View example


View example
Tuesday 28 July 2015 evening standard
ES Wheels | Special
Time to hit the
road for summer
For those who prefer to drive, rather than fly, for their family
holidays, David Williams discovers that motorists are spoiled for
choice when selecting a decent load- or people-lugger
ummer’s here and there’s no
doubt about it; it’s miles away
the best time of the year for
motorists. It’s when the
schools are out, banishing the
prospect of the rush hour and and long
suburban queues – at least for the time
being. It’s also when we can head out,
reasonably safe in the knowledge that
our progress won’t be barred by
inclement weather – unless of course
the Tarmac starts melting in the heat.
It’s also when, traditionally,
Highways England suspends its more
intrusive roadworks, giving us
(almost) unfettered access to the
4,300 miles of major routes that they
control, at least when our travel
plans coincide with bank holiday
weekends. The rest of the time, it’s
best to keep an eye on websites such
as Highways England (
uk) or TomTom’s Route Planner
( for traffic jam
hotspots and keep one ear glued to
radio traffic reports.But what about
your vehicle; what’s the best choice
for those summer tours, holidays and
day trips? A
generation or two
ago, summer
family motoring holidays were so
much simpler... and so much
less predictable.
Traffic was generally lighter and
there were no dreary motorway
service stations to contend with; it
was a packed sandwich en route, or
lucky dip at a local pub. Your car
overheated, it didn’t carry half the
amount of luggage you’d expect to
cram in today, and as for rear-seat
cinemas to keep the kids happy...
the best on-road entertainment
was Eye Spy.
Now we’re spoiled for choice. We
can choose not only from a wide
range of comfy, reliable estate cars,
but palatial people-carriers and
seven-seater, go-anywhere 4x4s;
even cars that provide that useful
service of performing well in cities as
well as on the open road. So for those
who like to drive – rather than fly – on
their family holidays, here’s our pick
of some of the best load- and peopleluggers for summer fun.
Citroen Cactus
From £12,990
Stylish looking,
youthful, cheap to
run and plenty of
space up front as
well as in the
seats; what’s not to like? The Cactus
even has a well-shaped, reasonably
capacious boot for all your holiday
clobber. Those who have driven it
particularly praise the willing 1.2-litre
petrol engine and its pleasant, light
steering. Bonuses on long, hot,
cruises to the beach? Relatively soft
suspension to soak up the bumps,
good wind and road noisesuppression, useful cruise control for
the driver and, if you opt for the Feel
trim, air-con too.
Citroen DS3 Cabrio
Not every summer tourer has to be
capable of carrying you and your
brood and enough kit for a full-on
two-week holiday. Some just need
tons of style and lots of fun – like the
open-top DS3 Cabrio, with its gogetting looks and classy cabin. It
comes in three different trim levels:
the entry-level DSign, mid-range
DStyle and range-topping DSport. The
range-topping DSport has natty 17inch alloy wheels as standard along
with Alcantara trim. The 154THP
model is particularly strong, handling
is fun, front seats are spacious and it’s
still a reasonably practical car, with
seating for three in the back.
BMW Gran Tourer
Billed by BMW as the first premium
compact model to boast seven seats,
it’s the perfect holiday partner,
thanks to being around 21cms longer
and a full 5cms taller than the Active
Tourer on which it’s based. There’s a
spacious cabin to be enjoyed and the
high build quality is always evident
too. Engines range from the basic
three-cylinder 216d diesel to the topof-the-range 220d with four-wheel
drive. In between are a 218i and 220i
petrol and 218d diesel, so there’s
plenty of choice. Despite being a
front wheel drive, it steers and drives
nicely, the cabin’s a quiet place to be
and storage is great thanks to those
flexible seats.
Peugeot 308 SW
If, on your summer tour, you’re
looking for a roomy estate car that
offers superb practicality, a smooth
diesel engine with low CO2 emissions
and lashings of elegant style, this
could be the one. Based on the
equally good-looking 308 hatch, the
SW’s wheelbase is much longer,
creating welcome room inside.
Talking of inside, it all feels very high
quality and the optional £500
panoramic glass roof adds a touch of
class – and an airy feel – to
proceedings too. There are eight
engines to choose from altogether,
including an impressive new petrol
1.2-litre e-THP 130, a three-cylinder
turbo that produces 128bhp.
Nissan Qashqai
Even better-looking than the old
model, and having won a clutch of
onLine car finance
we sort the finance
you choose the car
Available to Halifax current account
customers registered for Online Banking.
Halifax is a division of Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Bank of Scotland plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential
Regulation Authority under registration number 169628. All information correct at July 2015.
evening standard Tuesday 28 July 2015
Special | ES Wheels
awards, the UK-built Qashqai is a
highly popular family car and no
wonder. There are five different trim
levels; Visia, Acenta, n-tec, n-tec+ and
Tekna, and even the entry-level
model has great equipment features,
including Bluetooth and steering
wheel audio controls, electric
windows, air-conditioning and cruise
control. There are four engines to
choose from – two petrols and two
diesels – and the QashQai rides and
handles better than before. Luggage
space is improved too, adding up to a
great, refined companion.
Renault Kadjar
Clockwise from
main: Citroen
DS3 Cabrio;
Peugeot 308
SW; Renault
Kadjar; and
the BMW
Gran Tourer
The oddly-named Kadjar – which
shares many of its mechanicals with
the Nissan Qashqai – is good looking,
good to drive, practical and has a nice
cabin; three reasons you’ll want it as a
partner for that family outing to the
beach, or longer treks abroad this
summer. Reviewers praise its
comfortable ride, precise steering,
confident handling and its build
quality. Equipment levels are good too
and all models – apart from the entrylevel one – get the R-Link 2 touchscreen
infotainment system, allowing users to
download the same kind of apps you
like to use on your phone.
Ford S-Max
You can’t have a round up of great
summer touring cars and loadluggers without including that family
favourite, the S-Max, which has just
been relaunched for 2015, better,
smoother, more refined than ever
before. Make no mistake, this is a
highly practical car, with seating for
seven, and you still get 285 litres of
space in the boot, when all seats are in
use. Fold the rearmost seats flat
however and space shoots up to an
impressive 965 litres, enough for that
tent, beach gear and all other
comforts. All the seats fold flat
individually and buyers can pay for
buttons in the boot to do this for them.
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
Well, it’s even called the “Tourer”, so
it’s got to be in our list for great
summer drives, especially with its
sharp lines, high levels of practicality,
smart interior design and wide range
of engines. The driving position is
great – good for all-day driving – and
the overall feeling of quality is high,
while there’s lots of flexibility in that
cleverly-designed Flex7 seating. The
second-row seats can be moved
backwards and forwards or folded
down individually, while the middle
seat can even be stowed, allowing
the two outer seats to slide in to free
up elbow room. The handling is
Skoda Yeti
With fashionable looks, a big, square
boot, nimble steering, neat handling
and something of a cult following,
this car’s forte is probably its split
personality. Not only is it compact
and nippy in town, it works nicely on
long journeys too, with its good ride,
efficient engines and driving fun. It’s
not the most refined of Skoda’s cars,
but it offers great value for money,
has a rugged, family-proof interior
and, if you pick the 4x4 model, it’s
superb off-road too.
Tuesday 28 July 2015 evening standard
ES Wheels | Special
Fuel for thought:
New car finance in
April increased by
11 per cent
compared with
the same month
last year
How to stop running on empty
David Williams explains the terminology that drivers need to wade through to secure motor finance
ritish motorists are
frequently “confused” by
commonly-used motor
finance jargon, despite
eight in 10 new cars
purchased through dealerships being
bought on finance, new figures
reveal.More than 1,000 car buyers
were quizzed by BMW Group
Financial Services on their knowledge of motor finance and they
found that many would not be able to
confidently explain even the most
basic terms.
Two-thirds said they would not feel
confident explaining terms such as
“annual percentage rates”, “deposit
contributions”, “excess mileage” – or
“unsecured loans”.
Personal contract hire was the most
confusing of all, with just 18 per cent
able to explain its meaning. Fewer
than one in five could explain the
terms “personal contract purchase”
or “minimum future value”. This is
despite the fact that new car finance
in April increased by 11 per cent
compared with the same month last
year, with uptake set to continue to
grow in 2015.
So what do all those terms mean?
Hire Purchase (HP) is a quick, easy
way to borrow, as it’s usually
arranged by the dealer. You pay a
deposit – around 10 per cent of the
total price – then monthly instalments for the duration of the
contract. You can reduce monthly
repayments by increasing your
deposit or extending the loan
duration. It’s important to check
the APR. The longer the loan runs,
the more interest you pay.
The car is collateral. Monthly
payments are lower than for a
personal loan and there’s no lump
sum to pay at the end. There are two
disadvantages: you must pay a
deposit up front. Secondly, the car is
owned by the finance company until
your final payment; fail to make a
payment and it can repossess the car.
Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) is
similar to HP and arranged through the
dealer so it’s easy and quick. You pay a
deposit and monthly payments over an
agreed term, but a big chunk of the
car’s value is left until the end of the
contract in the form of an optional final
payment (often called Guaranteed
Minimum Future Value, or GMFV).
You either pay the lump sum to take
ownership of the car or hand it back
without paying the final fee. The
deposit and monthly repayments are
usually much lower than for HP and
it’s easy to obtain because (as with
HP) the car is used as collateral. Zero
per cent APR deals are common.
Disadvantages? If you can’t afford the
final payment you can’t take
ownership of the car.
Leasing deals and contract hire are
when you lease a car for an agreed
period. Some manufacturers offer
leasing deals directly through their
finance companies and many
internet-based companies specialise
in leasing cars. As with HP you pay a
deposit and monthly payments for
the term of the contract but you’ll
never be able to own the car.
Personal Loans are when you
borrow money from a high-street
bank, online lender or the Post Office
and repay it monthly over an agreed
period at a set interest rate, allowing
you to own the vehicle, ultimately.
There are two types: secured and
unsecured. A secured loan requires
some form of collateral (for instance
your car) that the lender will take and
sell to recover its cash if you fail to
pay them back. An unsecured loan
doesn’t require collateral. Instead,
the lender decides whether it can
trust you to repay the money based
on your credit rating.
In March, Halifax became the first
bank to launch secured car finance
online. Halifax Car Plan Extra has
interest rates from 3.6 per cent.
Initially restricted to used cars only,
it allows borrowers prearrange
secured financing for a car they plan
to buy, and have the money transferred to a dealership once the sale
had been agreed.
The big difference is that the
finance – under two different car
finance options, the Fixed Car Plan, a
hire purchase agreement, and the
Flex Car Plan, a personal contract
purchase plan – is secured against the
car. Now the scheme is being
extended to new cars too.
Matt Sanders, banking and money
spokesman for,
says: “Deciding how best to fund the
purchase of your new car can be difficult, particularly as there is such a
bewildering array of options. That’s
why it’s important to do your
homework before setting foot on the
forecourt. And unless you have the
cash ready to pay for the car in full,
your credit history will play a
significant role in determining the
best finance option so it’s worth
checking your credit rating as a
starting point.
“If you decide to go down the
finance route, you’ll probably be
faced with seven main options:
dealer loans, hire purchase and
personal contract purchase (PCP), all
of which are typically offered at point
of sale with the dealer, or leasing,
personal loans, credit cards and remortgaging, which you may be able
to source independently.
“All have their merits and drawbacks, depending on whether you
want to own the car outright once the
finance is repaid, the amount you
need to borrow and the risk of
securing your property or possessions against the loan.
“The Halifax Car Plan has a
competitive advertised rate of 3.6 per
cent, and Halifax is able to offer this
as the loan is secured against your
car, which can be repossessed if you
fail to keep up your repayments.
Other competitive loans, also
secured against your car, include a
3.6 per cent loan from First Direct,
which is for existing customers only,
and a 4.9 per cent loan from Barclays
that is open to customers and noncustomers,” explains Sanders.
“With Halifax Car Plan Extra you
need to have been a Halifax current
account customer for at least three
months, so you won’t get this loan
quickly if this isn’t the case.
“If a loan is the finance option you
consider the most appropriate, there
are other options available with the
same or a very similar rate to that
offered by Halifax Car Plan,” adds
Sanders. “There’s M&S Bank (at 3.6
per cent), Sainsbury’s Bank (at 3.7
per cent) and Tesco Bank (at 3.8 per
cent), and these loans come with the
benefit of not being secured against
your car or other belongings and
being open for application
by anyone.
“Bear in mind you may not get the
advertised APR as the actual rate you
eventually get depends on your
circumstances, and can be tied to
things like your income, credit
history and credit score.”
you chooSE
There’s a lot to think about when buying a new car, so we’ve made
paying for it extra easy with Halifax Car Plan Extra – our new car
finance exclusive to Halifax current account customers.
Simply sign into Online Banking and use our car finance calculator
to instantly see how much you could borrow, then choose a plan
that suits you best.
Once you’ve applied and been accepted, we’ll transfer the money
direct to the dealer, it’s as easy as that.
And our great low rate means your dream car could be more affordable
than you think.
Available to Halifax current account customers of at least three months,
registered for Online Banking aged 18+ and mainland UK resident.
Borrow between £3,000 – £60,000. Vehicle must be sourced through
selected dealer. Lending subject to status.
Halifax is a division of Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Bank of Scotland plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential
Regulation Authority under registration number 169628. All information correct at July 2015.