Monday, 31 August 2009

September Car Registration Plate Change

Tomorrow sees the new car registration plate 59 come into effect.
With the apparent success of the new car scrappage scheme, according to media reports, this September’s new car registrations won’t be the disaster that might have been forecasted earlier in the year

When did the Current plate change come into effect?
The current bi annual registration plate change was introduced in September 2001. The idea was to remove the registration spike of the traditional August plate change. The system started in with 51 for the September change and 02 for the first March change and moves on one each year. So that September 2003 was 53 and March 2003 was 03 etc.

How is the plate made up?

The first 2 digits represent the DVLA office where the car was registered. The next two numbers relate to the plate change as described and the last three digits are random numbers

Has it worked and which is the best plate to have?

Obviously it has created 2 registration peaks but has spread the rest of the months out a bit more evenly. From a future value perspective there was some evidence that the March plate was proportionately more valuable than the September plate. However the last 12 months of used vehicle pricing fluctuation and current increase have blurred the actual benefit. Naturally it still makes sense not to take your new car in the month preceding the new registration unless the dealer makes it financially worth your while.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Benefits of Using a Main Dealer for Car Servicing

I was very honoured to be asked to comment on the benefits of using a Main dealer for servicing your car by Motor Trader Insider. I have to be fair been a long standing fan of this car buyers guide as is it so much better informed than most other guides, probably as it is written by real people in the motor industry

Anyway they wanted to know if I thought using a main dealer to service your car made sense. In essence my answer is "yes, at least it is whilst the car is in warranty"

1. For new models the dealer has had pre launch training, has all the diagnostic equipment and ready access to the manufacturers technical team
2. They have ongoing training and technical updates
3. As a matter of routine during servicing they'll upload software enhancements and make any component changes, fixes the independent garage won't even hear about let alone carry out
4. There's a better chance of making a successful goodwill claim if something happens shortly after your warranty expires if it has been maintained within the manufacturers network
5. Convenience. if a warranty issue is found on your car during a service by an independent you'll need to book it in with a main agent at a later date.

The article covers lots more including future values and saving money by switching to Independent garages once the warranty period has expired. It's is definitely worth a look

Meanwhile I'm still pleased to have been asked for my tuppence

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

What to do if you breakdown on the Motorway

Yesterday I had a number of long drives. Southampton to Milton Keynes in the morning, and then to Heathrow and back that evening. My trip that saw me changing radio stations a couple of times, a stop for coffee and a stop for some fuel but for 11 other cars their trip was spoilt by breaking down on the motorway

Since the launch of our Breakdown Cover I have become a bit of a breakdown spotter and following yesterdays tally I thought I'd share some advice on what to do in the event of a motorway breakdown

Web Version
Print version

Yesterdays Tally included:
  • BMW 3 Series Y plate
  • Fiat Punto 55 Plate
  • Ford Fiesta 51 plate
  • Ford fiesta x plate
  • Ford Mondeo 02 Plate
  • Mercedes C Class 02 plate
  • Mercedes E Class 54 plate
  • Renault Laguna 52 plate
  • Seat Altea 58 Plate
  • Vauxhall Vectra 51 Plate
  • VW Polo T plate

There was also one dreadful accident and praise goes to the RAC patrolman who happened to be there and was expertly managing the situation

If your breakdown cover has lapsed compare our breakdown cover today.