Mar 292011
 

Boat ClubWarranty Direct-supported Oxford University Women’s Boat Club completed a famous double over Oxford’s long-time nemesis, Cambridge, when they won the prestigious Henley Boat Races on Sunday.

The Dark Blues’ victory over the favoured Cambridge ladies came a day after Oxford’s men’s crew had also overcome their underdog status to triumph on Saturday.

Coached by former men and women’s Team GBR chief coach Mike Genchi, the squad included several junior international rowers, as well as 19-year old Natalie Redgrave, daughter of five-times Olympic gold medallist, Sir Steve Redgrave.

The women’s victory of one length was all the more special for the fact that the Oxford crew had lost heavily to Cambridge in a 3km race in mid-February.

Redgrave Jr said: “It feels fantastic to have won. I will definitely be coming back to race again next year.”

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, was on hand to watch the girls power to victory, as was Sir Steve and Natalie’s godfather, Sir Matthew Pinsent.

McClure Fisher said: “After suffering such a heavy defeat a month ago, the girls really picked themselves up and worked hard. This victory, in the most famous boat race in the world, is their reward and we are so proud to have supported them.”

OUWBC chair, Rachel Quarrell, said: “The entire club is very proud of both its crews, and I am especially proud of this year’s Blue Boat athletes and coaches.  To overcome a difficult year and the recent intense media interest, and to produce a race like that, shows the courage and determination of Oxford’s oarswomen.  We are delighted that Duncan and Rory Buckley from Warranty Direct were at Henley to see such a spectacular and well-deserved victory, after their support has done a lot to make this year’s success possible.”

Warranty Direct’s backing in the 2011 Henley Boat Races is the second consecutive year that the Reading-based automotive warranty specialist has supported OUWBC.

For more information about Warranty Direct, please visit www.warrantydirect.co.uk or to find out more about the Henley Boat Races, visit http://www.henleyboatraces.com/.

Mar 202011
 

Peugot 207As Europe’s leading motoring showcase, the Geneva Motor Show, comes to a close, Warranty Direct has revealed that the most reliable car to come out of our great continent is the Peugeot 207.

It might not be a show-stopper like the Lamborghini Aventador launched at Geneva, but the diminutive French hatchback is certainly dependable, with only one in 17 breaking down in an average year.

Warranty Direct analysed more than 20,000 live policies on European cars* aged 3 to 7 years for its Reliability Index website (www.reliabilityindex.com).

At the other end of the scale, 47% of the Mercedes SL models covered by Warranty Direct recorded a fault, with 36% of those suspension-related.

Top 10 most reliable European cars 

Make

Model

Reliability   Index Rating

Incident   Rate

Average   Repair Cost (£)

1

Peugeot

207   (06-)

22

6%

331.92

2

Fiat

Panda   (04-)

28

14%

195.95

3

Peugeot

206 CC (00-07)

32

17%

185.40

4

Volkswagen

Polo   (05-)

35

18%

190.48

5

Renault

Clio   (05-)

36

21%

173.40

6

Volkswagen

Beetle   (99-)

39

20%

198.25

7

Smart

Forfour   (04-07)

48

25%

194.67

8

Volvo

S40   (04-)

51

23%

223.13

9

Peugeot

107   (05-)

54

21%

248.46

10

Mercedes-Benz

SLK (96-04)

55

18%

296.73

 

Fiat’s Panda is the second most reliable, with only 14% of owners likely to have to pay for repairs, followed by another Peugeot, the 206 CC, which, as well as needing relatively little attention, is also cheap to repair when it does go wrong, costing on average £185 to put right.

The Renault Clio is the cheapest to repair at £173 on average, while the most expensive single claim among the bottom five cars was £7,239 for a BMW 7-Series fault.

To measure a car’s overall reliability and running costs, Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index reviews rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost to calculate its rating, called Reliability Index.

Top 5 least reliable European cars

Make

Model

Reliability Index Rating

Incident Rate

Average Repair Cost (£)

1

Mercedes-Benz

SL (02-)

349

47%

742.10

2

Land Rover

Range Rover (02-)

264

53%

499.43

3

Renault

Espace (02-)

264

54%

491.26

4

Mercedes-Benz

S-Class (06-)

239

47%

505.22

5

BMW

7 Series (01-08)

232

45%

514.40

 

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “Some people might be surprised to see Fiat and Peugeot claiming the top three positions, but the data doesn’t lie – these cars are very dependable – It’s perhaps less surprising to see a couple of VWs in the top 10.

“Running a car is a costly business, particularly when a car moves into its fourth and fifth year, when most cars leave the protection of a manufacturer warranty. Anything that gives a little extra peace of mind, like getting further warranty cover or simply doing research about the car you’re buying, is worthwhile.”

More information can be found at any time at Warranty Direct’s www.reliabilityindex.co.uk website.

Mar 142011
 

OUWBCThe UK’s leading provider of direct automotive warranties, Reading-based Warranty Direct, has thrown its weight behind the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club team.

The women’s first team will go head to head against arch rivals, Cambridge University, in the famous annual Henley Boat Races on the River Thames on Sunday, March 27.

The squad, coached by former men and women’s Team GBR chief coach Mike Genchi, includes several junior international rowers and also features 19-year old Natalie Redgrave, daughter of five-times Olympic gold medallist, Steve Redgrave.

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, a keen rower himself, joined the club’s first team at Wallingford this week to launch Warranty Direct’s second consecutive year of support.

He said: “The Boat Races are one of the UK’s most famous sporting events of the year and interest in the headlining men’s race has been steadily increasing over the years. We’ve noticed a similar trend in the women’s event and, naturally, we wanted to support one of the top teams in the country.”

OUWBC chair, Rachel Quarrell, said: “The support of Duncan and Warranty Direct has been a real bonus to OUWBC, helping athletes offset the high costs of training and carry on rowing for the club for a second year, while working equally hard at their studies.  Every penny donated is being put to good use.  It is great to have such energetic and enthusiastic supporters, especially as our annual boat races take place in Henley, only a few miles from Warranty Direct’s headquarters in Reading.”

OUWBC has several fixtures lined up during March as it prepares for the Henley Boat Races. The formal Henley Boat Races Challenge and weigh-in is on Tuesday, March 22. Members of the team will sport Warranty Direct branding on their jackets, leggings and kit bags.

McCLure Fisher added: “We’ll certainly all be at Henley on March 27 to cheer the girls on and enjoy lending Warranty Direct’s support to one of this country’s most underrated sporting spectacles.”

For more information about Warranty Direct, please visit www.warrantydirect.co.uk or to find out more about the Henley Boat Races, visit http://www.henleyboatraces.com/.

Mar 072011
 

3rd world countryDrivers could be forking out nearly £3 million* every day – or £1 billion a year – to repair cars damaged by Britain’s crumbling roads, according to Potholes.co.uk.

The road maintenance campaign website, set up by the UK’s leading direct car warranty provider, Warranty Direct, is warning that Britain will have “Third World” roads unless something significant is done.

Potholes.co.uk analysed 150,000 of Warranty Direct’s policies over a three-year period and found that nearly six percent of vehicles suffer axle or suspension damage linked to potholes or road defects each year. The average cost of repair stood at £312 but individual bills were as high as £4,000.

Besides the risk of major mechanical failures, motorists could also end up paying out an average of £277* to replace damaged wheels and burst tyres.

Figures for February 2011 show that 39 percent more potholes were reported on potholes.co.uk than in the same month in 2010.

One such motorist, Mrs Hinks, sustained over £4,000 worth of damage to her vehicle after striking a pothole. She said: “It’s shocking how much damage can be done by a pothole, I was lucky not to be hurt. A driver in a less substantial vehicle than my BMW might not have been so lucky.”

Duncan McClure Fisher, of Warranty Direct, said: “Unless something more is done soon, we’ll be faced with a road network that would be more at home in a Third World country.

“Whether it’s the cumulative effect of continuously driving on bad roads or the sudden jolting of a deep pothole which does the harm, our crumbling roads are costing motorists millions.”

McClure Fisher added: “The recent council injection of £100 million will not solve matters. Councils need to wise up and get creative about how to address the problem.

“Back in December, we predicted that a gloomy combination of a very cold winter, huge underfunding and mediocre repairs to roads could potentially lead to the worst ever pothole season – unfortunately our forecast was largely correct.”

Anyone can report a road defect using Potholes.co.uk, which has contact details for councils across England, Scotland and Wales.