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 032018
 

Key things every driver should budget for

Keeping a car on the road can cost drivers thousands each year, so along with safety and reliability, running costs are often a top consideration for many when choosing a car.

Warranty Direct has put together its guide on the most expensive outgoings that come with owning a car and how to keep them as low as possible…

Begin with your insurance

In the UK, it is illegal to drive without insurance and if get caught you could face an unlimited fine and disqualification from driving.

Prices for car insurance can vary massively with insurance companies basing prices on different risk factors. Not all factors can be changed, but there are things you can do to help keep premiums down:

  • Keep the vehicle in a secure location
  • Add an experienced driver to your policy
  • Watch your annual mileage (more miles = higher insurance as there is greater chance of an incident)

Comparing quotes from different insurers could end up saving you hundreds a year, so make sure you shop around to get the best possible deal.

Invest in an insured warranty provider

Taking out a warranty is the best way for someone on a budget to monitor their expenditure when it comes to cars.

There is nothing worse than paying out for an unexpected hefty repair bill if something goes wrong. With an extended warranty* this stress is removed should the worst happen, as a warranty can help contribute all or some of the costs associated with getting new parts and paying for the repair labour.

A fixed monthly cost that can be worked into your monthly budget will be more cost-effective than paying out for one large bill per repair.

Shop around for fuel

Saving just 5p a litre on the price of petrol or diesel could save £100 a year for the average driver.

Pump prices vary around the country and there are even different forecourts in the same town – so it pays to get to know the cheapest in your area.

Motorway fuel stations tend to be more expensive, so if you are planning a long journey it’s worth filling up beforehand to avoid potentially paying £8 a tank more.

Supermarkets will often give you a discount at their petrol pumps when you spend a minimum amount in store, so kill two birds with one stone and fill up after doing your weekly shop.

Efficiency is essential

Eco-driving saves an average of 15% in fuel costs, so small everyday things to improve your fuel efficiency can have a big impact.

Drive smoothly and change gear as soon as possible without revving the engine too much – ideally before 2,500 revs in a petrol car and 2,000 in a diesel. You should also change to a lower gear when the engine speed drops below 1500 rpm.

Stick to 70mph on the motorway. By travelling at 80–85mph, fuel costs can increase by 25% or more – (oh, and it’s illegal too!)

Essential car maintenance

The average cost of maintenance on a used car is £472 a year. However, through regular upkeep you may be able to reduce these costs and keep your car on the road for extra miles too.

Here is Warranty Direct’s top do-it-yourself maintenance tips:

  • Check and change the oil every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first
  • Check fluids – keeping coolant, brake, power-steering and transmission fluids topped up is essential to safety and extended engine life
  • Check tyre pressure – correct pressure improves your car’s safety, fuel efficiency and makes them last longer
  • Change the filters – it’s an inexpensive, quick fix which prolongs engine life, increases efficiency and reduces emissions

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