Is it REALLY worth having that scratch on my car fixed?

 

woman with carI wrote the article below early in the year and it has received a great response, so I thought that it would be a good idea to share it here again!

Is it REALLY worth having that scratch on my car fixed?

The answer depends on your circumstances. I always like to give an honest answer when customers pose this question, so here are a few scenarios to help you decide.

You should get the scratch fixed if you use your car for business. Many commercial fleet managers take great care in ensuring staff vehicles look their best. Although I don’t, people WILL judge your professional (and sometimes personal) standards by the state of your vehicle. It’s part of your brand. A well known courier company uses ChipsAway – they understand that delivering parcels in a scraped van gives the impression they are careless.

You should prioritise broken paintwork on metal – which is generally anywhere except your front and rear bumpers (which are usually plastic). Left untouched, the weather and salty roads can cause rust to set in to damaged steel panels. Once corrosion has taken hold, it is costly and specialist to repair. I don’t work on corroded damage – as although the repair might look perfect at first, within months the rust comes back. It generally needs to be cut or ground out. In worst case scenarios it can lead to MOT failures.

If you are returning a car at the end of it’s lease, it is worth getting estimates for any body work repairs – including alloy wheels scratches. At the same time, you might ask your lease company for a “Schedule of Charges” to check whether their charges are more than the cost of a repair. They often are (although alloy wheels vary the most) – so it is worth booking in a repair if the lease company would charge you more not to.

You should definitely think carefully about getting any damage fixed if you are selling your car. You might not get the value of the repair back in the asking price, but if someone has a choice between buying a car without damage and one with, I know which one I’d chose. A scuffed car might also give the impression that it has been mechanically neglected too – even if that’s not true. However, bear in mind that a simple bumper scratch repair from us starts at £165 + VAT. If you are selling your car for less than £1000, it probably won’t make a difference.

If the damage is ruining your enjoyment you might want to consider a repair. Many of our customers love their cars, and even the smallest dent causes them distress. It’s amazing how many people reverse into their own gateposts in their brand new pride and joy car. Having spent thousands on their cherished asset, many of our customers feel a few hundred more to put right a small mistake usually worth it.

If someone else has caused the damage, and offers to pay, you should accept. Some people chose not to, as they mistakenly think it involves a lot of hassle. We can collect the car from your house, leaving a courtesy car with you, and in most instances, return it to you the same day, fixed. The inconvenience is minimal. Nearly all of our work comes in under most people’s insurance thresholds – so there is no need for lengthy negotiation with an insurance company. Furthermore, you can also usually get other damage fixed at the same time, at a discount.

When not to get the work done? 

  • Don’t book in a repair if you car is about to go for an MOT and you suspect it has problems. There is no point in a great looking car, if you can’t drive it anywhere!
  • Don’t book a repair if you can’t afford it – unless it will cost you more not to (e.g. a lease return). If money is tight, make sure you are getting value for money from your repairer – ask if there is a life-time guarantee with the work (like we offer). Our prices are pretty set, but you can always ask if there are any special offers or for payment terms.
  • Most people wouldn’t fix damage if the repair costs more than the car is worth, but that said, we have a few customers who love their mechanically sound cars so much, and have grown attached to them, so they feel it is worth it.

Hopefully I have covered most scenarios – but if I haven’t feel free to get in touch. Both me and my husband, Jim offer free guidance and estimates – we are always happy to advise you. Call us on 07535521198.

Caroline

Answer three questions and potentially win £100

Dog-Money1_2634143bCan you help me with some market research and be in with a chance of winning £100 for answering three questions? If so, read on.

This is not a test, there are no right or wrong answers. Answer three simple questions (without researching) and be in with a chance of winning £100. Once we have 250 responses, I will draw a name from a hat and pay the winner. You have a one in 250 chance of winning. So please share this post too, so we reach 250 quicker! Please email caroline@milesbettermotoring.com answering the following:

1. WHAT TYPE OF VEHICLE DO YOU DRIVE? (say all that apply) – Diesel, Hybrid, Petrol, Electric, Van, Car, Camper, Motorbike, Motorhome, No vehicle, Truck, Lease vehicle, Bicycle, Company vehicle, Other (please say)

2. HOW DO YOU THINK ENGINE MAPPING MIGHT BENEFIT BUSINESS?

  • I don’t know what engine mapping is
  • I have no idea how it might help business
  • It could help lower carbon emissions
  • It could help businesses save money
  • It wouldn’t help businesses

3. HAVE YOU/HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED HAVING YOUR ENGINE MAPPED? YES/NO

ANY OTHER COMMENTS?

Please include your name in the email. You will be notified if you win. We will also announce winners on this web and on social media @MilesBetterMotoring

Thank you!

Caroline

Fuel-Saving Motoring – Nine Point Plan

Laptop

There are many ways to save money as a motorist – by buying and selling wisely, with good maintenance and management – but one of the most effective ways to save money is my saving fuel.  Below is my nine point plan to cutting down the amount of fuel you use.

  1. BUY A VEHICLE BASED ON FUEL ECONOMY.  But be careful – not all manufacturers use realistic driving conditions as a measure.  Study the Which? guide to understanding genuine miles per gallon.
  2. REMAPPING DIESEL ENGINES. Please see my recent post about saving up to 15% on fuel for diesel vehicles with a simple vehicle remap.
  3. BE AERODYNAMIC. When vehicles are tested for their fuel consumption in the factory, every gap and bump is taped up to give good results.  To improve the fuel economy on your vehicle remove roof bars and keep your windows closed.  A roof box can add up to 20% spent on fuel, and many are left on vehicles for months when they are not in use.
  4. LOOSE WEIGHT. Resist the urge to use your vehicle as storage.  Driving around with a full heavy boot or a van full of equipment not regularly used will cost you more in fuel.
  5. MANAGE YOUR TANK.  Each litre of fuel weighs around 720gms, meaning the average UK tank (65L) if filled, makes the vehicle weigh an extra 46.8kg.  If you half that, your car will handle better and be cheaper to run.  I do not advocate running the vehicle regularly close to empty – as you could get debris stuck in your fuel pump – costing you more in repairs.
  6. GOOD TYRES.  Well maintained tyres are essential for safe driving and the RAC says that inflated tyres can improve fuel consumption by up to 2%.  Check tyre pressures regularly, especially before a motorway journey.
  7. DRIVE A MANUAL.  Automatics use 10% to 15% more fuel than manuals (source: the AA).  However on motorway driving, there is little difference. Read the AA guide to pros and cons of Manual vs Automatic vehicles.
  8. SLOW DOWN.  Many businesses put a limiter on their vehicles – not just to slow staff down, but to save money.  Companies that install limiters claim a 25% saving on fuel, but if you are managing your own driving, try not to exceed 3000 revs and avoid heavy acceleration and braking where possible.
  9. AIR CONDITIONING.  Your fuel consumption will increase as soon as you switch it on.  If you can live with the fan, or just being a bit warmer, you will save money.

 

Money-Saving Motoring – Remapping

190308-camb-010WELCOME to my new blog.  On this site, I plan to explore the wealth of ways that motorists can cut down the cost of driving.  It is hoped that each Money-Saving Motoring blog posts, and the planned same-titled book, will be a useful tool for individuals, but also for those responsible for managing business fleets and for accountants and Financial Directors who’s job it is to advise their clients on good cost-savings.

WHAT WILL BE COVERED. I plan to explore a wide range of financial issues facing motoring, including buying vs leasing, selling and sharing vehicles, simple vehicle health checks, and clever hints and tips.  I won’t shy away from picking apart the diesel/petrol/electric/hybrid arguments and will also look at bio diesel and hydrogen options.  I am very open to ideas and feedback – so please feel free to comment or drop me a line.

First, I am going to start with what I know best: the diesel eco-remap.


190308-camb-014REMAPPING offers a quick and easy way for those that run diesel vehicles to gain up to 15% savings on fuel.  I recently spoke to a business who spends £1000 per month on fuel, per vehicle.  They had a modest fleet of five diesel cars – diesel vehicles are still preferred by companies doing a high amount of business mileage: they last longer, and are cheaper to run despite the ever increasing taxes.  If all five cars were remapped, it would provide a saving of £750 per month, meaning the cost of the remap would be recovered in a matter of weeks.  As an added bonus, emissions would be lowered too.

There are a handful of tuning companies offering remaps for cars, but ours – Miles Better – is one of the few to focus on lowering costs and emissions.  The technology we use (VIEZU) has been tried and tested on 24,000 BT vehicles, so we know it works.  If you want to know more have a look at the website or drop me a line.


SAY HELLO. If you have any ideas for future blog posts, I would love to hear from you.  Comment on this post or drop me a line.  I have been invited to speak at London Motor Show this week (on Friday 17th May) – if you are reading this in time, come and say hello.  I’ll be on the Live Stage around 3pm.

Caroline

MORE ABOUT ME AND THE BOOK ON THE HOME PAGE

#moneysavingmotoring

About this website!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Caroline Clennell is using this site to write, research and prepare for the publication of her book Money-Saving Motoring – set to be launched in 2020 to help motorists and businesses reduce the cost of driving.  Equally useful for fleet managers and financial directors as it is for the private individual.

190308-camb-010.jpg

ABOUT THE WRITER

Caroline owns and operates the car body repair franchise, ChipsAway, in the West Country. She is also the Director of the eco-focused remapping business, Miles Better. Caroline arrived in the auto industry in 2016, through her passion for cars, having had two successful careers in the UK Foreign Service and as a University Lecturer – her specialism for both was media and communications. Caroline is also the founder of (POWAS) Promoting Women in the Automotive Sector.

#moneysavingmotoring