The good news

* Bank of England interest rates at a low * Bank borrowing rates high, though * How do you get money to buy a car?...

The good news

While the best personal loan rates have risen recently, some car manufacturer deals are coming down.

'Salesmen are putting pressure on their finance operations to do a deal so they can shift cars,' says automotive industry researcher Pat Hoy. 'Generally a car company is happier to use a car as collateral than a general loan company.'

John Bates, national sales co-ordinator for Peugeot, echoes this. 'We sell lots of small cars that are suddenly desirable, so we can lend against them with a high degree of confidence,' he says.

The best deals will still be reserved for buyers with the best credit records, though, and the wherewithal to lay down a hefty deposit will usually mean you pay less interest.