The Car Dealer Automotive Industry Expo is on the horizon, as the motor industry turns its gaze towards the hallowed tarmac of Silverstone for CDX17.
On May 23rd 2017, car dealers and suppliers from across the industry will converge inside the incredible ‘Wing’ exhibition centre at Silverstone for one of the hottest motor trade show tickets on the calendar, CDX17.
Hosted by Car Dealer Magazine, in association with GForces, this years event will be even bigger and better than lasts years success, and, Warranty Administration Services Ltd will be there! Yes, we will be at CDX17 on Stand 317 near the main stage, showcasing our services which will include our market leading Crystal Clear Warranty.
If you’re a motor dealer attending this year’s event, and looking to take control and get more from your warranty, then please come and speak to us at Stand 317. We also have a web page online where you can download a free information pack before and after the event!
Crystal Clear Warranty is a self-funded aftermarket solution that has helped motor dealers take control and profit from their warranty since 1984. For over 33 years, many of the most trusted franchises, dealer groups, and independents in our trade use Crystal Clear Warranty to enhance their customer care, and help bring new profit to their business.
Hosted by Car Dealer Magazine, last year’s event was praised for showcasing a wide range of suppliers, products, and an insightful panel of guest speakers.
If you’re a motor dealer and looking to take control and profit from your warranty then please come and visit us at CDX17 on Stand 317, or visit our website at warrantyadmin.co.uk/cdx for more information.
Motorists appear to be turning their backs on diesel as they look to more eco-friendly vehicles, industry figures suggest. We look at how this might affect the used car dealer.
When it comes to buying a new car, there’s always a question you ask yourself: “petrol or diesel?” Both engine types have their pros and cons we usually we decide based on the cost of fuel, or the type of driving we adopt such as urban or motorway driving.
The kind of questions we ask ourselves are: ‘What is the cost of unleaded at the moment? Will I mostly drive motorway miles? Will I just pootle around the city centre?’
When it comes to choosing the fuel type for a new car we usually stick to petrol or diesel because it’s what we know. However, as figures suggest, there is now a third element to this dilemma. One that has taken its seat at the table, and is asking for equal helpings of the motoring market.
What about eco-friendly?
No longer just a buzz word. No longer just a fad that over-promised on a vintage episode of Tomorrows World. No longer shrugged off with a ‘yeah right’ around the pub table. Eco-friendly… green… hybrid… electric… However you refer to it, the eco-friendly ‘green’ option has clawed its way into our age-old motoring conundrum, and is satisfying a bigger portion of drivers demands each month.
Choosing the right engine that is going to drive your new car is an important decision. Not only because of the build-costs involved and the price of gas and fuel efficiency, but also the impact the engine will have on the environment. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that 78,778 diesel cars were sold in January, a drop of 4.3% on the same month in 2016.
Now here’s the eyebrow raising part. Over the same period of sales, electric cars and other alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) leaped by 19.9%.
For the first time ever – AFVs now account for more than 4% of the market. Okay okay, I know you’re going to say: ‘But it’s only 4%.’ However, just consider that January’s total vehicle sales were 174,564 – and of that 7,270 were eco-friendly cars.
Every single month a greater proportion of green cars are purchased, whilst traditionally fuelled vehicles like diesels decline. Some 3,536 less diesel cars were bought compared to the same month last year.
Let me put it another way. More people bought AVFs in January than the total number of people who bought a Ford Focus.
So what’s going on at the petrol pumps? Well. Sales of diesel cars have actually been dropping for several months. In fact, 7 of the last 8 months have seen a drop!
Steady media attention. Public outcry and political focus on pollution. Health issues. The negative revelations that Volkswagen and possibly other manufacturers were fiddling emissions data, are souring our taste for diesel cars.
In December 2016, sales of diesel cars were down by 6.8% on the same month a year earlier.
Diesel cars: So are they that bad?
To sprinkle some positivity over this article, diesel cars as we know are more fuel efficient than petrol. You get more bang for your buck at the pumps, and they also produce less CO2 meaning, at present, you pay less road tax because UK road tax is based on how much CO2 a car emits.
CO2 emissions don’t paint the entire pollution picture.
Diesel engines produce more nasty pollutants like nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, and other heavy particulates that constitute that thick toxic smog you see hanging over big cities. These are not only harmful to the environment, but have been linked to respiratory conditions such as asthma.
So are the headlines over diesel cars finally hitting sales? Recent figures for January seem to confirm the trend. One year ago, new diesel car sales were out outnumbering those of petrol cars. Now? The situation has reversed.
Big City Influence
Several major capitals around the world have voiced their desire to ban diesel cars within 10 – 25 years because of the pollution they cause. The Mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens say they are implementing the ban to help improve air quality, and are also going to give incentives for alternative vehicle use and promote walking and cycling.
This is a huge statement of intent and a welcoming hand to eco-friendly vehicles. In recent weeks we have seen a feed of troubling media and new research spill into the news.
The poor quality of London air is fuelling demand for more direct action and harsher tolls against ‘dirty cars’, and diesels are the ones to be dragged through the streets.
For instance, as of April 2017, Westminster will hit some diesel drivers with extra parking charges. It is also believed a diesel scrappage scheme could be implemented soon to encourage motorists to ditch cars which are the heaviest polluters.
From the 23rd October 2017, a brand new ‘toxicity charge’ will take effect in central London. The so-called T-Charge will see the owners of older, more polluting cars face an extra £10 fee for entering the congestion charge zone. City Hall estimate that up to 10,000 vehicles every weekday will be liable for the new emissions levy.
How could this affect the used car dealer?
You’d think that with a decline in demand for new diesel cars would reflect on the used car market – but apparently no. According to CarBuyer.co.uk, diesel cars are more in demand than cars with petrol engines and can be worth 10% more when bought secondhand.
It appears that diesel cars, at least for the time being, can retain a good value and good demand on the used forecourt. Whether the ever increasing financial obstacles the government hurls into the path of diesels reduces their appeal to buyers, and their value, this is a question many used car dealers should consider. Especially those within the big city limits.
Used Diesels vs. Used Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles
If the new consumer market is anything to go by, it looks like we’ll see a slight but steady decline of diesels flowing into the used car market over the coming years. Slowly being replaced by a new demand for used hybrid, electric, and other AVF vehicles. This brings about a whole new set of goalposts to kick through, as common diesel issues that we’re all familiar with like DPF or glow plug faults, are replaced by potential hybrid battery pack problems or complexities associated with the drive train.
Used hybrids however are nothing new. The first Toyota Prius rolled onto UK roads in 2000 and with the 4th generation in the showrooms now it’s fair to say hybrid technology is reliable and in-demand.
The problem from a used buyers point of view is the unknown. They assume expensive repairs because of the newer and complex technology – even though vehicles like the Prius has no clutch, conventional starter motor, alternator or drivebelt. Plus the hybrid system apparently leads to longer durability of brake discs, pads and tyres. But, of course, it’s the battery pack that has most potential buyers worried.
I guess it’s the same kind of worry traditional used car buyers have about a timing belt. You’ll probably think something like: ‘If the battery fail then the repairs will be expensive. The parts will be expensive. That will not be a good day.’
According to Honda, reliability isn’t an problem with their hybrids. They say the batteries in the Civic IMA (from 2002) are lasting 10-14 years, while the company has yet to replace a single pack from newer models such as the post-2010 Insight and the Jazz Hybrid offered from 2011.
With these batteries still under warranty, most manufacturers have yet to set prices for replacement parts. Mitsubishi UK advise battery pack costs have halved in the past three years and by the time the current crop of cars are out of warranty – and by the time their battery packs begin to fail – replacement costs will be even lower.
What is more encouraging is that it’s unlikely a complete battery pack will need renewal. It will simply be a question of replacing the dead cells inside, reducing costs even further.
So how much does an entire battery pack cost for a Mk1 or Mk2 Prius?
At the moment, it’s around £1,000 to £1,200 respectively for replacement battery. A new battery for a Mk3 is priced at £5,730.
Replacing the battery pack on an original Honda Insight or Civic IMA will cost around £2,000, but only £900 on the later Insight and Civic IMA.
In 2012, Honda switched from nickel metal hydride batteries to lithium-ion versions, almost tripling replacement costs from £972 to £2,700.
So in this article we’ve talked about the perception and decline of diesel cars, and the possible effect this could have on the used car market. Even though we predict that eco-friendly cars will begin to take up more and more space on the forecourts, there is still a feeling of the unknown when it comes to used AVFs aftersale problems and potential repair costs.
One thing’s for sure. Times are changing, and with it, the landscape of the new and used car dealer forecourt.
The time new vehicles will be allowed on UK roads without an MOT, may rise to four years in 2018.
The four year MOT recently announced by the government intends to extend the length of time for a new vehicle to have its first MOT. From three years, to four years. This change in 2018 would bring England, Wales and Scotland in line with Northern Ireland and other European countries. These include France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway.
The Department for Transport explained that safer technology and improved manufacturing means new vehicles retain their level of build quality, and stay roadworthy for longer. The four year MOT strategy is a response to evolving levels of production, and will bring welcomed cost-savings to motorists using new vehicles estimated at over £100 million a year.
The DVSA does advise there will still be a legal requirement for drivers and motorcycle riders to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, and MOT tests play an important role in ensuring the standard of vehicles on our roads. New vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago. It is only right we bring the MOT test up to date, and help save motorists money where we can.”
There are fears that high-wear components such as lights and tyres may go neglected because of the four year MOT change. This may lead to more test failures or worse still, accidents as a result of mechanical failure.
Quick MOT Facts
Over 2.2 million cars each year require a first MOT test at a maximum cost of £54.85.
Motorists face a fine of up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.
The annual number of three-year and four-year-old cars involved in accidents where a mechanical defect was found to be a contributory factor has fallen from 155 in 2006, to just 57 in 2015.
What effect will this four year MOT change have on service centers?
We’ve all been there. Sitting in the waiting room like a concerned family member as you wait for the MOT to finish. The testing mechanic walks in. They give you a bit of a head shake, exhale with a sort of ‘unfortunately’ tone, and then break the bad news your car has failed. Then you find yourself wishing “please just be a light bulb, please just be a light bulb!”
Now ironically at the time of writing this article, my Toyota Yaris has just this morning failed its MOT! A faulty brake light and a rubber wishbone bush. So not bad really!
So whatever the outcome of your MOT, the test and repair work brings vital income for one of the 22,700 garages and test centres around the UK. If MOTs on new vehicles are delayed and motorists are expecting to save some £100 million per year, that money is no longer going into the motor trade.
It will be up to these garages and testing centres to diversify, and as the government has said, “find new areas of work to cover the shortfall in MOT testing and repair work”.
What kind of initiatives can you implement?
As one of the garages/service centres potentially affected by these four year MOT changes, what can you do? One such initiative could be something like our very own MOT Cover. A self-funded product where you can offer your customers a guarantee on common parts/components in case they fail the next MOT.
Think of it like a warranty, equipped with claim limits and guidance on what to do should the vehicle fail the next MOT. You register the customer and vehicle details online within minutes, and print out the professionally formatted personalised paperwork instantly to hand to your customer.
You can sell this cover as a standalone product, or the popular approach adopted by our used car dealers is to give it away free. Then incorporate the cost into the price of a vehicle sale.
One other strategy our clients use is to encourage customers to return the vehicle to their workshops to keep the MOT Cover valid. “Bring your car back to us for MOTs and we’ll guarantee certain parts against failure on your next test.”
How does MOT Cover work?
It’s very simple. You keep the MOT funding/premium in your own accounts, and over time, build up a pot of money to cover any claims (and goodwill if you should choose) from future MOT failures.
Not only does this provide you with a cash flow benefit, it’s also a VAT product meaning there is no FCA involvement. We provide a full claims service for you and your customers, and support you with onsite training, monthly reporting and administration.
What happens to the expired MOT Cover fund?
When MOT Cover guarantee runs the course and expires, you can then at your discretion, draw down any expired funding as profit. Some clients choose to let the account build up to accommodate any larger MOT claims. Some dealers choose to actively use the pot for goodwill repairs and go that extra mile for their customers!
Fun fact for you, the ‘Ministry of Transport test’ or MOT was introduced in 1960! Originally designed for vehicles over 10 years old, back then it was a basic vehicle check to examine brakes, lights, and the steering system.
If you’d like to talk about introducing MOT Cover for your customers, please call Warranty Administration Services Ltd on 01522 515600. Thank you for reading this post on the Warranty Administration Services Ltd blog about the new four year MOT changes.
Which UK city residents spend the most on their new cars?
It’s an interesting thought really, which city spends more on their new cars? A comparison of spending patterns released by CarWow.co.uk revealed that people in Glasgow spend more on their new cars, on average, than those living in any of the other 10 biggest cities in the UK, according to new research.
With three per cent of all new cars in the UK being bought through carwow’s platform, the team were able to analyse sales to uncover purchasing trends.
The average spend on new cars by those living in the UK’s 10 biggest cities was as follows:
1. Glasgow – £26,271
2. Edinburgh – £26,166
3. London – £26,160
4. Cardiff – £24,199
5. Birmingham – £23,621
6. Sheffield – £23,495
7. Bristol – £22,988
8. Leeds – £22,753
9. Manchester – £22,118
10. Liverpool – £21,979
The CarWow data team conducting the research also discovered that in England and Wales, men spend an average of £24,844 on a new car. Women seem to spend less at £20,992.
James Hind, founder of CarWow.co.uk said: ‘What’s interesting about these findings is that although London has higher earnings, on average, than any other city, no correlation can be found between the cities in the list and the average earnings in those locations.
‘Whilst it’s easy to assume that the average spend on new cars varies depending on people’s extravagance or frugality, we shouldn’t jump to that assumption. We’ve found that the exact same make and model with the same specification can vary in price from city to city.
‘We’ve had plenty of people buying vehicles through CarWow that have opted to buy a car from a dealership many miles away from their home town, purely because the price being offered was more competitive (and they could get the car delivered straight to their driveway).
September 66-plate registrations drives new car sales over £2,000,000 during 2016.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed? I certainly have! The number of cars featuring the new ’66 plate’ driving on the roads has been quite apparent? Maybe the ’66’ is more eye catching than past plate formats, but there’s certainly been a feeling of more ‘new-cars’ on the road lately! Well it’s not just a feeling, the SMMT reports that 469,696 new cars were registered in September 2016 – a steady rise of 1.6% and most importantly, the highest September on record.
There has also been a rise in demand for diesels and alternatively fueled vehicles; up 2.8% and 32.6% respectively.
If you’re liking all the numbers in this post, then the next figure will get your juices flowing! The year-to-date total registrations grew 2.6% in September taking the grand total so far to over 2 million new cars sold this year.
This amazing and very encouraging news means this marks the highest September on record, while the total number of cars registered so far this year also grew to 2,150,495 units – up 2.6% compared with the same period last year.
It is only the second time in recorded history that the two million mark has been passed in September. The first time was in 2004.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,
“September is always one of the biggest months for Britain’s new car market. The new 66-plate, combined with a diverse range of exciting new models featuring the latest technology, has certainly helped draw buyers into showrooms and many are taking full advantage of the attractive deals and low interest financing options on offer. Business and consumers place September orders many months in advance, so the ability of the market to maintain this record level of demand will depend on the ability of government to overcome political uncertainty and safeguard the conditions that underpin consumer appetite.”
Welcome to another “two pennies worth” by The Manager from the Warranty Admin Video Series!
Greetings my dear reader, it’s the Manager here from the Warranty Admin Video Series! So today I wanted to talk about websites and the internet. After a frustrating time trying to buy Barry Manilow tickets online for Martha and I, it got me thinking – it seems nearly everything and everyone has some sort of presence on the interweb nowadays. A way to say ‘hello world – here I am’ and communicate with friends, colleagues, or customers with the minimum of effort and expense.
Yes indeedy. Gone are the days where you randomly phoned a friend for a polite chinwag to talk cricket and the weather. If you call someone out of the blue nowadays you end up going straight to voicemail while the person on the other end decides if they actually know your number, or if it’s morally ethical to answer the phone whilst sat on the toilet!
Nowadays it seems a vast majority of people prefer to talk, read, and shop online. Everyone is doing it! At home, on the Tube, at work, in bed… it’s so easy to pick up the nearest handheld gadget and take a virtual stroll through a shopping emporium – or perhaps say, a used car dealer website.
“With an estimated 7.14 million cars being sold in 2015, the used car market in the UK is the largest in Europe. But with the wealth of data available online, car shoppers today are increasingly searching online before making a decision on their purchase.” (Inspire Through Insights, 2016).
Before a customer even sets foot upon the hallowed ground of your pristine forecourt to brush their fingertips over the shiny stock you purvey – chances are they will have taken several minutes ‘checking your business out’ online.
Your website has become the new front door to your dealership. The first impression you make to passers by. If your website is slow to load, it’s like having the front door to your showroom stuck ever so slightly ajar as your customer tries frustratingly to push it open. You know what happens then? After a few seconds they give up, hit the back button on their browser and get invited to watch funny videos of cats dancing the Macarena!
From my own research and also hearing Scott Sinclair from Google Motors talk at this years amazing CDX’16, the two important features for any used car dealer website is the speed in which it loads, and how cleanly it presents relevant information. If someone visits your site wanting to see cars – give them cars! Avoid tricky menus and flashy banners. Give the user as little work to do as possible.
Also take a look at your website on your mobile phone or tablet. Is it loading quickly when not on WiFi? Is your website ‘responsive’ in that it cleverly recognises the visitor is using a handheld device and adjusts your website layout to make everything big and easy to read?
My friends! A migration is afoot! Consumers have your forecourt in the palm of their hand and even though you may have the perfect car for them, is the performance of your website upholding the standard of your vehicles?
How your virtual forecourt presents your stock is just as important as the showroom the customer will walk into.
Just pick up your phone and visit your site to see how it performs. Is your stock appearing straight away and easily scrollable? Are the photos you’ve taken bright and detailed? Blurry dull images of cars parked in front of wheelie bins or a skip will struggle to entice a visitor to browse more. Take your time with your pictures and use a decent camera or a phone camera. You can even upload videos nowadays which offers the customer even more of a personalised experience.
With people flocking online to research their next purchase and make the most informed decision possible, and the huge amount of competition there is in the motor trade, it’s so easy for someone to hit the back button on above your website and go somewhere else.
Right, I’m going to try buying those Barry Manilow tickets again, let’s hope the page loads otherwise it’s another Friday night dinner at Martha’s mother-in-law’s house!
Meet the newest member of the team here at Warranty Administration Services Ltd!
After a long and strict selection process, including rigorous interviewing and aptitude testing, we are proud to introduce the new ‘Morale & Well-being Officer’ at Warranty Admin.
Everyone, meet Dudley the dog!
We are starting him young. Aged only 14 weeks, Dudley the dog has become the latest member of the WAS team and is already bounding his way towards a promotion and a possible management position!
Dudley is a cute little ‘Cockapoo’ from parents with exceptional pedigrees. Starting in September on a salary of a bowl of biscuits and water each lunchtime, his responsibilities within the company will be to greet everyone who walks through the door, fuss around them when they need attention, and take them out for walks to enforce the employee Well-Being Policy.
Unlike every other member of staff at Warranty Admin, Dudley will not receive shares in the company. He will however receive bonus treats throughout the day and be able to bring toys into the office.
We are convinced that Dudley will have a positive impact on the office, increase the team dynamics, and Dudley himself will have some great adventures and meet some fantastic people during his time with us. For all Dudley related news, please visit the WAS Blog or catch up with us on Twitter!
Luxury cars pricing and used car sales helped to bolster the used car market which increased by a slight 0.1% in July, according to Motors.co.uk.
The online website recorded the change through its transactions throughout the month, with the average price of a used vehicle rising slightly to £12,472.
The wholesale market at Manheim’s auctions saw its average selling price drop by 3.4% month-on-month, but within that figure the luxury segment saw selling prices up by 6.5%.
A spokesman for Manheim said: “While the average wholesale selling price was largely affected by the 3.9% decrease in ex-fleet car values, which fell to £9,822, it was bolstered by a slight rise of 0.5% in the average selling prices for part-exchange stock, which rose to £3,529.”
Hendy Automotive expand their reach along the South Coast with the acquisition of Lifestyle Motor Group.
Everyone at WAS would like to send congratulations to our friends at Hendy following their acquisition of the Lifestyle Motor Group. This exciting development in the motor trade sees the Hendy brand broaden its reach across the South Coast, encompassing the shared values and work ethics of the Lifestyle Motor Group.
“The Lifestyle Motor Group shares the Hendy Group’s values, so we’re excited to be making Hendy history as we integrate and move forward together. We are delighted to have bought Lifestyle which has a similar philosophy to Hendy, with a strong commitment to customer care and service.” – Paul Hendy.
The Lifestyle Motor Group, formed in 2001, operates Ford, Mazda, Kia, Renault, Dacia, Seat, Suzuki and Isuzu in the South East and is now part of newly formed company Hendy Automotive Limited.
“The Lifestyle Group shares Hendy’s values; a family-run business with similar tight geography and a clear focus on doing the right thing by customers, employees, and suppliers. Covering West Sussex, Surrey and Kent, the Lifestyle Group sits adjacent to Hendy and will offer a fantastic footprint in a neighboring location.” – Hendy Torque Magazine.
According to AM-online, the deal should place the new company in the top 25 of the AM100 with 12 motor franchises at 25 locations in Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, and Devon.
Hendy Automotive’s newly-acquired dealerships will continue to operate under the Lifestyle name for the immediate future as the business is integrated into Hendy Automotive.
Thank you for reading this Hendy Lifestyle Acquisition post on the WAS Blog!
England keeps UK new car registrations afloat during July.
Considering all the doom and gloom forecasting in the run-up to and after the Brexit, you have to admit that the motor trade is standing firm with a real sense of “let’s just get on with things”.
Yes there’s been ripples in the water as a result of the EU Referendum, with Vauxhall, Ford and Peugeot having implemented small price rises across their cars in the six weeks since the UK voted to leave the European Union, according to Daksh Gupta, CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings during a recent interview with TradePlates.TV.
“It’s only been small percentages, but I think clearly one of the things (driving it) is “what’s the impact of sterling going to be?”, said Gupta.
He said: ‘If you take what we’ve seen with these manufacturers that have put their pricing up, it’s only been one or two per cent. So, if you’re saying that an average vehicle is £20,000 and you took a midpoint and said it was a five per cent increase – that’s £300.
In related news, the boss of Nissan has said future decisions about the car giant’s Sunderland plant will depend on the outcome of Brexit negotiations. However he was ‘reasonably optimistic’ that the UK will continue to be a key partner of the European Union.’
Ghosn told the BBC: ‘I don’t think today you can talk about any impact before we see what is the new status of the UK. Most of the production out of Sunderland is exported to Europe. So obviously for us, the relationship which is going to prevail between the UK and Europe is very important.’
So even with all the negative forecasting leading into the Referendum, businesses and consumers are keeping calm, and carrying on as normal.
“Just keep swimming.”
In terms of new car sales last month, England was the only part of the UK with an increase in new car registrations during July 2016 according to figures released by the SMMT. Sizable falls of around 8% in Scotland and Wales was offset by a modest increase of 1,900 vehicles in England, which just about kept the UK sales figures afloat.
New car sales in Scotland were down to 12,471 in July 2016, a fall of just over 8% compared to July 2016, with a similar fall in Northern Ireland’s monthly registration figures to 3,899.
The year-to-date presents a more positive picture with an increase of around three per cent with 1,594,509 registrations. This is up 44,760, but it’s the 56,100 increase from England that keeps the overall number in growth.
This year sees Northern Ireland’s registrations increase by 233 vehicles while those in Wales fell by 100, and Scotland have fallen by 1,473.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “After a healthy start to 2016 and record registrations in 2015 the market is showing signs of cooling. The automotive market is a vital part of the British economy and it’s important government delivers the economic conditions which instil business and consumer confidence. With low interest rates, attractive finance options and exciting new models coming to the showrooms, the market still has lots to offer customers.”
Looking at the graph below it seems everything is starting to settle onto a healthy plateau.
We’ll keep an eye on the months ahead and report the latest figures right here, so please check back soon!
Thank you for reading this JUly 2016 New Car Registrations post on the WAS Blog!
Delivering Used Car Dealer, Warranty & Motoring News.