Added Dangers Of Used ‘Connected Cars’

Friday, 16. September 2016

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.

I’ve warned in the past about selling your car that has hands free Bluetooth fitted and the need to delete your stored telephone numbers, especially if you have stored sensitive numbers that you wouldn’t want others to know. Well the situation is getting worse now that ‘connected’ cars are now being sold on or part exchanged.

Some cars built over the last couple of years are capable of connection to mobile devices via apps which is great for the owner of the new car but it can lead to all sorts of problems when these connected cars are bought by used car buyers down the line.

Tim Church from Weston-Super-Mare found this out when he sold his Land Rover Discovery Sport only to find that sometime later he was still able to access the car’s InControl App via the app on his phone. From his app he could still see the location of the new owner as well as whether the car was locked or not.

The latest connected facilities can include pre-warming or cooling the car from your app, remotely unlocking the car, downloading music as well as knowing where the car has been and is currently located. When questioned by Auto Express Land Rover said that it was the responsibility of the previous owner to remove the vehicle from their account when they sell it. I’m sure this will be of great comfort to new owners of Land Rovers! By Graham Hill

The Expensive Dangers Of Replacement Cars Following An Accident

Friday, 16. September 2016

One of my customers, Zamir Hussain, has rather bizarrely found himself in court following an accident that wasn’t his fault. He was provided with a like for like replacement car (not cheap considering he has a Range Rover) but after the other driver’s insurance company disagreed with the amount claimed for the hire car he now has to go to court.

He could end up having to pay all or part of the bill which is several thousands of pounds and serves as a stark warning to anyone involved in an accident. The situation requires a little unravelling so please bear with me. You’ve had an accident that wasn’t your fault and your car is booked in for repair. There is no dispute that the other party is at fault.

You now have one of two choices, you can claim through your insurance company which means that you lose your no claims discount or you can make the claim yourself against the other party. However, and this is the first point to note, you must advise your insurance company that you have been involved in an accident. Failure to do so could cause your insurer to refuse to insure you in future. You should send a letter to your insurance company making it perfectly clear that you are not making a claim, simply advising them.

So you have advised your insurance company and you are now faced with another choice. The bodyshop repairing your car may offer you a courtesy car. This is exactly what it is, a courtesy provided by the repairer, which tends to be a small engine’d modest car to keep you mobile. On the other hand your insurer may suggest that you take a like for like car and recommend a credit hire company who will provide you with a car, either the same as the one you drive or a similar grade. By taking this route you don’t lose your no-claims bonus but the car rental is in your name.

The agreement between you and the credit hire company includes payment terms. They will seek to recover the cost from the other party’s insurance company but, and this is a big but, if the other insurance company refuses to accept liability for the accident or for any other reason refuses to pay, you are liable as the agreement is in your name.  Whilst you may feel you have a right to expect a like for like replacement there is an overriding obligation on you to mitigate the costs to the other party (and his insurer) in the event of an accident.

For example if you have an accident that wasn’t your fault and you feel your car is driveable, then instead of having the car checked by an engineer you continue to drive it, you could cause additional damage. If subsequently it is found that you have caused irreparable damage to the engine the other person’s insurance company would most certainly challenge a claim for a replacement engine – and probably win.


It seems that some insurance companies are challenging hire costs, not because they are too high for the car but that a direct replacement shouldn’t have been provided in the first place using the mitigation of cost argument for the challenge. They will also challenge a rental charge for a replacement car if you keep the hire car after your car has been repaired. You may stand a better chance of your claim succeeding if you lease your car. You should point out that you are still paying for the lease of your car whilst it is being repaired so you should be entitled to claim for a like for like replacement.


Some Credit Hire companies also provide a total risk agreement whereby, unless you have deliberately tried to defraud them, they will cover the cost in the event that they end up in court and lose the case. You need to check beforehand. It now starts to get a little messy. If you end up in court you may be asked if a courtesy car was offered and why you didn’t accept it. The advice is that you should tell the credit hire company if you are offered a courtesy car (you may be asked in court why it was essential to have a like for like car as opposed to a small courtesy car).

If you are not able to use the hire car during the period that your car is being repaired, for example if you are on holiday or you are unable to drive through injury or illness then the claim for that period could be thrown out. Here is another strange twist. Credit hire is known to be the most expensive way to finance a rental car. If you walked into a daily rental company and rented the same car it could cost up to £200 less per day but to do this you would be expected to pay in advance for the rental.

So as the accident wasn’t your fault why would you take this route, surely it must be down to the other party’s insurance company to pay the rental costs direct? Wrong. If it can be shown in court that that you had the resources to pay for the replacement car at the lower rate the court could find in favour of the insurance company for the difference. And it gets worse, supposing the car was a write off. How long would you be entitled to a Credit Hire car for? Most would assume from the time you had the accident to the time you receive the payout.

Some might argue, but not be successfully, that you need the hire car to drive around to inspect potential replacement cars. However, again, rather bizarrely, if it can be shown that you could have afforded to pay for a replacement you may not be entitled to claim for more than say a ‘reasonable’ 2 weeks. The expression used by the courts is ‘impecunious’ when you don’t have the funds to pay for a replacement in the case of a write off or pay for cheaper daily rental if your car is being repaired. So beware if you have a few quid in the bank.

Finally, there is the ‘upsell’. Only ever consider an upsell if the Credit Hire company doesn’t have a direct replacement and won’t charge a higher rate for the better car. Let’s say your car is a 3 Series BMW but because the Credit Hire company has no 3 Series available they suggest they provide a 5 Series. Check that they will still charge the 3 Series rate and don’t fall for the supplier saying that you don’t have to worry if the rate is higher as the other party’s insurance company will be paying.

They probably won’t. In summary only take a Credit Hire car if you are absolutely confident that it won’t result in you paying all or part of the bill. For your information you can check Nationwide Credit Hire Rates by clicking here. Incidentally to put this into perspective Zamir’s Credit Hire charge was over £6,000!!! By Graham Hill

Sophisticated Car Theft On The Increase

Wednesday, 29. April 2015

Having been in this industry for years there are few things that have caused me serious concern but the rapid growth in sophisticated car theft over the last few months is one of them. One leasing company won’t allow you to lease a Land Rover car without having a tracker fitted which can add quite a bit to the monthly rental.

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.

Thieves are even targeting vans now, not only for the money they can make on the van but also the goods or tools that are being carried around in the back. The latest high tech thefts are perpetrated by gangs using gadgets that reprogram the electronics controlling keyless entry and start systems.

There has been a lot of publicity around these thefts but few people know that the surge in thefts has come about as a result of a change in European legislation which countered anti-competitiveness by making it easier to obtain replacement keys and the ability to program them. Vehicles on the thieves radar are high end Audis, BMW’s Range Rovers and Ford Transit Vans.

Within hours of being stolen cars and vans are being exported in containers, either whole or in parts, abroad as far away as Africa. Manufacturers have been advised to look into this problem as a matter of urgency. Changes to the electronics have been called for as well as improved marking methods to identify stolen parts.

The warning came after BMW said that it had fixed a security flaw that allowed hackers to unlock the doors of up to 2.2 million Rolls-Royce, Mini and BMW vehicles. As a result the police have stepped up their anti theft operations. They launched Operation Endeavour which was a campaign against keyless car theft. Scotland Yard reported that they had made 84 arrests and an 800 strong team of officers from the Met, Kent, Essex, Hampshire, Surrey and Thames Valley seized 222 vehicles after monitoring 20 arterial roads.

In another operation a search at Felixstowe docks found 5 Range Rovers believed to have been stolen from Surrey, South Woodford and Islington in containers bound for Kenya. Hundreds of parts from a dozen BMW cars, stolen in East London, were headed for Cyprus. In order to hide the stolen parts they were stashed within a pile of motorbike parts.

The police believed that the car parts were to be forward shipped. The police and manufacturers are working on the problem but in the meantime the police are suggesting that drivers revert to 80’s technology by fixing highly visible steering and brake locks which may be enough to deter a crook from breaking in. From my point of view the law needs to be changed.

We allow people to sell the gadgets and others to buy freely online. The law only says that you must not use the equipment for illegal purposes. It should be illegal to sell or buy this equipment unless you are properly authorised to do so. Not to do this is ridiculous. By Graham Hill

Graham Hill Reviews The New Range Rover Sport

Wednesday, 17. September 2014

As you know my car reviews are legendary due to the fact that the manufacturers stopped sending me cars to test drive many years ago, so I thought ‘sod ‘em’ I’ll say exactly what I think as I don’t have to suck up to them in order to have a car to drive for the weekend.

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.

Unfortunately, whilst not a big fan of 4WD cars, I have to say that I’m impressed with the soon to be launched Discovery Sport that replaces the somewhat leggy Freelander and brings the Discovery style into the 21st century.

It will come with 7 seats as standard and has adopted some of the latest Range Rover Sport lines, still popular with drug dealers (I’m told), premier division football players (new), 1st division football players (used) and accountants (new). For some strange reason Jaguar Land Rover have decided to fit the new car with an old engine whilst launching at the same time the Jaguar XE with the new Ingenium engine.

I understand that the new engine will find its way into the new car later next year so might be worth waiting. The car will come with 2WD and 4WD powered by the eD4 and SD4 engines via a 9 speed auto or 6 speed manual gearbox. Improved tech spec. and style will no doubt appeal to lovers of 4WD cars although I have to say that the leather seats look like venetian blinds and the headrests on the back 2 seats look dopey.

I wait with interest to see the replacement full sized Discoveries which currently remind me of a hearse! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! By Graham Hill

Buyer’s Rights Questioned When Buying Ex Demonstrator

Saturday, 26. July 2014

For those that think that the days of scams in the motor industry are a thing of the past – think on! In the piece sent out last Friday I explained that I would happily buy an ex lease or ex daily rental car but avoid an ex demonstrator like the plague!

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.

Someone who probably agrees with me is John Quinn who bought an ex demonstrator Range Rover Vogue. As most of the Range Rovers dropping off the end of the production line at Land Rover are destined for the Middle East, China or Russia there was a long waiting list so as John couldn’t wait he paid the full retail price of a new car for a demonstrator.

The car was 6 months old with 3,000 miles on the clock when he bought it. The Range Rover was then sold on to a private buyer who complained to John that the heated and electric seats weren’t working. The car was returned by John to the supplying main dealer for them to fix the problem under the warranty.

However, they found that the seats had been swapped by the dealer with those fitted in a Vogue SE to satisfy a customer. They then found that the wiring of the seats in the SE was not compatible with a Vogue so the electrics would never work and as the seats were changed it invalidated the warranty on the seats.

The dealer refused to pay for the repair and Land Rover passed it straight back to the dealer – and rightly so. A big thing was made over the price that John had paid and he wouldn’t have paid full price if he had known that the seats would no longer function. First of all the price is totally irrelevant other than to maybe add a little weight to John’s argument but it isn’t material.

What is material is what he bought. Did he buy the car he was told he was buying? The change of seats was explained to John but it wasn’t mentioned that they weren’t working and never would. When buying a used car you buy it as seen so whilst a car may have an LX badge on the boot and say that it is an LX in the registration document it doesn’t have to conform to LX spec. as I’ve mentioned in the past.

This would change of course if the dealer selling you the car confirmed that the car matched the original manufacturers spec of the car. If the dealer knew the seats weren’t working they had an obligation to tell the buyer so he has a chance here as they ‘withheld material information about the car that could influence the buying decision’.

However, they have argued that they weren’t aware that the electrics weren’t working and common sense tells you if you know that the seats have been changed you would check that the electrics work OK – if it was likely to affect your buying decision. The argument continues between himself, the dealer and the manufacturer but yet again it raises some interesting questions, which, in this case, looks as though will only be resolved in court.

But the bottom line is that when you buy an ex demonstrator it could have been driven harder than a hire car and you are buying a used car that could hide all sorts of scary things that you should be, but often aren’t, made aware of. Buy or lease a new car from a reputable dealer or broker and you remove much of the risk.

Don’t go for the cheapest because you may be subject to a scam, the ex demonstrator that has been clocked by the dealer supplying a lease car via a dodgy broker (bucket shop). The new car that was intended for the daily rental market in ‘sub spec’ condition sold to a leasing company as a full spec brand new car. You know the rest as I bang on about it enough. By Graham Hill

Graham Hill Reviews The New Land Rover Defender

Tuesday, 4. October 2011

Land Rover Badge

Image via Wikipedia

I thought it would happen, just as I started giving positive reviews about cars that I like along came Land Rover with a rather dopey car. You would have seen the Defender that they have been building since cars were invented, those are the ones that you see army personnel thrashing about in, farmers rounding up sheep in and tribesmen tearing across Read more

Graham Hill’s Review Of A New Car

Saturday, 17. September 2011

The Graham Hill car review of the week is a very strange choice. In the 25+ years I’ve been a broker you could count the number of these vehicles I’ve supplied on one hand and yet it epitomises the manufacturer. It’s the original 4WD and still a popular choice with farmers who are more likely to be driving across their fields in one than swanning up the Read more

Graham Hill’s Brilliant Gadget Of The Week

Wednesday, 14. September 2011

My gadget of the week is a mouse. No, not a squeaky furry thing with a long tail but a computer mouse. What’s so special about it? It’s in the shape of a car. Now whilst this may sound a bit dopey the cars are scale models of well known cars such as the Mercedes SL Gullwing, Mini Cooper, Range Rover Evoque and even a Maserati Gran Turismo. Read more

Graham Hill Solves The Problem With Electric Cars

Sunday, 28. August 2011

Opel Ampera

Image via Wikipedia

Over the weekend I worked out how to download a video on You Tube onto a memory stick then take the memory stick and plug it into a USB port in the back of my new LG TV then watch the video, and jolly good it was too! I am told, by the instruction book, that’s the thing we never read until we’ve tried every which way to use the facility then turn to in Read more

Used Car Motoring Costs More Than New Shocker!

Wednesday, 1. December 2010

Land Rover Discovery 3
Image via Wikipedia

Insurance and fuel duty increases have been blamed for the inflation busting increase of 6.3% announced by the RAC in their Cost of Motoring Index. The average cost has increased by £346 over last year’s cost taking it up to £6,000. Depreciation has also had an effect although some costs such as Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) and car finance have dropped. The annual study assesses the running costs of 17 new cars from the Toyota Yaris to the Land Rover Discovery. Each model’s bills are weighted Read more