UK Car News - Car Tests

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Snow Driving

At this time of the year a quick reference guide on driving skills would be helpful for us all, whether you like it or not there is not much we can do about the weather, the local authorities do their best to chuck a few bags of grit around on the main routes, but they can't cover all the roads.

With all this in mind, have a look at these basic set of rules to keep you safe. Even if you have just bought a used car from a dealer don’t think this doesn’t apply to you:

Keep your screen-wash topped up and use good de-icer to prevent it from freezing.

Always carry an old coat and blanket in your car, if your engine fails the temperature in the car can drop very quickly and you may be waiting for a while before you are picked up or recovered.

Check that your tyres have good tread on them to cope with icy and slippery conditions.

Make sure you always have plenty of fuel, if you are caught out, you'll have enough fuel to keep engine running to keep warm.

Always clear snow and ice from the windscreen before driving. It’s also a good idea to clear the bonnet and roof, as the snow can easily slide onto the windscreen whilst driving.

Keep some chocolate and sweets in the car, you never know how long you might be stuck for, chocolate is a great source of energy and could save your life in very extreme conditions.
Try to use your gears when slowing down and just dab the brakes to prevent skidding.
Never turn to sharply, take things slowly it very hard to stop skidding on ice one you’ve started.
The main thing is: GO CAREFUL!!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Investing in the future

Investing in the future
Motor Depot has become one of the UK’s leading independent used cars supermarkets; managing director Phil Wilkinson started the business in March 2002 with around only 50 cars and 11 members of staff, at the ex-Dixon site on Clarence Street in Hull.
The company quickly grew, acquiring the showroom on Witham in 2003 (now Trade-Ins), the building next door to the Clarence Street site (now Hull’s service department) and a large vehicle compound followed in early 2004, the Hessle site opened in November 2004.
In 2004 the internet phenomenon was well established and becoming big news across the retail sector, more and more people had computers at home and were scouring the world-wide-web for a bargain deal; the Motor Depot website was launched in mid 2005 and opened the door to the rest of the UK to take advantage of the great value deals on offer. By mid 2007 Motor Depot was enjoying great success selling around 300-400 cars a month, this enabled the company to expand further afield, and take over a very large showroom in Scunthorpe. Motor Depot Scunthorpe was opened in February 2008; the site has its own service department and can display up to 350 cars for sale.
Motor Depot’s retail strategy of selling a lot of cars with small profit margins enables them to turn over stock quickly; selling cars up to £1000 cheaper than they can be found elsewhere, has made Motor Depot one of the best value car retailers in the UK.
After many years of successful trading at Motor Depot’s Hessle branch, the company decided to bring the site up to the same high calibre of the branches in Hull and Scunthorpe by fully redeveloping.
Many eyebrows were raised at Motor Depot making such large capital expenditure at a time when the rest of the Motor industry was struggling for sales. The decision was made to build and invest for the future, using the quiet period to minimise disruption to the day to day running and profitability of the business.
As well as ensuring Motor Depot emerges from the current economic downturn a stronger force within the Motor Industry, the redevelopment will create up to 40 new jobs in the process. Motor Depot also insisted that local tradesmen and businesses should work on the Hessle Branch redevelopment to help support the local economy in the tough economic times, in total the redevelopment has contributed over half a million pounds to the immediate Hull & East Yorkshire region.
They have taken over the historic Dunston Ship builder’s warehouse which was situated behind the original site and also acquiring the surrounding grounds to create the largest Motor Depot dealership to date. The new site holds up to 450 cars and is spread over three and a half acres, making it the largest car supermarket in Hull and the surrounding areas by far, this, along with the other branches enables the company to have up to 1000 used cars for sale in group stock, giving customers the best selection of quality used cars at the best possible prices. The branch has its own MOT & Service Centre with the latest diagnostic equipment, supplying quality after care, MOT’s, services and general automotive repairs, and have also have been authorised to complete Class 7 MOT’s (light goods vehicles).

Motor Depot covers every aspect of what a car dealership should be; a friendly team of salespeople with a “no pressure attitude”, a dedicated service team to deal with all of your vehicle maintenance and aftercare requirements and a huge choice of quality new and used cars at the best possible prices.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Trade-Ins feature in Motors DECEMBER 2009

Trade-Ins quality used cars at affordable prices

IF you’re looking to buy a quality used car with total peace of mind, take a look at Trade-Ins Hull’s newest car retailer.

 The business, which opened three weeks ago in Witham, east Hull, is an expansion of Motor Depot, one of East Yorkshires leading car supermarkets. Trade-Ins will take vehicles that have been part-exchanged for newer cars at Motor Depots showrooms in Hull, Hessle and Scunthorpe and sell them on. Most of the cars are priced in the £1,000 to £4,000 bracket and they would previously have been taken to auction or sold to local traders, but now they will be offered directly to people in the area instead.  Theres an increasing demand for smaller cars now and Trade-Ins makes some quality used ones more readily available says Chris Brown, who has set-up the new operation with colleague Matt Gallagher.

With the economy the way it is and most people using their cars just to commute, smaller and more economical cars are proving very popular, so it seemed stupid for us to auction them off to people from outside of the area. But by setting up Trade-Ins, everybody wins We do, Motor Depot does and our customers get  quality used cars at an affordable price from a reputable business they can trust. We've only been open a few weeks but the response has been excellent so far and weve had a lot of business through word-of-mouth, which proves we are a company that satisfies its customers.

Trade-Ins are based in the former Car Bank premises on Witham; just a stones throw from Motor Depots Hull supermarket and this has ensured a seamless transition for the new brand. And as former Motor Depot sales staff, they are still employed by the company and enjoy a close working relationship with Motor Depot. Both Matt and Chris are experts in finding the best car for you. With more than 10 years of experience in the industry between them, the pair can listen to what you want and discuss your needs before finding the perfect car for you whether you are new to driving and looking for your first car or a parent looking for a reliable run-around. Chris and Matt can also organise service and finance packages should you wish, ensuring buying your next car is as smooth and hassle-free as possible. Trade-Ins current stock includes cars from all of the leading manufacturers, including Vauxhall, Renault, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes and Jaguar and there is a range of models from about 10-years-old to just one-year-old. All vehicles are advertised on the company website, allowing you to effortlessly look for what you want. And before they are sold, each car is inspected by one of Motor Depots expert mechanics, ensuring only the very best part-exchange vehicles are sold on by Trade-Ins.

Every car also comes with at least nine months MOT and a free three-month independent warranty, which remains valid even if you took it to another garage. But of course, with the specialist care and attention to detail offered by Trade-Ins and Motor Depot, there is no reason not to retain their services. Were up-front and honest with people right from the start, says Chris. This is a fiercely competitive market and we are committed to offering the best service possible. We will tell the truth about any of our cars and we wont try to hide anything. We only sell cars we are sure are up to the task and are in good shape mechanically. If we dont think a car is good enough or safe enough to drive, we wont sell it. Matt and I have the pick of cars from all three of the Motor Depot supermarkets, so we can select the very best used cars in the area. We are so confident in the quality of the cars we sell that we offer a three-month warranty on every single one of them.

For more information, visit the showroom today, call (01482) 606767 or visit

 Top right, Chris Brown, who has set-up the new operation with colleague Matt Gallagher (left). Above, Trade-Ins offer a range of models from about 10-years-old to one-year-old.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

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Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Exporting Cars to Malta.

Over the last year we have been exporting cars to Malta. The reason we started doing this was due to the rise of the Euro. In Malta the used car market was nearly nonexistent, the reason for this is the way the Maltese government tax the vehicles. When buying a car you have to pay an import tax, which is dependent on the age and Co2 emissions etc.


Malta has among the highest registration taxes for most types of vehicles in the world. Some concessions were made in the 2008 budget, effective from 01/01/2009, which reduced the tax on some small- and medium-sized vehicles but, increased  for larger ones (similar to the system we now use in the UK). The new system was introduced to encourage the Maltese to purchase/import more environmentally-friendly cars, so the calculations involve the registered value (RV), car length, Co2 emission volumes and particulate matter volumes (diesel only). Also, under the new system comes a useful exemption – private individuals relocating to Malta will be able to bring in a car they’ve owned for two or more years without having to pay vehicle registration tax here. This exemption is limited to one vehicle per person relocating. Vehicle registration tax rates have long been a contentious issue, among both local Maltese and incoming residents, the latter often left facing a nasty tax shock when their six months temporary vehicle permit (tourist stay period on the vehicle) is up. It can still be the case, when the RV calculations are done, that you face car registration taxes that are higher than the real value of the car. But, fortunately used car prices hold up well in Malta, you might end up selling it there and not losing out too much, of corse depending on vehicle type and its demand.

This meant that most people would buy a brand new vehicle (pay the registration tax) and keep it for a very long time. With the rise of the Euro, the Maltese have started importing cars from the UK as the registration tax isn’t as high on a used car as that on a new car. As the Euro grew in strength against the Pound the cheaper our used cars became to the Maltese. We quickly created a web site and advertised all our stock priced in Euro’s, offered a delivery service and with the help of a local Maltese dealer had a place of correspondence on the island itself, and the rest is history. We know this business won’t last forever but you’ve got make the most of every opportunity don’t you.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Don't stop me now...not BMW's favourite Song

BMW's The envy of many a car driver, well not today! They'll be driving home hoping they're not going to plough through the garage door when they get home...if they get there at all.

Every brake light in front will be met with panic..will they stop in time, or will they hurtle in to the back of the No. 9 bus.....Can it be any worse for BMW doing their utmost to emulate Toyota.

Oh dear the press will have a field day, turning something that probably effects a dozen cars out of the 350,000 recalled in to a major crisis, speculating it will lead to job losses at BMW and a double dip recession throughout the developed world.

The press I suspect have a lot to answer for, they simply love to build something or someone up just so that they can knock them down again. And BMW will be no exception.

We seem to loose all sense of perspective when it comes to slightly bad news, instead of focusing on the positive action taken by BMW all the coverage will be on what may possibly happen if (a big IF) the brakes do fail.

Lets get some perspective in our lives and start looking forward with a bit of optimism instead of looking for the negatives in everything.

If you're selling a BMW no doubt it will still make good money and you can rest easy knowing that BMW will fix the problem with the minimum of fuss and inconvenience to you.

RANT over