On the Inside > MyCarCheck.com top tips for used car buyers April

On the Inside

MyCarCheck.com top tips for used car buyers April

MyCarCheck.com - the UK's No.1 consumer vehicle data provider - has saved millions of people from making an expensive used car mistake. In these monthly bulletins its used car experts reveal significant trends in the UK market and suggest three wise buys.

Highly desirable: Porsche Boxster

Safe bet: Toyota Landcruiser

Used star: Volkswagen Phaeton

Head of Car Valuations at MyCarCheck.com, Alan Senior, commented: ''Our highly desirable model this month is the Porsche Boxster. Buyers will pay more for the badge, but the fact remains that as a used car these are great value for money. So long as you carry out a history check to ensure the one you're looking at is what it claims to be - for instance, that it hasn't been clocked and isn't still on finance - then this is a very tempting way to get a Porsche on your drive.

''In terms of cars that hold their value, safe bets don't come much safer than the Toyota Landcruiser. There aren't too many of them around and they have something of a cult following, which keeps residuals values strong. As always, do your homework and check before you buy.

''For our 'used star' this month we've chosen the Volkswagen Phaeton. The high list price and steep depreciation make this luxurious car a used bargain. When it comes to negotiating on price, remember, as well as revealing a car's history, MyCarCheck.com also provides vehicle valuations - a great tool for haggling with dealers or private sellers.''

As to market trends, Senior commented: ''As Easter comes around the used car supply situation has just got worse. The reason is increasing optimism among used car buyers, which is exacerbating the shortage of good quality stock.

''For the trade, to have more customers is obviously a good thing, but the task of sourcing the right cars gets harder by the day. Most values have either risen slightly or held steady for another month. However, there seems to be no end to the slide in values of cabriolets, especially the volume brands, Astra, Peugeot 307/308 and Renault Megane.

''Values of small hatches are generally strong, but many older examples such as Peugeot 206, Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa are struggling. They're out of favour largely because of the relatively high road fund licence band. Buyers will only pay good money for a small car so long as the running costs are low.

''It's not so long ago that the typical fleet car was dominated by the volume brand manufacturers, mainly Ford, Peugeot and Vauxhall. The premium brands were strictly reserved for upper management and boardroom level staff. As a result, low volumes meant that residual values were kept both strong and steady. Now the BMW 3 Series can be seen as the new Mondeo.

''Unfortunately there is a real danger of oversupply, as the likes of Ford and Vauxhall have found in the past. Premium manufacturers taking this route risk becoming a victim of their own success.

''As a used option they can be more expensive to buy and beyond the budget of many potential buyers. They are generally more expensive to run and maintain. It is therefore a reasonable bet that these premium residual values will not hold up as they have in recent years.''

Over the last couple of years, MyCarCheck.com, MyMotorCycleCheck.com and MyTextCheck delivered around 4.5m consumer checks.

We use up-to-the-minute data from the Police National Computer (PNC), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and major finance houses including Lloyds TSB and Santander.

Our information is trusted by the UK's leading brands. MyCarCheck.com's parent company, CDL Vehicle Information Services, performs around two million look-ups a week for companies including CompareTheMarket, Confused.com, Go-Compare, Moneysupermarket, Swiftcover and Tesco Compare.

To help UK consumers make the right choice, MyCarCheck.com can confirm in seconds whether your potential pride and joy has ever been scrapped, stolen or written-off, has any money owing on it, has had a plate or colour change and much more.