SMMT

How to save money on car servicing

car servicing

Be smart about car servicing and you can cut how much he’ll cost

Car servicing costs could escalate by as much as 10 per cent after Brexit. A new report conducted for car industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) warns that if tariffs and other trade barriers come into force when the UK leaves the European Union, prices could rise. It claims the average annual cost of car servicing would then increase to £777.

According to the SMMT, 80 per cent of car spares are imported. Almost three quarters of those come from EU-based suppliers. The SMMT is concerned that if no new trading relationship with the EU is secured, tariffs and customs barriers will hike the prices of these parts.

Last year, every UK car owner spent an average £707 on car maintenance. Tyres, lubricants and filters were the most commonly replaced items. However, demand is rising quickly for telematics devices and tyre pressure monitoring sensors. Read our five top tips on how to save money on car servicing.

What does servicing entail?

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Undercover shoppers ask if it’s too easy to get car finance with shock result

Undercover shoppers ask if it's too easy to get car finance

The young driver walked into the Audi showroom and gazed at the gleaming new cars. They looked a million dollars, but unfortunately the 24-year old driver was unemployed and didn’t expect he’d qualify for a loan to buy a new model. He was wrong.

Within minutes, a salesman says he’s confident that a new Audi A1, worth more than £15,000, could be the young man’s. Spend £215 a month, for 48 months, and he can hit the road. And after a final payment of nearly £7000, the car is his for keeps.

Despite being unemployed, the process of securing a loan to own the car was predicted to be straightforward.

A salesman says not having a job won’t make any difference. He explains: “We drop it down to the finance company, they’ll do a credit check on you. It’s not a case of you not having a job today and having a job tomorrow. We just need to see what the finance company says.”

However, the young man was an undercover reporter for the Daily Mail. He was one of a team that visited 22 dealerships. And the findings were prompted the question: is it too easy to get a car loan?  Continue reading

Proposed MOT changes: drivers reject idea to change first test

MOT changes

The annual MOT enables technicians to perform vital road safety checks

Drivers have come out against a government proposal for MOT changes. Ministers are considering switching a car’s first MOT from three-years old to four. But experts say this could mean up to 500,000 more dangerous cars on the road. And in a survey for industry body the Society of Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), three quarters of car owners (76 per cent) snubbed the idea of delaying a car’s first MOT.

Why is government proposing MOT changes?

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Car tax changes: three quarters of new car buyers to pay more

Road tax will rise for the majority of drivers, from April 2017

Next month, the government introduces new charges for car tax. It will mean most people buying a new, efficient car will have to pay more in tax than they would have done under outgoing rules.

The proposals were outlined by former chancellor George Osborne in 2015. They are aimed at earning more revenue for the treasury, after the outgoing rules rewarded clean, efficient cars with low or no road tax. This resulted in buyers voting with their wallets and snapping up models that pumped out low levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Now only cars with no exhaust emissions, which means all-electric cars, will be exempt from paying car tax. Continue reading

White cars lose money, green cars are likely to be crashed, study shows

White cars

The Ford Focus was the most popular white car with 14,103 sold last year (Picture © Ford)

White cars were the most popular in 2015. But drivers who choose ice-cool white cars may see red when it comes to selling their motors on. White cars could lose their value quicker than other colours, according to used car experts. And drivers who pick green for their next motor are more likely to have it stolen or written off than if it’s in any other shade.

Of the 2.6m cars sold in the UK throughout 2015, more than a fifth were white. It was the third straight year that this has been the nation’s most popular paint colour, according to trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The SMMT added that demand for white cars grew by 2.2 per cent in 2015. A decade ago, just one per cent of cars were ordered with the neutral tone. Continue reading

Emergency budget 2015: The good, the bad and the expensive for drivers

Emergency budget 2015

No breaks: Mitsubishi Outlander is currently the UK’s favourite plug-in car but won’t get cheap road tax from 2017 (Picture © Mitsubishi)

Drivers were both winners and losers after the Emergency budget of 2015. All drivers will have to pay more for insurance. Meanwhile, a change to the way Vehicle Excise Duty is structured will make eco cars and more expensive motors pricier to put on the road. Here’s how the budget will affect drivers.  Continue reading

Eco cars could prompt tax increases

Eco cars

Even owners of some SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai no longer have to pay road tax because their cars are so clean (Picture © Nissan)

Booming sales of low-emission eco cars could slash the amount the government raises from road tax. The result could mean tax increases for all but the most economical cars.  Continue reading

White vans slammed: Drivers urged to act on unsafe overloaded vans

Unsafe overloaded vans

Sadly, not all vans are as well looked after as this one (Picture © Iveco)

Van owners and drivers are being encouraged to take more care of their vehicles. It comes after research revealed many are unsafe or overloaded. A study showed almost two thirds have a serious mechanical defect. More than nine out of 10 stopped are overloaded. It has prompted a van maintenance and awareness scheme, launched by industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).  Continue reading

Low emission diesel cars: not as smelly as you might think

Low emission diesel cars

Diesel cars have come on hugely since it was first used to fuel the Fiesta in 1984 (Picture © Ford)

Low emission diesel cars are just as friendly for the planet as battery driven or petrol-electric hybrids. That’s the message from car manufacturer trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Its campaign comes after new consumer research revealed that the majority of UK adults – incorrectly – blame cars and commercial vehicles as the biggest cause of air pollution in the UK.  Continue reading