Latest News: Northamptonshire’s unique ‘NASCAR’ style Rockingham circuit hosts the Renault UK Clio Cup’s latest two rounds (Sat 26/Sun 27 August) with Mike Bushell (Tunbridge Wells) in with a chance of being crowned Champion there live on ITV4. The maths are simple: if Bushell stretches his current championship lead of 98 points to 137 at Rockingham he will be the 2017 Champion. A maximum of 68 is possible from Rockingham’s ‘double-header’ (32 per win; another two per fastest lap) with only 136 available from the season’s final four races, at nearby Silverstone and then Brands Hatch in Kent… Bushell can’t win it in Rockingham’s first race but he can in the second – being held on the Sunday along with the latest rounds of the British Touring Car Championship and being broadcast live across the UK on ITV4. The title would be his second after he won it in 2014 (then, as now, with Team Pyro). Championship records also within Bushell’s sightsWinning it this early, with four races still to go, would also be quite a feat. Only one driver, Dave Newsham in 2010, has won the title so speedily before. Significantly Newsham is one of a dozen or more ex-UK Clio Cup drivers now starring in the BTCC… Furthermore arriving at Rockingham Bushell is on a roll… He’s won the last four races to make it seven out of 12 and if he adds victories in both races at Rockingham he will also equal the most consecutive wins record of six set in 2005 by Jonathan Adam (the reigning British GT Champion). So who can stop him?However eight other drivers could in theory yet pip Bushell to the crown. WDE Motorsport team-mates Paul Rivett (Epsom Downs) and Lee Pattison (Halifax) and Ciceley Motorsport’s Max Coates (Scorton) are his closest challengers while DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom (Kidderminster) and PP/Westbourne’s James Colburn (Worthing) lay in wait… WDE’s Dan Zelos (Dereham), Westbourne’s James Dorlin (Barnsley) and Pyro’s Nathan Harrison (Oxford) are the big outsiders. Pattison (twice), Coates, Dorlin and Colburn are the other race winners so far; incredibly triple Champion Rivett has still to register a win in 2017. He holds the record for most wins around Rockingham – three, along with Bushell and 2016 Champion Ant Whorton-Eales (also now in the BTCC). Adding to Pyro’s ranks are Jack McCarthy (Bromley) and Lucas Orrock (Cambridge). McCarthy is embroiled in the Graduates Trophy tussle for young, first year drivers with Harrison and Dorlin. Pyro also narrowly heads WDE in a tight teams’ battle… In the thick of it!Northampton-based JamSport hopes to get its young signing Aaron Thompson (Romford) right up the sharp end on home ground. Expect Ciceley trio Luke Reade (Dartford), Jade Edwards (Aylesbury) and Sam Osborne (Worksop), Westbourne’s Sam Randon (Derby), WDE’s Nicolas Hamilton (Welwyn Garden City) and STR’s Shawn Taylor (Norwich) all to be in the thick of it. 16-year-olds to debut/lap records under threat…Meanwhile Rockingham marks the debuts of two of the youngest drivers in championship history, 16-year-old newcomers Bradley Burns (Farnham) and Zak Fulk (Guildford) who both line up with Pyro. Making Rockingham unique is the fact it is the only anti-clockwise circuit on the calendar, its configuration 50 per cent made up of the venue’s banked oval track, the other half a twisting infield section. Its track surface is also highly abrasive and the new Michelin tyre the UK Clio Cup has switched to for 2017 could come into its own – indeed there have been new qualifying and race lap records aplenty so far this season. Where and when to watchThe Renault UK Clio Cup’s drivers will first be on track at Rockingham on the Friday (25 August) for two timed test sessions, allowing them to fine-tune their cars to the circuit’s characteristics. At 11:20 on Saturday comes the crucial half-hour timed qualifying session which will determine their starting grid positions for the two races (rounds 11 and 12 of the championship). Round 11 is also on the Saturday, at 16:10, and round 12 on Sunday, at 13:00. Both races are 14 laps in duration. As ever the event will be broadcast live on the Sunday on ITV4, from 10:45-17.30.
Finance Plans Explained at Motorvogue
From PCP to hire purchase, here's everything you need to know about financing your next car.
Car finance might seem daunting, but in reality it's just a simple two-stage process.
The first stage is to decide on the type of car deal you want: loan, lease, hire purchase, or dealer finance. Then it's a simple matter of choosing the provider whose product best suits your needs.
Personal Contract Hire (PCH)
The word 'Hire' tells you what PCH is all about. Basically you're renting a car for (typically) two or three years, with an agreed mileage limit of (typically) 10,000 miles a year. There's no option to buy the car at the end of the contract; you just hand the keys back to the finance provider. In effect, your payments are only covering the car's depreciation.
While you're running it, you're responsible for the car's upkeep. On the plus side, the deposit is low (three or six months' rental is common), as are the fixed monthly repayments, and you can blunt the impact of repair bills by incorporating a maintenance element into the agreement. Check that a separate manufacturer servicing package won't be cheaper before you tick that box, however.
Cars that hold their value well are a good PCH option, because the difference in their new and three-year-old values will be smaller, so you'll repay a lower amount. Cars that plummet in value from new are a bad choice, because you'll repay a much larger amount.
Just as with PCP, you'll need to make sure the car is in good condition when you hand it back, or you could face additional fees as the finance firm cleans it up.
Go for PCH if you say yes to one or more of these statements:
You don't want to own a car, or suffer its depreciation
You like being able to change cars frequently
You like the idea of driving better cars than you could normally afford
You don't mind looking after cars
Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)
It's a bit like HP in that there's a deposit to pay, a fixed interest rate, and monthly repayments over a choice of lending terms, which are usually between 12 and 36 months.
Where PCP differs from HP is at the end of the term. Then you'll have three choices. You can:
- Return the car to the supplier
- Keep the car
- Trade the car in against a replacement
The first option, returning the car, costs nothing, unless you've gone over an agreed mileage or failed to return it in good condition. In either case there'll be an excess to pay.
Keeping the car means making a final 'balloon' payment. This amount is the car's guaranteed future value, or GFV, which is set at the start of the agreement.
The GFV is based on various factors, including the length of the loan and the anticipated mileage as well as the car's projected retail value. If you exercise this final buying option, you can of course keep running the car, or you can sell it, pocketing any equity above the GFV that you've paid back to the lease company.
If you're trading the car in, any GFV equity can be used as a deposit towards the next one.
Just bear in mind that the GFV doesn't always contain a huge amount of equity at the end of the term - so when you're working out monthly costs, it's probably wise to factor in a few extra pounds per month that you can put away in preparation for the next deposit at the end of two or three years.
If the car has gone into negative equity – which can happen – you'll have to find all of that deposit if you want a further PCP. Shorter leases are more likely to come with more accurate GFVs and manufacturers are quite proactive in trying to get you out of a car early if they think there's scope to get you into a new one on a decent monthly rate; it's not uncommon dealers to call customers on three-year deals about a year early - because doing a new PCP keeps the buyer tied to that manufacturer for a further period of time.
Go for PCP if you say yes to one or more of these statements:
- You want lower monthly repayments
- You like the flexibility of options at the end of the agreement
- You can confidently and accurately nominate your mileage
Under HP agreements, there's a deposit to pay – typically 10% – followed by fixed monthly payments. The car is owned by the HP company until the final payment – and any 'option to purchase' ownership-transfer fee – has been paid. Up to that point, the person making the payments has no legal right to sell the vehicle.
Nevertheless, some 'owners' do sell 'their' cars before the final payment. The good news for buyers of these 'non-paid-up' HP cars is that the law clearly protects private purchasers who buy without notice of any undischarged HP agreement.
No matter what the police or anyone else might tell you, you'll get a good title to the car if you buy an HP car under these circumstances. The finance company can take action against the seller if they wish, but it's not your problem.
The credit on an HP agreement is secured against the car, so it's like dealer finance in that the only the car can be seized in the event of a default. If you need to sell the car before the end of the agreement, you'll have to repay the outstanding debt first – and 'early settlement' fees may apply.
Go for HP if you say yes to one or more of these statements:
- Eventual ownership is important to you
- Your budget and circumstances suit fixed monthly repayments
- Your disposable income is likely to decrease over the agreement term (eg if you're planning a family)
- You like low-risk credit secured against the car only
- You don't mind not owning the car until the debt is fully repaid
CONSUMER CREDIT & GENERAL INSURANCE
Motorvogue (Northampton)Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd’s permissions as a Principal Firm allows Motorvogue (Northampton)Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance mediation activities only.