Car buying Part 3

So you want to buy a new car continued…


So your “friend” the salesperson is now trying to close the deal.


They will be pushing you to buy using the Manufacturers or Dealers finance packages because it has business benefits for them too. Often Manufacturers will sweeten the deal by giving you money towards your finance deposit, but look carefully as the type of finance may not suit you and some are costly to terminate early. I personally would not buy on a PCP deal, this is where you have a deposit, a low monthly payment then at the end the option to hand the car back, buy it or part exchange it to clear the balloon payment.  Finance is a whole different topic and so I won’t dwell on it here.


They know you will play hardball so the first deal they put to you won’t be the best. Reject this graciously either by just rejecting it or saying how much more you would like the deal sweetened. Doing a Dom Littlewood and asking for “flaps and mats” doesn’t cut much mustard these days, so go for price. New cars are priced on the road but used ones you can sometimes negotiate Road Tax to be included, usually you will get what I call a “splash” of fuel as most dealers don’t like giving it away. You often see FREE servicing included in a deal but consider its value if you are a low mileage user it may not be worth as much to you, likewise if you do high miles you may find the exclusions for mileage and time devalue its benefit to you.

Expect a bit of toing and frowing until you get to the price you want to pay, it can get frustrating as like I said earlier a lot of salespeople have to go through some kind of deal controller, unless you are buying from a smaller outfit which is owned by the salesperson. If you can’t agree on a deal then don’t be afraid to walk away, this can cause panic in a main dealer and you get one final salvo especially near to end of month targets. Having walked away my advice would be to move on from it, I personally don’t like follow up calls asking if I’ve had a think about it or to offer me a better deal SORRY you had your chance!.


Assuming you have agreed to make a purchase it’s not over for you yet. You will be asked about “extras” as this is a further source of profit for the dealer and some of it an FCA requirement of the dealer. A most common up sell is GAP  insurance this covers you for the difference between insurance payout and the market value of your car especially good if you have finance. This can be expensive through a dealer so if you are intending on buying on finance it maybe worth shopping around first. You will be offered a paint and upholstery treatment too, you can strike a deal on this cost usually or get it thrown in as the true cost to the dealer is obviously less than its retail price to you. From what I have seen they often are not applied very well or dare I say it sometimes not at all and most consumers don’t even remember they have it as there are caveats to its upkeep and warranty. My advice would be to take your vehicle to a car detailer then you are going to get a better application and more likely to remember you have it. Another add on is wheel and tyre insurance, don’t bother!. Extended warranties on used cars will be offered but check the cover and any clauses as it may not suit your needs.


Having survived the purchasing you will eventually be back to collect your car. Again you will be in a process don’t worry its a way of making it as hassle free as possible, but I would insist on a look at the car before signing anything or paying. If it’s a new car the salesperson has to show you all the details on the car as a requirement of the manufacturer he and the garage will get a bonus for it especially if you rate the experience 10 out of 10 on feedback. It’s an exciting time but try to listen especially about the controls as modern cars can be complicated with some controls for your safety and some for your enjoyment.


That’s it off you drive.


Any good salesperson will ring you in within 48hrs to make sure everything is ok.

Car buying Part 2

So you want to buy a new car continued…


Now you have got everything in order with your part exchange you are off to the dealership or used car pitch.

Before you go shopping decide how you wish to fund your purchase. Are you paying cash or finance? If you are a cash buyer consider a 0% finance deal and leave your money in the bank or a 50/50 deal where you pay half now and half later, often with little or no interest. If you need finance, and lets face it it’s a big purchase, look at how cheap you can source the funds yourself and effectively be a cash buyer.

The minute you set foot into sales territory expect to be met / intercepted  / jumped on / pounced on by a sales person. Unless you have arrived with a specific vehicle in mind make sure you are not rushed and, if you prefer, given time to browse. It can feel quite intimidating for some people, it’s just that salespeople are generally paid on commission and need to get to the “prey”, sorry customer before their colleagues. If you ask to browse don’t be surprised to be approached again by someone else, you must be firm but polite about wanting space. If you are ready to know more about a car ask for the keys to see inside, and never be afraid to ask for the car to be moved so that you may get a better look.

Now you are in the grasp of a salesperson you are in their process-driven sales pitch.

Some places will try to get you to test drive the vehicle before pricing your part exchange, some will insist on pricing it first. If you have no part exchange it’s reasonable for them to want you to test drive it before offering a discount as it’s irrelevant if you don’t like the drive.

Remember it’s about how much you need to pay to own your next car.  The part exchange valuation and price of the car you are buying can be manipulated however you like but it’s the difference between the two which is the important bit.


You are likely to be asked for your Driving Licence to be checked for offences, etc. before being taken on a test drive, due to insurance and safety of the staff. This is to be expected these days so make sure you have it with you.

For the safety of the staff most places have a set test route, therefore if you want to drive a specific road or take the car home to see if it fits your garage for example it’s only fair to make the salesperson aware of this before you set off so they can advise the person in charge.

A good salesperson will always drive the car first to explain some of the controls / features you may not be familiar with and to show how the car drives. Most people know very quickly if they like the car but if you feel you need a longer drive you should ask for it – after all it’s an expensive purchase.

After the test drive is when the work really starts.

Assuming you have now got a price for your part exchange, you can negotiate a deal.

It’s always a good idea during the buying process to “make friends” with the salesperson as they are only human and annoying them makes them less likely to be accommodating. If they like you they will fight your corner with the person controlling the sales process (I say this as most places have a Sales Manager/Controller looking after the sales profits). From the salesperson all the way up the chain the process is target driven so everyone wants you to buy – use this to your advantage.

Car Buying part 1

So you want to buy a new car?


It will help you tremendously if you are planning to part exchange your car to do some preparation too. Take a look around the internet to get a feel for what your car maybe worth, bearing in mind these will be retail prices ie what someone or dealer expects to achieve for the car. If it’s from a dealer consider that they are likely to be including a warranty, a service (quite often just an oil change and kick the tyres) and a new MOT, all of which has to come out of their profit. Therefore what you get offered will be considerably less. I’m not saying you accept that: just be realistic about your expectations as it will depend on the condition of your car and how much the dealer really wants it.


Now to the condition of your car…if it’s worth more than a few hundred pounds its definitely worth giving it a quick wash and brush up before going shopping. If it looks loved the dealer is less likely to go over it with a fine tooth comb expecting the worst if it looks a “shed”. Don’t get me wrong they will still expect everything to be in working order and especially these days no warning lights on the dash.

If you have a chipped or damaged windscreen its worth getting it replaced or repaired through your insurance as the dealer certainly won’t want to stand the cost of that. If you have any bumps or scrapes on the bodywork it maybe worth getting these attended to also, someone like Chips Away do localised repairs and  may add hundreds to your part exchange valuation.


Does the vehicle have full service history? If so they will want to know if it’s Main Dealer or otherwise. Depending on who the otherwise is may make a difference ie a professional local garage or DIY mechanic. The dealer will also want to see proof so make sure you take the stamped service book or receipts with you. They will also be keen to know if it’s due a service, especially if it’s a major one!. Does your car have an MOT and how long can make a difference too. Don’t worry about the paperwork as this is checked online now, which means they can also check for any advisories that may be a future cost to them too, particularly if they need to MOT the car to resell it.


Do you have a full set of keys or remote controls that would have originally come with the car? This can wipe a few hundred pounds off the value of your car these days as they are expensive to replace and often require main dealer programming.


If you have alloy wheels have you got the locking wheel nut key? It may seem trivial but the dealer will look at the expense and hassle involved in getting a replacement, more so if they need the wheels off to work on the car.


VERY IMPORTANT is have you got the V5 registration document. A dealer is unlikely to want the car without it as it’s proof of ownership and he can’t sell it on without one, and again there is a cost to getting a replacement.


Are you aware of any extras on the car that would have been an additional cost? Some are desirable some not but worth telling the person looking around your car as they don’t necessarily know all the specs of cars.


Don’t be worried about my pointers like I say some preparation can see you get more for your car, and just consider that if the dealer has to spend any money on it it’s worth less to you as he’s not going to fund it.


Some dealers will move cars on to other trade buyers or auctions but will still expect all of the above to be able to give you a fair price. Again I’m not saying its what you want or should accept but its a starting point for negotiations.


PS Take your Driving Licence too.



Norfolk Coast Guardian

I was delighted this week to get one of the first copies of the Norfolk Coast Guardian publication especially in its silver anniversary year. This year is also a memorable year for the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty too, in that its 50 years since it was recognised as one of the UK’s most treasured places.

The cover artwork ‘Outstanding’ was gifted to the Norfolk Coast Partnership by nationally renowned wildlife artist and Norfolk resident Richard Gillmor.

A book has also been produced by the Norfolk Coast Partnership in collaboration with local photographers and poets to mark the 50th anniversary of the AONB, with profits going to support projects along the coast.

Did you know that the Norfolk Coast is home to 2 Dark Sky Discovery sites, these are areas designated as being unaffected by light pollution allowing people to view the night sky. And it also has a Marine Conservation Zone off the coast and miles of National Trail Path running through the area.

The theme running through this years Guardian is 50 things to celebrate, from things to do, nature to see and lots of walks to take in.

If you are reading the Guardian then why not support one of its many contributors of articles or advertising by eating at their establishment or visiting their attraction etc. It may be a nice touch to also mention where you saw their details.

The Norfolk Coast area of outstanding natural beauty is managed by the Norfolk Coast Partnership. I spoke with its manager Estelle Hook whose team work with partners and organisations around the coast to manage it in a sustainable way. Estelle said “To be involved with the AONB at such a milestone in its history is a real pleasure and I am excited about the year ahead, starting on 8th April the exact date 50 years ago the AONB was formed”.

The Guardians’ 60,000 copies are being distributed now via shops and organisations around the coast.

If you visit anywhere in the outdoors this summer just consider that many are AONB or National Parks and are managed for your enjoyment and future generations. So please take your litter home, keep to paths and keep your dog under control especially around livestock many who have young at this time of the year.

Lazy Sunday

Now that the snow has all but gone I thought we would venture a bit further today on the dog walk. So after getting the little man off the sofa at breakfast time we set off.

Lazy Sunday

Shelby is still too young to walk too far, and as our favourite farm track is a sea of mud I took him along a nearby quite lane. Today’s task was for more heel work practice. Being a typical spaniel this is coming on slowly as the rest of the world is much more interesting than listening to me. However I feel we are making progress now, he will pull on the lead but by turning him around at this point he is starting to get the fact that a slack lead is much nicer.

Anyway we had a nice session this morning and not wanting to overdo it we headed back for breakfast. Fish for Dogs puppy for the little man and full English for me. When I say full I mean FULL. We had sausages from Musks of Newmarket, Black Pudding from Back to the Garden Letheringsett, Bacon from Elsegoods Butchers Pott Row, Mushrooms somewhere in England, Bantam Eggs from a friends garden in Sheringham and Heinz Baked Beans with I side order of Homemade Marmalade, Toast and Tea. As you can see we are keen to buy local as much as possible and food with provenance too, this requires a bit of effort but tastes so much better.

So now we are having our feet and paws up enjoying the rest of the day in front of the woodburner,with maybe an English Whisky or two and a good book.




Welcome to my blog. It is my intention to build a one stop blog for those of us interested in the countryside. I will be listing events, blogging on pubs and eateries, products of interest, doggy stuff, walks etc. So please stop by again soon.