Caterham Academy

Caterham launches finance deal to go racing for £299 a month

Caterham Academy

Caterham is, for the first time, offering finance packages across its model range – and the packages extend to those who want to go racing in the Caterham Academy.

Developed in partnership with Santander Consumer Finance, the new package allows enthusiasts to now pay for a Caterham via affordable monthly payments (and it includes new and used models).

The PCP-style conditional sale has a balloon payment at the end. Along with Caterham’s famously strong residual values, this helps keep monthly payments low.

The representative APR is 7.9 percent.

Caterham motorsport

Including the Caterham Academy Package in the deal is unique. Priced from £29,995, this comprises a whole season of racing, at famous UK circuits such as Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Knockhill in Scotland.

Strictly for novices, the Caterham Academy turns people into fully-qualified racers – the deal includes an official Association of Racing Driver School (ARDS) test.

Caterham Academy cars are fully road-legal and, if racers pay off the balloon payment, they get to keep their racing car. Alternatively, they can choose to upgrade it onto the next ladder on the series, the Caterham Roadsport championship.

Caterham 485

“Cost has always been the biggest hurdle for any racing driver, especially those looking to get started in the sport,” said Caterham CEO Graham Macdonald.

“By splitting the cost of racing a full season in the Caterham Academy across several monthly payments, we are making racing more affordable and open.”

More broadly, said Macdonald, most cars today are purchased on finance. “It was a logical next step for us to include finance offers for our road and race cars.

“By dividing the cost of ownership across low monthly payments, we are aiming to attract a new, wider customer base of driving enthusiasts and aspiring race car drivers.”

Full Caterham Finance example

Cash price of vehicle £29,995
Customer Deposit £6,623.60
Amount of credit £23,371.40
Interest charges £6,025.62
Fixed rate of interest 4.09% p.a
Representative APR 7.9% APR
48 monthly payments of £299.99
1 final balloon payment of £14.997.50
Total amount payable £36,020.62
Duration of the agreement 49 months


Jargon buster: your guide to new and used car finance

Car finance jargon buster

Thanks to cheap car finance, it’s never been easier to buy a new or used vehicle. PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) deals in particular have been at the forefront of a boom period for car finance.

You may be puzzled by finance jargon when sat with the salesperson at the showroom. But help is at hand.

If you’re bamboozled by balloon payments and confused by conditional sales, our guide to car finance jargon will clear the fog. Before you read any further, be sure to check out our essential guide to the most popular car finance options.

The following guide to car finance has been put together with the help of the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).

Car finance jargon buster

Car finance jargon

  • Administration fee or Documentation fee
    • The charge for setting up the finance and issuing the relevant documents. It will be included in the total amount payable and taken into account when the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is calculated.
  • Agreement term or length of the agreement
    • The length of time over which you agree to repay the car finance.
  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
    • The annual cost of a finance agreement over and above the amount you have borrowed on finance. The cost will include interest rate charges and any other fees. APR can be used to compare different finance products.
  • Annual mileage
    • You will be asked to estimate your annual mileage as this helps the lender to calculate the market value (Guaranteed Minimum Future Value) at the end of the contract. Do not underestimate the figure, as you will be charged excess mileage at the end of the finance contract.
  • Bad credit history
    • If a customer has a record of repayment issues, this will be classed as a bad credit history. Although there are specialist lenders for customers with a poor credit score, the cost of borrowing is likely to be higher.
  • Balance financed
    • The amount you need to borrow – the cost of the car less a deposit or part-exchange allowance.
  • Balloon payment or Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV)
    • The lump sum deferred to the end of a PCP deal or similar. If paid, you will own the car. In most cases, the balloon payment is optional, but check before you sign the agreement.
  • Cash back
    • An amount refunded to the customer which is not required for a deposit. Cash back is often used as an incentive.
  • Conditional Sale
    • The sale of the vehicle is conditional on the customer completing the terms of the agreement. The customer will automatically own the car at the end of the agreement.
  • Credit agreement
    • A legally-binding contract between the customer and the finance company. It will include the loan amount, the term, the rate of interest and the customer’s rights and responsibilities.
  • Credit rating
    • Part of the scoring system used by finance companies when deciding how to price the risk of finance – and the suitable interest rate.

Car finance hire purchase

  • Deposit contribution
    • A contribution made by the supplying dealer or manufacturer. It will reduce the cost of finance.
  • Depreciation
    • The extent and rate at which a new car loses its value.
  • Documentation fee
    • The charge for setting up the finance agreement and issuing the relevant documents.
  • Early settlement
    • The amount payable should a customer decide to end the finance agreement.
  • Equity
    • The difference between the agreed market value of the car and the loan balance left to pay. If the market value is lower, the term ‘negative equity’ is used.
  • Final payment
    • The last repayment to be made as part of the finance agreement. This may include an option to purchase fee.
  • Fixed rate interest
    • The same interest rate is applied for the duration of the car finance agreement.
  • Flat rate
    • The base interest charged on the finance. The APR figure is a more accurate representation of the cost of finance.
  • GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance
    • In the event of an accident, the insurer will pay its current market value. GAP insurance can cover the difference between the market value and the finance left to pay.
  • Gross income
    • The finance provider will ask for proof of your income before tax and National Insurance have been deducted. This is called gross income. Net income is the figure after tax and National Insurance are deducted.
  • Hire Purchase (HP)
    • After an initial deposit, customers pay a series of fixed monthly payments over a set period of time. Although you become the car’s registered keeper, you don’t own it until the final payment is made.
  • Interest rate
    • The price you pay for borrowing the money is called the interest.

Car finance PCP

  • Joint application
    • When two or more people apply for car finance, it is called a joint application.
  • Lease Purchase
    • A form of Hire Purchase in which a sum is deferred until the end of the contract. This sum isn’t optional and must be paid.
  • Monthly rentals
    • The amount paid every month under leasing agreements. They’re not classed as repayments as the car will be handed back to the leasing company at the end of the agreement.
  • Option to purchase fee
    • A voluntary payment which, if paid, transfers ownership of the car to the customer.
  • Part-exchange
    • The amount given to you for your existing car when trading it in for a new one.
  • Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)
  • Quotation
    • Provides an indication of the cost that would apply if you went ahead with the finance. 
  • Residual value
    • The projected value of your car at the end of the finance agreement. Factors such as wear and tear, mileage and market trends may affect the actual value.
  • Secured loan
    • Most finance agreements are secured against the car.
  • Secondary rental
    • To keep renting the car at the end of a lease agreement, it might be possible to arrange a secondary rental. This will typically be in the form of an annual fee or monthly repayments.
  • Term
    • The length of the finance agreement.
  • Trade value
    • How much the car is worth if sold at auction or purchased by a dealer.
  • Unsecured loan
    • A loan that isn’t secured against the car.

For more helpful information, check out our advice section.

PCP car finance: How to avoid charges when you return the keys

PCP costs and charges

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) and Personal Contract Hire (PCH) have helped hundreds of thousands of motorists to drive a new car. The finance schemes have become vastly more popular in recent years, with 90 percent of new private vehicles now bought this way.

However, there is a catch. At no point, unless you pay a ‘balloon’ fee at the end of the agreement, do you own the car you’re driving. That means you have to give it back and, for many, that means unexpected costs. We look at the reasons for these – and how to avoid them.

If you’re unclear on how the different car finance options work, check out of our handy guideOur list is informed by DMN, a company that completes thousands of leasing inspections and collections every year. 

Condition and equipment PCP costs and charges

Just as you wouldn’t buy a dirty car that was missing lots of equipment, nor does a dealer want to take one back once a lease contract is up. Make sure your car is spick and span on hand-back day, or potentially face a £45 cleaning bill.

Spare keys and tyre inflation kits commonly incur fines if they are missing. A lost key could set you back £250 or more, while a missing tyre inflation kit could cost up to £120.

Another common item that people remove from their cars, never to put back, is the parcel shelf. Supply the car with this fitted or potentially face a £100 fine.

Stamp that service bookPCP costs and charges

Most of us would avoid buying a car without a proper record of servicing. Thus, it will cost you if maintenance hasn’t been kept to the car manufacturer’s schedule.

Charges begin in the hundreds for handing back a lease car that hasn’t been serviced as required.

Don’t pile on the miles

Most, if not all, PCP and PCH contracts come with a mileage limit. Whether your annual mileage ‘spend’ is 5,000 or 15,000, you will feel the pinch upon the car’s return if you exceed it.

Charges per excess mile can range from 3p to 72p, according to Parkers. That means a 10,000-mile per-year contract that you’ve exceeded by 6,000 miles could cost between £540 and £4,300.

Follow the above advice and you should be fine. Keep the car clean and serviced, give it back with everything it came with and watch your mileage. To be extra sure – and this should go without saying – read the terms of your finance agreement very carefully. Do so well in advance, so you have time to ready your car for its return.

PCP costs and charges

“Experience tells us people often neglect the same things when it comes to end of vehicle contracts, which can often end up costing them unnecessarily,” explained Nick Chadaway, managing director of DMN.

“It’s these small details which, potentially, can add up to costly outlays. With a little bit of foresight and planning, these pitfalls can be easily avoided, saving drivers both money, time and stress.”

A third say monthly car payments come second only to rent

car payments second-most expensive outlay to rent or mortgage

A new survey reveals that, after paying rent or a mortgage, 30 percent of drivers say car payments are their next most expensive monthly outgoing.

For under-34s, that rises to more than half (56 percent). And over a quarter of that same demographic say car payments cost the same or more each month than their accommodation.

“Owning a car is still a substantial cost for people, and is clearly a heavy burden particularly for younger people,” said Ben Wooltorton of InsuretheGap, which commissioned the survey.

Preferring monthly payments

car payments second-most expensive outlay to rent or mortgage

Around a quarter of UK drivers (24 percent) said they actually prefer to pay monthly for a car. The reason usually given was the ability to easily swap for a new model.

Indeed, a new car paid for on a monthly basis is likely to be more reliable than an older model bought outright. It should also be more efficient and cost less to tax.

car payments second-most expensive outlay to rent or mortgage

It’s mostly young people who prefer to pay monthly. Almost half of under-34s (46 percent) own a car this way, versus just 16 percent of over-55s.

Around the country, 35 percent of drivers in Scotland have car finance payment less than or comparable to their rent or mortgage. That rises to 36 percent in the West Midlands and 37 percent in the North East.

Car finance explained: the difference between PCP, PCH and leasing

Car finance explained

Buying a car on finance has never been more popular among cash-strapped motorists, with as many as nine out of ten new car buyers now reportedly choosing credit over paying in full.

That’s according to figures provided by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) – the trade body for the motor finance industry – whose members report that 90.1 percent of their private, new car sales were made on credit in the 12 months to May 2019. 

So why the interest in buying on tick? Plummeting interest rates are partly to blame, as there’s virtually no incentive to save. So even an entry-level city car, such as the Skoda Citigo, with its starting price of just £8,890, is enough to make most bank balances buckle. 

Skoda Citigo

Compare that to the prospect of paying a more manageable £140 a month for a few years for that same car on interest-free credit, coupled with a mere £550 deposit, and it’s easy to see why this method of payment has boomed in popularity.

Which car finance option is right for you?

But once you’ve made the decision to spread the cost of your spanking new motor, you still have to decide which finance deal to choose. And there really is no catch-all credit type. Some deals are simply leases, and you’re expected to hand the car back at the end. While others will give you the option to own the car, after a fixed number of payments.

So make sure you know exactly what you’re agreeing to, and that you’ve understood the terms. The interest rate is key. Make sure you know exactly what it is, how that translates into an APR (Annual Percentage Rate) and how much more it means the car will cost you to buy the car on credit.

To help you cut through the jargon, here’s a quick guide to some of the most common finance options on the market:

Hire Purchase (HP)

Car finance hire purchase

Twenty years ago, this was Britain’s favourite way to pay for anything, from a cardie in a catalogue to your next dream motor. A hire purchase agreement simply involves spreading the cost over a fixed period – usually set from 12-months to five years. You’ll pay a fixed rate of interest during that time, but usually only a small deposit up front. If you want to keep the car at the end of the term, and it’s assumed you will, you’ll have to pay an admin fee to cover the cost of transferring ownership from the finance company to yourself. Up until that point, you are only the registered keeper, so you can’t modify the car in any way.

Conditional Sale

This agreement is actually the same as a Hire Purchase contract, except you will automatically own the car once the finance has been repaid in full, with no extra final payment.

Personal Contract Hire (PCH)

This is basically a lease, as there is no option to buy at the end. Your monthly payments are therefore going to be lower than those on an HP deal, but they will also be based on your predicted mileage, so expect to pay a penalty if you deviate from that. At the end of the term, you simply hand the car back.

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)

Car finance PCP

The basic premise behind the PCP deal and its booming popularity is that you only pay for the car’s predicted depreciation during the term of your contract. So that’s the difference between the value of the car new, and its expected value when your deal ends – typically in three years’ time – which is often referred to as the Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV).

As most cars lose around 40 per cent of their list price during that period, a £10,000 car would be worth roughly £6,000 after 36 months. That leaves £4,000 to pay. Some of that is required upfront as a deposit, and the rest is due in installments, at a fixed interest rate, for the duration of the contract period. That means the monthly payments are kept relatively low. At the end of the deal, you’ll have the option to stump up the remaining £6,000 to buy the car in full; often referred to as the balloon payment. Or you may just decide to hand the car back, or swap it for another car and a fresh deal.

On that note, dealers will sometimes set the car’s GMFV deliberately low, so they can offer you a bonus chunk of equity when you come to settle up. But you’ll only be able to access this if you put it towards another finance deal. That’s how the dealer keeps you on its books, and why so many motorists go back to buy the same brand again and again. Let’s not forget, though, that it also means you’ve probably paid more in installments (and therefore interest) than you needed to in the first place.

Lease Agreement

This type of Conditional Sale is much the same as a PCP in that you’ll pay a deposit, some installments, and a balloon payment at the end. The big difference is that buying the car at the end is not optional – you have to ensure you have the funds to do that, and you ultimately therefore own the car at the end. You can settle the finance at any point during the term, however.

Personal Loan

Borrowing the money you need to buy a new car outright has its advantages, as you will immediately become the registered owner. You’re not bound by mileage restrictions either, and if you decide to upgrade the stereo or modify the car in any way, you can. But a loan is usually unsecured, so you can’t just hand it back to clear the debt. Instead, you’d have to sell the vehicle, and depreciation costs mean there would undoubtedly be a shortfall.

Credit Card

Car finance credit card

The same advantages apply when you buy using a credit card. But you have the extra protection of Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (1974), which says that if even a portion of your car is bought using a credit card, then the credit provider is jointly liable for any breach of contract by the retailer. The sum has to be greater than £100, however, and can even apply to some other types of car finance. Although the criteria is quite strict, particularly with regard to the relationship between the credit provider and the supplier, so it’s worth checking whether your contract qualifies.

Car finance: final thoughts

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all these options, you could simply take your lead from the hundreds of thousands of other new car buyers every year, and opt for a PCP. These are now by far the most popular car credit agreements, accounting for a staggering three out of four new car sales, according to the FLA. Its Finance Director, Adrian Dally, explained: “The PCP was introduced into the market by Ford, who brought it over from the States more than 20 years ago. But it’s been climbing up the ranks since then. Its success is due to both to price, and a cultural change in attitudes towards owning assets.”

Whichever product you choose, it’s worth remembering that, while you may have signed the paperwork at your local dealer, your contract is with the finance company. So if there’s a fault with the car itself, and not just the terms of the deal, then it’s the finance company that you have to approach.

The good news is that there’s often more security in buying on credit as you have stronger return rights. That includes the 14-day cooling off period outlined in the Consumer Rights Act (2015). So if you change your mind for any reason, the vehicle transfers back to the supplying dealer.

Guide to car finance

Beyond that, if you’re unhappy with the way a complaint is being handled, you also have the backing of the Financial Ombudsman. Its job is to arbitrate, judge and resolve your case, which is initially assessed by its investigators. If it thinks your complaint is justified, and the dealer still won’t play ball, the case can be referred to an Ombudsman – a higher ranking investigator whose verdict “is final, and legally-binding to both parties, should the consumer accept it,” a Financial Ombudsman spokeswoman explained.

It says car finance complaints are on the rise, too. “Most are about the quality of the vehicles or charges when handing it back: people say they’re unaware a ‘balloon payment’ is due. We also see complaints about charges for damage falling outside of ‘fair’ wear and tear, as well as problems about misrepresentation of the vehicle or the agreement used to buy it and the way agreements are administered.”

All the more reason to be sure you know exactly what you’re agreeing to, before you sign on the dotted line. But if you’re still in doubt, you can find lots more information about car finance at the FLA’s consumer advice site, or visit the Financial Ombudsman’s advice pages for more information about the complaints process.

How to get the best price for your PCP trade-in

How to get the best price for your PCP trade-in

Research shows that only 20 percent of people with a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deal actually go on to buy the car. Which means the vast majority either walk away at the end of the contract or decide to use the car as a trade-in against a new model.

In fact, getting a new car is the most common option for people at the end of a PCP deal. So how do you ensure that you get the best possible price for your trade-in vehicle? Read on to find out.

Beware the ‘minimum’ in GMFV

There are three parts to a PCP deal: the deposit, the monthly repayments and the final payment, which is often referred to as a ‘balloon’ payment.

The final payment is set by the finance company estimating what the car will be worth at the end of the contract. This is called the Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV) and it’s your first indication of what the car will be worth as a trade-in.

But it’s not set in stone, because a number of variables will dictate the final valuation.

Note the use of the word ‘minimum’. If the car drops in value, you’ll be protected against a potential loss – the finance company will take the hit. But it’s your responsibility to maintain the car to the terms set out in your PCP contract.

Failure to do so could mean that the price you get for the car drops below the ‘minimum’ agreed value.

Mileage limit

PCP mileage limit

Your first potential pitfall is the mileage limit you agreed to at the start of the PCP contract. Dealers tempt punters with low monthly payments based on strict mileage restrictions, so make sure you set a realistic limit.

A finance company will charge anything from 3p to 30p for every mileage you are over, so a few thousand miles could cost you a few hundred pounds. You have been warned.

If you think you’ll go over the mileage limit, it’s far better to negotiate a new deal before the contract than to wait until the end, as the penalty is likely to exceed that of a higher mileage cap.

Damage charges

PCP deal damage

Read the small print of your PCP contract and you may notice financial penalties for minor damage to the car. Remember, you don’t own the car unless you make the final payment, so the finance company expects you to take care of the vehicle on its behalf.

If the car requires light work to make it ready for sale, you’ll be expected to stump up the cash. This could include damage to the paintwork, kerbed alloy wheels and stains on the upholstery.

Wear and tear is fine – you don’t have to live with a concours-winning car – but anything beyond that could cost you dear.

It’s in your interest to maintain the car to the highest standards, because the difference between the final payment and the car’s value can be used to reduce the deposit on the next car.

Service history

PCP deal service history

You’re required to maintain the vehicle to the manufacturer’s service schedule at the correct franchise dealership. Failure to do so will cost you hundreds, possibly thousands, of pounds at the end of the contract.

These points apply even if you decide to have the car back at the end of the PCP deal, so if you’re not comfortable with any of them, you might want to consider another form of financing your car.

For example, a personal loan means that you’re free from mileage and servicing restrictions, but at the mercy of potential depreciation disasters.

Click here for more motoring advice.

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.

A new Maserati

3 in 10 car buyers in financial strife after buying a new car

car buyers

Are we putting too much of our hard-earned into the cars of our dreams? New research by AA Cars reveals as many as a third of car buyers have found themselves in financial strife after buying a car outright.

Half of that one-third had to take a dip into savings or money put aside for other things, while a third said they were left entirely without a cushion of cash. Talk about blowing your savings… Furthermore, a third said they actively cut back on expenditures such as gym memberships and nights out. A quarter even said their purchase meant sacrificing holidays.

Who is most likely to fall victim to whimsical spending? Why, it’s millennials (18-44-year-olds) of course.

Indeed, many young used car buyers said they regretted purchasing a car outright, and that doing so had led to financial issues down the line. This despite most being aware of the many financing options available.

As many as 48 percent of 18-24-year-old car buyers, 50 percent of 25-34 year-olds and 50 percent of 55-64 year-olds said they ran into trouble after buying a used car.

A new Hyundai

“Buying a car, whether used or new, is a big financial commitment,” said James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars.

“Buying a car outright can be a great option for many, but you should be careful not to dedicate all your savings to one single purchase and potentially leave yourself short further down the line”.

“Before taking the leap and dipping into your hard-earned savings to buy your next car, it’s worth thinking about saving up more funds or shopping around to see if there are better-suited car finance deals to be had first.”

You will save money overall if you buy a car outright rather than finance it. It’s a simple matter of calculating interest – but regardless of how you buy a car, budgets have to be calculated carefully. What’s in the bank and what you can afford to spend should always be considered two very different things.

Read more:


Pride of Britain: Four Brits in top ten financed luxury cars


British marques are at the forefront of luxury car wish lists in Britain, according to JBR Capital, with four out of the top 10 most-financed prestige cars on their records hailing from the UK. The second most prolific was German, with three cars, including two 911s.

The list features everything from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche, plus Nissan with the comparatively humble GT-R. Yet none manage to surpass the McLaren 570S and the Range Rover Vogue in their popularity among luxury car shoppers.

The Macca and the Range Rover represent a near-perfect two-car garage, with the big Rangie making for a lovely day-to-day ‘hack’ and the McLaren the ideal weekend wheels.

The Vogue is a relative steal to finance, too, at less than £1,000 per calendar month with a £7,900 deposit. The McLaren is rather more pricey, at over £1,800 per month with a near-£15,000 deposit contribution required. Still, that debunks any criticism that the Range Rover nears the top of the list for its comparatively low price alone.

Still, they both beat out modern era luxury car staples with the Audi R8 languishing in fourth, the Porsche 911 Turbo in seventh and the only Ferrari on the list – the 458 Spider – all the way back in tenth. The McLaren 720S and the Bentley Continental GT fortify Britain’s standing further down the list, at a respective eighth and sixth place.

“Britain may not have won the World Cup this summer, but it’s on top of the automotive world. The ‘Made in Britain’ tag is still highly sought-after among our high net worth clients” said Darren Selig, executive chairman at JBR Capital.

“While you might expect wealthy owners to rush to Ferrari and Lamborghini dealers, it’s actually McLaren and Land Rover where we’ve had the most demand for finance packages so far this year.”

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Car dealer sale to customers

Undercover PCP investigation exposes ‘reckless loans’

Car dealer sale to customers‘Ruthless’ salesmen are being accused of irresponsible lending after a newspaper reporter who said he was 24 and unemployed was offered a loan for a £15,000 Audi A1 – with no need to fork out for a deposit. Another reporter was offered a deal on a £15,000 Seat, again with no deposit.

The investigation by the Daily Mail accuses dealers of luring young drivers into “massive debt” with the no-deposit PCP deals. Reporters say drivers on low wages and poor credit ratings are still being accepted for loans – amid fears that irresponsible lending by car dealers is tempting people into “dangerously high levels of debt”.

There are worries that lending to people with no jobs or poor credit histories could, “in a chilling echo of the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007”, lead to a financial crash. UK motorists currently owe £58 billion on car finance, says the Bank of England, a figure that’s risen 15 percent in a year.

Both Vauxhall and Suzuki have since told the Daily Mail they will launch their own investigations into the conduct of their dealers: one Vauxhall dealer offered a £8600 loan to a person who suggested they had a bad credit rating.

In total, Daily Mail reporters visited 22 car dealers in England and Scotland. Each time, they posed as someone in their early 20s, either unemployed, on low earnings or having poor credit ratings. Half of the dealers offered “a brand new car without paying a penny up front”.

MPs and campaigners are now calling for “an urgent crackdown on the ‘reckless’ lending'” says the newspaper, while the Financial Conduct Authority is already running an investigation into ‘irresponsible lending’ in the car industry.

PCP popularity

Seven in 10 private new cars are now bought on PCP car finance schemes. They help lower monthly payments by deferring a payment until the end of the car loan; it’s usually called the ‘minimum guaranteed future value’, and is the expected retained value of the car at the end of the loan.

Buyers can either hand the car back with nothing to pay, settle the remaining loan amount or take out a loan on a new car – deals are often configured so a small amount of ‘equity’ remains in the loan to use as deposit for a new car.

Because monthly payments are lower, it’s easier for people to pass credit checks: providers generally offer loans of up to a quarter of take-home pay. That means someone earning £8,200 a year could theoretically get a loan on a £12,500 car, claims the Daily Mail.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney recently warned that lenders seem to be ‘forgetting the lessons of the past’. James Darley of Fairer Finance concurred, telling the Daily Mail that “none of the lessons coming out of the 2008 financial crisis have been learned”.

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