Nov 302015
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need a small family car? It has to be either a posh VW Golf or a hardworking Ford Focus.

Why Buy?

No one ever made a mistake by choosing a VW Golf. Even now, after the diesel scandal, these are still regarded as well built, practical and reliable. The Ford Focus has a bit more of a twist, it is still practical and cost effective to run, but it is also fun to drive. Many buyers like that.

Which models?

 The 2004-2009 Golf is regarded as the period when the model returned to form. They have decent safety equipment and the SE is the best spec. The all-new Focus had a tough act to follow, but it is stylish, spacious and reliable. LX specification has air conditioning.

Are they reliable?

The Golf has proved to be very trustworthy, the trouble is that fixing the Golf is always more costly than the Ford, by some margin. Also, Warranty Direct makes it clear that overall the Focus has proved to be the more reliable buy. So for cost and overall reliability the Focus wins.

How much do they cost?

It is now possible to buy high mileage examples from 2004 to 2005 at below £2000. Late examples are now around £8000, usually the high spec sporty ones. The focus is often discounted and around in large numbers so prices start at just over £1000 rising to £7800 or so.

Sum Up: Golf means style and quality, but it will cost more to run. The Focus means low running costs and reliability, the sensible choice.

Volkswagen Golf

 Average Repair Cost: £306.97

Axle and Suspension: 19.41%*

Electrical: 16.47%*

Engine: 21.76%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Average

* Failure rate

Ford Focus

Average Repair Cost: £280.83

Electrical: 30.39*

Axle/Suspension: 15.31%*

Engine: 16.47*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average

* Failure rate

Nov 292015
 

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has recently been introduced.  However, new data from the RAC shows just one in 20 (5%) motorists are aware of the new law that gives anyone buying a vehicle significantly more protection if it turns out to be faulty.

The RAC believes the new law will strengthen the hand of buyers who think they have been mis-sold a used car or if a fault is revealed within the first 30 days. The new ‘short-term right to reject’ provision allows the buyer to demand a full refund – previously the dealer could simply replace or repair a faulty item or part.

Up to six months from the original date of sale, the dealer will be obliged to repair or replace the faulty part, and will only have one opportunity to fix the problem. If a repair or replacement is not possible or unsuccessful, the buyer will still be able to demand a reduced price or exercise their ‘final right to reject’, and demand full or partial repayment.

New research from the RAC’s Opinion Panel found that 95% of respondents were unaware of the new law. Of those that did know about it, just 30% correctly identified that the law came into force on 1 October 2015.

Despite the changes, four in 10 (39%) said they felt the new law would do nothing to change their confidence when purchasing their next used car, underlining the continuing deep-rooted mistrust of dealers.

However, the RAC warns that after six months the onus will be on the buyer to prove there is a fault with their vehicle, and that it was present at the time of sale. Motorists therefore need to be clear on their rights.

Nov 282015
 

Devious motorists who turn to car cloning, in a bid to outwit police automated number plate recognition (ANPR) systems, are increasingly becoming a menace to law abiding used car owners, especially as criminals are now getting involved.

Predominantly, a car is cloned to disguise the identity of a stolen car, which is sold on for a quick buck.  However, petty criminals are now cloning cars to avoid parking fines and speeding tickets, whilst organised gangs are using them to commit more serious crimes.  Increasing numbers of legitimate car owners are reporting hefty fines they never incurred or have faced unwelcome visits by the police as a result of their vehicle being cloned, warns vehicle history check experts, HPI.

Car cloning is just like personal identity theft but for cars.  Criminal gangs mask the true identity of a vehicle by giving it a false Vehicle Registration Number (VRN), often that of a similar make and model car legitimately on the road.  Whilst this is causing trouble for the owners of the cars that have been cloned, used car buyers who innocently purchase a stolen vehicle that has been given a false identity, will lose the car and their hard earned money when it is returned to the legal owner by the police.

Whilst, to buy a registration plate in the UK owners must have the vehicle’s log book – otherwise known as a V5 – driver’s licence and proof of address, it is possible to purchase ‘show plates’ on the internet or over the phone with no documentation.   Once purchased, there’s nothing to stop show plates being used on the road, albeit fraudulently.

HPI is urging used car buyers to take some simple but vital steps to avoid being stung by the cloning criminals:

1.  Always check the provenance/history of the car you are looking to buy, and make sure you view it at the address shown on the V5/logbook.

2. Check the vehicle’s V5/logbook. Stolen V5 documents are still being used to accompany cloned vehicles. The HPI Check includes a unique stolen V5 document check as standard.

3. Ensure all the VIN/chassis numbers on the vehicle match each other and then conduct a vehicle history check such as the HPI Check to ensure they match DVLA records.

4. Know the car’s market value. If you are paying less than 70% of the market price for a vehicle, then be on your guard. No seller will want to lose money on their sale.

5. Avoid paying in cash, especially if the car costs over £3,000 – use the banking system. HPI continues to hear of many buyers who pay in cash and then find out that the car is a clone, and that they’ve lost both their money and the vehicle.

Nov 272015
 

In the last two years more than four million car owners have had to keep their car off the road because they couldn’t afford repairs needed on their vehicle. With 21 million owners saying they have needed repairs in the last two years, this could mean that one in five (19%) have been forced to go without their car while they got their finances in order.

That’s according to Kwik Fit, the automotive repair and servicing company, who also revealed half of these motorists (2 million) had to keep their car off the road for a month or longer.

A shortage of money has driven many drivers to make some risky decisions.  Over 1.2 million drivers admitted to having driven their car in an unroadworthy condition because they couldn’t afford repairs with men twice as likely as women to have done so.

Many drivers carry out repairs themselves, which is obviously not a problem in itself.  However, a third of car owners who either carried out a repair themselves or had a friend or relative do it for them say they were concerned about the quality of that repair.  In a cautionary tale for second hand car buyers, nearly half a million motorists say that although they were concerned about their DIY repairs they didn’t do anything about it as they sold the car soon afterwards.

The study also gave an indication that the policy of prevention being better than cure is as relevant to our cars as it is to our bodies.   More than three quarters (77%) of those skipping their car’s annual service had to get repairs carried out on their car in the last two years.  The equivalent figure for those who maintained their car’s annual service record was 56%, suggesting that regular servicing helps keep the need for repairs at bay.

Nov 252015
 

Via our Facebook and Twitter feeds, we at Warranty Direct like to pick out and share some of the big motoring stories that we have noticed from the various online motoring news outlets of the internet. Here are three of the biggest stories we’ve shared recently.

How Quick Are Your Reactions – The Telegraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Telegraph take a look at a new online driving game that assesses users’ age based on their reaction times in simulated emergency stops. While it’s been seen as fun and addictive, the game has a serious aspect with implications for road safety as research highlights some alarming results.

Turbo gives petrol cars a boost as diesel faces backlash – BBC News

 

 

 

 

 

The BBC reports on how turbo charged petrol engines are helping to improve better fuel economy and lower emissions without a comparable loss of performance. With diesel registrations on the decline, it seems that motorists are now favouring the special petrol engines

Tesla Model S recalled over seatbelt failure – AutoCar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tesla are conducting a voluntary recall of all 90,000 Model S electric cars due to a seatbelt failure discovered in Europe. One of the Model S cars was found to have a fault with the front seat belt that was not properly connected to the outboard lap pretensioner. Customers wishing to get their car checked are advised to book appointments.

Don’t forget we share more motoring news through our social media feeds so follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to be up to date with the motoring world as well as the latest news from Warranty Direct.