Blog : three’s a charm

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Peter Brightwell

MG6

It all actually started with a slightly moth-eaten blue Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 that my mother was toying with the idea of trading in for a brand new car. Well, I say that – I had a 2005 MG ZR that mum loved and her Corsa was dying. So, I needed a new car… (in the way that I didn’t actually need at all) obviously.

Anyway, when I saw MG’s £3000 trade-in deal, I thought I should go test drive a ‘6 and made my way to Mantles Kia/MG Royston. After all, I (like many of you) have been well-wishing MG since it arose from the ashes in 2011. But I never thought of parting with cash – or even test driving one.

Problem number one
We made our way to Mantles to have a look around a car, and noticed lots of nice new signs. There were lots of new Korean cars, and nothing on MG, let alone any cars. It seemed the MG part of the dealership had been K.I.A (killed in action)…

So that was that then? First impressions are everything right, and when you’re going to possibly part with a huge sum of cash – going to what seemed to be my local failed dealer didn’t seem like a great start.

Brown and Gammons

Luckily we saw an advert for the new dealership in Baldock – Brown and Gammons. So, once again, we went MG hunting. On a Saturday at 5.00pm, four hours after closing time, in fact. But I was excited to just see a car in the flesh – after what I thought was the end of it!  We arrived there and first (or should that be second) impressions were great – all-new signage on the front, a nice clean showroom proudly displaying a graphite grey 6, TF LE500 and a Midget.

Round the back we found the dealer’s Magnette demonstrator, and while looking around, we were approached by the managing director Malcolm Gammons. He promptly broke out the keys for the Magnette and opened up the showroom.  We chatted about the car for a bit, and went out on a test drive. He gave me a brochure, a run down on deals and finance, and that was it – no hard sell, no asking for my contact details, and it was a very pleasant exchange!

So skip forward a few more sessions, and an order was placed for a brand new white MG6 GT TSE – minus £3000 trade-in for the poor little Corsa. My new car was in stock at Longbridge as well, so I wouldn’t have to wait too long…

Problem number two
Apparently I am the first customer to buy an MG on finance. But surely this would be no problem – because of the tie-in with General Motors, we would be going through GMAC. GM’S a big company? SAIC’s big company? No. We had to wait on the finance because the dealers weren’t yet registered with GMAC, only MG at Longbridge – so I had to wait for my new car, and then the finance had to be completed, as if the car was sold to Longbridge, then transferred back to Brown and Gammons.

What a mess around. But it only really took a week to sort out, I suppose – roughly the same time I waited for delivery of the car. This was made slightly painful by MG not notifying the dealer that the car had left the factory, and they couldn’t give a delivery date. Why? Because of the small size of the business, the transportation company would hold the car until it had a full transporter to send to that area.

Picking up my new car!
We got to the dealer, sorted out paper work, and then they showed me to my car. Fantastic! It was truly immaculate in every way – even the mats are embroidered with the full MG6 logo. The handbook wallet is leather with a big MG inset, and the rest of the it was just everything I wanted in my first new car! My first journey that weekend would be up to the NEC for the Classic Motor Show! Car fan’s dream this was! Well, mine at least.

Clutch down, pushed the key into the dash, started the car… And look at that dash! Look at that engine light! Hold on hold on! Engine light!

Problem number three
I’ll keep this short and sweet because it irritates me even thinking about it. But here we go: as soon as it was mentioned, I was pounced upon by members of staff from Brown and Gammons. Diagnostic in, faulty up-stream (or down-stream I forget) O2 sensor, showing as a historic fault. Cleared, off I go with the understanding if it comes back they will sort it.

Well, it came back. The car was instantly swapped for the Magnette, and they set about fixing it. The dealer could not have done more for me!  But MG – I was not impressed with at the time. So, after reading Ant’s blog about getting results from the Facebook page, I moaned on there. Keith from MG was straight on to me, saying that as I was going to the NEC, I could see him there and we could have a chat.

Got there, and was reassured that the problem was nothing serious, and it would be fixed, taking a week at the most. It was here that I was told about the delivery date issue I mentioned earlier. I also related the lack of information about the car leaving the factory, the lack of technical support B&G had passed on to me when trying to fix the car, and I was reassured (in a slightly know it all manner) that these were issues being looked at – and will be acted on.

I do believe it too, as everyone I have spoken with that has anything to do with MG has so much passion for the marque. So my car was delivered back to me on that Friday and it was perfect again! Valeted and full of fuel too.

So we’re up to date and the question after all of that is what do I think?  What would you think?

I love it. The car really is great. The ride and dynamics are spot on – it has better handling and is much more comfortable than my ZR. The interior feels plush – yes, the under-dash is made from cheap plastic, but who cares? When I sit in it, I feel special – and that’s what car interiors should do for you.

The engine pulls well. It does sound harsh at maximum revs, but in the range I use every day, 1000-4500, it sounds nice and beefy for a turbo. At the moment. I average 33mpg as well, which for my commute into Cambridge isn’t bad. Not great, not terrible. In isolation, I agree with some people that it may look a tad samey – but you see it in a car park surrounded by white goods and the like, and it looks pukka. It really does.

So a big thumbs up from me altogether! I will keep you all posted!

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

29 Comments

  1. Hi there the cars have only just gone on sale in New Zealand, I was in Christchurch this week and made a point of visiting the show room. I have to say that Ive not been overly impressed with the cars in the photos ive seen. But I saw a blue fastback and a red fasback and a champagne magnette saloon at the show room. I didnt drive them(didnt have time was due to hop on a plane), but the driving position felt really good, the seats probably as good as the seats (which i(and my wife) miss they are particulalry good) in the Rover 800 vitesse, and the car styling in the flesh surprised me I thought they looked quite good. In fact from the photos on the web I prefer the fastback, but in real life preferred the magneet. The agent sells other premium brand cars (Range Rover, Merc and so on), he said he finds himself wanting to the drive the MG everyday. That might be because thevey got sign writing all over them but he was beleivable he said he REALLY likes driving them. alex

  2. Pleased to here you’re liking your MG6. I currently drive a ZR myself and would like a 6 to be my next car.

    Seeing it parked amongst the herd with such novelty value must be great!

  3. You should have waited and bought one of the Avis cars, which will be hitting the showrooms in a matter of weeks. New 6’s will be worth buttons when these 500 hit the market unfortunately

  4. I finally got along to the Christchurch dealer the other day, unfortunately with no time to spare, but I did have a good poke about the red fastback and was quietly impressed. I noticed a couple of build quality issues, but nothing more than I’ve noticed on other new cars, and certainly nothing to ruin the overall impression. I’m going to go back for a proper look and a test drive.

  5. It’s all in the driving I think Alex, great fun :). I didn’t want an ex hire car, plus residuals are pretty poor for any new car even if they are worse for this In my opinion it’s worth it.

  6. @7 – Well said mate. Seems no matter what you do these days theres always some smart **** who thinks – and seems to enjoy saying – you should have done something else!

  7. Hello Mr Sward, ermm it is %6.7 APR. It was quite funny actually got my finance packet through last week and the nice plastic folder it comes in is all labeled up Vauxhall insurance 😛

  8. Time for you lot to learn about something called supply and demand. There is NO demand for the MG6 whatsoever, thanks to pathetic behaviour of the PR dept. 500 used cars at knock down prices about to flood forecourts. That means over 10 cars per franchised dealer. There is no way the dealer network can absorb that many, so it is very, very likely these cars will end up dumped en masse through somewhere like BCA, thus flooring any residual value the car actually had in the first place. They will make one hell of a bargain for some, but those who have shelled out hard earned for a new one will see the list prices on your local used car lots, and scream. Dealers have already been trying unsuccessfully to shift cars at stupidly low prices via ebay if you hadn’t noticed.

  9. @13,i dont see what the problem is,if Cambridge SAAB want to knock out a ’12 plate 6 for ten long ones so what? buying a new car as a private motorist is stupid,why mug yourself?its a cheap car loaded up with toys and is cheap new anyway who cares about residuals?
    Folk whom sign on the dotted line for any new car know the score.A friend of mine has a XKR,£88k new was bid in the bollocks at £16k off the supplying dealer-now thats what i would say is poor residuals,for a nearly three year old car.

  10. Yorkie you clearly have no idea how ebay works, half the time the reserve will be set so high it is only done for advertising in the first place knowing the item won’t be sold.
    I understand the basic economics of buying a new car thank you very much.

    Anyway who cares about depreciation it’s just one of those things that happens all the time on everything we buy so sod it enjoy yourself 🙂

    I won’t be screaming, I’ll be driving past the dealerships smiling 🙂

  11. You need strong residuals to encourage people and allow people to trade up in 2/3/4 years time. Someone who spends 15 large on a car and finds it’s worth 3k in 3 years will rightly be quite annoyed. Dumping so many cars onto the used market will destroy values which in turn undermines both business and consumer confidence. Tight supply is required to keep prices artifically high to keep profits high.

    Of course if you’re the sort of person who buys a car and keeps it till it dies like I do then dealers are not interested in you.

  12. And somone who spends £15K on a car, uses it for 10-15 years and then finds it’s only worth £500 isn’t going to be botherd.

  13. The problem with poor residuals hits home when said car is written off. Indeed, poor residuals means a write-off is more like following damage to a vehicle. This car be very difficult, especially if its on finance.

  14. GAP is expensive for what it is. You do not need GAP in your first year of ownership either. If you do decide you need GAP after the first year, then shop around for it, you’ll be amazed at the savings.

    Congratulations on a nice car BTW, I had a loan of one a couple of weeks ago and it felt like I’d come home.

  15. Thanks very much 🙂
    Yea I’ve been looking around im looking at for 5 years cover, of a pay out up too 15000 about £180 for the entire term, doesnt sound too bad but your right, I just want to make sure Direct line cover is new for old for the first year, if that’s the right way of putting it, but you get the gist anyway.

  16. I don’t normally recommend GAP insurance, but with the projected future value of this car, it’s definitely worth it. Just make sure you get replacement value, rather than “return to invoice”, especially as your current car was the subject of a £3,000 discount. Also, it is probably worth making sure that the GAP insurance will still pay to the invoice value of an equivalent new car, if new SAIC/MG’s are no longer available.

  17. I hope MG can do better with the MG3, the MG6 was always going to struggle in a sector dominated by what are superb cars like the Astra, Focus and Golf. Manufacturers with far more resources and experience than MG such as Fiat with the more than adequate Brava have totally failed to break into this sector of the European market.

    The European super mini market seems more receptive to new brands and or less than state of the art product, as long as they are keenly priced as with the offerings from Kia and now Dacia. MG3 looks smart enough to succeed, just as long as they don’t delude themselves into thinking they can price it against the Focus and Polo.

  18. Agree with above about getting GAP for second year onwards and shop around as GAP is a big margin product for finance / insurance companies.

    In addition to the poor residuals hitting insurance write offs they will quickly kill competitive finance for new metal once these residuals get priced into the deals.

  19. Try these – I’ve used them. http://www.ala.co.uk No worries, but I think you have a short gap window, not a years time. Investigate now Peter.

    Directline do replace new for old trust me…! Been there done that!

    Ignore the dead beat tight arse’s, good for you treat yourself! You only get one hit on this planet 🙂

  20. Thanks Andrew 🙂 I have done some investigation and i may g with car2cover, they will match the cheapest quote i found, that was with easygap, and they cover alot more, plus they have english call centres and a very good online chat thats open all day thats very handy. The reason I want to go for it now is my insurance policy is 6 months old as i swapped cars on an existing policy and if i do it now I can get the actual invoice price as top wack.
    I will go for vehicle replacement as it’s only £10 more expensive for some reason.
    Also I asked what if MG goes bust and in that case the policy would revert to a back to invoice price system. 🙂

  21. If you buy a new car you have to keep it for as long as possible, ideally until it dies, e.g. 12 years +.
    I’m sure Peter intends to do this, so residual values dont really affect him do they?
    This is what we need to learn to do in the UK, buy new and keep for the lofe of the car, spreading the cost and having the benefit of a new car, rather than changing every 2-3 years and wasting money.

  22. Only just came across this blog. It was good to read and Im glad that you are enjoying the ‘6! I would love to own one.

    How is it going now? Any updates?

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