Staying Safe On The Roads

Whilst we all have our own budgets and stuff like that, safety is something we should never shirk on and is something that we should always be considering. When it comes to car safety and thus the safety of my family, of my children, money is no object. But just how safe are your cars? For instance, would you know when your car tyres need replacing?

Cox Motor Parts have created a fab infographic (read more about it here), talking about 10 warning signs that your car tyres need replacing. How many did you know?

Now I’m not the driver in our household but safety is paramount to me and I knew the majority of these. I must admit that I don’t think we change the tyre pressure as regularly as we should do which will be changing as of today and that I know of plenty of people who probably don’t even know half of these. So many of these things happen because people ‘don’t have the money’ to fix them – surely safety comes first?

It is important to have a budget but it is also super important to ensure the safety not only of yourself but your family, other road users and pedestrians too. Knowing what to look for when it comes to car safety is key to avoiding any unnecessary accidents. Why not pay the small amount to replace your tyres when they need replacing rather than run the risk of paying thousands if you have an accident or even paying with your life? It isn’t worth the risk. Get them checked.

How many of these did you know?

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Facing up to a retirement savings shortfall

When it comes to saving, a lot of people have good intentions. We might plan to squirrel away money into a savings account or make savvy investments, all with the intention of ensuring that we have an emergency fund in place.

Unfortunately, the actual process of saving isn’t always so easy; emergencies can deplete our funds, or we may simply not have enough disposable income to save effectively.  This means that savings aren’t always there when we need them, and it can be troubling to face a hole in our finances with nothing to fill the gap.

Retirees can feel this issue particularly acutely if they need savings to supplement their monthly income. Whether this income is from pensions or other sources, the fact remains that if savings are needed to keep topping up the pot, there may be problems when the fund runs dry.

Alternatively, pensioners may find that they simply haven’t saved enough to meet their needs. Either way, the concern is that many people with these issues may bury their head in the sand rather than seeking a solution.

If you’re retired and worried that you might be running your savings down too quickly, or you’re currently working but concerned you might not be putting aside enough money each month, then this is probably sounding a little too close to home.

Could your property bring you peace of mind?

Facing up to the fact that you’re having a savings shortfall, though sometimes uncomfortable, is an important first step towards finding a solution.

One such solution is equity release – a process which allows you to release some of the cash that is tied up in your home. Available to eligible applicants aged 55-95, equity release can be used to take a lump sum as well as, if desired, additional smaller amounts through use of a drawdown function. The most popular form of equity release is a lifetime mortgage, which is secured against your home.

Last year, the Financial Times suggested that the UK’s retirement savings may be falling short by around £11 billion each year, a concerning figure which suggests that people need to act sooner rather than later. Deciding that it’s time to take action is a good first step, but then it’s time to start fully investigating the available options.

Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits. This means that it is important to be aware that there are other options too – such as downsizing – although, of course, this would mean leaving your current home.

If you’re considering equity release it is recommended that you read ‘is it right for you?’ carefully.

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Motoring Money – Beating Depreciation

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If you’re looking to purchase a new or used car, you’re probably looking at making one of the most expensive purchases in your life aside from your house. However, as cars can sometimes lose value quickly, you’ll want to try and purchase a vehicle that will still be worth as much as possible when you come to sell it on.

So, how do you cheat depreciation? You’ll need to know some general rules and you’ll have to select a model that people will still want in years to come. Fortunately, used car finance experts Trade Centre Wales have advice to help you defeat depreciation in your car.

What to look for

In general, luxury cars will hold their value better than small family models. SUVs and 4×4 models in particular hold value well, with cars in that class retaining around 46 per cent of their price after three years when bought brand new.

When it comes to the used market however, your best bet is to look for big name, economical vehicle brands such as Audi, Volkswagen and BMW diesel engines. These will have a higher purchase price compared to petrol variants but will be worth more than them when you resell thanks to the economy and longevity of diesel engines. As more people prize fuel economy thanks to rising costs, diesels are growing more appealing and therefore their price holds better.

Avoid buying top of the range models as these will depreciate in a similar fashion to other high spec variants and will be far more expensive to buy new.

The best models to choose to beat depreciation

Of course, the best cars generally are luxury models such as Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s, but not everyone has the luxury (or budget) to buy those brands. Instead, you’ll want to look at cars such as….

Dacia Duster

We know this one isn’t diesel but this is one of the best value car brands on the market, Dacia introduced the Duster as their affordable SUV option and the car has proved popular with the 1.6 litre petrol Ambience model holding its purchase price well. However, the 1.5 dCi model is also popular and retains its price. A nearly new 2016 model will cost around £14,950 – but you can expect to sell for around £9-10,000 after three years which is a great return.

Audi A1

While the premium brand may not scream affordability, the resale value of an Audi A1 is high thanks to both the prestige of the manufacturer and the rise of public interest in smaller cars. You canfind a new model for anywhere between £15-18,000 new, while three year old models are on the market for around £10,000 and up (excluding those with mileages in the 100,000+ range) – still a great resell price.

Volkswagen Scirocco

A sporty model that not only looks great but carries the Volkswagen badge of prestige, the VW Scirocco is a great choice in the diesel variant as it holds its value well. A new model will cost around £20,000, and you’ll get around £13,000 for a three year old car with sensible mileage.

Range Rover

Are you noticing a trend? The bigger the name, the better the value. The Range Rover is a fairly iconic vehicle – but is in such high demand due to its spike in popularity that it holds value better than other luxury competitors such as the Audi A8 or Mercedes S-Class. Brand new, you’ll pay around £76,350. A 2013 model with less than 40,000 miles can sell for as much as £58,000.

While this gives it a good depreciation percentage compared to other vehicles however, you’re still losing over £18,000 – enough to buy yourself a top spec Ford Fiesta or similar small car.

Vauxhall Viva

The sub-Corsa small car is an affordable car when bought new, but its popularity seems to have ensured good resale values. It loses just £2,258 over the course of three years and 30,000 miles – thus making it a great choice when you want a cheap used car you can resell later. Brand new models are around £8,890 and good condition 2013 plates can be had for £5,000 and up.

Ultimately, car depreciation depends on your initial budget. If you’ve got the money to purchase a Range Rover or other luxury brand, you’ll most likely consider £18,000 of depreciation acceptable. However, on a smaller budget resale becomes much more important – so opt for an affordable car like the Vauxhall Viva or Audi A1.