Should I buy a diesel car in 2019?

When deciding what vehicle to choose next, the fuel-type will likely be one of the main considerations.

If you’re wondering whether diesel is the right choice for you, there are a few things it’s worth knowing about so that you can be confident you’re making the right decision.

In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about the pros and cons of buying a diesel car in 2019. 


Are diesels cheaper to run than petrol?

If you frequently use the motorway and have a high annual mileage (more than 12,000 miles a year), a diesel will cost you less in fuel than a petrol car.

Whilst petrol tends to be cheaper per litre than diesel, diesel engines are more fuel efficient, using as much as 20% less fuel than equivalent petrol engines.

Is a diesel better if I do longer journeys?

Every driver should purchase the car best suited to their individual requirements. In most cases, currently, this means diesel for high-mileage drivers, and petrol for low-mileage drivers.

For short journeys and city drives, think petrol or electric/hybrid. For long distances and motorway commutes, think diesel.

Do lots of family trips? Check out our tips for long car journeys with kids, provided by four marvellous mum bloggers.

How much is tax on a diesel car?

In terms of road tax, diesel cars from before April 2017 qualify for a lower tax band than petrol engine cars.

However, for newer diesels, tax is typically higher than petrol. From 1st April 2018, new diesel cars are taxed at a higher rate, as part of the government’s push to make it less attractive to drive a car that emits high levels of NOx (nitrogen oxide).

However, this increase is often included in price of the car itself, and after the first year, the standard £145 annual tax rate applies.

Other tax costs that are being introduced for diesel cars include:

  • Charges to drive in city centres
  • Parking surcharges
  • Higher road and company car tax
  • Increased parking permit prices

What are the emissions like on a diesel?

New diesel cars are cleaner than ever. However, as all fossil fuel-powered cars do, they emit a mixture of CO2, NOx (nitrous oxide) and particulates. It is the NOx and particulates that affect local air quality, whereas CO2 causes global warming, which could have extreme consequences for our planet if we don’t change our behaviour. If you’re concerned about air quality and climate breakdown, it might be time to learn more about electric cars.

Are diesel engines louder?

Diesel engines are generally noisier than other fuel-types due to the way they work, creating sudden increases in pressure. But modern diesel engines work by injecting the fuel in a series of smaller pulses, which dampens the amount of rattle you’ll hear, making them much quieter than they used to be.

Are diesel cars better for towing?

Yes, they are. A diesel produces more torque than an equivalent petrol engine, meaning it will pull strongly without being revved as hard as a petrol vehicle would.

How does diesel compare in different sized cars?

Similar to towing, the increased torque production compared to a petrol engine means it’s more suitable for larger vehicles; less effort is required to get the vehicle going.  

Is it better to get a new or used diesel?

Newer diesel vehicles are more environmentally-friendly. In fact, since September 2018, all new cars must pass a strict emissions test carried out under real driving conditions before being it may be sold.

Cars made after 2015 are also built to Euro 6 standards; many diesel cars now also have diesel particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems which reduce emissions.

We also have a large selection of used and nearly new diesel cars aged 1 year or less available to browse on our site.

When will diesel cars be banned?

By 2040, all new cars in the UK will be “effectively zero emission” with pressure on the government to bring this deadline forward to 2032, when a ban on all sales of new petrol and diesel cars will take effect.

What are Clean Air Zones?                            

Clean Air Zones have been implemented in support of the release of UK Government’s highly-publicised clean air strategy; they are areas in which local authorities are trying to reduce emissions and improve air quality. There are two types of Clean Air Zones:

  • Charging zones require drivers whose vehicles don’t meet the required environmental standard (i.e. vehicles built before than 2015) to pay a fee.
  • Non-charging zones don’t require fees, but they can include measures such as traffic flow management and retrofitting certain vehicles.

You can find a vehicle’s Euro emissions standard here.


Think diesel is right for you? Browse all diesel vehicles we have in stock now.


How Often to Consider Replacement Car Parts

Replacing certain car parts every couple of years may seem costly or unnecessary, but these replacements can help to prevent larger mechanical issues or failures in the future.

However, knowing which car parts to replace (and when) can be a confusing ordeal – especially when there’s so much conflicting information on the internet.

Using our 70 years of experience as one of the UK’s largest car dealers, we’ve put together a list of the most common car parts, how often they should be replaced and how to recognise when they’re on their way to motor heaven.


Did you know? If you start driving at the age of 17 and stop when you’re 80, then you’ll most likely have to replace an expensive part of your car around 25 times. Considering this is over the course of 63 years, then this isn’t as bad as it sounds!


Common replacement car parts (and when they should be replaced)

Windscreen wiper blades

When will I know if there are problems with the windscreen wiper blades?

If your windscreen wiper blades become warped or damaged, then they may judder against or partially miss your windscreen.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the windscreen wiper blades?

When you start to notice that your windscreen wiper blades aren’t working effectively, then it’s time for a replacement. This will most likely be every six months to a year.

Headlight and rear light bulbs

When will I know if there are problems with my headlight or rear light bulbs?

You’ll either notice that your lights are dimmer than usual or not working at all.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the headlight and rear light bulbs?

Vibrations on the road, debris and how often you use your lights will affect how long they last. Typically, we’d recommend replacing your light bulbs every year.

Oil filter

What does an oil filter do?

The oil filter is similar to the fuel filter, but instead helps to remove contaminants from the car’s engine oil. It’s these contaminants that can cause damage to the inside of the engine.

When will I know if there are problems with the oil filter?

When the oil filter needs changing, it’s likely that the car won’t accelerate properly and ‘sputtering’ may occur – a term used to describe inconsistent speed variations caused by oil not dispersing through the filter like it should. If your oil pressure gauge drops rapidly, then this is also a cause for concern.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the oil filter?

For older cars, you’ll probably need to change the oil filter every time you change the oil (which should be roughly every 3,000 miles). However, this figure is closer to every 7,500 miles for a modern car.

Tyres

When will I know if there are problems with my tyres?

If cracks or bulges appear in your tyres, then this has likely been caused by over or under inflation and you’ll need to replace them.  We also recommend having at least 3mm of tread depth on all tyres at all times, though the legal minimum is 1.6mm.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace a tyre?

How often you’ll need to replace your tyres will depend on whether you keep them inflated correctly and the way you drive, but you should expect an average tyre to last up to 30,000 miles.


Want to have your tyres checked free of charge? Book your free tyre check with JCT600 today.


Spark plugs

What do the spark plugs do?

Spark plugs do exactly what they say on the tin – they ‘spark’ electricity from the ignition system to power your car.

When will I know if there are problems with the spark plugs?

If your spark plugs aren’t working efficiently, then you may notice that your car is consuming more fuel than usual due to poor combustion. Your car may also ‘hesitate’ upon acceleration and not respond as quickly as you’d expect.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the spark plugs?

How often you’ll need to replace your spark plugs partially depends on the type of spark plugs you have in your car. Some manufacturers recommend that you replace your spark plugs every 30,000 miles, whilst iridium or platinum plugs are said to last up to 100,000 miles.

Water pump

What does the water pump do?

Maintaining a consistent and optimum temperature for a car’s engine is essential for performance. The water pump ensures that the coolant keeps moving through the engine block and cylinder head, before reaching the radiator and flowing back to the pump.

When will I know if there are problems with the water pump?

If your water pump isn’t working efficiently or is leaking, then you may experience problems with your engine overheating and not operating properly (or at all). A warning light will usually be displayed on the dashboard.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the water pump?

Water pumps tend to last a similar amount of time as the cambelt, which is up to around 60,000 miles. By regularly changing the water pump coolant and topping the engine up with oil, you’ll greatly extend its lifespan.

Clutch

What does the clutch do?

Within a manual car, changing gears requires disrupting the power from the engine to the transmission. This is because when your car is switched on, the engine is constantly turning, meaning the wheels would always be in motion if it wasn’t for a source of friction. This is where the clutch comes in.

When will I know if there are problems with the clutch?

If you start to notice the clutch slipping a lot or difficulties in changing gear, then you may need a replacement clutch.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the clutch?

General wear and tear of the clutch depends on how often you drive and shift between different gears, but you’ll usually need to replace it around every 60,000 miles.

Cambelt (or timing belt)

What does the cambelt do?

The cambelt (also known as the timing belt) helps to keep the pistons and crankcase at the bottom of the engine in sync with the cylinder head and valves at the top.

When will I know if there are problems with the cambelt?

One of the most obvious indicators of a worn or loose cambelt is a squealing or rumbling sound when the engine is first started. If the cambelt is badly damaged, then your engine may even fail to start.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the cambelt?

It’s recommended that you replace your cambelt up to every 60,000 miles. If you want to extend the life of your cambelt, then keeping your car in the garage will help to lessen temperature fluctuations that can cause the rubber to expand and contract.

Flywheel

What does the flywheel do?

Making up part of the clutch alongside the clutch plate and pressure plate, the flywheel (often made of heavy steel or carbon fibre) is a large disc that’s attached to the crankshaft at the rear of the engine. Its role is largely to store rotational energy to keep the engine in consistent motion.

When will I know if there are problems with the flywheel?

If the teeth of the flywheel are shaved off or damaged in some way, then this can cause problems like loose spinning (this will resemble the sound of a drill) or grinding against the starter gear. The clutch may also slip more than usual.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the flywheel?

It’s recommended that you change the flywheel every time you need to change the clutch, which is roughly every 60,000 miles.

Fuel filter

What does a fuel filter do?

The fuel filter is designed to stop any ‘nasties’ from reaching your car’s engine. For petrol engines, these are things like impurities and debris, whilst the fuel filter for diesel engines helps to prevent water from building up and corroding the interior.

When will I know if there are problems with the fuel filter?

Initially, you may experience poor fuel mileage, followed by struggles with starting the engine or maintaining power. The ‘Check Engine’ warning light may also be illuminated.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the fuel filter?

With most modern cars, you’ll probably need to replace the fuel filter every 60,000 to 90,000 miles.

Brake pads

What do car brake pads do?

Most of us will know that brake pads help to slow down or stop a car abruptly, but the actual mechanisms are a little more complex. When pressure is applied on the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid in the calliper pushes the brake pads for each wheel against the rotating brake discs, resulting in the necessary friction needed to brake.

When will I know if there are problems with the brake pads?

Many cars are equipped with brake pad sensors that will indicate when the brake pads need replacing on your dashboard. If you don’t have this, then you’ll be able to tell if something’s wrong when the car starts to feel as if it’s pulling to one side or if there are grinding noises or vibrating sensations when using the brakes.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the brake pads?

How often you’ll need to replace the brake pads largely depends on general use and how often you’re stopping and starting at junctions or traffic lights. However, this tends to be up to every 70,000 miles (or roughly every five years).

Alternator

What does the alternator do?

Making up the automotive charging system consisting of the battery and voltage regulator, the alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy to power the engine, headlights, heater and more.

When will I know if there are problems with the alternator?

Most modern cars will display a warning light when there’s an issue with the alternator. However, any noticeable changes in electrical output, such as dimmed or flickering lights, may also indicate a problem. If this is coupled with growling or whining noises, then this could mean that the pulley or bearings attached to the alternator are wearing or misaligned.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the alternator?

Alternators typically last around seven years, or roughly up to 150,000 miles.

Car battery

What does the car battery do?

Fully rechargeable, the car battery supplies power to the car by feeding the starter and starting the engine (but we’re sure you already knew that!).

When will I know if there are problems with the car battery?

If you crank the engine but it doesn’t start – or if the engine doesn’t crank at all – then this is a probable sign that there’s something wrong with your car battery. You may also notice pale blue or white rust appearing on parts of the battery exterior.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the car battery?

On average, most car batteries will last up to seven years with regular use. The more frequently the car is driven and the longer the battery is kept fully charged, then the better the overall battery life will be. Car batteries also tend to last longer in cooler climates (which is good news for us Brits).

Head gasket

What do head gaskets do?

The head gasket plays a critical role within the functioning of a car’s engine. Sitting between the cylinder head and the block, it seals the oilways and waterways from the cylinders so that oil and coolant can circulate freely in the engine.

When will I know if there are problems with the head gasket?

Since head gaskets are under a considerable amount of pressure within the engine, they’re the most likely to fail and need replacing. White tinted smoke coming from the exhaust pipe and overheating under the bonnet are signs that your head gasket may have blown.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the head gasket?

So long as you look after your engine and cooling system, then you can expect the head gasket to last up to 200,000 miles in a modern car.

How often should I have my car serviced?

When it comes to buying replacement car parts, it’s recommended that you don’t try to change them yourself (unless it’s something simple like a windscreen wiper blade or headlight bulb). If a replacement car part is fitted incorrectly, then this will cost you more time and money in the future. Therefore, we recommend that you have your car serviced on an annual basis, so that any critical issues can be found and dealt with properly.


As a JCT600 customer, you’ll benefit from a replacement vehicle whilst we service your car, which can take anything from one to four hours. We’ll also notify you when your next service appointment is due. If you’re interested in booking an MOT, then you can find out more about our servicing and repairs here.


How to check tyre tread depth for safe and legal driving

When it comes to road safety, ensuring that your car tyres are in the best possible condition is one of the most important things you can do.

So what is the required tyre tread depth? How is it checked? And what are the risks if you don’t perform these checks?

We’ve answered your questions below…


What are tyre treads?

Tyre treads refers to the grooves that run along the circumference of your car tyres. These grooves help to disperse water away from the contact points of the tyre, improving grip and allowing you to drive more safely.


What is the legal tyre tread depth in the UK?

The minimum tread depth required for car tyres in the UK is 1.6mm. This tread depth must run across the central three-quarters of the tyre.

However, this is the bare minimum requirement and isn’t sufficient for long-term use. Here at JCT600, we will mark your tyres as red at 3mm in accordance with manufacturer guidelines.

What are the risks of not checking your tyre tread depth?

If you don’t check your tyre treads and have enough depth, then you could be at risk of:

  • An increased stopping distance – Imagine that you’re travelling in your car at 50mph on a rainy day. With the minimum legal tyre tread depth of 1.6mm, it would take around 39.5 metres to come to a stop when braking. With 0.8mm of tread, this increases to 53.1 metres.
  • Aquaplaning – In wet conditions, your tyres may lose contact with the road surface and instead travel on top of the surface of the water. When this happens, you won’t be able to brake, steer or accelerate properly.
  • Increased fuel consumption – The shallower your tyre tread depth, the harder your car must work to put its power to the ground.
  • Penalty points and a fine – Besides the risk of having an accident, you may also receive three penalty points and a fine of up to £2,500 (per tyre!) for having worn tyre treads.

It is the car owner’s responsibility to ensure that their tyres are safe and legal to drive on the road – not just for your own safety, but for the safety of others too.

How do you measure tyre tread depth?

Knowing how to check your car’s tyre tread depth – or having someone else check it for you – could save your life in the future.

How to check your tyre tread with a coin

The ‘20p test’ is a quick and easy way to find out if your tyres are under the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm.

Simply take a 20p coin and place it into the main tread groove of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p is not visible and it slots within the groove, then your tread is above the legal limit.

However, if the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe to drive.

how to check tyre tread with a 20p coin

Using a tyre depth gauge to check your tyres

If the 20p coin trick isn’t reassuring enough for you, then you can use a tyre tread depth gauge (DTG) to measure the depth of an individual tyre groove.

You can also buy combined pressure and DTG gauges – or kits that supply both separately – for your convenience.

Checking the tyre tread wear indicators

Look out for these small bars, which are moulded into the treads in several places around the circumference of the wheel. If these are clearly visible at the surface of the tyre, then you’ll need to replace it.

How much tread is on a new tyre and how long should it last?

A new tyre should have around 8mm of tread before use. The longevity of your tyre largely depends on how well you treat it, from avoiding things like heavy braking to rotating your tyres regularly and maintaining consistent and adequate tyre pressure.

If you follow these tips, then you can expect your tyre treads to last you from 30,000 to 60,000 miles.

Check your tyre tread depth for free with JCT600

For the most accurate indication of how safe your tyre treads are, we recommend that you have your tyres checked professionally by one of our qualified technicians. We carry out FREE Tyre Checks at all our dealerships.

> Book your free tyre check

> Browse our list of dealerships

> Buy replacement tyres for your car

In summary, checking your tyre tread depth is quick and simple and doesn’t have to cost you any money. However, the effect it can have could be enough to keep you safe (and within the law) on the roads.

Yorkshire Days Out: 7 of the Best in 2019

Looking for a great day out in Yorkshire? We’ve pulled together seven essential places to visit, with options for all weather!

With rural beauty, rich heritage, vibrant cities, and the best people, it’s not difficult to see why Yorkshire folk are so proud of their county. It’s also a place that’s home to sporting greats such as Jess Ennis-Hill and the Brownlee brothers, as well as acting giants Dame Judi Dench and Sir Patrick Stewart. Oh, and food icons such as Wensleydale Cheese and Betty’s Fat Rascal.

The list of things that makes Yorkshire great is pretty long, but as a company proud of its Yorkshire roots, we would say that wouldn’t we? Check out one of our must-see sights, or another one of the region’s countless attractions, and judge for yourself…

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Fleet Vehicles Explained: What You Need to Know

If you’re looking into sourcing vehicles for your company and want to know more about how fleet vehicles work, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find most of the key information here, but we’re always happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

What is a fleet vehicle?

Fleet vehicles are cars or vans which have been leased or purchased by a company for their employees to use for business purposes, which they can pay for on a monthly basis – a bit like getting a car on finance.

How many vehicles are in a fleet?

There isn’t a set number of vehicles in a fleet.

Some businesses may require one vehicle, and some may need several hundred – it all depends on the number of employees in a business, and their individual requirements.

That said, the larger the fleet, the bigger the benefits.

The DVLA, for example, offer a scheme to help with administrative tasks for companies who have a fleet of more than fifty vehicles. It enables companies to tax a whole fleet at once, rather than on a ‘per vehicle’ basis.

Our vehicles for business team work with you to find a solution to you and your colleagues’ motoring requirements, whether big or small.

Does my business qualify for a fleet?

As long as you can provide proof that you run or own a business, using appropriate forms of ID, then you will be able to qualify. The usual checks apply of course, just like when you go to lease or finance a car for personal use.

What happens after I qualify?

If you do qualify, our business partnership team are here to help. They’re industry leaders in sourcing vehicles to match the needs of your business, as well as your budget.

Which vehicles are available on fleet?

We’re proud to be trusted by the world’s best manufacturers, and we’re able to offer you models from 21 different car brands.

Click here to see which vehicles we currently have business leasing offers on. Can’t see what you’re looking for or have a question? Get in touch here.

Are fleet vehicles cheaper?

Fleet vehicles tend to be cheaper due to favourable terms that can be applied, as well as incentives and monetary rebates. For example, leasing companies can reclaim the VAT on the vehicle, so they can offer savings. It’s usually the case that the more vehicles you buy, the more you will save!

Are fleet vehicles new or used?

Fleet vehicles tend to be new, which means they’ll be under warranty, and have the latest fuel-efficient, low-emission engine, and the newest safety features as standard. Great for your peace of mind, and your employees’ safety.

Are there any other benefits to owning a fleet vehicle?

One of the benefits of owning a fleet is that it saves a business purchasing vehicles outright every few years.

It also means that every few years you can upgrade to a newer, more modern vehicle.

Leasing is also “off balance sheet”, which means liability doesn’t show on the company’s accounts.

If you’re looking for a fleet solution, we can help. We can offer you a dedicated account manager, as well as access to extended demonstrations. With great relationships with several leasing providers, we’re well placed to support you with any needs your business has.

Free Car Fuel Benefit

If an employee drives a company car and receives free fuel for private use, it is subject to tax.

It’s important to estimate their private mileage beforehand, or it’s likely they could end up financially worse off.

You can calculate Car Fuel Benefit by using the purpose-built calculator on the gov.uk website.

Whole Life Costs for Company Car Fleets

There are multiple costs to consider in preparation for purchasing fleet vehicles. These are referred to as a vehicle’s ‘Whole Life Cost’ [WLC].

The factors to be considered in WLC are as follows:

  • Vehicle Purchase Price
  • Vehicle Registration Fee
  • Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)
  • Fuel Costs
  • Service, maintenance and repairs
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Residual Vehicle Value
  • Class 1A National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

Fleet: key terms explained

The world of vehicle fleets is fraught with jargon and acronyms, so we’ve put together a glossary of the ones you’ll see most often.

  • P11D – A form sent to HMRC annually by employers stating any employee benefits such as a company car.
  • P11D Value – The total value of the car including list price plus VAT, delivery charges and any optional extras such as sat nav.
  • Benefits-in-Kind [BIKs] – BIKs are benefits that an employee receives that is not included in their salary. Often referred to as a ‘perk’.
  • Class 1A National Insurance Contributions – Class 1A NICs are payable on any benefits-in-kind [BIKs]. They are paid by the employer.
  • Plug-In Car Grant – A government grant available to subsidise the purchase of an electric vehicle.
  • Residual Vehicle Value – Residual value, or resale value, is the predicted value of a vehicle in the future.
  • Vehicle Excise Duty [VED] – An amount payable on all vehicles, which is calculated based on your car’s CO2 emissions.
  • Vehicle Purchase Price – The amount of money that was actually paid for the car, rather than the given list price.
  • Vehicle Registration Fee – A one-off fee payable to DVLA when a vehicle is first registered.
  • Whole Life Costs [WLC] – The costs associated with running a vehicle such as fuel costs, service and maintenance, which need to be considered before purchase.

Think fleet could be for you? Contact our business partnership team to find out more about our tailored fleet motoring solutions.

Should I buy a diesel car in 2019?

When deciding what vehicle is right for you, the fuel-type will likely be one of the main considerations.

If you’re wondering whether diesel is the right choice for you, there are a few things it’s worth knowing about so that you can be confident you’re making the right decision.

In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about the pros and cons of buying a diesel car in 2019.

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Car Insurance Explained

Car insurance is a product that provides financial protection in the event of an incident that causes damage or injury to another person, vehicle, property or animal.

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10 Essential Tips for Wet Weather Driving

The great British weather isn’t always perfect, with an average of 156.2 days of rain a year! That’s why it’s important to be prepared to drive in wet conditions, as safely as possible. We’ve pulled together ten things that you need to consider before heading out in your vehicle on those damper days.

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What to Do if You Have a Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident isn’t something you want to think about. However, it’s important to be prepared in case you do find yourself in this situation, whether it’s a minor collision or a major accident.

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The 12 Best Estate Cars to Buy in 2019

Looking for a family car? Need more space but don’t want to compromise on style? We’re here to help – we’ve rounded up 12 of the best estates on the market this year.  

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