August 27, 2014

Car parts swapper handed community service and £2,000 fine

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A Widnes man was sentenced to 200 hours unpaid community service and ordered to pay more than £2,000 in compensation after stealing parts from a new hire car and replacing them with components from his much older vehicle. Alexander Keating, 23, of Upton Lane, stole the gear shift knob, steering wheel, brake callipers and other parts from an Audi … [Read more...]

What’s in a number?

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The SMMT are releasing positive new cars sales figures month in month out, seemingly bucking the trend in the rest of Europe, but is everything in the garden as rosy as it may at first appear? Scratch beneath the surface and the so called new car “sales” figures reveal a somewhat different picture.  We know for a fact that many franchise car … [Read more...]

The blame game, “whipcash” and easy targets

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Having been in the business for nearly 20 years now it still amuses me when I still regularly observe the bad press that 'used cars' get. You can barely watch a programme without some reference to the dodgy practices of the used car salesman. For sure anyone watching the documentary series “The dealership” really couldn’t fail but have their … [Read more...]

Smoke and mirrors in the UK car market

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It seems as if the motor trade in the UK is going from strength to strength. Sales are buoyant, the order banks are filling up, there are many new models coming to market and f&i income is at an all-time high. Scratch beneath the surface however and many dealers will tell you that it’s not all it seems. Although the headlines will say that … [Read more...]

Buoyant new car market presents challenges for dealers

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Trade buyers are now actively seeking older, higher mileage, small, economical cars to stock their forecourts, as buyers continue to look for bargains. There are now 2 district variety of customers, those who 'rent' their cars like our American cousins through PCP’s or other leases and those who pay cash. You may say that is how it’s always been … [Read more...]

Car market weathervane

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The recent truncated spell of winter weather has played havoc with traditional buying patterns. Just when the sun pops out from behind the clouds one step outside tells us it still cold and biting so buying a summery drop top is still not on the horizon. Whilst normally the queue for buyers of 4wd drives would start to dwindle at this time of … [Read more...]

PCP’s more popular than ever for credit hungry Brits

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Funding cars by PCP (Personal contract purchase) is rapidly becoming the norm, it is reckoned that as many as 60% of car buyers use a PCP to buy their next car and this figure is only going in one direction. Although many of us do not necessarily like the thought of another monthly commitment it is invariably better than to have an older car … [Read more...]

March Madness!

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With March well and truly underway many dealers are caught in the crossfire of the car maker’s market share war! Some of our people are telling us that the targets are not only unrealistic but causing forced registrations as the manufacturers continue to incentivise dealers to pre-register new cars in order to grab more share. The effect of … [Read more...]

DVLA and unlucky 13

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There is likely to be a short term rise in the amount of personal plates being acquired as buyers keen to avoid an unlucky 13 plate, but still wanting a new car, turn to private registrations to avoid the perceived bad luck. This sort of behavior, fear of the number 13, even has its own specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia. The … [Read more...]

Is there something seriously wrong with the UK new car market?

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Here's a peculiar conundrum for you. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association new car registrations fell 8.5% in January to the lowest level for more than 20 years – Registrations fell to 918,280 new cars, and the ACEA said it is the slowest January since its records began in 1990. But in an amazing contrast, UK car buyers … [Read more...]

Do your homework and you may be able to afford a better car than you think

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Despite the bad weather we have recently had it looks like business is brisk although, on the downside, dealers are telling us that margins are under pressure. It is safe to assume that this is going to be a fairly important year and dealers are keen to ensure that q1 is set up to give them the best start possible. The competition with the new car … [Read more...]

With a “can do” attitude anything is possible!

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With high street retailers closing at a rapid rate it’s vital that businesses adapt to this seemingly never ending recession and the fact that the way we, as consumers, shop is changing just as rapidly. I was recently at a conference where after we’d sat through all the usual “state of the nation” and “how are we bearing up” speeches there then … [Read more...]

Bad news for Honda but no real surprises

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These are frightening times for workers at Honda with over 800 redundancies being planned less than a year after they announced a multimillion pound investment at their Swindon plant. In periods like this you sit back and wonder what the future holds if this can happen to a giant like Honda, and at this point I have to declare a personal … [Read more...]

Is it time to start scaling down the oppulent showroom?

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The way we buy cars is changing rapidly and car dealers are struggling to keep up with how they deal with the needs of the modern customer. However no matter how much technology improves our lives and empowers us as consumers, there will always be those that will buy in the traditional way. The irony is that as we have just had a record year … [Read more...]

What to expect in 2013

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As yet another topsy turvy year in the motor trade draws to a close, there are many things to be optimistic about and many lessons learned from these uncertain times. Behind every stat there is a story. For example, on the face of it, we will register more new cars than last year with a probable 5% increase which on the surface is fantastic but, … [Read more...]

Don’t wait for Boxing Day – now is the time for a good deal

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It’s ironic that the lead up to Christmas is the one of the quietest of times in a car showroom with lots of sales execs and service advisors twiddling their thumbs or putting out the crimbo decs. Let’s face it we are pretty easy to read in this country; the high street shops - possibly for the only time this year - are actually packed out and … [Read more...]

K.I.S.S. principles still worth embracing

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K.I.S.S is an acronym that has become a little passé of late, much the same as 'we are not re-inventing the wheel' however in the motor trade I occasionally wonder if some people are actually listening. As I tour around dealerships in my day job and especially when business is tough, I always hear people announcing what imitative they will put … [Read more...]

Equal opportunities in the motor trade – better for everyone

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We thankfully now live in age where we are more equal than we have ever been and although we have an awfully long way to go in many ways, we have to acknowledge the progress being made on things like rights at work, equal pay between men and women and your sexual orientation or religion not precluding you from similar opportunities. Perhaps this … [Read more...]

Sunday Times Driving

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It will be interesting to see how the times new classified site driving.co.uk fairs in the current market. It appears it will be continuing the high end theme that has been a hallmark of the Sunday Times motoring section for many years. Interestingly the site will also combine the advertising of thousands of premium brand cars alongside reviews and … [Read more...]

Car auctions a game changer fro the trade

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The major car auctions in the UK are growing their business rapidly with more dealers committing their unwanted trade-ins to auction than ever before. In days gone by dealers would move most of their trade-ins on themselves mainly to local traders and other garages that may specialise in retailing older examples that the dealer themself would not … [Read more...]

Really no excuse for buying the wrong car

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Deciding what car to buy is obviously an important decision making process (we all know what happens when you get that wrong) but the “when” can be just as vital. There is generally always an optimum time to buy for any model and a selection of models within any brand which are slow sellers are therefore likely to attract a more attractive (from a … [Read more...]

Too much information

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The other week a well-known vehicle data check company launched a new feature which they clearly hoped they’d be able to sell to subscribers until they realised that they had unleashed hell on the dealer network. On the face of it the said function could have been quite a useful tool for consumers as it gave information on whether a vehicle has … [Read more...]

There is something very wrong with the Car insurance industry

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So the OFT has finally decided that there may be a wee bit of trouble with the insurance industry resulting in the investigation by the competition commission. For many of us who have felt the frustration of trying to get a decent quote and not be stung by continually higher premiums this will be welcome. It is estimated that insurance premiums … [Read more...]

A very long dark tunnel

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Car dealers are being fairly optimistic about September as a whole as many we have spoken to have managed to get some good footfall and convert some business. It is reckoned that most dealers like to go into the “plate change” month hoping to have achieved 50% of the September target in order to have a chance of getting near to it by the end of the … [Read more...]

One family one car

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The constant price hikes in fuel continue to have an effect on the used car market. It is reckoned that more people are getting rid of the second family car due to the simple economics of keeping it on the road and making do with one car, however inconvenient that may be. Cheaper economical cars are still making all the money in the trade but … [Read more...]