The Difference Between A Car Mechanic & Fitter Explained

Tuesday, 23. September 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

When you take your car in for servicing or repair is it dealt with by a fitter or a mechanic. Personally, until recently, I didn’t know the difference and frankly it isn’t something that keeps me awake at night.

Thinking of a change but unsure as to the best way to finance your car? Then you need a copy of my car finance book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide by Graham Hill. Click on the link below to buy the best car finance book on the market, available as a Kindle Book and Paper Back.

But in new guidelines issued by the Government, as part of its plans to licence garages, it apparently fails to identify the clear distinction between the two which has upset a few mechanics. So to clarify, a fitter is someone who simply changes components as recommended by the manufacturer/computer.

Whereas a mechanic is someone who needs a much greater understanding as to how things work. So there you have it, recognition at last for the mechanics who have been confused with those far less qualified fitters! By Graham Hill

New EU Emissions Tests Will Affect BIK Tax & Car Tax

Wednesday, 28. May 2014

There is an expression, be careful what you wish for. I’ll finish it by saying – because it might bite you on the bum. Many people complained about the Government dictated fuel consumption figures. I’ve discussed this on many occasions. The figures don’t reflect fuel consumption in the real world, whatever that is.

Thinking of a change but unsure as to the best way to finance your car? Then you need a copy of my car finance book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide by Graham Hill. Click on the link below to buy the best car finance book on the market, available as a Kindle Book and Paper Back.

The figures are measured in near perfect conditions using a rolling road in a temperature controlled room etc. But whilst the conditions don’t reflect what you would encounter in the centre of Brighton or any other city come to that nor do they reflect the conditions you would encounter on the M6, north of Birmingham on a Tuesday afternoon.

The point is that it is impossible to simply come up with a ‘real world’ fuel consumption figure. What Car may seem to think that it is possible and as a result publish ‘Real World’ combined fuel consumption figures but they are simply rubbish. I drove to Birmingham twice within a week. I felt that I was driving pretty much the same.

There was a small hold up around the M25 near Heathrow on one of the trips but other than that the traffic seemed pretty much the same and I was travelling at a pretty steady speed. The big difference was that on one trip the sun was shining and the conditions were dry, on the other it was hissing down. The result was 50.9 on the first trip and 44.1 on the second.

Now according to the handbook the combined fuel consumption should have been about 60mpg but I never expected to achieve that. What it enabled me to do was compare different cars knowing that one car would return a better fuel consumption than the other without knowing exactly how they would compare in the ‘Real World’.

So to my mind whilst the results are far from what I would expect to achieve, especially the way I drive, the Government figures make the most out of a bad situation. But here’s the crunch. In 2017 the EU is pushing for a new emissions test to be introduced. In addition to emissions the test will include fuel consumption checks which experts say will better reflect real world figures.

Now this may be great if you want what some would consider to be more accurate fuel consumption figures but the change to the way that cars are tested could show CO2 emission figures up to 30% higher increasing the benefit in kind tax for company car drivers by as much as 35% (no I’m not going daft it’s to do with the CO2 banding).

Car tax will also increase as will Class 1a NI contributions by employers. It is clear that the current testing system needed reviewing (currently the New European Driving Cycle – NEDC)  because, for example when testing the cars all fuel consuming gadgets are switched off, such as lights, air conditioning etc. and whilst 10% of the test time has the vehicle idling the figures don’t reflect the new stop/start technology. But with greater fuel consumption accuracy, as is expected with the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light-duty Test Procedures (WLTP), comes the bite on the bum. You have been warned. By Graham Hill

Enhanced by Zemanta

Graham Hill Warns Again About Potential Economic Disaster

Wednesday, 14. May 2014

Last week I was thumbing through the latest edition of Credit Today, one of the journals I always try to read more thoroughly than any of the others, not only because it has a fairly good handle on the industry but also because a very good friend of mine, Fred Crawley, is the managing editor.

Thinking of a change but unsure as to the best way to finance your car? Then you need a copy of my car finance book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide by Graham Hill. Click on the link below to buy the best car finance book on the market, available as a Kindle Book and Paper Back.

So I was disappointed to see that a round table event had been held without my presence. I was more disappointed about the comments of the good and the great in the industry.

Motor finance currently runs at a massive £28 billion per annum and not only accounts for a slice of profit earned by the dealers but more important, and often overlooked, is that finance contributes heavily towards the sales of new cars, making it possible for consumers and small businesses to afford new cars rather than used cars.

The thrust of the debate was the effect of the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations and the effect on the industry. Virtually everything that was raised was to do with us, being dealers or brokers and them, being the lenders. There was a complete dog’s dinner of comments, speculations and suggestions but guess what?

I couldn’t find one sentence that mentioned the potential problems to consumers and small businesses. There was a lot of sympathy and even empathy for the lenders but what about the bloody borrowers. Why is it that the Government, and virtually all of the consumer and small business finance industry, walk around with their heads firmly planted in their jacksys?

They continue to make bold statements, explaining how they are setting out to protect consumers and SME’s but when you want to finance a replacement fridge, TV, car or essential equipment for your business how does it help when the lender explains that you have failed the new FCA imposed affordability test?

And where will all this leave the economy, it’s a sad fact of life that when people borrow money from a payday lender they often need it for essentials or some sort of an emergency like the freezer breaking. Either way the money doesn’t sit around in a bank account – it is spent which continues to help the recovery.

Creating barriers to lending will flatline the economy and could send us back into recession. We are in sensitive times, we need finance to keep the economy moving forwards but I seem to be a lone voice in the wilderness. Only time will tell, lets hope that common sense prevails and lenders continue to do what they do best – lend bloody money! Rant over! By Graham Hill

Enhanced by Zemanta

Licence Renewal Age To Be Increased To 80

Thursday, 8. May 2014

Currently when you reach the age of 70 you have to renew your driving licence. However, according to the Department for Transport this should be extended to the age of 80 in order to reduce DVLA costs and make it more efficient.

Thinking of a change but unsure as to the best way to finance your car? Then you need a copy of my car finance book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide by Graham Hill. Click on the link below to buy the best car finance book on the market, available as a Kindle Book and Paper Back.

Following a review, on behalf of the Government, the DfT concluded that we should change the rules to bring the UK in line with Europe who already have a renewal age of 80. At present there are over 4 million motorists over the age of 70 which represents a substantial amount of administration at renewal time, so by extending the renewal date the admin costs will be cut significantly.

But safety campaigners object to the proposal on the grounds of health and safety. In fact they suggest that there should be increased controls on the elderly not less which could cost lives. I don’t agree, not least of which as I am edging my way towards 70 I don’t really want to have to renew my licence.

Department for Transport

Department for Transport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand the government could take the savings and fix a few more potholes which would prevent many more accidents than extending the licence renewal dates! By Graham Hill

Enhanced by Zemanta

How To Appeal Private Parking Tickets Explains Graham Hill

Saturday, 8. March 2014

You are obviously aware that owners of private land can no longer clamp or remove  your car when parked there, I advised as such on my blog. Following this Government ruling owners of private car parks and land, where people parked without permission, could still issue parking tickets quite legally.

Thinking of a change but unsure as to the best way to finance your car? Then you need a copy of my car finance book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide by Graham Hill. Click on the link below to buy the best car finance book on the market, available as a Kindle Book and Paper Back.

Whilst drivers became more cautious about private car parks and land on which there was a parking warning posted, they generally ignored the fact that some of the worst culprits at issuing parking tickets are now supermarkets, hospitals and motorway service owners if you park longer than the allowed time.

But what you may not have known is that there is an independent adjudication service called the Parking On Private Land Appeals service which was set up to coincide with the new rules that came into force in October 2012. Since it started it has overturned more than half the tickets issued.

So far they have received 2,000 appeals of which 1,058 fines have been overturned with 911 found in favour of the operator. In the past the only way to appeal a ticket was to go to court at the risk of losing and having to pay court costs. This service is totally free so now you know and if you or someone you know receives a ticket it is worth appealing. Here is the website: http://www.popla.org.uk/ By Graham Hill

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ageism, Drugs and Safe Drivers by Graham Hill

Friday, 7. February 2014

Bits & Pieces: Ageism still exists it would seem! Insurance companies can still turn you down for insurance based on your age and this happened to over 100,000 last year. However, to help the elderly keep mobile the Government introduced a scheme that meant that if an insurance company would not provide cover due to age they must refer the driver to an insurer who will and apparently it worked as they are all happily still driving. Stop complaining about old drivers – you’ll be there one day!

Thinking of a change but unsure as to the best way to finance your car? Then you need a copy of my car finance book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide by Graham Hill. Click on the link below to buy the best car finance book on the market, available as a Kindle Book and Paper Back.

For those who enjoy the occasional spliff then jump into their car and weave their way home in the belief that they won’t get ‘done’, think again as the Government has announced an investment of £120,000 for cannabis screening devices to be installed into police stations in an effort to tackle drug driving. It is estimated that drug driving is responsible for 200 deaths on the road each year – no laughing matter.

On the earlier subject of age there are now over a million drivers on UK roads aged over 80 and amazingly there are 195 aged over 100. The Institute of Advanced Motorists added that older drivers are actually safer with fewer, in terms of percentage, having points on their licences. By Graham Hill

Enhanced by Zemanta

Government Initiative To Improve Roads

Friday, 2. August 2013

Highways Agency Traffic Officers

Highways Agency Traffic Officers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It would seem that the Government is being a little bit sly. There is a bit of a hole into which the Government is going to have to pour a ton of cash before too long. In fact there isn’t just one hole there are thousands of them and not just any hole but pot holes.

It is a real headache for the Government but it will have to be addressed if the whole of the roads infrastructure isn’t to come to a halt or it causes a major catastrophe. The Government seems to have a solution because many of the delays don’t seem to be the lack of funds but unworkable civil service rules.

So Stephen Hammond, Transport Minister, announced that the Highways Agency will become a publically owned corporation. This move will free it from red tape and ensure funding going forward.

As a publically owned company it can be scrutinised more effectively. It can also offer better incentives to staff. The move is part of £28bn funding for UK roads and accounts for 8 years of funding up to 2021 ensuring at least 6 years of financial certainty.

Thinking of a change but unsure as to the best way to finance your car? Then you need a copy of my car finance book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide by Graham Hill. Click on the link below to buy the best car finance book on the market, available as a Kindle Book and Paper Back.

In the past funding has been on an annual basis, not good for making plans into the future, so this will allow them to plan ahead. The funding will also be protected against future governments wanting to cut this allocation.

There are fears that this could ultimately lead to the further privatisation of the Highways Agency and eventually lead to toll roads and other road charges so we need to keep an eye on this one!

Oh and in order to sort out the pot holes £12bn of the funding is set aside for re-surfacing and maintenance, half of which will be spent on Motorways and A Roads. It sounds good but as always the proof is in the eating. By Graham Hill Car Finance

Enhanced by Zemanta

Investigation To Be Made Into Insurance Premiums

Saturday, 1. October 2011

Do you feel that your insurer is ripping you off? If you do you’re not alone. In fact the House of Commons Transport Select Committee produced a damning report on the subject recently, giving the cost of car insurance a high profile and forcing the Government to take action. The Cost of Motor Insurance report calls on the Government to force Read more

Britain Has Worst Drug Drive Problem In Europe

Thursday, 25. August 2011

Various prescription and street drugs may caus...

Image via Wikipedia

After reporting a few weeks ago that the Government was not going ahead with roadside drug testing equipment we now learn that after the police stopped a million motorists across 29 countries and tested for drink and drugs it has Read more

Should The Government Implement MOT Changes?

Wednesday, 24. August 2011

MOT logo

Image via Wikipedia

Another item I’ve reported upon before is the proposal by the Government to change the MOT requirements. The proposal is to make the first MOT due at 4 years and then every 2 years thereafter. In terms of cost this is good news for Read more