RAC stop nervous breakdown over garage performance

10,000 garages are to be used carapproached and asked to join the RAC’s new comparison website for car servicing, repairs and MOTs. RAC Garage Compare.co.uk is being formed by a new partnership between the RAC and The Motorists Organisation, the company behind the former TootCompare site, and is being supported by an extensive consumer marketing campaign. Working on the same principles as comparison websites covering products such as motor insurance and other financial products, RAC Garage Compare is designed to provide RAC members and other motorists with absolute transparency when they compare prices and service standards from independent and franchised garages all around the UK.

Users simply enter their postcode and registration number plus details for the kind of services they require from a menu – choosing from three pre-defined levels of servicing with the option of an MoT. They then book online, receiving a confirmation and are also encouraged to rate the garage after use.

For garages, the new site provides free listings and access to a potentially entirely new pool of local customers as well as the opportunity to build a strong reputation through customer ratings. Each can list up to three different types of service schedule. Their profile can include accreditations along with details of memberships including the RAC Approved Network.

Phil Ryan, RAC’s technical director, said: “Since its formation in 1897, the RAC has been consistently at the forefront of developing new motoring services, and the launch of RAC Garage Compare will allow our eight million members and any other motorists to benefit from increased transparency in the MOT and servicing market place.

“We have chosen to work with The Motorists Organisation because we were impressed with their existing TootCompare comparison technology and their commitment to absolute transparency for customers when it comes to pricing and service standards.”

Douglas Rotberg, chief executive of The Motorists Organisation, said: “We are delighted to partner with the RAC for this exciting relaunch of the Tootcompare comparison website as RAC Garage Compare.

“We believe that this move will prove to be a turning point for service, repair and MOT comparison web sites in the UK motor industry thanks to the strength of our underlying technology and the high level of credibility of the RAC brand.

“We are contacting more than 10,000 garages to invite them to join RAC Garage Compare. It takes moments and there is a definite ‘no work, no fee’ rule with just a small commission charge for each booking. We believe that we can provide them with access to significantly many more new customers and drive up workshop utilisation.”

Results from RAC Garage Compare are ranked in terms of availability and garages can easily update their current status in real time, providing the opportunity to drive bookings higher when there is spare workshop capacity by influencing their position.

Douglas said: “Our data shows that customers very rarely opt for the cheapest price and are instead usually looking to book a service or MoT as quickly as possible, while also mindful of factors such as garage rating and customer feedback.”

Improve your Golf to boot!

Volkswagen has today unveiled one of the sportiest all-rounders in the compact class: the Golf R Estate. This new car combines the high performance, driveability and comfort of the Golf R hatchback, which was launched in March this year, with the spacious boot of the Golf Estate; this is the first time that the Golf R has been developed in an estate bodystyle.

Like its hatchback sibling, the Golf R Estate is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged TSI petrol engine which develops 300 PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm. Maximum torque of 380 Nm is available from just 1,800 rpm right up to 5,500 rpm and is channelled via a standard six-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) to the permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive. Distribution of the power across all four wheels guarantees maximum traction, performance and active safety.

Ensuring dynamic performance are sport suspension (lowered by 20 mm), Volkswagen’s innovative progressive steering system and ‘ESC Sport’ mode which can be deactivated for use on a race track if desired. Optional highlights include the newest generation of the DCC adaptive chassis control system with a driving profile selector that features a Race mode.

The Golf R Estate’s engine combines with these features to ensure safe but swift performance: standstill to 50 mph takes just 3.8* seconds, and to 62 mph 5.1* seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. Yet on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), the Golf R Estate consumes just 7.0* l/100 km – or 40.4* mpg – equating to CO2 emissions of 163* g/km.

Despite its performance, the Golf R Estate does not compromise on space. With a luggage capacity of 605 litres (up to the back seat backrest), this Volkswagen offers an impressively large boot even with five people on board. With the seats flat and loaded up to the backs of the front sports seats, capacity grows to 1,620 litres.

The Golf R Estate’s design follows that of the Golf hatchback up to the B-pillars. It is then distinguished and stands apart from the rest of the Estate range thanks to a new R design bumper, a high-gloss black diffuser, four chrome-plated tailpipe trims, so-called ‘aero flaps’ on the D-pillars, cherry-red taillights and LED number plate illumination. At the front, the Golf R Estate has an
R specific bumper with particularly large air inlets, a distinctive radiator grille (with R logo) as well as bi-xenon headlights with integrated daytime running lights. The LED daytime running lights form a distinctive dual ‘U’ design beneath the dual headlights, projecting a particularly striking light pattern during the day and at night.

R-style body-coloured side sill panels distinguish the Golf Estate range-topper, along with R logos on the front bumpers and matt chrome door mirror caps. Distinctive 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels are unique to R models, while black-painted brake callipers with R logo complete the look. Optional 19-inch ‘Pretoria’ flow-formed wheels (exceptionally lightweight and sturdy) in motorsport design are also available.

Inside the cabin, the Golf R Estate retains the styling cues of its hatchback counterpart, with Alcantara upholstery, R logos on the seats and steering wheel, a high level of standard equipment and blue highlights, for example in the ambient lighting and dash dials.

The Golf R Estate makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show today and will be on display from 18-30 November. UK Retailers are due to start taking orders for the new car in spring 2015, with first deliveries in the summer.
Golf R Estate_01

Welcome to www.tradevaluation.com

Tradevaluation.com is the premier price comparison site and the only site you need to get a valuation for your car, there are 3 large buyers of cars and these give a simple easy way to dispose of your car. But these are not the only buyers of cars. We have listed more sites and give some back ground. We also display links to the guide pricing publications to help the information collation.

www.webuyanycar.com – owned by BCA.  Other practical sites are HPI, www.hpi.co.uk www.wewantanycar.com – owned by Manheim and www.evanshalshaw.com – owned by Pendragon

Practical Tips

Getting your car ready for sale is essential if you want to sell it quickly and get the best price.

Unless you’re selling something very rare or unusual, it’s likely that you’ll be competing for buyers’ attention against many similar cars – presentation, mechanical condition and service history can all make the difference between an easy sale and long drawn out affair with you having to drop the asking price every week.

Before you advertise the car

  • Clean it inside and out and make sure that it’s generally tidy
  • Repair any minor paintwork damage or simple mechanical faults
  • Get a new MOT if there’s less than three months on the current one. Consider a new MOT anyway as this says a lot about the car’s basic condition.
  • Remember that if your vehicle has a serious defect and is unroadworthy, you could be breaking the law by selling it, if you haven’t described it accurately.
  • Consider a full, professional valet service – it’ll save you time and can really make a difference

Now you’re ready to market your car, so here are some tips for a stress–free sale.

Tips for a smooth car sale


  • price your car realistically – particularly if you want a quick sale
  • check the prices of similar cars in popular classified ad magazines or online


  • you can’t sell a car with outstanding finance
  • this includes outstanding hire-purchase or conditional sale agreements
  • if you do want to sell, get the finance company’s permission or settle the finance first


  • don’t make false or reckless claims
  • take care how you word your advert – lines like ‘first to see will buy’ won’t convince anyone


  • describe the car as accurately as possible
  • in adverts, stick to facts that will interest potential buyers
  • make sure you quote the year/number plate, how many months are left on the MOT and where in the country you’re located
  • be aware that thieves may contact you pretending to be potential buyers.  If you give them details of the car like the VIN number over the phone, or share personal details they could use the information to create a cloned advert.   Genuine buyers will be happy to come and view the vehicle and check vehicle details for themselves.


  • state the car’s condition clearly in adverts and on the receipt
  • if it’s being sold for spares only, or requires substantial repairs, say so
  • include this information on the receipt once you’ve agreed to sell


  • have all documents and history to hand including MOT certificates and service records
  • don’t let buyers make copies or take photos of vehicle documents
  • keep receipts for any work carried out while you’ve owned the car
  • a fully-stamped dealer service record adds value if you’ve got one
  • don’t forget to hand over all relevant documents when you sell

Test drive

  • take the buyer’s contact details when arranging for them to come and view/test drive the car – name, address and land line phone number.  A genuine buyer will be happy to do so and will understand if you call back to confirm arrangements and check the number given.
  • ask the buyer to bring and show you their driving licence if they’re expecting to test drive the car.
  • insist that the buyer comes to see the car at your home address – a genuine buyer will be happy to do so.
  • check that the buyer is insured to test drive the car. Your own insurance may cover you. See our test drive tips for more advice on insurance cover
  • don’t be a victim of car theft
    • always accompany prospective buyers on a test drive
    • if you change seats part way through, take the keys with you and hand them over when you get back in the car
  • there’s safety and confidence in numbers – ask a friend or relative to accompany you while the buyer is viewing the car and on the test drive

Haggle room

  • build in a margin for haggling – the buyer will have the satisfaction of negotiating you down while you still get close to the amount you want


  • provide a ‘sold as seen, tried and approved without guarantee’ receipt
  • print off and use our buyer’s/seller’s contract [The AA link is here]
  • bear in mind that providing a ‘sold as seen’ receipt doesn’t affect the buyer’s legal rights – the car must match any description you give in writing or verbally in the course of the sale.
  • you cannot use a ‘sold as seen’ receipt to cover the possibility that the car may be unroadworthy in some respect either.  The law is clear – it illegal to sell a car in an unroadworthy condition.

Get paid

  • beware of emails from abroad offering to buy your vehicle without seeing it, and offering to make overpayments. Also beware of bogus ESCROW {the FSA link is here] or shipping companies recommended by the buyer.
  • don’t let anyone drive your car away until you’re satisfied that you’ve been paid in full
  • cash – consider arranging to be handed the cash at your bank – or an online bank transfer are the safest way of getting paid
  • bank transfers are quicker these days thanks to the ‘Faster Payments’ system. Customers can make payments over the phone or through online banking all day, every day
  • an immediate bank tranfer can be made using the CHAPS [Detail link here]system (a fee is payable).  CHAPS payments are irrevocable
  • ESCROW, where money is held by a third party on behalf of transacting parties is a safe way of receiving payment for a vehicle but you will need to make sure that the company is legitimate. [Link here for detail] You can check using the FSA register of payment services firms [Helpful link here] authorised in the UK
  • if you are given a personal or building society cheque, wait for it to clear in your bank before you hand the car over
  • remember that banker’s drafts can be forged – if you accept payment by this method it’s important to wait until you’re sure the funds have been cleared into your account before hading over the keys.

Successfully sold your car?

Before the buyer drives off into the sunset, draw up a seller’s contract to help protect yourself

  • Print two copies of the contract, one for you and one for your buyer
  • Complete the contracts with your buyer
  • You and your buyer should sign and date the contracts
  • Make sure you each keep a signed copy as proof of the purchase

Notify DVLA

You must tell DVLA [DVLA Helpful link here]as soon as possible that you are no longer responsible for the vehicle. It’s in your own interest to do so, as you don’t want to be landed with any of the new driver’s future offences and convictions.

As the seller you will need to complete the new keeper details on the V5C and sign the declaration along with the buyer. It is your responsibility to send the completed V5C to DVLA having first given the buyer the V5C/2 section – their proof of keepership until they receive a new V5C from DVLA.

Tax Disc

Buying a vehicle

From 1 October, when you buy a vehicle, the vehicle tax will no longer be transferred with the vehicle. You will need to get new vehicle tax before you can use the vehicle.

You can tax the vehicle using the New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) online or by using our automated phone service – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0300 123 4321.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit a Post Office® branch.

DVLA are unable to check the vehicle insurance details for new keepers in Northern Ireland online or by phone. If you’re a Northern Ireland new keeper, you will need to tax at a Post Office® branch that deals with vehicle tax.

Selling a vehicle

From 1 October 2014, vehicle tax is not transferable so you won’t be able to include any remaining tax when you sell a vehicle. If you sell a vehicle after 1 October and you have notified DVLA, you will automatically get a refund for any full remaining months left on the vehicle tax. The refund will be sent to the keepers details on DVLA records so you need to make sure that these are correct.

Vehicle tax refunds

You will no longer need to make a separate application for a refund of vehicle tax. DVLA will automatically issue a refund when a notification is received from the person named on DVLA vehicle register that the:

  • vehicle has been sold or transferred
  • vehicle has been scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility
  • vehicle has been exported
  • vehicle has been removed from the road and the person on the vehicle register has made a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)
  • person on the vehicle register has changed the tax class on the vehicle to an exempt duty tax class

Parking permits or car parking spaces

All local authorities have been informed that no tax discs will be issued after 1 October 2014.