Think Twice Before Purchasing A Vehicle With Sat Nav

uk sat nav photoUK consumers use car loans to purchase vehicles with all the bells and whistles. However, they may want to think twice before agreeing to car finance for an auto with a satellite navigation (sat nav) system. A recent report from Confused.com revealed that misleading directions provided by these systems have resulted in more than £203 million in damage to automobiles.

Roads in the UK can be difficult to navigate, making sat nav seem like a blessing….

However, when the system provides misleading information, car accidents may result. The issue has become such a problem that the Department of Transport will hold a Sat Nav Summit next month. Of the British drivers polled, 83 percent reported being mislead by their vehicle sat nav system.

Forty-five percent of British drivers, and more women than men, said misleading sat nav directions have left them feeling frustrated and angry, while over half admitted to screaming at their device. For 68 percent, a journey spanned more miles than necessary and 31 percent have incurred between £100 and £500 in vehicle damage related to a misleading sat nav system.

The sat nav relationship was most fragile for East Midlands drivers

Conversely only 31 percent of drivers in Northern Ireland copped to getting angry regarding incorrect directions. In Scotland, more than half of the 80 percent of drivers who claimed to receive misleading directions said they screamed at the automated device. Anger management issues were particularly bad in Aberystwyth in Wales.

Confused.com is requesting that British drivers register UK sat nav blackspots on its website. It hopes this will help reduce the number of related accidents in advance of pending legislation being enacted. Those who run the car insurance price comparison site believe that car finance should be the largest vehicle-related expense, not repairs due to incorrect sat nav directions.

Finance Group Prevents £3.2 Million In Fraud

The Funding Corporation (TFC) Limited used airport-type scanners and other measures to identify nearly 500 cases of suspected identity fraud in 2011. The scanners and their companion software conduct a full authentication check of documents provided by customers.

fraud prevention photoLast year, this saved the company more than £3.2 million in potential losses and put it on the map with identity thieves.

The company has a dedicated anti-fraud unit that trained staff members at all ACF Car Financing Limited dealerships. Educated staff, combined with Au10Tix document verification technology, allowed the company to identify suspected cases of fraud. The scanners captured forged driver licenses, passports, and other illegally-held documents.

Software used with the scanner analyzes document components like visual and biometric data, holograms, infrared, and ultraviolet. ACF is the first auto retailer in the UK to use the technology, according to Head of Motor Operations Richard Cox. The company is part of TFC and is a leading UK supplier of bad credit car finance. Consumers turned away for traditional car loans may qualify for financing from ACF.

Mr. Cox commented that benefits of the scanners extend beyond reducing company fraud exposure. Consumers no longer need to wait to have documents authenticated manually and showroom staff are able to spend more time with them. It takes only a few seconds for the software to determine that an identifying document is authentic. In addition, innocent customers are notified if their information is being used fraudulently, helping to protect them from future issues.

Each time a document is checked, the action is recorded and an image is electronically stored, eliminating the need to make copies. False car finance applications, forged pay stubs, and false employment details were some of the other fraudulent activities identified.

In many cases, this led police to discover other crimes committed by the same individual, said Mr. Cox.

12-Plate Registration Not Proving Enticing To Luxury Car Buyers

The release of a new UK registration plate used to be a momentous occasion. Based on information from Bridford, a UK car finance company, this no longer seems to be the case. Anticipation prior to 12-plate registration has not been as high as expected. Luxury car buyers seem disinterested, preferring to drive the latest vehicle models as soon as they hit the showroom floor.

Tim Marlow, owner of Bridford, commented that the demand and excitement surrounding a new registration plate has subsided in recent years. The number of flexible and attractively priced car finance packages may be to blame. Mr. Marlow reported that since car loans and other financing options have made it easier to change vehicles more regularly, car buyers want to drive a new model as soon as it is released.

In general, interest in the latest plates has waned since the process of two new registrations per year was introduced, reported Mr. Marlow. Car buyers prefer not to wait until March 1 to drive a vehicle that becomes available in January. Now, drivers look forward to international auto shows because these reveal when the newest models will become available.

In the past, Bridford customers used to change vehicles each year to have the prestige of driving an automobile each August featuring the most recent registration plate. Since a new registration is now available every six months, having the latest plate is no longer as important. The exclusivity that the plate once conveyed is no longer there.

Instead, drivers now circle the dates of the Beijing, Frankfurt, and Geneva auto shows. These events reveal release dates of the latest cars, allowing buyers to place orders and secure car finance. Mr. Marlow reported a surge in activity last fall following the Frankfurt show. He anticipates that business will increase again after the Geneva show later this month.

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Make Sure Your New Car Is Really Yours

The UK economy may be bleak but that has not stopped consumers from purchasing new cars. Whether they have good or bad credit, car finance is being used to put them in a new or used vehicle.

Drivers should do their homework before taking out car loans for used vehicles and this research should focus on the car as well as the financing.

A leading credit reporting company recently released a report indicating that about one-third of all used vehicles have a hidden history. Among the buried information are stolen markers, write-offs, and outstanding car finance.

Many car buyers do not realize this until too late, as 80 percent who bought a used car for over £10,000 do not check vehicle history before making a purchase.

According to the study, drivers purchasing more inexpensive cars were more likely to check its history. This is a smart move because if a vehicle has outstanding car loans, is stolen, or has unpaid speeding tickets, its new owner may be held liable.

The individual could lose all money paid and may even lose the vehicle.

A spokesperson for the company that conducted the report noted that risk is involved when purchasing a car. Unfortunately, not all car buyers are aware of the risks and fail to take precautions.

With a one in three chance of purchasing a used car that has a hidden past, consumers should always verify the VIN and review the history of the auto.

Drivers who put forth this extra effort can rest assured that no one will be repossessing the vehicle and they will not be on the hook for unexpected expenses. They know the car belongs to the seller and are comfortable entering a purchasing agreement.

By selecting a reliable vehicle with a clean track record, they should get many years of use from their investment.

Brits Consider Investing In Classic Cars

As the stock market takes them on a roller coaster, many investors are looking into car loans. Why, you ask? They are supplementing their investment portfolio with classic cars. In 2011, average prices of classic cars outpaced returns on equities.

Despite record increases in gold prices, classic automobiles even managed to outperform this popular precious metal.

According to Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI) data, prices in some classic car market segments increased by 20 percent during 2011, while gold prices rose only ten percent. Property prices are declining, equity returns are poor, and returns on savings are almost non-existent.

This has led to a renewed focus on alternative investments like classic automobiles.

When the economy is unstable, investors flock to physical assets with an intrinsic value, especially those available in limited supply. This has led to an increase in antiques, gold, art, rare stamps, and classic cars.

Collectors and hobbyists purchase many of these alternative investments but even traditional investors find their pulse quickening at the prospect of owning a Daimler.

The amount of car finance needed to purchase a classic automobile is often determined by fashion trends. In addition, investors should be aware of depreciation rates and that ownership of a classic automobile does not provide an income stream.

Scratches and dents that appear on the car will decrease its value, while money is required for maintenance and repairs.

Despite this, classic cars can still be a smart way to diversify the portfolio. According to HAGI index founder Dietrich Hatlapa, these automobiles move independent of other investments.

During the past three decades, the HAGI Top index, which measures rare and expensive collectible classic car performance, increased 30 times. This equates to a compounded annual growth rate of over 12 percent.

Gold increased only 2.17 percent each year during the same period.

Car Sharing Becoming Popular With UK Commuters

Many commuters in the UK are choosing a car over the train. Though they once embraced public transportation, they now realize that it is both time-consuming and expensive.

They are now carpooling with strangers and loving it. Even those who enter the situation unwillingly are realizing that carpooling is quite pleasant.

Using cash or car finance to purchase a vehicle and posting an ad on a car-sharing website it all it takes. Many people sharing rides enjoy the shorter commuting time and opportunity to meet new people.

Drivers post their route and charge passengers based on the price of gasoline. Those sharing the ride save substantially in terms of commuting costs. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

As an example of the savings, one man commutes from Cambridge to London and currently charges his three passengers £12.50 each per day.

A peak-time train fare between Cambridge and London costs £42. To avoid registering as a business, which increases insurance costs, many drivers do not profit from the situation.

They do it simply to keep their commuting expenses low and they enjoy the company during the ride.

The UK is not the only area where car sharing has become popular. Commuters in Germany are gradually embracing the practice. Younger generations in particular find carpooling appealing.

Some people fear the risks of meeting others considered unpleasant but this usually does not happen. Instead, drivers put their car loans to good use by helping friendly people get to and from work.

BlablaCar is a carpooling website in the UK, Spain, and France. Co-founder Nicolas Brusson reports that the company had almost no members in 2008 but by 2011, 1.5 million people had joined.

Rising European travel and petrol costs are the main reasons many people car share. Mr. Brusson expects the number of European carpoolers to grow in coming years.

Think Twice About Financing A Diesel Car

Diesel automobiles feature better fuel economy than petrol autos, resulting in many UK diesel car finance deals each year.

However, UK car buyers may want to reconsider taking out car loans for diesel automobiles because the price of this fuel is expected to soar.

A few days ago, the largest independent oil refinery in Britain, the Coryton facility in Essex, entered administration.

Coryton supplies approximately 20 percent of fuel used within southeastern England. Parent company Petroplus, based in Switzerland, declared insolvency, bringing deliveries to a standstill.

The average diesel price is 142.21 pence/liter, just one 1 pence/liter shy of the May 2011 record of 143.04. Both automobile groups and energy analysts fear that the shutdown of Coryton will lead diesel fuel prices to skyrocket.

An AA spokesperson stated that the motoring agency expects the price of diesel to exceed its previous high. Energy Quote lead analyst Damien Cox predicted that diesel prices will be impacted over the short-term.

He disagreed with media reports of potential fuel shortages, saying that though short-term supply may be affected, contingency plans should cause supply to be normal over the long-term.

The shrinking British economy may be bad in general but it could be good for diesel car owners. Mr. Cox said that the restricted economy has decreased diesel fuel demand.

Therefore, even near-term restrictions in the fuel supply will not be felt as severely. Drivers who own diesel cars will still be able to fill up- it will just cost them more money.

Consumers in the market for a diesel car may want to wait a bit. Car loans for diesel autos may be more attractive after a predicted temporary spike in diesel fuel costs subsides.

In the meantime, they can shop for the best good or bad credit car finance deals and get pre-approved to streamline the purchasing process.

New Citroen Already Turning Heads In The UK

Citroen just added a new luxury vehicle to its UK lineup and the buzz has already started. The Ultra Prestige DS3 is considered a luxury vehicle and after viewing its list of features, one can understand why.

It combines sophisticated styling with premium features and the distinctive design of the Citroen DS line. There will surely be many car loans taken for this vehicle in the near future.

The Ultra Prestige DS3 will be offered with either a THP 155 fuel engine or a carbon dioxide and fuel-efficient e-HDI 110 diesel engine. The latter is an ideal candidate for commercial car finance for fleet vehicles.

It offers CO2 emissions as low as 99g per kilometer and 74.4 miles per gallon fuel economy.

Buyers have their choice of polar white or thorium gray interior. Front seat upholstery features a watchstrap design in club leather, with a unique crescendo viagra effect inspired by the fashion world. the leather color gradually changes from white to black down the front seats.

The dashboard of the polar white interior is covered in white leather, which is also used on the door panels and center armrest, and dashboard dials are also white.

Side and rear windows are dark tinted and the vehicle features charcoal gray 17-inch alloy wheels and a sporty spoiler. The black roof of this car features an Ultra Prestige graphic that changes from matte to gloss with lighting changes.

A dark chrome signature package adds black door mirrors, dark chrome side trim, and front grill and fog light surrounds.

This special edition DS3 super-mini is the ultimate in small car luxury and buyers should expect car loans of at least £21,000. Vehicles like this are designed to be noticed, whether they are tooling around town or zipping down the highway.

Those who drive frequently should consider the fuel and emission-friendly diesel model.

Fuel Consumption Increases Due To Friction

Most drivers hope to secure car loans for vehicles that consume a minimal amount of fuel. Research reveals that friction is responsible for automobile fuel consumption of 33 percent or more. By reducing friction within cars, automakers improve the fuel economy of their vehicles, providing consumers with more bang for their buck.

The study, which was conducted by VTT Technical Research Center and Argonne National Laboratory, noted that it should be possible to decrease friction by as much as 80 percent in the next five years. This would result in an 18 percent or more decrease in fuel consumption for a typical car.

New developments within 15 to 25 years should result in a 61 percent improvement in vehicle efficiency.

There are 612 million vehicles on roadways worldwide, according to the study. Each year, the average driver travels approximately 13,000 kilometers. In the process, 340 liters of fuel are consumed just to overcome friction. This costs drivers over €510 in fuel annually.

The statistics go on to reveal that for a basic internal combustion engine, 33 percent of fuel consumed is attributed to exhaust, and 29 percent goes toward cooling.

Thirty-eight percent of the fuel consumed is put toward mechanical energy. As a result of friction, a large portion of this is lost. All this fuel waste is a cause for concern. Drivers can do something about this before additional friction-reducing technologies are implemented.

They can use their car finance to purchase an electric vehicle.

An electric motor has half the friction loss of a traditional internal combustion engine. Electric cars currently cost more than their conventional counterparts do but the price gap is steadily decreasing. Driving range is an ongoing concern with these vehicles but that is also improving as researchers uncover new technologies that use electricity more efficiently.

VW Expanding European Car Finance

Even though Volkswagen AG is the largest automaker in Europe, it is still attempting to increase customer loyalty. It plans to offer ten percent more Audi, Skoda, Seat, and VW car loans and leases within the next four years. According to company financial unit leader Frank Witter, finance customers exhibit more loyalty.

In 2011, the automaker leased or financed 30 percent of its vehicles. By 2015, this figure will increase to 40 percent, allowing VW to further penetrate European markets. Last year was a good one, with a 14 percent increase in global sales companywide.

Eleven percent growth in Germany and seven percent in the remainder of Western Europe were partially responsible.

Selling a vehicle on finance offers a time window to discuss new models with the customer. Thirty percent of VW-backed European cars are leased and 70 percent financed. At the end of 2011, Volkswagen Financial Services had a balance sheet of 90 billion euros, an increase from the June figure of 87.8 billion.

It plans to grow its customer deposit percentage from 25 to 33 percent.

Mr. Witter noted that VW is taking a slow approach to growth. The automaker does not plan to expand U.S. financing options for the Audi brand. It does not want to place quality and residual values at risk. Putting many incentives behind a car creates more off-lease value autos, which places additional pressure on vehicle residual values, he said.

Whether European car buyers qualify for car loans through VW or must find bad credit car finance, they will join the ranks of many other satisfied VW owners. VW hopes that the percentage of these happy drivers will only increase in the near future.

New versions of the Audi A6 and the Passat made this possible last year. We can only guess what is in store during the next few years.