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.

 

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