How to write the perfect used car advert

How to write the perfect used car advert

Writing a used car advert might sound simple, but you’d be surprised how many people get it wrong. You might have a perfect used car, but if the advert isn’t up to scratch, you’re not maximising its potential.

At best, it might take a little while longer for your car to sell. At worst, you could be missing out on hundreds of buyers who are keen to part with their cash.

You don’t have to be an ace salesperson or an award-winning writer to prepare a compelling used car advert, but there are some simple things to remember. If nothing else, be honest – it’s illegal to wrongly describe a used car.

At the very least, the advert should encourage people to pick up the phone or drop you an email to arrange a visit and/or test drive. If it’s a popular car, you’ll be competing for attention alongside other cars of a similar specification and price, so don’t be afraid to give it the ‘big sell’.

Some elements to include on a used car advert

Writing a used car advert

  • Make and model
    • For example: Ford Focus. Also include the trim level, e.g. Zetec, especially if it’s a special edition.
  • Year of registration
    • Include the letter or number, i.e. Y-reg or 2001. This could be important from a VED (road tax) perspective and also for buyers looking for facelift/refreshed models.
  • Engine size and type of fuel
    • For example: 2.0-litre TDCi diesel or 1.2-litre PureTech petrol.
  • Equipment
    • Create a list of the options and accessories fitted to the car. Concentrate on the big ticket items, such as air conditioning, leather seats, infotainment system, LED headlights, heated seats, etc.
  • Mileage
    • Be honest about the mileage, because it can be looked up online. Some buyers will be actively looking for low-mileage vehicles.
  • Owners
    • List how many owners the car has had, including yourself.
  • Warranty
    • State whether the car is still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. If not, list any details of an aftermarket warranty, if applicable.
  • MOT
    • List the date when the MOT expires. If it’s due within a couple of months, it makes sense to get it tested prior to selling the car, as this will maximise the price you achieve. Alternatively, say you’ll provide a fresh MOT upon sale.
  • Service history
    • Buyers will pay more for service history, so make sure you include this in the ad. Be aware that full service history means that the car has been maintained to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule – if it hasn’t, it’s only part service history. A stamped service book complemented by receipts is always preferable.
  • The price
    • The price is essential, but don’t worry about adding ‘ono’ (or nearest offer) because buyers will be keen to negotiate anyway. Listing the car as ‘no offers’ could deter some buyers. Similarly, using ‘POA’ (price on application) is a no-no, as this irritates many buyers. Do your homework and find a price that’s suitable.
  • Contact details
    • Add your mobile number and email address, along with any times that are best to call or to avoid. Be prepared to answer any questions. One thing that’s often overlooked is that people will be more inclined to buy the car if the seller is polite and courteous. Be nice!

Other things to consider

The aforementioned items are the basic elements of a used car advert, but you might want to list any known faults or any significant damage to the bodywork. Most used car buyers will expect a few stone chips or scratches, so don’t go overboard.

This is also an opportunity to elevate your car above the thousands of other vehicles available online. If it has a full set of nearly-new premium tyres, say so, being sure to include the brand name. Mention if it has had a recent service, including expensive jobs, such as the gearbox, clutch or cambelt.

Avoid waffle. Auto Trader recommends between 50 and 75 words for an online ad, but you can adjust this accordingly. If it’s a rare, classic or exotic car, the buyer will be keen to discover more about it.

GR8 motor, M8

You should also avoid abbreviations and cliches. While some of the common abbreviations, such as ‘AC’ (air conditioning) and ‘FSH’ (full service history) are well known, others might give the impression that you’re a trader.

Cliches are another thing to avoid. ‘Future classic’, ‘tastefully modified’ and ‘first to see will buy’ are pointless and irrelevant. Oh, and avoid BLOCK CAPITALS, as it looks like you’re shouting at the buyer.

When you’re finished, stick the words through a spell checker, strip away any evidence of text speak and ask a friend or family member to check the advert.

This advice assumes that you’ve taken a decent selection of photographs and you’ve selected the right channel for your used car advert. For more information, visit our guide to advertising your car for sale. Good luck.

Cloned cars

How to avoid buying a cloned car

Cloned cars

Car cloning is the vehicular equivalent of identity theft. It involves criminals stealing a car and giving it a new identity copied from a similar make and model vehicle already on the road.

Criminals disguise the 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the stolen car and use a stolen V5/logbook to legitimise its identity.

HPI – a company specialising in vehicle history checks – is urging consumers to be aware of these scams, and has put together advice on how to avoid buying a cloned car. 

You can lower the risk of buying a cloned vehicle by following HPI’s simple four-step guide:

1. Provenance and history

Always check the provenance/history of the car, and make sure you view it at the registered keeper’s address (as shown on the V5/logbook).

Buyers should ensure all the VIN/chassis numbers on the vehicle match each other and then use the HPI Check to ensure they tally with the details as recorded with the DVLA.

2. Market value

Know the car’s market value. If you are paying less than 70 percent of the market price for a vehicle, then be on your guard. No seller will want to lose money on their sale. There is rarely such a thing as a bargain, especially if the car later turns out to be a clone.

3. Don’t pay with cash

Don’t pay with cash, particularly if the car is costing you more than £3,000. Some cloners will take a banker’s draft as part-payment, because the cash part is sufficient profit without ever cashing the bankers’ draft.

Most crooks selling cloned cars would rather walk away from a sale than take a payment that could be traced back to them.

4. Check the V5/logbook

Check the vehicle’s V5/logbook. Stolen V5 documents are still being used to accompany cloned vehicles. 

Is the vehicle advertised saying the owner has mislaid or lost the V5 form? Then buyer beware! This is a red light you should check very, very carefully… 


Neil Hodson, deputy managing director of HPI, said: “It’s not just premium cars that are at risk from cloning. Every used car buyer needs to be aware of the very real threat of cloning.

“Anyone who buys a clone stands to lose the car and their money, if it’s revealed to be stolen and returned to the rightful owner by the police.”

Which type of car should I buy?

Which type of car should I buy

Choosing a car from scratch may leave you feeling baffled about where to begin. But you can quickly start to narrow down your choices by asking yourself a few basic questions, the first of which is what basic shape or type do you want or need? 

Even that decision will leave you with many more options now than it did in the past. The new car market has been sliced up into ever-increasing body shape segments and new style niches, to suit every possible motoring whim.

But getting that right is essential. It will not only dictate the level of practicality you’re after – a cavernous boot and cinema-style seating, or room for a passenger and little else – but also the overall driving experience.

Do you want something nippy, responsive or relaxing? Quiet and economical or thrilling and unapologetically thirsty? A high driving position, or something that seats you right at the heart of the action?

Our guide to the most popular car types or classes on the market should help make that decision easier.

City car

Seat Mii city car

These runarounds are the smallest cars on the road, and perfect for new drivers, couples, or thrifty, eco-minded motorists. So don’t be put off if you’re looking to downsize, as modern city cars are more capable on motorways than you’d think. The Skoda Citigo and its sister models, the Volkswagen Up and Seat Mii, for example, have levels of refinement and comfort that could shame cars two classes above.

City cars are designed to carry two people comfortably up-front; legroom can thus be limited in the back. Expect a small boot too, but parking will be a doddle, and the tiny dimensions (well under four metres long) means they can be powered by a small engine, and still feel incredibly nippy. Coupled with a lightweight frame, fuel bills will be low and you’ll enjoy some of the lowest CO2 emissions on the road. That’s good news for business users wanting to save on company car tax, too.

Five popular city cars:


Suzuki Swift supermini

Don’t be fooled by the name. This car class includes big hitters such as the Ford Fiesta (Britain’s best-selling new car), Volkswagen Polo and Citroen C3 – and it gets bigger with each generational revamp. Other standard-setting superminis include the Seat Ibiza, Nissan Micra and Suzuki Swift.

The Mini itself now falls into this class, in fact, and is a good showcase for the modern supermini’s best attributes: fun to drive, stylish and economical to run. They’re slightly roomier than a city car, making them more practical, but you won’t necessarily look like a motorist on a modest budget. There’s even more scope to customise a supermini too, so expect a wide range of trim levels, engines and optional extras.

Five popular superminis:

Family hatchback

Skoda Octavia

Flexibility is key in this huge, catch-all class, which is characterised by its hatchback boot design. This gives owners to access to a generous and customisable luggage space, which can be expanded by folding one or all of the rear seats flat. Yet these machines are still small enough to be slotted into the tightest spaces and feel confidence-inspiringly compact on twisting back roads.

No wonder they’re so popular with families – and the cabin design will reflect that, with useful storage space and budget-friendly trim levels. Small, large and sporty versions are available with three or five doors, so buyers are also spoilt for choice; the Ford Focus has nearly 70 hatchback derivatives on offer. The impressive Skoda Octavia, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf also feature in this category.

Thrifty, eco-friendly engine choices run alongside more performance-focused alternatives. One thing to note is that retained values can sometimes only be average – but this does mean you should easily be able to pick up a nearly-new hatchback bargain.

Five popular family hatchbacks:


Audi A4 saloon

This executive car class may conjure up images of ageing opulence, but you don’t have to be Arthur Daley to sport a saloon. A huge range of luxurious and sporty models are now available. BMW’s saloon car range includes the 3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series; Audi has the A4, A6 and A8, while Mercedes-Benz has the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class. These come with excellent levels of refinement, business-friendly running costs, generous performance and oodles of kerbside appeal.

All models share the traditional and less practical ‘three-box’ body layout, however. That means the boot tends to be a prominent, but not necessarily practical, part of the design. The opening is smaller than a hatchback, while even with the rear seats folded (a feature that’s often optional on pricey German models) there’s less space to play with. Luckily, many offer estate versions of the same car. See below…

You can expect quality interiors, a decent sound system and state-of-the-art connectivity. High-mileage owners will find a decent mix of thrifty diesel engines alongside a choice of more powerful, performance-oriented powertrains.

Five popular saloons:


Skoda Superb estate

It’s all about the space in this load-lugging class, which is characterised by a cavernous boot. You don’t have to buy an estate to bag plenty of room in the back these days, but what’s brilliant about these cars is you get the same levels of refinement as the family hatchback or executive saloon on which they are based. So expect the handling and pace of car that’s much more compact.

Many drivers prefer the long, sleek profile of an estate, compared to its boxier hatchback equivalent, too – think class leaders such as the Skoda Superb Estate or Peugeot 508 SW. The options are endless, too. Estate versions pop up in the supermini, compact family hatchback and executive car classes. So choose any combination you like – even an estate with off-road capabilities, such as the Audi A4 Allroad.

What’s common to all, however, is a wealth of practical touches such as fold-flat seats, electric tailgates, boot dividers and retractable tow bars. Given the loads these cars are expected to shift, you’re also more likely to be offered a diesel engine. So they should still be reasonably economical.

Five popular estates:

SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle)

Nissan Qashqai SUV

Buyers can’t get enough of the cars in this class, which were designed to combine the practicality of an off-roader with the style and composure of a large family hatchback – hence the name. And this best of both worlds approach has produced everything from the crossover-style Nissan Juke to full-blown 4x4s like the Land Rover Discovery.

Much of the appeal is based around the SUV’s raised ride height, which gives you a clearer view of the road ahead and makes it easier to lift children into the back. Combine that with the option to seat up to seven in many models, and it’s easier to see why these cars are so popular with families.

These practicalities don’t have to come at the expense of power, either. There are plenty of sporty derivatives on offer, and advances in suspension and chassis design mean these models are far more nimble on the road than you’d think. Not all come with four-wheel drive, but as SUVs tend to spend most of their time on the tarmac, that’s not always a deal-breaker.

Five popular SUVs:


Seat Alhambra MPV

If you have a big family, or popular kids, a people carrier (or ‘Multi-Purpose Vehicle – MPV), designed with multiple occupants in mind, should be right up your street. There’s enough seating and legroom for up to seven, and flexible cabins typically include lots of clever storage space and sliding seats or benches that fold flat to adapt the space to suit your needs.

MPVs vary in size, but their long and relatively boxy frames mean you can’t expect hot-hatch handling on the school run. Popular models such as the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer, Ford S-Max and Seat Alhambra come with a range of economical engines, although a diesel is likely to be the best bet if you plan to spend most of your time with a full cabin. Diesels are generally more efficient, and their improved torque (pulling power) helps boost performance.

Five popular MPVs:


Ford Mustang

If it’s thrills you’re seeking, look no further than the coupe. The name itself is derived from the French word to cut, and refers to the steep angle of the rear screen, which gives the coupe its rakish good looks. Think of the Audi TT, Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type.

That design means these cars are best enjoyed with just one passenger in mind. But as practicality isn’t likely to be crucial here, this should not put you off. It’s the drive that matters most. So a coupe should be fast, responsive, agile and tonnes of fun. That’s thanks to its muscular frame, low centre of gravity and, at the heart, a muscular engine to power it.

Five popular coupes:


Rolls-Royce Dawn

These days you don’t have to rely on British summer to drop the top on your convertible. Windbreakers and sophisticated climate controls all provide enough shelter from the worst of the elements to use any rain-free day as an excuse to head out for a spin. Better still, some models even have ‘air scarves’ that blow hot air from the base of the headrest onto the necks of drivers and passengers.

There’s a convertible for every budget, too, ranging from the modest Smart Fortwo Cabrio to the enormous Rolls-Royce Dawn. Some offer a sardine tin-style peel-back canvas roof – such as the Fiat 500C – while others, such as the Mazda MX-5 RF, have a retractable hard-top. These are more durable for all-weather motoring, but will also add weight, which will eventually show up on your fuel bill.

Five great convertibles:

For more information on buying, running and selling a car, check out our ever-growing advice section.

How to save money when buying a new car

How to save money on a new car

Buying a new car can be a tricky business. Your mission is to get as much car for as little money as possible, while getting as much out of the seller as you can. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can save money, meaning you can buy a new car for less.

Our guide should arm you with all the tricks of the trade – and help you save money on your next car.

What you buy

How to save money on a new car

Downsize what you’re buying

The best way to save money on a new car is to be sure that the car you want is also the car you need. Is a Mercedes E-Class really necessary, or could you get just as much out of the smaller but still-cool C-Class? Is a Golf really a must-have motor, or could you live with a Polo and save a mint? 

Smaller cars don’t just come with a more modest price tag. They tend to be lighter, with smaller engines, increased fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. So you’ll spend fewer pounds at the pumps. And if that doesn’t convince you, just think how much easier it’ll be to park if you live in town, or manoeuvre around those country lanes if you don’t.

You won’t necessarily have to forgo your luxuries either. That Polo can come with pretty well all the toys that the big E-Class does. Just tick the right boxes on the order form. Think long and hard about exactly why you’re getting that bigger pricier model.

How to save money on a new car

Buy an outgoing model

Look closely at the cars you’re considering. Different cars at different phases in the life cycles will have different deals on them. Could you save money by buying a car that’s near the end of its life on sale? Absolutely, because sales reps will offer the best deals on a model that is set to be replaced, or even just updated, so keep an eye on what cars are due out and when.

Consider a pre-registered car

Another way that dealers manage to hit sales targets is to buy unsold stock themselves, and register the cars in the dealer’s name. An interested buyer would then effectively become the second owner, which could impact slightly on the future resale price. You’ll also lose a small portion of your warranty, as the clock starts ticking on that manufacturer guarantee the moment the car is registered.

However, if you’re prepared to stomach these minor inconveniences, you could save thousands on the list price of what is technically a used car, but effectively still brand-new, with just a few miles on the clock.

Car showroom

Don’t be too picky

If you’re hoping to bag a bargain, it’s worth relaxing any wish-list you have about your dream car’s final specification. A pre-registered car, for example, is one you’ll be buying off the shelf, and will therefore already be specced-up by the dealer. Yet many franchises will have car parks full of unregistered stock, which they’ll be keen to shift to make more room. 

So while you might have wanted gold metallic paint and a sunroof, is it enough of a deal-breaker to turn down a blue version without the skylight, in order to save some serious money? Buying existing stock means you’ll get it sooner, too…

Car showroom

Haggle over extras

That said, you can use the absence of equipment as a great haggling point. If it doesn’t have adaptive cruise control, could it be a deal-breaker? As far as that salesman is concerned, it should be. Get them to lop money off at the last hurdle, to get that sale over the line.

Similarly, you can barter for service and care packages, as well as dealer-fitment extras. A set of floor mats, a boot liner or a European car kit are actually incredibly useful, and their cost can otherwise really add up.

So, ask the dealer to throw a few of these accessories in with the car. It’s an easy concession for the sales rep to make, if they want to seal the deal. And it has the added bonus of leaving you feeling slightly smug about your negotiation skills.

How to buy

New cars

Buy at the end of the month

All dealers have sales targets. They’re usually incentivised to sell a certain number of cars each month, and those deadlines tend to come at month-end. So if you’re prepared to time your new car shopping until a day or two before, staff will be much more open to negotiating a discount to get that vital last-minute sale.

Shop around

Don’t assume that all franchised dealers will price their new models exactly the same. Sometimes it’s worth travelling beyond your doorstep for a better deal. For instance, larger, out of town forecourts are likely to have a larger pool of stock floating around, which makes it easier to save money with a bargain.

Use online car brokers

If you really can’t stand the thought of haggling, let someone else do it for you. Online car brokers are meant to be experts in negotiating on your behalf. In reality, it’s the promise of attracting lots of new customers to dealers that enables the broker to get rock-bottom rates on your behalf.

Ferrari 488 Spider

Finance, PCP or HP: research the best deals

Finance, PCP, hire purchase – the range of finance options can seem a bit daunting. If you’re not buying your car the good old-fashioned way (outright), it’s a realm of unknowns and potential savings. Pay attention to interest rates. Look at deposit contributions. Is a certain marque offering a good deal on scrappage? 

Play your cards close to your chest, and keep your budget to yourself. Give the salesman a ballpark and make them work for a rock-bottom price. 

Car showroom

Franchised dealers are likely to offer the lowest PCP rates – many even offer zero percent deals -– as the credit is usually supplied by the finance arm of the car manufacturer. Independent dealers outsource their credit contracts to banks and supermarkets, whose rates tend to be higher. In both cases, the bigger your deposit, and the better your credit rating, the more competitive the rate will be.

Don’t forget to compare the PCP cost with a simple bank loan, too. While the rates may be higher, the car is yours from the outset, with no restrictions on mileage or wear and tear to worry about.

Car showroom

Haggle on your trade-in

Sentiment is a great weapon in a car buyer’s arsenal if they’re trading in. “I can’t let it go for that”. “It’s worth more to me”. Both brilliant expressions that could get the dealer to give you more for yours, or make you pay less for theirs. Research your car’s value, and then push for more.

You could also consider selling your car privately first, as that’s likely to get you the best price, then using that extra cash on the deposit for your new car.

The worst cars of the decade

Ford EcosportThere’s no such thing as a bad new car, but not all vehicles are created equal. So while the days of unsafe, unreliable and rust-before-your-eyes cars are, for the most part, behind us, there are still some munters on the road. Here are 15 cars from the past decade that shouldn’t have made it to these shores.

Ford EcosportFord Ecosport

Deciding to launch the Ecosport with a tailgate-mounted spare wheel was a touch of genius, because it drew attention away from the hideous, ill-judged and slightly terrifying styling. In fairness, the spare wheel was arguably the most interesting part of the car, so the decision to remove it felt like a double-edged sword. In a world of top-hinged tailgates, the side-hinged rear door felt like a blast from the past. If you love exposed spare wheels, buy a Suzuki Jimny. If you want a small Ford, buy a Fiesta or wait for the new Puma.

Mitsubishi MirageMitsubishi Mirage

Take a look at the driver’s face and ask yourself: is that the look of a lady who is enjoying the drive? Even in isolation, it’s hard to recommend the Mitsubishi Mirage, but when viewed in the context of other small cars, it’s hard to make a case for the bucket of misery. Imagine looking at the Volkswagen Up, Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii, Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10 then opting to buy the Mirage.

Chevrolet SparkChevrolet Spark

“The Chevrolet Spark isn’t a car without merit,” said Autocar. If your child’s school report started with something similar, you’d know you were in for a pretty dire end-of-term assessment. Entry-level versions were as cheerful as an undertaker’s waiting room, while the wind, road and engine noise combined to make a racket that was as appealing as telephone hold music.

Chrysler YpsilonLancia Ypsilon

Such was Lancia’s monumental fall from grace in the UK, that when Fiat bought Chrysler, it thought the cosmetically challenged Ypsilon would sell better over here with a Chrysler badge. It didn’t. Fiat pulled the plug on Chrysler in the UK, signalling the end for the Ypsilon, although it still soldiers on in Italy, with FCA choosing to gloss over the horrendous Euro NCAP safety rating.

Fiat 500LFiat 500L

In an attempt to leverage some kudos from the hugely popular 500 supermini, Fiat created the 500L. The idea had merit: rather than risk losing loyal 500 customers to rival brands, simply create a bigger version for them to jump straight into. There was only one problem: the 500L is to the 500 what Margaret Beckett is to the Duchess of Cambridge. Fiat 500 customers retreated to the sanctuary of Audi, leaving the 500L to become the car you dread signing for at the holiday rental desk.

Fiat 500L MPWFiat 500L MPW

Not content with sullying the 500 badge with the 500L, Fiat proceeded to create the 500L MPW, which allowed up to seven people to die of embarrassment on the roads of Britain. To think, Fiat could have leveraged the Panda brand to create the Giant Panda and the Giant Panda XL. The missed opportunity of the decade?

Mini CoupeMini Coupe

Search for the Mini Coupe on Google and you’re asked: “Did you mean Mini Cooper?” Well, quite.

Vauxhall MokkaVauxhall Mokka

Launched in 2013, the Vauxhall Mokka was sold alongside the almost identical Chevrolet Trax. But while the Chevy had the good grace to disappear, the Mokka continued to haunt our everyday lives, with Vauxhall having the audacity to add an ‘X’ to its name following a facelift. It sells in big numbers, which is one of the greatest mysteries of the past decade. God bless PCP deals, rental cars and the Motability scheme.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMGMercedes-AMG GLA 45

In fairness to the this particular Mercedes, we could have selected any number of premium compact SUVs, but the GLA stands out like a guilt-ridden criminal in a police line-up. Sure, styling is subjective, but the GLA’s A-Class-on-stilts styling leaves a lot to be desired, and it’s difficult to understand why you’d choose this over the standard hatchback. The GLA 45 AMG might be blisteringly quick, but at £45k, you’d expect it to be.

Jeep WranglerJeep Wrangler

We’ve seen a fair number of disappointing (read: terrifying) Euro NCAP results over recent years. But while the ageing Fiat Panda and Punto can – to a certain extent – be forgiven for their poor performance, the brand new Jeep Wrangler’s one-star rating is more damning. “It is high time we saw a product from the Fiat-Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors,” said Euro NCAP. Ouch.

Range Rover Evoque ConvertibleRange Rover Evoque Convertible

We readily admit that the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is here for irrational reasons. In the same way you might dislike BMW X5s with ‘X5’ number plates, or headlight eyelashes, or Lexus-style rear lights, there’s just something wrong about the topless Evoque. On the plus side, it’s not the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.

Mercedes-Benz X-ClassMercedes-Benz X-Class

If the internet is to be believed – and who wouldn’t believe the internet? – the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is facing the axe. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the pick-up, but we expect more from Stuttgart. Slapping a Mercedes badge on a Nissan, adding some luxury chintz and charging an exuberant fee wasn’t going to fool today’s well-educated buyers. Fiat tried something similar with the L200-based Fullback. It failed. There’s a theme developing here.

Ford EdgeFord Edge

The Ford Edge has “all the appeal of a Florida holiday rental car”. Not our words, but the words of the excellent and engaging Mark Nichol on the Honest John YouTube channel. Like and subscribe, etc, etc. It’s worth watching, because Mark makes some very good – and often amusing – points. Quite simply, if you want a big Ford, buy an S-Max.

Aston Martin CygnetAston Martin Cygnet

Our very own master of words, Tim Pitt, said the Cygnet is a “good car, but not a very good Aston Martin”. In fairness to Aston Martin, the Cygnet is more than just a Toyota iQ with a few posh badges. But it wasn’t worth the £30,000 price tag, which was close to three times the cost of the clever iQ. One of the more bizarre cars of the decade.

Nissan PulsarNissan Pulsar

Speaking of bizarre. In 2006, Nissan turned its back on the family hatchback market, deciding to venture into the unknown with the Qashqai crossover. The gamble paid off, with the Qashqai becoming the nation’s favourite crossover and the inspiration for countless imitations. And yet, Nissan couldn’t resist retracing its old steps by launching the forgettable Pulsar in 2014. Fans of cars with a huge amount of rear legroom rejoiced, while the rest of us simply uttered “meh”.

Read more:

The slowest depreciating electric cars

Jaguar I-PaceDepreciation is the difference between the price you pay for a new car and the amount you receive when you come to sell it.

Most cars lose between 50 and 60 percent of their value in the first three years, with the biggest hit taking place in the first 12 months.

Here, we reveal the slowest depreciating electric cars, with data supplied by CAP. The results are presented in reverse order, with the slowest depreciators at the end of the gallery.

14. Renault ZoeRenault Zoe

In nearly a decade, the Renault Zoe has shifted from concept to close to 150,000 registrations, establishing an 18.2 percent share of the EV market in Europe. Used prices start from £7,000, so it’s not particularly good at holding its value. CAP says the Zoe will lose just under £16,000 in three years, giving it a retained value of 47.5 percent. It’s the only car on the list to finish below 50 percent.

13. Nissan e-NV200Nissan e-NV200

We’re braced for a new wave of electric cars to roll in on the tide, but the Nissan e-NV200 is one of the more established members of the EV fraternity. Launched in 2014, the e-NV200 is an all-electric version of the NV200 van, with the early versions offering a range of up to 110 miles. A 2014 model year e-NV200 should retain 52.6 percent of its value after three years.

12. Kia Soul EVKia Soul EV

The first Kia Soul EV was never more than a niche player in the UK, with the boxy SUV let down by a high price tag and a limited range. The all-new model should come with a similar price, but with a more realistic 280-mile electric range. In the meantime, the old Soul EV should retain 52.8 percent of its value after three years, losing around £14,500 in the process.

11. Nissan e-NV200Nissan e-NV200

It’s the Nissan e-NV200 again, this time in post-2015 guise. It’s available in five- or seven-seat guise, with post-grant prices starting from a little under £30,000. You can expect a range of between 124 and 187 miles, which is 60 percent further than the previous-generation battery. It will retain 56.2 percent of its value after three years, helped in no small part by the fact that you’re not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to all-electric seven-seaters.

10. Smart EQ Fortwo CabrioSmart EQ Fortwo Cabrio

The electric Smart Fortwo Cabrio appears twice, with the recently rebranded EQ version up first. Right now, this is your only choice if you’re after an electric convertible, although you’ll have to make do with two seats and a limited 70-mile range. CAP says the Smart drop-top will lose £11,730 in the first three years, giving it a retained value of 56.7 percent.

9. Smart EQ ForfourSmart EQ Forfour

In pure monetary terms, the four Smart cars on this list lose the least amount of cash. Take the Smart EQ Forfour, which costs upwards of £18,190 after the plug-in car grant, but will lose just £9,420 after three years. So while two electric cars at opposite ends of the price spectrum might have similar rates of depreciation, the financial hit will be more severe on the expensive EV.

8. Smart Fortwo CabrioSmart Fortwo Cabrio

It’s the Smart Fortwo Cabrio again, this time in pre-EQ branding guise. Strangely, CAP reckons the older version is better at holding its value, retaining 58.4 percent of its purchase price after three years. Right now, the Smart EQ Fortwo Cabrio is available on a three-year personal lease for £279 a month after an advance rental of £1,585.

7. Smart EQ FortwoSmart EQ Fortwo

The EQ Fortwo is the smallest electric Smart, but the one with the largest retained value after three years. With a tight turning circle and tiny dimensions, it’s perfect for the city centre, where the 70-mile range should be enough for the majority of buyers. Buy one today and it should retain 59.7 percent of its initial value in 2022, but with EV tech moving on at such a rate, it might find itself outmoded by the likes of the Honda e, Mini Electric and Peugeot e-208.

6. Tesla Model STesla Model S

Although the Tesla Model S arrived in 2012, the CAP depreciation data relates to the facelifted model, introduced in 2016. Prices start from £77,200, with performance variants available from £91,800, and used examples remain in strong demand. On average, a Model S will lose £39,200 of its value in the first three years, giving it a retained value of 60.8 percent.

5. Hyundai Ioniq EVHyundai Ioniq EV

The Hyundai Ioniq is a relative newcomer to the electric car party, but its residual values are worth making a song and dance about. CAP says the Ioniq EV will retain 61.7 percent of its value, losing £11,740 in the first three years. It helps that it will still have the remainder of its five-year warranty, giving peace of mind to the new owner.

4. Nissan LeafNissan Leaf

To date, more than 400,000 Nissan Leaf electric cars have been sold globally, making it the world’s most popular electric car. Recently, Nissan unveiled a new range-topping Leaf e+ Tekna, which delivers 217hp of performance and 239 miles of electric range. Buy a new Nissan Leaf today and it could be worth 64.5 percent of its original purchase price in 2022. That said, you need to factor in variables such as mileage, condition, market trends and spec.

3. Tesla Model XTesla Model X

With an entry price of £82,200 for the standard version, rising to £96,400 for the performance variant, the Tesla Model X is the most expensive electric car to feature in the CAP data. It should retain 64.6 percent of its value after three years, although new electric SUVs from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi could put a dent in its residual values. It will be interesting to see how the new Model 3 performs on the used car market.

2. Volkswagen e-GolfVolkswagen e-Golf

Such is the rate of progress in the EV segment, the Volkswagen e-Golf is beginning to look a little dated. At around £30,000 after the plug-in car grant, it’s relatively expensive, while the 144-mile range simply isn’t enough for a car of this ilk. But it’s biggest problem is the imminent arrival of the ID.3, a car designed from the ground up to be an electric vehicle. That said, the e-Golf will retain 66.3 percent of its value after three years.

1. Jaguar I-PaceJaguar I-Pace

The current World Car of the Year is also top dog when it comes to depreciation. CAP reckons the Jaguar I-Pace will retain an impressive 74.6 percent of its value after three years, as motorists clamour to get their hands on one of the most sought-after cars on the market. Next year, the I-Pace SUV will be joined by an all-electric XJ saloon.

Read more:

The cheapest new cars on sale in 2019

The cheapest new cars on sale

So, you want to buy a new car but you don’t want to spend your entire life savings – or the total household budget – on a costly motor?

We’ve identified the 20 cheapest new cars on sale in Britain today, including an SUV for £10,000 and an estate car for £8,500.

All prices are correct at the time of writing (July 2019), and the images are for illustrative purposes only.

Suzuki Ignis – from £11,849

The cheapest new cars on sale

Spoiler alert: the majority of Britain’s cheapest cars are devoid of charm, lacking in style and are as cheery as a Belarusian bus station. But the Suzuki Ignis bucks the trend, with a design that’s quite unlike anything else on the road.

In SZ3 trim, the Ignis features digital radio, Bluetooth and air conditioning, but you’ll need to upgrade to the £13,349 SZ-T for alloy wheels, a rear parking camera and the wheelarch extensions.

Vauxhall Corsa – from £11,735

The cheapest new cars on sale

You might be surprised to discover that there’s not a single Ford in our cheapest car gallery, because the (soon to be discontinued) Ka+ costs upwards of £12,300, while the lowest-priced Fiesta costs £15,670.

Which leaves rival Vauxhall to own the budget space, with the Corsa available from £11,735. In Active trim, you get a heated windscreen, cruise control and Bluetooth.

Smart Fortwo – from £11,415

The cheapest new cars on sale

If you can live without rear seats – and you don’t intend to spend much time out of the city – the Smart Fortwo makes sense.

A strong image, an upmarket cabin, low running costs and a tiny turning circle are some of the Fortwo’s highlights, while a 260-litre will be enough for most city centre errands.

Vauxhall Viva – from £10,485

The cheapest new cars on sale

The Vauxhall Viva is the last remaining raffle prize sat atop the trestle table at the school summer concert. According to Auto Express, it’s a ‘decent little city car’, but that’s like describing a Tesco value cheese sandwich as a ‘decent little lunch’.

If you want one, be quick, because the Viva is facing the axe.

Citroen C1 – from £10,140

The cheapest new cars on sale

You could buy a new Citroen C1 for a little over £10,000, but we wouldn’t recommend it. The black bumpers, 14-inch steel wheels and a heater in lieu of air conditioning all hark back to the 80s or 90s.

And if you want to relive the 80s or 90s dream in a Citroen, may we suggest buying a ZX or Xsara? Both are cheap as chips and unlikely to depreciate.

Fiat Panda – from £10,080

The cheapest new cars on sale

We love the Fiat Panda. It’s the car we’d like to hire when in Rome. And it puts us in mind of Giugiaro’s classic. But this isn’t Rome and a lot of acqua has passed under the ponte since the Italian maestro penned the original.

The zero-star Euro NCAP rating makes it hard to recommend the Panda, especially in light of more contemporary, not to mention cheaper, rivals.

Volkswagen Up – from £10,080

The cheapest new cars on sale

The Volkswagen Up is a good case in point. Even in the basic Take Up spec, with three doors rather than five, the Up is a spacious, well packaged and fun-to-drive city car that’s as good outside the city as in it.

Furthermore, because it has a Volkswagen badge, it holds its value better than its Skoda- and Seat-badged siblings.

Mitsubishi Mirage – from £9,999

The cheapest new cars on sale

Goodness, is that the time? We need to crack on… 

Dacia Duster – from £9,995

The cheapest new cars on sale

Perhaps predictably, Dacia dominates the second half of this feature – the Renault-owned company has cornered the market formerly occupied by the likes of Kia and Hyundai.

In Access trim, the Duster is lacking in glamour, but even the Essential trim costs less than the price of an entry-level Corsa. The cheapest four-wheel-drive variant costs a bargain £13,710.

Kia Picanto – from £9,895

The cheapest new cars on sale

Kia secured a foothold in the UK thanks to a range of budget-led hatchbacks and SUVs, but the Korean company has its eyes on the premium establishment.

The Rio costs upwards of £12,495, while the cheapest Picanto city car sneaks below the £10k mark. You get a seven-year warranty, but don’t expect it to look as snazzy as the car in the photo. 

Toyota Aygo – from £9,825

The cheapest new cars on sale

The Toyota Aygo is based on the same platform as the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108, but it has a snazzier face. At the time of writing, the entry-level Aygo X is available with a £300 saving, taking the list price down to £9,495.

Alternatively, a £2,000 scrappage discount is available on all except the X trim level.

Peugeot 108 – from £9,695

The cheapest new cars on sale

Peugeot doesn’t want to sell you a basic 108, which is why its website shows £11,935 as the lowest price. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find the basic Access trim, complete with 14-inch steel wheels and a £9,695 price tag.

There’s no air conditioning, but you do get a… multi-speed heater fan. 

MG3 – from £9,495

The cheapest new cars on sale

We like the MG3, even if the nod to the brand’s heritage feels a bit disingenuous. Even at £9,495, the entry-level Explore trim is best avoided, so we’d upgrade to the £11,395 Excite or £12,795 Exclusive.

Both models undercut the cheapest Ford Fiesta and you get a seven-year warranty as part of the deal.

Hyundai i10 – from £9,200

The cheapest new cars on sale

Hyundai was one of the companies to gain the most out of the original ‘scrappage’ scheme of 2009, with many motorists ‘trading up’ to an i10. Today’s i10 isn’t the bargain city car it once was and the entry-level S model is a little short of toys.

The Premium is the range sweet-spot, with a generous level of standard equipment and prices ranging from £12,000 to £13,000.

Dacia Sandero Stepway – from £9,195

The cheapest new cars on sale

We’re cheating a little bit here because although Dacia positions the Sandero Stepway as a separate model, in reality, it’s a Sandero with quasi-SUV styling and a raised ride height.

Having said that, it does look more premium than the Sandero, and the £11,195 Comfort trim is well equipped.

Suzuki Celerio – from £8,999

The cheapest new cars on sale

The list price for the entry-level Suzuki Celerio SZ2 is £8,999, but at the time of writing it’s available with a £1,000 discount. However, we’d recommend opting for the SZ3, which is on sale for £8,999 after a £1,500 discount.

It’s not the last word in excitement, but Suzuki has a solid reputation for reliability and good dealers. Note: the Suzuki Baleno is available with a £3,250 discount, taking the price down to £9,999.

Skoda Citigo – from £8,890

The cheapest new cars on sale

The entry-level Skoda Citigo S costs £8,890, but aside from a parking ticket holder on the windscreen, there’s little in the way of pizazz.

We’d recommend upgrading to the SE for alloy wheels, air conditioning and a 60:40 folding rear seat. Not bad for an additional £250.

Dacia Logan MCV – from £8,495

The cheapest new cars on sale

Britain’s cheapest estate car has a 573-litre boot and an £8,495 price tag. You’ll have to decide if you can live with the basic Access trim level for the entire duration of a three-year PCP deal, but even the Comfort trim isn’t going to break the bank at £10,495.

The Dacia Logan MCV is also available in Stepway guise, with prices starting from £12,695.

Dacia Sandero – from £6,995

The cheapest new cars on sale

The Sandero arrived in the UK with a headline-grabbing £5,995 price tag, helping the Dacia to corner the budget end of the market. Today, you’ll pay £6,995 for the basic Access model, making it the cheapest new car on sale in the UK. Or is it?

The UK’s cheapest new car: Renault Twizy – from £6,690

The cheapest new cars on sale

Technically, the Renault Twizy is a quadricycle, but it has the same number of seats as the Smart Fortwo, so we’re happy to include it here. It’s electric, which makes it as current as a Sam Fender song, and prices start at £6,690.

Note: you need to consider the cost of battery hire, which starts at £45 a month.

Should I buy a petrol, diesel or hybrid car?

petrol diesel or hybrid

In the past, deciding the fuel type of your new car was far simpler. Diesels were workhorses that sounded like black cabs, hybrids were the choice of the open-minded or open toe-sandaled, and petrol was for pure performance.

But those lines have become increasingly blurred. Most buyers can now opt for their preferred fuel, without compromising much on the car, or its performance out on the road. That said, you’re almost certainly better-suited to one fuel type over another, depending on your own driving habits, your budget and how eco-conscious you are, as our guide below explains in more detail.

Painting an honest picture of your own motoring mannerisms from the outset will really help narrow down your choices. Even in the hybrid category, there’s an engine set up to suit almost every occasion; with the battery pack taking on more or less of the responsibility for reducing fuel consumption and emissions. And while none have the range restrictions of a pure electric car, these inevitably suit some drivers better than others.

Suzuki Ignis SHVS badge

The Suzuki Ignis SHVS, for example, simply recovers, stores and recycles brake energy in the battery, and uses this to boost power and engine efficiency. All that technology enhances performance without increasing fuel consumption or emissions. Hybrids like the Toyota Prius use a similar system, but can also run in electric-only mode for a mile or two.

An increasingly popular line up of plug-in hybrid vehicles (commonly called PHEVs) such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, however, can be charged from a socket and will cover around 30 miles before the internal combustion engine kicks in. Finally, the recently deleted BMW i3 is essentially a full electric vehicle but uses a small motorcycle engine as an emergency back-up to get you home if the batteries die. This type of car is known as a range extender.

Which new car fuel should I buy?

With so many options, which fuel type should you choose? To help you make your mind up, here are a few key points worth bearing in mind before you buy.


the cost of fuel

Unless you’ve got a limitless budget, the cost of your car is going to be high up on your list of priorities. And that can vary enormously within one model range, depending on the type of fuel used to power it.

As a general rule of thumb, the more advanced or economical the car’s powertrain becomes, the more expensive the vehicle will be to buy. So a diesel-powered vehicle will cost more to buy than its petrol-engine equivalent, and the advanced technology behind a hybrid is likely to cost you more still. But the expense doesn’t end there, of course.

Fuel economy

While you’re weighing up list prices on the dealer forecourts, you also need to seriously consider how many miles you’re really going to travel each month. Fuel consumption can obviously vary enormously: with a diesel typically around 30 percent more economical to run than a petrol-engine vehicle, while a hybrid can be even more thrifty – with claims of up to 200mpg under official laboratory tests. But owners often find that these figures are radically different out on the road.

Volkswagen Golf GTE Advance

The fuel itself differs in price, too – with petrol currently costing almost 10p per litre less than diesel at the pumps. So you need to gauge your likely usage first. Better still, come up with an annual cost comparison, as we’ve done below with three derivatives of the Volkswagen Golf:

 VW Golf petrol: 1.4 TSI (5dr) DSG SE NavVW Golf diesel: 2.0 TDI (5dr) DSG SE NavVW Golf GTE hybrid: 1.4 TSI (5dr) DSG Advance
List price£22,865£25,515£32,600
Average fuel cost*120.6 per litre130.0 per litre120.6 per litre
Combined mpg54.3mpg64.2mpg156.9mpg
Annual fuel cost (10,000 miles)£1,009.68£920.55£349.43

* Based on average fuel prices (March 2019)

This illustrates that the diesel-powered Golf will only save you around £90 a year in fuel, assuming like-for-like driving styles over 10,000. Given that the car itself cost £2,650 more to buy, it’s going to take nearly 30 years, clocking up average mileage, to claw back that initial outlay.

By contrast, the Hybrid costs nearly £10,000 more than the petrol to buy, but it (theoretically) uses around one-third of the fuel. With around a £660 annual saving at the pumps, that it will take you just over 15 years to break even – less than half the time. That said, if you plug the car in to charge every day, use it for short commuting hops and only the occasional long journey, then you could easily exceed the claimed economy and you’ll recoup the extra outlay much sooner.

Of course, buyers aren’t only interested in saving money, when they opt for alternative fuelled cars, but these sums are worth calculating ahead of any new car purchase.

Driving habits

diesel filler cap

The type of miles you’re likely to be clocking up counts too. Are you going to be pottering around town, or steaming up and down the motorway all week? That’s relevant because some fuel types – namely diesel – are better-suited to driving long distances. That’s partly why they’re usually the fuel of choice of sales reps. Although the price per litre of fuel, and your initial outlay for the car itself, will be higher than a petrol-engine equivalent, if you’re putting enough miles on the clock, you should still be better off over a lease term.

A diesel will almost certainly deliver better fuel mileage and lower CO2 than a hybrid in such intensive driving circumstances – meaning diesel remains the eco-friendly choice for high-mileage motorists.

By contrast, if you only ever cover short distances each day, then you could find you have enough battery life between charges in a plug-in hybrid, and therefore rarely need to fill up all. More generally, petrol-fuelled cars are better in stop-start situations and are the best choice if you mainly drive in the city.


plug-in hybrid charging

Technology is developing fast in the motor industry, in a bid to create safer and increasingly eco-friendly cars. But is this technology built to last? That’s of particular concern to buyers looking at electric-only or hybrid vehicles, which place huge reliance on the car’s battery power. How long will the cell last? And how much will it cost to replace?

Some manufacturers, such as Renault and Nissan, have introduced battery leasing schemes, to help alleviate those concerns. So if the cell fails, owners can automatically swap it for a new one. Other brands cover the hybrid and battery components under a separate warranty (typically five to eight years). Even so, buyers understandably feel like they’re stepping into unknown territory.

As for traditional fuel types, diesels have always been regarded as being more durable. But in fact, all modern engines should be capable of clocking up at least 200,000 miles, if serviced regularly. And in reality, it’s corrosion and the failure of high-cost parts that usually ends an old vehicle’s life.


CO2 emissions

Road tax has been dictated almost entirely by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions since 2001. For all cars registered since then, the more your car pollutes the environment, the higher the tax you pay; with electric cars and hybrids enjoying a zero-rate. So for motorists on a budget, it’s made sense to bear that extra duty in mind, if they’re opting for a fuel type that’s heavily taxed.

But the current Vehicle Excise Duty rules have reduced the impact of emissions on road tax. These state that cars registered from April 2017 will only be taxed based on their CO2 emissions for their first 12 months – which is always included in the dealer’s ‘on the road’ list price anyway. Thereafter, owners will pay a flat rate of £140 per year. Only zero emissions, electric-only cars will remain tax-free. While alternative fuel vehicles – namely, hybrids – incur a slightly cheaper fee, at £130.

The environment

The most recent, advanced technology is almost certainly going to be the eco-friendliest. But the Government’s ever-changing stance on what’s bad for the environment, and the levies that accompany that, make the decision over what to buy increasingly difficult for motorists. Also, even plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles aren’t totally in the clear, as the electricity used to charge their batteries usually comes from polluting power stations.

JATO CO2 emissions

Petrol power has for a long time been considered the bad boy of the fuel pumps; slammed for its high levels of carbon emissions. So businesses were once actually incentivised to stock their fleets with diesels. However, diesel cars have been stripped of their eco-credentials recently, and governments and local authorities are considering ways to cut the use of diesels in urban areas.

Carmakers are at pains, however, to stress that the latest Euro 6 diesels are virtually as clean as petrol cars in all measurable tailpipe emissions. Older diesels pollute more, but new diesels do not – so you can buy a brand new diesel safe in the knowledge its exhaust emissions are ultra-clean.

Admittedly, changing current public perceptions to stress that showroom-fresh new diesels are not ‘bad’ may take some time in the current climate…

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Summer 2018 special offers: the hottest new car deals

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Thanks to Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deals, it’s never been easier – or cheaper – to get your hands on a new car. If you fancy driving away in a new car this summer, here are some of the offers being offered by manufacturers, including test drive incentives, deposit contributions and straightforward discounts.

SEAT Ibiza: £1,500 deposit contribution plus an extra £500

The summer’s hottest new car deals

The SEAT Ibiza is relatively new to the market, so it’s surprising to see such a generous discount on the ‘Spanish Polo’. Take a test drive between now and the end of September and you’ll receive a £500 discount should you make a purchase. This is in addition to a £1,500 deposit contribution and one year’s free insurance. Monthly payments start from £199.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio: £3,500 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

If you fancy a SUV, but don’t fancy following the crowd, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio might be the car for you. Right now, if you order a 2.2-litre turbodiesel Q4 Speciale on a PCP plan, Alfa Romeo will add £3,500 to your deposit of £6,995. The monthly payment is £426 spread over four years, but the package includes a five-year warranty, free servicing for three years and breakdown cover for five years.

Audi A7 Sportback S Line: £5,700 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Another relatively new car, but Audi isn’t shy about coming forward with a hefty deposit contribution. Order an A7 Sportback S Line on a PCP deal and Audi will contribute £5,700 towards your deposit. In common with many of the offers, finance is subject to status and available to motorists aged 18 and over.

Fiat Panda Pop: £2,015 customer saving

The summer’s hottest new car deals

In its basic Pop form, the Fiat Panda features body-coloured bumpers, four airbags, Uconnect, Bluetooth, USB and central locking. At £9,510, it’s rather expensive for a long in the tooth city car, but a £2,015 discount equates to a more reasonable £7,495.

Suzuki Baleno: save up to £2,500

The summer’s hottest new car deals

The Suzuki Baleno is a great value and practical hatchback, which is also surprisingly good to drive when powered by the 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine. Right now, Suzuki is offering a £2,500 discount on SZ-T and SZ5 models, or £2,000 off the price of the entry-level SZ3. This means the range starts from £10,999.

Skoda Fabia: £2,000 deposit contribution and 3.9% APR

The summer’s hottest new car deals

There’s an updated Skoda Fabia on the way in September, so dealers will be keen to shift stock of the outgoing model. Even before you start haggling, Skoda will contribute £2,000 towards the finance deposit, leaving you to pay £1,497.17, followed by 47 monthly payments of £179.

Fiat Tipo S-Design: £2,330 customer saving

The summer’s hottest new car deals

The Fiat Tipo S-Design features 18-inch diamond alloys, bi-xenon headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear-view camera, automatic climate control and Uconnect 7-inch touchscreen. Not bad in a car costing £18,150. Even better when Fiat removes £2,330 from the price.

Audi A6: £6,150 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Audi is being extremely generous with its deposit contributions. For example, you can claim £6,150 on an A6 saloon or Avant, or as much as £7,500 off the price of an A6 Allroad. Opt for the recently released A8 and the deposit contribution is a massive £8,875.

Mazda CX-3: £1,750 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

The Mazda CX-3 is a stylish crossover that’s also great to drive. Order a CX-3 SE Nav on a PCP deal and Mazda will contribute £1,750, leaving you to find £3,001.50 and 42 payments of £199. Alternatively, if you’re after a 0% APR deal, Mazda will remove the deposit contribution, leaving you to pay £2,909 up front and £289 a month over two years.

Renault Captur: an extra £1,000 trade in

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Order a Captur between now and the end of the month and Renault will offer an extra £1,000 discount when you trade in your old car. On a four-year PCP deal, there’s no interest to pay, a low £199 deposit and monthly payments of £199.

Suzuki Ignis: save up to £2,000

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Until the new Jimny arrives in 2019, the Ignis remains the cutest and most desirable new Suzuki you can buy. It features more retro touches than you could shake a pogo stick at and more charm than Nigel Havers. Right now, Suzuki is offering a £2,000 discount on SZ-T and SZ5 models, or £1,500 off the SZ3.

Hyundai i10: £795 customer saving

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Buy a Hyundai i10 SE or Go SE on a PCP deal and you’ll receive a £795 deposit contribution. Alternatively, order the entry-level i10 S and the contribution drops to £700. The range starts from a little over £9,000.

Honda CR-V: £1,000 test-drive incentive and £1,000 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

If you were thinking of buying a Honda CR-V I-VTEC SE Plus Navi before taking a test drive, stop what you’re doing. That’s because Honda will knock £1,000 off the price if you take a test-drive, along with a £1,000 deposit contribution. You can also add a five-year servicing package for £599.

Toyota Verso Icon: £2,590 customer saving

The summer’s hottest new car deals

The trusty MPV is facing a fight for survival, but the Toyota Verso proves that there’s life in the old people carrier yet. Toyota is offering a £2,590 customer saving on the Verso Icon, which takes the price down to £18,030. The Icon features Toyota’s excellent Safety Sense package, a seven-inch touchscreen, dual-zone air conditioning and a reversing camera.

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace: £2,500 deposit contribution and £500 test-drive incentive

The summer’s hottest new car deals

The Allspace is a more practical version of the Tiguan with the option of a third row of seats. Volkswagen will contribute £2,500 towards the cost of a four-year PCP deal, leaving you to find £6,106.76 and £265 a month. You can also save an additional £500 when you test-drive any Volkswagen SUV.

SEAT Leon: £2,250 deposit contribution and £500 test-drive incentive

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Remember that summer scorcher on the SEAT Ibiza? The discount on the Leon is even hotter. Not only will SEAT give you £2,250 towards the cost of your deposit, there’s an extra £500 discount when you take a test drive. Scorchio.

Nissan X-Trail: £4,250 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

You’ll need to find £4,589.14 for the deposit on a Nissan X-Trail N-Connecta dCi 130, but Nissan will add £4,250 to the mix. All of which means you’ll pay £356.14 a month for three years, with an optional final payment of £11,424.52. At least it’s not yet another Nissan Qashqai.

Jeep Cherokee: £8,050 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

With a deposit contribution this generous, Jeep might need to dress up as Father Christmas. Order a Cherokee Limited 2.2 on a 36-month PCP deal and Jeep will contribute £8,050 to the deal. There is a one catch: you’ll need to find £7,899 up front.

Honda Jazz: £1,000 test-drive incentive and £750 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

These test drive incentives sound like a good deal. In exchange for 60 minutes behind the wheel – and listening to a salesperson waffle on while you drive – manufacturers will shave a few quid off the price of a new car. In the case of the Honda Jazz, it’s a £1,000 discount, along with a £750 deposit contribution.

MG GS Excite: £1,000 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Order an MG GS Excite between now and the end of September and you’ll receive £1,000 towards the cost of the deposit. This leaves you to find £1,305 up front and 47 monthly payments of £249. The total amount payable is £19,966.74 and you’re restricted to a paltry 6,000 miles per annum.

Suzuki Celerio: save £500

The summer’s hottest new car deals

The Suzuki Celerio is already one of Britain’s cheapest new cars, but that hasn’t stopped Suzuki taking £500 off the list price. It means that you can drive away in an entry-level SZ2 for £7,499, an SZ3 for £9,649, or an SZ4 for £10,949.

Lexus: £2,000 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Lexus is offering a £2,000 deposit contribution across most of the range, with the exception of the LC and LS models. Cars must be registered and financed by 30 September on a 42-month Lexus Connect PCP plan.

Subaru XV: £1,000 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

The new Subaru XV is a far better prospect than the old model, so there’s never been a better time to buy this off-roader. Subaru is offering a £1,000 deposit contribution across the range, with monthly payments starting from £325.

Volvo: servicing offer

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Along with a range of standard PCP deals, Volvo is offering two servicing packs across the range. A three-year servicing deal costs £399, while five years will set you back £599. Vehicles must be ordered by the end of September.

Peugeot: two services for £99

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Meanwhile, Peugeot is offering two scheduled services for just £99. Peugeot’s excellent ‘Just add Fuel’ offer is also available.

Nissan GT-R: £5,000 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

This one might be a tad niche, but it’s good to know that you can claim a £5,000 deposit contribution on a Nissan GT-R. You’ll need to find £17,758.49 up front and 36 monthly payments of £699. A bold choice.

Jeep Grand Cherokee: £7,250 deposit contribution

The summer’s hottest new car deals

Finally, this offer is similar to that of the Jeep Cherokee, albeit with a less grand deposit contribution. Jeep will contribute £7,250 to the cost of a Grand Cherokee, leaving you to find £9,074 and £399 per month. All offers available at the time of writing and are subject to status.

Read more:

Why are car V5 registration documents being sold online?

Why are car V5 registration documents being sold online?

Why are car V5 registration documents being sold online?

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) holds a register of all vehicles on UK roads. Each car has an individual logbook (also known as the V5 or V5C) which contains an extract of the information the DVLA has about that vehicle – such as its original registration date, colour and the address of the current registered keeper.

Although the V5C is not proof of ownership per se, you should insist on seeing one when buying a secondhand car. The seller will then notify the DVLA that they’ve sold the car so the registered keeper can be changed to you – updating the DVLA’s records.

When you scrap a car, you must inform the DVLA by filling in the V5C/3 part of the V5C. Alternatively, you can notify the DVLA online – but you must destroy the V5C when you do so.

Unfortunately, it seems to be becoming increasingly popular for drivers to sell the V5C rather than destroying it when they scrap a car. This process isn’t illegal in itself – although there are no ethical reasons why anyone would want to buy a V5C, despite a search of online auction websites revealing there’s clearly a market for them.

“The registration certificate (V5C) is not intended to have any intrinsic value,” a DVLA spokesperson told Motoring Research. “It is an extract of the information that is held by DVLA.”

Fake identity

Fake identity

The main reason people want to buy a V5C is so that they can use the identity of the scrapped car on another vehicle. This might be because the new car has been written off and can’t legally be returned to the road, or because it’s a classic car and the identity from an older vehicle will give it tax or MOT exempt status.

It could also be used for something more sinister, such as to help hide the identity of a stolen car. By changing the number plates on a stolen vehicle to match the details of a V5C bought online, an unsuspecting buyer could easily be fooled into buying a car they believe is legitimate.

The DVLA added: “When a vehicle is sold it is the responsibility of the registered keeper at the time to inform the DVLA, by completing the details of the new keeper in section six of the V5C and returning it to the address on the V5C. This allows the register to be updated with the revised information and a new document issued.

“It is an offence if the registered keeper fails to notify DVLA of these changes mentioned above.”

Read more: