karen2205: Me with proper sized mug of coffee (Default)
Karen ([personal profile] karen2205) wrote2010-10-08 08:41 pm

Car buying

Am thinking quite seriously about buying a car again. I am becoming less enthuastic about cycling in this weather and it's only autumn - we've not yet reached winter/properly dark mornings. I don't (whatever the 'ought to's are) see this changing. And what's happening at the minute is that I'm taking cabs to and from work a lot, which means I'm tied to ordering a cab for a specific time and leaving at that time (assuming the company can supply me with one when I want one).

Stuff I want to know about cars:

Am I right in thinking that finance deals offered by car selling places are generally very bad value and that it's better to borrow money elsewhere and pay cash?

Is it possible to pay for a car on a credit card?

How long should I expect to be able to keep a car in good working order for? If I buy a car now should I be expecting to replace it in 5/10 years time?

What's the best trade off between cars made in the UK and cars made elsewhere with expensive replacement parts? ie. how do I weigh up the expense of replacement parts vs. potentially greater reliability?

I see road fund duty is for cars after 2001 based on CO2 emissions with a different table for 2001-2009 cars and a new one for post 2010 cars. How much emphasis should I put on low CO2 emissions vs. other stuff? We can't predict govt policy, but would it be reasonable to assume that the trend towards taxing the more polluting cars more heavily will continue and thus buying something with low emissions is a good plan? [trying to give that appropriate weight vs. the attempt at making myself feel less bad for joining the car owning masses 'cos 'my car doesn't cause much pollution']

What is good performance in terms of miles per gallon?

What is best practice in terms of winter/summer tyres? Can you buy snow chains in the UK? What other sorts of safety equipment belong in a car [on my list already: fire extinguisher, first aid kit, hammer for breaking windows/seatbelt slicing, jack, spare tyre, flourescent jacket, kitchen roll]

What's your magic piece of equipment in a car? [context: I'm trying to think about what sort of things I should think about asking a garage to fit before I buy a car from them - I don't know what sorts of things these might be - maybe strategically placed drinks holders? hands free kit? etc]

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