Mazda MX-5: The ZZ+ experience

My Approved Used Mazda

I've always loved the Mazda MX-5. From the cheeky styling to its sharp handling, I think it's one of the best sports cars around and an affordable price tag means it's accessible to plenty of buyers.

It's so good in fact - I own one. Mine isn't the new model, but the previous generation, built from 1990 to 2005. So running the MX-5 for six months is a great chance for me to check out how good the latest car is.

But first things first. Getting hold of one. Now usually our cars come to us brand new, but we've sourced a used Mazda MX-5 from the dealer network. The company has a used car scheme called ZZ+ (which apparently stands for approved used Zoom-Zoom...).

Buying a second hand car through an approved used scheme invariably means paying a bit extra. So what do you get for your extra cash? Well the ZZ+ scheme includes a Mazda multi-point inspection of the vehicle (including a valet), 12 months pan-European roadside assistance, a finance and vehicle history check (to ensure it hasn't been previously written off or has oustanding finance) and a mileage check against the National Mileage Register Database (to prevent against 'clocking').

Peace of mind

But perhaps the best part of the package is the 12-month (unlimited mileage) warranty which gives you great peace of mind, so should anything untoward go wrong in the first year, you'll be covered. There's also the option to extend this to 24 or even 36 months.

If that wasn't enough you also get seven days free insurance when you pick up your car plus there's a 30-day exchange promise. Basically it feels just like buying a new car! We picked our MX-5 up from Rockingham Cars (near Corby in Northamptonshire) - the dealership itself is clean, smart and friendly - everything that you would expect from a new car buying experience, carried over to the used approved scheme.

The staff were extremely helpful and took me through all the controls and functions on the MX-5. Now I can't wait to start covering some miles - and getting the roof down of course!