Aug 232011

37Motorists could be hit by 10% higher repair bills as summer takes its toll on car reliability, according to data revealed today.

The warning comes as specialist insurer, Warranty Direct, discloses which parts fail most often between June and August.

The UK’s relatively warm, dry summer climes appear to hasten axle and suspension failures (accounting for more than a quarter of Warranty Direct claims), engine cooling breakdowns (9.35%) and major internal engine problems (9.16%), resulting in repair bills as high as £7,239.

The average summertime repair bill is 10% higher than in winter and more than 4 in ten motorists will make a claim between June and August, compared to 36% during the colder months.

Last year, four of the five most expensive repair bills occurred between June and August.

The parts most likely to fail during June-August

 Part of Car Proportion of claims (%) Axle & Suspension25.392 Engine Cooling System9.353 Major Engine fault9.164 Braking System5.365 Steering System4.776 Battery4.647 Manual Transmission4.638 Air Conditioning4.629 Turbo3.6110 Ignition System3.58

Overall, the 10 components identified by Warranty Direct as most likely to cause a breakdown in the summer account for over 75% of claims during that period.

Brake and steering components are the next most likely items to fail during the summer – though equally susceptible in the winter – followed by the battery, transmission and ignition system.

Unsurprisingly, more air-conditioning malfunctions surface as temperatures climb, while turbochargers round off the top 10.

Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct said: “Cars are complex and sensitive to the environment they are subjected to.

“In these straightened times, anything a motorist can do to mitigate motoring costs, or at least make them more predictable, is worthwhile. Maintenance and a degree of mechanical sympathy make a difference, but often breakdowns just happen.”

Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. All policies protect against wear & tear, failures caused by uninsured parts and failures found during a service or MOT.

For more information on the reliability of your vehicle, visit, or for a quote on cover

Apr 242008

older carChoosing an older vehicle could be a home-saver for the UK’s cash strapped mortgage holders. Buying a new car could be the difference between “home ownership” or “repossession” claims a new report.

A new car is the worst investment most people will ever make. A £15,000 car will lose around half its value in three years. If you borrow the money to buy the car at 7.7% interest it will cost you an extra £1,847. That’s a total of £9,347 – all out of taxed income.  Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) can cost even more, and there are limits on mileage and expensive penalties should you want to change the vehicle early.

The £9,347 loss on a new vehicle would be enough to pay the interest on a £100,000 mortgage for nearly two years. Cash strapped home owners could use this cash to avoid losing their home when their low cost fixed rate mortgage deal ends.

The car has become both a status symbol and a ‘must have’ social accessory with an increasing number of motorists indulging in expensive cars on finance to impress friends and neighbours. With some mortgage deals set to rise by as much as 40% – many over financed motorists will no longer have a neighbour to impress.

Mail Order specialists, Car Parts Direct claim buying a three year old vehicle or keeping your existing car is financially the most cost efficient way to run a reliable vehicle.

Mark Cornwall of Car Parts Direct said, “Cars are reliable for at least 10 years providing they are serviced. Items such as brakes cost very little. Even the more expensive parts that could fail such as shock absorbers, drive shafts or a steering rack rarely cost more than a couple of hundred pounds – this is peanuts compared to financing a new vehicle.”

Car Parts Direct claims a motorist thinking of buying a £15,000 new car could save themselves more than £250 every month by buying at three years or by keeping their existing vehicle – for most home owners, that’s enough to stay clear of the mortgage debt trap. Motorists can find advice on how to save on vehicle servicing and repairs by visiting

Feb 012005

Free MOT TestBritish motorists could be forking out up to six times more than they have to on spare car parts according to new research from independent warranty provider, Warranty Direct

Researchers compared the cost of new parts on a selection of four-year-old vehicles from the UK’s top ten selling manufacturers. Prices were gathered from franchised dealers, independent garages and high street motor accessory retailers on six common parts: starter motor, air-con compressor, wheel bearing, alternator, shock absorber and radiator.

By shopping around, motorists could save over £395 (169 percent) on an air-con compressor for a Mercedes E-Class if bought over the counter instead of at franchised dealer. In another case, a replacement wheel bearing for a Honda CRV cost 517 percent more from the dealer than the £21.88 charge from a motor accessory retailer.

The service and repair industry is worth over £10 billion annually.

Table Illustrating Frequency Of Failure According To Warranty Direct

Model Part Franchised   Dealer Independent   Garage Retailer Price   Difference
Honda   CRV Wheel   Bearing £135.13 £116.33 £21.88 517%
Vauxhall   Astra Wheel   Bearing £145.70 £111.63 £25.26 476%
VW   Golf Air   Con £528.75 £450.31 £169.42 212%
Mercedes   E Class Air   Con £630.00 £432.13 £234.04 169%
Peugeot   306 Shock   Absorber £79.43 £56.40 £21.88 263%
Ford   Focus Starter   Motor £191.58 £129.25 £91.85 108%
Citroen   Xantia Radiator £258.50 £107.00 £113.01 128%
Toyota   Previa Shock   Absorber £68.29 £80.82 £16.94 303%

The four-year-old cars analysed by Warranty Direct engineers would no longer be covered by the manufacturer’s traditional three-year aftersales warranty. “For anyone who has owned a car from new, this is the point when you really start paying for everything that goes wrong, and realise that it pays hugely to shop around,” advises Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct.

Motor accessory retailers proved to be the cheapest source for more than 8 out of 10 parts with an average saving of 65 percent. Franchised dealers and independent garages were equally cheapest in 9 percent of cases respectively.

Alarmingly, the gap between the cheapest and most expensive source was more than double for nearly half of the parts compared.

McClure Fisher adds: “Although there are still some dramatic disparities, some franchised dealers have started to recognise the need to slash prices on older vehicles in order to retain custom so it’s worth trying to haggle with them.” For example, franchised VW dealers were cheaper than independent garages on 5 out of the 6 parts analysed, yet Mercedes could only compete on one.