Thursday, 30 September 2010

Ryder Cup Ambush Marketing

With the Ryder cup about to Tee off, companies who wouldn't dip their hands into their pockets to sponsor the event are trying to cash in on the tournament. Paddy Power are in the process of building a massive HOLLYWOOD style sign that over looks the first tee.

Is this clever marketing, unethical, tight, cheating, funny....???

Whatever you may think of it, companies have to come up with ways to advertise their brand cost effectively and already the column inches given to Paddy Power must be the envy of other large companies who only wished they'd got there first.

I could only dream of getting a Car Arena logo displayed at the Paris motor show for free, I can see it now at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Ferrari having paid millions for their stand, waiting patiently ready to unveil their latest incarnation the 599 convertible to the worlds media, the covers come off and I have manged to paint their beautiful Red Ferrari, Pantone 200 Blue and slapped a huge Car Arena logo on it declaring free car valuations...not a very nice thing to do but immediately the brand would be recognised across the world. Now I imagine around any new car launch the security would be akin to that surrounding Mr Obama  having tea in Helmand Province...still we can dream.

Already the London Olympic Committee are working hard to ensure only official sponsors have access to the 2012 Games, advertising sites in and around London have been snapped up and reserved for official sponsors...Still I have a couple of years to figure out how I can crash this Party...Only kidding Mr Coe, I wouldn't dream of such a thing...well I would, but wouldn't have the guts to try and do it!!!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

GAP Insurance - to buy or not to buy

I'm sure I'm not alone when it comes to this...but why didn't I take GAP insurance???

Well I bought the car before I worked in the Motor Industry and I honestly thought I would never need it (famous last words). Surely it was just another ploy by the motor dealer to try and lift my leg and get even more cash out of me?

Maybe so, I'm sure the dealer would have made a healthy commission out of it and at the time £250 seemed a bit much to lay out when I was already pushing an already stretched budget.

£250 is beginning to look like small change now though! Four weeks ago whilst on a drive out with the family, the car traveling towards me turned across my path causing a big, big collision. 2 Fire engines, 2 ambulances, 2 traffic police, 1 paramedic, 1 closed road, 5 hours on a spinal board, 1 fractured sternum, a dozen bruises, 20 boxes of pain killers later and then, to top it all off a bill for £2700 to cover the shortfall on my car!

Eh....but it wasn't my fault, surely, yea if I had caused the crash I could understand...BUT IT WASN'T MY FAULT.

Doesn't matter sir they said, shortfall is an uninsured loss and is only covered by GAP insurance..awe rollocks!

No matter how much I plead, it is just tough!

So if you are selling your car and buying a new or nearly new car, I strongly recommend stretching that little bit further for either shortfall cover or return to invoice it could be some other idiot on the road that results in you been £2700 out of pocket.

If you are selling your car, or part exchanging your car try and get that bit extra cash for your car to help pay for GAP Insurance.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

October Used Car Prices and Availability

Looking at the data released by CAP this month it seems the old trends no longer ring true. In days gone by October used car prices would have typically been 0.5% lower than September as it hit a bit of a lull after the new plate release activity. Not true this year though, this months book price sees virtually no change against September.

Shortage of quality stock looks to be causing issues around the market place, with researchers describing chaotic scenes at some auctions as dealers were desperate for new stock. Normally September sees a fresh influx of used car stock as people trade their cars in for a new one. Not so this year, long lead-times on new cars has lead to a shortage of part exchanges’ coming on to the market. This problem shows no sign of abating as most manufacturers are making cars to order and not building stock as they did in the boom time.

This is compounding the problems experienced over the past two years. Scrapage took a lot of road worthy cars out of the market place and didn’t generate the PX turnaround cars . It did a job in getting older (but many still roadworthy) cars off the road and helped in the short term increase new car sales….it didn’t replenish in any way the used car market stock. Month by month there have been fewer quality used cars available. It is estimated that by 2011 there will be 2 million fewer 1-5 year old cars on the road than in 2008.

Dealers need to look for alternative stock streams, one of which allows Main Dealers, Motor Traders and Buyers to register and bid on cars listed on the site by the public and other motor traders. This service is free to the public and is seeing a phenomenal increase in the number of cars listed on the site for sale. Once a dealer has bid on a vehicle they can contact the seller directly to negotiate and arrange collection or drop off.

As the public have been exposed to the numerous car sites offering to buy their car, (sell your car, cash for your car) for sometime now, Car Arena offers a great alternative as the public know they will get more than one bid on their car, they can talk to buyers directly and will have more confidence in the dealers affiliated with Car Arena especially as the brand develops through carefully executed marketing strategies

Friday, 24 September 2010

Car Arena - A New Dealing Platform for Motor Dealers, Motor Traders & Car Buyers

Car Dealers, Buyers and Traders can now take advantage of Car Arena's unique online trading platform.
Car Arena was developed in 2010 to help Main Dealers, Motor Traders and Buyers have more opportunities to purchase vehicles directly from the public in order to secure new stock and maximise future profits.
Having extensive experience in all sectors of the motor trade, Car Arena has been created by the trade for the trade.
Car Arena has created an opportunity for traders to enter the market to buy cars direct from the public at realistic prices without the huge outlay for advertising, web site development and car information databases.
Dealer Benefits
  • CAP Data valuation on every car – all the information in one place to instantly assess the cars real trade value
  • Sales management process – Use the system and tools to ensure all leads are followed up
  • Auto email System – The system automatically emails the seller once you make an offer
  • Fully automatic process – Not able to sit and bid, save parameters onto our system and have it bid for you.
  • 1000’s of buying opportunities – Thousands of opportunities each day, our advertising spend is optimised so that you don’t have to spend thousands of £’s on search engines and trade advertisements
  • Increase vehicle turnover and profits – Use Car Arena to quickly buy and re-sell stock
  • An alternative stock stream – Access to stock that normally isn’t available to you directly
  • Pick the cars you want, make and age etc – Set the system up so that you are only notified of the cars that really interest you.
  • Quickly locate vehicles asked for – looking for specific vehicles, find them quickly with Car Arena
  • Sell vehicles immediately back into the trade for quick profits - maximising profits and increasing cash flow.
  • No minimum period contract – try it for a month
  • Get access online, right now – You could be up and running within minutes
  • For traders only – Strictly reputable traders only
  • No advertising costs, the cars come to you – we do the advertising for you, you don’t need to spend a penny more.
  • No hassle direct debit payment – no monthly hassles, simple direct debit payments
  • Online reporting – View your accounts status anytime.
How it Works
We spend thousands of pounds each week in advertising and marketing to ensure we have a high volume of potential sellers constantly entering their vehicles details on to the Car Arena portal. It is important that we have enough high quality dealers bidding and more importantly buying these vehicles.
Once a seller has entered their cars details on Car Arena, this car’s information is immediately available for you to view along with;-
  • CAP valuations (clean/average/below)
  • Vehicle details such as condition of exterior and interior, tyres, MOT, Service details colour, whether or not a V5 is available and any other details added by the seller including additional photos.
  • DVLA Data such as previous owners, date of last change and date of first registration, engine capacity, CO2 rating, Fuel Type and if it is a UK car.
  • CAP Data provides further information on the full specification of the car.
All the above information allows you to make a realistic bid on the car, you know what you could retail the car for, or what its value would be in the trade and what level of profit you would like to make from the deal.
Making a bid on the vehicle releases the sellers’ details to you enabling you to follow up your bid and negotiate.
No longer is buying cars directly from the public reserved for just a few established online businesses, with thousands of pounds to spend on advertising and marketing each week.
You can also submit you stock vehicles on to the Car Arena portal and receive bids from other dealers.
With no middle men involved, negotiations take place directly with the cars owners and the buying dealer.
Log on to or call Ashley on 0844 4140985 for more information on how to become an approved Car Arena Dealer.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ways to sell your car

We all know the drill, you've had your car a couple of years and fancy a change, you want to sell your car...question is, is it paid for or (like me) do you still owe a great whack to some finance company?

If you sell privately whether this be to friends, family or strangers you need to pay the finance off before you sell it...bit of chicken and egg here, as no doubt you need the money tied up in the car to pay the finance off. Some negotiating may be needed or indeed the buyer could pay the money direct to the finance company and the balance (if there is any) to yourself.

If you sell to a Motor Dealer / Trader they will settle the finance for you and pay you the balance.

What is the best way to sell it?

Selling your car to Family - undoubtedly one of the easiest ways if someone in your family has been hankering after your car...ask them if they want it. Beware though (and ask anyone in the motor trade) family and friends will be  your most difficult customers. Every time they see you you they will mention something else that isn't quite right with the car and if something major was to go wrong then take cover because they will be on the phone or round at your house quicker than Lewis Hamilton trying to get home to Nicole. On top of all of this they will expect you to sell the car cheap to them..after all they'll  think they're doing you the favour.

Advertising your car privately - Another popular way to sell your car, it will cost you to advertise and like most things you pay for what you get. Typically you would either advertise in your local paper or with Autotrader. Whilst these options are no doubt the best way if you are looking for the premium price for your car, you may have to be patient and re-advertise it a couple of times depending on how desirable your car is. You will also be faced with a lot of tyre kickers, test pilots, dreamers and time wasters in general. Who will expect your car to be in showroom condition and then and knock you down for the slightest mark. No doubt they will also bring their mate Bob who has been a mechanic for 25 years, he'll tut a couple of times and say the bottom ball joint is knocking (I thought that was something that joined my leg to my backside). In the end you'll either tell them to clear off (and re-advertise) or take a vastly reduced offer just to get rid.

Part Exchange - A great choice if your new car is with a dealer and they offer you a price you are happy with, they'll assess the car and make you an offer..simples. Don't accept the first offer though, tell them you want more and don't forget they will be making profit out of the car they sell you. Also if you are comparing deals with other dealers make sure you look at your total cost to change, not just what they are offering you for your PX. A small variation in the interest rates offered can make a massive difference to your total amount payable over the duration of any finance period.

Selling your car online or direct to a dealer - a relatively new way to sell your car with many new companies popping up in the past couple of years such as webuyanycar; bestcarbuyer, trademymotor, sellacar . Most of these allow you to enter your registration number, fill in a simple form with details such as service history and condition online and value your car for free. Whilst you won't necessarily get the highest price for your car, this method is virtually hassle free and the transaction could be done and dusted within 24 hours. Don't give these companies any excuse to knock the price down when the car is presented to them. Be honest about the condition, tyre tread and service history and the deal should go smoothly. Try and find a company that pays you by Chaps transfer (normally takes about 20 minutes to process) and if possible one that collects the car. If you're on home ground then they have already committed to the sale by sending a collection driver, their negotiation position when trying to knock the price down for chips, tyre wear etc... will be substantially less than if you were to to take it to one of their drop off points.

Agree or disagree?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Car Info

Just thought I'd create this so people could post away with info about their company, don't mind what info that is as long as it is legal and in some way car related.

Happy posting!

Funny Car Insurance Claims

Funny car insurance claims - taken from the web .... no link to myself.

Here are some incredible, but true statements which all appeared on claim forms submitted to car insurance companies by policyholders who had been involved in car accidents.
Accidents with pedestrians
  • The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.

  • I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him.

  • To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front I struck a pedestrian.

  • The pedestrian had no idea which way to run as I ran over him.

  • The car in front hit the pedestrian but he got up so I hit him again.

  • I saw a slow moving, sad faced old gentleman as he bounced off the roof of my car.

  • A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.

  • I saw her look at me twice. She appeared to be making slow progress when we met on impact.
Car accidents
  • I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.

  • A truck backed through my windshield into my wife's face.

  • The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention.

  • I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car.

  • I was on the way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.

  • As I approached an intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

  • My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle.

  • I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat found that I had a fractured skull.

  • The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.

  • I started to slow down but the traffic was more stationary than I thought.

  • Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have.

  • I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment.

  • I thought my window was down, but I found it was up when I put my head through it.

  • In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.

  • The gentleman behind me struck me on the backside. He then went to rest in a bush with just his rear end showing.

  • I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows.

  • The telephone pole was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of the way when I struck the front end.

  • I pulled in to the side of the rode because there was smoke coming from under the hood. I realized there was a fire in the engine, so I took my dog and smothered it with a blanket.

  • The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle.
Who caused the car accident?
  • The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.

  • I was going at about 70 or 80 mph when my girlfriend on the pillion reached over and grabbed my testicles so I lost control.

  • On approach to the traffic lights the car in front suddenly broke.

  • I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way.

  • The accident happened when the right front door of a car came round the corner without giving a signal.

  • I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.
  • An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Preparing your car for a private sale

Just by preparing your car properly can add hundreds of pounds to your vehicle's value;
Use a good-quality car shampoo to clean off any 'road grime'. Work from the roof down, rinse off well, and dry with a chamois leather.

Stone chips are unsightly and can rust if not attended to. Repair them with a touch-up stick. These aren't expensive, and with a little patience, you can dramatically improve your car's appearance.

Missing wheel trims or badges are unslightly to used buyers, so make sure you buy replacements. Breaker's yards offer a cheap source of parts.

Wheels covered in brake dust look awful. On alloys, if it's particularly stubborn, buy an alloy wheel cleaner and treat them. If you've got wheel trims, consider replacing them.
A good polish will create that 'new car' shine that so many used buyers are looking for. Don't worry if paint residue appears on the cloth; this is just a layer of 'dead paint' you're removing - there'll still be plenty left on the car!
Cleaning the interior requires a little more hard work. Start with the vacuum and treat carpets, seats, dusty crevices, and even the dashboard itself.

Dashboards should be cleaned with a 'low-gloss' dashboard cleaner; don't use household polish, as it'll give a cheap appearance.

Windows should be cleaned after the dashboard, to make sure you don't spoil your hard work. Use a glass cleaner or damp chamois leather.

Replace any non-standard parts, such as racy gear knobs or alloy pedal covers. They won't impress buyers, who'll think your car has been thrashed. Standard is always best.

Avoid dousing the car in air freshener, unless you have smoked in it - in which case, buy an odour neutraliser. Spray the ashtray too, after giving it a good clean.

Lift tatty old mats out; the clean carpets underneath will look much more attractive.
Buyers love looking under the bonnet, even if they haven't got a clue what they're looking for. You should therefore make sure they like what they see.

Tidy up generally; attach alarm wiring correctly, clean out leaves from air intakes, and generally make the engine bay appear cared-for.

Oil changes are cheap, and clean oil looks far better than sludgy treacle. Make sure the oil level is correct too.
Fill all water and coolant bottles up, maybe using a sweet-smelling windscreen washer?

Finally, steam-cleaning is much-loved by car dealers, but don't go overboard, particularly with older cars as it can sometimes damage fragile parts or connections.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Man Utd Cars V's Liverpool Cars

Undoubtedly the biggest game of the weekend is Man Utd v's Liverpool kicking off on Sunday, what I would like to know is, if the game was played by the Man Utd & Liverpool players respective cars....which cars would win???

The result could be based on a number of categories:
Car Valuations - who has the most expensive cars
Speed - who has the fastest cars
Coolness - using the Top Gear Cool Wall philosophy, which team has the coolest cars?
Or...which cars would come out on  top in a head on collision with their opposite number?

Is Ferdinand's Lincoln Navigator completely uncool, does Rooney tip up in a Ford KA?

What cars are good enough for the KOP end?

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Wish I'd taken GAP insurance!

Just a quick whinge....why didn't I take GAP insurance???? 

Someone has just smashed into my car (no fault of my own), written it off and I have been paid out £3000 less on my car than what I owe on the finance...I could take this on the chin if it was my fault.

Everyone I speak to said I have no chance of recovering this shortfall.

The system sucks!

Where have all the cars gone????

You only have to look around the nearest used car lot to see that there is a shortage of used cars available. What used to be a car lot full to the brim with cars bumper to bumper, door to door is no doubt, one where you can now drive a bus between the cars for sale

So where have all the cars gone?

Simples really!!! People are not trading their 1, 2, 3 or 4 year old cars in for new ones in the numbers they were pre-recession. According to Glass' guide there could as many as 600,000 fewer 1 and 2 year old cars around in 2010, obviously next year these cars become the 2 & 3 year old cars and the problem is compounded. Glass estimates that by 2011 there will be around 2 million fewer cars aged between 1 and 5 years old than were in use in 2008.

What can motor dealers and traders do to help alleviate this problem?
There are the tradtional buying routes for stock, auctions, fellow traders and px's. Now, almost without exception every dealership and car lot now has a banner outside saying "we buy your car for cash". That's great,  but this may only get them one or two cars a month, hardly enough to make up the shortfall.

Other companies have set up free online car valuation and car buying services on the internet. Spending thousands advertising on search engines in the hope that they will be paying enough per click to be high enough up the page rankings to attract sufficient numbers of potential sellers.

What else can they do????

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Precious about your cars value?????

Err.... of course you are who wouldn't be?
I guess car buyers fall into categories....those who just want a run-about, the ones that live for their cars, those that like to get a new car but only change every 10 years when they have run it into the ground and those that chop and change more often than they change their socks!

Up until two years ago I fell into change every 2nd Sunday category.....third child then left me no option but to trade my BMW in for a family bus....lost a fortune on the BMW that I had only had for a few months...but had to take it on the chin!

Family and friends often used to ask me "what is my car worth"....finger went up in the air and I plucked a figure out, the end result was a disgruntled friend or cousin! Just because I had had 10 cars in 18 months they thought that made me some sort of it just made a big hole in my bank account!

Thankfully due to the rise of the many web site companies offering cash for cars and free car valuations I just refer them to these and don't have to upset them any more....which brings me back to my point of people who are precious about their cars the end of the day a car is like anything else, it is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.

Just because one year ago you paid £20,000 for it doesn't mean it is still worth £18,000.

There are many car buying companies such as we buy any car, bestcarbuyer, we will buy any car, car arena that will give you the value of your car. The latter is a new site that submits your car to hundreds of dealers and will result in multiple cash offers for your car so you can compare and see for yourself if you are getting a good deal.
All car dealers use similar car valuation tools and don't forget their knowledge of the trade to make offers on your car, they are also running a business to make a profit so don't expect £15,000 for your car just because you saw a similar one for sale in your local dealership.

Offers are often lower from these companies than you may be able to get if you sell your car  privately, but then you don't have any hassle and the tyre kickers. Some even collect the car direct from your door and pay you there and then before they take the car away. Your car could be sold and cash in your bank same day!! Trying to sell privately may take weeks and cost quite a bit once you have paid for your advert, tidied your car up, reduced your price...then readvertised it!

Mmm My first blog

Sorry world, I am new to blogging, having set this up on a whim without even so much as a thought about what I would blog about.......leave it with me and check back in a few hours when I have had a chance to conjure something up!