Nov 122018
 

Extended Car WarrantyShould I buy an extended warranty? If you’ve ever bought a used car or kept a new car for over three years until the standard, manufacturer warranty expired, you’ve almost certainly asked yourself this question. If you’re struggling to find the answer, this guide should help!

What Exactly Is an Extended Warranty?

All new cars come with a manufacturer warranty, which typically lasts for three years. This warranty, minus a few exceptions, will cover anything that goes wrong with the car within that timescale.

An extended warranty from a warranty provider such as Warranty Direct, is designed to be an easy way for you to extend this coverage after the manufacturer warranty expires, giving you protection in the event of unexpected vehicle failure.

Why Not Just Get The Parts Repaired or Replaced Myself?

The cost of parts and labour can be expensive and repairs are inevitable when you own a car. Things happen! Engines, fuel pumps, radiators, and other essential car parts have an average lifespan and, without an extended warranty or a manufacturer warranty, the burden of payment will fall entirely on you!

With an extended warranty, you pay a fee up front for peace of mind that, in the case of engine failure, for example, you’ll be covered.

What’s Covered With An Extended Warranty?

At Warranty Direct, we offer a core coverage as standard with the option to add on additional cover . With the core coverage, your engine, gearboxes, transmissions, ECUs & computers, casings, supercharger, turbocharger, and flywheels & drive plates are all protected minus a few exceptions. You’ll also have a choice of labour rates, parts contribution and excess.

Can I Take Out a Policy on a Used Car?

Of course! Provided your car is not older than 12 years old, and has travelled under 120,000 miles, then it could be eligible for an extended warranty. Get a quote for your used car here.

If I Get an Extended Warranty, Do I Still Need Car Insurance?

Yes. Extended warranties cover repairs that aren’t related to collisions, accidents, or other damage from outside sources. Instead, they cover the repair or replacement of parts due to wear and tear or a factory defect.

Car insurance is required by law and also protects other drivers on the road in case you cause an accident.

Avoid expensive repairs and drive with confidence that you’re covered by taking out an extended warranty today. More questions? Get in touch!

 

Warranty Cover is arranged and administered by BNP Paribas Cardif Limited, trading as Warranty Direct. Warranty policies are underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc. 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

 

 

Nov 092018
 

Driving in winter

While it’s a bit grim to think about winter when autumn has only just started, it’s important that you prepare your car (and yourself!) for the season. Just like we need coats, gloves and hats, our cars need maintenance to ensure they make it through the freezing temperatures and icy streets.

By following these 9 car maintenance tips, you’ll ensure your car sees you through the winter and beyond.

  1. Check Your Battery

It’s especially important that your battery is in top working condition from December-March as you’ll be putting it through the ringer with increased use of lights and heat. So, before the cold really sets in, make sure you have your battery tested with a volt test to make sure it’s working properly. If you’re having any problems, be sure to have it replaced. By putting it off, you risk being stranded in a car that won’t start!

  1. Top Up Your Antifreeze

Antifreeze, or coolant, is especially important during colder months because…well, it stops your engine from freezing. Do a quick check to see if you’re low and to see if there are any leaks that could allow coolant to drip out. We recommend visiting a mechanic to make sure you’re in good shape because, while coolant is inexpensive, a frozen cooling system could cause huge internal pressures and severe engine damage.

  1. Check Your Tyre Depth

Tyres are vital for both steering and braking, two functions you don’t want to malfunction any time of year, but especially during the winter when roads are icy.

For those who drive frequently during the winter, we recommend buying winter tyres with a stronger grip that’s perfect when temperatures drop. If you’re weary about investing in a set of tyres that are only effective during one season, don’t worry! Winter tyres work just fine during summer, spring and autumn, especially when the roads are wet.

If you don’t want to invest in new tyres, just make sure your tyres meet the minimum depth requirement (1.6 mm).

  1. Check for Chips

No, we don’t mean the kind you get as a side with your fish. Instead, look out for chips in your windscreen and in the bodywork of your car. As it gets colder, these chips can grow and salt deposits on the road will attack them, making a relatively small problem a big one.

  1. Clean Your Lights

Just like steering and braking are important, so is visibility. As the sun sets earlier, you’ll have less daylight making your lights more important than ever, especially if you commute home daily.

First, clean all lights, indicators and rear reflectors. Next, check for illumination. If a bulb is out, or if your headlights are foggy or yellow, be proactive and replace them before it gets too cold.

  1. Keep a Full Tank

While this might seem like common sense, it’s worth mentioning.

A full tank of gas will prevent water from accumulating and freezing inside your fuel pump. It’ll also help you in the case of a breakdown. At least you’ll be able to keep the engine running and stay warm!

  1. Test Your Window Defroster, Wipers and Screen Wash

Winter is wet. To keep your windshield clear, you’ll need wipers that are in good shape as well as a defroster that works properly and a screen wash bottle that’s full.

First check your wipers for tears and, if you haven’t replaced them in over 6 months, consider buying a new set. Your defrosting system relies on both your heater and blower. If it’s not working, your problem could simply be a bad fuse or a bad blower speed control. Either way, we recommend seeing a mechanic to make sure yours is working properly. Finally, check your screen wash bottle. It can be found under your bonnet and can be topped up easily.

  1. Get Your Survival Kit Together

Just in case, always have a Survival Kit in your boot or backseat. Essentials include: a blanket, jumper cables, a hi-vis vest, cell phone charger, shovel, de-icer spray and a torch.

  1. Have Your Car Serviced

As they say, prevention is better than cure.

While you certainly can go through this guide point-by-point, it might be easier and more effective to have your car serviced in early November. That way, you’re as prepared for winter has you possibly can be.

Unfortunately, no precautions can guarantee your car won’t break down. Why not get yourself a quote from Warranty Direct to see how we can help you in the event of unexpected vehicle failure?

Warranty Cover is arranged and administered by BNP Paribas Cardif Limited, trading as Warranty Direct. Warranty policies are underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc. 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

Nov 012018
 

UK motorway lit upDespite smart motorways existing for more than ten years in the UK, research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists showed 67% of drivers felt there has been no publicity surrounding their creation, meaning many don’t fully understand the concept of smart motorways or how they work.

If you’re in the majority, Warranty Direct has put together a guide to explain the changes, benefits and potential new fines smart motorways might bring in the future.

The basics

A smart motorway is a section of a motorway that uses traffic management methods to increase capacity and reduce congestion in, particularly busy areas.

These methods include using the hard shoulder as a running lane and applying variable speed limits to control the flow of traffic.

Smart motorways are an effective and cost efficient way of increasing space on our roads, cutting jams and speeding up journey times.

In fact, government predictions suggest journey times will be improved by ten per cent along the M1 and 15 per cent on the M3 once work to create Smart motorways along these routes is complete.

There are three types of schemes which are classed as smart motorways:

  • Controlled motorways use at least three lanes, with variable speed limits set accordingly along the stretch of road and a hard shoulder which should only be used in emergencies
  • Dynamic hard shoulder running schemes use variable speed limits and a hard shoulder that can be opened as a running lane at busy times. Illuminated overhead signs tell you when you may drive on the hard shoulder
  • All lane running schemes mean you will notice there is no hard shoulder. Instead, every lane is in use, with variable speed limits again being set as and when required. As a result of this design, motorists should do their utmost to stop at an emergency refuge area if they encounter a problem

Not so fast and furious

Of course, all normal road rules and laws apply to smart motorways, but there are a few points in particular worth highlighting.

The same laws apply for speeding on a smart motorway, but with more cameras and variable speed limits, motorists have a much higher chance of getting caught and fined for speeding.

Given the new speeding sentencing structures, offenders can be charged a maximum of £2,500 on a motorway or up to 175% of their weekly income. Fines are worked out on a sliding scale depending on the severity of the speeding offence. Motorists who break the rules leave themselves wide open to these more severe penalties.

New digital speed cameras are now widely used to enforce variable speed limits too. Though they are clearly signed, these are smaller and less visible than the more familiar ‘yellow box’ cameras. So, make sure you pay attention to road signage when driving and adjust your speed accordingly.

Don’t follow the red X

Earlier this year, Highways England found as many as 20% of vehicles were driving through the red X signs used on smart motorways.

On a smart motorway, the red X indicates a lane is closed, due to there not being the necessity to have it open, an accident or maintenance occurring.

It is an offence to drive in a lane with a red X on the gantry above it. Not only is it extremely dangerous, but there are also plans to introduce fixed penalty fines in the future instead of the manual enforcement currently in place. So it’s best to get into the habit of leaving a closed lane as soon as you can.

If you are still unsure about how to drive on a smart motorway, here are some more quick tips to give you clarity:

  • Keep to the speed limit shown on the gantries
  • A solid white line indicates the hard shoulder, so don’t drive in it unless directed
  • A broken white line indicates a normal running lane
  • If your vehicle experiences difficulties, exit the smart motorway as soon as possible
  • Use the refuge areas for emergencies if there’s no hard shoulder
  • Never drive in a lane closed by a red “X”
  • Put your hazard lights on if you break down
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.