May 2016 – News round-up – The best of our social posts

Man looking at a smoking engine in his car

 

Forget the stereotype, apparently it’s wrong!

Not one German manufacturer in the top 10 most reliable cars. Express – German cars: not as reliable as you might think

 

Everybody needs good (parking) neighbours!

How annoying and frustrating this must be? Have you ever had parking issues where you live? Telegraph – Man documents three-year parking war with pictures showing his driveway blocked almost every day

 

This is a little tricky, but if you look for long enough you might just see it (or not)!

“Dramatic” changes to a classic road sign. Telegraph – Spot the difference as iconic road sign is updated

Selling a used Motorcycle – Top Tips

Biker holding helmet with motorcycle on sunset.Wash and Polish
It goes without saying that the more looked after a bike is the better chance it has of selling. Give it a good wash and polish, lubricate and adjust the chain. Take a few good quality photographs. Show close-ups of the good bits.
Advert Wording
List as many of the bike’s details as possible. Year of manufacture, model derivative, mileage, service history, and MOT renewal date. If you leave something out than it just leaves a level of uncertainty for anyone looking at similar adverts.
Be honest about what you say about the bike. You don’t have to list all its minor defects, just be honest about any information that you do give. If you say its showroom condition but the fairing is hanging off, then it not only puts buyers off but opens them up for negotiation.
After Market Extras
If you have fitted any extras it is always best to keep any original parts to pass on with the bike. It can be worth putting a bike back to standard and selling additional items separately.
Paperwork
Put all your documentation together. If you don’t have the original service book, then put as many service receipts as you may have together, it helps to build up a picture for the buyer. Old MOT certificates show a progression in mileage and help to verify a bike’s history.
Asking Price
Be realistic with your asking price, use our valuation service to give you a realistic asking price. If you start too high, then you can often deter any potential buyers. Believe it or not, if you go too low, then this can also scare people off. Buyers often think there must be something wrong.
Road Tests
Road tests are always a difficult situation for selling a bike. If you feel comfortable about doing so, at least make sure that the buyer has insurance cover. It can be an option to agree a test ride once payment has been made.

Buying a used Motorcycle – Top Tips

Biker holding helmet with motorcycle on sunset.Accident damage

Always look for signs of accident damage. Often small items get overlooked following a repair and are a good indicator of a bike’s history.

Check handlebar ends, levers, mirrors, along with footrest hangers – particularly rear footrest brackets as these are the widest point and often don’t get replaced after a spill. Scuffs on any or all of these don’t always mean a crash but are a warning sign to investigate further.

Bodywork
Standard paintwork is important. You may like that special day-glow pink finish, but straying away from original colours limits the sell-on value. Chips and marks on the fairing often can’t be avoided, but indicate how a bike has been looked after.

Tank pads are a common fitment these days, a scruffy one can be replaced but may hide a mark. Damage to the fuel tank is probably a bigger issue than to fairing lowers for instance.

At the same time have a look behind the fairing – or under the seat if it has a lifting seat. Corrosion and damage can often be seen here and worth noting.

Wheels and Tyres
Check tyres condition – not only for wear. Replacing a pair of Superbike tyres could cost in excess of £300 a major consideration compared to a bike with new unworn tyres. But also remember to check the actual tyres. A bike used under normal road conditions will not have been worn to the edges. A tyre which has thehero blobs or edge mouldings worn has probably seen some track use.
Have a good look at the wheel rims, check rusty and flaking paint. With alloy wheels, always check the rim edge for flat spots.

Exhausts
Replacement exhausts may be desirable but always ask if the standard system is supplied with the bike. Many owners replace standard systems both for aesthetic and performance reasons. Without the standard system, having a non-road legal silencer could mean additional expense at MOT time.

A non-standard exhaust may also indicate crash damage.

Engine and Frame numbers
Check engine and frame numbers. It has been known for stolen bikes to have engine and frame numbers removed and re-stamped or for numbers to be ground off. This is not any easy thing to verify for the less knowledgeable but if they have been tampered with, then quite often something doesn’t quite look right. Also check that paperwork and bike details match.

Suspensions
Have a good look at the suspension both front and rear. Pitted or marked fork stanchions will have damaged the fork seals, whereas rusty and unclean rear shocks could mean worn and seized linkages.

Chain and Sprockets
A quick visual check of the chain will indicate how well a bike has been looked after. A dry rusty chain means that other things may have been overlooked. A lot of sports bikes don’t have a centre stand so adjustment is more difficult. Check the side adjustment bars – next to the rear wheel spindle. A fully adjusted or worn chain will have been moved back to full extension.

Engine
Ask to hear the bike running. Sellers are quite rightly reluctant to offer test rides, but ask to hear the bike running and engage gear. If the engine is still warm when you arrive it may just mean that the seller has been for a ride. However a cold engine can give you a better idea of starting etc.

Listening to the engine for someone who is non-mechanical won’t necessarily highlight any problems, but anything really untoward would stand out. Don’t forget the seller doesn’t know how knowledgeable you are.

Ask when the oil was last changed. This should be at least yearly even if the bike has stood for most of it.

Reason for Sale
Ask the owner why they are selling. A genuine seller will probably have a plausible reason. Often a direct question will throw a seller if they are trying to cover something.

Paperwork
If everything looks okay and you want to proceed further, ask to see the bike’s paperwork. Loads of different owners and higher than average miles doesn’t always mean bad news. The service history is a better indicator.

The ideal would be a full service history with stamped book from an approved franchise dealer. This is the exception rather than rule in most cases. Gaps in service history mean more, so try and follow the timeline between whatever history is there.

Old MOT certificates will show a mileage history and old receipts from service and repair work can build up a good picture. A bike should really have a yearly check as a minimum, if only to change the oil and filter.

Certain marques such as Ducati and Harley Davidson will de-value by not having a full franchised dealer history and whilst this may not be of concern to you it may have a bearing upon re-sale.

Keys
A final reminder is to ask if all keys are available. A bike supplied with only one key or more importantly without the red master key if relevant, can mean additional future expense.

Final note
A good point to remember is that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is!

April 2016 – News round-up – The best of our social posts

Vehicle dashboard camera

 

This will be worrying for consumers who trust franchise dealers above “dodgy” backstreet dealers.

Civic owner forced to go to court after Honda dealer refuses to take damaged car back. Car Buyer – Dodgy franchise dealers

 

This is why dangerous, last-minute maneuvers are not a great idea!

Dashcam captures close call on slip road in Wales. Telegraph – Last-minute maneuvers

 

Here’s proof auto pilot in cars can avoid collisions.

Tesla Model S autopilot prevents man colliding with truck in Ohio. Telegraph – Tesla auto pilot averts crash

345,000 vehicles with a hidden history are bought each year without the buyer’s knowledge

My Car Check 2015 Report - Vehicle check data insightMy Car Check are the UK’s number one car checker service, empowering used vehicle buyers with the facts to make a more informed decision. Buyers are in danger of making a grave error if they do not check if the vehicle they are intending to buy has been stolen, written off or still has debt against it.

To celebrate My Car Check’s tenth birthday we took the opportunity to reveal some interesting and helpful facts and information with our consumer and trade customers. Having performed over 10 million vehicle checks on cars, bike and vans over the last 10 years, we’re pretty well-placed to shed some light on used vehicle data.

A combination of recent customer research and insights taken from all vehicle checks carried out on our website during 2015, we’ve got some very interesting facts to share in our report “Making Better Used Car Choices”.

Here’s a few highlights taken from our report, which can be downloaded in full for FREE here.

My Car Check 2015 Report - Cover My Car Check 2015 Report - Top Reasons for Warnings My Car Check 2015 Report - Ford Summary

Above: the main cover, the top reasons for warnings and an example manufacturer summary.

  • There is great need for used vehicle buyers to carry out a comprehensive vehicle provenance check as 46% of all vehicle searches had at least one warning
  • 96% of consumers choose to carry out a vehicle provenance check before buying their chosen vehicle
  • Approximately 345,000 vehicles with a hidden history are bought each year without the buyer’s knowledge
  • 48% of consumers buy a used vehicle every two to three years
  • A large proportion of consumers prefer to buy vehicles from independent dealers (48%)
  • £7,632 was the average value of a used vehicle searched in 2015
  • Petrol vehicles were the most searched fuel type with 56% of all searches
  • Black was the most searched colour with 23% of all searches
  • 5 door hatchbacks were the most searched body style with 27% of all searches
  • Ford was the most searched marque, ahead of Vauxhall, Volkswagen, BMW and Audi.

Download the full report for FREE here.

Don’t forget, buying a used vehicle without first carrying out a check is taking a huge risk. Never buy a used car vehicle without checking its history first by downloading our app (available on iOS or Android devices), texting the reg to 83600 or visiting mycarcheck.com.

March 2016 – News round-up – The best of our social posts

Biker holding helmet with motorcycle on sunset.

 

Worryingly, lots of motorcyclists might be using helmets that need to be replaced.

Dangerous news as up to 400,000 motorcyclists could be using crash helmets that ‘need to be replaced’.

Telegraph – Motorcycle Helmets

 

Check out this impatient idiot!

Is this the most impatient driver ever? HGV driver captures ‘idiotic’ motorist overtaking on hard shoulder.

MSN – Impatient Driver

 

The AA believe a possible UK exit from the EU could hit us in the pocket over petrol prices.

Brexit could add hundreds to family petrol bill, says AA.

MSN – Brexit

Star in our future adverts and features

hands with clapperboardThis is your chance to be a star! We are searching for a selection of customers to appear in our future TV, print and radio adverts or in website features.

We don’t just want anyone, you must have the x factor, but most importantly, we want you to have a real-life story to tell.

We want to hear from customers who:

  • Prevented themselves buying an unsafe car by carrying out a vehicle check.
  • Would have burdened themselves with someone else’s debt if they hadn’t carried out a vehicle check.
  • Could have got a visit by the Police if they hadn’t spotted the car was stolen by using a vehicle check.
  • Turned a possible bad outcome into a really positive one by carrying out a vehicle check.
  • Saved themselves from making a used car mistake by carrying out a vehicle check.

If you have a real-life story to tell and you would like to be featured in our future adverts or website features all you have to do is contact us with the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact email
  • Contact telephone
  • A recent photo of you or your family
  • A summary of your story

Send your submission to the address below using the subject “make me a star!”:

ian.pollard@cdl.co.uk

 

Once we’ve received your application we’ll sift through and find the best and most interesting stories. If your story is selected we’ll get in contact with you to find out more details.

Terms and conditions:

  • All applicants must be previous My Car Check customers.
  • All stories must be based on real events, therefore true, accurate and not in any way fabricated or misleading.
  • Submitting an application does not guarantee selection.
  • By submitting your application you agree to allow My Car Check to use your words and image in web, TV, print and radio advertising and features.
  • Being contacted for more information does not guarantee that you or your story will appear in any adverts or features.
  • Time spent recording or photographing adverts or features will be unpaid, but your expenses will be covered where appropriate.
  • Any appearance in printed or broadcasted adverts or features will be unpaid.

Driving a car – Learning to drive & advanced driving

learning to drive - learning to drive is exciting and daunting. Here's a guide to how to get started - My Car Check
Learning to drive is both exciting and daunting. Some learn to drive as soon as they reach the required age, however some drive for the first time later in life. Whichever scenario, all new drivers must meet the same requirements to have the privilege to drive on the road. This guide gives a quick overview of driving licences, the theory test, learning to drive a car, buying a first car and advanced driving.Click on the image below to see in full zoom:
Learn to drive - top tips for learning to drive - My Car Check
Driving licence – Your paperworkThe UK driving licence – Everyone (except the Queen!) is required to have either a provisional or full driving licence in order to drive on public roads in the UK. Therefore, before starting to learn to drive, the first thing you should do is apply for your provisional driving licence.For young drivers, you must be at least 15 years and nine months old to apply. However, it can only be used to drive a car when you reach 17. Those over the age of 70 must self-certify that they are fit and able to drive every three years.

In addition, you must have relatively good eyesight. This is determined by your ability to read a car number plate from 20 metres.

How to apply for a driving licence – It is fairly easy to apply for a driving licence; you just need to supply some basic information, documentation, a photograph and payment. The full process can be started on the government website here.

Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

Driving licences - new drivers must understand the rules and age limits when applying for a driving licence - My Car Check
Driving theory – Understanding the rules of the roadThe UK driving theory test – The driving theory test must be taken and passed before you can book and take your practical test. The test is to determine your understanding of the highway code via multiple choice questions on a computer screen and a hazard perception test, which determines your ability to spot and respond to hazards shown on a video. Both parts of the test are taken on the same day and you must pass both.For more information, visit the government website covering the theory test here.Driving theory test preparation – Due to the nature and subject matter of the theory test, it is relatively easy to find books and software to allow you to prepare. It is simply your ability to read, digest, understand and retain the necessary information to pass the multiple choice section of the theory test.

The hazard perception section is a little tricky. Based on your ability to retain the information you’ve read and digested, you should have a good understanding of what a hazard is and how it might manifest itself in a real world situation. It can become tricky because you must spot the hazard and respond to it as quickly as you can. Failure to spot hazards or delays in responding to them in the test will affect your ability to pass this section. There are many resources available to practice this section and it is highly recommended you do so.

For more information, visit the government website covering preparing for the theory test
here.

Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

Driving theory test - the driving theory test has two parts, a multiple chocie test and a hazard perception test - My Car Check
Driving practical – Handling a vehicleHow to learn to drive a car on the road without a driving instructor – Once you have your provisional driving licence, you can learn to drive on the road. To do so, you must be accompanied by a person who is over the age of 21, has had a driving licence for at least three years and be qualified to drive the vehicle you are learning in.The main benefit of learning to drive in this way is the amount of money it will save. You could get hours of practice under your belt, which otherwise would cost a significant amount. However, a restricted budget may mean you are not prepared enough, which ultimately may cost you more money in the long-run if you fail and need extra lessons and another test attempt. It may also be far too easy to learn bad habits or incorrect techniques, which may prevent or hinder your ability to pass the practical driving test at all.

What driving instructors do – Driving instructors are fully qualified and experienced drivers. Their objective is to teach you to drive safely and to prepare you to pass your test. On average, this can cost over £1000, but should prepare you much better for the practical driving test. A driving instructor will know the exact techniques you must confidently display in your driving test. They will also be able to pass on hints and tips which will benefit you in the test, which a non-qualified supervisor may not be aware of.

Finding the right driving instructor – A great way to find a driving instructor is to ask friends or family that have recently learned to drive and passed their test. It is likely that they will recommend theirs if they passed with few attempts and they enjoyed learning with the instructor.

An alternative is to search local newspapers and directories where established and reputable instructors will normally advertise. Of course, there is also the internet, where a simple search such as “driving instructors in [location]” should bring back plenty of options.

It’s important that your driving instructor is right for you. You are likely to spend at least 40 hours sitting in a car with them. You must be comfortable being in their company and must be able to communicate easily. Additionally, you need to make sure their working hours fit with your lifestyle and that their car is suitable for you to drive.

For more information, visit this useful website from the DVSA here.

Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

Learn to drive on roads - new drivers must understand that if they learn without an instructor, that their supervisor is qualified and the correct age - My Car Check
Becoming a car owner – Buying your first carBuying a car can be a complicated process for experienced drivers. For new drivers it can be daunting. As a new driver you are unlikely to understand the complexities of how a car works, what suits your driving style and the legal and financial responsibilities it places on you as an owner and driver.

Key things to think about – Our article “10 used car buying tips” is a great place to start to understand the process of buying a car, but also some of the things worth thinking about as you learn to drive, especially if you are thinking of buying a car soon.

The following articles cover:• 10 used car buying tips.• Rules of buying and selling a car.• The essential vehicle history check.Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

New drivers buying cars - buying a car is daunting and new drivers need extra help and support when buying their first car - My Car Check
Advanced driving – The learning never stopsOnce you’ve learned to drive and have successfully passed your test, your journey to becoming and remaining a good driver is far from over. Young and new drivers are one of the main causes for road traffic accidents in the UK and this is mainly because of lack of experience. Some drivers, due to their jobs, are legally required to take additional driving courses and driving tests too.

Advanced driving courses – Both new and experienced drivers are encouraged to take part in advanced driving courses in order to develop their skills and to increase safety on roads. They concentrate on techniques that enable the driver to respond to adverse weather conditions, driving at high speeds and driving on off-road terrain.For more information about advanced driving, visit the IAM here.

Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

Advanced driving - all drivers are encouraged to develop their driving skills - My Car Check

To drive safe, you need to buy safe

The key to driving safely is ensuring that your vehicle is safe and legal to drive, before buying it. When physically checking a car, ensure it is in good, safe, legal working condition.

In addition, make sure you carry out a comprehensive vehicle check to make sure that the car has not previously been written-off or scrapped. Check any vehicle now at MyCarCheck.com.

My Car Check Data Insight – February 2016 – Electric cars more likely to have outstanding finance

My Car Check Data Insight for February 2016. Top statistics comparing diesel, petrol and electric cars, including top searched makes and models, top warnings, top colours and average values- My Car Check
In the second of a regular series of data insight reports, My Car Check data has shown that electric (including hybrid) cars are significantly more likely to have outstanding finance warnings than diesel or petrol cars.

A higher occurrence of outstanding finance warnings is most likely due to the relatively young age of the most popular electric cars searched, as many will still be under their original finance agreement due to the battery normally being leased separately to the car. However, that doesn’t reduce the risk or importance of checking these vehicles thoroughly.

In addition, due to similar causes and , electric & hybrid cars are significantly higher in value compared to diesel and petrol cars. Diesel cars have a higher value to to them having a stronger residual value compared to their petrol equivalent.

Key takeaways

• Petrol cars are more likely to have a warning than diesel or electric cars – 50% vs 48% & 46% respectively.

• The most frequent warning is a plate transfer, though write-offs and outstanding finance warnings are in significant numbers.

• Petrol & electric vehicles are most likely to be written off (both 33% vs 27% for diesel) and electric cars are most likely to have outstanding finance (25% vs 19% for diesel and 13% for petrol).

• Electric cars have a higher average value than diesel or petrol cars – £10,220 vs £8,921 & £6,590 respectively.

• The same four manufacturers (Ford, Volkswagen, Vauxhall and BMW) dominate both diesel and petrol cars searched, however only Vauxhall appears in the electric section. This is dominated by east-Asian giants Toyota, Lexus and Honda.

• The Toyota Prius dominates the most popular electric cars, taking all top five places. The most popular model overall is the Ford Fiesta Zetec, which is the most popular petrol car. The Volkswagen Golf GT TDI is the most popular diesel car.

• Across all fuel types, 5 door hatchbacks is the most popular body style and the only other body style also appearing in all fuel types is the 4 door saloon.

• Black and grey are the most popular colours searched across fuel types, with blue not far behind.

Click on the images below to see more statistics in full zoom:
My Car Check Data Insight for February 2016. Average value of vehicles searched - My Car Check My Car Check Data Insight for February 2016. Percentage of vehicles with warnings - My Car Check My Car Check Data Insight for February 2016. Top car body styles - My Car Check My Car Check Data Insight for February 2016. Top colours of cars - My Car Check
My Car Check Data Insight for February 2016. Top car manufacturers - My Car Check My Car Check Data Insight for February 2016. Top car models - My Car Check My Car Check Data Insight for February 2016. Top reasons for warnings - My Car Check

To drive safe, you need to buy safe

The key to driving safely is ensuring that your vehicle is safe and legal to drive, before buying it. When physically checking a car, ensure it is in good, safe, legal working condition. In addition, make sure you carry out a comprehensive vehicle check to make sure that the car has not previously been written-off or scrapped. Check any vehicle now at MyCarCheck.com.

Driving a car – Other road users and their safety

other road users - drivers play a crucial role in the safety of all other road users - My Car Check
Driving is normally associated with being behind the wheel of a car, on a road, following rules and being able to handle a motor vehicle. However, being aware of and understanding the various other road users is just as important.Here we’ll take a look at some of the road users you are most likely to come across on your travels and how you can play a part in keeping all road users safe.Click on the image below to see in full zoom:
Road users safety - top tips for ensuring the safety of all road users - My Car Check
Pedestrians - pedestrians are probably the most vulnerable road users that drivers are likely to encounter. Although they would normally be restricted to pavements and walkways, pedestrians cross roads and occasionally encroach onto the road for a variety of other reasons. Additionally, many pedestrians are the young or old, travelling to school or local amenities and often getting on and off public transport.

Ways you can be alert and ensure pedestrians stay safe:

• Be aware of pedestrians on pavements close to the road
• Be alert for any pedestrians crossing the road or coming from between vehicles
• Don’t park on pavements
• Always stop at all types of pedestrian crossings

Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

Pedestrians - probably the most vulnerable of all road users - My Car Check
Cyclists – cyclists are also extremely vulnerable road users. Often difficult to spot due to their nimble movements and some cyclists not wearing appropriate visibility equipment, drivers must pay close attention, especially when turning or completing manoeuvres. Never forget, cyclists do not have the protection of a metal shell around them, so always be careful, no matter if their actions are right or wrong.

Ways you can be alert and ensure cyclists stay safe:

• Always check your mirrors and blind spots when manoeuvring
• Always allow enough room when passing
• Be patient, especially on narrow and winding roads
• Always respect cycle lanes

Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

Cyclists - sometimes difficult to spot due to their quick and nimble movements - My Car Check
Horse riders – horse riders have the added complexity of handling an animal, one which is extremely intelligent and strong. Whilst an experienced rider may have good control of the horse, ultimately an animal has its own mind and could react to its surroundings in an unexpected way.

Ways you can be alert and ensure horse riders stay safe:

• Always drive slowly past horses
• Always allow enough room when passing
• Make as little noise as you can whilst passing a horse
• Be patient, especially on country lanes, where they are likely to be

Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

Horse riders - have the added complexity of handling an intelligent and strong animal that has an independent mind - My Car Check
Motorcyclists – similar to cyclists, motorcyclists are not protected by a metal shell and are nimble. However, what differentiates the two road users is an engine and a lot of power for the size and weight of the vehicle. This makes riding a motorcycle even more dangerous. Much like being aware of cyclists, motorcyclists are most at danger when drivers are performing manoeuvres.

Ways you can be alert and ensure motorcyclists stay safe:

• Always check your mirrors and blind spots when manoeuvring
• Pay close attention when pulling out at junctions, particularly at night
• Always allow enough room when passing
• Be alert for motorcycles making fast and unexpected manoeuvres

Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

Motorcyclists - having power from an engine makes riding a motorcycle much more dangerous than cycling - My Car Check
Other drivers and passengers – not forgetting your peers. Other drivers and passengers are also road users you should pay close attention to and ensure you play a part in their safety. Drivers and passengers are vulnerable both in and out of the vehicle. Don’t forget, they become pedestrians once they exit the vehicle, so be sure to pay attention to parked cars or those that have pulled over by the side of the road.

Ways you can be alert and ensure other drivers and passengers stay safe:

• Always abide by the rules of the road
• Treat other drivers how you would like to be treated
• Be patient with drivers carrying out manoeuvres
• Always be alert for unexpected behaviour or mistakes

Click on the image below to see in full zoom:

Other drivers and passengers - it's important to consider the safety of all road users, including those in other vehicles - My Car Check

To drive safe, you need to buy safe

The key to driving safely is ensuring that your vehicle is safe and legal to drive, before buying it. When physically checking a car, ensure it is in good, safe, legal working condition. In addition, make sure you carry out a comprehensive vehicle check to make sure that the car has not previously been written-off or scrapped. Check any vehicle now at MyCarCheck.com.