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.
When it comes to cleaning your car there are tons of myths that drift around, detailing what the best and worst tactics are when you’re washing your car.
Cleaning your car or van not only helps it to look good, but also cares for it too. Dirt from the road, such as salt once the roads have been gritted, can cause the underneath of a car to corrode if it isn’t cleaned away. When your car gets a thorough clean inside and out it gives it a sense of being ‘new’ again, and might even give you a whole new appreciation for your pride and joy.
So, with so many myths around, we thought we would debunk some of them so you don’t end up damaging your car, or wasting your time when cleaning it.
Well yes, they can be, but they don’t have to be. It’s easy to be taken in by the brightly coloured packaging and wonderful marketing ploys that companies put in place, but please don’t be fooled.
A toothbrush and paintbrushes are great ways to get into those tiny spaces that need cleaning, just as much as those brushes specifically designed for that job – but they cost half the price.
A pressure washer may make it easier to get rid of dirt, but a garden hose or water in a bucket can do the same job. And the same goes for the fancy cleaning cloths designed for cars; they do the exact same as the microfibre cloths you can get hold of, but at a much higher price.
YES! They are specifically designed to be used on cars and their paintwork, to get rid of the tough dirt and grime attached to your car. A car’s paintwork can be irritated and breakdown if non specific car shampoo is used, causing the deterioration of your paintwork to happen quicker. They also provide a thorough and better clean than any other shampoo substance that you may use.
This is quite possibly the worst way to think about cleaning your car. The moment you get bird droppings, tree sap, grit and dead bugs on your car, these will start eating away and breaking down your paint – which is never good. It is recommended to wash your car every one to two weeks to prevent any dirt from damaging your car’s’ paint and overall finish.
It can be hard to find the time to clean and wash your car weekly, but it really is crucial and beneficial to do so. After all, you don’t let the dirt build up at home, so why should you in and on your car? Dirty interiors can harbour many germs and cold virus’ too, as well as many other nasty things you wouldn’t want to sit amongst on your daily commute. However, because its your car and you don’t really see yourself as “living in it” you probably think, like most car users, that it doesn’t matter, but it really does. It is just as important as cleaning your home.
Nope, not necessarily. It may look shiny and streak free but if you run your hand over it, and it doesn’t feel smooth or as though you are touching glass, then, sadly, it is still dirty.
For a car to be truly clean you don’t want to feel any roughness on the car once it has dried.
Clay bars are a great way to remove all the dirt from your car, plus they’re easy to get hold off, with many available in car stores.
Not sure where to start with giving your pride and joy a spring clean? We can help. Book in for one of our detailing treatments and give your car the TLC it deserves. Get in touch with our team for more information.
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.
A car is an expensive investment, and something that goes with you everywhere you go. Did you know that vehicle crime makes up around 25% of crime in the UK? You can’t always rely on car alarms, so what can you do to keep your car safe and protected?
If your car is out of sight, it’s less likely to become a target for thieves – which is why a secure garage is a very good idea. A professional car thief will snatch any vehicle that’s remotely easy to steal, regardless of its model. Thieves tend to target fast, new cars, so if you own one but don’t have a garage, you could considering renting a garage instead.
If having a garage isn’t an option and you find yourself in a not-so-nice area, ensure your car is parked somewhere that’s well-lit and in sight of CCTV. Also try to park in front of busy places – such as shops or restaurants, where people can notice if anything suspicious is going on.
Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t do this! The top stolen goods from cars are phones, Satnavs, money and wallets because they’re left on seats on full display. If you’re unable to take these with you, hide them in the glovebox or boot. Make sure you don’t leave confidential paperwork on display, as you could also be at risk of having your identity stolen.
Most new cars come equipped with an alarm and immobiliser. If you have an immobiliser your insurance is cheaper, so consider installing one if you haven’t already. You can protect your car even more by implementing a car tracking system. If in the unfortunate event you car gets stolen, the GPS and VHF technology allows for extremely accurate tracking anywhere in the world! More visible protection, such as steering wheel or gear stick locks, tend to be better at preventing theft.
Now that car security is getting a lot tighter, thieves are resorting to stealing keys. So don’t leave them hanging loosely in your pocket or on display in your house, as these can be targets. Avoid leaving your keys near open windows or near your letterbox to minimise any chance of thieves getting access to your car keys.
Sometimes the hassle of a busy life means you leave the car running when you dash to get the morning paper from the corner shop or are patiently waiting for your windscreen to defrost. This presents itself as the perfect car theft opportunity, and if your vehicle get stolen while it’s left running, you won’t be able to claim for it on your insurance.
If you’re thinking about enhancing your car’s security, click here to see our range of security accessories.
At first sight, diesel and petrol engines are actually quite similar. They are internal combustion engines, which turn the fuel’s chemical energy into mechanical energy. The main difference between the two engines is their combustion sequence:
Back in the day, diesels used to be extremely loud and eject dark plumes of smoke, but since low sulphur diesel was introduced, they drive very economically and quietly. Diesel is the fuel of choice of HGVs as they give more torque, meaning they have more power.
Diesels are also said to retain 63% of their value after three years. Although diesel costs more each time you refuel, you get more miles to the gallon thanks to diesel’s rich energy consistency – it’s up to 30% richer than petrol. Although diesel has fewer CO2 emissions, it’s been known to produce particles that are linked to asthma.
Petrol cars are on the whole cheaper to buy than diesel cars. Although these are less economical (30% less economical in comparison to diesel cars), these tends to be £900 cheaper to own across a 3 year period.
If you’re after a quieter engine, petrols are often less noisy in comparison to diesel engines. Petrol is also slightly less expensive (10% less to be exact) each time you go to fill up your tank.
If you know you’ll cover a lot of miles and regularly use motorways, then a diesel engine is ideal for you. If you know you will only be driving locally and won’t be covering that many miles, a petrol car with a small engine is more convenient.
Driving, as we’re sure you know, involves a lot of work from your feet. Whether that’s travelling at speed on a motorway or stopping and starting in traffic, your feet and ankles are under pressure to control the pedals properly at all times.
That’s why wearing the right shoes when you drive is so important. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should necessarily go out and buy a dedicated pair of driving shoes to keep in your car. But it does mean that you should think twice before you get behind the wheel wearing high heels or super heavy boots.
When you have the correct shoes on while you drive, your feet can relax. Not only this, but it can also mean that you have better control of the car, you can react faster and more confidently if confronted with a hazard, and typically have an overall smoother ride.
According to a study by the AA, 27% of people surveyed said that they had experienced difficulties driving because of the shoes that they were wearing. 5% of people said that the shoes they were wearing caused them to drive dangerously, either through losing control or having an accident. The Telegraph say that if these figures apply to the 37 million people holding a driving licence in the UK, this means that 1.8 million drivers could be wearing shoes that are not suitable for driving – which could prove to be dangerous.
When it comes to choosing shoes to drive in, think about the soles. If the soles are too thick then it can be hard to feel the pedals, making it difficult to judge how much pressure is required. This can also mean that you find it tough to brake smoothly. Guidelines recommend that soles are no more than 1cm thick, although 4mm is preferable.
Another thing to look out for is heels. As the accelerator and the brake are both often operated with the heel of the foot on the floor, wearing high heels can affect the way a person operates these pedals. Although it may sound tempting to not wear shoes when you drive for maximum feel of the pedals, this is not advised. Driving barefoot can cause injury to the feet due to a lack of protection, and may impact the way that you operate pedals if you’re in pain. Also, if you are in an accident, it can be dangerous to get out of a car with no shoes on, in case there are sharp objects on the floor.
When it comes to getting behind the wheel there’s no need to get too worried about your choice of footwear, as long as you keep the following top tips in mind:
Do you have a favourite pair of shoes to drive in? Tweet us at @JCBGroupAutos and let us know!
If you’re a petrol head then you can’t beat watching a movie full of gorgeous cars and some decent chase scenes. There are so many fantastic car movies it’s hard to whittle it down to just ten, but here are what we think might just be the top ten best car movies of all time, in no particular order:
Undercover cop Brian O’Connor infiltrates the street racing world and falls in love; both with the scene and with Mia, the sister of Dominic Toretto, the guy he’s there to convict. The Fast and the Furious is full of fast cars to drool over and there’s a great soundtrack to match, featuring the likes of Limp Bizkit, Ja Rule and Ludacris. The popularity of this movie spawned a whole franchise, with seven Fast and Furious films made so far.
In this remake of the 1974 film, Nicolas Cage plays Memphis Raines, a retired car thief who must steal 50 cars in one night if he’s going to save his brother’s life. The most famous car in Gone in Sixty Seconds is a customised 1967 Shelby GT 500 called “Eleanor”. Eleven Mustangs were built for the film, but five were written off during stunts!
This classic caper starring Michael Caine follows a gang attempting to steal gold bars from a convoy in Turin by creating a traffic jam. The movie’s other stars are its three iconic Minis. There are fantastic car chase sequences, with the Minis escaping down narrow streets and even sewers. This movie was remade in 2003 with Mark Wahlberg, but nothing beats the original.
This super film depicts the rivalry between Formula One racing drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1970s, back in the day when professional racing was extremely dangerous. Both drivers were willing to risk everything, and it nearly cost Lauda his life. The fierce competition between the two drivers resulted in the 1976 German Grand Prix going ahead even though most of the drivers voted for it to be cancelled due to the wet weather. Lauda’s crash left him in hospital with third-degree burns and toxic fumes in his lungs. Despite this, he returned to the race track.
Taxi is a comedy caper directed by Luc Besson. The main protagonist, Daniel, races around the streets of Marseille in his modified Peugeot 406. It looks like a regular car until he presses buttons that change the wheels and flip out a body kit, and he swaps the normal steering wheel for a race wheel. The newly qualified taxi driver is at risk of losing his licence due to getting caught speeding. He has to help police officer Emilien, who can’t drive, by chauffeuring him around on the trail of German bank robbers.
This movie is the supernatural story of an evil 1958 Plymouth Fury, named “Christine” by its new owner, teenager Arnie Cunningham. The geeky teen restores the car from junkyard scrap to its original condition, but as he spends more time with his car, Arnie’s personality starts to change. Christine has a mind of her own and starts to destroy anyone that threatens her and Arnie.
In this Disney classic a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own, named Herbie, enables a down-on-his-luck racing driver to start winning races. Herbie helps Jim to become a successful racing driver, but then the car dealer who owned Herbie wants him back. They end up having to race the cheat in the big El Dorado race to try and keep Herbie.
Set in the Australian desert, this post-apocalyptic movie starring a young Mel Gibson sees his character, Max Rockatansky, turn from a policeman into a road warrior known as ‘Mad Max’ as he seeks revenge for the death of his wife and child. The film features the “Pursuit Special”, a 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT.
In the film that introduced Tom Cruise to Nicole Kidman, Cruise plays Nascar hot shot Cole Trickle whose attitude gets him in trouble both off and on the speedway track. The score was written by famous movie composer Hans Zimmer, and Days of Thunder received an Oscar nomination for best sound.
Who doesn’t love a Disney film? Disney Pixar’s Cars features a collection of cars as it’s main characters. Lightning McQueen is a hot racing car with stickers for headlights that ends up in a small town repairing the road as punishment for accidentally damaging it. He starts off wanting to leave Radiator Springs as quickly as possible, but he learns to love the simple locals and changes his values in true Disney style.
Do you agree with our selection? Let us know what your favourite car movie is in the comments section below.
When purchasing a car you may wonder how you are going to pay for it. There are many possible ways of affording your ideal car, but one way of doing so is via hire purchase.
Hire purchasing has been available since cars started being sold, and is the more traditional approach to buying a car.
It is a way of “borrowing” a car (as you don’t own the car), and paying an agreed monthly amount until you finish paying off the cost of the car. At this point you will then fully own the car. In essence, you are hiring a car and paying off what you owe, until you own it.
You would normally put down a deposit of around ten percent, and pay the rest of the outstanding amount over a period of time. This period is usually between one and five years, according to The Money Advice Service.
The reason you are “hiring” the car, and not owning the car straight away, is because the loan is against the car, and if you miss payments or cannot keep up with the repayments, then the dealer will take the car back.
Hire purchase is a great way of having the car you really want without owning it until you pay it off, or returning it to the dealer at the end of the agreement, to get a newer car that you fancy.
Hire purchase can work out to be a better option for you than using your savings, a bank loan, or placing it on your mortgage, as you’ll be paying a fixed amount each month, without having to worry about interest rates rising and falling, affecting your payments.
You may come to a point in the future, while still paying for the car, that you may not be able to afford the car anymore. Or, you may wish to return the car before your agreement ends. If so, this is a possibility through hire purchasing.
If you have paid over half of what you owe then you should be able to return the car to your dealer, according to Money Saving Expert. However, make sure you have put in writing to the finance company, dealer and make a copy for yourself, that you are returning the car, so they know you are not defaulting your payments which could affect your credit score.
Please check with your dealer on their terms and conditions for returning the car early.
While you have the car you have to look after it and pay for any repairs or anything that needs replacing on it for example tires. When it comes to returning the car you also have to return it in good working condition, because if any work is needed to repair it then you will be liable to pay for it.
For more information on hire purchase and other financing options, please take a look at our Guide to Financing a Car.
For a lot of people, their car is their pride and joy. It’s because of this that people take a lot of time and effort in making sure that their car is always looking its best, from keeping it freshly waxed to making sure that the inside is always spotless.
However, sometimes the natural elements can work against your efforts to keep your car in tip-top condition. One of the biggest factors that can impact the appearance of your car is faded paintwork.
Faded paintwork is caused by lots of different things. One of the main factors is UV rays, typically sunlight, although fading can also be caused by pollutants and other types of chemical residue lying on the surface of the car, as well as bird droppings and salt coming into contact with the paint.
It can be tempting to keep your car scrupulously clean in a bid to keep it looking fresh, but beware of harsh, abrasive cleaners – these can actually do more damage to your paintwork than you may realise, and can cause the paint to fade even faster.
Unfortunately, time will naturally have an effect on the way that your car exterior looks. That doesn’t mean that you have to just let nature take its toll, though. Here are some top tips to help keep your paintwork looking brand-spanking new for as long as possible:
When it comes to looking after your paintwork it’s easier to prevent damage than repair it, so getting on board with some of these tips from the get-go is a great way to keep your car looking good for years to come. Get out the bucket and sponge, invest in a decent car wax and make sure that you give it the attention it deserves. Want to give your car a treat? Book in a car fresh valet service to keep it looking tip-top.