Newest Review: ... you aren't exactly buying this to read in bed). It is published monthly and costs £4.99 currently (as of April 2011 edition). The conte... more
Parkers should be parked on your shelf
Parker's Car Price Guide
Member Name: ais80
Parker's Car Price Guide
Advantages: Lots of information
Disadvantages: Tiny print
The Parkers Car Price Guide is a book that my uncle has been going on about for a number of years. Used by industry folks in the car trade, it lists prices for loads of cars. The team apparently look at over 1.5 million sales each year and list the actual sale prices of the cars, not the windscreen price and so prices are often less than what is advertised. I cannot comment on the accuracy of the prices as most of the cars I have compared to the guide seem to be a lot more expensive than listed in Parkers.
It is a flimsy paperback printed on newspaper magazine-type paper that has a recycled feel to it (not sure if it is, though it feels cheap; but good on them if they are using recycled because you aren't exactly buying this to read in bed). It is published monthly and costs £4.99 currently (as of April 2011 edition).
The contents are:
1) Best buys of the month
2) UK's cheapest new cars
3) Manufacturers promotions - i.e £1,000 off the Jazz this month etc
4) Where to buy - compares dealers, supermarkets, auctions etc on a 1 page table + some pages of text explaining various things
5) Approved used explained - self explanatory
6) Insurance guide - different types of insurance, common pitfalls and some ads
7) Finance advice - guide to different finance schemes
8) Warranties - a quick guide to what is and not covered
9) Uk's most reliable cars
10) How to use guide, with mileage adjustment table and then the lists of prices.
The mileage adjustment table sounds a little complex, but is fairly easy once you get to know how to use it. It details how to adjust the price of the car depending on how many miles it has done, i.e. a car does on average 10,000miles per year. If you are looking at a car that is 5 years old, you expect it to have done 50,000 miles. If it had done 65,000 - it is 15,000 miles over expected and you cn use the table to adjust the Parker's listed price according to the adjustment in the table by its year of manufacture and adjustment letter.
The car prices are listed from 2002 (02 plate) onwards, though prices to 1988 are available online for a charge.
Listings are alphabetical by brand and then each model is listed by size (not alphabetically), which may get a little confusing. Also, the print is TINY and may not be suitable for all (and magnifying glasses may be needed by some older readers). The lists show the prices of the various models and specs of cars as if they were:
2) From a franchised dealer in "used approved schemes"
3) From an independent dealer or car supermarket
4) Private sale price in good condition with MOT and service history
5) Part exchange price
6) Mileage adjustment code for use in the table
There are also some star ratings whcih have been put in by the Parkers team with a small review on the car and market trends with the model.
Overall, I could recommend the book if you are looking for a used car from the last 10 years or so...but only if your eyesight is fairly good!
Summary: Useful assistant to buying a used car