid. PC Keith Ward said: “We are finding, due to austerity, people are scrimping on things and we are seeing more vehicles with defects”. This is a result of people cutting back on regular maintenance work to avoid servicing costs, with people often holding out till there MoT to get things done.

Apparently the biggest offenders are car tyres and lights, which isn’t exactly surprising, I must admit my used Punto probably could have done with a few more trips to the garage. Drivers who are caught with defected cars are given vehicle defect form  allowing them 2 weeks to get the car repaired or else they will face a fine.