Weigh up the costs when choosing a new car
When it comes to buying a new set of wheels, most of us will spend hours deliberating over the make and model before signing on the dotted line.
As a motorist, there are all sorts of factors to take into consideration, such as price, reliability, fuel efficiency, the insurance premium, and how much it
costs to tax.
Here we take a closer look at some of these factors, to see which cars deliver the best value-for-money, and which motors you might be better off
steering clear of - because they'll leave you out of pocket.
All the findings in this article are based on 12 models (*) - Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Ford Ka, Ford Mondeo, Mini, Peugeot 206, Renault Clio, Renault
Megane, Vauxhall Astra, Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Zafira and Volkswagen Golf.
MOT failure rates
MOT failure rates have long been a well-kept secret, but figures showing the vehicles that most frequently pass - and fail - the test were recently made
The MOT is the annual test of road-worthiness that all cars must pass once they are three years old and is an indicator of a cars' reliability.
According to the findings, some of the country's best-selling cars are failing their very first MOT, despite being just a few years old, and for popular
cars first used in 2004 and tested in 2007, the worst performer is the Renault Megane which had the highest failure rate at 28.1 per cent.
This was followed by the Vauxhall Corsa in second position with a failure rate of 24.7 per cent and the Ford Mondeo at 21.8 per cent.
At the other end of the scale, best performer is the Ford Fiesta which had the lowest failure rate of just 15.6 per cent, putting it just ahead of the Ford
Focus at 18 per cent and the Vauxhall Astra at 18.4 per cent. (See: How the car you drive affects the insurance premium you pay.)
Motor insurance premiums
Car insurance premiums have been climbing for months, and new research shows motorists renewing policies now face the largest annual hikes ever
recorded, with the average insurance premium