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Representative Example: Borrowing £5,000 over 48 months with a representative APR of 25.9%, the amount payable would be £168.31 a month, with a total cost of credit of £3,078.88 and a total amount payable of £8,078.88
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Diane FaulknerRelationship Manager
Diane is a Relationship Manager with Car Finance 2 U. She joined the car finance industry in 2015, loves speaking with customers and helping them finance the car of their dreams. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her friends and family, as well as going for long walks with her dogs! Get in touch with Diane on 0151 705 6778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark jointly co-founded Car Finance 2 U which started trading as an independent business in 2011 before it was purchased by 1pm PLC in November 2017. He has three passions in life, his family, car finance and open water swimming......but does not indulge in all three at the same time!
Ian WhitwhamRelationship Manager
Ian is a Relationship Manager with Car Finance 2 U. He has spent over 10 years in the car finance business and he is passionate about getting his customers the best possible deal. There is very little he does not know about car finance, since he loves both cars and finance. Give Ian a call on 0151 705 6778 or email him on email@example.com and he'll be very happy to help you.
According to a recent survey by WhoCanFixMyCar.com, four-fifths of drivers wouldn’t consider switching to an electric car until the government starts to invest more heavily in a public charging network. At the moment, more than a third of local authorities have fewer than 10 public charging points, which are crucial for those who don’t have off-road parking access to charge at home.
New research from the AA about what might put drivers off electric cars has revealed that:
- 85 per cent of drivers don’t think there are enough public charging points
- 76 per cent think that electric vehicles are too expensive
- 67 per cent think electric vehicles take too long to charge
- 76 per cent think that electric vehicles can’t go far enough on a single charge.
The lack of charging infrastructure may currently be one of the main barriers to potential buyers, but as the government has offered local councils a share of a £2.5m funding pot to improve it – as part of the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, to enable drivers in urban areas to charge their cars – this looks set to change relatively soon. Plus, the Department for Transport is putting £400m towards installing more charging points.
As the sale of petrol and diesel cars will be gradually phased out by 2040, and at least half of new car sales will be ultra-low emission by 2030, the switch to fully electric vehicles is in the not-too-distant future. However, in the meantime, the cost of electric cars – another oft-cited factor that deters many potential buyers – is falling all the time. A study by Deloitte, released in January, even suggested that electric cars could be cheaper than both diesel and petrol vehicles within the next two years.
For the time being, insurance for electric cars is slightly more expensive, mainly due to the more specialist nature and costs of replacement parts and repairs – but prices will start to fall as demand for electric cars increases. There are fewer insurance products to choose from compared with petrol and diesel cars, so make sure that you’re extra-vigilant when it comes to checking the small print of your policy, to make sure you’re not over-paying.
And, for those who are worried about electric vehicles not going far enough on a single charge, and that the battery will wear out quickly – on average, most can go for 100 miles before needing to be recharged, and most manufacturers offer a 100,000-mile warranty for the battery. Plus, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has recently announced that they are working on a battery pack that will last for a whopping one million miles – so watch this space! No matter what kind of car you’re currently looking for, we can help you buy it – just get in touch with our helpful team.
Following a clampdown on whiplash claims, car insurance premiums fell by £100 between December and February. The Civil Liability Act was passed in December to curb the high number of whiplash claims, which currently cost the motor insurance industry around £2 billion each year, despite many of the claims thought to be exaggerated or fraudulent. Medical evidence will now need to be supplied to back up whiplash claims.
However, the reduction in premiums isn’t just due to the clampdown on whiplash claims. A decline in new car registrations has increased competition among insurance firms, as they fight to win new customers in a smaller market. Since December, the average car insurance premium has dropped from £790 to £690 per year.
Analysis by comparison site Comparethemarket showed that there is a gap of £116 between the cheapest and average car insurance premiums, demonstrating the importance of motorists shopping around for a better insurance deal. Comparison sites can allow you to make big savings, but there are a few golden rules that you should stick to.
No single comparison site has options from every insurance provider, so check across multiple sites to find a wider range of quotes. Some major insurers, such as Direct Line, don’t actually appear on insurance sites, so approach these insurers directly for a quote.
Remember that cheaper insurance doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best product for you – it may not be as good value as it first appears. For example, the excess may be high, or the cover may not be sufficient for what you need, so reading the small print is crucial.
Once you have found a policy that works for you, there are a few tricks to help keep the costs down…
- Adding another, experienced driver with a clean driving license and no-claims history to your insurance cover can potentially cut costs – just make sure that you don’t claim that they are the main driver of the car, as this is illegal.
- Switch to a new policy before your renewal date, as research has shown that if you purchase a new policy 21 days in advance, it can save you an average of £280.
- If you can afford it, paying for the insurance upfront can reduce the overall cost, as many insurers charge interest on the monthly repayments.
- Double-check what is included in the policy, as some elements of it may already be covered by your home insurance, breakdown cover provider or travel insurance – there’s no point in overpaying for your policy!
Remember that if you are unsure about any aspect of your policy, it’s important to get in touch with your insurance provider to avoid paying over the odds for your insurance. To make sure that you’re getting the best deal on your car finance, get in touch with our team.
OK, so cleaning your car may not be rocket science, but you’d be surprised at the amount of damage than can be inflicted to a car by improper cleaning. Now that winter is over, taking with it the salt and grime on the roads that has been caking our cars for the past few months, it’s the perfect time to give your car a spring clean…
The first step is to pre-wash your car, hosing it down to get rid of the worst of the dirt – it’ll make your job a lot easier later on. Plus, wiping the grit and dirt over the surface of your car is the most likely way to scratch it. A hose is ideal for this, and at a push even a few buckets of water can work, but if you’ve got a pressure washer – even better! When you’re hosing it down, make sure not to focus the water stream on areas of rust, or peeling paintwork, as you’ll be risking stripping the paint off.
Now, it’s time to give your car a proper wash. If you’ve been relying on washing up liquid in the past to clean it, you should consider investing in a proper car shampoo – washing up liquids are abrasive and full of salt, which works fine for crockery but is much too harsh for paintwork. Just as there are different shampoos available for different hair types, there’s a whole range of car shampoos out there, all to target different problems. Starting from the top of your car, thoroughly clean your car with a large sponge, rinsing it off as you go. Make sure that you have a spare sponge, as if you drop the first one you could end up picking up grit that will damage your bodywork.
Cleaning the wheels and trims is slightly fiddlier. A small, soft-bristled brush like a toothbrush will do the trick to make sure you’re cleaning the dirt out of all the nooks. A colour-changing cleaner that changes when it reacts with the dirt on your car is a great way to make sure you’re doing a thorough job.
Drying your car is probably the most laborious task, but it’s a necessary step if you want a streak-free finish. A chamois leather is unbeatable for drying your car, but a synthetic chamois cloth will work, too, as will a standard microfibre cloth. To make your car shine, follow it up with a polish, wax or both – polish is slightly abrasive, so it shouldn’t be used more than twice a year. Taking it one panel at a time, apply the polish with one cloth and wipe it off with another, following it with a wax sealant to lock in the shine. Make sure not to do this in direct sunlight, though, as it will make your job a lot harder!
When it comes to cleaning your windows, using a specialist window spray and microfibre cloth on both the inside and outside is the way to go for a streak-free shine. Now that your car is sparkling, get rid of any litter inside your car, clean the car mats with soapy water, and hoover down the interior. You’re all done! It’s time to stand back and admire your handiwork. If you’ve done your spring clean but your car is still looking a little worse for wear, it might be time to look for a new one – thankfully, our helpful team are here to help you secure the car of your dreams.
This week, Public Health England called for new ways to slash air pollution and improve health, with a particular focus on improving children’s health. The suggested measures include banning cars from idling close to schools and hospitals, offering priority parking for electric cars, banning lorries in city centres, and promoting car pool lanes to cut down on the amount of cars on the road.
Although there isn’t much research into the effects of cars idling on the roads, a 2016 study showed that pollution levels were reduced by as much as 36 per cent in areas where drivers were asked to turn off their engines whilst their cars were stationary. Most modern cars contain stop-start systems where the engine turns off automatically when it stops, but older cars don’t tend to have this function.
Typically, older cars do produce more carbon monoxide than new cars – especially older diesel cars, although around half of diesel cars recently approved for sale in Europe have been found to emit pollutants that exceed the current legal levels for air pollution.
When picking a green car, it’s important to think about how much money you are willing to spend on your car, and also the type of travelling that you’ll need it for. Electric cars may produce zero emissions, but they aren’t a realistic option for everyone – at the moment, they are still expensive, and charging stations are few and far between. They also aren’t ideal for long-distance journeys, thanks to the charging time. However, if you’re set on an electric car, the Nissan Leaf is a spacious, eco-friendly family car, and is more affordable than many of the other electric options on the market.
Hybrid models, such as those by Toyota and Lexus, use a combustion engine alongside an electric motor and battery pack to keep them running. Due to the ever-growing number of hybrid options, they are becoming an increasingly popular option for those who are hoping to cut down on their emissions and save money on fuel. The Toyota Yaris Hybrid is a practical, reliable hatchback that boasts very low running costs, making it perfect for young families. If you’re looking for something a little sleeker, the Audi A3 E-tron plug-in hybrid offers competitive benefit-in-kind tax payments and free road tax alongside its classy interior. However, it’s not to say that you can’t stick with a trusty petrol car to help reduce your carbon footprint – there are still plenty of options that produce lower emissions. The Alfa Romeo MiTo is fuel-efficient and economical, whilst the Renaut Clio is ideal for urban driving – but as the future is looking increasingly electric, if you’re thinking about getting a new car, it may be time to start thinking hybrid. We offer finance on a huge range of cars, so get in touch with our team to find out what we can do for you.
Recently, the DVLA released the UK’s car tax dodging hotspots – and London topped the list, followed by Northern Ireland, Birmingham and Manchester. According to its research, 27,605 vehicles were clamped last year, and 94,550 fines and penalties were issued to drivers who failed to pay their tax.
As a result, the DVLA has launched a new campaign to clamp down (excuse the pun) on tax avoiders, emphasising the penalties associated with failing to keep up with car tax. In addition to the fines, motorists risk court action, or even their vehicle being seized.
Paying car tax – much to the annoyance of some drivers – is non-negotiable. Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) was implemented in 1920 to specifically apply to motor vehicles, and has been compulsory ever since. Despite what many people believe, car tax doesn’t actually go towards the maintenance of roads, which is covered by our council tax. VED is split up in the same way as other taxes are, contributing to infrastructure, hospitals, education and local projects to name but a few.
Although there are some exceptions – for example, vehicles used by people with disabilities – generally speaking, anyone who has a car on the road in the UK must pay vehicle tax. Finding out if your car’s tax is due is simple: the DVLA has an easy-to-use tool on its website. Simply enter your registration number and you can find out when your car tax is due – it even lets you know when your next MOT is due!
The quickest way to pay your car tax is directly on the DVLA’s website. You’ll need a reference number, which can be found in your vehicle log book (V5C), the green ‘new keeper’s details’ slip (V5C/2), or on a reminder letter from the DVLA. You’ll simply need to type in your registration and reference number, and select if you’d prefer to pay for six or 12 months’ tax. Remember that the paper tax discs aren’t issued any more, so your payment confirmation will mean your car is taxed.
If you prefer, you can also pay your car tax by phone, or at the post office – you’ll just need your V5C or V5C/2 and registration number, although you should note that you can’t set up a direct debit over the phone. The DVLA’s new slogan is ‘Tax it or lose it’ – so it’s not something you can afford to ignore! However, you should note that if you sell your car, you can get a refund on any unused car tax that you have paid up front. You can’t transfer tax from one car to another, so if you’re getting a new car, remember to claim your car tax back – and make sure to get in touch with our helpful team, who make getting a new car as easy as possible.
If your car is over three years old, you’ll need to book it in for an MOT every 12 months to ensure that it meets environmental and road safety standards. It may be a bit of a hassle, but it’s a legal requirement to make sure that your car is roadworthy, so it’s your responsibility to make sure it gets carried out.
An MOT covers many different checks on your car, including mirrors, seat belts, windscreen wipers, brakes and lights. However, it doesn’t cover checking the clutch, gearbox or engine, so if you’ve spotted any faults with those you will need to get them investigated separately.
Typically, an MOT will take around an hour – unless it fails, in which case repairs will need to be made. However, unless your current MOT certificate is still valid, or if you need to take the vehicle elsewhere for repairs, the test centre isn’t allowed to let you take your car if it needs repairs.
If your MOT is on the horizon, there are a few steps that you can take to boost your chances of passing first time. Most cars fail because of minor faults, such as not having the screen wash topped up. So, if you check your vehicle beforehand, you may be able to fix them yourself, saving time and money.
- Lights – Ask someone to check that the brake lights come on when you press the brake pedal. Test your headlights on full and dipped beams, and your hazard lights and indicators. If any of them are not working, you can purchase replacement bulbs and fit them yourself.
- Tyres – The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm, so anything less than this and your car will fail straight away. Damage such as splits in the tread can also issue a fail, so replace your tyres if they are looking worn. Make sure that your tyre pressure is correct, too – the correct PSI will be listed in your car manual.
- Windscreen wipers – The wiper blades need to be in good condition and be able to clean the windscreen effectively, so if you spot any tears or holes, they will need to be replaced. Check your screen wash levels while you’re there, too!
- Windscreen – Generally speaking, a chip smaller than around 10mm in front of the driver won’t be classed as a fail, but anything bigger in the central view, or any chips larger than around 40mm anywhere on the windscreen, will be.
- Exhaust – You can usually tell if your exhaust is leaking by the sound it emits, or if it starts smoking abnormally, so start the engine in a well-ventilated place and check the rear of the car. However, you should note that not all exhaust leaks can be detected this way.
- Horn – If your horn isn’t loud enough to attract the attention of pedestrians or other drivers, or if it doesn’t work at all, you’ll need to get it repaired.
- Seatbelts – Check every seatbelt in the car to make sure that they fasten securely and lock in place. In the driver’s seat, make sure that the seat can be easily adjusted, and check the full length of the seatbelt for damage.
- Fuel and engine oil – Make sure that these are topped up, as if there isn’t enough to test the car’s emission levels, you will be turned away.
If your car fails the MOT, you will be issued a certificate known as a VT30, which outlines the reasons for the failure. You’ll then need to get the problems fixed, before booking it back in for another MOT – although it can be a partial test just to check the flaws that were flagged the first time around.
If you’re finding that your car comes back with a long list of faults, it might be cheaper in the long run to get a new car – our team are happy to help you find a great deal.
Whether you’re just starting off your family and need something more practical than your coupé, or you’re finding that there’s just not enough space in your current vehicle, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to picking a family car. It needs to be safe, practical, fuel-efficient and spacious enough to fit all of your parenting paraphernalia, whilst still being enjoyable to drive.
There are cars available to suit every family and every budget, so we’ve rounded up some of the best cars to carry your precious cargo…
It’ll come as little surprise that the VW Golf remains a firm favourite for families. It’s compact but still spacious, comfortable to drive and has an interior robust enough to handle anything your children can throw at it! The newer models offer a touchscreen digital dashboard and more economical engines, but the older models still offer the quality you’d expect from a Golf. Plus, it’s available with petrol and diesel engines, as well as being offered as an electric and plug-in hybrid model – so there is an option to suit every budget.
Skoda Superb Estate
The Skoda Superb Estate may be based on the same platform as the Golf, but it’s a significantly cheaper choice if your budget is tight, and offers more space. The boot is an enormous 660 litres, so it’s perfect for storing prams, and the car itself is roomy enough to avoid those backseat squabbles. The diesel engine makes it economical, but it’s still powerful enough to be enjoyable to drive.
If you’re looking for practicality or have a large family, the Ford Galaxy could be the car for you. A seven-seat vehicle, the Galaxy allows you to fold the seats according to how much storage space you need or how many people need to fit into the car. You may be sitting in a higher-up driving position than you’re used to, but it’s easy enough to adapt to, and the steering is very precise for a vehicle of its size.
There’s a reason that the Astra is one of the most common cars on British roads – it’s one of the best family cars on the market. Its beauty is in its simplicity; it’s a solid all-rounder. It’s budget-friendly, as the tax and insurance payments are relatively low, and is very fuel-efficient. Newer models are slightly smaller, making them ideal for parking, but spacious enough inside to comfortably fit the whole family.
At the more premium end of the family car market is the Audi A3 Sportback. You may be paying a little extra for it, but you really do get what you pay for – cruise control, rear parking sensors and an excellent dashboard system. It has a sportier feel about it, but still offers the practicality, comfort and space that you’d need in a family car. It’s available with either a petrol or diesel engine, so you can choose which would be most practical for you.
Our car finance allows you to pick a car from any reputable car dealer, and we can even finance cars that are on sale privately – so if you find the family car of your dreams, we can help you buy it. Get in touch with our team to find out what we can do for you.
Freezing winter mornings are not the best time to find that your car won’t start, but, unfortunately, the cold can contribute to a whole host of issues. Flat batteries are more prevalent in winter, as the plummeting temperatures cause the reactions inside the battery to slow down significantly, and engine oil tends to thicken, putting additional strain on the battery. So, if you have any doubts on how to jump start a car, now is the time to learn.
All you need to jump start a car is a good pair of jump leads, and a second vehicle with a fully-charged battery. Before you attempt to jump start your car, there are some precautions that you should be taking first. Take a good look to check for damage around the battery – if it’s corroded, leaking or has any other obvious damage, leave it alone and do not attempt to jump start it! Call a professional instead. If everything looks fine, take off any metal jewellery that you might be wearing, as they could cause a spark if they get close to the battery. Make sure that the car’s headlights and any electrical systems within the vehicle are turned off, and take the key out of the ignition.
How to jump start a car using jump leads
- Park the second car as close to your car as possible without them touching, making sure that the jump lead can reach both vehicles.
- Attach one end of the red lead to the positive terminal on the flat battery, and then attach the other end to the positive terminal of the working battery.
- Attach one end of the black lead to the negative terminal of the working battery, and then attach the other end to a metal earthing point – a solid metal part of the engine, such as a bolt, works well – in the car with the flat battery.
- Start the engine of the second car.
- Wait for around a minute, and then try to start the car with the flat battery. If it’s still not working, try again. If the leads start to get hot, turn off the engine.
- If your car starts running, leave both vehicles for around five minutes to charge the battery. Then, turn off the engines in both cars and remove the jump leads in the reverse order that you attached them.
- However, if your car still isn’t starting, it’s likely to be a more serious issue than a flat battery, so get in touch with your breakdown cover provider.
How to jump start a car using a battery pack
If you happen to have a portable power pack with you, the process is very similar to using leads – simply attach the clips to your vehicle’s positive terminal and to an earthing point, switch on the pack and attempt to start the car as normal. As before, if it doesn’t start working after a few attempts, call your breakdown provider.
If your battery keeps playing up, it might be time to get it replaced – in the long run it’ll be cheaper than breakdown callouts each time it goes flat, and cause you less stress! However, if you’re finding that your car is consistently causing you problems, and costing too much in repairs, it could be time to replace it – our team are happy to help find a great deal on a new car.
The festive period is typically an expensive time of year, swiftly followed by many of us tightening our belts in January. For drivers, the cost of running a car is one of their biggest monthly outgoings, but surprisingly few of us consider how to cut down on those costs. So, in the new year, how can you save as many pennies as possible on your vehicle?
Check your insurance policy
Every car in the UK must have appropriate insurance – it’s non-negotiable. However, if you don’t shop around for insurance deals, you could be paying over the odds for your policy. Using a price comparison website to compare deals only takes a matter of minutes, but could end up saving you a small fortune. If you’re on the lookout for a new car, bear in mind that certain cars will attract higher premiums than others. New, high-performance cars will be more expensive to insure due to the increased costs associated with fixing or replacing them, so aren’t ideal if you’re hoping to only spend the bare minimum on insurance!
If you’re a new or young driver, getting a black box fitted – otherwise known as telematics – could bring down insurance costs. Statistically, young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, so black boxes provide a cheaper deal by delivering premiums based on driving style, rather than stats. Adding another experienced driver to the policy could also bring down costs significantly.
Keep an eye on fuel
Quite simply, the faster you drive, the greater your fuel consumption will be, but this isn’t the only way to preserve your fuel. How you drive also affects it – aggressive stopping and starting, driving in too low a gear and over-revving the engine all guzzle fuel. Removing unnecessary weight from the vehicle, such as removing roof racks and clearing out your boot can have a significant impact on fuel consumption – getting rid of the roof racks alone impacts consumption by around 10 per cent. Turning on air conditioning drains power from the engine, so don’t use it unless absolutely necessary. Make sure that your tyres are fully inflated, too, to save the engine having to work even harder to get your vehicle going.
Just like shopping around for an insurance policy, it can pay to seek out the cheapest fuel prices in your area, as even saving 5p on a litre adds up. Some supermarkets even offer discounts at their fuel stations if you reach a minimum spend in store, so don’t throw away your receipts! If you’re going on a long trip, fill up beforehand – fuel stations on motorways can be significantly more expensive.
Maintenance is key
Car making a suspicious rattling sound? Gears starting to grind? It could be expensive to fix problems with your car when they crop up, but ultimately it’ll cost a lot more when it gets worse! Make sure that you service your car regularly and never skip any maintenance appointments. You can still ask around for the best price, but do ensure that you are getting your car fixed by a reputable garage that uses parts approved by the manufacturer. Caring for your vehicle will save money in the long run, so keep it in good shape.
The right finance plan
Why spend more than you need to on car finance? If you’re looking for a car loan, we offer great finance rates from a huge range of lenders, so that we can offer you the best deal. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you to secure the car of your dreams.
Every winter, there are a slew of news reports about how we are due to face the harshest winter in decades, bringing icy winds and heavy snowfall. Although the chances are we won’t be battling the arctic conditions that the meteorologists are telling us, adverse weather conditions are guaranteed during the winter months, so it’s crucial to ensure that your car is fully prepared.
Check the battery
The most common cause of breakdowns in winter is a flat battery. You may notice that when it’s cold outside, it’s harder to turn over your engine. If the temperature drops below freezing, a car battery can lose around two thirds of its power. When combined with the increased need to use your headlights and heating, the battery can go flat before you know it. It’s worth getting it checked out by your local garage if you’re expecting to be driving a lot over winter.
Keep an eye on your coolant
Over the course of the year, many motorists keep their engine coolant topped up with water, meaning that any antifreeze added in from the previous winter will become diluted. To avoid any damage to your engine – and the subsequent cost of repairing it – make sure there is a 50/50 ratio of water and antifreeze.
Although you should be checking the tread of your tyres all year round, it’s particularly important in winter to avoid skidding on icy roads. The legal minimum depth is 1.6mm, but a depth of around 3mm offers better grip and can improve both braking and steering. Winter tyres are another option if you live in a rural area or plan on making a lot of journeys, as they are very effective on snow and ice. While you’re at it, check the tyre pressure, as the change in temperature can cause it to drop.
As the days in winter are so much shorter, you’re likely to spend much of your time driving in darkness, so you need to check that your lights are in full working order. Salt, dirt and grit from the roads can build up on headlights and reduce both the effectiveness and visibility to other cars, so clean them regularly. Check that your full-beam headlights, brake lights, indicators and fog lights are all working, and consider keeping spare bulbs in your car just in case. You’ll also need to inspect your windscreen for any chips or damage, as the cold weather can make them worse, and make sure your screen washer fluid is topped up with antifreeze.
Fingers crossed that you’ll never need it, but it’s worth keeping an emergency kit in your car in case you ever get stranded. Warm clothing, a high-vis vest, a first aid kit, a shovel, a spare phone charger, a torch and emergency rations are a good place to start.
Remember, if the weather conditions are particularly hazardous, the best and safest advice is to stay at home, but planning ahead can make a difference.
If your car looks like it’s not going to survive the winter, it could be time to look for a new one. We offer finance on a range of vehicles with a repayment plan that is tailored to suit you – get in touch with our team to find out what we can do for you.