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

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.

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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

Beware Of Like For Like Replacement Car Insurance

Sunday, 21. September 2014

Direct Line, along with many other insurers, offer a like for like replacement in the event of a major accident resulting in a total write off or the car being stolen and unrecovered. It would seem that they offer this type of policy if the car is purchased new but what doesn’t seem to be so clear is the position if you buy an ex-demonstrator with no miles on the clock.

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Currently it may take you 6 months to get a Range Rover, however, David Mitchell of Sidcup couldn’t wait so he bought a car from a main dealer that was pre-registered (i.e. registered in the name of the dealership). Soon after buying the car it was stolen so knowing that he had paid full retail price (ie the price he would have paid for an unregistered car) he asked Direct Line to replace it like for like as per his policy.

They refused, claiming that he could only make a claim if he was the first registered keeper, which he wasn’t, it was the main dealer. Instead they offered him the market value which was £10,000 less than the £60,000 he paid for it. After complaining Direct Line stood firm and refused to either replace the car or pay out the full amount paid referring Mr Mitchell to the terms of his policy.

So be warned. Had he taken out ‘back to invoice’ GAP insurance he would have recovered the £10,000 difference. But, to be honest, I’m a little concerned about the policy he took out as some of these like for like replacement policies can be a couple of hundred pounds more expensive. Assuming he didn’t misinform Direct Line when completing his application, stating that he was the second registered owner of the vehicle, he may have a case for miss-selling.

He was sold a policy to include a level of cover that they weren’t prepared to pay out on. Something they knew when he took out the policy and something they clearly failed to highlight. There could also be a claim under the Unfair Terms In A Consumer Contract 1999 legislation. The car was technically new as it was unused, should it really matter if someone else’s name appeared in the registration document first?

Direct Line said that they assumed any buyer of a pre-registered car would be paying much less for the car than a new unregistered car but this doesn’t seem to have been mentioned in the contract. Yes he paid full price for the car but he would have paid the same if the car was unregistered before he took ownership.

Shame on you Direct Line, personally I would take them to court and guess what, if you had legal cover included in your policy you could go through an independent solicitor and they would charge Direct Line for him to take legal action against the Insurer. Don’t you just love it! Sadly Mr Mitchell isn’t a client of mine so he has had to rely upon the advice of journalists. 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

Is Car Design Responsible For Increase In Blind Spot Accidents?

Wednesday, 26. October 2011

Have you noticed how windows in cars have become – skinny? Years ago the height of a rear window in a car was probably a couple of feet unless you were one of my dopy mates that cut the roof off their mini and dropped it by about 18”. In fact thinking back that may have been the inspiration behind the design of the modern car. Look at the new 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

Why Lease Rates Can Vary So Much On The Same Vehicle Pt 2

Wednesday, 27. July 2011

Insight Part 2: Whilst I’m in the mood to expose some of the trade secrets that lay behind contract hire rates let me delve a little deeper into the area of vehicle pricing and depreciation. Fleet News recently reported some incredible increases in new car costs, mainly as a result of the exchange rate against the Euro. Since January 2008, according to Read more

Cars Most Likely To Be Stolen Exposed

Saturday, 7. May 2011

2011 BMW X5 xDrive 35d. Diesel version for Uni...

Image via Wikipedia

Got a 4WD car, then expect to have it stolen! According to stolen vehicle recovery company, Tracker, SUV’s, especially the top of the range cars, head up the list of cars most likely to be nicked! Top of the stolen car list in 2010 was the BMW X5 followed very closely by the Range Rover. In third and fourth place were performance cars, the BMW Read more

Graham Hill In Depth Car Review Of New Range Rover Mini

Thursday, 25. November 2010

The Graham Hill in depth review of a new car focuses on the new Range Rover Mini. I hated the new Posh Spice influenced Evoque, it looked dopy and first impression of the challenger to the Mini Countryman was that it looked just as dopy but you know what – it’s starting to grow on me. At the moment it is still in the design stage but if the car ends up looking like the designs it will be one to look out for although it will tip the scales at £25,000. The car is likely to come in 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive Read more

Graham Hill’s Famous Car Review Spotlights New Land Rover

Saturday, 17. July 2010

Now to Graham Hill’s famous car review. This week the new, yet to be launched, Range Rover baby get’s put under the spotlight. The car, called the Evoque, will come with a tiny 2.0 diesel or petrol engine and has a bit of a Nissan Qashqai look about it. It has little slit windows but the car I’ve seen has a panoramic glass sunroof so maybe if that becomes standard it won’t seem quite as dark and dingy as it looks. Do I Read more