Mar 192018

Recent reports have shown although roads are busier than ever before, casualties are at the lowest level on record. The exact reasons for these statistics are not quite known, but the fact vehicles themselves are becoming safer due technology advancements could be a contributing factor.

For example; manufacturers are developing car systems which not only mitigate the effects of a collision, but can prevent the chances of having one altogether. Volvo has even promised no one should be killed or seriously injured in one of its new cars by 2020.

With 79 percent of consumers describing car safety as very important, Warranty Direct has put together a guide to the modern safety features keeping us safer on the roads…

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

ABS has become a standard in most cars. It helps prevent car wheels from locking up, so reducing the likelihood of skidding. One of the most dangerous aspects of wheel lock is the loss of steering control, but ABS ensures drivers will be able to steer after an episode of hard braking.

Blind spot monitoring

Blind spot monitoring systems help drivers be more aware of what’s in the adjacent lane to their vehicle. Using a radar system to scan the space around your car, it will use a bright LED light in your side view mirror to visually alert you if another vehicle is in your blind spot.


Since 1987, frontal air bags have saved 44,869 lives. Sensors in the car monitor deceleration rates, then fire the airbags to cushion impact. Modern developments include dual-stage airbags which have sensors to generate different responses depending on the seriousness of a collision. These advances reduce the chances of airbag-related injuries.


Apart from brakes, seatbelts are the oldest safety feature around. According to ROSPA,  tens of thousands of lives are estimated to have been saved in the UK since making the law for wearing seat belts mandatory.

While the overall design hasn’t changed, it continues to evolve. Ford has developed rear inflatable seatbelts for some of its models and in the event of an impact, this innovative technology is designed to minimise the likelihood of injuries.

Dash cams

Dash cams are onboard cameras that continuously record the view of your journey through a vehicle’s windscreen. They can be used to provide video evidence in the event of a road accident. During parking, some dashcams still can capture video evidence if vandalism is detected too.

They have become increasingly popular with motorists in the UK, with dash cam ownership increasing from one to 15 percent in just four years.

Bluetooth devices

Using a hand-held mobile phone or sat nav while driving is illegal and you are four times more likely to be in a collision if you use your phone when driving.

Many cars now come with Bluetooth hands-free calling connectivity to help combat such issues. Once you connect your phone to your car system, Bluetooth allows completely wireless access to calling functions from your phone through your vehicle, via the dash, a control screen, steering-wheel buttons, or voice commands.

It increases car safety as you’ll keep both hands on the wheel and won’t need to look down to dial numbers, hold a handset to your ear, or do things like changing the volume to music.

Child car seats

The law requires all children travelling in any vehicle to use a child car seat until they are either 135cm in height or 12 years old, whichever comes first. With plenty of options to choose from, always speak to an expert to help you decide which are best for your needs and to assist you in correctly fitting the seat to your car.

Most modern family cars now have Isofix connectors built into them, making it easier for fitting baby and child car seats.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

ECS helps drivers avoid loss of control in bends and during emergency steering manoeuvres by reducing the danger of skidding. This has become such an important development in terms of road safety, manufacturers are now required by law to install ESC in all new vehicles.

Warranty Direct is a trading style of BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. BNP Paribas Cardif Limited is a company, registered in England and Wales No. 3233010 at Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 2XX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Register No.309075.

Mar 192018

Did you know negotiating on the price of a new car could save you as much as 13 percent?

Prices of new cars may seem fixed, but if you’d like to save yourself a little cash, think of them as a starting point instead.

There is the potential for huge savings, if you know the right questions to ask and the best places look.

To help you secure the best possible price for your new vehicle, Warranty Direct has put together its top tips to help you negotiate like a pro.

Do your homework

Research your car shortlist and make a note of exactly what you need to support you in your day-to-day life. Having an exact specification in mind will prevent you from being swayed into looking at other models and knowing the manufacturer’s recommended price puts you in a strong position to negotiate.

If you’ve set your heart on a specific model, be wary of special offers on a lower-specification car. An alternative model is often more beneficial to the dealer than to you. Unless the deal is obviously worthwhile and meets the needs you originally listed, stick to your guns. Ultimately, you’re the one who knows which features will best suit your lifestyle.

You can check your options using our Reliability Index, which calculates individual car models’ reliability considering the following factors:

  • the number of times a car fails
  • the cost of repairing it
  • the average amount of time it spends off the road due to repairs
  • the average age and mileage of the vehicles we have on our books

This ‘real world’ picture of particular models could help make your decision an easy one.

Shop around

Different dealerships will have different targets, margins and prices, so shop around to see where the best deals are. You can use your research as a bartering tool. If one dealership gives you a quote, take it to another to see if they can beat it.

Online sites such as Car Wow and UK Car Discount have changed the way we buy cars and could help you save thousands. You can compare costs of new cars from a range of sources in the comfort of your own home to find the best deal. It may mean travelling a bit further for your vehicle, but the savings may be worth the journey.

Think about the time of year

You might get between 10 to 12 percent off the ‘list price’ of a new car, just by buying at the right time of the year. Car salespeople have targets to hit, so look out for deals and ask for greater discounts during quieter times of the year. This is usually in December, at the end of the month or financial quarter.

One of a dealer’s biggest annual events are the registration plate changes. Showrooms offer big discounts on cars with old plates as they need to shift them before sales slow, which is often before 1st March and 1st September.

Prioritise perks

High sales at larger dealerships may mean they’re able to offer better deals. Keep an eye out for finance with 0 percent interest, discounted models and free extra equipment.

Dealerships are often incentivised to sell cars on finance as they can make more money from the sale. This means if you are thinking about a finance deal, you may be in a good position to negotiate a few more extras. However, be cautious. Keep a close eye on the APR, or interest rate, as some deals are better than others.

Warranty Direct is a trading style of BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. BNP Paribas Cardif Limited is a company, registered in England and Wales No. 3233010 at Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 2XX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Register No.309075.

Feb 142018

A good mechanic can help keep your car running longer and save you money on repairs. However, finding a decent, reliable garage to look after your car can be harder than you might think.

If you are in need of a new mechanic and unsure where to start, Warranty Direct has put together its top tips for finding the best garage in your area.

Get advice

Ask your friends and family members where they take their cars for repairs in your local area and why. If the same business keeps coming up with positive feedback, it’s probably safe to assume it’s both reliable and fairly-priced.

Online forums are a great place to ask for local recommendations. Anyone who has had major problems with a garage may have taken to the internet to share their experiences. Also on specialist car forums, you could also potentially encounter someone who has had the problem you are faced with. Perhaps take advantage of this, if they seem like a reputable source. Ask for advice on how much the problem cost to fix and how long the repair took, to help with your own research.

Research prices

It’s possible to get an idea of how much a service or repair is likely to cost before a mechanic even looks at your car. If you know roughly what needs doing, websites such as ClickMechanic allow you to obtain quotes from garages in your area, so you have a good idea of how much to budget for particular repairs or services.

If you’re unsure of exactly how much needs doing and how long your repairs will take, call around a few garages to ask about their hourly rates, though bear in mind completion times will vary slightly. Always check if VAT is included in the price quoted. Legally, the garage should tell you, but if overlooked you could end up with a heftier bill than anticipated!

Make sure quality isn’t being compromised in return for a low price. The average cost, according to the Money Advice Service, of a car repair is £125, so if the price of a garage seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Many garages now offer deals like free services and ‘service bundles’ to entice more customers. Motorists could see big savings, but what may not be clear is many of these services do not include things such as tyres or brake pads, so you could still be stung by additional costs.

Essential expertise

At Warranty Direct we offer a Preferred Repairer Network, consisting of over 3,000 specially selected garages, helping you find a dependable local business. These garages can either be a main dealer or independent.

For inclusion, all nominated garages must meet and agree to a 43-point service level agreement before they can join our Preferred Repairer Network. These garages are highly professional, experienced and also accountable for work undertaken, so customers can be sure they are leaving their cars in safe hands.

You can also check if the garage is part of any reputable industry schemes, such as The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) who accredits professionally trained technicians or The Motor Ombudsman, which sets garages a code of conduct and operational standard.

Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable and make sure your mechanic shows you exactly what the problem is and the parts affected. A reputable mechanic should be willing to do whatever it takes to put you at ease and gain your confidence.

Warranty Cover is arranged and administered by BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. Warranty Direct is a trading style of BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. BNP Paribas Cardif Limited is a company, registered in England and Wales No. 3233010 at Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 2XX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Register No.309075

Feb 082018

Warranty Direct sponsored Hot Hatchbacks category at What Car? Awards on its 40th Anniversary year

We are pleased to announce Warranty Direct reprised the title sponsorship of the What Car? Car of the Year Awards for the sixth year running. The event was held at the esteemed London Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane on Tuesday 23rd January.

This year, 114 vehicles were nominated across 17 different categories. Only the cars superseding their current standards for their respective class were nominated and the individual category winners were challengers for the top motoring prize – the Car of the Year award. This year was even more special as What Car? was also celebrating its 40th anniversary of the awards.

In addition to being one of the headline sponsors, Warranty Direct sponsored the individual Hot Hatchbacks Award category, revealing the best new models on the market.

We are excited to announce, after much research and deliberation, that the Honda Civic Type R was crowned the winner of our prestigious award by What Car?!

When considering the short list of what makes a great hot hatchback, the judges had strict criteria and to consider which cars came top for a range of factors such as:

  • Ease of use – most of these vehicles are based on existing family hatchbacks, so should be practical enough to use every day
  • A keen list price with low running costs
  • The low prices could not entail poorly finished cabins or mean skimping on vehicle equipment lists
  • Performance and driving fun

Other contenders for the Warranty Direct-sponsored Hot Hatchback Award were:

  • Ford Fiesta ST Line
  • Hyundai i30N

The Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design was awarded the overall winner at the end of the evening and is now the official What Car? Car of the Year 2018.

Speaking about the awards, our CEO, Simon Ackers said:

“The What Car? Awards are one of the most highly anticipated events in the annual motoring calendar. It was an unforgettable evening and we are thrilled the Honda Civic Type R won our sponsored award for best Hot Hatchback – especially as the competition this year was so fierce!

“With What Car?’s website, automotive expertise and a strong reputation for its advice, tips and truly honest reviews for consumers, we were delighted to be working with our partner for the sixth year running.”

Other main categories at the awards included: Family car, Best small car, Electric car, Convertible and Sports car. Making this year’s event even more competitive was the introduction of two new categories – hybrid and family SUV. For a full list of the winners, head over to What Car?’s website.

Although the excitement of the What Car? Awards is now over, we are looking forward to the year ahead and discovering the new projects and developments manufacturers are planning to announce in 2018.

Make sure you keep checking our blog for all the latest motoring news and industry updates!

Jan 262018

Analysis of the latest figures from Warranty Direct’s GAP insurance division has revealed an alarming increase in claims for car thefts and write-offs over the past three years.

Warranty Direct’s findings show claims for write-offs have proportionally risen by 55% since 2014. This has resulted in a considerable cost to both the insurer and consumer.

The average individual claim value for vehicles written-off over the three-year period was £3,765 with some of the highest individual claims being over £15,000.

Manufacturer Percentage of overall claims Average claim value Highest claim
1. BMW 17% £4,286 £15,364
2. FORD 17% £2,377 £6,200
3. MERCEDES-BENZ 11% £5,165 £13,320
4. VAUXHALL 11% £2,347 £6,895
5. AUDI 4% £4,905 £9,740


When analysing manufacturer trends, the brands most likely to be written off or subject to theft were BMWs and Fords, which made up 17% of total overall GAP claims. This was closely followed by Mercedes-Benz and Vauxhall in second place (11%) and Audis in third place (4%).

While BMW and Ford took the lead when it came to the highest percentages of overall claims for vehicles written off or stolen, the highest costing average claims were made by Mercedes-Benz drivers at £5,165 per person, closely followed by Audi drivers, whose claims averaged at £4,905.

Advances in immobiliser and keyless technologies resulted in a decline in vehicle crime throughout the 2000s. However, it seems criminals are now finding ways to counter the latest safety innovations and technology as vehicle-related theft has risen 30% since 2014.

Warranty Direct’s data has shown the average individual pay out for theft-related claims since 2014 resulted in £3,360 per customer.

Simon Ackers, Warranty Direct’s Chief Executive Officer commented on the results: “It’s clear from the recent steep rise in vehicle-related thefts and write-offs, advances in vehicle manufacturing and technology cannot always prevent irreparable damage. The motoring industry must continue to adapt and encourage consumers to guard against potential loss with GAP insurance and visual deterrents such as steering wheel locks and alarms, which could help protect vehicles from theft.”