Tyre comparisons


Forking out for tyres can be expensive and many of us get confused with the number of options available to us when it comes to choosing which type of tyre we want. You firstly need to decide whether you want new or part worn tyres. If you simply need a legal tyre as quick and as cheaply as possible then you may want to go for part worns. New tyres come with 8 mm of tread on and many garages recommend you change these at 3mm or 2mm to ensure optimal driving. The legal limit for tyres in the UK is 1.6 mm. Part worns tyres can be sold with as little as 2mm of tread left on them not giving you much driving time before they become illegal and need to be replaced again.

When buying new tyres you will have to decide if you want budget, midrange or premium tyres. The price will increase accordingly so it may be that you have to choose tyres within a certain budget. Even if you are choosing budget or midrange tyres it is still worth researching the make to check what ratings that tyre has been given in terms of wet grip, fuel economy and road noise.



Buying a car or van with little MOT


If you are looking to buy a used car or van then one of the musts to check is how much MOT is left on it. For vehicles over 3 years old, an MOT inspection must be carried out every 12 months. IF the car or van fails the Mot then the issues need to be rectified and a retest carried out before a valid test certificate is issued.

If buying from a garage they will almost certainly sell the car with at least 3 months MOT if not often even 12 months, but private buyers can be different.

Some people will sell their used van or car with only a few weeks/ days or even no MOT on. The price often reflects this but sometimes the price is only reduced by £50 or so. Often the advert will state “No MOT (or short MOT) but I do not think it will take much to pass”. This statement is widely used and often the seller knows that that is not the case. With an Mot costings as little as £20, it would be worth while anyone putting an MOT on to a car to sell it, therefore increasing the value, if they are not willing to MOT it then it would suggest they are aware of costly problems.


Making your money back on a car


If you have bought a cheaper car or van and then it breaks down on you and basically becomes worthless, there are ways you can try and make your money back. Scrap value for cars is not much at the moment so you will be lucky to get more than £70 but if you have the time and the patience you may be able to recoup some of your loss.

Many individual parts on a car are worth quite a bit more than the scrap value, so why not strip it down and sell them yourself. You might be able to get £50-£70 for one engine part in perfect working order meaning anything else you sell will be profit over the scrap value.

Even trims such as bumpers and decals can fetch between £10-£30, which very quickly adds up.

Make sure that if you are doing this then the car is off road or still taxed and insured. If you are keeping it off the road then you need to SORN the vehicle.


Things to look out for on car sales posts


If you are thinking of buying a second hand car then you may look at sites such as Gum Tree, Auto Trader and Ebay to find what you are looking for.

Many of these sites list the technical information in a table format allowing you to quickly glance at it and find out the engine size, mileage, make and model etc but there is also an area for a personalised description. Always make sure that you read any description in detail and ideally a few times as it can be easy to scan over something that states the car needs work etc without really taking it in.

If when reading the description you find that there are problems listed but the owner has stated “very cheap to fix” then I would be very dubious. Often if it really is very cheap to fix, they would fix it making the car more saleable. Never buy a second hand car without seeing it and ideally driving it as only then will you start to get a true picture.


Sourcing your own car parts


If you need some repairs carrying out to your vehicle then you may want to price up the cost of obtaining the parts yourself.

Car parts can be expensive especially if you get them from the main dealer when often non genuine parts will do the job just as well. You can chose to buy car parts second hand but there is a he element of risk if buying something that you cannot see working. You also need to know exactly what you are looking for as many garages will not advise you on parts when buying from a third party.

Once you have a few quotes go back to the garage carrying out the repairs and ask them if they would be willing for you to buy the part yourself. Lots of smaller independent garages will do this but will not put any kind of warranty on the part they have fitted for you.