4 tips to pick the best car insurance provider

you own and drive a vehicle, then car
insurance is a must, but you can spend a
long time trying to decide which provider is the best for you before you
commit. Although it is a huge factor, the price
is not the only thing that you need to take into account when finding the right
insurance cover to protect you. 
The general rule of thumb is to compare at
least three quotes from different companies and here are a few industry-wide
factors that you should take into consideration and apply to each.

What features are they

well as third-party, fire and theft or
comprehensive cover, car insurance policies will offer additional features,
some of which are necessary and some which could be deemed useless. Certain
‘must have’ features of every policy should include windscreen cover, cover for
loss or damage of your personal
belongings, cover for loss or theft of car keys, car rescue cover, a courtesy
car, protected no claims discount and guaranteed repairs. 
By understanding the
features that will come with a policy, you’ll also be aware of add-ons that you
know you might not need such as cover when you’re driving abroad. You can
easily assess the differences between car insurance policies with a comparison
website such as Call Wiser. By comparing the options
that are available to you first-hand, you’ll be able to match a policy to your
particular needs from a panel of 30+ of the UK’s best insurers.  

How long will it take to
settle a claim?

you commit to an insurance provider, you’ll
want to know how long it will take them to settle a claim if anything were to
happen on the road. If you have filed an insurance claim to cover the cost of
damage to your vehicle, property or injury, you will need to negotiate a
settlement until you get the payout you believe you deserve. Before you do
this, you need to know exactly what your
car insurance policy covers, what your claim is worth, your acceptable
settlement range and when to seek legal advice. The length of time varies
depending on each case, but you want to
make sure you choose a car insurance company that will assist you through the
process until you’re 100% satisfied. 
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
states that car insurance companies should settle claims within three months, but this can be delayed if neither side admits liability or if the claim is not
fully quantified. Negotiating a car insurance settlement can be a long and
frustrating process, but a reputable car
insurance provider should work closely alongside you to get everything sorted
in an acceptable period. While
researching the reputation of car insurance providers, try to find out how long
they have taken in the past to settle claims with other policyholders. You
don’t want to commit to a company that is known for bad customer service when
it comes to something as important as making a claim.

Are they offering a

your yearly renewal date is fast approaching, try to haggle and negotiate with
your current provider. More often than not, this can save you more money than
if you were to switch. Try to negotiate a price for less than 20% of what you
already pay, and if you succeed, it’s definitely worthwhile staying put. If not, it’s
probably cheaper to find a deal with a different company. Some companies offer
discounts for drivers of certain ages or drivers who have anti-theft devices
installed. Others may offer lower premiums for drivers that have consistently
good records and no claims. 
Another thing to watch out for is multi-line
coverage which can allow for a discount when purchasing two or more lines of
coverage (car and home, for example) with the same provider. If you’re looking
to add a young driver to your policy, a rise
in prices is often unavoidable but if you feel the amount you’re paying,
whether monthly or yearly, has become too high, discuss options with your
provider on how you could decrease it with things such as additional driving
courses. Many companies decrease their prices depending on certain life events, such as moving, getting older,getting married or purchasing a new home. So whenever something major in your life
changes, it’s probably worth evaluating
your insurance policy.

How is their reputation?

you’ve found a few companies that you think will suit your needs, do some
investigative work to find out about their reputation and financial standing.
Have a look at ratings such as those regarding customer satisfaction and those
that consider financial strength. These
will give you an idea about the overall
experience and whether or not the company is good value for money. There is
nothing stopping you from reaching out to companies yourself to find out how
they respond to questions about important issues such as discounts. 
Check out
online surveys such as those done by Auto Express, who ask a huge amount of
drivers to rate their insurance company in five key areas: communication, how
long it takes them to settle a claim, value for money, helpfulness and overall
service. Regarding figuring out which
company has the best reputation, there are pros and cons when it comes to using
comparison sites to do so. 
There has been a huge rise in the amount of people using this type of site to find the
cheapest deal, believing it to be the best. This
is not always the case. The competitive element of comparison sites has caused
providers to create cheap car insurance cover at the most basic level. By
keeping prices down, these companies remain at the top of the list, but this is often at the expense of the
customer who will be left out of pocket
in the long-run. 
Remember that just because a car insurance company is cheap,
it doesn’t mean it is the best. Be very aware of surprise extra fees that
companies can often claim are ‘admin charges’. Also, certain providers don’t
feature on comparison sites. These include Zurich Car Insurance, Aviva and
Direct Line who must be contacted directly for a quote.
you have it, consider these factors whether it’s time to switch insurer or if
you’re a new driver looking for a good deal. By keeping these things in mind,
you should choose an insurance company that not only has good value for money, but will give you the support you need
if you ever need to make a claim. Remember not to just look for the best price
when you’re shopping around, companies such as Fairer Finance will review companies to find the highest
ranking, reflecting the providers who will pride themselves on being the best
value in the long run.

Choosing Between A New Or Used Car

Buying a new car is an exciting time and choosing what car to buy is a big decision. Your choice usually comes down to buying a new or a second-hand vehicle. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both.

Before you make any choice work out what your budget is and identify what you can comfortably afford. Remember to factor in tax, insurance, fuel and any other unexpected costs (for example parking).

When it comes to buying a second-hand vehicle you will have a lot more models to choose from. Buying a used car is definitely the cheapest option!

However, every used car will come with a history. You need to make sure this is not hidden by getting a full car history check on the number plate of the car you want to buy from websites like Cazana.

This history check will tell you whether or not the car has ever been written off or stolen, if it has any outstanding finance on it, its running costs and MOT history. If you buy a used car with outstanding finance on it there’s a chance it could be repossessed.

Another thing to keep in mind with buying an older car is that you may potentially have higher maintenance costs.  

Most used cars also don’t come with a warranty, whereas new cars will have warranty usually lasting between 3 – 5 years meaning any faults are quickly fixed by the manufacturer.

Newer cars also do not require a MOT test in the first 3 years saving you time and money. But buying a new car is more expensive.

The rate of depreciation on a new car however, is much quicker than a used car. A new car can lose up to nearly 50% of its value in the first 3 years. There’s an old saying that a car can lose up to 15% of its value simply driving away from the dealer’s yard.

There is also the option of purchasing a nearly new vehicle. A nearly new vehicle is between 1 – 3 years old and will still have a warranty. You will still lose money from its depreciation but not as much as purchasing a new car.   

However, it is worth noting that not all new cars will depreciate at the same rate some new cars hold their value better than others.

When it comes to choosing the car for you, you also need to bear in mind your needs. Is this vehicle for work / commercial purposes or for driving your kids to school.

Why your next car should have a diesel engine

car buyers will have considered whether they should opt for a petrol or diesel
vehicle. The truth is, you only need ask yourself the following three

1. How far do you travel?

Diesel engines are famous for being far
more efficient than petrol, using 15−20% less fuel. This is good news for
anyone that spends hours each day on the motorway or up and down the country
visiting clients, but it’s also worth noting that these cars tend to have
slightly higher resale values too. If you’re the kind of person that likes to
change their vehicle frequently, diesel could be a better investment.
you also need a car that’s built with comfort over long-distances in mind, as
models that are more stripped back on luxuries could lead to neck and back
pains. Make sure you take this into account when shopping for cars, and go for
something like the new Range Rover Evoque. These cars pack a real personality
punch, and you’re certainly not left wanting in the driver’s seat for comforts.
Don’t forget that it’s always best to test out new cars first though, to see
how they handle your journey, so why not lease an Evoque
first to find out whether diesel is right for you.

2. Do you care about the environment?

emissions have never been a bigger problem, and whether it’s stricter inner
city rules or higher taxes, the government is continually trying to crack down
on greenhouse gases. Having said that, recent reports
claim that new cars aren’t actually as eco-friendly as they seem, so can the
difference between a petrol and a diesel engine help you do your part?
terms of harmful emissions, diesel engines are the ones to buy for several
reasons. Firstly, diesel engines produce lower amounts of CO2 than their petrol
equivalents, due to the fact that it’s both a more efficient engine, and
because it simply emits less harmful CO2. In fact, its CO2 emissions are 20%
lower than petrol. Not only does this lower your own personal carbon footprint,
but also means you’re rewarded with a lower tax band.
3. What’s your driving style?

you are as a driver is incredibly important to the car you choose. For example,
if you spend a lot of your time in the car, you’ll need to plan for certain
behaviour and that will influence your choice. Many diesel owners are those who
spend hours on the motorway, and they’ll be used to that extra power and
ability to overtake quickly and safely, which comes from the low-speed torque
of a diesel engine.
low-speed torque also makes for a better towing ability, so these cars are
perfect for families who go away at the weekend with a caravan, or people who
have hobbies or jobs that require them to move more than just a car. If you’re
looking for a more relaxing drive, this also puts the diesel engine heads and
shoulders above petrol.

you be buying a diesel engine next?

6 great tips for choosing cheap effective tyres

Seeking new tyres for your car? You might
not have to entirely deplete your bank balance to get your hands on new tyres
that can help your car to run genuinely effectively.
to a company offering a broad choice of tyres

For getting your hands on the right tyres,
you need to do better than simply walking to a tyre retailer on your local high
street and leaving with the first tyres you see that meet your basic needs. By
doing this, you could be completely overlooking other places offering
alternative tyres that are not only better-performing than those high street
tyres, but cheaper, too. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it. Even just a little online research could help you find a suitable place where you could, metaphorically speaking, scoff away. If, for example, you live in or close to Wiltshire, you could visit the website of Wiltshire Tyres. This company stocks tyres from all leading tyre brands – with Continental, Dunlop, Michelin and many other big names represented. Staff can even travel to homes or workplaces for wheel alignment in Salisbury and nearby places.

at labels to assess the criteria of different tyres

Upon perusing the stock of tyres at
Wiltshire Tyres or another, similar
company, it will be easy for you to compare different tyres on criteria
including fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise ratings. This is because legislation requires tyres sold by such companies
to be suitably labelled showing how they fare in these areas. 

This information
is, thus, readily accessible to both customers and retailers.

A tyre’s fuel efficiency and wet grip will
each be indicated with a grade from A-G,
where A represents the most efficiency or wettest grip. Rolling resistance is used to measure the fuel efficiency, Parkers explains, while wet grip refers to the tyre’s ability
to help a car to, when in a straight line, brake in wet conditions. 

there are three categories of exterior noise level, which is measured with a decibel – look out for the
abbreviation ‘dB’.

whether you should choose summer or winter tyres

While many European countries have enacted
laws requiring cars to use winter tyres during that cold season, such
legislation has not been put in place here in the UK… at least not yet. In
fact, you are left with the ability to
choose whether, when temperatures are low, you opt for winter tyres, stick with
standard “summer tyres”, or choose all-season tyres as described by The Telegraph.

While winter tyres should indeed, befitting
their name, perform better in winter conditions than summer tyres, they also
tend to be more expensive. Furthermore, in temperatures exceeding
7oC, their softer
compounds will lengthen the time it takes a car to stop after braking and the
vehicle’s tendency to skid in corners. Depending on your driving habits, you
may deem them unnecessary.

used tyres and be careful about run-flats

This article is largely about helping you
to find inexpensive tyres; therefore, you may be seriously considering buying
used tyres. They do, after all, carry more favourable price tags than new tyres.
However, there can be risks of opting for used tyres.

For example, such tyres could have worn to
a dangerous extent – meaning that, if you drive using them, your car insurance
could be invalidated and fines reaching £10,000 and penalty points of up to 12
could be imposed.

If you have a fleet of cars, you may be
attracted to run-flats. A car with run-flats can, following a puncture,
continue running for a further 50 miles; therefore, downtime is greatly reduced. However, with run-flats,
the maximum speed permitted is 50mph. You should also avoid using them if you
will tow something with your car; run-flats are
designed for supporting only the car’s weight.
tyres that have high tread levels

Auto Express reports that 40% of UK drivers are unaware that tyre tread depths must be at least 1.6mm by law. 

can you imagine how few of these drivers know how adversely a car’s performance
can be affected when tyres of low tread levels are

The site tested two different types of
Goodyear tyres on a wet braking track. One set was completely new and 6mm in
tread depth, while there was a mere 1.6-2mm depth to the other tyres’ treads. The
test found that, with the newer tyres, the car reached a halt after 39.6
metres, while that figure was 49.9 metres for the car that used the worn tyres.

All of this testing took place on a road intended to replicate the condition
of heavy rain. Therefore, by splashing out on tyres with relatively deep tread
levels, you could increase the ease with
which you will be able to control your car in wet weather.

that costly doesn’t necessarily mean poor value

While trimming a few pennies or pounds here
and there can feel good, we would urge you to be careful not to take this
cost-cutting too far. In fact, before you spend money on any tyres, you should
thoroughly educate yourself about the merits and drawbacks of those tyres.

Let’s consider the special advantages of
winter tyres. Put these tyres on your car and, when in snow or ice, your car
can benefit from a significant reduction in stopping distances. Furthermore,
your car will be able to turn in situations where, otherwise, it might more
easily skid. Therefore, buying a set of summer tyres for use just in summer and
a set of winter tyres strictly for winter would be ideal.

The only disadvantage of this would, at
first glance, appear to be the more significant financial outlay that has to be made upfront. Why not buy just one set of
tyres and use them right throughout the year? One major reason is that, with
two sets, each set will last much longer – as neither of them will be regularly used for the whole year. A higher
price doesn’t necessarily make a tyre poorer value.

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Mio MiVue 658 WIFI Dash Cam Review

I’ve never had a dash cam until recently and I was lucky enough to get sent the MiVue 658 WiFI to test in a real world environment and below you can read my review.

Car dash cams were a new thing for me until I saw a video back in 2013 of a dash cam from a Russian car capturing a meteor fireball. Here is that video:

Until then I never knew about car dash cams but they’ve grown in popularity here in the UK for a number of reasons. The main reason is drivers have a dash cam installed in their car for recording video in the case of an accident. It’s handy to have proof of what has happened on the road.

Some car insurance companies are now offering discounts on insurance policies for those with dash cam installed, for example Swiftcover offer a 10% discount for those with dash cam installed.

What is Mio MiVue 658 WIFI?

The 658 WIFI is a high definition dash camera with integrated GPS and WIFI.

The great thing about this WiFi version is you can connect the camera to your smartphone via the free MiVue app and then send the video recording to your insurance company and/or the police in the event of an accident.

Also with in-built GPS the dash cam camera will pinpoint your route, speed and type of impact.

The dash cam will start recording when you start your car and you can easily be accessed via its touch screen. The Extreme HD 2304 pixel camera records every journey you make and there’s even a second SD card slot so you even have a backup of your video.

What’s it like?

Simple to install and use.

Bright and easy to read 2.7-inch screen

The automatic impact sensor is a handy feature as it will prevent you from forgetting to preserve important footage in the event of an accident. The integrated three-axis sensor records the G-force and also shows the direction and force of the impact.

You can also use the dash camera to take photos and then save to your smartphone via the WIFI.

As well as recording your journeys, the camera displays your vehicle’s speed and warns about any oncoming safety cameras. The device also has a parking mode, with the camera capable of recording permanently when the vehicle is stationary. However, this function requires an optional Smartbox accessory to provide enough power for long term use without draining the car’s battery.

The free MiVue Manager software is free and easy to download to your computer. You can also transfer video clips from our smartphone to your computer and share via social media and YouTube.

Video Samples

We haven’t had time to upload any videos yet but here are some examples from others who’ve put videos from the Mio MiVue 658 WiFi online:

Honest John Review

AV Forums Review

The Techy Spy Review

Day Video Sample

Night Video Sample


We found the Mio MiVue 658 WIFI very easy to use and with good vision (both day and night), a large screen and Wi-Fi compatibility, it’s a great dash cam.

Its low-light capabilities are particularly impressive and we love the wide-angled lens.

I really like The WIFI function so I could connect my iPhone straight to my computer via a lead.

With prices starting from £159, the 658 WIFI is not the cheapest dash camera on the market, but you do get a sense of where the extra money has been spent, with the high-quality touchscreen and camera providing excellent video recording.

For an additional £30 Smartbox, you can make the most of the parking feature which is something I may do in the near future.

The right car for you: key considerations on buying your next vehicle

the right car will always be a difficult task. There are so many manufacturers,
models, and designs, not to mention the fact that more are released every year! 
So, what kind of questions should you ask yourself to ensure you don’t make a
huge mistake? Here are just a handful to give your confidence a boost…

What do you need it for?

How you
intend to use your car is hugely important. What kind of lifestyle do you have?
If you’re part of a young couple wanting to start a family, it’s best that you
consider the future and buy a larger car that’s well-known for its safety
features, in case your first child arrives sooner than expected. 
Or instead,
are you looking for a commuter vehicle? In which case, comfort and fuel
efficiency will be crucial points of interest in cars for you. After answering
these kinds of questions, you should have a clear checklist in mind.
What’s your budget?

You may
have narrowed things down to brands and models that suit your needs, but
there’s no point looking at BMW or Audi if you can’t afford their rates. While
you’ll definitely be able to get more for your money looking at used cars, it’s
crucial you stick within your budget. What should that be? 
Look at what you can
afford in terms of the initial price tag, the insurance (and whether it will be
paid monthly or yearly), the MOT and service charges, road tax and the monthly
running costs. Although the temptation is to get a new, more expensive car on
finance, in the long-term it can be a money pit, and the payments are often
completely unsustainable.
Have you considered additional costs?

As just
stated above, there are additional costs like insurance and so on to consider
when buying your car, but did you know that new cars are more expensive to
insure than older vehicles? It stands to reason that the more the car is worth,
the higher the cost to insure it to cover any repair work. 
Aside from this, insurers
recently hit the headlines with the news that due to compensation
changes, premiums are set to soar – it has never been more important to save where
you can. You should also factor in things like petrol and parking costs if
you’re a commuter, as this can easily push your monthly outgoings up
Do you care about the latest gadgets?

what’s more important to you: style or substance? If you’re only interested in
having the latest GPS system and the coolest interior design of a car, then a
new car is the only option for you. In fact, you’ll be able to have it
custom-made from the manufacturer. 
However, if you care more about having a
good quality car and more money in your pocket, opt for used cars from a reputable manufacturer and dealer, and you’ll
get far more for your money.

10 Best-Selling Cars Of 2017 So Far

We might not be particularly far into 2017, but there are already certain car-buying patterns beginning to emerge. Then again, this isn’t exactly surprising – given the way in which the best-selling cars of the year for the most part remain very similar from one you to the next.

Interestingly, despite the fact that last year brought about huge economic uncertainty around the time of the Brexit vote, 2016’s total tally of new car sales once again improved on the year before. And as far as things are going in 2017, we’re already almost 2% ahead of last year.

So assuming you’re out to pick up a new ride this month, what exactly are the best-selling cars of 2017 so far? We looked at the UK’s car sales charts and here they are with the best selling first.

1. Ford Fiesta – 12,777 registrations

Coming in right at the top of the pile and by a considerable margin is the trusty Ford Fiesta. Even at this early stage in the year, there have been close to 13,000 Ford Fiesta registrations, once again earning the super-mini the title of Britain’s most popular car. If you’re out for quality used Fords, check out Jennings Ford Direct online.

2. Volkswagen Golf – 8,404 registrations

Also showing enormous strength is the iconic VW Golf, which for the time being takes the silver medal position. Very impressive performance, especially when considering the fact that there is a new updated model scheduled to launch over the coming weeks.

3. Ford Focus – 6,767 registrations

Also flying the flag for Ford in the UK comes the Focus, which has undergone something of a renaissance as of late thanks to a seriously impressive top to bottom overhaul. The fact that a fair few Fords these days bear a striking resemblance to Aston Martins from the front isn’t what you’d call a bad thing!

4. Vauxhall Astra – 6,235 registrations

There may or may not be be troubling times ahead for Vauxhall in the UK following the company’s buyout, but the Astra nonetheless remains the forth bestselling car of the year to date. Again, this is another popular and affordable run-around that has been comprehensively transformed as of late.

5. Mercedes-Benz C Class – 5,990 registrations

Just when you thought it was all about the cheaper cars on the market, along comes the Mercedes-Benz C Class to prove you wrong. Not that it’s the most expensive Mercedes out there, but it’s nonetheless impressive to see a premium model come in at fifth place.

6. Nissan Qashqai – 5,329 registrations 

By contrast, this particular entry comes as absolutely no surprise whatsoever, given the way in which it has performed so strongly and consistently in the last few years.

7. Vauxhall Corsa – 5,260 registrations 

Falling considerably behind the Ford Fiesta in terms of registrations this year is perhaps its closest rival of all – the Vauxhall Corsa. Nevertheless, chalking up more than 5,200 registrations in little over two months is impressive to say the least.

8. Nissan Juke – 4,759 registrations 

SUVs are slowly but surely beginning to dominate the landscape in many British towns and cities, with Nissan Juke having proved to be superbly popular over recent years.

9. Volkswagen Polo – 4,742 registrations 

Another entry for VW in ninth position with its own classic super-mini, which would no doubt dominate the rankings if it wasn’t for the fact that it is somewhat more expensive than its closest rivals.

10. Audi A3 – 4,650 registrations 

Last but not least, the Audi A3 represents a stellar success story from the legendary German automaker, having trounced rivals from all over the world to make it into this year’s top 10 best-sellers so far.

7 Car Maintenance Statistics We’re Guilty Of

Recently I’ve been reading the shocking statistics about the public’s attitude towards motoring and the maintenance of their car thanks to a survey conducted by Halfords. Here are seven car maintenance statistics I’m sure many of you are guilty of at least some of these (we are!)

51% of drivers aged between 25-34 are likely to continue driving their car, even though they are aware it has an issue. This could be down to financial reasons I guess, but if you’re caught by the police, the fine could be pretty steep, especially if it has already been flagged as an advisory on MOT. 

The Halfords survey claims that 53% of drivers are unaware they are driving with unsafe tyres. The driving theory test was introduced in July 1996 and I know for a fact that car tyres are covered pretty comprehensively in the test because they are such as important aspect of driving safety. Either these 53% drivers all passed their driving test without having to take the theory test pre 1996 or 

25% of drivers don’t check their oil!! What? cars need oil guys, unless you have an electric car. If you run out of engine oil, your engine will seize almost instantly. You should get a low oil level indicator light or a low oil pressure light well before you run out of oil. If you get any of these lights you must pull over immediately and shut off your engine. This is the only way you will save yourself from serious engine damage and costly repairs. What most people don’t realise is that for most internal parts within the engine, there is only a thin film of lubrication at best between any moving metallic parts. This means that a sudden lose of oil pressure and lubrication means sudden death to your engine, and you do not want that! 

I live by the coast in Cornwall and seagull poo is an every day occurrence – it’s a nuisance but I always wipe off with a wet-wipe or equivalent as soon as possible. Why? well, bird droppings contain uric acid and uric acid is corrosive enough to eat past a coating of wax or paint sealant and then begin to etch your car’s paint. Not cool! 

I hold my hands up to being guilty of this one, driving around with a slight crack in my windscreen. If stopped by the police it would be a fine. I got mine fixed at Halfords Windscreen Chip Repair who make it nice and easy.

Yeah we’ve all done it, sometimes knowingly, other times we need to be told by someone else that one of our lights has gone. Some cars are really fiddly to fit bulbs. I remember on our last family car it was a nightmare and again Halfords came to the rescue, picked the bulb I needed and fitted it for me using their WeFit Service

Haven’t used a credit card but I have boiled the kettle till it’s hot and poured over icy/frosted windows. I know this is stupid because it doesn’t help in the slightest when trying to de-ice a frozen windscreen. Placing two extreme water temperatures on top of each other will firstly cause the boiling water to freeze on your windscreen and make it even harder to de-ice. In addition to this it can also crack your windscreen if the boiling water gets into underlying cracks and expands as it freezes. This can result in you having to fork out to repair your windscreen and you’re still no further to de-icing your frozen windscreen! 

5 Cool Cars We Predict Will Be Big In 2017

There are some pretty cool cars heading on way in 2017 and here we showcase five that we predict will be the most popular.

Tesla Model 3 (£35,000)

Starting off with the most eagerly anticipated car on this list, the Tesla Model 3.

Tesla are like Apple were in 2006-2010 when they were easily the coolest brand in the World and everyone could not wait to see the next gadget released. Tesla are at that point right now. Just look at the video below to the audiences reaction to the Tesla Model 3 being revealed.

As of last August 2016, around 400,000 people had put down £1000 refundable deposits despite most not having seen the car in person! With a promised base price of £35,000 and an estimated range of 215 miles or more, the Model 3 long-range electric car looks set for huge popularity and we expect a large proportion of these to be company cars / fleet cars with the tax benefits that electric cars bring and of course no fuel costs!

Mazda CX-5 (£23,000)
The new Mazda CX-5 was revealed at Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2016 (see video below) and showed off a tweaked design, new tech and extra practicality making this popular family SUV even more desirable. 

Mini Countryman 2017 (£22,465)

Another car that was first revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2016,  he new Mini Countryman SUV looks to take on the Audi Q2 and Nissan Qashqai. What we immediately liked was the whole interior has a much more grown-up feel to it – no longer have you got what looks like a huge silhouette of Mickey Mouse’s head but an infotainment touchscreen flanked by rectangular rather than round air vents – much cooler, literally.

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster (£100,000)

Out of reach for most car budgets, but the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster is just stunning to look at and easily would find itself on most of our cool cars most wanted lists.

Land Rover Discovery 2017 (£43,495)

Finally last but certainly not least is the new Land Rover Discovery and another car shaping up to be one of 2017’s most anticipated cars. Land Rover has taken its rugged off-roader and pitched it a little further upmarket with a fluid new shape and luxurious cabin. Off-roaders shouldn’t worry as it’ll still be hugely capable off-road.

So there you have it, five cool cars that you can buy in 2017, some more expensive than others for sure. If you’re one of the 70%-80% people who plan to buy a car using credit, did you know the higher your credit score, the better the deal you’ll be offered on the interest repayments?

Tip – You can check your credit score for free at websites such as Clearscore and if you find you have a low score, there are many simple things you can do which will have a big impact on the APR you’re offered for car finance deals.

Your Quick Guide to Winterproofing Your Vehicle

The winter months can prove challenging for vehicle owners, especially
in frigid, snowy areas. While most modern vehicles are designed to manage cold
weather, there are still basic precautions that all drivers should take to
handle the temperature drop. Here is a quick guide to winter=proofing your


Keep Your Coolant Up

Your fluid levels are integral for a reliable car during the winter
months. Make sure that you have the right mix of antifreeze and water to stop
water from freezing up in your radiator. Your owner’s manual will give you detailed
information, specific to your vehicle. Testers are also available at all auto
parts stores to ensure that you fill your coolant to its maximum capacity.

Try Switching Your Oil

If you live in an area where the temperature drops below zero, you
should consider switching to a lower viscosity of oil. Thinner oils will improve fuel efficiency in
cold temperatures. Engine damage can occur if your motor oil is too thick. This
is due to difficulty in the flow between engine parts, particularly during cold


Tire Protection for Frigid

Tire pressure is critical to your safety during winter. A
combination of low air pressure and worn tires will reduce your traction, which
can prove to be fatal on wet, slick roads. If you live in an area where
snowfall is prevalent, consider getting a set of snow tires. All four tires
should be mounted with snow tires to prevent problems from arising with your
vehicle. Snow tires with studs are particularly useful for areas that
experience heavy snowfall, while all-season tires are a better option for warmer

Battery Maintenance is Essential
in Cold Weather

During the winter months, your battery capacity is reduced considerably.
Check your battery, cables, fluid and terminals. There should be no cracks or
breaks along your cable, while your terminals must fit snugly. Turn the engine
off when reading the level of charge in your battery. 

While some batteries have
a hydrometer eye built-in, you may need a handheld hydrometer, or alternatively
visit your nearest auto service station, some even offer free battery checks. Battery fluids must
stay topped up with distilled water, especially in the cold. Keep a frequent
check on your battery fluid.

A Complete Safety and Roadworthy

If you want to be fully certain that your vehicle, or light commercial
goods vehicle is completely winter-proof, take advantage of the great
interactive MOT questionnaire from AXA, which evaluates your vehicle safety and
roadworthiness. Their comprehensive evaluation will give you the peace of mind
you need when motoring during the cold winter months.