Dec 212018
 

Car Films to Watch Over ChristmasIt’s December and that can only mean one thing; staying in with an open fire, drinking a cup of hot chocolate and watching our favourite Christmas films!

From bona fide classics to Christmas-inspired picks, Warranty Direct has put together its definitive list of must-watch car movies to enjoy during the festive frenzy.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

We thought we’d start our list with an oldie but a goodie. Based on Ian Fleming’s classic, this musical fantasy film is about an eccentric inventor who transforms a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children. They all then go off on a magical adventure to save their grandfather in a faraway land.

It’s far from gritty realism, but this majestic movie is a must-watch for all the family. After all, who doesn’t wish they could own a flying car?

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

For our second pick, we’ve gone for a modern classic. Though this film spawned countless sequels, we still think the original is the best.

Starring Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker, this first outing of the franchise is all about a police officer whose loyalties are put to the test when he becomes involved in the street racing world.

Plot aside, this high-intensity action film boasts thrilling racing scenes that will leave you on the edge of your seat this Christmas.

The Italian Job (1969)

This British action comedy starring Michael Caine features iconic appearances from a Lamborghini Miura and a Mini Cooper, in the hope of bringing Torino to a standstill, only to steal the Gold and escape.

Aside from being one of the most quotable movies ever, this film is a feast for the eyes for any motoring enthusiast and the perfect way to get your heart racing over the lull between Christmas and New Year.

Christmas Vacation (1989)

For the fourth spot on our list, we’ve gone for full-blown ‘80s nostalgia.

This Christmas-themed family comedy follows the Griswold family as they head out in their trusty wood-panelled wagon to pick up a Christmas tree. However, their plans for a perfect family Christmas are scuppered by plenty of comedic hi-jinks along the way.

Starring Chevy Chase and a young Johnny Galecki (perhaps better known as The Big Bang Theory’s Leonard Hofstadter), this is the ideal, feel-good Christmas movie to put on after Christmas dinner.

 Drive (2011)

Looking for a film that’s a little different? Why not watch this a modern-day indie classic?

Starring Ryan Gosling as a brooding stuntman and mechanic who moonlights as a getaway driver, this crime flick is an intense ride that features plenty of dizzying car chases along the way.

Of course, in the real world, when you’re looking for quality vehicle repairs, you’re unlikely to be met by a Hollywood star.

However, if great quality workmanship is what you’re in search of, we have our very own Preferred Repairer Network to guarantee our policy holders the best quality service when an unexpected fault or breakdown occurs.

Cars (2006)

For our final choice, we’ve gone for this Pixar animated adventure, which is a charming treat for adults and children alike.

The film follows a rookie race car (appropriately named Lightning McQueen), who discovers the true meaning of friendship when he finds himself lost in a run-down town called Radiator Springs.

This film has everything you could want from a family classic – plenty of thrills, touching moments – and classic vehicles to marvel at along the way!

 

Dec 172018
 

Leased or Financed New Car?If you’re considering buying a new car, you’ll have to decide whether you want to lease or finance the car. (Of course, it’s also an option to pay in full upfront, but most of us aren’t in a position to!) There’s a lot to consider when deciding between leasing and financing, including the cost of monthly payments, your driving habits (how many miles you expect to drive annually) and how long you anticipate you’ll have the car. But what about insurance costs?

Yes, the way in which you choose to pay for your new car could affect the insurance you pay every year.

The Difference Between a Leased and Financed Car

First things first, let’s identify the main difference between leasing and financing: ownership.

When you lease a car, you’re essentially renting the car for an extended period of time. Each month, you pay to continue renting it and, at the end of your lease period, you return the car to the dealer.

When you finance a car, you make monthly payments to a lender and, after your finance period ends and you’ve paid off the cost of the car and any interest incurred, you own the car free and clear.

Of course, since the terms of the agreements for leasing and financing are considerably different, the cost of each is also different. Leasing tends to be less expensive as your monthly payments essentially only cover the depreciation of the car. That way, when you return the car to the dealer, they haven’t lost any money. This explains why leases often have mileage restrictions; more wear and tear accelerates depreciation.

When financing a car, your monthly payments cover the cost of depreciation and your equity in the car so that after, say, 36 months, the car is yours.

Is it More Expensive to Insure a Leased or Financed Car

Whether you chose to finance your car or take out a lease, a third party has an interest in protecting the vehicle. When financing, that third party is whatever financial institution gave you the loan that you’re paying off each month. When leasing, that third party is the leasing agent or car dealer to whom you’re making a payment to every month.

While, yes, in both cases a third party has an interest in protecting the car, the leasing agent has more to lose if the car is damaged. As such, it’s required that leased cars have fully comprehensive coverage, which could cost more than the third-party insurance that all drivers in the UK are legally required to have.

It’s also important to realise that, when providing details about your vehicle to the insurance company, the registered owner isn’t you, but your finance company.

So, does all of this mean that leased cars are more expensive to insure than financed cars? Not necessarily! There are a handful of factors that can affect your insurance quote including the driver’s age, driving record, convictions, the make, model and year of the vehicle, the value of the vehicle and even where you park your car. 

Top Tips for Reducing Insurance Costs

If you’re looking to reduce your insurance costs, switching from a leased car to a financed car shouldn’t be your first step.

Instead, look for a car with a smaller engine that’s worth less money, keep your car garaged, consider having a black box fitted and agree to a mileage cap.

Dec 112018
 

It’s fair to assume that anyone buying a car will want to protect their purchase. This goes for both new and used cars.

While most people are aware of the manufacturer warranties issued when buying a car new, not everyone knows that you can get the same peace of mind on a used car – after the manufacturer warranty expires – with an extended warranty.

Is Every Used Car Eligible for a Policy?

As we mentioned, new cars are protected by manufacturer warranties. While every manufacturer is different, most provide coverage for up to three years or 60,000 miles. After this time, most cars are eligible for an extended warranty (dependent on the respective exclusions of different providers).

Just like the cost of home insurance, which can fluctuate based on the location and construction of your home or the cost of health insurance which can fluctuate based on prior health conditions, the cost of an extended warranty will depend on several factors, including the make and model of your car.

Click here for a free quote! All you need is the make and model of your car or your vehicle registration number.

Save Money With an Extended Warranty

Whether you own a Mercedes or a Mini, repairs and replacement parts can be expensive. But, with an extended warranty, potentially more affordable payments towards your policy could save you thousands and your policy could pay for itself throughout your coverage period.

Why risk paying £5,000 for a new engine or £4,000 for a replacement transmission when you could protect components of your vehicle for much less? At Warranty Direct, we also allow you to choose where your car is serviced to help you get the best price.

Get an Extended Warranty For Your Used Car

Don’t risk it.

Taking out an extended warranty is easy and offers you peace of mind that, in the unfortunate case of a mechanical or electrical breakdown, you’ll be protected. As they say, ‘better safe than sorry’.

Check out our sample policy documents here and give us a call to discuss your options today.

Policies underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Arranged and administered by Warranty Direct. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Nov 232018
 

Winter proofing tyresWinter is rapidly approaching and while the prospect of a white Christmas may sound appealing, icy conditions can be anything but ideal for many motorists.

At Warranty Direct, we’ve put together this season’s maintenance ‘to-do’ list, so your vehicle is always winter-ready.

Winter-Proof Your Tyres

Consider buying Winter tyres, which are made from rubber with a high silica content and a tread pattern designed to stay flexible in low temperatures. They provide better braking and handling performance on snow and ice.

It can make sense to buy winter tyres if you live in a remote area where conditions are likely to be worse for longer.

Elsewhere it may be harder to justify the cost in the UK, although your personal decision should be based on your own risk of bad weather, your confidence when driving and how much you have to drive in icy conditions.

If you decide not to buy winter tyres, you need to ensure you have a minimum tread depth of 4mm to get adequate traction. For every 10 degrees change in temperature, car tyres lose a pound of pressure. So check the pressure in all tyres at the outset of the winter season.

Make Sure You’re Kitted Out

 Should the worst happen and your vehicle breaks down in sub-zero conditions, you need to be equipped with a winter breakdown kit.

Stock essential items in your boot like a blanket, water, non-perishable snacks and a first aid kit – which is a must-have all year-round – but especially important in winter.

It’s also highly recommended you have at least one spare tyre and warning triangle on hand to help you in the event of a breakdown.

Keeping an in-car phone charger is also paramount as it will allow you to contact your breakdown cover provider if you find yourself in a roadside emergency.

Break the Ice

You must ensure all ice and snow is removed from the windscreen before you embark on any journey.

Many motorists mistakenly believe they only have to clear away enough frost to allow them partial vision. This is known as ‘porthole vision’ and could be subject to strict penalties.

Improve Visibility

It’s also vital you check the health of your wiper blades, as any squeaking might be down to damaged blades. While you’re attending to windshield issues, car safety experts suggest switching over to cold weather washer fluid, or any brand containing anti-freeze.

Check the Battery

Your vehicle’s battery loses 33% of its power when temperatures drop below freezing. So it’s wise to examine the battery and its charger so you know they’re performing optimally. If unsure, a trip to a reliable car mechanic will quickly reveal whether your battery is winter-ready.

At Warranty Direct, we have a Preferred Repairer Network which consists of over 3,000 specially selected garages that can undertake reliable repair work for our policy holders.

Consider Different Oil

Cold weather thickens engine oil, which forces car batteries to work overtime to get your car running. But you can give your battery a break and avoid possible engine issues by switching over to a thinner oil. However, be sure to check your owner’s manual for notes on compatibility first.

Of course, even after taking all of these precautions problems could still arise. To make sure you are protected in the event of unexpected vehicle failure, why not get a quote with Warranty Direct today?

Policies underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Arranged and administered by Warranty Direct. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Nov 192018
 

Even for confident and experienced drivers, fog can be one of the most daunting (and dangerous!) weather conditions to drive in. With limited visibility, it’s vital that you’re prepared in order to keep you and those you’re sharing the road with safe.

While standard rules of the road of course apply, these 10 tips will help you navigate even extremely dense fog to avoid an accident.

  1. Leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you. While it’s always important to keep a bit of distance, amid fog, it’s an absolute must. We recommend allowing 3-4 seconds between your car and the car in front of you, giving yourself extra time to brake.
  2. Look and listen. When visibility is low, use your sense of hearing in addition to sight. For example, at a foggy junction, roll down your window to listen to traffic. With this in mind, it’s also wise to turn down – or even turn off – your radio to allow you to focus your attention completely on the road.
  3. Turn your headlights on. This should go without saying. Make sure you turn on your headlights or your fog-lights if visibility is reduced to 100 metres. Also, bear in mind that automatic lights might not turn on in foggy conditions and you can’t rely on them all the time.
  4. Use windshield wipers and defrosters. Foggy conditions often go hand-in-hand with cold or damp conditions and a build-up of moisture and ice can create a glare, making it even more difficult to see. Use your defroster and windshield wipers to make your view of the road as clear as possible.
  5. Slow down! It can be extremely dangerous to drive the speed limit or faster when it’s foggy. Slow down to allow extra time to react to potentially hazardous situations. This will also help enable others on the road to drive more safely.
  6. Don’t use the taillights from the vehicle in front of you as a guide. This is an easy trap to fall in to but using the taillights from the vehicle in front of you could give you a false sense of security. It also acts as a distraction, limiting your awareness of the road and landscape in front of you.
  7. Be aware of the car behind you. Constantly check your mirrors so that you know how close the car behind you is and brake accordingly. If the car behind you is following too closely, resist the urge to speed off. Without being able to see very far ahead, you run the risk of causing an accident. Stick with a safe speed, even if the driver behind you doesn’t seem to want to.
  8. Expect delays. As is the case with other unfavourable weather conditions, fog could cause delays. Wait patiently and don’t attempt to ‘make up time’ by speeding.
  9. Minimise distractions. You should never attempt to multi-task when driving in foggy conditions. Put your phone away, keep conversations with passengers to a minimum, and give your full attention to the road in front of you.
  10. Don’t be afraid to pull over. Only you can determine how comfortable you feel and, if you don’t feel right about being on the road, pull over! But, make sure you pull as far off the road as possible and turn on your hazard lights. Remember that everyone on the road is struggling to see, so make sure you’re well out of the way and do your best to make sure other drivers know where you are. If possible, pull into a service station or car park.