Sue Robinson, RMI franchised dealer director, said: “There are very good deals available, and with the first of the year’s number plate changes in March, this could be the time to get in contact with your nearest car retailer.”
#AM_ART_SPLIT# Number plate system
The number plate system works as follows: The first two letters correspond to where the car is registered in the country, LA to LY for London, and MA to MY for Manchester, for example. The next two numbers signify in which six-monthly period the car was registered, 55 for September 2005, 06 for March 2006 and so on, while the last three letters are random.
What the RMI is telling consumers
Looking for a car
When looking for a car, there are a number of things to look out for:
Motorists should also consider the following check-list before and after purchase to make sure they have not overlooked the obvious. Since March 2001, the rate of vehicle excise duty has varied depending on the level of exhaust emissions produced by the car, so it is worth bearing this in mind.
#AM_ART_SPLIT# Before buying
You need to decide what sort of car you want:
The choices can be baffling, but car magazines and reputable web sites should be able to answer any questions you have before you take the first step to a dealer to look at and test drive a car. But remember, it is not just about the car, it is about a car you can live with:
According to Robinson, potential buyers should take every available opportunity to test out the car they are interested in: “When exploring the market for your new car, remember the financial outlay is high, so make sure you ask for a test drive - many people don't. If you’re not a car expert, take a knowledgeable friend along with you. Some manufacturers now let you test drive a car over 48 hours, or sometimes even longer.”
When you test drive, check:
If the car you have now tested and the advice you have had from the dealer fulfils your requirements, you should feel more confident about buying the vehicle.
Buying the car
Before buying, you should decide how to pay:
#AM_ART_SPLIT# At delivery
Check tax and insurance documents
After buying – How the RMIF can help you
Of course, just buying the car is only the beginning of the journey. Robinson explains: “Do remember that your new car will eventually need a service and it is vital, when having a service or any form of work carried out on your car, to use a reputable garage. If the supplying garage is too far away for such jobs, a local RMIF member would be happy to support you with service.
“A member should be able to advise you on the type of service you need, and point out potential problem areas before they arise, or become serious. In fact, whether you want to buy or sell a car or motorcycle, service or repair your existing vehicle, find an auction house, or a cherished number plate dealer, the RMIF will be able to help you.
To find a garage that is a member of the RMIF, visit www.rmif.co.uk and use the ‘Find a Service’ function. You will also find details of RMIF members that sell new and used cars or motorcycles, provide vehicle servicing and repair, and sell petrol.
Motorists can also use the RMIF Consumer Motorline - 08457 58 53 50
This will enable you to find all RMIF members mentioned above and, in addition, vehicle auctioneers and number plate dealers.