Buying a car

  1. Comments Off on Keep your car safe

    Figures gathered by the RAC has reported rise of 30% in car theft in recent years.  Whilst there could be other reasons for this it does raise questions about modern anti-theft technology as car theft rates had actually been decreasing since 2002. The RAC also found a notable rise in the theft of motorcycles and scooters.

    Modern anti-theft technology

    When buying a new(ish) car you are often presented with extra, modern anti-theft alarms and immobilisers but are they effective?  The rise in car theft is surprising considering these improvements, however in reality the thieves are just finding new ways to get around these high tech features. Anti-theft devices being put in place are just not up to scratch.

    Cars using keyless fobs seem to be the worst as the technology is far from secure. It is even possible to steal a car by holding a bag up to a house door and use a device to activate and extend the reach of the keyless fob inside the home.  Organised gangs will then steal cars and export them abroad for profit.

    How to keep your car safe from car theft

    As a consequence of this rise in car theft, motorists are also seeing their insurance premiums rise. Combined with a variety of other factors, this is making the cost of driving even more expensive.

    Now there is a rise in the number of people purchasing anti-theft devices like those used back in the 1980s and 1990s! Steering wheel locks and gear stick locks are enjoying something of a resurgence.

    There are several steps you can take to help keep your car safe.

    1. Park it somewhere safe particularly at night
    2. Always remember to lock it, with all windows and the sunroof closed securely
    3. Leave all valuables out of sight as well
    4. You should also ensure that you have any appropriate alarms and immobilisers fitted, which will hopefully deter anyone who is hoping to steal it
    5. Never leave your car running while it is unattended
    6. Try to avoid leaving your registration document in the vehicle, as this can help thieves to get away with stealing it if they’re stopped by the police
    7. If you want an obvious deterrent, a steering wheel lock is ideal. This shows people that you’ve taken steps to secure your car, which may make them think that you have other devices in place too (even if you don’t).

    By following these tips, you can decrease your chance of being a victim of car theft, even if the numbers continue their steep rise.

  2. Comments Off on Used Car Checklist

    Buying a Used CarBuying a Used Car? Use This Checklist and Avoid Disaster!

    Picking up a car on the used market can be dangerous, but if you are careful then you can avoid the dodgy dealers that are trying to take advantage of your trust or lack of knowledge. To make sure you’re not getting short changed, use this checklist of important things to verify when buying a new car.

    Be Wary of Dodgy Tactics

    Aggressive sales tactics, like claiming that they are in a hurry to sell, or that they have other buyers lined up, are often signs of a seller who who is too pushy and not too worried about being honest with you. Be especially wary if they are asking for a large deposit.  Collecting deposits from multiple buyers and then disappearing is a well known tactic of used car scammers. Also avoid dealing with anyone who wants to exchange a car for other valuables, like jewellery.  There could be outstanding finance on the car.

    Check the V5C (Log Book)

    Ask to see the vehicle’s registration documents and check that all the serial numbers you can find match up. If you’re buying privately, make a note of where the vehicle is registered to and ask if you can pick it up from there when the actual exchange happens. If the sellers are reticent, it might mean the car is stolen.

    Do a History Check

    A quick HPI Check will reveal anything about a car that the seller might have an incentive not to mention. If the vehicle is stolen or has ever been written off, this will let you know right away, and if everything matches up to what the seller has told you it’s a good sign that you’re dealing with an honest merchant. That said, don’t skip anything on this list if you want to be sure.

    Do a Thorough Inspection

    Not only should this give you a general idea of the car’s condition, it will also expose tell tale signs of a few popular scams. If there are signs the dashboard has been tampered with the mileage may have been artificially lowered, while conspicuous metal seems below the seat you could be looking at a cut and shut (two halves of destroyed cars welded together)! These are incredibly dangerous, so it’s important to be vigilant. Check for signs of oil leaks and black exhaust fumes and a noise engine.  These could all indicate that you will be paying an expensive repair bill fairly soon.

    Should you buy diesel?

    There have been some important changes that will eventually affect owners of diesel cars.  There has been a massive u-turn in the official opinion on diesel cars, they have gone from being the most favoured to some of those hit hardest by taxation. The latest is the announcement by the Government that only fully electric cars and vans will be sold in the UK by 2040.  So unless you plan to keep your diesel for 20 years + then I wouldn’t be too worried but you may be paying more tax that your eco-friendly neighbour.

  3. Comments Off on Considering The Use Of Car Tracking Technology

    Black box trackingIt is quite common for teenagers to seek means of limiting the amount of parental interference in their everyday lives. Many look forward to the sense of freedom which comes after passing the driving test. However, some of the leading insurers are promoting the use of black box car tracking devices as a means of monitoring the driving behaviour of newly qualified motorists. These devices keep a constant track of speed and send automatic alerts to the parents of teenagers who drive irresponsibly. However, they do offer some notable benefits, as outlined in this blog.

    The young drivers who opt for the installation of car tracking technology pay considerably less for insurance. Some of the leading insurers even offer incentives for good driving behaviour.

    The likelihood of involvement in serious crashes is significantly reduced as the young drivers are aware that they are being monitored. Some leading motoring groups have claimed that black boxes should be fitted as standard for the assurance of road safety.

    A number of young drivers have said that they couldn’t have afforded to take to the roads if it hadn’t been for the option of relatively inexpensive black box insurance. They have adapted their driving behaviour for fear of being disciplined by their parents. The insurers have also threatened substantial fines for those young drivers who fail to keep to the rules of the road. A leading insurance expert said that the technology “is not about spying, it is about safety, the single most important factor when looking at young drivers.”

    The safety-conscious Road Masters team fully appreciate the importance of improving road safety. It is for this reason that we offer fully comprehensive training and only encourage learners to take their tests when we have complete confidence in their ability behind the wheel. We also encourage our valued customers to consider the option of black box insurance.

  4. Comments Off on A Guide To Buying Your First Car

    Buying your first carThose of you who gearing up for the dreaded DVLA driving test may well be excited at the prospect of car ownership. You may have dreams about cruising the open roads and arriving at the college prom in a souped-up motor. However, reality may hit when you take a look at the vehicle advertisements and consider the relatively high cost of insuring and running your first vehicle. Thankfully the Road Masters team have come up with the following tips to give you the best chance of a succesful purchase.

    Essential Research

    There are a number of options when it comes to buying your first car. If you’re really keen to pick up a bargain then it would be worth attending an organised vehicle auction. You might also be tempted to visit the local dealerships and peruse the advertisements in the local newspapers. However, it is important to resist the temptation of making an impulsive purchase. There is a wealth of information about the suitability of different vehicles online. You should also seek the advice of a trustworthy and experienced friend or family member.

    Financial Considerations

    Price is likely to be the main influencing factor in your purchasing decision. However, you should be aware of deals that seem to good to be true. It would be sensible to pay a little extra for a relatively modern vehicle rather than an old rust bucket that’s in urgent need of repair. If you’re in any doubt then ask the owner to provide documents regarding the history of the car.

    It’s worth pointing out that you may be required to pay more for car insurance than the vehicle itself. Indeed, research by one of the leading insurance price comparison websites has revealed that drivers aged between 17 and 22 pay an average of £1,158 per year for cover. However, it is possible to minimise the expense by selecting small vehicles with high safety ratings. The Fiat Panda, Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Ka are just a few of the vehicles that satisfy the essential criteria.

    Sensible Advice

    Now you may be ready to go ahead and conduct some research into suitable vehicles. However, it would be worth having a discussion with the knowledgeable Road Masters instructors about the most appropriate buying options. We’ll make the most sensible recommendations in accordance with your specific requirements.