Monthly Archives: March 2014

What do you need from your flash new convertible?

When you buy a convertible, you’re buying something that isn’t just about practicality; it’s about the open top experience that you can use to jet off into the sunset. Nevertheless, there are some very practical concerns that you should consider to get the best out of your convertible.

At Acklam Car Sales, one of the most respected car dealerships throughout the North of England that trades on an international scale, we’ve seen so many people buy convertibles. For them it’s all about the look. What kind of statement does it make? The thing is that there’s so much more that goes into buying this prince of cars.

First comes the consideration that comes from the name itself- the roof. Which will work better for you? Is it the open top convertible or the closed top? That’s the point, if you don’t want the roof that lifts off then you really shouldn’t be thinking about the convertible at all.

Then you need to think about how the roof lifts off. The older style convertibles have a top that you have to remove yourself whilst the newer ones are mechanised. Which one works best for your budget? Do you want a vintage look?

Now we move away from the roof and think about performance. As a class of sports car, convertibles are known for their performance capability and you need to think about what works best for your lifestyle. There’s no point getting a car that goes from nought to sixty in six seconds if you have kids that might be in it. Be sensible.

It’s also essential that you think about spec, as this can be a real issue for convertibles and sports cars in general. You need to think about the engine/gearbox combinations and trim levels. Certain combinations and trim levels are more favoured in the market place and can be used to secure a better deal. Ask for more details on this.

Finally, you really need to think about cost. Convertibles are luxury items and they can set you back a fair bit. Can you handle the cost? Would it be better to get it second hand? At Acklam Car Sales we regularly have a fantastic range of convertibles and you’re sure to find one that’s right for you.

What should you look for when you are buying a van?

Here at Acklam Car Centre, we like to make sure that we have whatever type of vehicle you need. This is why we regularly feature vans. What should you be looking for when you decide it’s time to buy a van?

We know here at Acklam Car Centre that a van is an entirely different beast than a car. With a van, you are looking for something practical, something to help you work or to provide enough room for the everyday needs of a family.

This means that what works for a car, might not necessarily work when you are buying a van.  So, getting straight to the point, readers, what should you be looking for when you decide it’s time to buy your first van?

Space is obviously the biggest thing. You are buying the van for this reason in the first place. Think about how much space you are getting with what’s on offer. Is it enough for your needs? Is it too much? Think about how much money you want to pay.

However, space isn’t the only thing you need to think about when you’re buying your first van. You also need to consider mileage. This is really important when you’re getting a second hand van because they’re used a lot for things like work, so it will have clocked up a lot of miles. This information should be freely available from whoever is selling you the van.

Another thing that can be a real issue with vans is the brakes. This is because of a general driving rule. The larger the vehicle is, the stronger your brakes need to be to be effective. Always ask to check the brakes, the ultimate safety measure, before you even think of buying.

Finally, when it comes to buying a van you really need to think about the tyres of the vehicle. Again, the tyres get a lot of action on vans, so if you’re buying new, make sure they will endure. If you’re buying second hand, make sure they will last for a long time.

When you’re thinking about buying a van you need to remember readers that it’s a very practical vehicle. If you have any doubts at all about the vehicle that you are buying, ask for the relevant information. If they are a reputable dealer, like Acklam Car Centre, they will be only too willing to provide you with that information.

What are the worst habits of Britain’s drivers?

When it comes to driving, you need to be as safe as possible. So what are Britain’s worst driving habits and how can you avoid them to stay safe on the road?

Let’s take 2012, the last year from which records are available. Did you know that 1,754 people died in road accidents in this country alone in 2012? That’s one person every five minutes. Did you know that in 2012 another 23,039 were seriously injured and 170,930 were slightly injured.

This means that in total 195,723 people were harmed in car accidents in 2012. From this, at Acklam Car Sales, we can see that it’s a lot more likely than you think to get into a car accident. So what are the most common accidents and how can you deal with them?

The most common by far has to be speeding; roughly 400 died from speeding accidents in 2012. In Britain it can be tempting to speed; people do it all the time on motorways, so much so that the unofficial speed limit on the M1 is 100mph.

This doesn’t mean you should do that; always stick to the speed limit. As well as the higher likelihood of accidents when you’re going faster than everybody else, there’s also the fact that it’s so easy to get caught on a hidden camera and get slapped with a hefty fine.

Now we have to turn our attention to drink driving. Drinking is pretty much a national past time here in the UK, but despite what people think, there’s a reason we have drink driving limits. Roughly 280 people a year die due to drink driving. If you can, don’t drink and drive. If you absolutely have to drink, to be safe, never have more than one.

Another common issue drivers have here in the UK is not making sure that everybody in the car is wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelts can be difficult and restrictive, but they’re there specifically to stop accidents. Around 200 lives per year are lost simply because people choose to forgo seatbelts. If you are the driver, insist everybody wears one.

Then there are mobile phones. So many people talk on a mobile phone whilst driving and it stops you paying attention to what you are doing. You always need to pay attention when you’re driving; take your eyes off the road for even a second and you could miss something vital. Always turn your phone off when you’re getting ready to drive.

When it comes to driving, the UK has some pretty bad habits. However, most of these merely boil down to an inability to use common sense and to follow the rules; rules that are there for your protection. This really is one case where you should never bend the rules.


HPI Checks: What you need to know

When you buy a car you need to know that you are getting one that you can rely on for years to come; this is why it’s a good idea to get a HPI check. This week we ask what do you need to know about HPI checks?

At Acklam Car Centre we’ve built a reputation for excellence in the selling of second hand cars. The quality of service we provide has allowed us to become one of the largest car dealerships throughout the north of England.

This dedication to quality means that we strive to make sure you are fully satisfied with your car before you complete purchase and drive off the lot. This is why we perform HPI checks on every car the minute they enter our showroom.

So what is a HPI check? This is a series of tests carried out to find out the history of the car. It’s important to know the history of a car because if you don’t and it’s had a rough history then it could affect the cars usability at a later date. It always pays to know what you are buying.

So what specifically does a HPI check involve? The first part of it is the vehicle ID check. This is an extensive test that confirms the vehicle’s make, model, age, engine size, colour etc. This provides an extensive history of said vehicle up to the point it has entered our lot.

There is also the plate transfer check; this is designed to confirm the number plate history of the vehicle. A number plate is what is used by authorities to identify the vehicle on official records and make sure that it has been purchased honestly. There’s also a check to ensure the car hasn’t been stolen.

Then there is the security watch; this is a test designed to determine that your car is not monitored under a security watch label. In other words this is a test that makes sure the car in question is safe to drive. Then there is the finance check which is performed to assess whether there are any outstanding money issues attached to the vehicle.

Finally there are the condition alert and document checks. These are tests designed to make sure the car has not been designated a ‘total loss’ after an incident and that the vehicles documents are all in proper order.

A HPI check is a wonderful thing; it allows you to make sure you know what you are buying before you buy it. Always make sure HPI checks are performed on any vehicle you are considering buying.

A Car for all terrains

When you’re looking for a car, Acklam Car Centre understands that you need a car that can handle the lifestyle you lead. If you’re the type of person who likes to go off the beaten track, you’ll need to find a car that can handle rough terrain.

We’ve seen all sorts of people come through the Acklam Car Centre Showroom, looking for all sorts of different cars. This means we’ve seen what people are looking for when they are trying to pick out a car that can handle rough terrain and we thought we’d share it with you.

There are several areas you need to focus on when you’re looking for the right car. Don’t focus on the sales pitch, that’ll only distract you. Look at certain parts of the car to see just how it’s going to handle over rough terrain.

You have to start with the tyres. You need to find a vehicle with all-season/all-terrain tyres. These are tyres specially designed to suit any terrain.

You can identify them through a larger tyre tread; these give the wheels extra traction so that vehicle can dig its way out of snow, mud, ice etc. You most commonly find all-terrain tyres on 4×4 vehicles however you can find all-season tyres on a number of cars.

Whilst the tyres are the most important part of the search, there are other things that you have to factor in as well. You want to be looking for a car with its engine in the front.

This is because movement and direction of the car from the steering wheel often focuses on the front two wheels. If the engine is also in the front is means that when you are trying to manoeuvre over tough terrain you have more weight to help you put force behind the wheels.

Or you can get a 4×4. The nature of a 4×4 means that you can control all four wheels which means it doesn’t matter where the engine is. However you shouldn’t get a car with its engine in the back if you want to handle rough terrain, the weight distribution means it lacks the force to power through particularly bad terrain.

You also have to consider the weight and size or your car. Have some common sense; a sports car isn’t going to handle bad weather and conditions very well. A 4×4 has the bulk to help power through bad conditions.

If you’re the sort of person who likes to go off the beaten track, you have to make sure that the car you choose can handle it. Use some common sense, if the car looks like it won’t be able to handle it, chances are that it won’t.


What should you do after a car accident?

A car accident is a horrible thing, but they do happen. When they do, you need to be prepared so that you can handle the situation and get on with your life. So what should you do after a car accident?

At Acklam Car Sales, we know that this depends on the seriousness of the accident. For any accident that causes physical harm, you should of course ring an ambulance. However if it’s just a little fender bender there are other concerns at play.

Namely we are talking here about car insurance. After an accident you can claim back the cost of repairing the damage on your insurance; it’s what it’s there for. However in order to lodge a successful claim you need to give them all the details you can; otherwise the insurance company might argue that they don’t have to pay out.

So this is why after a fender bender you need to get all the details you can so that you can claim back on your insurance. You should always carry a pen, paper and a camera (or smartphone) so that you have the tools on hand to get the relevant information and to take photos to prove that the accident actually did happen to your insurance company.

So what information do you need? You need all of the specifics; you need the time and date the accident happened, the weather and visibility details etc. However you also need the other driver’s information; name, contact details, car details insurance details etc. Only with this can you prove that the accident happened, that it was actually an accident and that you are eligible to claim back on your insurance.

You have to remember that legally it is an offence to not give to not give out your details in cases of accident where there has been property or physical damage. So if the other driver is reluctant to give out their insurance details, remind them of this so that you aren’t left in a precarious position with your own insurance company.

It’s also a good idea to take pictures. You can get all the details in the world; you can get the other drivers information, information on the accident and even the name and number of any police officer on the scene and the insurance company still might challenge the claim. Remember here that a picture really is worth a thousand words and with smartphones, there really is no excuse.

When you have an accident there are a thousand and one things that run through your mind. Insurance should be top of the list. Make sure you follow this guide so that you have all the evidence you need to claim back on your car insurance policy.


Shopping for a motorcycle: what should you look for?

There are so many reasons to invest in a motorcycle; however for a first time buyer the issue is where to start? This is why there are several things you need to know when you are shopping for your first motorcycle.

At Acklam Car Sales; one of the top car dealerships in the north of England, we have made it our business to know what our customers are looking for. Over the years we have seen customers come into the showroom wanting a motorcycle, but not knowing where to even start in looking for one.

This means that we’ve learned what you need in your first motorcycle and we’ve got the experience to share it with you. So, where do you start?

First, you have to be aware of your own size. Unlike with a car, that has the room to accommodate you no matter your size in most cases; motorbikes depend on the person riding them. Too big and it can throw you off. A good tip to remember is that when sitting on it, you should be able to plant your feet firmly on the ground. If you can’t, you could have issues when controlling the bike across rough terrain.

You also need to consider engine size. It can seem tempting to go for a 1000cc engine if you’re looking for a thrill, but as a beginner you have to know that this is a mistake; you don’t have the experience to go for a bike with an engine this large and you will find it hard to control. Go for one with a 500cc engine instead.

Of course when buying your first bike you also have to check what condition it’s in. How’s the paint work? Is there any rust etc.? The issue here is that if the condition isn’t great to begin with, it’ll only deteriorate after you’ve bought it. Make sure you ask questions before you buy and that you always do the necessary research.

Finally you have to think about the tires; this is always a key concern when buying a vehicle. Make sure that the tires on the bike of hold air, don’t have any punctures and have a good amount of tread on them. Tread is particularly important for a motorbike as the nature of the vehicle means that if the tires don’t have tread, you’ll wear through them quickly.

When you look for your first motorbike it can seem tempting to think more about style than substance. If you do this then you’ll only regret it later down the line. Invest in your motorbike and do your research.