Aug 212014


As of 1 October 2014, the Driving Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA) will make the widely publicised move from paper tax discs to online. The new rules also put the onus on used car sellers to inform the DVLA when they sell their vehicle.

Most importantly, under the new rules used car sellers are responsible for notifying the DVLA and then they will receive a refund for any months left on the vehicle tax. Dealers who fail to inform the DVLA, could be fined and they will still be liable for vehicle tax on a car they don’t even own anymore.

Car owners still need to have vehicle tax to drive or keep a vehicle on the road, but now the DVLA is taking payments online, including Direct Debit payment options or motorists can visit their local Post Office branch. Instead of using paper tax discs to spot tax evaders, police cameras will automatically check a car’s number plate.

So don’t get caught out by the new system. Here’s a nice infographic from the DVLA to calm you down.


Aug 212014

keysWhen buying a used car it is a good idea to count the keys and check they work. That’s because they will cost a fortune to replace. Few of us are aware of just how expensive it is to have a spare set of car keys cut – prices range from £168.00 to over £1000, depending on the model of car – a cost which has quadrupled in the past decade due to anti-lock breaking systems and advances in technology.

Keycare – the UK’s largest provider of insurance for lost and stolen keys provides recovery, assistance and replacement for any type of keys attached to a Keycare fob up to £1,500. There is a 24 hour emergency helpline, 365 days a year and access to a nationwide network of locksmiths.

Just in case you wondered, here is the cost of replacing keys on some popular models according to Keycare.

  • Audi A4 2001 – £1,058.11
  • Peugeot 206 1998 – £846.23
  • Honda Jazz 2005 – £882.50
  • Audi A3 Convertible 2011 – £761.82
  • VW Polo 2009 – £780.00
  • Renault Clio 2002 – £479.94
  • Ford Galaxy 2003 – £250.00
  • Fiat Punto 2005 – £168.00
  • Land Rover Freelander 2008 – £268.02
Aug 212014


The Citroën Berlingo Multispace and Suzuki SX4 are the best because they are so wonderfully reliable, and that’s according to us.

Warranty Direct analysed data from more than 50,000 live policies to compile a chart of the best-performing MPV and Crossover models.

Warranty Direct’s unique Reliability Index takes into account factors such as how frequently a car breaks down, typical repair costs, how long it takes to fix and average age and mileage. The lower a car’s Reliability Index score, the more reliable it is.

According to the figures, the best-performing MPVs trump their Crossover cousins and the reliability Queen of the MPV sector is the Citroën Berlingo Multispace (1997-2008), with fewer than two in 10 models experiencing a fault in any given 12-month period.

Citroën has three entries in the MPV reliability chart as the big-selling Xsara Picasso ranks third and the latest Berlingo Multispace eighth.

Ford also has a trio of entries in the MPV top 10. The latest Ford C-MAX takes the runner-up spot and its predecessor, the original Ford Focus C-MAX, is ranked ninth. Tenth place goes to the practical Ford S-MAX.


1 Citroën Berlingo Multispace 1997 – 2008 37 £199.54
2 Ford C-MAX 2010 – 49 £288.54
3 Citroën Xsara Picasso 2000 – 2010 52 £215.34
4 Chevrolet Tacuma 2005 – 2008 55 £482.62
5 Renault Scenic 2003 – 2009 70 £285.93
6 Skoda Roomster 2005 – 75 £365.94
7 Citroën Berlingo Multispace 2008 – 84 £276.47
8 Fiat Doblo 2001 – 2010 102 £262.49
9 Ford Focus C-MAX 2003 – 2010 106 £315.25
10 Ford S-MAX 2006 – 109 £401.15


Only vehicles available in new car showrooms as recently as 2007 were included in Warranty Direct’s analysis and Japanese brands dominate the top of the Crossover chart. Suzuki took top spot with the SX4 crowned the most reliable high-riding, two-wheel drive model. With the lowest breakdown rate and average repair cost in its class, the Suzuki SX4 finished comfortably ahead of the original Nissan Qashqai.

The closely-related Kia Sportage (2005-2010) and Hyundai Tucson crossovers fought it out for third place, with the Hyundai winning the battle of the South Korean brands to claim the bronze medal position.


1. Suzuki SX4 2006 – 24 £182.87
2. Nissan Qashqai 2007 – 2013 68 £343.51
3. Hyundai Tucson 2004 – 2009 69 £226.36
4. Kia Sportage 2005 –2010 93 £299.21
5. Toyota RAV4 2006 – 2012 106 £432.82
6. Ford Kuga 2008 –2012 129 £379.93
7. Volkswagen Tiguan 2008 – 170 £320.81
8. Vauxhall Antara 2007 – 230 £414.66


When it comes to individual faults, MPVs are most likely to suffer from electrical gremlins, accounting for an average of 29.6% of faults, while Crossovers are most commonly afflicted by axle and suspension issues – responsible for 28.3% of faults.Motorists torn between the practical nature of a family MPV and the rugged appeal of a Crossover model should take note – the top-performing people carriers in the chart logged an average Reliability Index score of 73.9, compared to 111 for their taller-riding rivals.

David Gerrans, managing director of Warranty Direct, said: “Reliability is a crucial part of any car-buying decision, especially for busy families with already strained household budgets.

“Both MPVs and Crossover models are aimed squarely at family motorists and this analysis of our comprehensive database will make essential reading for anyone considering a family model.”