Budget 4x4s

There are many things that people look for in a vehicle – some people want a car with quick acceleration, some are looking for a model packed full of equipment while others favour strong handling. Personally, I look for something comfortable. I have just sold my used Ford C-Max, which I’ve been driving for around four years now. I haven’t really got a bad word to say about the C-Max – it was a reliable MPV which did everything I needed it to. However, I’m now looking for a model which is a little higher up, which I believe is the key to comfort.

As such I am looking for a 4×4, but seeing as I only received £5,500 for my C-Max it needs to be one I can afford on this type of budget. The first car I’ve been looking at is a used Kia Sportage. A former colleague of mine bought one 18 months ago and has had nothing but good things to tell me about it. New models come with an unrivalled seven year or 100,000 mile warranty, so reliability is never going to be an issue realistically.


The Sportage is definitely one of the best looking vehicles in its class, and is undoubtedly a more aesthetically pleasing car than my Ford C-Max. When I looked online for second hand Kia Sportage cars within my budget I found a few decent deals. However a lot of the vehicles had over 70,000 miles on the clock and, although as I have already mentioned reliability shouldn’t be an issue, I was looking for a car which had done less than 50,000 miles. By the look of most sites online I would need to be paying around £8,000 for what I was after.

As well as the Sportage, which I was seriously considering buying, I was looking at another 4×4 from a South Korean manufacturer. The Hyundai Santa Fe has been in production since 2000 and is one of the company’s most recognisable vehicles currently on sale. It has received much critical acclaim and many strong reviews over the course of its lifetime, and actually looks almost identical to the Sportage in terms of its exterior appearance.


Probably the Santa Fe’s strongest attribute is the quality of its cabin. There’s a lot of space inside and it comes really well equipped too. Moreover, it has a classy feel to it while remaining comfortable. Used Hyundai Santa Fe models are priced very similarly to the Sportage so for me it is all about weighing up which one I prefer in terms of its features and performance.

After a little more research I think the Hyundai is going to tip the scales just a little, down to its engine capabilities and excellent fuel economy. The problem for me is that I am restricted by the money I received for selling my C-Max and a little that I have saved over the past year. Consequently I am going to look at Hyundai Santa Fe leasing deals. If I can afford to get one this way I’ll save a lot of money up front plus I will get to drive a brand new model which really excites me. Obviously in the long term it will be far more expensive if I want to keep the car, but paying monthly will go a long way to helping me manage my finances.

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Contract hire or buy?

Getting a car on a lease deal is becoming more and more popular in modern day society. It is appealing because you can ultimately drive a car which would cost a hell of a lot more than you could afford if you were to buy it outright. For example to buy a Lexus LS you would need a good £70,000 at your disposal, but Lexus LS leasing would only cost you £1,250 a month for 48 months. If you have a regular source of income then this is feasible especially if you aren’t very good at saving money, or if you are impatient and need the car sooner rather than later (assuming you haven’t yet got £70,000 saved). Obviously the price is relative, so if you are looking at a model that is cheaper to buy, it will also be cheaper on a contract hire scheme.


However this is not the only thing to consider when you are deciding whether or not you should buy or lease your next car. J. Paul Getty put it nicely when he said “if it appreciates, buy it. If it depreciates, lease it.” Basically this means that you will have to do a bit of research, let us take the Renault Megane for example. Leasing a Renault Megane Coupe Renaultsport could cost you £406 a month for 24 months, which would end up costing £9744. Buying one on the other hand would cost £21,000, so you then work out how much you would get back if you were to sell it after 2 years as a second hand Renault Megane. The Megane will have depreciated to around the £10,400 mark after 24 months, so if you were to get £10,400 for it on the used car market, you will be £10,600 pounds down as opposed to the £9,744 you would have been down if you had of leased it. That is assuming you find a buyer who is willing to give you the £10,400, a problem that is completely avoided by leasing as you simply take the car back after 24 months and walk away. So here it would seem leasing is the better option

Generally, this process will help you work out whether or not it is worth wile leasing or buying outright, I currently drive a contract hire Mercedes Benz E-Class, and I don’t think I will ever look back. As soon as your contract is up you can get yourself a new contract on a new car, meaning you will be driving a brand new car every 2 or 3 years, and you are never tied down to your previous car. For some people however it is important to have ownership and I do understand that, and in the long run I guess ownership will save you a lot of money if you don’t plan on selling the car 2 years down the line.

With me though I like the options car leasing opens up and the privileged feeling of always driving a new car knowing that if you are getting a bit bored of it, it’s only a small matter of time before you can get a different, fresher model. I think a contract hire Nissan GT-R is next on my list!

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Good First Cars

Buying your first car can be a daunting experience, on the other hand many brazen teenagers are more than willing to rush in and buy the first car they see as long as its within their (or their parents) budget. Obviously the choice is yours, and ultimately it should be a car you feel comfortable with that is in line with your driving experience. But as food for thought, here are 2 cars which are very suitable for first time buyers.

Renault Clio

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The Renault Clio is a classic first car and it has been for years. I remember being back at school and seeing a car park full of them (usually a 2003 model). They are pretty small which is usually a good thing for new drivers and it is one of Renault’s longest serving cars due to it being affordable to run and pretty nice to drive. The newer models will probably be outside your budget if you are still young, but if you go back to the 2003 model year, you can buy a second hand Renault Clio for around the £1,500 mark.

Peugeot 308


The Peugeot 308 isn’t as common for a first car but it would still make for a good choice. The 308 is another hatchback which has enough space for a small family which is pretty nice to drive. It also has a good safety rating. The 308 is a little more expensive than the Clio so it might not be as appealing if you are young and not in full time work. A second hand Peugeot 308 will cost you around the £5000 mark.

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Things to consider when Buying a Used Car

Good Judgement is particularly important if you are looking to buy a used car:


Buying a used car can be an annoying experience especially if you are not savvy to the ways in which the used car market works. Thankfully we live in a time where you can have access to thousands of used cars that are for sale, with the click of a button. This does however mean there is less pressure on the dealers to worry about quality, as they don’t just really on loyal locals anymore there is a growing sense of anonymity in the car trade, and anonymity can corrupt the best of us, whether you are a car dealer or not.

You can get damn near anything on the used car market, whether you want a second hand Bugatti Veyron or a Fiat Panda you will be able to find one somewhere (Bugatti Veyrons might not be as readily available as the Fiat Panda but you get the picture). The only problem is, with such a variety of choice, and so many different cars, it can be hard to siphon out the bad deals that will end up stinging you in the long run from the legitimately good deals. Having said that we would recommend that you don’t just base your decision purely on price. For example if you look at say 10 adverts for a second hand Chevrolet Spark, same model, same year and everything, and 1 is ridiculously cheaper than the rest of them, alarm bells should start ring, the kind that say something must be wrong, not “What a Bargain!” So just be careful and don’t let cheap prices cloud your judgement, as they could end up costing you more in the long run.

Another thing you might want to consider is leasing. Buying used always seems like the cheapest and best way of owning a car, but leasing I also a good way of saving a few quid, and you get the car new. Let’s take the Chevrolet Spark again, for a used one you are looking at an average of £5000, whereas to lease a Chevrolet Spark we found a deal for £170 a month for 3 years, which amounts to £6120 which isn’t too much more than you would pay to buy a second hand Spark, obviously there is a downside in that you only get the car for 3 years but the cost being spread out monthly is very appealing to some people and you may have only planned on keeping the car for that long anyway.

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UK Motorists Still Love MGs And Rovers

New research has revealed that there are still nearly one million MG and Rover cars on UK roads.

The study, conducted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has demonstrated the longevity of MG Rover vehicles which has proved key to the success of parts suppliers who continue to stock their components (you can get a quote on a part for your MG at BuyYourCarParts.co.uk).

Many models have seen very small declines from year to year, with some declining by just 1% from 2009 to 2010. MG cars which performed well included the ZR, TF, ZS and ZT while the Rover Streetwise and CityRover also declined very marginally. There are even dedicated sites to both brands including BuyYourMG and BuyYourRover!

Craig Cooper, General Manager at XPart, commented: “A great many people are passionate about MGs and Rovers and we feel it is important to keep these fine examples of British engineering on the road for as long as possible.”

For used MG and Rover listings, search AutoOnline.co.uk.

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Used car bargains!

When it comes to buying a used car, a priority for most people is saving money. We thought we would give you a run-down of our favourite 5 budget used cars, which shouldn’t set you back any more than £1000 pounds.

Obviously the same rules apply; make sure there is plenty of evidence of regular servicing before snapping one up.

5 – Ford Fiesta

The car that should be found on all good used car lists, the Ford Fiesta (1994-2002) gets straight into our top 5 and you can forget about it being under £1000, as a used Ford Fiesta can be yours for under £500, albeit an older model. Now as we don’t want our list to be full of mini hatchbacks, we are going to cheat a little and throw a few more suggestions out; a used Volkswagen Polo from before 2002, or a used pre 2004 Corsa are both great options.

4 – Vauxhall Zafira

Here we have a car for those of you who require plenty of space and seats for up to 7 people. You cannot go wrong with a used Vauxhall Zafira, especially for sub £1000. We found a 1.6 16v Zafira from the year 2000 for under £800, now that is a steal.

3 – Vauxhall Astra

The pre-2004 Astra saloon comes with a good balance of space and the older models are still very fun to drive. There is a great deal of engines to choose from when it comes to used Astras, so you should find one that suits you. There is also a good price range, and we found some models on the used market for less than £500, though be very careful when presented with prices as low as this.

2 – Ford Mondeo

Another classic from Ford which ticks all the boxes, it is spacious, nice to drive and comfortable. What more could you want? Especially when they are going for under £1000! Shop around enough and you may be able to find a 2007 model though be warned; it may be worth getting yourself a spare clutch if you opt for one of the old Diesel models.

1 – Mazda MX-5

Fancy something a little more retro, sporty and flash? We have just the car for you; the Mazda MX-5. It is the world’s best-selling two seater sports car, and you can pick one up for under a grand, perhaps for half of that if you are lucky. Beware of imported ‘Eunos’ models without history, and steer clear if you come across one. It offers superb handling and it is a pleasure to drive.

Start comparing used cars and pick your favourite.

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Welcome to GoodJudgement

Hello and welcome to GoodJudgement. We are going to dedicate this website to giving you all the automotive information you need in order to make the correct choices when it comes to your vehicle. Whether you need advice on buying a used Alfa Romeo or selling second hand car, we aim to help.

We will also offer information on other forms of ownership such as leasing as this can be cost effective depending on your lifestyle.

We also aim to post some fun articles, general automotive news articles as well as cool ways of modifying or repairing your set of wheels by finding the necessary Alfa Romeo car parts.



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