Deal or no deal? What does Brexit mean for the UK car industry?

The SMMT have stated that they want to work closely with the government to make sure that the “interests of [the] sector, jobs and investment are safeguarded and future competitiveness of this industry is secured.” But with turmoil at the very heart of Westminster, that is easier said than done.

Free-Flow of Goods

Perhaps the issue of most concern is the free-flow of goods across the border. As part of the EU, this was not an issue for the UK. Under a Brexit scenario however, this will change. Costs in future tariffs alongside the need to strike new deals can be seen as a negative issue. The counter argument is the opportunities that world-wide, unrestricted trading will give to the industry.

Another concern put forward is potential problems with the ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing process. Having to cope with making storage and warehouse provision, together with increases in transport times across restricted borders is a negative. But having to adapt to new working practices will create new jobs and improve prospects in local economies. Yes, change can be good.

UK Production

With UK car manufacturing suffering another decline in January this year and volumes falling by 18.2%, is this purely down to Brexit or other factors? Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the SMMT says the decline was a result of model changes and weaker demand in both the UK and key export market. He added: “Another month of decline is a serious concern. The industry faces myriad challenges, from falling demand in key markets, to escalating global trade tensions and the need to stay at the forefront of future technology. But the clear and present danger remains the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which is monopolising time and resources, undermining competitiveness.” [1]

It’s not all doom and gloom for UK production with Toyota starting production of its new Corolla at its Derbyshire factory back in January. This follows Toyota’s announcement of a £240 million investment in to the Derbyshire factory, with new equipment, technologies and systems. [2]

Car Prices on the Rise?

The most obvious concern for the British motorist with Brexit looming is – will it cost more to buy a car? With this is mind, Carwow have created an online tool[3] which aims to predict the prices of cars after Brexit. Using a collection of data sources, it predicts that customers’ fear’s may be spot on with the prices of Honda, Hyundai and Fiat set to increase between £2500 and £3000, with higher end makes such as BMW and Audi increasing over £8,000. Although, some makes didn’t fare too badly with the average price of a new Ford increasing by £727. Could Brexit be blamed solely for these price increases or can demand in new technologies contribute as well?

Future Regulations

One factor that the SMMT has highlighted as a key issue is the “future influence on regulations affecting the UK automotive industry.” This is a tricky subject, one that is not helped by the seeming paralysis in the Parliamentary decision makers. This does hold to an assumption that the current situation is the best, if not the only, way to go forward.

Brexiteers would argue – quite strongly, that change is the better scenario. That the UK needs to leave the EU and strike out on its own, trading with a world that is flowing with milk and honey.

Yet it’s true to say, that the current uncertainty could lead to a second referendum, or an election or another hung parliament with ultimately, the UK remaining in the EU. And, what will people make of that?

Hindsight will tell whether this is to be the best of times or the worst of times. The thing that will best suit everyone, is for a decision to be made so that we can move on. There shouldn’t be a need to fear change, if it is handled correctly.

 

 

Sources: [1] https://www.am-online.com/news/market-insight/2019/02/28/uk-vehicle-production-declined-182-in-january

[2] https://www.am-online.com/news/car-manufacturer-news/2019/01/14/toyota-starts-uk-production-of-new-corolla

[3] https://www.carwow.co.uk/car-prices-after-brexit

How to plan your own spring budget

If you’re considering buying a new car in the next few months, it’s a good idea to start looking at your current finances to give you a clearer idea of what you can afford – especially if you’re looking at monthly payments, either through car finance or a loan.

Here are some things to consider when planning out your budget.

Your current car payments

If you’re currently a car owner and looking to upgrade, either in price, style or both, it’s important to have a look at what your current motoring outgoings are. This doesn’t just mean the actual cost of the car, maybe you have a monthly finance payment, but also the cost for upkeep. Such as petrol, insurance, road tax, servicing and repairs and even parking costs. Are there areas where you could look to save some money? Can you look at cars with low or even zero road tax? It’s worth looking at these areas and seeing if you can make some smart savings without compromising on your car choice.

What’s your car worth?

Do you own your current car outright? If so, depending on its age and condition, it might be worth some money as a deposit on a newer model. At the same time as doing your research for your new car you should get some quotes for your current model as either a part exchange towards a new car or as a private sale which you could use as part of a deposit. If you don’t own the car outright and maybe have some finance left to pay, contact the finance company for your settlement figure as you’ll need to take this into consideration when looking for a new car.

Your other monthly outgoings

Motoring costs can take up a big chunk of our monthly outgoings, along with our mortgage or rent, food shopping, bills and nights out! So, when you’re planning the budget for your next car, it’s important to factor in all your non-motoring bills. There’s no point in stretching your budget for that souped-up sports car when you don’t have enough money left over to fill the fridge, never mind fill the tank!

If you’re shopping for your first car it’s easy to get carried away and want your dream car instantly, but it’s important to be realistic. There’s plenty of years ahead to build up to that dream roadster.

Think of the future

We’re all for living in the moment but when it comes to planning your budget, it’s a good thing to think of your future and any big changes that you’re planning. Are you vying for the big promotion which means a move to the big city? Or are you thinking of expanding your family, or even buying a house? For many, when buying a new car, it means monthly payments in the form of car finance, bank loan or credit card, which also means you’re agreeing to pay that amount for a fixed term, normally over a few years. So, if you’ve got other big plans in the next couple of years, it’s worth taking these into consideration. Is that 2-seater roadster a good idea when planning a family? Will that luxury SUV be worth it when you’ll be using your bus pass Monday to Friday? Or does that new job come with a company car?

Remember your car is your source of freedom, independence and ultimately fun. So, don’t tie yourself down with extra bills and outgoings that spoil the enjoyment of hitting the open road!

Budget sorted and ready to start your search for your next car? Browse over 200,000 cars in stock from trusted dealers throughout the UK at Exchange and Mart and s1cars.

 

 

All you need to know about an MOT

It’s not like a school test, you can’t cheat your way through, but it also doesn’t require any last minute cramming the night before. Nevertheless, if you want to prepare yourself, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about an MOT.

What is an MOT?

An MOT is a legal requirement in which your car is tested to check that it meets road safety and environmental standards. It should be carried out by a qualified MOT tester at an MOT testing centre.

When do I need to get an MOT?

Your car will be due its MOT either on the third anniversary of its registration or the anniversary of its last MOT if it’s over 3 years old.

You’ll be sent a reminder letter a month before your MOT is due or you can opt to receive text message reminders from www.gov.co.uk/mot-reminder

You don’t have to wait until your due date to have the MOT carried out, you can have your MOT carried out up to a month (minus a day) early and still keep the same renewal date. But don’t leave it too late. If you’re caught driving without an MOT you could be prosecuted if caught and fined up to £1,000.

What happens during an MOT?

Only an approved MOT test centre can carry out your MOT, so look out for the blue sign with 3 white triangles. Important parts of your vehicle will be tested to ensure that they meet legal requirements, such as body, fuel system, exhaust, seatbelts, seats, mirrors, wipers, doors, brakes, tyres, wheels and even your registration plate! The test doesn’t cover the condition of the engine, clutch or gearbox. Remember this isn’t the same as having your annual service carried out so don’t forget to arrange that when needed.

How much does it cost?

Prices vary depending on the vehicle, but the maximum cost for a car with up to 8 passenger seats is £54.85.

What happens after the MOT?

You’ll be notified whether your vehicle has passed or failed as soon as the test has been carried out. If your vehicle has passed, you’ll be given a new MOT certificate and it’ll be recorded in the MOT database. You may also be given a list of ‘minor’ or ‘advisory’ things to monitor or fix over time but haven’t been deemed serious enough to fail the vehicle. But these should be carefully watched and actioned when possible.

If your vehicle has failed, this means there are more serious problems that mean your vehicle is not road safe. You’ll be given a ‘refusal of an MOT test certificate’ and the failure will be recorded on the MOT database. The repair centre may then give you a cost for having these items fixed and then retested.

You can take your vehicle away if your current MOT certificate is still valid and no dangerous problems were listed. But if you do choose to leave without getting the problems seen to, there is a list of minimum requirements your car must meet before you can drive away.

You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle that has failed its MOT because of a ‘dangerous’ problem.

When is it time to change your car?

The aim is to take care of your car and it’ll take care of you, and hopefully last a long time. Over that time, we grow close to our cars, giving them names, makeovers and even talking to them. But when it comes to changing your car, how do you know when it’s time?

That rattling noise just won’t go away

That noise has been bugging you for a while now and no matter how many times you take it to the garage for a fix, it just isn’t getting better. As much as you’ve cared for your car over the years and love even its rusty bits, if it’s becoming costly or unsafe to drive then maybe it’s time to say goodbye. Older cars do need a lot more TLC than newer ones but if you’re not prepared for the cost involved in the upkeep then it might be time to upgrade to something a bit friendlier on your bank balance.

It’s a non-starter

Did you ignore that rattling sound a bit too long? Good news: the rattling has stopped, bad news: the car won’t start. If your car is past repair and magic will not bring it back to life, then it’s definitely time to go car shopping. Although your old car might not be worth much to you, it’s worth checking if you can sell it for parts or even bag yourself a cheeky trade-in, you never know – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

You’ve grown out of it

This could mean both literally and figuratively. Maybe you bought a little run-around as your first car to get over all those first-time nerves, bumps and scratches and now you’re ready for something a bit more grown up. Or maybe you need a bit more space – changing from a Mini to a Minivan? Throughout your time as a driver, your car will grow with you and adapt to your ever-changing life. Whether that’s treating yourself to that souped up turbo engine or looking for some extra boot space to fit the pram.

Time for an upgrade

Purchasing a car, no matter what the price, is a big financial commitment and often depends on what our other outgoings are. So normally when choosing your car depends on what your budget is at the time. So, when you get a little free cash, maybe your outgoings are coming down or you bagged that sought-after promotion then it’s only natural to think – ‘is it time for an upgrade?’.  But remember, always try to live within your means and don’t put pressure on your finances. There are so many great deals available so getting that dream car can be a little bit closer without regretting it a few months down the line.

More fun

As many people are looking to increase the size of their car to fit the family, there’s just as many that don’t need the boot size anymore and are opting for something a little smaller. Maybe all the kids are grown up and have their own cars and you’re looking for a convertible to enjoy the beautiful summer weather? Sometimes our car decision is based on our practical needs and not down to the joy of driving but it’s great when you find the car that does both.

If a new car is calling you then make sure you check out the thousands of used car deals we have available from dealers throughout the UK.