Cars glorious cars

You could be forgiven for getting excited if you’re in the market for a new car as the new ’57 number plates come into circulation in only a few weeks’ time.

In fact, with close to half a million drivers likely to be in the market for new wheels during the month of September alone, the heat will be on to get the car of your dreams.

But life isn’t always rosy for car owners as combined with the thrill of driving your new vehicle off the forecourt comes the cost of paying for it, including insurance, road tax and even finance deals.

MoneyExpert is on hand with some facts and figures in the run up to the biggest car-buying month of the year:

  • The number of cars on the road in England, Scotland and Wales has increased by 16 per cent, from 25.1 million to 29.0 million between 1997 and 2005
  • Older cars face the greatest risk of being stolen
  • Households owning three or more cars were more likely to have experienced vandalism to vehicles
  • Car insurance premiums have reached their highest ever level – the average premium quoted for those who buy third party, fire and theft (TPFT) insurance also rose to its highest ever level, passing the £1,000 mark for the first time.
  • The average number of wheels on a car is 4

Gearing up for the purchase

Most people borrow money to buy a car, but some methods of borrowing are significantly cheaper than others.

Finance deals – often called "Hire Purchase Agreements" – offered through car dealerships may seem tempting at the time, but they can be expensive and you shouldn’t accept the deal unless you’re sure it’s good value.

The better option may be a personal loan – check out whether you can get a good deal online at, or use a loan calculator to work out what your monthly repayments would be before you go to the car dealership. That way you can compare costs in the face of pressure from a salesman.

Best Personal Loans on MoneyExpert

Provider Typical APR (Variable)
Moneyback Bank 6.3% 6.3%
Alliance and Leicester 6.5%
Bank of Scotland 6.6%
Halifax 6.6%

Compare over 2,000 loan rates

Beat the market and reduce insurance premiums

On the whole, car insurance premiums are on the rise but the marketplace is still very competitive. That means by shopping around you might actually be able to cut your premiums. There are some simple tips to help you with this:

  • Shop around. You should always receive at least three quotes when renewing
  • Buy online: Many car insurers offer a discount of 5% or more if you purchase your car insurance online
  • Avoid paying by direct debit: surprisingly this will cost more than by paying in a lump sum either by cash or with a credit card. Try a 0% purchase credit card and pay interest free in the introductory period.
  • Seek out a specialist – some insurers are geared towards offering certain motorists a better deal than the average punter.

Compare car insurance quotes in less than 4 minutes

Best 0% Purchase Credit Cards:

Provider Purchase Rate/Introductory Period Typical APR (variable)
Halifax One 0%/12 months 15.9%
Barclaycard 0%/10 months 14.9%
Bank of Scotland 0%/9 months 13.9%
MBNA Rewards 0%/9 months 15.9%

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

Whatever car you go for, over the next few weeks will be arming you with the hints and tips to give you peace of mind when the negotiations start. Enjoy the drive!

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