Media post: The World’s Most Expensive Cars

When it comes to the world’s most expensive cars, style, power and exclusivity are a must. When you have this much money in your pocket, a practical run-around to get you from A to B just won’t do. The super-rich want a rare piece of manufacturing perfection from record breaking top speeds to a diamond encrusted finish. These cars are in a league that only the elite could realize. Money may not buy you happiness, but owning one of these would definitely put a smile on our faces.

Thanks to Refused Car Finance you can now see the most bank breaking cars to have been sold new. Find out which cars made the list below.

Try before you buy – hire cars as an extended test drive

For most people buying a new car is one of the most significant purchases that they will ever make, often only second in cost to their home. What’s more, it’s a purchase that many are predicting will become more expensive over the next few months.

So with so much at stake it’s important to feel 100% confident that it’s the car for you before you commit to buy. So far, so logical, but the standard dealership test-drive can only tell you so much. For example you’ll probably have the salesperson by your side who will be doing their utmost to play up the benefits and features of a particular model while glossing over any shortcomings that it may have. You’ll also probably be directed over a route by them – and one which will only last a few minutes. So most people would agree that this is hardly enough time to judge how a car performs in a number of different driving conditions.

That’s why more and more people are choosing to hire a model they are interested in buying and really putting it through its paces for a whole day or even longer. In this way, they can really see if it’s the car for them and it can also give the opportunity to compare a number of different variations on the same model, for example manual, automatic and even hybrids, to see which suits them best. Plus, unlike dealer test drives that will generally be restricted to A roads in the vicinity of the dealership, it gives the chance to try a car out everywhere from motorways to winding country lanes. And by using the car for different everyday purposes like going for the weekly supermarket shop it also gives a clearer idea of its practicality for a particular lifestyle.

However, if you are thinking about taking this route to choosing your new car there’s one important element that you should consider. Driving any car that you’re unfamiliar with may put you at an increased risk of having a bump, maybe because you misjudge your car’s width when squeezing through a tight gap or simply by underestimating its power and acceleration, and zooming straight into a wall or the back of another car at the slightest touch of the accelerator pedal. So it’s well worth considering safety measures you could take. That’s because If you do damage a hire car that’s when you’ll discover the very high excess that most rental companies apply, not to mention the comparatively expensive charges that they will make for repairs.

Many will offer you additional excess insurance to cover this when you hire the car but this, too, is likely to be very expensive. Far better to arrange excess insurance of your own from a leading expert in the field. What’s more the rates are the same whether you’re hiring a Ford or a Ferrari – though in the case of the latter you’ll probably be hiring it just for fun instead of seriously considering a purchase. So, if you’re thinking of investing thousands in a new car, it not only makes sense to try before you buy – you should also have the excess cover in place if you want real peace of mind that if you do have a scrape it won’t also prove to be a very expensive mistake.

Middle East Full Year 2016: 14 markets now complete

Hyundai Elantra in Dubai, UAE

Our Full Year 2016 Reports are now covering most Middle-Eastern markets, with new Historical Data post also uploaded. Full list is below:

New Historical Data posts available:

Iraq: 2011-2016 Historical Data now available

Jordan: 2010-2016 Historical Data now available

Lebanon: 2010-2016 Historical Data now available

Syria: 2014-2016 Historical Data now available

Yemen: 2010-2016 Historical Data now available

Full Year 2016 Reports:

Bahrain Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser and Prado on top

Gulf Cooperation Council Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux reigns supreme

Iran Full Year 2016: Saipa Pride & Peugeot 405 lead, Brilliance H330 in Top 10

Iraq Full Year 2016: Kia Frontier and Sportage outsell Toyota Hilux

Israel Full Year 2016: Kia Sportage first ever crossover to lead charts

Jordan Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser takes control, market down 27%

Kuwait Full year 2016: Toyota Prado and Camry top market down 26%

Lebanon Full Year 2016: Toyota Prado snaps top spot

Oman Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux overtakes Land Cruiser Pickup to #1

Qatar Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser towers above competition

Saudi Arabia Full Year 2016: First ever crown for the Hyundai Accent

Syria Full Year 2016: Kia Frontier tops market down 36%

United Arab Emirates Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser takes control

Yemen Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser #1, BMW X6 and X4 in Top 10

Media post: How much is my old car worth?

If you are ready to upgrade your car, a likely first step will be trying to decipher how much your old car is worth. Several different factors determine the value of your car. Your automobile is going to probably be worth more if you sell it outright than if you trade it in. But when you take it to a dealership, you don’t have to worry about all the hassles involved in a private sale. Additionally, selling to a dealership may help you get best used cars deals and better financing options, or be able to afford that new car you have your eye on. In general, there are specific formulas in place to determine how much your old car is worth.

Car dealerships and apps or websites (like Edmunds) use standard formulas to determine the value of a used car. The problem is that things like condition and other specifications can sometimes be in the eye of the beholder. Setting the right price can make the difference between getting all you should for your used car, or having it sit waiting for months while the car devalues.

The different categories that are used to value a used car are:

Year, make and model

In general, the newer the model is, the more it’s worth — unless, of course, it scores lower in other categories. Just because you have a newer car, that does not make it more valuable if you have damage, fewer options or higher mileage. The first thing to consider may be the type of car that you are trying to sell. But the year and model are only two things that are used in the equation.

Style and upgrades

When the car was purchased new, even if not by you, there may have been several options and upgrades available. Things like trim, car mats or type of material used for the interior are all upgrades that affect the price of the car both at the time of purchase and over time. Other features that can be in this category are things like whether it is four-door versus two and the type of engine it carries.

To best decide how much your car is worth, you will need to know the specifics of the engine and transmission, such as if it has all-wheel drive. These are all factors that will affect the worth of the car. Upgrades such as navigation systems, leather, climate control options in the back seats and even a sun- or moon-roof are all things that can factor into the value. Knowing what you have is necessary to know how much it is worth.

If you aren’t sure which options or upgrades your car has, many of the websites and apps that you can use to determine the cost will go through a list of available options for your car. Sit in the car, bring the owner’s manual, or take stock while in it to answer the questions for a realistic value.

Condition

One of the most difficult decisions to make, is what type of “condition” your car is in. Just like any of your valuables, people tend to overestimate how good of a shape their car is in. Don’t discount those little things in the side, the burn hole in the interior, or the general overall condition of the inside. You may fool yourself into thinking it is in excellent shape, but you won’t be able to fool anyone who is considering buying it used.

The condition is not just about how many miles it has, whether it has unrepaired damage from an accident, or if it is older than dirt. Everything that affects the car’s appearance will affect the price. If you are a smoker, then that will likely have a bearing. If you have kids, that definitely will have a bearing too. Make sure to be realistic with your own estimation to come up with the best value for your car.

Overall, you are probably going to get the most money for your car if you sell it privately, but that doesn’t come without its own hurdles. Selling your car on your own will often take longer, and you must be available to show the car and have the time to sit and wait for it to sell. Weigh the pros and cons of selling it yourself versus using it for a trade-in to decide if the potential extra couple hundred dollars is worth it.

Media post: Asian Cars That You Don’t See Any More In The U.S.

Isuzu Trooper in Eureka, NV 

Even though the United States has over 250 million cars on the road, this isn’t an easy country to break into with a new car brand. The problem is that there are so many great car brands here now with complete dealer networks and infrastructures up and running. This hasn’t stopped a number of companies from trying, though. In this article, we will look at several Asian manufacturers that gave the US market a good shot but were unable to sustain the effort. Do you remember any of these?

Suzuki

Suzuki had been successful for decades as a motorcycle manufacturer. In 1985, they leveraged their excellent brand name and started selling Suzuki automobiles in several countries around the world. The United States was one of them. By the end of the decade, they were selling large numbers of their Cultus, Swift and Samurai models here. All three of these models were considered to be well built and extremely thrifty on fuel. Despite selling over 100,000 cars in 2006 and releasing a new compact sedan, the Kizashi, the great recession doomed the brand in America. According to Lustine Toyota of Woodbridge, a local Toyota dealer in Woodbridge, VA, Suzuki exited the American market in 2014.

Isuzu

Back in 1972, General Motors partnered with the Japanese automaker Isuzu to build and import the oddly-named LUV pickup truck into the US. Their reasoning was sound; the big three automakers were all selling boatloads of large pickup trucks, but a certain section of the market wanted a smaller model. General Motors quickly partnered up with Isuzu and soon had the LUV truck on the market. The LUV truck wasn’t a huge success but it did introduce Isuzu to the US market. Soon the brand was building steam and they introduced the rugged Isuzu Trooper and the attractive Impulse sports car to the US market. Sales were strong but the economy slowed down in the early 1990s and Isuzu began to stumble. Its final two models, the Vehicross and Axiom were innovative, but they were too late. Isuzu left the US marketplace in 1998.

Daihatsu

For several decades, Daihatsu was one of Japan’s largest carmakers. By the late ’80s, with American demand for Japanese cars was building steam and Daihatsu entered the US marketplace. In 1987, Daihatsu released the Charade, a subcompact hatchback, followed in 1988 by the Rocky, a Suzuki Samurai-like subcompact. An impressive effort but a lack of dealership network and brand recognition spelled the end for the brand in 1992.

Daewoo

Remember Daewoo? Metro Kia of Cartersville, a local Kia dealer in Cartersville, GA, explains Daewoo is a large conglomerate in South Korea and their automotive group came into the American market in 1986. Their first model was the compact Pontiac LeMans which was created in a partnership with General Motors. Available as a three-door hatchback and a four-door sedan, it was sold until 1994. In 1998, Daewoo released a trio of small cars: the Lanos, Leganza, and Nubira under the Daewoo brand name. The roll out of these three models was poorly organized and in 2002, the company was bought by General Motors.

Sterling

The British auto industry was known for making fine looking and handling automobiles from the 1930s to 1970s.They especially excelled in their interiors which offered luxurious leather and exotic burlwood dashes. They weren’t known for their quality and reliability, though, and by 1980, most of the British brands were in trouble. The reason? Buyers in the United States switched over to the thrifty, reliable Japanese and Korean cars.

The British Rover Company came up with a genius concept. By partnering up with Honda, they could build a car with great styling, famous British interior appointments and a highly reliable chassis. In 1986, Rover launched the Sterling 800, a luxury sedan based on the Honda Legend. Unfortunately, the Sterling was poorly built and had boatloads of problems. The brand never gained any traction and Sterling disappeared by 1992 after five years and fewer than 40,000 sales.

Media post: What’s More Green: a New Car or a Used Car?

It’s a common conversation not only among car buffs but among environmentalists too; what is better for the environment, a new car or a used car? Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t nearly as straight forward as you might think. In fact, you can essentially argue it either way depending on the criteria you use and your ultimate definition of green. Let’s take a look.

New Cars

In order to discuss “what the greenest vehicle is” you have to look beyond its daily operating characteristics, things like gas mileage and emissions; you have to look at what was involved in making the vehicle in the first place – the total effect on the Planet. New cars are made up of thousands of components and they are sourced from all around the world. And, most of them come from natural raw materials (not recycled). So that means metals like iron and copper come from large-scale mining operations. Unfortunately, these operations are disruptive environmentally and often involve toxic chemicals. Plastics are no better. Most polymers are formulated from petroleum products and involve plenty of waste and toxicity during their processing cycle. And then there is the emission of greenhouse gases that accompanies all these processes. Studies have shown that between 14 and 28 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions generated during a car’s entire lifecycle occur during its manufacturing phase.

Used Cars

Is a used car better? Remember Greenbrier Motor Company of Lewisburg, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Lewisburg, WV, says, every time a consumer opts for a used car over a new one, that’s one car that’s already passed through all these phases we discussed above and one less vehicle headed to the scrap heap. The remaining issue to consider is that older cars pollute more than new cars and many are much less gas thrifty. The question is, if you use this used car for let’s say some 100,000 miles, will the total energy consumed and pollutants created be less than a new car? Hard question to answer because it depends on what sort of new car you are comparing your hypothetical used car to.

What about an EV?

But what if you buy an electric vehicle (EV)? After all they are very energy efficient and generate nothing in the way of greenhouse gases. Well, they clearly win in that department but EVs actually have a significant environmental impact when they are built compared to standard cars. Not only are there all the metal and plastic pollution issues, those lithium-ion, lead-acid, or Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries are no friends of the environment. This, however, may become less significant as mining and manufacturing techniques are refined in the future.

The other major issue with EVs is that technically they are emission free only if the electrical power comes from a source that is renewable, like solar or wind. Today, it’s likely that the local electricity will come from a coal- or natural-gas burning power plant. Naturally those utilities generate their own pollution so that needs to be integrated into the total equation.

Conclusion

As you can see, the answer to the question “What’s more green: a new car or a used car?” isn’t an easy one because it depends on so many variables. In the future, we may see this argument tilt one way or another more as environmental regulations change and manufacturing processes become more efficient and less polluting.

Media post: Pros and Cons of the Most Common Forms of Car Finance

It’s well known that buying a new car isn’t as simple as just walking into a dealership and slapping a wad of cash onto the desk. Most people don’t have close to enough money in their personal savings to buy a car outright, but there are so many options for car finance that it can set your head spinning. Here are the pros and cons of the most common kinds so you can decide which is right for you.

Hire Purchase

A long-term loan secured against the car, so you are effectively renting it from the seller until such time as you have paid off the whole loan. This is a good way to afford newer cars.

Pros: Quick and easy to arrange, flexible repayment periods, low initial investment

Cons: You don’t own the car until after the final repayment, generally more expensive in the long run

Personal Contract Plans

A variant of hire purchase where instead of paying back the value of the car, you pay back the difference between the original value and resale value back to the dealer, and can decide to return the car or pay off the remainder at the end of the (slightly shorter) repayment period.

Pros: All the pros of hire purchase with even lower monthly repayments, flexible in terms of keeping or reselling the car

Cons: More expensive than hire purchase overall, you need to pay the difference to keep the car

Personal Leasing

This is basically renting the car from the dealer long term. Services and maintenance are included in the price so long as you don’t exceed a set mileage.

Pros: Fixed costs, flexible terms, no worries about the car depreciating in value

Cons: You never own the car, higher monthly payments, they often require a large initial deposit

Personal Loans

This is where a bank or another provider lends you a sum of money to be paid back over a set period at a fixed interest rate. You can arrange them in person, online, or over the phone.

Pros: Flexible conditions (amount, repayment schedule, etc.), can be the cheapest way to borrow if you have good credit

Cons: May affect your credit rating, there can be a wait for funds to become available

With this knowledge you should be able to pick the option t

Media post: The Italian Car Manufacturing Industry Today

Fiat 500 detail La Maddalena Sardinia

Whether it’s simple but stylish small city cars, luxury executive cars or fly supercars, Italy has always been one of the most interesting countries when it comes to the output of their automotive industry. However, while Italy’s best loved marques are still big players both domestically and abroad, the industry itself has changed quite significantly in recent years, and become far more globalised. Here, we take a look at the status of Italy’s major car brands right now, and how the industry fits in the general Italian and EU economy.

One Brand to Rule Them All

When you think of Italian cars, you can probably name several marques. On the mass market end you have Fiat, of course, then moving up the scale you have Alfa Romeo and Lancia, and then at the top end Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini. However, all but one of these – Lamborghini – are actually owned by Fiat. Lamborghini is owned by Audi, who are in turn owned by Volkswagen, though the company is still based in Italy, near Bologna.

Fiat therefore owns all of the biggest Italian brands that still have Italian ownership, and dominates the industry domestically, with around 90% of cars produced in Italy being made by Fiat owned marques since the millennium.

Fiat, up until recently, kept its concerns within Italy, however in 2014 they purchased 100% of American car giant Chrysler – purchasing a non-Italian manufacturer for the first time. As a fun fact, Chrysler owned Lamborghini – the one major Italian brand Fiat haven’t got in their portfolio – up until 1994.

The Recent Resurgence of Fiat in Europe

Italy produced over a million cars in 2015 for the first time since 2008, and the Italian car market seems to be making something of a comeback after a weak few years. A lot of this is attributed by business and investment experts to the popularity of the Fiat 500. A small, yet iconic city car designed to bring some Italian design flair to the same sector of the market as things like the Mini Cooper and Ford Fiesta, this redeveloped version of the classic Fiat 500 has performed well all over Europe. With options including the faster, sportier Abarth version of the 500 winning the hearts of sports car enthusiasts who also value the economy and convenience of a city car, the Fiat 500 has broad appeal, and has reignited interest in the Fiat brand in most of Europe, including the UK. The car has even seen reasonable sales in the USA, where Fiats are not a common site. This may be in part thanks to the fact that a lot of 500s are manufactured in Mexico, rather than Italy itself, however.

Employment and Economy

Fiat’s choice to move some of its manufacturing, both to Mexico and Poland, did raise concerns around employment in Italy, where around a quarter of a million people work in roles related to the car industry. At present, cars contribute about 8.5% of Italy’s GDP, making it a very important industry within the country, and, along with fashion, one of its more high profile export industries. It is worth noting, that while we’ve mainly been focusing on Fiat and their big name marques here, Italy does also have some smaller manufacturers that those with a passion for Italian motoring are fond of, such as Pagani, Zagato, and Pininfarina.

Media post: Why a Car History Check Is So Important

Car History Check

Whether you’re buying a used car from a private individual or from a dealership, there’s always a chance that you’re dealing with one of the less than honest types seeking to make a quick profit by exploiting your trust.

Of course, it’s equally possible that the seller you’ve found has acted entirely in good faith and disclosed every last relevant piece of information about the car. The real problem is telling which, and that’s where an HPI Check comes in. Here are just some of the things one can reveal.

The Car Has Been Reported Stolen

A definite warning sign—if this comes up you should inform the police immediately. If you buy a stolen car it remains the property of the insurer or the original owner.

The Car Has Been Written Off

Also called a ‘total loss’ this means that the car has been damaged in such a way that it would cost more than the total value of the car to repair. If this is a category C or D the car is safe (and not too uncommon on older cars that have been in moderate accidents) but the seller should tell you of this, and if the loss was a category A or B it should not be on the road.

The Mileage Has Been Misreported

Making a car look more valuable by turning back the odometer is the oldest trick in the book, and surprisingly easy to do to modern cars. A history check will reveal an accurate figure whenever one is available and if there is a significant difference between the one it reveals and what you’ve been told be wary.

There is Outstanding Finance on the Car

If you buy a car with outstanding finance you become liable for that money. If this comes up on a history check, get a written guarantee that the cost will be paid off by the time the car changes hands. If the seller refuses you’re probably dealing with a scammer.

A Safety Recall Has Been Issued

Sometimes manufacturers recall cars due to faults across the line that endanger drivers or passengers. If this has happened and no steps have been taken to make the vehicle safe, don’t buy it.

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