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You may want to look out for cars that are about to be superseded by a newer model.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.

Sep 062018
 

Performance vehicle
With environmental concerns at the forefront of news stories, documentaries and media campaigns, it’s not surprising many people are now considering whether to ‘go green’ with their next vehicle.

However, if you have your eye on a certain non-eco model or are in the market for a higher performance vehicle such as a Porsche, there are still ways you can be economical and as environmentally friendly as possible. Once you have a shortlist, make sure you check out the Reliability Index to compare models. If you want to also give yourself the peace of mind that you are covered in the event of unexpected vehicle failure then why not get a quote with us today?

Either way, here are Warranty Direct’s tips on how to make sure you’re efficient, without sacrificing the enjoyment of driving a performance vehicle.

What are you looking for?

Whether price, fuel efficiency, practicality or enjoyment is your priority when buying a car, you need to weigh up your options and see which vehicle matches your lifestyle.

If you are mainly going to be using the car for city driving, which doesn’t require high speeds or fast acceleration, look at smaller vehicles with an engine size of around 1L. This will not only be a practical size for urban driving, it should work out to be more economical than a larger engine.

If a small engine is constantly used at high speed, it’ll need to work much harder than a large engine to keep the car moving at 70mph. This will increase fuel consumption and could lead to greater long-term wear and tear as the engine’s components are put under strain.

So, if you do a lot of long distance or motorway driving, choose a car with a larger engine, which provides a good mpg.

Eco-driving

If you can’t help but go for a high-performance or sports car, there are still ways you can limit your fuel consumption to save money and cut pollution.

Get your car serviced regularly to make sure it’s running well and always use the right specification of engine oil, which you will find in your handbook. Check your tyre pressures at least once a month and before any long journeys, as under-inflated tyres will cause your car to use more fuel to overcome the added resistance.

Driving smoothly, accelerating gently and reading the road ahead to avoid breaking unnecessarily will all reduce fuel consumption. Stick to the speed limit, as not only is speeding dangerous it also uses more fuel.

Technological advances

Due to advances in engine technology, some of today’s smaller engines are able to produce more power than some bigger, older engines due to turbocharging. When looking at buying a new car, research into models such as Suzuki’s BoosterJet or Ford’s EcoBoost, where there is little or no sacrifice in power or style.

Some manufacturers now include a ‘sports’ mode or a ‘4WD’ mode in their cars. This means you can have all the fun of a high-performance car when you want it, but the practicality of a more economic drive for everyday use.

 It’s all about the extras

Many cars now incorporate eco features, so you can get the style of car you want, but with the benefits of efficiency too. For instance, some modern cars now have LED head-lights and can even incorporate emissions sensors to help keep our air clean.

Extras which aim to improve your in-car experience can also help to improve driving economy. Many cars – even on the more affordable end – now come with cruise control and using this will not only give you a more comfortable ride, it could even save you up to six percent in fuel costs during motorway driving.

For extra savings, adaptive cruise control will speed up or slow down based on the position of cars in front.  It uses either a radar or camera system to track the vehicles ahead and adjusts speed accordingly, alleviating the need for sharp braking and accelerating.


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.

 

Aug 232018
 

Driving LawsIt’s been over a year since the new laws for speeding and mobile phone use behind the wheel were introduced, but have they really made a difference?

Leading car warranty provider, Warranty Direct has analysed Department of Justice data from over the past five years, to reveal what impact the new laws have had on the driving behaviours of the general public.

While it might seem extreme that driving laws are becoming increasingly stricter, research has shown how important it is for laws to be in place to prevent reckless driving.

Road safety site, Think, found you’re 4 times more likely to be in a crash if you’re using a mobile phone while driving, and also 4 times more likely to crash while travelling at 40mph than 30mph.

With alarming statistics on the rise, March 2017, saw higher fines issued to people caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel. Punishments were doubled from three points to six points on your licence and a fine of £200 up from £100.

Laws against speeding were also updated on 24 April 2017. Fines increased from a minimum of £100 to up to 150% of a person’s weekly wage. You could also expect to receive up to 6 points on your licence, depending on how much over the speed limit you are caught driving.

To find out how successful these new laws have been at reducing dangerous activity behind the wheel, Warranty Direct compared the number of fines issued before and after the updates were introduced.

The tables below show the number of fines issued from May to December 2017, compared with the number of fines issued in the same period in previous years.

Date range Quantity of fines for speeding
May- Dec 2013 75428
May- Dec 2014 101823
May- Dec 2015 111067
May- Dec 2016 110863
May- Dec 2017 101654

The number of speeding fines issued annually between 2013-2015 increased up to 68%. Although there was a slight reduction in 2016, after the new fines were introduced, not only did the number of fines continue to decrease but they dropped by 8.5%.

2017 data recorded the lowest number of fines for 4 years, and if this drop continues next year, the number issued for speeding will drop below 100,000 for the first time since 2013 (to 93,000).

Date range Quantity of fines for mobile usage
Mar- Dec 2013 14974
Mar- Dec 2014 14970
Mar- Dec 2015 14027
Mar- Dec 2016 11052
Mar- Dec 2017 6175

Fines for using a mobile phone while driving decreased even more dramatically. The number issued dropped 44% in 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, and by 59% compared to 5 years prior in 2013.

It’s clear from this steep decline, drivers have taken note of the updated punishments for breaking the latest driving laws and being more cautious on the roads.

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

“It’s great to see these updated driving laws have had a significant, positive impact on driving behaviours, in such a short space of time.

“I don’t believe it’s just the increased financial penalties influencing people’s driving behaviour either, as motoring authorities have increased their efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of unsafe driving.

“We fully support any new measures which make our roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians. I believe more motorists are truly beginning to understand the consequences of speeding and using their mobile phones at the wheel.

Aug 022018
 

Tips For New Drivers Buying A First CarBuying your first car is a rite of passage every driver remembers; that first exciting taste of true
independence.

Every first-time motorist wants something that expresses their personality and suits their needs, but that doesn’t mean your vehicle choice will be the most practical or easy to find within your budget.

To guide you through the complex world of car-buying, Warranty Direct has put together some advice on essential considerations for first-time buyers.

Consider running costs

Buying and running a car is expensive for anyone but especially so for new drivers, who will have to shell out for a suite of essentials all in one go. Look at your monthly income, consider your current outgoings and then plan what you can afford.

You need to account for unavoidable costs, such as car insurance, Tax, MOT, fuel and tyres. Services such as the Money Advice Service Car Costs Calculator can give you an average running cost of a car so you can see roughly if you’ll be able to afford the overall spend.

Insurance for first-time drivers can be expensive as you’re among the least experienced drivers on the road. To find out which cars have a low insurance rating, use online tools such as Money Supermarket’s car insurance group checker.

Think about how you use it

When weighing up your options, you need to see which car best matches your lifestyle.

Is it a simple A-B run-around you’re after? If so, you may want to think about getting a small car with an engine size of about 1L. Or will you need a vehicle for regular, long journeys? Then a car with good fuel economy and a slightly larger engine would be better, especially if you’ll be driving on motorways.

However, make sure to do your research as similar cars can often have very different insurance groups, which can increase overall costs.

New or Used?

Although initially more expensive, newer cars are normally more advanced in terms of safety, technology and fuel efficiency in comparison to older cars. This could save you money in the long-term.

While low-rate finance schemes with modest monthly payments have brought new cars within reach of younger people, 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.

In addition, a new car can lose around 40% of its value in the first year, so you may be left out of pocket when you go to sell it later.

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.

Safety Matters

Accidents do happen and one in four 18-24 year-olds crash within two years of passing their practical driving test, so picking a vehicle that’s both safe and practical is important.

Look out for characteristics such as light steering, a responsive engine and brakes and user-friendly controls. These will help all new drivers build confidence behind the wheel.

Once you have a vehicle shortlist, use tools such as our Reliability Index to see which are the most reliable. This will help you to avoid expensive maintenance issues further down the line.