Mar 282013
 

Car mileageMotorists in Northern Ireland cover more miles per year than any other in the UK, according to research by Warranty Direct.

Drivers in County Londonderry clock up the most – a car-breaking average of 11,133 miles per year. In fact, counties in rural Northern Ireland occupy three of the top five slots in the automotive warranty specialist’s UK mileage chart.

Scottish counties feature four times in the top 10, with East Lothian-based drivers travelling an average of 10,678 miles while, in England, Suffolk and North Yorkshire are the counties in which drivers spend longest behind the wheel.

At the other end of the scale, the Isle of Wight and London are the best places to find low-mileage cars, with the average motorists there notching up just 6,928 and 8,556 miles a year respectively.

The UK’s top 10 counties for average annual mileage

County

Average annual mileage

County Londonderry

11,133

East Lothian

10,678

County Antrim

10,657

County Down

10,526

Renfrewshire

10,345

Ross-Shire

10,258

Gwent

10,139

Kincardineshire

10,055

Suffolk

10,053

North Yorkshire

10,049

Higher mileage vehicles are more at risk from breakdowns caused by parts simply wearing out. Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 live policies shows by the time they reach 35,000 miles, 25% of cars will have developed a fault that costs more than £500 to repair.

The parts most likely to fail because of simple ‘wear and tear’ include suspension arms and steering racks, as well as much more expensive components, such as turbos and automatic gearboxes, which can cost up to £1,400 to repair.

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “Drivers based in remote, rural areas with limited public transport networks are, understandably, more dependent on a car for day-to-day travel and are often forced to travel further for the daily commute.

“But, as a car’s mileage increases, so does the likelihood of components wearing out. The majority of car warranties exclude faults that happen because of ‘wear and tear’ so the longer you push your car, the more you could be risking unwanted repair bills.”

The UK’s bottom 10 counties for average annual mileage

County

Average annual mileage

Isle of Wight

6,928

London

8,556

Inverness-shire

8,563

West Sussex

8,787

Midlothian

8,807

Dorset

8,847

East Sussex

8,847

Surrey

8,871

Kent

8,967

Cornwall

8,980

Warranty Direct policies protect the motorist against failures caused by ‘wear and tear’, as well as faults that come to light during routine service and MOT procedures and breakages of insured parts caused by the failure of an uninsured part.

Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. For more information or for a quote, go to www.warrantydirect.co.uk.

Mar 042013
 

pothole-image-2-966696236-918259Motorists in Scotland and the North of England are up to three times as likely to damage their cars on poorly maintained, potholed roads, according to campaign website, Potholes.co.uk.

Automotive warranty specialist, Warranty Direct, analysed data from more than 50,000 live consumer policies over four years and found that the 10 regions of the UK in which suspension failure is most prevalent are all at the top of the UK, with North Yorkshire being the furthest south.

Overall, UK drivers pay out more than £1 million a day* to repair axle and suspension parts on their cars, thanks largely to the legacy of years of underinvestment in road maintenance.

One in 10 motorists in the Angus region of Scotland will get an unwanted garage bill for suspension repairs this year, compared with just 3.2% in East Sussex, where you are least likely to suffer pothole damage.

With an average repair cost of £257, axle and suspension faults are the most common suffered by British motorists, the reason for one in five visits to a workshop every year.

This winter has already seen some of the worst road conditions in recent history. Potholes.co.uk has seen a sharp increase in visitor numbers since December. In the last three months, more drivers have reported damage than in the same period in any of the last three years and, with ‘pothole season’ expected to last until April, more misery is yet to come.

Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct, said: “It isn’t just the catastrophic suspension failures that potholes can cause that are the problem. Continued driving over potholes or other uneven road obstacles, like speed humps, gives your car’s suspension a regular pounding and the cumulative damage this causes will eventually result in a breakage.

“With so much of our road network resembling Swiss cheese, it’s almost impossible to avoid. This is especially true of places, like Scotland, which have a high concentration of rural roads, as these get less attention from local authorities than major highways.”**

Seven of the 10 UK regions worst affected by bad roads are in Scotland, with the top 20 dominated by northern counties. Meanwhile, the best places to avoid pothole perils are mostly in the South, with Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Hampshire all among the safest regions.

Position

Region

Suspension Failure Rate

1

Angus

9.97%

2

Renfrewshire

9.76%

3

Lanarkshire

9.73%

4

Ayrshire

8.69%

5

Aberdeenshire

8.46%

6

Midlothian

8.16%

7

North Yorkshire

7.28%

8

Tyne and Wear

7.03%

9

Perthshire

6.70%

10

Cumbria

6.52%

11

South Yorkshire

6.28%

12

Berkshire

6.12%

13

Gloucestershire

6.01%

14

Cheshire

5.71%

15

Shropshire

5.69%

16

Warwickshire

5.43%

17

West Yorkshire

5.38%

18

Northamptonshire

5.32%

19

Northumberland

5.02%

20

Stirlingshire

4.97%

21

Lincolnshire

4.96%

22

Hertfordshire

4.92%

23

Nottinghamshire

4.84%

24

West Sussex

4.83%

25

Buckinghamshire

4.81%

26

County Durham

4.77%

27

Surrey

4.73%

28

Merseyside

4.70%

29

Cambridgeshire

4.69%

30

West Midlands

4.69%

31

Avon

4.64%

32

Leicestershire

4.61%

33

South Glamorgan

4.57%

34

Wiltshire

4.48%

35

Cornwall

4.44%

36

Middlesex

4.42%

37

Kent

4.37%

38

Bedfordshire

4.36%

39

Derbyshire

4.33%

40

London

4.33%

41

Staffordshire

4.29%

42

Suffolk

4.27%

43

Lancashire

4.18%

44

Norfolk

4.11%

45

County Antrim

3.98%

46

Worcestershire

3.97%

47

Essex

3.97%

48

Hampshire

3.88%

49

Dorset

3.75%

50

Devon

3.46%

51

Somerset

3.42%

52

East Sussex

3.17%