Choosing the Best Breakdown Cover: A Complete Guide

man with flat battery wonders about best breakdown cover

Breaking down can be a very negative experience in more ways than one. To avoid being stranded on the road with the burden of a broken car, you need to opt for a breakdown cover policy.

Breakdown cover

Breakdown cover will vary depending on your insurance policy and can provide anything from basic roadside assistance to vehicle recovery and onward travel. If you drive on a regular basis, it’s vital that you know your options and how they can work for you.

Types of breakdown cover

Personal

Personal breakdown cover will protect you as an individual in any vehicle that meets the agreed specification of your policy. This kind of cover enables you to claim as the driver or passenger of a broken-down car and (depending on the policy) may also cover people that live at the same address.

Vehicle

Vehicle breakdown cover will allow you to claim for the specific vehicle outlined in your policy, regardless of who’s driving it.

Levels of breakdown cover

Once you’ve decided on the type of breakdown cover you want, you have to choose the level of cover.

Roadside assistance

This usually comes as standard when you take out breakdown cover and means that a breakdown team will come to your location and aim to get you back on the road again. If they can’t fix your car on the roadside, they will tow it to the nearest garage.

Vehicle recovery

In the event that your car can’t be fixed, vehicle recovery enables you and your vehicle to be taken by the breakdown team to a destination of your choosing. This is especially advantageous if you are a long way from home and have no other way to get back.

Home breakdown

If your car won’t start at home, this enables you to get a breakdown team sent to your home to fix it. This is more common than you might think, with flat batteries causing a lot of cases.

Onward travel

This kind of cover enables you to complete the journey that you were on when you broke down if your car can’t be fixed. Onward travel cover has a number of options attached to it, including a courtesy car, overnight hotel accommodation or public transport.

Optional extras

Once you’ve selected the main options to your breakdown cover, there are also optional extras you can add on.

  • Multi-car can cover multiple cars and/or drivers that live at the same address
  • European breakdown cover will cover you when you’re abroad
  • Key replacement in the event that they are lost, damaged or broken
  • Battery replacement with no service fee
  • Tyre replacement
  • Wrong fuel cover, in the event that you have mistakenly re-filled with the wrong fuel

If you drive regularly, it’s important to get breakdown cover. Being stranded on the roadside is inconvenient and potentially dangerous. We hope our complete guide will help you to understand your options and choose the best option for you.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Car and Tyre Maintenance 101

Pile of well-maintained tyres

It’s almost too obvious to state the importance of your tyres – they are the only connection between your vehicle and the road, and have a huge influence over your driving experience and general safety. However, they are not often given the attention they deserve. According to a Michelin study, 36% of UK drivers are driving around on tyres that are dangerously under-inflated. Tyre pressure is just one aspect of looking after your tyres – there’s plenty more to know about tyre maintenance.

How long do tyres last?

There is no way of knowing how long your tyre will last – the tyre brand, the amount you drive, the conditions of the road and the care you take of your tyres will all have a major impact.

However, there are some general rules to follow:

  • After five years of use, you should make regular inspections of your tyres, and at least one annual inspection with a professional.
  • After ten years, you should replace your tyres – even if they look to be in good condition

What damages tyres?

Your tyres will receive general wear and tear with age and the amount you drive the vehicle. However, there are additional factors which can increase the damage caused to your tyres.

  • Various road condition issues can have a major effect – speed bumps, kerbs and potholes, to name a few.
  • Driving habits are the biggest influence that people don’t consider. If you speed and make quick starts or emergency brakes, you will greatly increase your chances of damaging your tyres.
  • Improper tyres can have a major affect on their longevity. If you have the wrong type of tyres (i.e. they are not the right size or compatibility for your vehicle) they won’t last for anywhere near as long. Also, this can prove very dangerous!

How do I make sure my tyres are in good condition?

It’s important to regularly make sure that your tyres are in good condition – once a month is a good marker. Here’s a good checklist to follow:

  • Check your tyre pressure – you can usually find this in the owner’s manual.
  • Check the tread wear – you can use a tread depth gauge (which you can get online) or by looking for signs of tread wear (e.g. any patterns in between the intended grooves of the tyres).
  • Check for any signs of damage – you can check your tyres visually for any bumps or punctures and run your hand around the edges for any physical signs of damage.
  • Be aware – you should always be sensitive to any changes in your car’s handling and steering, as well as any noises that are out of the ordinary.

When do I need to change my tyres?

You should change your tyres (regardless how they might appear) every ten years. After the five-year mark, you should have your tyres regularly inspected with a professional. However, these are only general guidelines and there are other ways of knowing if your tyres need to be changed:

  • The tread (i.e. the depth of the groove in the tyres) is below 1.6mm
  • There is a hole in the tread which is more than 6mm in diameter
  • There is any damage to the edge of the tyre that sits on the wheel
  • There are any changes to steering or handling

Your tyres are one of the most under-appreciated part of your car. Whilst people can often spot a scratch or dent in the bodywork from a mile off, they rarely notice any issues with their tyres. However, it’s absolutely vital that you take good care of your tyres – so make sure you check them!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

How to transfer a private registration number to a different car

Volvo 4X4 with My Car Credit private registration plate

If you’re anything like us, picking your car will be a very personal choice. The brand, model, colour and specification are all big questions that the discerning buyer must consider. The pinnacle of car personalisation though has to be the personalised registration plate. For statement-making drivers, getting a customised plate for their beloved set of wheels is simply a must. But what happens when you get a new vehicle? Find out more about transferring the plate to your new set of wheels here.

With prices from the DVLA starting at £250 (plus VAT and an £80 transfer fee), it’s no wonder that hundreds of thousands of British drivers have bought into the affordable, yet luxurious choice of making their number plate personal. Some independent number plate traders can offer even cheaper deals!

However, once you’ve got a personalised registration plate it can be difficult to imagine driving without it. Luckily, the answer for anyone out there looking to transfer their customised plate is a yes – it’s very much do-able! However, there’s a few steps involved – so read on.

First steps

The first thing you need to do when you are transferring a personalised registration plate to another car is place the registration number on retention. This allows you to either keep the number for a vehicle in the future or transfer it over to another car.

In addition, you must also be the owner/registered driver of the car that you are going to transfer the plate over to. The car must also be:

  • Registered with the DVLA
  • Have been taxed for the last five years or declared off the road with a SORN certification (Statutory Off-Road Notification)

Making it happen

When you’re sure you have taken the first steps in the process, you can visit the DVLA’s online portal. You will be asked to enter the registration number you want to place on retention and the 11-digit document reference from the current car’s log book (also known as a V5C). It usually costs around £80 to make this happen, which must be paid in one transaction with a debit or credit card.

Depending on whether you have chosen to retain the personalised number for a later date or transfer it immediately, you will be issued with either:

  • A reference number to immediately transfer the number to another vehicle.
  • A V778 retention document which gives you the right to use the personalised registration number for the next 10 years.

So, if you’re looking to transfer your personalised registration plate – what are you waiting for? It’s a very efficient process, as long as you follow every step. Here’s a few key details to keep in mind:

  • If there is an interim period between your current number plate and the transfer of your personalised number plate, you will be given a replacement number to use.
  • You must have your personalised number plates (or your replacement plates) on your vehicle before you drive it.
  • You must inform your insurance company of your new personalised registration number.
  • You cannot transfer a personalised number that starts with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’.
  • Your plates must be made from a reflective material, which is white with black characters on the front of the car and yellow with black characters on the rear. No patterned backgrounds are allowed, and the character size and font must be within regulation.

Personalised number plates are a fantastic way to make your car extra special. Whether you go for the classic name plate or some hilarious wordplay, they’ll show everyone else on the road a bit of your personality. It’s for these reasons that many people like to keep their personalised number plate and transfer it on to another vehicle, and we hope that this article has made the process as smooth as possible.

For more information why not visit the GOV website here.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

ULEVs (Ultra Low Emission Vehicles) in the UK

Man recharges Ultra Low Emission Vehicle in UK

In his first speech as Prime Minister in July 2019, Boris Johnson introduced us to his plan for – amongst other things – the United Kingdom to become ‘the home of electric vehicles’.

… or more specifically: ULEVs. Ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) is a broad term that encompasses a variety of low carbon and zero-emission vehicles. From Nissan Leafs to Teslas, more and more green cars are hitting our TV screens, billboards and motorways. It’s pretty clear the ULEVs are on the rise, but just how feasible is Mr Johnson’s goal for an ultra-low emission future led by the UK?
My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

How can I find the real miles per gallon (MPG) for a used car I don’t yet own?

Used Mercedes with real MPG on display

When you’re looking to buy a car, its miles per gallon rating isn’t something most people get massively excited about – until you start spending more than you want to on fuel. Not fun.

Getting a car with a reasonable miles-per-gallon rate is key to budgeting for the running costs of a used car. It’s all well and good listening to official manufacturer miles per gallon estimations, but they are often an optimistic estimate of what the car can actually achieve. So, it’s advisable to get an unbiased view, which won’t leave you disappointed with the reality of your car’s MPG. The tool we recommend for this is the Equa Index.

The Equa Index was created by an independent company called Emissions Analytics who are data specialists. They have gathered and catalogued an impressive record of over 86,000 car information profiles on more than 800 vehicles. Information such as fuel type, engine size, model year and MPG are available to view for free. Here’s how it works.

Emissions Analytics has designed a test route which is meant to replicate a real-life driving scenario, which incorporates a mix of speeds, gradients and road types. Additional factors such as the climate are also taken into account. As opposed to other European miles per gallon tests, they conduct all of their car tests on the road to get a closer replication of the real-driving experience. They argue that this is one of the main factors which brings them their accurate results.

Having an accurate understanding of your car’s performance – especially with regards to petrol economy – is vital to choosing the used car you want to purchase. It enables you to budget for the running costs of the car and can help you to focus in on the kind of car you want.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Don’t Panic: What to Do When You Break Down

Driver puts breakdown safety triangle in road

We’ve all seen enough scary movies to know that breaking down in your car is not a good thing! Anytime your car stops working, it can very quickly turn into a dangerous situation for other drivers and yourself. However, don’t panic – we’ve got a checklist to help you deal with the situation.

1. Safety first

The absolute first thing you should do before anything else is to make sure you’re in a safe place. So, before you’ve had time to slap the wheel, curse at the car or even break a sweat, move your vehicle off the road. This means turning off at the next exit, any potential layby or the hard shoulder! Pull into the left as far as possible (watching out for soft verges) and turn the wheels to the left.

2. Turn your hazard lights on

You’ve probably only ever used these to apologise for a slightly mistimed turning, but now it’s time to make best use of them. Turn your hazard lights on as soon as your car is in a safe position.

3. The warning triangle

A warning triangle should only be put up if it’s safe. Do not put up a warning triangle on the motorway. However, if it is safe (i.e. a lower speed zone) you can put up a warning triangle – if it is at least 50 yards behind your vehicle.

4. Get away from the traffic

Once your car is off the road, you should get yourself (and any passengers) away from the traffic. Exit the vehicle and find a spot away from the road, where you can wait for your breakdown cover provider to arrive. It might be difficult for you but try and leave your pet(s) in the car – this is where they are safest.

5. Make yourself obvious

It’s important to make yourself visible to drivers, especially if it’s dark. So, put on a reflective jacket if you have one. If you haven’t got one, then make sure you’re a safe distance from the car and have your phone torch on so drivers can see you.

6. Call an emergency breakdown company

You should contact an emergency breakdown company. Normally, you are assigned one as part of your car insurance, but if you can’t remember, research one and get in touch with them. If you don’t have a mobile phone and you’re on the motorway, you can follow the arrows on sign posts which lead to your closest emergency phone. They are spaced out in mile long intervals and can be identified by an orange SOS signpost.

7. Final words

If for any reason you are unable to get to a safe location, then keep your seatbelt on, put on your hazard lights and use your phone to call the emergency services.

Breaking down is a stressful situation for anybody who’s unfortunate enough to experience it, but it’s important to remember that any breakdown situation can turn dangerous very quickly. You need to follow the correct procedures to make sure that you are safe and that your breakdown service can aid you when they arrive at the scene. Stick to our checklist above and you’re off to a good start.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Under the Hood: De-bunking Five Common Driving Myths

phone being used as sat nav on dashboard of car

There are plenty of us who treat driving myths as if they’re gospel. Most of us heard about them when we were learning to drive. Some of us have probably even adjusted the way that we have driven ever since on account of these myths. We’re here to debunk five of the common driving myths, so you can drive worry-free!

Two pints is the limit for men and a large glass of wine is the limit for women

This is one of the most common (and most dangerous) driving myths around. Many people use ‘two pints for men, one large glass of wine for women’ as a strict rule when in fact there are many factors which can affect your blood-alcohol level. The amount you’ve eaten, how tired you are, whether you’ve exercised and any medication you are on can all affect your blood-alcohol level at any time. The best rule is to avoid alcohol if you’re driving. (Plus: Who said all men drink pints and women drink wine anyway?)

You get 10% flexibility over the speed limit

No, you don’t. This has caught many people out and given them some unexpected speeding points too. Whilst many speed cameras allow for a 10% error in overestimation, this isn’t true of all them. Technically if you’re 1mph over the limit, you are liable for prosecution via a speed camera or otherwise. The best (and only) thing to do is to stay under the limit at all times.

It is illegal to have a light on in a car while driving

Many of us have screamed at a passenger flicking on a light during a night-time journey or have pulled over in frustration to have one last look at the map. Well, you might be surprised to know that there is no law that states you can’t have a light on while you drive. However, you can be pulled over if a police officer deems it to be a distraction.

I can use my phone in the car if it’s for sat nav

Yes and no. Any unfixed phone that’s being used in the car (i.e. on your lap, balanced in a cup holder) is deemed unsafe and could lead to you receiving a fine for careless driving. If you’re using a phone for sat nav, it must be fixed by a phone holder either on the windscreen or dashboard.

Driving myths are amongst the least helpful myths around – they can affect the way we drive and cause us to make crucial mistakes. The next time you’re about to get behind the wheel bear in mind that unless it’s written into law, you should leave it by the roadside!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Dashboard Lights Explained: A Complete Guide

bmw steering wheel with dashboard lights explained

We've all been there: a light is flashing away on your dashboard with increasing alarm and you have no idea what it means. There are so many dashboard lights that it's easy to be confused with what they all mean. So, to save you from flicking through your car manual, we’ve got an easy overview for you to get familiar with.

Red dashboard lights

These are the warning lights on your dashboard that you need to be most concerned about. They carry more severe warnings and should be acted upon as soon as possible: either by pulling into your nearest garage or stopping the car and calling a professional.

Oil warning

This warns you that something isn’t right with your oil: its temperature could be too high or its level and pressure could be too low. Oil protects the parts of your engine against friction by lubricating its parts via a pressure pump. If there is something wrong with your oil, you could be in for some expensive engine damage. Not good.

Coolant warning

Your coolant helps to keep your engine’s temperature regulated: without it, your engine would overheat to the point where its components would start to warp. If this light starts flashing, either your engine is overheating or your coolant level is too low. This could be an easy-fix issue or a sign of a bigger problem.

Battery charge warning

This light comes on every time you turn on your engine and will usually turn off a few seconds after. However, if you see this light remains on while you’re driving, there’s normally a problem with your electrical system. This could be a bad connection, a dodgy battery, damaged cabling or a faulty alternator. All of these could cause the car to effectively shut off and break down involuntarily – get it checked.

Brake system warning

Your brakes are one of the most important features of your vehicle. If this light comes on and your handbrake is down, there could be something wrong with your braking system. This could be that the brake fluid level is low or a more serious issue.

Airbag warning

Your airbag is one of the most modern and effective safety features in your vehicle. If this light comes on, there could be a fault with it. Without proper function, your airbag won’t go off in a crash and could cause serious harm to you and your passengers.

Power steering warning

Power steering is the technology behind your steering wheel that allows you to move it with ease. You might not have experienced what it feels like without it, but it’s a lot heavier to turn. This can be very dangerous for some drivers.

Amber dashboard lights

These lights indicate an issue with the engine which will affect the car’s performance and if left unchecked, could cause danger. It’s best to get these looked at sooner rather than later.

Check engine warning

This is a general warning light which indicates that there is something wrong with the engine that can reduce its performance. This could be anything from the ignition to the pistons.

ABS warning

The ABS light refers to the Anti-lock Braking System, which prevents you from skidding during heavy braking. Whilst the normal brake system will be unaffected, you should heed any consistent warning from this light as something could be wrong with your brakes.

Tyre pressure warning

This light indicates that the pressure in your tyres is wrong. If there is no noise from the vehicle and you get out and there is no sign of a flat tyre, you should be okay to drive on (cautiously) until you can check them properly.

The next time you see a symbol flashing away on your dashboard, hopefully, you’ll know what it’s trying to tell you. In any case, a warning light indicates that something isn’t right and you should get it sorted as soon as you can.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

DIY MOT: Three Essential Car Maintenance Tips

dashboard of an audi car showing indicators to help with car maintenance

Servicing your car is an essential part of maintaining the safety and performance of your vehicle. However, there are plenty of things you can do in between your visits to the garage. Performing some general maintenance on your car can help to prevent the need for extensive services and reduce your MOT bill.

1. Keep an eye on your tyres

Naturally, your tyres are one of the most important parts of your vehicle so looking after them should be a priority. The easiest way to do this is to make sure they are at the right pressure: this can help to increase their lifespan and improves your driving performance. Another thing to keep an eye on is the thread depth. This is the depth of the grooves in the tyre which help it to grip the road and deal with rougher surfaces. You can test if these are at a safe depth by putting a 20 pence piece in: if the outer band of the coin is obscured by the thread then you are within the legal limit.

2. Learn the meaning of dashboard indicators

If you’ve seen a light flashing on your dashboard and had no idea what it means, you’re not alone. However, learning the meaning of these indicators is one of the best ways of understanding your car and keeping yourself safe. The main lights on the dashboard include the check engine light, electrical fault light, brake warning light, anti-lock braking systems light, coolant warning light, oil warning light and service engine light. If you know what your car needs, you’re in a much better position to act on what it needs.

3. Liquid levels

This is the easiest way to keep your car in good condition. Your engine contains many parts which endure friction when the car is running. To counteract the heat and stress caused by this friction you need engine oil and coolant. Checking the level of these two liquids helps to keep your engine running smoothly by reducing the stress the engine experiences. These are easy to replace as most modern cars have filling levels indicated on their oil stick and coolant tank respectively.

Having your car serviced is an essential part of keeping your vehicle running properly. However, it’s also important to have a good understanding of your car. This can minimise the number of issues that need to be resolved by a garage, which saves you money and keeps your car in better condition.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!