Mar 272015

Cataclean-Graham-Polaris-website-with-bottle-landscapeUp to 100,000 motorists-a-month are sleep-walking into expensive and preventable MOT emissions test failures, according to new figures. Liverpool based engine cleaner maker Cataclean.

Cataclean says new figures from the Drivers and Vehicle Standards (DVSA) make ‘sobering reading’ and urged drivers to look after their engine like they do their tyres, brakes and lights. The figures show that just under 27.5 million cars and light vans were tested in 2013/14 with 4.6pc failing their exhaust test. In total 40pc of cars failed their MOT.

“Failing your MOT because of high emissions is a massive problem in the UK,” said Cataclean Corporate Development Director Graham Fraser. “The worry is that motorists are unknowingly suffering MOT emissions test failures without realising they can take control of this aspect of maintenance. The key message we want to get out to drivers is: use Cataclean as part of your maintenance routine but particularly before your MOT.  It is a low-cost, easy solution to prevent what can be a larger than expected bill. We especially want to get this message across to owners of cars that are five to 15 years old, who are particularly vulnerable to emission failures.

“We are hearing that some motorists are writing their car off because the repair bill is too high or that they are being hit with a large bill for their catalytic converter to be fixed and their car retested.  Some garages do not yet use Cataclean and will seek a mechanical solution which could cost between £400 to £2500.  Some mechanics will simply floor the engine to flush it out which can be bad for the vehicle. To garages we say: As part of your service and MOT schedule, use Cataclean. It is available from most Motor Factors. Mr Fraser said if a car’s catalytic converter is damaged or very old, it usually needs to be replaced.

Cataclean is aimed at the mid-market for cars with working catalytic converters which have become dirty and are at risk of failing MOTs on emissions,” he said. “It is safe for both diesel and petrol vehicles and we advise using Cataclean once a quarter for the best results. Not only can Cataclean reduce emissions by up to 60pc, it can also cut fuel bills from the cleaning effects of Cataclean and improve petrol consumption.

Cataclean’s recently rebranded 450ml Liquid Science bottles can be bought for around £16 from Halfords, auto-centres and most motor factors including Euro Car Parts and GSF. Cataclean is a ‘Pour and Go’ Product and easily be administered by the owner/driver or the Mechanic. Cataclean Liquid Science is complimented by Cataclean DPF to meet the demands of modern diesel engines and Cataclean ‘One Shot’ Bike.

Protect yourself against those unexpected repair bills with an Extended Warranty from Warranty Direct Ltd. Protecting your car against the cost and hassle of unexpected failure couldn’t be easier.

Mar 252015

odometerReducing the mileage of a Ford Fiesta, the bestselling vehicle in the UK in 2014, from 90,000 to 30,000 adds £1,875 to the price tag, up 35%*

Range Rover Evoque sees the price tag increase by £4,250 after clocking, an increase of nearly 20%*

The popular VW Golf rises by nearly 40% and the Nissan Leaf electric car sees a rise of 36%*

Sportier models, such as the Mazda MX 5 convertible see their values increase by 36% after clocking, whilst the prestigious Audi A3 could see its price tag rise by 30%*

*all of the above figures are based on reducing its mileage from 90,000 to 30,000 miles

Clocking continues to pose a real threat for used car buyers, including dealers and their customers, warns HPI. To highlight this, HPI has joined forces with CAP Automotive, the premier provider of vehicle values, to lift the lid on just how much dodgy sellers stand to make from a clocked car, conning dealers out of profit and risking both their reputation and legal repercussions.

Neil Hodson, Managing Director of HPI comments, “According to the latest SMMT figures, the Ford Fiesta was the bestselling vehicle in the UK in 2014, with 131,254 new car sales made. However, according to CAP figures, fraudsters are increasingly cashing in on the popularity of the family car, with clocked models potentially earning them up to 35% on the price tag. That means unsuspecting used car buyers could lose £1,875 on a vehicle with an altered mileage.

“The CAP figures show that, perhaps surprisingly, it is the lower value vehicles that see the biggest percentage increase from mileage correction, making them more attractive to fraudsters. For example, hatchbacks like the VW Golf can garner a whopping 40% profit for clockers who fraudulently take 60,000 miles off the clock. The result is an extra £3,000 which comes straight out of an unlucky buyer’s wallet.”

Protect yourself against those unexpected repair bills with an Extended Warranty from Warranty Direct Ltd. Protecting your car against the cost and hassle of unexpected failure couldn’t be easier.

Mar 192015

British and French brands produce Europe’s most reliable cars, according to the latest research by Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index.

With the 85th Geneva Motor Show displaying the latest automotive technology closing its doors at the end of last week, Warranty Direct has revealed which are Europe’s most reliable models. The vehicles analysed were an average of five years old with mileages of around 50,000.

British brand, Vauxhall, topped the table with its diminutive Agila model the most reliable European-badged car on the road.

French manufacturers, Peugeot and Citroen completed the top three, with their similarly small 107 and C1 superminis.

Swedish, Spanish, German and Czech brands also won places in the top 10 reliability rankings with Volvo, SEAT, Volkswagen, Smart and Skoda.

Vauxhall’s Agila is most likely to incur issues with its axle and suspension, accounting for an average of 30% of its faults. The cooling and heating system is responsible for 44% of the Peugeot 107’s downtime; with fellow French carmaker Citroen finding most of the issues in its C1 derive from the electrics.


reliable european cars

Volvo S40 drivers report more axle and suspension faults, with a third suffering complications. Warranty Direct’s data reveals Smart’s Fortwo most frequently faces engine issues, accounting for more than one in three of its breakdowns.

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “It’s good to see a British manufacturer at the top of the table, especially at a time when Britain’s automotive industry is flying high. Our data also highlights that Swedish, Czech, Spanish and French carmakers are all more reliable than their often celebrated German counterparts, which will surprise some consumers, who may still assume that German cars are the most durable.”

At the other end of the scale, the Audi RS6 is Europe’s most unreliable vehicle, with data indicating it’ll break down at least once a year. Four out of the five most unreliable models are produced by German manufacturers.


least reliable

Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index score is calculated on a combination of vehicle criteria from a database of more than 50,000 live policies:

• Frequency of failure
• Cost of repair
• Duration of repairs
• Average age and mileage

The higher the Reliability Index score, the worse the car is – the lower the score, the better and the average RI number is 100. For more information on Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index, visit;

Warranty Direct ( is the UK’s leading direct-to-consumer insurer for car, van and bike mechanical and electrical failures.

Mar 022015

New research from Warranty Direct has revealed the top 10 most reliable city cars.
With the cost of public transport increasing, the canny urbanite may find that getting behind the wheel of a small car is a more comfortable and convenient solution.

Warranty Direct can assign any car with a Reliability Index (RI) score. This applies a formula to measure overall reliability by looking at rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost. The lower the RI number, the better a car is.

Whilst city cars are often perceived as being uncomplicated and cheap to run, picking the wrong one could result in disruption and expensive repair bills. Warranty Direct’s study revealed that repairs to some city cars exceeded £2,000, but 10 emerged as dependable ownership options, offering motorists hassle-free, low-cost urban transportation.

1. Peugeot 107 (05-)
RI Score: 19
Largest repair bill: £763.88

The Peugeot 107 takes the top spot for reliability in the A-segment with proven mechanicals that have given owners little to complain about since its launch a decade ago. Its funky styling still looks fresh and modern, inside and out and the 107 is cheap to tax and insure.

2. Citroen C1 (05-)
RI Score: 22
Largest repair bill: £1030.00

A close relative of the category winner, the Citroen C1 scores very well for the reliability of its engine, brakes and air con. The C1 was also better value than its Peugeot and Toyota siblings when new and remains an affordable choice.

3. Kia Picanto (04-)
RI Score: 27
Largest repair bill: £724.00

Lauded for its generous equipment list and affordability, the Kia Picanto is also sound beneath the skin, with a pristine record for the reliability of its gearbox and fuel system.

4. Volkswagen Lupo (99-05)
RI Score: 31
Largest repair bill: £486.75

Upholding Volkswagen’s reputation for quality, the Lupo still impresses with robust mechanicals that will keep this stylish little car on the roads for many years to come.

5. Toyota Aygo (05-)
RI Score: 32
Largest repair bill: £976.05

Like its stablemates, the Peugeot 107 and the Citroen C1, the Toyota Aygo has strong reliability credentials and low repair costs which make it a sound choice as city transport. Electrical problems are rare and the numerous special editions are well-equipped.

6. Volkswagen Fox (06-12)
<strong>RI Score: 44
Largest repair bill: £1144.28

Successor to the Lupo, the Fox is trumped by its predecessor for reliability though it is still a solid performer with proven Volkswagen mechanicals. The Fox was praised at launch for its surprisingly spacious interior and low running costs and the VW badge brings brand kudos.

7. Ford Ka (96-09)
RI Score: 48
Largest repair bill: £1226.38

The original Ford Ka revolutionised the sector when it was launched 18 years ago with its combination of sweet handling, quirky styling and mechanical simplicity. It is one of the most reliable city cars you can buy and also now tipped to become a future classic.

8. Smart ForTwo (07-)
RI Score: 53
Largest repair bill: £918.89

For motorists who rarely venture beyond city streets and only need to seat two, the distinctive ForTwo could be ideal. It scores well for the dependability of its brakes, transmission and steering and repair costs are reasonable given its Mercedes-Benz parentage.

9. Fiat Panda (04-)
RI Score: 56
Largest repair bill: £1345.44

Fiat has long been reputed for building great little cars for city driving, and the recent incarnations of the Panda have been no exception. A low failure rate for its engine, brakes and transmission mean Fiat’s Panda is unlikely to ever face extinction.

10. Chevrolet Matiz (05-)
RI Score: 65
Largest repair bill: £319.60

The smallest Chevy is a great value proposition and makes a strong case with a good reputation for mechanical reliability. The transmission, steering and ventilation system give little cause for complaint. The 1.0 engine will happily keep up with faster traffic and most have air con as standard.