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Buy A British Made Car

Buy A British Made Car

Posted On 03 Mar, 2014

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Pretty much every country in the world will lay claim to be the planet’s top car manufacturer, but are there any real advantages to buying a British made car, either used or new?

The AA reckons the automotive industry in the UK turned over £59.3 billion in 2012, and accounts for 10 per cent of UK exports. And Jonathan Visscher of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, told the Daily Express this year: “The focus for luxury cars is really on exports and about 80 per cent go abroad. British made vehicles compare favourably with cars built anywhere in the world. Drivers want the best of the best.

“The celebrity factor will certainly have an effect, adding to the global appeal of British made cars. It makes ownership aspirational.”

Certainly an element of buying British does relate to kudos, image, desire and aspiration. However, for some drivers more concrete advantages are financial in nature.

‘Britain’s car industry is booming. It is accelerating ahead of Europe towards record production levels, according to new statistics.’ said “This is Money” in 2012, predicting record UK production of 2.2 million cars by 2016.

This obviously will have a price impact, potentially differentiating UK models on a price basis, both in used and new markets. What is interesting, according to “This is Money”, is that, ‘Although most of the companies that make cars in Britain are foreign owned, those motors are still built on these shores and the world has a huge appetite for them.’

So the question also depends on whether you are seeking to buy something that sounds British, is made in Britain, or is just owned by a British firm. For example, “This is Money” points to the Vauxhall Astra, the Mini, or a Lotus Elise or Jaguar as being great options. Made in the UK, these brands are owned overseas. Nissans are built in Sunderland but unsurprisingly they are owned in Japan.

What does it all mean? Essentially, the idea is British made cars benefit from an industrial and manufacturing heritage. Plus, the boom in British overseas sales makes used cars cheaper too, as the Guardian noted in October last year.

‘Willson rhapsodises about his 14-year-old Mercedes convertible, which cost £2,500 secondhand,’ it writes. The truth is cars made in Britain probably aren’t owned in Britain nowadays, but you will still benefit from quality manufacturing and a quality vehicle to boot.

The Which? Top 10 list of British made cars:

1. Mini Clubman (built in Cowley, Oxon)       6. Mini Hatchback (Cowley)
2. Honda Jazz (Swindon, Wilts)                     7. Nissan Qashqai (Sunderland)
3. Honda CR-V (Swindon)                              8. Jaguar XK (Birmingham)
4. Toyota Avensis (Burnaston, Derbys)          9. Mini Convertible (Cowley)
5. Honda Civic (Swindon)                             10. Mini Coupe (Cowley)

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