Dealing with complaints for an entire year probably won’t seem like anyone’s idea of a good time. But that is exactly what the Motor Ombudsman was set up for. And after a year of resolving disputes between drivers and garages, the organisation says complaints remain high.
Founded last November, the Motor Ombudsman is a voluntary and fully impartial private sector organisation to regulate the motor industry. With a code of practice set out by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, it offers drivers a free dispute resolution service. This covers areas including car sales, servicing, repair, and warranty problems. Read on to find out what’s been driving motorists round the bend in 2017.
What is making people complain?
By 2040 the government expects all new cars on sale in Britain to be either electric or hybrid. But drivers who want to embrace these cars for their low emissions had better prepare themselves for an electric shock with a difference: high insurance bills.
A study of electric cars currently on sale has shown that drivers who want to ‘go green’ will have to pay 45 per cent more for insurance than the average motorist.
It means the rising number of drivers buying electric cars could see any potential savings, such as lower ‘fuel’ bills, wiped out by costly cover. So far this year, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have risen by 37 per cent over 2016. Here’s what drivers need to know before switching to an electric car.
Electric cars: are they more expensive to insure? Continue reading
Next year the UK government is planning to bring in MOT changes. The tweaks to the annual vehicle roadworthiness test have been designed to make life easier for drivers preserving historically interesting ‘classic’ cars.
But critics say they will increase the number of unsafe cars on the country’s roads. Further changes are afoot too. The Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is currently considering the results of a consultation paper on the age that cars first take their MOT. Read on to find out more about the changes.
What are the changes to the MOT 2018?
Going off to college can be a great adventure. Our tips will help ensure your car doesn’t spoil it
I’m sure there are some exceptions to every rule, but I’ve never yet met a student who’s rolling in money. And running a car that keeps on conking out can be like having a hole in your pocket. The key with cars is prevention rather than cure. Keeping on top of regular maintenance will prevent all manner of mechanical mishaps.
But more than that, a regular maintenance routine will actually help save you money. Tyres that are properly inflated don’t wear out as quickly and mean your motor won’t use as much fuel. And having the oil and filters changed when the maker suggests will guarantee your car performs as economically as possible. Read on to see my top car care tips.
New tech is designed to let mechanics show you what needs fixing without you being there
A virtual revolution is taking place in the UK’s garages with video becoming a workshop must have. Garages film what needs repairing. They can then show this to customers and seek approval before doing the work. The idea is to give car owners more control over repairs and reassure them that they’re not being ripped off. Here’s how it works.
Why video technology is needed
For most drivers, the dodgy reputation garages have is a worry. Recent research by online garage booking service BookMyGarage found that three quarters (74 per cent) of drivers felt hidden costs or paying too much for extra work were the biggest concerns when taking their car to a garage for its regular service. Drivers fear that unscrupulous operators can use superior mechanical knowledge to bamboozle them into repairs that don’t need doing. Continue reading
A car’s service history is important but it could be missing for perfectly legitimate reasons (Picture © Mercedes)
No matter what shape and size, or how cheap or expensive the brand, every car needs to be maintained according to a service schedule that is set out by the vehicle manufacturer.
Often, however, the paperwork associated with the servicing of a car can be missing. That can be for all sorts of legitimate reasons, such as losing it during a house move or being mislaid by an elderly relative who is no longer driving.
Thankfully, recovering a missing service record is possible – and pleasingly straightforward. But it’s important to understand the significance of a service record. Continue reading
Most drivers appreciate the need to have their car serviced on a regular basis. They will follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service intervals, or with modern digital systems, keep an eye on a display in the dashboard which counts down the miles or days until a car next needs servicing. But when the time comes to have the job done, how many of us shop around to save money and get the best standard of work?
The answer is probably not many. It’s all too easy to go with convenience, such as a local garage. And with younger cars, drivers are often swayed by sticking with franchised dealers.
However, the hourly labour rates that greatly influence how expensive a car’s servicing bill vary greatly.
Franchised dealers often have the latest equipment and best knowledge of relatively new cars (Picture © Volvo)
Looking after a car, especially when it’s new or a driver’s pride and joy, can be a nerve-racking affair. Entrusting strangers with what is, more likely than not, one of the most expensive things any of us owns is enough to send shivers down a driver’s spine and have them turn around and head for home again. But it’s important to have a car serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule – so how do drivers decide which is the best garage to maintain their car?
This guide looks at the pros and cons of having a car serviced at a franchised dealer, an independent trader and a fast-fit chain. Continue reading
Having your car serviced regularly will ensure it runs reliably (Picture © IMI)
The importance of car servicing should never be underestimated. There have been various surveys suggesting that at the height of the recession, increasing numbers of drivers were trying to save money by cutting back on scheduled car maintenance. In Green Flag’s experience at the roadside, it’s evident that many of the breakdowns our technicians attend are the result of cars not being properly looked after. Here’s all you need to know about the importance of sticking to your car manufacturer’s recommended servicing intervals. Continue reading
Buying a new set of tyres for a car is an expensive business that nearly every driver grumbles about. And with over 30 million new replacement tyres sold each year, that’s a lot of grumbling.
Unlike paying for insurance or even buying the car, precious few tyre retailers offer drivers the option to spread payments over a period of time, so there’s little choice but to stump up the cash before you can drive away with new, safe tyres.
I should know. Recently I began to research replacement tyres for our four-year old Mercedes E-Class estate. The difference between the cost of household name premium tyres and budget brands I’d never heard of was staggering. For four new tyres, the largest potential saving between premium and budget was £862.