Audi A3 Sportback: Benefits of Approved Used

Why buy from a main dealer?

I mentioned in an earlier update that the value of this near three-and-a-half-year-old A3 Sportback on delivery would have been about £14,000 from an Audi dealer.

The cost of buying an equivalent one new at the time of writing would be almost £25,000 including the options fitted to our test car, although if you wanted a cassette player you'd be disappointed - they were phased out when the A3 was revised in 2008.

So deciding to buy a three-year-old version from an Audi would save about £10,000.

Audi's Approved Used cars go through more than 100 checks to ensure the car is working properly, a road test and a written report of the assessment.

Any reconditioning work needed is done using genuine Audi parts, the car is checked to verify its mileage and ensure it has a clean history with no outstanding finance as well as checking its service history is complete.

If a major problem arises with the car during the first 30 days or 1000 miles of ownership that can't be rectified, it can be exchanged, as well as a 12-month warranty.

And at the moment, Audi is offering two free services on Approved used cars bought before December 31, 2009.

You'd probably expect to pay a few hundred pounds less buying the car from an independent dealer, but you wouldn't get the same level of reassurance

Current mileage: 39,452

Average mpg: 51.4mpg