Industry News

Emissions standards explained

Whenever you burn any type of fossil fuel, whether its coal, gas or oil, you create a cocktail of by-products that are released into the atmosphere. Up to a point mother nature can compensate, but with a global population of 7.5 billion, Earth is struggling to cope with the rate at which our precious resources are being used up – as well as the rate at which the environment is being polluted.

The global population is very mobile; many of us use planes, trains, ships and cars to travel, while goods are transported vast distances. It’s reckoned that in 2010, for the first time ever, there were one billion cars in use around the world, each one pumping out an array of chemicals, most of them harmful to our health.

Air quality has become a massive issue over the past few months, with the private car getting the blame for much of the problem. All forms of transport have a part to play in polluting our air, and fossil fuels are at the root of the issue. Each time you start your car’s engine, this is what comes out of the exhaust and how it affects us:

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Valuations
diesel-car

Diesel running costs set to rise

Unless you’ve been enjoying a long holiday on Pluto for the past few months it won’t have escaped your attention that diesel-engined cars are not flavour of the month. They’ve been singled out as pariahs for their part in poisoning our air, and is it any wonder when you see old buses and high-mileage (or badly maintained) family hatchbacks spewing out clouds of noxious soot as they accelerate away from the lights?

For years, diesel cars were set to save the planet. They produce less CO2 than petrol-engined vehicles because diesel contains more energy than petrol. However, while CO2 emissions are lower, diesels produce far more particulates and it’s these that cause air quality problems – they get trapped in our lungs and cause breathing difficulties.

It’s this air quality issue that has led to lots of headlines about thousands of premature deaths each year. However, that number varies wildly and nobody knows what it is because we’re not talking about healthy people being struck down in their prime. Generally those who are dying are already very ill, and their deaths are being brought forward by as little as a few days. But nobody knows how many days; no wonder the figure is impossible to pinpoint.

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Valuations

How to maximise the value of your car

Nobody wants to be taken to the cleaners when they sell their car, but how can you maximise the amount you get for your car when you sell it? It’ll come as no surprise that giving it a seriously good spruce up can make a big difference to its value – potentially hundreds of pounds!

When somebody buys a used car they want to be reassured that it’s been looked after. A dealer doesn’t want to have an unhappy buyer bringing the car back and a private punter won’t take on a car that they think will be a liability. So how important is cleanliness at selling time?

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Industry News, Press Releases, Valuations
HPI Free valuation

hpi® puts diesel consumers’ minds at ease with free future valuations

Leading vehicle data service, hpi®, is offering diesel users peace of mind with the launch of its latest online valuations tool.

hpi® will now display future valuations for vehicle valuations completed online at hpivaluations.com making it easier than ever before to track the future values of any vehicle.

The new free to use future valuations service is in direct response to increasing negativity and bad publicity surrounding diesel vehicles and usage. Pressure is mounting on the government to introduce measures to remove the most polluting vans, taxis and cars from the roads, leaving owners of diesel vehicles concerned about the future values of their vehicles.

This is the first time car buyers and sellers have been presented with free future vehicle valuations. The service will be freely available for two months to help calm the fears of diesel vehicle owners. For cars under five years old future valuations up to five years in the future are provided.

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Industry News
New child seat rules

Child car seat rules explained

You won’t carry a more precious cargo in your car than your children, so it’s great that there’s a huge range of excellent products on the market to help you transport them safely. However, from 1 March 2017 the rules changed and it’s left a lot of parents feeling very confused. Indeed, according to a recent survey by confused.com, just 13% of parents claim to understand the new legislation.

Much of that confusion hinges on the fact that from 1 March, backless booster seats (also known as booster cushions) can’t be sold for smaller children, and many parents are assuming that from this date their old seats can’t be used. However, the new law states that parents won’t be forced to replace old seats; it’s just that selling backless booster seats for smaller children became illegal. As a result, ‘high-back boosters’ are now the only option if your child weighs under 22kg, is shorter than 125cm and needs a new car seat.

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Industry News
new road tax rules 2017

New road tax rules explained

The UK government has a problem. Its income from vehicle excise duty (VED, or road tax) and fuel taxes has plummeted in recent years thanks to increasingly efficient cars; it’s reckoned around a quarter of new cars pay no road tax at all. As a result, the current CO2-based system is set to be overhauled from 1 April 2017 in a bid to increase revenue from drivers.

The current system sees car owners paying more VED the more CO2 their car emits. Under the new regime only pure-electric cars with tailpipe CO2 emissions of 0g/km will be exempt; all other cars will pay a flat fee of £140. However, to bump up its income further, the government is also imposing an extra annual charge of £310 on any car costing over £40,000. This is for the first five years only though; it’s to stop older, thirstier cars from quickly becoming worthless, because of the high cost of taxing them.

If you buy a car with a list price of £40,000 you’ll have to pay that £310 annual supplement (for the first five years), even if it’s an electric car such as a Tesla. This list price includes any optional extras you specify, so just a few hundreds pounds worth of options could end up costing you an extra £1550 over the next five years. Incidentally, the list price doesn’t include any on-the-road charges such as number plates, fuel, delivery charges or a new car registration fee. Also, even if you negotiate a big discount it’ll make no difference; the bill you pay is based on the list price, not the transaction price.

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Advice and Tips
Winter-driving

Winter Driving

We previously posted a blog full of top advice on how to prepare your car for winter driving. That was the easy bit – but how do you cope with driving when the temperatures plummet and the roads are covered in snow and ice?

If you had to guess whether the roads are safest in the summer or the winter, which would you go for? It’s a no-brainer isn’t it? In the winter there’s the spectre of sub-zero temperatures to contend with, as well as fog and darkness. So if you find the idea of summer driving nerve-wracking, you’ll probably be freaked out by the notion of getting behind the wheel when things get icy. But while driving is more hazardous in the winter than the summer, if you’re properly prepared there’s nothing to be afraid of.

The key thing to remember when it gets really cold is that you can’t afford to be lulled into a false sense of security. Even when things look safe, they may not be, so always drive carefully. When the temperatures fall, road surfaces are often wet and/or covered in frost, ice or snow – but not necessarily uniformly. Here’s how to deal with it: Read more

Buying & Selling, MOT History
Car servicing bay

Your car’s MoT history

When you’re looking at buying a second-hand car you want to home in on one that’s been cherished. One where the owner has kept on top of the routine servicing and really lavished plenty of love and attention. Do your homework and it’s not all that hard to find such cars; ones with detailed service histories and invoices an inch thick.

However, at the other end of the spectrum are the cars that have been run on a shoestring. They’re the cars that are nursed from one MoT to the next with a minimum of cash spent on them, and as a result MoT time tends to be a bit expensive.

Imagine how useful it would be to be able to glimpse into a car’s past. Ideally into its MoT history so you can see whether it has sailed through each time, or if every year it’s had to be patched up to gain a pass, while still staring down the barrel of a long list of advisories as the certificate is issued.

Well now you can see into a car’s MoT history, because when you take out an HPI check on a car this is now one of the many pieces of information that’s included in the report. To get an idea of the kind of information that’s included and how it’s presented, take a closer look at the sample HPI Check.

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Campaigns

What You See Isn’t Always What You Get

It’s fair to say that things online things aren’t always what they seem. From editing selfies to make ourselves seem more attractive on social media, to creating embellished profiles on dating websites, everyone wants to present a perfect and often airbrushed image of themselves.

Internet first impressions can often be deceiving. From turning up to meet a date who doesn’t quite look like they did on their Tinder profile, to buying a product that doesn’t quite match up to its description, the world wide web has made it so easy for people to be catfished in all areas of life.

Don’t just take our word for it though… we surveyed 2,000 people across the UK on their attitudes on perception versus reality online. We found that 72% of people thought that people look different in photos on the internet to what they do in real life, and that 50% of people have never uploaded a photo of themselves that isn’t edited, highlighting that what you see online isn’t always what you get in person.

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