The smart mans guide to buy a car in the UK


When should I buy a car?

If you live in the UK the price of a car is not a big deal as there are so many cars for reasonable prices.

But the problem is the maintenance and insurance costs.

I have seen many people fall into the trap of cheap car prices. This is specially important if you have migrated from a country where car prices are very high (some countries have crazy duties and taxes on car prices. I know countries that have 300% duty on cars).

When you migrate from such a country to a country like UK your internal desires start putting extra pressure on you, to get that dream come too while you can afford it…

But what’s the catch…

The hidden truth is that even though cars can have a lower price tag their maintenance costs will never ever go low.

That is a universal truth, This is why:

Car prices can go lower, because the technologies improve everyday and increasing competition between car manufacturers make them lower prices even more.

But maintenance costs will never go low, because many people and their families make a living out of car maintenance businesses. From insurance guys to garages.

Therefore the to make a financially viable decision you need to consider Maintenance costs very thoroughly.

When should I delay buying a car:

Despite the common (ridiculous) perception all public transport services in the UK are very good and reliable so if you are a single person it is very doubtful if you say that you NEED a car.

And you can hire a taxi when you want to go somewhere that’s not serviced by public transportation and also to travel during unusual times.

When should you buy a car

The answer is super simple. MATHEMATICS!

1 Ask your friends who already owns cars how much it costs them. Be Careful not to ask friends who has already fallen into the trap of buying a car too soon. Because such friends will always JUSTIFY their decision and may be misleading.

So you are better off as many friends as you can and find out general costs.

2 Then calculate how much it costs for you for travelling currently (without a car).

If the costs of a car is only marginally more than the costs of not having a car then GO FOR IT – BUY A CAR.

The Convenience Factor

The reason why you should still go for a car even if it’s marginally more expensive is because a car brings a lot of convenience and quality to your life so it’s worth the (little) extra cost.

What Car Should You Buy

It purely depends on how rich you are and if you have read this article to this line then first, thank you :) and second it means that you are like me, not a millionaire, just yet. So I would strongly recommend go for a second hand car.

New or Used?

There are so many marketing traps that try to give you the impression that a new car is the best bet. There are so many tricky financial solutions that can make you feel that you can drive a car that would usually be out of your financial limits.

The TRUTH is this decision lies on how much you can fool yourself. Do you really think you are rich enough to buy that brand new Merc without going super poor in 5 years? DECIDING IT IS UP TO YOU.

How to HUNT for a GOOD QUALITY second-hand Car?

Simply think smart and out of the box.

What is a good car? A good car is a car that is reliable, fuel efficient, and has some performance.

You have decided to have a better financial future, so what of above three are you going to compromise on?

The reason for compromise is that the cars that are good in all three categories are VERY EXPENSIVE because everyone wants them.



Because it costs a lot more to maintain or repair a car than the little money you save on fuel. This is FALSE ECONOMY (thinking you are saving on fuel while wasting a lot more on repairs).

Most people in this era are CRAZY about fuel efficiency so they BLINDLY reject any car that has a bigger engine.

But the FACT is: Bigger engines don’t consume that much more fuel than a car with a smaller engine. BUT MOST PEOPLE DON’T SEE THIS. This is where you can benefit.

Because of this reason many people don’t buy cars with big engines. This give great points for us because:

  1. These cars don’t get a lot of hands on them and most of the time their first owners are very rich people (because big cars are very expensive when they are brand new). This means these cars are very well maintained.
  2. Because many people reject these cars, these beauties lose their price dramatically with the age.
  3. Their current owners are desperate to get rid of them as they are worried about the price fall. This gives you extra maneuverability while negotiating.

A real life example:
At the time of writing, the price of a Heavily Used BMW 3 series car with a 1.6 litre engine costs a lot more than a less used 2.5 litre car that comes with all luxuries like leather seats, etc…

Finally, NEVER RUSH to buy a car!

Financial experts (the real ones, not car salespeople who pretend to know-it-all) say that delayed gratification is a must have if you want to succeed with your finances.

Therefore avoid circumstances where people try to get you to make very quick decisions.

It’s always best to lose a good looking (but not sure) deal than getting into a bad deal because after money has left your hands then it’s always too late.



Think Smart – What’s the best (shopping) loyalty program for you?


Loyalty cards are so common these days.

If you are like me then there’s a good chance that you sometimes even have done a bit of maths on a piece of paper to find out what’s the cheapest place to buy fuel.

I am NOT going to say that loyalty programs are useless. I think they are really good win-win solutions for both us clients and the companies we deal with.

I recently bought my first car so I was obviously observing for best fuel deals.

In the UK many super markets offer combined loyalty programs which basically combines your shopping with your fuel purchases and get rewarded.

It was when I tried to find the best loyalty deal for fuel purchases that I found out THE BEST LOYALTY PROGRAM EVER. it doesn’t matter what country you are from.

So What’s the best loyalty program?

Right, the best loyalty program in the world is to be LOYAL TO YOURSELF.

Wait, just before you turn away, read the below line or two…

It doesn’t matter what loyalty program you use, the benefits you get are minuscule.

For example if I top up my fuel tank with the best loyalty program this is what I get.

The best deal I found was a deduction of 2 pence a litre (roughly about 3 cents in US$) – sounds awesome right?

Well then I did the calculation – our car has a pretty big tank that can hold about 50 litres. — good so we should save more money.

So how much do I save?

2p x 50 = 100p => £1.

Yes, I could save a pound by being so loyal to my supermarket.

Now how much did I save by being Loyal to me and my family?


I will give just 2 recent examples.

I love our car so I used to fill it with super-petrol – just because everyone was recommending it. After researching I found that the super petrol was only slightly better with the RON value (in fact only up by 2).

So next time I filled up with normal unleaded petrol.

How much did I save?

Price difference per litre: 5p

Saving: 5p x 50 = 250p => £2.50.


When I went shopping, I just avoided buying the extra sandwich and chocolates and other knick-knacks.

Saving: between £3 – £5  repeatedly (at almost every shopping).

The bottom line…

Do stick to the best loyalty program – work out on paper and see who offers best.

BUT dont forget that you can save more by being loyal to you and your family…

being financially sensible is a great way to be loyal to your family…

Hope this helps…



More product submissions


I have been working hard for about 10 days to submit details about the “Very simple budget and expense manager” (damn it’s a long product name 😉 ) on as many website as possible.

It’s difficult to find websites that actually allow you to submit your products free but there are still many of them. They are just hidden under a pile of other sites. Had to Google a lot.

The most common problem is most sites are (apparently) getting a lot of requests and they cannot risk to publish products without reviewing due to virus and other security issues.

So it takes a very long time for many sites to review and publish the product after you submit it.

Well I am happy I have submitted my product so it’s already in the queue in many sites!

I hope this would increase exposure and hopefully start bringing in some sales.

Would you agree? Please comment.



First trial user


My licence database showed me the first trial version record today (12/05/2013)!!!

I have been logging in everyday to check the records just to see an empty table till today. What happy feeling to see this record!


The second download! Fantastic!!!

Do you know tips about increasing the exposure of a new product like mine? Please comment if you are happy to share your knowledge.

Thanks in advance!



Cnet Approved!


(I am writing this a little later – this approval actually took place about 10 days ago)

I uploaded the Very Simple Budget and Expense Manager to Cnet downloads hoping to give it a kick start.

It took about a week but finally we got the approval from Cnet!!!

You can give it a check at cnet link

It has been downloaded 4 times so far!

Hope this goes well… Well, No that’s wrong, Let’s make this go well!!!

I know this is just a post where someone narrating about what he’s doing but if there’s anything that interrests you or if you have advice then please feel free to comment!



Does the name matter for a software product?


I was going to create a temporary web site for the product until my brother finishes the work on main website.

When I was thinking about a name for the sub domain it suddenly struck me that the current name only has the word “Expense” on it.

Even though it could manage expenses the product can do tons of other stuff.

Anyway I did a quick search on Google and found out I was thinking right. Most of the results showed up for “Simple Expense Manager” could only manage expenses.

This could mean that the targeted audience for this product could be easily mislead by this name.

So a quick name change is required. It has to be quick I don’t want to get into infinite modifications syndrome that many software development mangers have and suffer badly during releases :)

I also thought about the audience and it appeared to me that the name must be simple and must communicate best.

Therefore I decided that the new name would be “Very Simple Budget And Expense Manger” I know it’s a sentence rather :)

Anyway, I wont waste any more time on this. Quickly updated the “About” dialog box and the title of the main window. Will change the help file later.


Feel free to comment if you find anything interesting; your support is highly appreciated!

Simplicity is the best comprehension for software design…


Yesterday I was working on the help file and just completed it a moment ago.

While trying to describe features in the system I realised how simple the Simple Expense Manager and how important it is for users to learn the system.

Great achievement:

Almost every task in the system would take 3 or more steps. The only exception is the budget manager which is still very simple with just 6 steps.

This lead for the answer for the long waited question – a slogan for the product.

I think it should be “Simple as ABC, Reliable as 123” :)

Back to target:

The target is to launch the product before tomorrow (25/04/2013)! Back to work!

Feel free to comment if you find anything interesting; your support is highly appreciated!


It’s impossible to launch a software product if you dont control your creative mind…


The product is ready to use, it has all the features working fine.

The thing is I just can’t make my mind to call it “complete” my mind keep bringing me new ideas and concerns.

For example, my mind keeps telling me “what if someone find a loop-hole in the licencing system?”, etc… :)

This has to stop. So, The plan:

  1. Create a help file
  2. Create a setup (installer)
  3. Run and test a trial
  4. RELEASE!!!

ETA – 3 days… (Target 25/04/2013)

Feel free to comment if you find anything interesting; your support is highly appreciated!