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Planning Retirement Online


Changing your car in later life

Lots of us will change our car on retirement or as we get older. It may be that you're losing the company car now you've retired, or you've decided it's time to buy your dream car. Many people change their car as a way of economising as they get older. If this is the reason for change, there are a number of factors to consider:

  • Car tax is based on the amount of emissions the car produces and whether it's diesel or petrol. For the same emission level, diesel cars are taxed at a slightly higher rate. If you want to pay less road tax, buy a petrol car that produces low emissions.

  • Small cars are obviously cheaper to buy and to run; they do more miles per litre than big cars and are generally cheaper to service - although the make of the car will also influence the latter.

  • Cars fit into different insurance bands. You might consider buying a car that is in a cheaper band.

  • Diesel cars do more miles per litre than petrol ones. In spite of the slightly higher road tax and the higher cost of diesel, you have to do a very high mileage for petrol to become more economical than diesel.

  • If you are a two-car family, you might consider becoming a one-car family.

  • You could also consider using the car less and walking or cycling more. Not only will you save money, you will get fitter, too!

However, you may want to change cars in order to get the car you have always wanted. Whether you want a super-smooth comfortable ride with all the modern luxuries available, a flash sports car or a true classic, there is a range of services available on the web from the manufacturers' own sites to general car search sites.

Increasingly there are also sites offering European imported cars at amazing discounts - these recently include well known names such as Virgin and the Consumers Association who have entered the fray on behalf of the consumer. Below we've included the best of these sites and a few of the prestige manufacturers.

If you are still working and want to weigh up whether it's better to have a company car or take an allowance, then take a look at the fish4cars link below which includes an extremely useful calculator.

Jaguar. This is the official Jaguar website for the UK. As you can imagine this site is full of stunning pictures of the whole range of cars, both new and old. There is even a virtual car option that allows you to view a selection of cars whilst rotating them - in some cases you can even open and close the hood. However, be warned that this site takes a while to download due to the number of images, especially the virtual car option.

Carsource Lists and information on new and used cars. One of the premier sources of information on cars sold on the web. This site takes the form of a straightforward search engine. It may not be the most attractive site but it is packed full of information and has options to show photos of various models and links to reviews of individual cars. Well worth a look.

Auto Trader - This is a faithful reproduction of the famous magazine, complete with photos and car reviews. There are a variety of search engines available to find the car you want and although comprehensive you may find that the majority of text is too small to read comfortably.

fish4cars New cars and classified car ads on the net, highly recommended. This site has a useful feature called a lifestyle search - you enter the kind of car you want (fast, safe, secure etc.) and it searches through its database of used cars. It also contains road test reviews of many used cars - lots of useful advice on what to look for when buying certain models.

A very useful feature is a calculator to see whether it is to your advantage to have a company car or to take an allowance instead.

The site also includes a search facility for cherished number plates.


The Automobile Association UK - Welcome AA site. As you'd expect this site covers a great deal of information for the motorist including insurance, financing and traffic news to name but a few topics. This is a well laid-out, easy to navigate site, quick to download although the bright yellow background may grate after a while. 

BMW. The official BMW website. Difficult to navigate this site and it is all too easy to get stuck into the German version of the site. However, there are some great cars on display - particularly the M5.

Aston Martin. This site is not just about the cars but also about the company. Packed full of information about the history behind each car and the models available, including technical specifications, this is an impressive site for an impressive badge.

Top Gear - The famous TV programme online. Anyone who enjoys cars will get a real thrill out of this site. It's the site to accompany the great TV program, what more needs to be said?

Comprehensive sites offering amongst other things import of new cars from Europe and cars well below normal dealer prices.

Consumers association
Motorbase from the Woolwich

Autobytel - Comprehensive car search facilities along with reviews and a relationship with the Top Gear site

Useful Manufacturers sites

Alfa Romeo

Amazon Books
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