It’s certainly true that vehicles with a full service-history will retain more value than those without, and rightly so, but it’s a commonly-held belief that more value can be added by ensuring that those services are only carried out by recognised dealers.
Here, we explore whether that is actually the case. Dealer services are more expensive; depending on the manufacturer, it’s easily possible to pay at least 50% more for a service from a main dealer. Whilst they will use only genuine parts, is it really worth that premium?
In a word, no. Whilst using genuine parts could have a slight benefit in terms of resale value, there’s no reason you can’t specify this to another service centre, particularly if they’re a specialist in that manufacturer. Besides, in many cases no parts will be replaced at services as they amount to little more than an oil change, and a check & diagnostic. Even where parts are replaced, does it really matter if your wiper blades and bulbs are generic?
As well as being cheaper, independent service agents often offer better quality; dealers often employ junior staff and train them up, with the best then setting out on their own – so chances are your independent is much more experienced and knowledgeable than even the best dealer man.
Winter is well and truly upon us, so it is time to make sure you and your car are ready for it. With frosty mornings and towns covered in decomposing leaves from the now nearly-bare trees, safety must be the number one priority.
One of the most basic things to consider is one that the police regularly highlight, and yet still people are being caught out: if your car windows are frosted up on a morning, you must not leave it running with the keys in while it thaws. Far too many people have had their cars stolen in this manner and it is one that can leave insurance invalid. As tempting as it is, you should also try not to use hot water to quickly defrost the windscreen – you run the risk of cracking it.
In some countries that have regular extreme weather, snow chains are an option for the tyres. In the UK these are less likely to be necessary unless you live somewhere isolated and open to the elements, but it is important to make sure you have a decent tread. The minimum legal depth is 1.6mm, but the deeper the tread the better the grip so it is best to replace them before they get too low. Wet leaves are also a big hazard, so caution should be taken even on milder days.
Pool cars are cars that can be used by multiple people. They may be part of a lift sharing scheme into work, or they may be available in a particular area for people to use for the day. They are thought of as being a good way to help reduce the number of cars on the roads. If people have cars that they don’t use daily, or they are able to take advantage of a carpooling scheme, this could have a significant impact on the number of people deciding to buy cars. A car is an expensive purchase after all and many people are actively looking for ways to reduce their expenses.
However, pool cars have been known to be a nuisance in some areas of the UK. Residents complain that they park in their parking spaces and take up space on residents’-only roads. When people are paying lots of money for a parking permit, this is understandably a problem.
All cars need to be taxed in order to be driven on the roads. Some will incur very little tax, whereas others will have a higher rate to pay due to the type or age of the car – perhaps it is an older diesel engine or similar. Sometimes, the tax will be completely free if a car is very new and is considered to be environmentally friendly. In this instance, you will still need to tax the car and this is your responsibility entirely. You just need to make sure you remember to do it.
When you buy a new vehicle, ask about the tax on it. Tax lasts for a year so you may not need to worry about it for a while. Once you own a car, you should receive reminders about taxing it every year. Tax the vehicle online or send the form off in the post. You will no longer need a car tax disc.
A car begins to need an MOT after 3 years. It will need to have the MOT on or before the date it is due, otherwise, you will be illegally driving a vehicle without an MOT. Here are some considerations if it is your first time booking your car in:
- Choose a reliable garage. Some will offer you discounts so look around for deals as well. Find a garage that offers you reliability and good service as well as good prices.
- Get a record of your MOT and keep it safe. You never know when you might need it. This is going to come in especially handy if you decide to sell your car.
- Make any repairs immediately. Your car will not be roadworthy if you don’t make repairs straight away. You may also have advisories so keep an eye on these and make sure you get the work done when you need to.