New Car Buying Guide

So, it’s that time of year again when you start to think about upgrading your car. Maybe you’re the type of person who upgrades their car every 2-3 years or perhaps you’re looking to treat yourself in 2019, whatever type of person you are, hopefully this buying guide will steer you in the right direction!

As more advances in technology are being made, 2019 and beyond looks like the beginning of the electric car takeover. They may have been around a few years already, but people often turned their noses up at the thought of having an electric car because there was a perception that they would possibly run out of charge, they didn’t look the part and maybe weren’t fast enough. Well, that’s all beginning to change, and more and more manufacturers are prioritising their electric car manufacturing process’.

There are 2 types of electric cars or those of you not in the know, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug in Hybrids. The difference between both? Well, your BEVs are the ‘true’ electric car. They run solely on electric power. In comparison, the Hybrid has a two-part drive system, your conventional fuel engine and an electric drive. Best of both worlds, especially if you’ve never owned an electric car and are thinking of purchasing one.

It’s not just obscure car brands making electric vehicles anymore, your favourite car manufacturers have entered the electric world in a big way. Look at BMW. They’ve come out with their ‘BMW i3’, with its visionary design on the outside coupled with a futuristic interior, there may not be a better time to go electric.

Volkswagen have also stepped up their electric car game in the past couple of years, too. They have 2 electric cars on offer, the ‘e-golf’ and ‘e-golf’ executive edition. Both designs have everything you’d expect from a VW, it’s sleek, modern design now completely reimagined as an electric car.  Of course, how could you forget Toyota? The manufacturer that has championed the hybrid movement in recent years. They’ve added even more options to their extensive range of Hybrids which now includes the ‘Camry Hybrid,’ returning to these shores after 14 years now as a hybrid. Of course, you still have the ‘Corolla Hatchback’ but you now also have the option of a ‘Corolla Saloon’. And completely new this year, the ‘RAV4 Hybrid’, an all-new self-charging Hybrid with a 2.5 litre engine.

Why should you finance a new car this year? Well, not only can you say, ‘I own a new car’, (maybe for the first time in a long time) but with technological advances in new cars it makes them more economical on fuel and better for the environment and safer, too.

A brand-new car also means that you could potentially avail of a 6-year finance term rather than a normal maximum 5-year term, with our main lender. This provides reduced monthly payments, by spreading the finance over a longer term.

So, if you are looking to upgrade your car this year, why not take one more hassle out of your life and let us do the work for you? Our team of car finance experts can look after your finance application from the moment it starts all the way to signing for your new car!

As a start, why not try our brand-new finance calculator to get a quick quote. You can also find our contact details here along with our quick and easy finance application form here. Take a step closer to owning your new car in 2019 and speak to the Vendor Finance team today.

 

Upgrading to a People Carrier

Upgrading to a People Carrier

It’s time to upgrade your sporty hatchback, maybe your family is expanding, maybe you need to consider corporate travel. Whatever the reason, a People Carrier can be ideal to transport your family, dog or large amounts of shopping.

MPV

When choosing which People Carrier or MPV (Multi Person Vehicle)to buy, there are several questions to consider. Which MPV has the largest boot and which has fold flat seats?
Given that the main reason for choosing such a vehicle is to carry your family you may want to consider comparing it to an SUV with 3 Isofix points, ideal for those child seats.

People Carrier vs SUV

The popular models

Some of the most popular models include Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer, Seat Alhambra while the Ford S-Max & C-Max are always up there.
The seven-seat version may be out of your price range so a five-seat people carrier might be exactly what you need. Do you need three individual seats for Isofixs or the long bench type which would suit corporate travel more so?

Extra extras

Higher spec MPVs can include extra USB points, which can keep kids quiet on long journeys, if they are using devices. You may not even need additional rear view mirrors that point at the rear seat if they are occupied with a film. My favourite extra is front and rear parking sensors ideal for avoiding bumping into obstacles at the retail park.

If you’re looking into financing a people carrier please contact us at Vendor Finance, we can help with your application.

How difficult is it to finance a car?

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re thinking of applying for car finance in the near future and perhaps you’re concerned you won’t be approved, so we’ve decided to put this piece together in order to ease your mind and make the financing journey easier for you.

Whether you’re looking for a used car or looking to upgrade to a brand-new car soon, finance can serve as a bridge to make your dream of getting a new car a reality.

Believe it or not, there has never been a better time to upgrade your car. Dealerships are crying out for your business and with technological upgrades in newer cars, buying a used car isn’t as risky as perhaps it once was. Check out our past blog post on dealing with your dealer for more info on upgrading your car and working with a dealer.

Barriers to finance

So, with all that said, how hard is it really to finance a car? Here are a few barriers to financing a car and the tips that can help you when choosing your finance options:

Time

Time is a major factor in getting finance. Like most people you probably have a busy life, work, kids and everything else that occupies your day can leave you with limited time to achieve other tasks and the last thing you want to be dealing with is an abundance of paper work when trying to finance a car. How can you resolve this?

Well, choosing to work with us here at Vendor Finance is a good place to start. We take the hassle of applying for finance out by working on your behalf. We know that your time is precious and our team of experts will work as hard as possible to help you get the car of your dreams. You can apply for finance with us by following this link.

Budget

Not setting a budget can be a huge barrier to finance. Know your finances. Figure out what you can afford to repay every month in line with your other bills and commitments and go from there!

Tips and tricks

As you can see, getting finance isn’t as hard as you first thought. Here are a few extra tips for you before you undertake your finance journey.

Get preapproved

We understand that as we all live very busy lives, you may not want to invest the time into scouring the internet in search of a car you like and is suitable for you and a dealer you trust. We offer the ability to get your finance application in to our lenders before you search for the car of your dreams. All we need is what year and price of the car you would like to purchase. If you get approved, adjustments can be made to your approval to suit the car you do chose to purchase.

Have good bank statements

It goes without saying, but if your bank statements aren’t strong, then your chances of getting finance are reduced. Make sure to have a healthy, sustained balance at the end of each month. It’s important to show that you’re responsible with your income so that lenders can see you have the ability to make repayments.

Live within your means

Having good bank statements is a given, but living within your means shows lenders a responsibility that may improve your chances of getting finance. Basically, don’t spend more than you bring in!

There you have it, car finance simplified. If you have any questions regarding finance and the options available to you, we’re more than happy to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, you can contact us here.

We can’t guarantee to get you approved for finance, but we can guarantee a service unrivaled in the Country. We endeavor to work as hard as possible for all our customers to help in pursuit of finance. You can click here to apply to see for yourself!

Your Essential Guide to Car Insurance

When it comes to car insurance it can be a difficult task to remember each of the terms that can be associated with it. This guide will hopefully help to clear up any questions and clearly explain the more popular and common terms.

Firstly, car insurance itself can be easily explained as the payment of an annual premium to a car insurance company, and in turn the insurance company pays most of, or all, of the costs that are associated with a car accident or damage done to your car.

Following on from this there are a few terms that we will briefly touch on that are important in understanding the different aspects of car insurance;
  1. Comprehensive Cover – The most expensive and highest level of car insurance, for good reason! This covers all aspects ranging from medical expenses, to a specified limit, right up to any damage sustained by vehicles in an incident. Policies will be different depending on the insurer, so it is important to check these policies before making a final decision.
  2. Third Party Only (TPO) – The opposite end of the spectrum compared to comprehensive cover, TPO covers you at the most basic level. This does not cover any damages to your vehicle, instead it covers you for any injuries caused to other people or damage to another person’s car in the event of an accident.
  3. Third Party, Fire & Theft (TPFT) – This is essentially the same as the previously mentioned Third Party Only with the added bonus of covering you in the event of your car being stolen or damages caused by a fire.
  4. No-Claims Bonus – This is a reward for drivers when they do not make claims to their insurance over each year. As a result of not making any  claims throughout the year, your insurance company may reduce the cost of your annual premium, which means more money in your pocket!
  5. Settlement – Simply put, a settlement is when the insurance company pays out in full for a claim in which you have made to them regarding an incident.

Car insurance can be difficult to understand at times, especially when it comes to very specific terms. The few that are mentioned are some of the more common terms, but you would be surprised how many people can be unsure on what exactly they are. It is always important to understand exactly what kind of cover you are opting for. Make sure to discuss this in detail with your insurance company before deciding on what you go with. They are there to help you, so use their knowledge to get the best cover that suits you.

“Turning back the clocks”- How to spot a clocked car

 

Clocking is one of the most important things to look out for when purchasing a used car.  Clocking is the term used to describe when a car’s odometer has been put back or reduced to make the car appear to have less mileage. This is sometimes done if the mileage of the vehicle in question is higher than average. This can affect the resale value of the vehicle. It is an offence under consumer law  for a dealer to give false or deceptive information about the history of a car.

A clocked car can work out as both expensive and dangerous for a buyer. The danger with a clocked car is that the real mileage isn’t known and the true condition of the vehicle isn’t either. It can give the buyer a false impression that certain parts of the car do not need to be changed or replaced, such as the timing belt. According to cartell.ie, in co-operation with AA Ireland, one in ten used cars for sale in Ireland have been clocked and one in five cars imported from the U.K have a mileage discrepancy.

Before buying any used car, it is important to carry out a few checks to ensure your car mileage is accurate
  1. Carry out a full car history check on websites such as cartell.ie. Newer vehicles will not show any signs of being tampered. So, getting a full picture of it’s service history can give clues to whether a car is clocked.
  2. Inspect the condition of the car. A worn driver’s seat and scuffed pedals can be a giveaway of high mileage.
  3. Get a mechanic to look over it and take it for a test drive
  4. And finally, buy from a reputable car dealer. Any good car dealer will be happy to have a car independently checked and inspected. The dealer is an expert and will have their own homework done on the cars they stock.

If you think your car has been clocked and have evidence, you should report it to the www.ccpc.ie and the Gardai immediately.

Dealing with your Car Dealer

Contrary to what some people might tell you, there has never been a better time to buy a used car.  Upgrades in engine technology and electronics have made cars more reliable for a longer time.

New car sales were down 10% to December 2017 while used car imports were up almost 30% on the 2016 figures. (www.simi.ie)

There has never been more choice or more dealers looking for your business. In addition, there are a host of resources available to the used car buyer:

  1. The NCT certificate offers a baseline safety guarantee for the purchaser.
  2. Car history checks are available for as little as €10 on sites like cartell.ie
  3. Used cars may often come with several years’ remaining warranty (a 2016 Mitsubishi passenger car still has 3 years full manufacturer’s warranty remaining.) If not, additional warranty can be purchased for peace of mind.
  4. Due to the recent downward slide of Sterling, quality UK imports often provide Irish consumers with a superior product at a lower comparative price. (Cartell can check these too!)
  5. Purchasers can have the vehicle checked by an independent mechanic before purchase (typically circa €100 per check)

However, it is important to remember that one of the greatest resources may be your dealer themselves. Yes, really. Nobody wants a happy purchaser more than the dealer. As the old saying goes, the dealer doesn’t want to sell you a car: they want to sell you five cars.

For this reason, it is important to use the resource right in front of you. Most dealers are experts and have used that expertise in buying their stock of used cars in the first place. Many are from a mechanical background themselves and if there is something worrying you about the car, they should be your first port of call. If you have concerns about scuffs and scratches, or there’s a tyre you’re not happy with, ask your dealer and ask them before you buy the car. Talk to them. Use their expertise, make the deal with them. Then Apply for Finance with Vendor Finance.

A Healthy Body & Mind in 2018

The first step to a healthy body & mind is setting realistic and achievable goals. For example, if you are new to running, sign up for a 5k run before you go and put your name down for The Dublin City Marathon. Set yourself micro challenges that can all lead to achieving a greater goal.

Balance means that you don’t go overboard in one area of your life and neglect another. We all need balance, and this is so important when we look at physical health and mental wellness. These go hand in hand and we all know that both body and mind need to be nurtured and treated with respect in order to get the best results.

Physical fitness is so good for the body. It has a positive effect on all systems of the body, including the respiratory, circulatory and muscular systems. Aerobic exercise, such as running or swimming, increases the demand on the heart to pump blood throughout the body delivering oxygen and fuel and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes. Anaerobic exercise, such as heavy weight lifting, will increase endurance and helps build muscle. Increased lean muscle mass boosts metabolism and can also help with the decrease in body fat.

It is recommended by the American Heart Association, that we undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. It is important that you choose an exercise or a combination of exercises that you enjoy. This will help you stay on track with your physical fitness and help make your weight loss or fitness goals more achievable.

When it comes to a healthy mind, self-care is vital. Nowadays we have access to so many fantastic books on the topics of mindfulness, meditation, visualization and positivity. Some of my favorites are “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin Sharma, “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain and “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. All of these subjects, if even practiced for a couple of minutes a day, can have such a positive impact on your life. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment. It helps us focus on the now and being grateful for what we already have, instead of always looking to the future and thinking we will be happy if we acquire more money, build the dream house or holiday for six months of the year.

A very simple way to start being mindful and bringing you attention to the present is to list three things that you are grateful for each night before you go to sleep. After a few nights of doing this, you will realize you have so much to be grateful for and your list will get longer. By practicing the attitude of gratitude, we feel happier. It increases our psychological well being, enhances our positive emotions and raises our self-esteem.

You can find some easy to follow guided meditations on Youtube. By regularly practicing this process of training your mind to focus on a particular thought, can help achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Meditation has been shown to help people to reduce stress, focus more and sleep better, and who doesn’t want a bit of that! “Headspace” is a meditation app and a guide to living mindfully.

By combining a few new rituals and habits daily we can ensure we give happiness and health in 2018 our very best shot

 

What is data protection?

Modern day living often requires sensitive personal information to be provided in order to avail of all the conveniences it has to offer and which we enjoy, indeed take for granted even.  For example, credit cards, POS transactions, loans, internet banking, social media, to name just a few.  This information is entrusted to the companies that provide such conveniences, but how is this information protected?

What is Data Protection?

Data Protection is essentially the safeguarding of personal information and in the Republic of Ireland, it is enshrined within the current Data Protection Legislation (the Data Protection Acts of 1988 and 2003).  The policy addresses the obligations to individuals and the law regarding the safeguarding of personal data and it does this by addressing eight core principles set out by the Office for Data Protection for compliance and good practice.

The eight principles of data processing are binding on all organisations who handle personal data and include:

  1. Fair Obtaining
  2. Purpose Specification
  3. Use and Disclosure
  4. Security
  5. Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  6. Accurate and up-to-date
  7. Data Retention
  8. The Right of Access

In other words, requests for personal information should be transparent and open at all times and individuals made aware of how their information will be used and for what specific purpose.  It is incumbent on all organisations who handle personal data to ensure that any information obtained is collected fairly, is sufficient for the purpose of providing a fair and comprehensive service to the individual, declared if data will be disclosed to any third parties and maintained and retained securely.

All individuals have the right to access all the personal data held on them by any and all organisations and to have that information corrected.

In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come in to effect.  This new legislation and regulations are intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union.  For more information, go to the Data Protection’s website or check out their Facebook page here .

Innovative Ideas for your Small Business – The role of staff in creative innovation

Could your business be run more efficiently? Are there areas which need change, improvement or a total rethink?

Every business needs to continually review practices, policies and the way they conduct business, from time to time. Unfortunately, the busiest companies are often caught up in a whirlwind merry go round of meeting deadlines and delivery dates and they cannot find the time to initiate an over view of work practices.   If your company is to survive and thrive, time must be taken to review systems and methods and to support new innovative ways of growing your business. But, you may well have an ally in-house who is best placed to assist with this.

Your own staff can provide valuable input into the company if they are encouraged to generate and develop new ideas

Initiate a culture of innovation and ideas:    A culture of innovation and problem solving should be fostered in the workplace. Let your employees know that you are open to innovation and suggestions.  If you produce a product, then you might consider allowing space for an innovation lab and time for staff to improvise and create prototypes.  If you are in the service industry, it might be useful to allow time for staff to attend symposiums and conferences where ideas and new practices can be shared and discussed.  But mostly, it is vital to create a climate where staff are encouraged to imagine, develop and share new work ideas.

Incentivise:   Reward the time and effort put into positive work changes.  Whether that reward is monetary or not, is entirely up to you. Incentives can come in the form of ‘gain share’ or profit share or bonuses for a job well done. It can simply be a prize or an internal award scheme where the employee’s ideas are recognised and acknowledged.

A safe space:   If staff are worried that their jobs are at risk or that failure to excel will cost them their employment, they won’t be able to work creatively. Innovation is not about failure, it is about trying new things and assessing them as you go.  Employees who are afraid of failure will not voice that one idea that could have taken productivity to new levels. They will keep that timesaving trick in productivity, or that wonderful tweak to output entirely to themselves. Sharing is caring, even in the workplace.  The atmosphere must be safe and feedback must be positive. Even if the idea is not useable, the next one might just be genius.

Celebrate the wins together:   Foster loyalty and encourage the staff team by celebrating together any big wins, any new contracts or a problem solved.  This loyalty will pay back huge dividends and ensure that any bright ideas which are gleaned elsewhere will be shared and implemented in your own company.

Your staff are the people who know the business as well as you do. Talk to them, hear their ideas and then grow your business together.

Diesel V Petrol: The Low Down

There is always a battle between diesel V petrol car, with many pros and cons for both options. There was a time I remember well where diesel cars were the obvious better choice for fuel economy and tax. Over the last number of years, however, Petrol cars have been on the rise and that has a lot to do with the changing environment and people’s wants and needs changing with the growing concern around the diesel emissions. The decision has now become a little bit more difficult so we’re here to help you along.

Purchase Price

Diesel cars would generally tend to be more expensive to purchase so that is definitely a must when factoring around your budget.

Petrol V Diesel
Which side are you on, Petrol or Diesel?
Running Costs

Mileage is an important consideration. It’s a rule of thumb that you need to consider the mileage that you estimate that you would be doing. Generally, if you are doing more long haul journeys on motorways and such then the Diesel works better. It is said that you would need to be travelling over 18-20,000 km a year on long haul roads to make the diesel the better option for you. If you will be mostly doing local driving then the petrol is much more efficient for your needs. The idea on this being the extra expenditure you may make on the original purchase of the diesel car would be cancelled out by the savings you would make on fuel.

There are pros and cons for both diesel and petrol
Tax and Insurance

Insurance can tend to be a little bit higher with the diesel than the petrol, due to the higher purchase price and the cars being worth more than the petrol cars. This may change in the future due to the pollution concerns surrounding diesel cars. For now though, the motor tax on the diesel cars is cheaper.

Performance & Maintenance

Diesel engines are generally heavier than their petrol counterparts making them slower. The compression ratio of diesel engines is much higher than petrol engines since the flash point (temperature at which it catches fire) of diesel is higher than petrol. One unique feature for diesel cars is the diesel particulate filter, otherwise know as the DPF. To keep the filter unblocked, many owners’ handbooks advise running the engine at high speed, like on a motorway. If you don’t regularly drive on motorways, you run the risk of blocking the cars DFP which can cost a lot to replace. On a whole, it is said that diesel cars are more expensive to repair them if anything serious goes wrong.

Diesel cars do need to be serviced less frequently than Petrol. Diesel cars needing one roughly once every 2 years compared to petrol cars needing one roughly once a year. So, while maintenance costs are similar between petrol and diesel, the petrol car would need to be serviced more often. So you may end up spending more money on the petrol on the services.

It’s important to mention the general performance of diesel engines, they tend to provide a more smooth driving experience.

If you do make your decision between petrol or diesel and find the perfect car for you then give us a call or fill out our application form in order to get your finance sorted!