Apr 042017
 

Whilst the majority of car dealerships are very reputable and have high professional standards, there are some dealers who prioritise meeting sales targets over the individual needs of a customer. Sometimes, it’s difficult for consumers not to feel  baffled by the array of motoring  terms and acronyms, predominantly only used by car salespeople.

To prepare you for the onslaught of potential motoring jargon you may potentially experience when buying a car, Warranty Direct has decoded key terms to put you on a level playing field with a dealer and ensure you come out with the right car, at no unnecessary extra expense.

Terms

A Wooden Duck: This term would be used by salesman to colleagues and typically refers to a customer who does not haggle or negotiate. Whilst not necessarily derogatory, it could mean that a dealership is more focused on looking to sell to an ‘easy target’, rather than considering the individual needs of a customer.

Whopper with Cheese: Another one from the dealer when they’re trying to dupe a customer. This is a deal that has an exorbitant profit. A salesperson using this sort of language should be avoided, as it shows they have no qualms with ripping off a buyer.

Grinder: Also used to describe a customer, but this time one that drives a hard bargain. This is when it takes a long time to negotiate a deal with a strong customer, intent on negotiating for a discounted price.

FDSH: This is a Full Dealer Service History. This is essentially the same as a Full Service History (FSH) but service stamps have been acquired by a registered dealer as opposed to the owner of the car.

HPI check: An important used vehicle check history which determines if a car is stolen, accident damaged, written off or clocked. If a car is listed as any of these things, then it is highly advisable not to buy! (Or if stolen, please do alert the police.)

List price: You may hear a salesman talking about a car’s ‘list price’. This is simply the cost of a car as it’s driven off the forecourt. There may be room for manoeuvre or deals to be done on this price, so it is worth negotiating.

NVH: When discussing the quality of a car, its NVH may be discussed. This is referred to the vehicle’s noise, vibration and harshness and is used as a subjective measure for the quality of vehicle

Q-plate: Registration plates starting with a Q mean a car was either not originally registered in the UK, it was built using off-the-shelf parts (e.g. a kit car), or its origins are unknown. A car’s original number plate can be reapplied if the proper documentation for it is recovered.

VIN: This is the vehicle identification number – a unique number, normally 17 digits, given to each vehicle during manufacturing. This is to help track vehicles that are defective or have been written off, as license plates can be easily changed.

Tactics

Loss-leader advertising: The dealership sells a couple of unwanted cars at an unrealistically low price to attract buyers, then sells them a pricier vehicle.

Low balling: The salesman tells the customer an unrealistically low price that they should aim to pay for a new car. When they come back because they could not get it for that price elsewhere, they are convinced to buy it for more.

Cut and shut: Readers beware! This is a car damaged in an accident which has been repaired by fusing one or more vehicles together. While a dealership should not be selling this type of car, if you are buying privately then this is something that you should watch out for as the vehicle may not reach recommended safety levels. Checking the car’s VIN number, complete service history and MOT certificates can be the best ways of finding out if a car is ‘cut and shut’.

Limited-time deals: The phrase ‘for a limited time only’ has entered popular usage – and for good reason: it’s an effective sales tactic. Finance with 0% interest, discounted models and free extra equipment are often touted, creating a palpable sense of urgency. Be aware though, while the duration of such offers may well be limited, they occur so frequently that another one will come along sooner than you think.

‘Free’ extras: Be careful of free gifts the salesperson throws into a deal. They’re only trying to slow down negotiations and make you pay a higher price for the actual car. Try to stay focused on getting the best possible value.

Sucking back: This refers to the technique of giving you a very low sum for your part-exchange car, and then compensating by giving you a fantastic price on your new one. Sales people hope the true profit will be hidden in the intricacies of the deal, and aim to make you think you’ve got an amazing deal.

The maze of buying a new car can be full of challenges and difficult decisions, but decoding what a salesperson is saying shouldn’t be one of them. If you already know the tricks of the trade, you’re far less likely to fall for them and more likely to get a good deal.

At Warranty Direct we pride ourselves on being clear and transparent about our products. We don’t want customers to be confused by the meanings of our terms and policies, so we’ve gone the extra mile and compiled detailed policy guides – so every customer understands exactly what they are paying for.

Apr 032017
 

Tips on getting the best sale price for your motor

A car is one of the biggest financial investments that many of us will make and it can be an important part of everyday travel. However, there may come a time where you and your beloved motor must part ways. You may have a desire to upgrade to a newer and/or a more economical model. You may have to change your vehicle type to be more accommodating for business or family life. Your income from selling your current motor should help contribute to your next purchase, so it pays to have made the effort to keep your car in good condition. Not only will this help you get the best possible price when you’re ready to sell but it will also be safe and reliable for its new owner as well.

Warranty Direct has complied some straight forward tips that can help you with selling your motor.

First impressions count

When selling your car, make sure that it is clean and tidy inside and out. A buyer will want to visualise themselves in your vehicle, and that will be a lot harder to do if the vehicle doesn’t look appealing.

A grubby, unwashed vehicle exterior may also give the impression your car hasn’t been looked after properly to a buyer. As well as giving the car a good wash, it’s worth paying attention to the condition of the car’s body. Any scratches that can be buffed out, small chips filled in and dents removed will make your vehicle instantly more desirable and add value.

On the inside, the interior should be as equally appealing. A floor littered with old receipts, sweet wrappers, CDs and empty water bottles for example will not help you sell. Another cost-effective tip is to change any worn interiors, such as old floor mats – you will be surprised at how small tweaks can smarten up your car’s overall appearance.

Provide a valid MOT, service & warranty

A valid MOT is essential for any car on the road. If it is close to running out, it should be renewed before selling. No one wants to purchase a vehicle and then immediately have to shell out for unknown faults, due to poor maintenance. A recent MOT will give the buyer more confidence in the vehicle, as opposed to a car which may not have been professionally checked for a while.

Arranging a complete service history will also help give any potential buyers a full informed background into how your vehicle has been maintained throughout your ownership. It’s important to make sure you have the vehicle’s V5 or Logbook documentation as it will also show the necessary information. You’ll also need it if you do complete a sale as the V5 / Logbook will need updating to reflect the new owner’s details.

It is also useful to check the status of your warranty, whether it is a manufacture’s or an extended one, as selling with one that is still valid could allow you to get more money for your vehicle. For a car’s warranty to be binding it will need to have been serviced in the last 12 months and any issues fixed prior to sale.

An added benefit of most extended warranties is that they are often transferable (for a small fee) if you sell before your policy expires. This can add value and make your car more attractive to buyers, but make sure you check with your provider if there are any reasons why transferring may not be possible.

Ensure the price is right

Once you have checked on the warranty status and MOT, you will need to decide how much you want to list your car for. Online research through car buying websites such as Auto Trader can provide a good indication of price by allowing you to see how much similar cars have been selling for.

It might also be worth checking your car’s depreciation from the original purchase value. This can help give you an idea of a realistic expectation of value from any potential buyers.

List your vehicle correctly

When listing your vehicle, it is essential to describe it as accurately as possible. The car make, model and year the car was first registered is vital. It also helps to inform any potential buyers looking at your listing about any faults that may currently exist with the vehicle – even if they’re small and not necessarily required following the last service or MOT.

The more informative and accurate your listing is, the better the chance of being able to attract the right buyer. A lack of information or exaggeration of facts can hinder any potential sales. The buyer knows exactly what they are getting for their cash and letting them know clearly with your listing is the best way to do that.

You must detail the year the car was registered and ensure all its documents are up-to-date and passed onto the new owner.

Completing the sale

If you’ve managed to sell your car, it is important and a legal requirement that you let the DVLA know you no longer own the vehicle and it has a new owner. Updating and sending the vehicle’s V5 documentation will allow the DVLA to update its records accordingly. You must also make sure you cancel your current vehicle tax. The new owner of the car will have to tax the vehicle themselves.

Informing the DVLA and making the required changes to documentation and tax can protect you from any parking tickets, speeding fines, tax or SORN fines that may happen with the new owner. So, make sure the DVLA are informed of the sale as soon as possible otherwise you may be handed any future offences of the new owner.

If applicable, your warranty company will need to know about the sale as well. Whilst most providers are more than happy to swap a warranty, the new owner’s details will still need to be checked and logged. Failure to do so will make the warranty void.

Mar 072017
 

Buying a new car is one of the biggest purchases we make throughout our lives. Such significant purchases tend to be preceded by considerable research from consumers, to help them decide what the best possible car for their money is, and to ensure it will meet as many long term needs as possible.

However, all the research in the world will have no impact in the event your car is stolen or involved in an accident which results in it being written off.

It is a sad fact that, despite all the saving and studying you might do prior to choosing your car, you can still fall foul of the actions of others once you actually own it.

Whilst personal safety should of course be everyone’s first priority, particularly after an accident, you may have to think about financial consequences as well if your vehicle is stolen or written off. Therefore, it’s wise to take measures to safeguard your bank balance.

To help you do so, Warranty Direct offers GAP insurance, which can contribute to cover the shortfall that can arise from your comprehensive motor insurer provider’s settlement.

Protect your finances with GAP

In the event of your car being stolen or written off by an act of a third party, there could be a potential for financial loss. The perfect way to guard against this potential financial hit is GAP insurance.

When a car is written off or stolen, the insurer will only pay out the market value of the car at the time of this event. However, in the case of new vehicles, depreciation over the first three years would reduce the value significantly from the initial price paid by the customer. A brand new car can depreciate between 15 – 35%* over the course of the first year and around 50 – 60% over three years, assuming a mileage of around 10,000 a year. So, a £25,000 new family car could be worth as little as £10,000 after three years.

This depreciation could lead to a potential shortfall of thousands of pounds if a claim has to be made, but if you take out GAP insurance, this should not be the case. GAP insurance is designed to cover the financial shortfall that can occur when a motor insurer pays out on a “total loss” claim. This is the term associated with cars that are stolen and not recovered or written-off in an accident.

Warranty Direct is able to offer three types of GAP cover, so before making a purchase it’s important to establish which is best for you.

  • Vehicle Replacement Insurance (VRI) will cover the difference between your motor insurer’s settlement value for your car and the cost of a brand new car of the same make, model, and specification. This product is ideal for owners of brand new cars.
  • Return to Invoice Insurance (RTI) covers you for the difference between your motor insurer’s settlement value for your car and the original price you paid for your car – the selling dealer’s invoice. This product suits purchasers of “nearly-new” or used cars, which are bought from a garage.
  • Return to Value Insurance (RTV) will cover you for the difference between your motor insurer’s settlement and the value of the car at the time you took out your GAP policy. This value is established from long standing and trusted vehicle valuation companies. This product is aimed at people who already own their car but would still like GAP insurance protection.

Like all insurance policies, Warranty Direct’s GAP insurance is subject to terms and conditions**. To find out more, please speak to one our friendly team on 0800 097 8838 or view online.

Theft Prevention

In addition to taking out GAP insurance, there are other measures that you can take to protect your property, whilst ensuring that your motor insurance cover remains completely valid. The theft of something you own is highly distressing, but it’s also an act whereby you’re immediately incurring a loss. With motoring technology advancing in all aspects in recent years, including security measures, car thieves are always thinking of new ways to commit crime.

In 2016, ukcrimestats.com reported 363,388 instances of vehicle crime***. Whilst this has been much higher in previous years, it’s important for drivers to know that there are measures that can be taken to minimise risk of theft.

There are some obvious precautions that we can all take such as locking your car and hiding your belongings; the amount of car thefts that are instigated by expensive belongings like a sat-nav or tablet being left on the passenger seat is alarming. Hiding them reduces the reasons a thief may break into your car.

There are also several means of adding to the security equipment already in place, such as using steering wheel, gearstick, and/or pedal locks. Whilst these are not always 100% reliable in their actual function, they can often put off a thief because of the extra effort required to disable them. Other useful security measures include trackers that you can fit to your vehicle, and wheel-locking nuts.

With this advice in mind, hopefully you will have enough guidance to help protect the financial and personal investment of your next car purchase – especially during this new registration period.

* Money Advice Service

** Terms and conditions apply, see website for product information.

*** See http://www.ukcrimestats.com/National_Picture/

Warranty Direct GAP Cover Insurance policies are underwritten by LAMP Insurance Company Limited, whose registered office is Suite 934 Europort, Gibraltar, company number 93562. LAMP Insurance Company Limited is licensed and regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission under the Financial Services (Insurance Companies) Act.

GAP Cover Insurance policies are administered by Warranty Direct Limited, Quadrant House, 20 Broad Street Mall, Reading, RG1 7QE, company number 3233010. Warranty Direct limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.