Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
Car insurance these days can be a tricky business. Often you think you’re well covered, only to find out that in fact you are not, and when do you always find out such important information? That’s right, just when you need it, after an accident or other mishap, the only way to be sure you’re properly covered is to read your policy from cover to cover.
It goes without saying there are good and bad apples out there all waiting to give you the best deal possible on your car insurance, but price says nothing of the quality of service you will receive when you actually need to make a claim against your policy.
Of course there are many larger insurance companies who rely on their reputations to succeed, companies such as Aviva or Direct Line for example have good solid reputations and invariably you will receive a top service from such companies.
On the other hand there are many smaller (and not so small) insurance companies that will cause you all manner of problems when you want to make a claim. Small details in their policies will get them off the hook and leave you holding the bill, and having paid for completely useless car insurance.
So the key to avoiding such problems is to do your homework, ask the insurer for a copy of the policy that you will be covered by. Check online to see what other peoples expereince is of using the company you are thinking of using, maybe you’ll turn up a gem of a company in your local vacinity that has a great repulation, on the other hand looking for reviews online can help you avoid the real cowboys to.
The bottom line is, be aware of what your policy covers, and make sure that when you need to make use of it, that it will cover you for what you believe it does, and has no loop-holes in it to let the insurer get away without paying out.
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
For many Brits getting a vehicle that fits their budget is more of a priority than buying their dream car – but this doesn’t simply mean paying the best price in the showroom.
Depreciation, running costs and reliability are all key areas that should be researched to get a vehicle which offers truly great value for money.
Parker’s recently released its annual cost of motoring report, using figures from 2009, which suggested that small cars were more likely to hold their value than larger models.
Topping the list was the Honda Jazz, followed by the Fiat 500 and the Seat Ibiza. The results were based on how much of its value each car would lose in its first 12 months on the road.
The Jazz lost £1,379 of its value throughout the year – still a significant amount – while the 500 shed £1,460 and the value of the Ibiza dropped £1,552. At the other end of the scale were luxury brands such as Ferrari and Aston Martin.
“Small cars are certainly the safest places to put your money, taking 35 of the top 40 places in the index, while value brands also make a strong showing,” Parker’s said.
Glass’s, meanwhile, based its Top 10 for 2010 results on the depreciation of vehicles three years after their purchase, with the Volkswagen Tiguan (168bhp) SE 4Motion 5d coming out top.
The company based its results on vehicles which have travelled an average of 37,000 miles, with depreciation listed as a percentage of the original price.
Adrian Rushmore, Glass’s managing editor, commented: “The VW Tiguan is blessed with all the right ingredients to give it great residual values. Apart from having the cachet of the VW badge, it has never been marketed hard as a new car and there have been prolonged periods of very limited availability.”
Coming second on the list from Glass’s was the MINI 1.6 Cooper 3d, which retained 65.9 per cent of its value. It was followed by the Honda CR-V 2.2 CTDi (138bhp) SE 5d, which kept 64.3 per cent of its original worth.
Depreciation is something that no car owner can avoid, however there are steps that can be taken from the day the vehicle is purchased to minimise the amount of value it loses.
Drivers should take their investment for regular servicing, ideally at a dealer recommended by the manufacturer. According to BCA (British Car Auctions), a fully-stamped service book could raise the value of a car which is three to five years old by several hundred pounds.
BCA also advised choosing a popular model though warned against buying low-spec or base-spec models, as these will be harder to sell on in the future.
Something as simple as the colour of the car can also affect its value and careful consideration should be taken to ensure the finish matches the style of car.
For example, BCA suggested “sober colours” are the best option for larger cars, while smaller vehicles can get away with brighter shades. It advised against using matt finishes as these are likely to date more quickly.
Tim Naylor, a spokesperson for the company, added: “Non-factory paint schemes and retro-fitted body kits limit your market of potential buyers, while ‘chipping’ the engine might even void the car’s warranty.”
The cost of running a vehicle is another key consideration to take into account, particularly with the price of both car insurance and petrol rising – often making smaller cars the wise choice.
Last April, changes also came into effect, which alter the road tax drivers pay on their cars. A new first year rate was implemented, which the government claims “will send a stronger signal to the buyer about the environmental implications of their car purchase”.
The changes meant that the lowest-emitting vehicles saw a reduction of up to £30, while less fuel-efficient cars saw an increase of as much as £30, suggesting that CO2 emissions are likely to become an increasingly important factor in choosing a value-for-money car in the future. This article was brought to you by AXA car cover the best insurance provider in the UK.