May 232011
 
  • Some roads “more like assault courses”
  • Call for long-term repair strategy for local roads

potholed roadThe B6343 near Morpeth and Fieldhead Lane, close to Holme, have been named as the worst pothole-strewn roads in Britain by Warranty Direct’s potholes.co.uk campaign website.

The two stretches were highlighted by motorists in an investigation by the website to expose the appalling state of our roads.

Although the Government recently injected a welcome £100m into an emergency pothole road maintenance fund, two harsh winters and long-term under-funding means potholes remain one of the biggest gripes among motorists.

Northumberland’s B6343 was described as having “a huge array of potholes east of Mitford” by Marra, one website user who nominated it. Meanwhile, Fieldhead Lane in West Yorkshire was summed up as “more like an off-road assault course” by tri4west.

The two website users above will each receive a 32” Samsung LCD flat screen TV for their winning submissions.

Nearly 90 per cent of nominations were local rather than motorways or A- and B-roads, bolstering Warranty Direct’s call for a long-term strategy for fixing the local road network.

Visitors to potholes.co.uk nominated over 80 sections of Britain’s 246,000 mile highway network for the ignominious title.

Judge’s Top Five Pothole-Pitted Roads  
B6343, near Morpeth, Northumberland Major road category winner
Fieldhead Lane, close to Holme, West Yorkshire Minor road category winner
Long Mill Lane, Plaxtol, Kent  
Yattendon Road, Basildon, West Berkshire  
Fyfield Road, Amport, Hampshire  

With an average repair cost of £335 for damage done by Britain’s crumbling roads, Warranty Direct estimates that drivers could be forking out nearly £3million every day – or £1 billion a year.

Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct, commented: “To be honest, we could have awarded the honour to tens if not hundreds of stretches of road, but these two particularly stood out for those motorists having to use them daily.

“We handle thousands of axle and suspension claims every year involving damage clearly sustained a result of the long-term deterioration of our roads. We welcomed the additional money in the Budget, but it needs to be a springboard in establishing a five or 10-year plan to revitalise our Third World local road network.”

May 192011
 

Free MOT TestIndustry leading direct to consumer car warranty provider, Warranty Direct, has teamed up with Kwik Fit to offer drivers of three-year old cars the chance to get their first MOT test fee for free.

With nearly a million more cars failing their MOT test in 2010 than three years ago, drivers can avoid the test fee, which amounts to almost £55, by registering at www.warrantydirect.co.uk/mot .

The number of cars failing their MOT increased by more than 2% over the last three years, to 40.6% in 2010. That equates to an extra 976,000 vehicles*. Coincidentally, three years is traditionally the age at which cars start displaying signs of wear and tear and typically leave the protective umbrella of a manufacturer warranty.

Cars registered at least 30 days before the third anniversary of their original registration date can then be booked into one of 550 Kwik Fit workshops for a free MOT. Even non-qualifying cars can receive 45 per cent off the MOT test fee.

If drivers take up the no-obligation quote for an extended warranty offered by Warranty Direct as part of the registration process, they will also get their MOT fees paid for every year for the life of the warranty.

Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct, said: “Three years of age is generally a landmark age for a car. In most cases, it stops being covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and things start going wrong and wearing out.

“With times being as tough as they are economically, the legal requirement of the MOT test is an additional burden on the household budget that we could all do without, although the test itself remains essential for road safety.”

In order to qualify for the free MOT fee offer, cars must be registered at least 30 days before the third anniversary of their original registration date and must also have an original manufacturer’s warranty that expires on or before the third anniversary.

Visit www.warrantydirect.co.uk/mot for more information, plus terms, conditions and exclusions.

May 092011
 
  • Some drivers face £7,239 costs

Repair BillsOne in three British motorists will share a £1.6bn unwanted repair bill this year, with some facing bills as high as £7,239, according to new data.

Analysis by Warranty Direct, the UK’s largest direct consumer warranty provider, shows that a third of the 16m DVLA-registered three to10-year old cars will suffer some degree of mechanical failure over the next 12 months.

The average cost of fixing problems stands at £335, with the most common faults being electrical gremlins.

Data held on Warranty Direct’s Reliabilityindex.com, the only resource to look at the cost, inconvenience and rate of failure of thousands of different models, shows that the two-seater Mercedes Benz SL (02-) has the highest average repair bill of £742.10, with the Mazda 3 (04-09) small hatchback also making the top 10 at £655.24.

Highest average repair costs by model

Make

Model

Year

Average Repair Cost

Mercedes-Benz

SL

(02   – )

742.10

Mazda

3

(04   – 09)

655.24

Mercedes-Benz

CL

(00   – 07)

653.66

Mitsubishi

Shogun

(00   – 07)

600.13

Jeep

Cherokee

(01   – 08)

593.63

Mazda

RX-8

(03   – )

577.98

Audi

A8

(03   – )

551.29

Mercedes-Benz

S-Class

(99   – 06)

546.21

Porsche

Boxster

(04   – )

528.75

Volkswagen

Phaeton

(03   – )

525.29

 

The largest garage bill handled by Warranty Direct was for a luxury BMW 7 Series. The upshot of its piston and cylinder head damage was a staggering bill of £7,239 for parts and labour.

But big bills are not limited to prestige or expensive cars.

One owner of a 1.3-litre Vauxhall Corsa (06) received a bill of £4,975 when it encountered catastrophic engine failure, requiring a complete rebuild.

Highest individual claims seen by Warranty Direct

Make

Model

Year

Largest Claim

BMW

7 Series

(01   – 08)

7,239.00

Audi

A8

(03   – )

7,039.83

BMW

3 Series

(98   – 06)

6,800.16

Volvo

XC90

(02   – )

5,604.10

Audi

A4 Convertible

(01   – 05)

5,297.70

Mercedes-Benz

E-Class

(99   – 03)

5,085.51

Peugeot

807

(02   – )

4,975.00

Vauxhall

Corsa

(00   – 06)

4,975.00

BMW

3 Series

(05   – )

4,963.94

Mercedes-Benz

A-Class

(98   – 05)

4,869.62

 

According to Warranty Direct, which studied more than 50,000 policies, one in three vehicles will develop a mechanical failure during any 12-month period. However, the figure varies dramatically depending on the make and model. For example, the frequency of failure on a Honda Civic is 8 per cent compared to 61 per cent for a Renault Grand Scenic.

Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct said: “It’s part and parcel of car ownership that, at some stage, something will go wrong. Even on the most reliable of cars, things still break sometimes.

“The worst part is the unknown – failure could happen at any time and, unfortunately, as we’re all driving evermore complex vehicles, the cost of repair is reflected.”

Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. For more information on the reliability of your vehicle, visit www.reliabilityindex.com, or for a quote on cover www.warrantydirect.co.uk.