Sep 102018
 

New car showroomThere comes a time in a car owners’ life when it’s time to say goodbye…it could be a change in lifestyle, high maintenance costs, or just because you fancy something new. Whatever the reason, be sure you’re getting the best deal and not left out of pocket when buying your next car.

Looking to upgrade to a newer model?

Read our Warranty Direct guide on getting a swankier car, for less.

The benefits of upgrading

The advances in car technology are progressing at such a fast rate that if you stick with your current model for too long, you could miss out on new features that make driving both easier and safer.

Not only this, but cars depreciate quickly and after three years you could lose up to 60% of your vehicle’s original value.

So, when looking to upgrade your car, one of the first things you need to do, is to look at its current and future market value to make sure you upgrade before it’s too late.

Out with the old

Before buying your swanky new motor, you need to work out what you’re going to do with your old vehicle. Trade-in offers are typically less than you’d get in a private-party sale but can be much quicker and less hassle.

To work out if you’re being offered a reasonable price on your trade-in car at a dealership, you first must know what your vehicle is worth. Do some online research, print out the results and take them with you, as evidence to help with negotiating.

If you’re deciding between two dealerships with similar offers, you may want to lean toward the one at which you intend to buy your car. This may give you some leverage since you’re giving the dealership business on both the trade-in and the car purchase.

Look for models which hold their value

You may want to look out for cars that are about to be superseded by a newer model. These ‘run-out’ models are often found with discounts of up to 30% on the original price as dealers make way for shiny new stock.

However, some models shed cash quicker than others, meaning it will be worth a lot less in only a short period of time. So, make sure you check the resale price to see if some models may slump in value when their replacements arrive, (especially if you plan to sell it on in a few years).

You can also use our Reliability Index to help you work out how likely you are to have issues with a certain make or model.

Timing is everything

Dealers have targets to meet, with bonuses up for grabs, so they will usually be more willing to negotiate and offer more attractive finance packages at the end of each sales quarter. This means buying a vehicle at the end of March, June, September and December, could get you a better deal.

Try to avoid weekends or the start of the month just after payday. A dealership crammed with wannabe buyers isn’t ideal if you want to pick-up the best bargain.

Think about finance

While low-rate finance schemes with modest monthly payments may bring newer cars within your reach, you need to be sure you can keep up with the monthly payments as missing any can affect your credit rating and your car could be repossessed.

As mentioned earlier, newer cars can lose their value quite quickly, so you may want to look at pre-owned options first.

Used cars are cheaper initially and you could get more for your money, buying a top of the range older model for a similar price as a basic spec new car.

If you go down the used car route and the original manufacturer warranty has expired, you will also need to think about getting an extended warranty in place to protect your vehicle against unexpected failure and the costs that come with it. You can always get a quote with Warranty Direct to see how we could help you.

Policies underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Arranged and administered by Warranty Direct. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

May 312018
 

Leading car warranty provider, Warranty Direct analysed its Reliability Index and SMMT data to reveal which of the bestselling UK hatchbacks were most reliable.

The Reliability Index collates and analyses 50,000 live Warranty Direct policies to rate vehicles in order of reliability. As well as finding out the overall reliability of a car, the index offers information on which parts fail most often such as air conditioning, axle & suspension, braking, cooling, electrical components and engines.

Top ten most popular hatchbacks ranked in order of reliability:

Reliability position

Model Popularity position *

1

Volkswagen Polo 6

2

Ford Fiesta 1

3

Ford Focus 3

4

Volkswagen Golf 2

5

Vauxhall Corsa

4

6 Mini Cooper

7

7 Mercedes Benz A-Class

8

8 BMW 1 Series

10

9 Vauxhall Astra

5

10 Audi A3

9

 

Recently plagued by problems owing to the diesel emission scandal, Volkswagen showed it’s still a strong contender in the hatchback market. According to the Reliability Index the Polo and Golf models came in at 1st and 4th place for overall reliability.

While it was only the 6th bestselling hatchback of last year, the Polo actually beat competitors to be crowned the most reliable, spending just 1.46 hours off the road for repairs, which cost an average of just £184.

This is because less than 10% of problems recorded in the Reliability Index for both Polo and Golf models stemmed from more expensive issues such as brakes or gearbox problems.

Following the Polo closely in second place was the Ford Fiesta, which according to SMMT was also the bestselling car of 2017. Low cost and easy to repair faults helped the Fiesta retain its top spot and it needed an average of only 1.51 hours off the road. It narrowly missed out on first position due to slightly higher repair times and costs compared to the Volkswagen Polo.

Coming in a respectable 3rd for reliability is family favourite, the Ford Focus. The average costs of repairs were a little higher though at £283 and so was the average time off the road for repairs at 2.05 hours. This could be down to the model experiencing trickier electrical faults, which made up nearly 30% of all its claims.

In last place for reliability and second to last for popularity, the Audi A3 had a staggering average repair cost of £439, stemming from expensive engine issues, which made up 27% of all claims.

Surprisingly, some of the most expensive, popular models scored more poorly for reliability, with the A-Class in 7th place, the 1 Series in 8th and the A3 rounding out the table in position ten. All took around three hours for the average time off the road for repairs, which may be down to the more complex makeup of these premium vehicles.

The Mercedes A-Class in particular was a good example, as 40% of its claims came from electrical issues, which are common for a growing number of luxury cars, as they contain more parts dependent upon automated technology

Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct commented on the findings:

“When buying a new car, motorists should look beyond the initial purchase price and examine resources such as the Reliability Index to get a better indication of whether a particular model is suited to their individual needs.

“According to sales, the Polo was only the 6th bestselling hatchback of last year, but it’s actually the most reliable model according to our Reliability Index. In addition to this, the most expensive model may not actually be the most reliable, so it’s always worth doing your research before purchasing your next vehicle.”

*Popularity position based on 2017 SMMT data on the UK’s best-selling vehicles

Oct 132016
 

The latest results from Warranty Direct reveal the Mitsubishi Lancer is the most reliable family car according to the latest data from their Reliability Index website.

The Reliability Index analyses all the vehicle data on live Warranty Direct and collates it into creating a reliability rating. The lower the rating, the better the reliability. As well as finding out the overall reliability of a car, the index offers information on which car parts fail most often  such as air conditioning, axle & suspension, braking, cooling, electrical components, engines and fuel.

Family cars are usually chosen for being specifically good at daily domestic work, which means considering a certain set of parameters rather than just an outright type of model. Many couples are more likely to choose a vehicle based on its ability to meet family needs. Practicality, running costs and price all score high on the hit list, though some want style and something fun to drive, too.

Top ten most reliable family cars

Position Model Sector
1 Mitsubishi Lancer Small Family
2 Honda Insight Small Family
3 Mercedes-Benz CLC Small Family
4 Honda Accord (08-) Family Car
5 Honda Civic (00-06) Small Family
6 Toyota Prius (03-09) Family Car
7 Hyundai i30 Small Family
8 Nissan Almera Small Family
9 Honda Civic (06-) Small Family
10 Toyota Prius (09-) Family Car

The Mitsubishi Lancer, is the most reliable family car with the time spent off the road for repairs typically less than an hour and the average repair cost only £69. The Honda Insight came in at second place, but due to a high number of reported issues occurring with its axle suspension, the costs of repairs are over double that of Mitsubishi’s averaging at around £137. This lowered its position in the rankings.

Both cars received good family car reviews with the Mitsubishi Lancer being praised for its practicality spaciousness and superb value and the Honda Insight deemed a good choice for those who need more space than you find in a small hatchback, but who still want a town-friendly, smooth and fuel-efficient car.

80% of the top ten most reliable cars were Japanese models and Honda did particularly well with 4 of its models making the top ten. The only non-Japanese cars to enter the top ten were the Mercedes-Benz CLC which came in at position number three and the Hyundai i30 which came in at position number seven.

The reliability of Japanese vehicles is believed to stem from Japan’s superior production processes and more meticulous testing regimes. Japanese brands also tend to be more conservative when it comes to adopting complex new technologies – though hybrid technology is an obvious exception to this trend.

The least reliable family car is the Skoda Superb, due in part to the large number of reported issues occurring in its engine (30%) and repair time averaging at around 3 hours. Costs of repairs were also particularly high averaging around £578. Results such as this are an example of how typically reliable cars can be pulled down in the rankings by unreliable parts.

Speaking about the latest results Philip Ward, COO of Warranty Direct commented:

 “Families demand a lot from their cars and need vehicles that won’t let them down. Mitsubishi’s success in the reliability rankings is chiefly down to low failure rates and when things go wrong, they are cheaper to fix. It’s imperative for buyers to consider reliability when purchasing a used family car. Manufacturers demonstrating their cars are durable and cheaper to maintain will continue to be the most popular choices amongst buyers.”

A more extensive list of vehicle information is available on the Reliability Index website.

Jul 302016
 

Electrical gremlins are the faults most likely to provide motorists with an unwanted repair bill just as their car exits the standard three-year manufacturer’s warranty period, according to Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index.

While some car makers offer longer new car warranties, sometimes of up to seven years, most still offer the typical three years’ worth of cover.

Just over a quarter of cars suffer an electrical breakdown in their fourth year on the road, but axle and suspension faults have the sharpest increase between a car’s third and fourth year, jumping up nearly 4% to just over one in five (22%).

Engine failures are the third most likely thing to go wrong as a car comes out of the protective umbrella offered by a three-year manufacturer warranty, with 17% suffering a fault.

Over the last five years, air con and electrical faults are the failures that have consistently increased as soon as a car enters its fourth year.

Data analysed from the 30,000 Warranty Direct policies that were live in 2015 showed that electrical and engine faults are actually more likely in a three-year old car. But the repair bill for an engine failure on a four-year old car is considerably more expensive, at an average of £740.76 as opposed to £692.26 on a three-year old vehicle.

Gearbox faults are the most expensive to fix on a four-year old car, with an average repair bill of £896.22, more than a hundred pounds more than on a three-year old car.

The cost of fixing steering system woes also jumps between a car’s third and fourth years, again by more than £100, to an average of £532.37.

Overall, the average repair cost for a four-year old car is £480.74.