Author Archive for LewisRHumphries

The True Cost of Car Ownership: Why You Must Seek Out Savings as a Motorist

While it is something of a cliché to suggest that owning and operating a car is costly, this does not mean that it does not have a basis in fact. In fact, recent research would suggest that it is a serious issue in the UK, where it costs an estimated £3,500 each year to run a fully-functional vehicle. While this is a huge amount of money by itself, it is even more costly when you consider that Britain is currently considered as the most expensive nation for running a vehicle. According to estimates, the cost of running an average family vehicle is £2,000 higher in the UK than it is in China, America and France.

Photo by Cuba Gallery

Minimising the Costs of Car Ownership in the UK

With this in mind, what practical steps can British motorists take to cut the cost of car ownership on an annual basis? Consider the following: –

Consider Switching to a More Fuel-efficient Vehicle

The primary cost of car ownership is purchasing fuel, which costs British drivers an estimated £2,256 each year. This is more than two-thirds of the £3,500 that motorist spend each year on their car in the UK, so it may be wise investing in a fuel efficient vehicle as a way of cutting longer-term costs. This market is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace, meaning that as a consumer you will be able to select from a wider range of cars at increasingly affordable prices.

Cut the Cost of Insurance Premiums

Insurance premiums also take a heavy toll on drivers in the UK, with a typical premium costing between £800 and £1,000 per annum. There are several ways that this can be reduced, however, particularly if you are willing to use your existing terms as leverage to negotiate more favourable policies with alternative providers. If you are committing to saving money in the long-term, you may also wish to complete an advanced driving course or adding an experienced second driver to your claim application form. To find out more, consider visiting the AXA Insurance website at your earliest convenience.

Learn the Basic Arts of Car Maintenance

The third most financially challenging aspect of car ownership is maintenance, although this cost varies depending on the age, performance and longevity of your vehicle. While some maintenance and repair tasks are decidedly complex and require professional expertise, however, there are more basic elements that you should be able to complete independently as a cost cutting measure. Tasks such as changing your oil or tyres provide the ideal starting point, as although they are relatively labour intensive they are also simple and not particularly time-consuming.

With insurance premiums likely to continue to rise in the forthcoming year, it is increasingly important that motorists strive to minimise their costs where necessary. Without adopting an aggressive and proactive approach towards achieving this, you run the risk of being overwhelmed by the cost of fuel, planned maintenance and insurance premiums.

Everything you Need to Know About Private Registration Plates

While new car sales activity appears to have slowed in Europe, the UK continues to buck this trend by showcasing signs of roust growth. After a staggering 18 consecutive months of growth, the British market shows no sign of depreciating any time soon.

This is also triggering rising levels of activity in the car accessories market, including those for your vehicle interior and even private registration plates. You must remember that you have legal obligations as when purchasing the latter, however, while you must also choose from a vast array of options.

3 Things you Should Know About Private Registration Plates

With this in mind, what should you bear in mind when sourcing and purchasing private registration plates for your car? Consider the following: -

Cost Implications and your Budget

Not all private registration plates are created equal, which means that there are products available within a wide price range. Resources such as Plate Hunter provide consumers with access to more than 30 million DVLA number plates, for example, which range from cheap options to extremely costly private products. It is therefore important to start by establishing a budget and attempting to identify the exact type of plate that you would like, so that you can strike a balance between these two considerations.

The Type of Registration Plates on the Market

There are also numerous different types of private registration plates on the market, each of which offer something different to consumers. While contemporary style registrations consist of two letters, a two figure age identifier and three further letters, for example, prefix plates include the year of the vehicle at the beginning. You can also select from prefix, suffix and dateless registration plates, with the latter particularly popular as they do not include an age identifier and can feature a personalised combination of letters and numbers.

The Legal Implications

If you are committed to buying an expensive personalised plate that reflects an inherent passion or a loved one’s initials, it is easy to lose sight of your legal obligations as a vehicle owner. Without vehicle registration, your car is not eligible to be driven on the road, as this guarantees that it has met crucial engineering and quality control standards. On an additional note, remember that the plate that you purchase must be the same age or older than your vehicle, as otherwise you risk incurring a big fine or financial penalty.

There a huge number of DVLA registration plates available to private consumers, and while some are relatively affordable others are more costly personalised products. The choice that you make should be influenced by your existing budget and personal tastes, while it also important to remain focused on your legal obligations as a vehicle owner.

How to Reduce your Fleet Management Costs: 3 Tips for Inexperienced Business Owners

As your home based business continues to evolve, you are likely to incur significant costs that need to be budgeted for. This is an inevitable consequence of commercial growth, but it is a necessary evil if you are to realize your businesses full potential. For example, you may find yourself establishing and operating a fleet of vehicles or company cars, especially once you have built a purposeful team of staff. While this can be a costly exercise, it is possible to dramatically reduce the financial liability associated with purchasing and managing multiple cars.

Three Tips to Reduce your Fleet Management Costs

With this principle in mind, what practical steps can you take to reduce your fleet management costs? Consider the following: -

  • Consider Fuel Consumption and Co2 Emissions: In recent times, both consumers and businesses alike have rediscovered their sense of social and environmental responsibility. This has led to a significant increase in the demand for fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles, which continues to grow with every passing year. Whether you require a fleet of 2 or 20 cars to support your business, investing in fuel efficient and lower emission vehicles will save you significant sums of money, both in terms of company car tax liability and annual maintenance costs.

  • Create an Environmentally Responsible Working Culture: Minimizing the cost of vehicle fleet management is not just dependent on monitoring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, however, and it is also important that you create a culture of environmental responsibility within your business. This starts with the implementation of new working methods and practices, which empower your staff to contribute towards a more sustainable natural environment. So consider introducing concepts such as remote conferencing and car pooling to your business, and lay the foundations for an environmentally aware venture.
  • Take Great Care in Maintaining your Vehicles: With a culture of responsibility firmly in place, it is crucial that you evolve this and encourage staff members to take excellent care of their company vehicle. The first step is to ensure that each vehicle is only used when necessary, so it is not subjected to unwarranted wear and tear. Your ability to keep a vehicle fleet clean, functional and safe will drastically reduce your long term maintenance costs, so adopt a proactive approach and demand the same from your employees.

The Bottom Line for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

Minimizing the often extortionate cost of fleet maintenance and management is crucial for small and home based businesses, especially if they are looking to grow and improve their levels of profitability. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that this can be achieved, but it is important to start initially by identifying the best commercial vehicle solution to suit your exact needs. To help you understand your options and make an ultimately fruitful decision, consider visiting at your earliest convenience.

The Real Cost of Car Ownership: From Purchase Price to Insurance Premiums

New car sales have soared at the beginning of 2013, continuing a trend that was first established in the final financial quarter of 2012. The total volume rose by 5.9% along during March and has continued to soar since, and this reflects both a surge in consumer confidence and the dramatic rebirth of the automotive trade as a whole. While this undeniably positive news for the nation as a whole, however, the costs associated with procuring and owning a new car are considerably high and must be given careful consideration before any firm financial commitment is made.

Considering the True Cost of Car Ownership

With this in mind, what are the individual costs that determine your overall liability as a new car owner? Consider the following: -

  • Purchase: The first cost that you will need to consider is the purchase price of your chosen model, which will vary depending on the manufacturer in question and vehicle’s unique specification. While your first instinct may be to negotiate on the sale price, this is more difficult with new cars as their value is determined in line with the existing market. You will therefore need to compromise on your chosen vehicle, and consider the long term impact of monthly finance repayments. While even high ticket prices can be paid in monthly instalments over an agreed period of time, you will need to ensure that you have the capacity to meet this commitment without fail.
  • Insurance Premiums: Perhaps the most important cost associated with car ownership is related to insurance, as without viable coverage you are not permitted to drive on UK roads. You will usually pay your insurance premiums on an annual basis, but the cost can soar depending on your age, history and level of experience as a driver. There are several steps that you can take to minimize this cost, however, and shopping around to compare a comprehensive range of deals is an important stepping stone to achieving this goal. If you are a young or inexperienced motorist, then you may also wish to add another car owner to your claim, so long as they have a clean driving history and years of expertise behind them.

  • Maintenance: Maintenance is a cost consideration that can all too easily be avoided by motorists, under the mistaken belief that they can save money by ignoring minor faults or blemishes. This is a flawed strategy, however, primarily because ignoring damage in the short term can lead to more serious issues that require a significant amount to repair. By investing in a regular program of maintenance from the moment that you purchase your car, you can dramatically reduce the cost of long term vehicle ownership. In addition to this, you may also look to learn various car maintenance techniques, especially simply exercises such as changing tyres and replacing oil.

The Bottom Line for Consumers

Before you purchase a car, you will need to consider the true cost of ownership and your responsibility as a motorist. This will have a direct and positive influence on the decisions that you take as a driver, especially with regards to the amount that you spend on purchasing a new car, maintenance and your insurance coverage. This applies to both recreational and commercial drivers, so to find out more about your financial obligations as a motorist visit today.

3 Ways to Modify your Car: Improving its Performance and Visual Impact

At present, there appears to be one question that is going answered in the UK: is the country facing a recession or not?

Growth in the new car sales market would suggest not, as August saw demand grow for an 18th consecutive month. While economists are adamant that this alone is not proof of wider economic growth and expansion, it certainly suggests that consumers are willing to spend more on purchasing and maintaining their vehicles.

This brings us neatly onto the car modifications market, which continues to gain in popularity among British customers. Thanks to technological advancement, motorists can now enhance their car in a number of alternative ways, whether they look to improve its performance or the visual impact that it makes on others.

3 Wildly Popular Car Modifications

With this in mind, what are the most wildly popular car modifications and how do they benefit motorists? Consider the following: -

New Air Intakes and Exhausts

Drivers and manufacturers are often at odds when it comes to prioritizing what they want from vehicles, which goes a long way to explaining why modifications are so popular. Take your cars air intakes and exhaust pipe, for example, which are often designed in a way that reduces assembly cost regardless of any impact that this has on performance. Many drivers therefore look to replace these components with a view to aiding the free flow of air and delivering the best possible fuel efficiency while in transit, which has potential cost implications in terms of operation and maintenance for the future.

Reducing Weight as a Way of Improving Performance and Power

While is stands to reason that reducing weight should enable your car to go faster, this remains the easiest and most cost-effective way of improving your vehicles speed and performance. The performance of you car is dictated by a simple power to weight ratio, so a handful of elementary modifications can quickly optimise the speed and efficiency of your vehicle while it is out on the road. It is quite amazing how the removal of spare rear seats, wheels and roof linings can aid the performance of your car, and all without the need to invest a single penny of your hard earned money.

Aesthetic Modifications for Image Conscious Motorists

We all know how boys and girls can feel about their cars, so there is often a desire to implement aesthetic modifications that make a vehicle unique. The most popular of these is the addition of personalised or unusual registration plates, which are available through numerous suppliers such as Plate Hunter. Whether you wish to create a plate that bears your initials or a word that represents something that is close to your heart, this type of product offers you a unique opportunity to customise your vehicle and modify its image and visual impact on the world.

Purchasing a Car in 2013 – A Guide to Getting the Best and Most Affordable Deal

Purchasing a car is a challenging and often costly exercise, even without the pressure of an economic recession. Once high unemployment and minimal disposable income have began to take hold, however, sourcing an affordable deal can prove almost impossible.

One of the most significant issues facing consumers in the modern day is spiraling debt liability. While the media may be getting swept away with talk of a thriving economic recovery in the UK, for example, this is being severely undermined by rising levels of household and consumer debt.

Purchasing a Car and Managing your Finances: A Delicate Balance

With this in mind, the purchase of a car can be the kind of expense that adds significant weight to your existing financial burden. This means it is crucial that you are able to purchase a functional car without breaking the bank or being forced to commit to unmanageable monthly repayments. Consider the following: –

Be Prepared to Compromise on your Choice of Vehicle

The rising level of consumer debt in the UK has led many economists to suggest that citizens have not heeded the lessons of the last global recession. There is more than a semblance of truth in this, so you must be prepared to select a car or vehicle that is comfortably within your means. To achieve this, break down the cost of the financing agreement into monthly repayments rather than basing your decision on the bottom line value of the vehicle, as this will ensure that you are able to afford the car over a four or five year period.

Identify Cars that Have a Reputation for High Quality Engineering

The financial implications of car maintenance are often underestimated by motorists, but regular repairs and modifications can add considerably to the cost of making repayments. To avoid this, it is worth conducting thorough research into your desired vehicle and paying particular attention to its level of engineering and precise specification. There are world renowned engineering firms and car component suppliers that have a well deserved reputation for excellence, for example, with RD Castings providing a relevant example. With this in mind, you can rest assured that car manufacturers who partner with this firm will deliver a reliable and high performance vehicle to customers.

Go Beyond Comparison Sites

The advent of comparison sites has allowed consumers to thoroughly appraise their options before purchasing insurance or entering into loan agreements. While these resources present a wide range of options and breakdown their individual cost, it is important to note that an increasing number of providers are choosing not to appear in these listings. The reason for this is so they can distinguish themselves from competing firms, and encourage you to visit their website independently. This is an exercise worth undertaking, as although it time consuming it gives you an opportunity to find the best possible deal.

The Last Word

Regardless of whether you have a bad credit rating, minimal financial resources or a fundamental lack of knowledge concerning cars, there is ample opportunity to secure financing and purchase a high quality vehicle. This is only true, however, if you have a clear understanding of your financial limitations and are willing to invest time into finding an affordable deal. Without this, you run the risk of purchasing an overly expensive vehicle or entering into a financial agreement that you cannot adhere to.

The Benefits of Van Hire and how it Can Assist Motorists

As a driver, it is tempting to use your vehicle as a way of handling every conceivable logistical task and challenge. There are instances where this may not be the wisest move, however, whether this in because of financial costs, the potential risk to your vehicle or a host of alternative reasons.

With this in mind, there may be an occasional need to invest in hiring a van to achieve your logistical goals. As a motorist and frugal consumer, it is therefore important that you understand the benefits of van hire and the instances when it is a viable course of action.

The Benefits of Van Hire for Motorists

So let’s consider the major benefits of van hire and the instances when you should use it as a viable option. Keep the following points in mind: -

  • Moving House and Relocating: Regardless of the size or capacity of your vehicle, you may be tempted to use it to transport material items during a house move. This is often a false economy, however, as you may well end up making several journey’s and consuming a huge amount of fuel in the process. This can equate to far more than the cost of standard van hire, especially when you consider the competitive prices offered by reputable service providers such as the Yellow Van London Company Ltd.

  • The Transfer of Valuable Goods and Items: On a similar note, there may also be occasions where you are required to transfer goods to a friend or family member. Whether these are borrowed or have been purchased as part of a consumer agreement, it is important to ship them safely and in a timely manner. This is especially true if they boast a high financial value, and hiring a van to courier these items will provide additional protection through haulage insurance. This is not be underestimated, as it may save you considerable sums of money in the event of an accident or collision.

  • Travelling on a Domestic Holiday: Different cars have alternative fuel economies, and more powerful vehicles cost more money to operate on a daily basis. This means that if you own a high performance car, the cost of using it to travel cross country or on a domestic holiday may prove to be prohibitive. Van or mini-bus hire may therefore be a more cost-effective solution for large travelling groups and families, as each passenger can contribute a percentage of the overall rental fee and fuel expenses. This options also protects your vehicle from wear and tear, which in turn may save you money in the longer term.

The Last Word

While van hire requires an initial financial investment, this can often deliver long term benefits and gains that should not ignored. When you consider factors such as financial costs, fuel economy and the issue provided by uninsured goods, van hire may actual represent a more cost-effective and convenient solution to using your own vehicle.

Saving Money through Car Maintenance: How to Make Financial Savings

While consumer spending took an unexpected nose-dive during August, the fact remains that it has risen steeply since the turn of the year. This reflects rising levels of confidence in the British economy, while it also suggests that individuals are willing to spend more on small and big ticket purchases.

This can be a double edged sword, however, primarily because increasing your household spending can leave you exposed to a sudden job loss or unexpected bill. As a result of this, it is important to seek out financial savings at every opportunity.

Saving Money through Car Maintenance: 3 Tips for Frugal Living

One of the best ways in which you can save money is cutting the cost of car maintenance. It is important to do this without compromising the performance or safety of your vehicle, however, so there are several tips that you should bear in mind. Consider the following: -

  • Learn the Art of Basic Car Maintenance: Car maintenance features both basic and complex processes, each of which must be careful consideration by vehicle owners. The most simple tasks involve changing your car’s oil and tyres, and you can save considerable sums of money by learning how to complete these by yourself and on an independent basis. It is important to identify the tasks that are within your skill range, however, so that you can save money while also maintaining the integrity of your vehicle.
  • Partner with a Reputable and Affordable Mechanic: For the tasks that are more complex and require a trained hard, your choice of mechanic will also have an influence on the amount that you spend. It is therefore important to partner with a reputable firm that has a fair and transparent pricing policy, so that you can strike the ideal balance between cost and quality. It is also important to identify whether or not your chosen service provider has access to high quality equipment, such as items from the Scot Air Compressor Range which play an integral role in performing complex auto repairs.
  • Be Proactive when Monitoring your Cars Performance: One of the most important facets of car maintenance is identifying faults at an early stage, as this has the potential to save you huge amounts of money. If faults are allowed to develop they can become far more problematic, which in turn can trigger more substantial issues and escalating costs. By being proactive and establishing a regular routine whereby you evaluate your vehicle’s performance, you can spot problems at an early stage and solicit professional assistance while it is still viable.

The Last Word

Maintaining your vehicle is an important and costly feature of everyday life, but it also provides an ideal opportunity for you to make vital savings. Simply by making a commitment to learn the basic features of car maintenance and shopping around for the best possible service providers, it is possible to save money without compromising on the performance or safety of your car.

The Philosophy of Saving Money: Funding Big Ticket Purchases in 2013

When it comes to achieving any specific goal or aspiration, much of the battle lies in your mental approach and attitude. While the term positive thinking has been overused to the point where it is considered as more of a sound bite than a vital ingredient for success, it is key to long term attainment and overcoming challenges in pursuit of your aspirations.

Saving money offers a relevant example of this principle, as it is generally viewed as an arduous and stressful task. This negative perception actually restricts you in your attempts to live frugally, however, and it is important to adopt a more positive approach to saving and completely change your way of thinking. While this is not necessary an easy task, it is one that can help you to lay the foundations for long term financial solvency.

Changing Your Approach to Savings: 3 Tips for Success

With this in mind, the challenge that remains is how to practically change your mind set and embrace a new philosophy of saving? Consider the following: -

Lose the Negative Connotations of Saving Money: It is important to start at the beginning, and consider why the process of making financial savings is viewed as such a difficult past time. To begin with, the process of saving money is inextricably linked to reducing expenditure, and this usually means missing out on luxury items or purchases. This instantly generates feeling of negativity, and makes it difficult to commit to long term saving goals. It is therefore important to keep your ultimate aim in mind, as by associating frugal living with the achievement of something close to your heart it can become a far more positive and manageable experience. If you focus on using your savings to fund life insurance with a reputable provider such as Active Brokers Ltd, for example, you can begin to understand the true value of money and its importance in the attainment of goals.

Re-Evaluate the Importance of Money in Your Life: When committing to long term financial frugality, many find themselves faced with a very tangible stigma. As you begin to prioritize money and set about building a significant savings fund, you may well find your motives challenged by the notion that you are being overly materialistic. Deciding to live frugally and develop wealth is little more than an exercise in respecting the value of money, and learning to understand its purpose as a pivotal part of everyday life. There should be no stigma attached to this, as it unnecessarily hinders any positivity concerning saving. This outlook is even more important in the quest to fund big ticket purchases such as a car, which are notoriously costly and demand a committed approach to saving money.

Chart Your Progress Over Time: While these steps strip away the negativity and myths that surround saving money, you must also be prepared to remain positive and motivated over a sustained period of time. Once you begin to save and reduce your levels of weekly expenditure, it is all too easy to struggle and become exasperated as you adjust to your new and forward thinking lifestyle. A good way to negate these feelings is to keep track of your savings progress, and retain a record of the amount that you save and the interest that it accrues. This serves to keep you inspired and focused on your long term goals, whether you are simply hoping to accumulate wealth or invest in a brand new vehicle.

The Bottom Line: Changing Attitudes to Change Your Lifestyle

With a new positive attitude to making savings and an ability to maintain this over time, you can begin to look forward to a more generative financial future. Remember that the key to financial solvency and saving money lies in developing a forward thinking and positive philosophy, and one that comprehends to importance of money in the realities of everyday life.

Buying a New Car in 2013: The Hottest Models on the Market

While we may be living in economically austere times, there are still considerable signs of growth within various trades and industries. Take the automotive trade, for example, which continues to rebound in countries throughout the world as manufacturing productivity and sales soar. Sales of new cars are particularly buoyant in the UK, and it appears as though consumers are developing greater confidence in the nation’s economic future. This trend shows no sign of abating, especially with recent figures suggesting that Britain may be set to avoid a triple dip recession.

The 3 Most Anticipated Cars for 2013

With these points in mind, which vehicles are most likely to capture the imagination of consumers in the months ahead? Consider the following models that are due for release in 2013: -

The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

The 6 Series Gran Coupe is undoubtedly 2013’s most anticipated model, if only because it features four doors and a greater sense of luxurious space when compared with previous offerings. With the capacity to seat four passengers comfortably, the vehicle fuses functionality with style and performance like no other car currently on the market. Motorists can even choose between active steering and rear-wheel steering options, so that they can tailor their driving experience to suit their level of ability and knowledge of the British roads. This is a huge plus, especially as the number of car owners continues to rise and our roads become increasingly congested.

The BMW X1

It is clear that 2013 is shaping up to be an important year for BMW, whose highly anticipated X1 model is also due for release soon. This car is an innovative and beautifully designed, crossover SUV that is elegant, slim line and practical in equal measure, and it represents a far better priced option than the existing X3 model. Also equipped with automatic transmission and a purposeful, xDrive all wheel drive system, the vehicle features excellent handling capabilities that make traversing both wet and dry roads equally manageable. If you have the necessary disposable income to fund financing, then the BMW X1 is a versatile motor with the potential to deliver true value for money.

The Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ

When two heavyweight manufacturers collaborate, you can reasonably expect a high quality vehicle to emerge from the design process. As if to prove the point, leading car brands Toyota and Subaru have recently worked together to create the highly anticipated Scion FR-S and BRZ models. Similar in terms of style, mechanics and design ethos, they are to be released simultaneously and have the potential to have a big impact on British consumers. While both are relatively simple and functional in terms of their development, they are undeniably sporty and deliver an extremely high level of performance. For anyone with a appreciation of engineering, these cars are highly evolved models that also boast relatively competitive retail price points.

The Last Word

While purchasing a new car may seem like an extravagance in the current economy, it is also offers consumers the chance to access reliable vehicles and achieve maximum value for their money. Whether you choose to buy a brand new vehicle or opt to purchase a used car through Exchange and Mart, however, there is little doubt that the automotive trade will remain buoyant in the month ahead.