At JCB Group our unique combination of professional service and family-friendly care makes us the best car and van dealership in the South East. Providing support to motor enthusiasts, first-time, and seasoned new and used car and van buyers in and around Ashford, Brighton, Crawley, Dartford, Eastbourne, Gillingham (Medway), Maidstone, Sittingbourne and Worthing, West Sussex, we pride ourselves in offering an extensive selection of new and used cars, vans and commercials vehicles from the top manufacturers in the auto industry, along with committed support that is second to none.
Visit any of our JCB Group car showrooms to view the full range of new cars and vans that we have in stock, from the nippy Honda Civic to the robust and capable Volkswagen Amarok – and we’ll happily arrange a test drive of any model on the showroom floor. Select any brand above to see our current list of cars and VW vans for sale, or review our range and search online to find the best deals on new cars and the model that best suits your driving requirements.
You can also come to us for an approved used car or van - every model is guaranteed to have been checked and tested to manufacturer standards before sale. All of our Kent and Sussex car and van sales locations have a fully qualified technician on site to put our used vehicles through their paces and confirm the ongoing safety and performance of each car and van.
For as long as you own any car or van from us, we’ll support you with dedicated aftercare and a whole host of benefits. You and your chosen model will enjoy comprehensive servicing and repairs at any of our on-site bodyshops, and we use nothing less than manufacturer-approved, genuine parts for all car maintenance.
Click through to find out more about any of our new cars, browse for an approved used car, or to find out about the latest offers and car deals in Kent which we can provide both online and at our local dealerships.
Air con – what would we do without it? With summer here and the temperature outside creeping up, many of us will find ourselves asking this exact question. But thanks to Packard, an American luxury automobile company, who were the first automobile company in 1939 to offer an air conditioning unit in its cars, we will never need to find out the answer.
Air conditioning, often referred to as A/C, is pretty universal these days, with most regular cars featuring an air con system. But how does it work?
Unlike many of us would think, it does not create cold air. In fact, it actually takes the heat and moisture out of the air, leaving behind cool air.
A car air conditioning system is made up of several components: a compressor, condenser, an evaporator, thermal expansion valve and a drier/accumulator. All of which contribute to a fully functioning air conditioning system.
Here’s how they work:
The compressor takes the refrigerant (the gas) and creates pressure. It compresses the gas and raises its temperature so that it changes into a high pressure gas; the high pressure then forces it through to the condenser.
The condenser is a radiator-like component that the gas moves through once it has been heated. Inside of the condenser, the heat is removed from the gas, turning it into a liquid.
As the liquid passes through the evaporator tubes, the air is forced through, becoming really cold – right before it hits your face.
Thermal Expansion Valve:
Although it may be super warm outside, you don’t necessarily want to be freezing your toes off! For this reason, the air conditioning system has a valve that controls the flow of the cold refrigerant to the evaporator – meaning you can control how cold the air blowing out gets.
Drier or Accumulator:
There is always the chance that some liquid could make it to the end of the process, which is where the drier comes into play. The drier catches the rogue liquid before it can damage the compressor.
Without the drier, the unit could end up forming ice crystals, which, as you can imagine, could damage the air conditioning unit.
Available online or at many online and physical car stores, a bacterial cleaner works to dissolve the dirt build up in your air conditioning system.
Usually sold in an aerosol can form; you must startup your car and put the A/C on full. With the air con blowing full, the aerosol can is placed in the middle of the car. Press down the nozzle on the can, unlike normal aerosol cans the nozzle stays pressed down when you let go, close the car door and allow to run until the can runs out.
You should allow the air to circulate for about 10 minutes before opening the doors to allow to vent.
The aerosol cans can come as single use or rechargeable.
You should have your air conditioning system serviced every 18 months to 2 years. If you let the system run low on refrigerant, the compressor will have to work twice as hard, which will cause it to wear out quicker.
PCP stands for personal contract purchases, and is an increasingly popular method of car payment. It allows “buyers” to pay a fixed monthly rate for a new car, usually in contracts of around 3 years. According to the published statistics by the Finance & Leasing Association, last year 78.1% of new cars were purchased by private owners using credit, a majority of which were PCP purchases.
In short, leasing a car allows you to pay for a new car by covering the costs of depreciation over the course of the contract, plus a little extra for the contract provider. It is easy to see why PCP is an inviting concept for drivers. You can put down generally affordable monthly sums and drive away cars that you may not necessarily be able to afford otherwise.
The following is a made up scenario to explain, in the simplest form, how PCP works.
A new Ford Focus costs £10,000 when the contract is started, and is expected to depreciate to a cost of around £5000 after the three years. That means that the driver will have to pay the £5000 over the three years, including extra fees for the leasing company. In this example, total costs for the three years are £6500. After putting down a deposit of £3000, the driver would then have to pay £194 every month for the three years. At the end of the contract, the driver could then pay the remaining £5000 to buy the car if they wished.
In a bit more detail, once the contract is up you’ll have three options open to you. The first is to simply return the vehicle. You can then decide to take up a new PCP contract on another car or simply walk away, it is up to you. The second and third option that you could entertain is to either purchase the car at its depreciated, end of contract price, or put any equity towards a new contract.
The most obvious downside of the usual PCP contract is that you don’t own the car at the end, though there is still the option of purchasing the vehicle by paying the remaining value.
Less obvious is the quality of the contract itself. It is difficult to work out the best deal with leasing cars, as the depreciated value is largely estimated. Plus, somewhat counter intuitively, it is generally best to find a more popular car which will depreciate less, to make the most of your deal.
Make sure you fully plan out a budget for PCP contracts as some more inviting deals, offering leasing costs as low as £99-per month, may not be the best deals. These could involve ramping up the price through deposits, additional company takings or restricted mileage.
In summary, PCP leasing offers an intriguing payment model for those looking for a new car. However, it’s important to remember the need to research your budget for your chosen plan in order to make sure you get the best deal. Find out more about the car finance options we offer.
One of the main questions that drivers face when considering their first car is whether to get a new model, or save money and buy a used car. When it comes to safety, there are a number of things that drivers should consider before making their decision.
Though used cars are still MOT tested, the age and care of a car can seriously affect its running and its potential to breakdown during the year. This can end up costing the driver more money in the long run, with increased breakdown and repair costs. In these situations, having a new car might mean you can avoid these situations altogether.
New cars also have an additional positive aspect for parents of new drivers, as newer models are generally safer overall. Because of technological improvements and updated standards in car manufacture, recently built cars should be better placed to protect you and your passengers in the case of an emergency. Given the higher percentage chance of accidents in the first few months of a driver passing their test, repairing a new car may be more costly if you do have an accident, but the increased safety they can offer might give peace of mind to worried parents.
Newer cars generally have improved crumple zones, seat belts and numerous airbags. As well as this, they are also better equipped to help you avoid an accident in the first place thanks to anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and new technology like lane departure warnings and blind spot assist.
The downside with modern vehicles is generally their cost. As well as the higher price tag and higher costs of insurance, modern systems can be expensive to repair if they go wrong. Additionally, if you have a warning light showing a fault at the time of your MOT, it will cause you to fail your MOT.
Age isn’t the only influencer when determining the safety of a car. Certain models will be considered safer than others, and it is worth doing research into reviews of the safety features of a car before making a purchase.
Whether you decide to go old or new for your first vehicle, safe driving and doing regular checks on your car should alleviate most concerns when it comes to overall car safety.
For those worried about safety, the used cars that we provide at JCB Group are typically no older than 4 years. This means that they are in a good condition, and are generally equipped with very up to date safety precautions and technological improvements. Find out more about the new and used cars we have available, or get in touch if you have any questions.