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What is a habitation service for my motorhome?

Whether you have a new or used motorhome or campervan, ensuring you have a yearly habitation service is vital for smooth operation, health, and safety. A habitation service can take place any time in the year. Read on for everything you need to know about this essential service.

Why do you need a habitation service?

Brand-new Motorhome owners keen to preserve their warranty and keep covered must make sure they book this annual check-up or risk invalidating it. Additionally, a habitation service will ensure a campervan or motorhome is in top condition and ready for the road. This provides mobile homeowners with peace of mind. Safe in the knowledge that their vehicle is safe to drive and prepared for its next journey.

Service Check List

Motorhome habitation services also retain a vehicle’s value. Those planning to sell their mobile home in the future will find potential buyers often request a complete service history. This includes annual habitation services. Breaks in history can dissuade purchasers and devalue vehicles.

What does a habitation service involve?

An annual habitation service tests the vehicle’s overall condition, focusing on the habitable parts of a motorhome. The service is designed to underline any issues related to performance and safety. If problems are found, they can be repaired and resolved to ensure a vehicle can be relied on when travelling.

Habitation services are offered on a scale. A basic-style service may not include all checks. For example, air conditioning or appliances aren’t constantly tested. However, even a basic service will involve around 50 different checks, typically completed over three to four hours.

During a habitation service, the critical tasks carried out include damp checks, gas and electrical safety tests, chassis mounting checks, and onboard appliance and water system inspections.

Gas Testing

Smaller-scale functionality tests are also conducted in a yearly habitation service. These include ensuring that all moving components such as locks and seals on doors and windows are working correctly as well as automatic blinds if present.

When should you schedule a habitation service?

Often motorhome owners opt for winter for this check-up, as service centres are quieter during the period and campervan users are less active. The easiest way to plan your service is to work back from the date you’re travelling and pick a convenient time for you.

Is an annual motorhome habitation service a legal requirement?

Motorhome habitation checks are not required by law unless your motorhome insurance provider requests this or you hire the vehicle out to others using a third-party company.

You don’t need to perform a habitation check prior to driving a vehicle, but it is advised, as is regular mechanical servicing. Your vehicle will need to have passed its annual MOT if it is over three years of age to ensure it is roadworthy. You will also need in date insurance and tax to drive it on UK roads.

Annual habitation services and mechanical servicing can save lives and ensure that you and your passengers enjoy your motorhome and holidays to the full.

The Best Motorhome Campsites in Wales

Wales is a corner of the UK that often goes overlooked by holidaymakers, yet this wonderful part of the country is home to a host of glorious countryside, sandy beaches and historic towns. Wales is best known for the popular BBC comedy Gavin and Stacey, so it will come as no surprise that the country is filled with fun things to do. If you’re in the midst of planning your next staycation, Wales is definitely one to add to your list.

Wales is the perfect location to take the whole family. The country is home to a number of excellent motorhome sites, which include all of the entertainment and conveniences that you may need for a week away with the kids. Motorhome campsites are also perfect for couples looking to take their new motorhome for a spin whilst enjoying a romantic getaway in the picturesque valleys. Here, we will guide you through the best motorhome campsites in Wales to inspire your next adventure.

Three Cliffs Bay

Three Cliffs Bay Beach

If you are travelling to Wales to take in the views, Three Cliffs Bay is the perfect campsite for you. This motorhome campsite is part of a 5-star holiday park that overlooks the infamous three cliffs. You will be met with stunning views of golden sands, rolling hills and the blue sea. This is the perfect location to wake up early and go for a hike or perhaps try your hand at some water sports.

What facilities are situated at the site?

The site offers newly refurbished amenities for visitors including top of the range showers, toilets, restaurants and entertainment facilities. The site also offers dog showering points for your furry friends and motorhome servicing facilities to keep you going on the road. The pitches have extraordinary sea views and can be pre-booked so that families can camp together.

Local activities

Three Cliffs Bay is situated west of Cardiff in an area known as the Gower Peninsula. The area was awarded an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the ’50s and remains just as stunning today. There are plenty of fun things to do near Three Cliffs Bay; you could take day trips to Mumbles or Rhossili- both are beautiful areas for you and the family to enjoy. You could also try your hand at water sports- surfing is incredibly popular in Gower with the world-famous Llangennith surfing beach just 15 minutes away.

Shell Island

Shell Island Wales

Moving away from the coast, Shell Island is a stunning retreat located in the Snowdonia National Park. It is this exquisite location that makes it one of the best motorhome campsites in Wales, especially for those who like to hike! The campsite boasts an impressive 300 acres of land upon which to set up your pitch and you will be surrounded by the very best views that Wales has to offer.

What facilities are situated at the site?

Shell Island motorhome campsite offers shops and a snack bar so that you can buy everything that you need to stay comfortable on your stay. You will also find a restaurant that serves delicious, locally sourced food and a tavern bar for those after-hike drinks.

Local activities

The campsite is located in Snowdonia, not far from Mount Snowdon. Given its rocky location, there is plenty of adrenaline-fueled activities to do near the campsite. You could try your hand at climbing, caving or perhaps abseiling. If you don’t fancy something so action-packed, you could catch the train up Mount Snowdon and take in the glorious views.


Point Farm Campsite

Point Farm Campsite

If you have ever been lucky enough to visit the Pembrokeshire coast, you will know what we mean when we say that it’s beautiful. For those who haven’t yet visited this glorious part of Wales, you need to get down to Point Farm Campsite which is situated in this stunning county, just a stone’s throw away from one of the UK’s most spectacular stretches of coastline.

Point Farm Campsite is a new campsite but the farm itself dates back to the 18th century, meaning that there is much to explore at this historic place. Point Farm offers panoramic views that are simply stunning. From one window, you will see the wonderful blue sea and from another, you may find yourself gazing up into the Preseli Mountains. This part of Wales features every type of landscape that you could ask for so is perfect for anyone who loves to explore.

What facilities are situated at the site?

Point Farm Campsite offers two types of pitches: three all-weather pitches that have a gravel base for campervans (these pitches have electric hookups and car parking spaces), and a grassy based pitch that is left for campers using tents.

You will find a pub just 400 metres from the campsite and high-quality washing and laundry facilities available on site. Each pitch also comes with its own fire pit for roasting marshmallows under the stars. To buy food or have a meal out, you will need to head down to the local village, Dale Village, which is the thriving hub in this local area. In Dale Village, you will find a host of pubs, corner shops, cafes and other essential amenities.

Local activities

The Pembrokeshire coastal path offers a number of breathtaking walks to the local beaches and cliffs, which make for a great day of hiking. Staying along this part of the coast also presents you with plenty of opportunities to have a go at sailing, windsurfing or stand up paddleboarding. Watersports are a popular option with tourists and are fun for the whole family. If you fancy a more relaxed day out, you could take the ferry to Skomer Island and visit the marine nature reserve.

Wales is the perfect place to set up camp in your motorhome and explore the natural beauty that the UK has to offer. There are many wonderful campsites available to choose from, whether you are hoping for days at the beach or to explore the mountains. To make your holiday even better, why not look into upgrading your motorhome? We have a fantastic range of motorhomes that could become your next home away from home. Browse through our full range today or get in contact with our team to find out more about purchasing your next motorhome.

Exploring the UK by Motorhome: Which are the best places to check out?

There is nothing quite like buying your own motorhome and heading out onto the open road to enjoy it. The sense of freedom this brings plus the chance it offers to go where you want, when you want is amazing. Once you have picked up the keys to your new motorhome, you may decide to explore all the UK has to offer first.

This really is worth doing as it can take you to parts of the country you have not seen before. It can also see you come back home with some fabulous memories and a deeper understanding of the gorgeous scenery the UK boasts. Motorhoming makes all this possible in a convenient way and in much more comfort than camping!

But which UK destinations should you take in first?

The Lake District

Ullswater Lake, Lake District, UK

It is hard to draw up a list of places to visit in the UK without mentioning this area. Found in North-West England, it is home to rolling landscapes, awe-inspiring mountains and lots of lakes. This makes it the perfect place to enjoy energising walks or exciting watersports. The other great thing about the Lake District is that you can easily drive up there in your motorhome, pull up at a suitable spot and start exploring.

With so much natural beauty as soon as you step foot outdoors, it is impossible to be bored or fed up here. The Lakes is also home to some charming towns and villages. For motorhoming, this is superb as you can drive from place to place over the course of your break and take in all the culture on offer. Keswick is always popular to visit, while Ambleside and Grasmere and also worth calling in on. There are lots of safe motorhome sites around the Lakes to park up at night and this means it has all you need for a great time.

Forest of Dean

Cannop Ponds in the Forest of Dean

The Cotswolds is a beautiful place to drive around for motorhome enthusiasts. Decent transport links mean it is accessible from other parts of the UK and it has lots to offer. The Forest of Dean is the jewel in the crown for many though. Dotted with trees, hillsides, outcrops of rock and pretty villages, it is a relaxing place to unwind. In addition, it is bordered by both the River Severn and the River Wye.

This type of scenery has attracted inventors, artists and poets over time who have all took inspiration from the level of natural beauty on offer. The Forest of Dean is also a location that rewards visitors all year round. In Spring and Summer, for example, you will turn up to find the flowers here in full bloom. Autumn though is just as stunning and sees the beautiful oak and larch trees turn an enchanting shade of gold.

Isle of Skye

Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

For some people, owning a motorhome is about being able to drive somewhere remote and get away from modern life. The Isle of Skye is the ideal place for this. It is found on the West coast of Scotland and is known as the largest of the Inner Hebrides. Driving here is worth it mainly for the peace and stunning scenery.

It is also home to some of the UK’s most iconic features, such as the Old Man of Storr and the Cuillin. Skye is a part of Scotland steeped in history and you can learn about feuding local clans and Jacobite battles here as well. Although remote, Skye does have numerous villages and towns to call in on when travelling through. From the capital Portree to others like Broadford and Dunvegan, all have great cafes, shops and restaurants to enjoy.

St Agnes

Trevaunance Cove St Agnes Cornwall

A lot of people who buy a motorhome want to head to the coast and enjoy some sea air. While there are many superb destinations in the UK for this, St Agnes in Cornwall is perhaps the best. Cornwall is after all a county known for its beaches, its rugged beauty and its sea-swept terrain. St Agnes does not disappoint and actually comes with 4 different beaches to enjoy. This means you get your pick of soft sand to relax on and access to the ocean for a spot of swimming or surfing. Travelling between the various beaches is naturally not a problem when in a motorhome.

But what else does St Agnes offer the intrepid explorer? The views in this part of the world are simply stunning and you will never tire of looking out to sea from the clifftops here. Wheal Coates tin mine is worth a visit and there is also the St Agnes museum for a taste of local culture too. In addition, this is a part of the world which is well set-up for people holidaying in motorhomes. As a result, you will have no issue finding a safe, good value spot that is close to the action to park up.


Hall's Croft gardens in Stratford upon Avon, England

If you love the theatre almost as much as you love motorhoming, then a visit here is worthwhile. Stratford-upon-Avon of course is the birthplace of the UK’s most famous playwright, William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was born plus died in the town and this makes the connection with him strong. Interestingly, Stratford still has an old-world feel and this is mainly due to the many Tudor structures on its main streets.

Once you have parked up, you can book a tour to see where Shakespeare was born and where he lived. As well as this, you can go to see his daughter’s home (Hall’s Croft) and where his wife grew up (Anne Hathaway’s cottage). If you fancy a break from famous playwrights, Stratford has other attractions like Stratford Butterfly Farm, the MAD Museum and the Holy Trinity Church to try.

Get motorhoming in the UK with Tottington Motor Company Ltd

Of course, you need to find a stylish, reliable motorhome packed full of features to travel about the UK in first! Here at Tottingham Motor Company Ltd, we have over 40 years experience of helping people in the Greater Manchester region find their dream motorhome. Browse our latest motorhomes for sale or get in touch via our Live Chat function today for more details.

When Should a Car Accident be Reported?

Being in a car accident can be a very upsetting and scary experience – whether you are the driver, passenger, or pedestrian passing by. If you are ever in a car accident, you should try your best to remain as calm as possible so you can deal with the situation effectively. Below, we will cover some guidelines to follow should you ever need to. It is important to be aware of what is expected from you after a car accident, as failing to exchange the correct details can lead to legal repercussions.

What to do immediately after a car accident

If you are in a car accident, you should follow these steps straight after:

• Pull over and turn off the engine – it is an offence if you fail to do this.
• Turn on your hazard lights to warn other road users.
• Check for injuries on yourself and any passengers.
• Make sure that anyone else involved in the accident is ok.
• If your car is not safe to be nearby, move to the nearest safe place away from your car.
• Call 999 if anyone is injured. The police should be called if anyone is injured, and an ambulance may be required for medical assistance.
• You should also call the police if there is a vehicle causing an obstruction on the road.
• Make note of the details of everyone involved in the accident.
• Ask any witnesses for their details.
• Do not admit any guilt for the accident, even if you believe that you may be at fault.
• If you are able to, collect any videos or photos of the cars involved as well as the condition of the road.
• Get into contact with your insurance company.

To summarise, make sure that everyone is safe and well before you do anything else. Take steps to ensure everyone’s safety, even the other involved party. You can then begin collecting any relevant information and exchanging details with anyone else involved.

Legal requirements after a car accident

You may not be aware that Section 130 of The Road Traffic Act requires you to stop if you have been involved in an accident. If you fail to do so, there may be worse repercussions than if you had stopped and exchanged details in the first place.

It is a legal requirement for you to stop and, if required, exchange details with anyone involved.

What information to collect and exchange

We recommend that you gather as much information as possible, even if you do not intend on making a claim. By collecting information, you are protecting yourself should the other party involved make a claim against you. Here are some of the pieces of information that you should collect and exchange, immediately following the accident:

Information to collect:

• Name, address, vehicle registration and insurance details of everyone involved.
• Make a note of the time and date of the accident.
• If the police were called, they will provide you with a case reference number.
• Take photos and/or videos of any damage to all vehicles involved.
• Take photos of the condition of the road, especially if it is damaged.
• Make a note of the weather if it affected the road conditions.
• Note down the quality of the road, i.e. potholes.
• You may find it helpful to sketch the scene, detailing the directions of travel of all vehicles involved.
• Note down the make, model and colour of all vehicles involved.
• Take photos of any damage that existed before the accident, if relevant. For example, missing mirrors.
• Make a note of any speed limit signs, road markings, etc.
• Ask any witnesses if they are prepared to provide you with their contact information.

Information to exchange:

• Your name
• Address
• Vehicle Registration Number
• Insurance Details

Reporting the accident to the police

The police are not always needed at the scene of a car accident. If no one involved has been hurt and there is no obstruction in the road, it can be settled quickly between everyone involved in the accident. If the police are not needed at the scene of a car accident, exchanging details is sufficient.

However, if you do not exchange details for whatever reason, the accident must be reported at your local police station within 24 hours. If you do not do this, then you may face a driving ban or receive points on your license.

Never admit fault

At the scene of the car accident, you should never admit any guilt or fault, even if you believe that you caused the accident to happen. Even if you think that you are at fault, this may not be the case legally. You may be in shock and unable to make a good judgement over who is at fault. You may also not have all the information or be aware of all the circumstances that lead to the accident.

If you wrongly admit that you are at fault, you are taking on the responsibility for the accident and this can affect your ability to recover any costs or compensation you may later make a claim for.

What to do when you can’t find the owner

In some car accidents, the other car owner may not be inside or nearby the car. For instance, if you collide with a parked car. In this case, you should leave your details on the car for the owner to easily find when they return.

Reporting the accident to your insurance company

Even if you do not intend on making a claim, you should still contact your insurance company to let them know about the car accident, as soon as possible. The reason why you should do this is that the other party involved may make a claim without telling you. Failing to let your insurance company know in good time may invalidate your policy.

Before contacting your insurance company, make sure that you have the following information available to you:

• Your policy number.
• Car registration.
• The other party’s name, address, and contact information.
• The other driver’s insurance details.

How can I cancel your car insurance?

A car insurance policy can be a lot to commit too. Generally, car insurance policies are worked out on an annual basis, but there may be reasons that lead you to want to cancel your car insurance earlier. Can you actually do it, and if so how do you go about it?

Can you cancel your car insurance?

The first thing to know is that you can cancel your car insurance policy at any time within the first fourteen days without incurring any charges.

Something else to consider is that, though car insurance policies are annual and they’re contracts, you’re still allowed to cancel them whenever you like. The thing to remember is though that cancelling your car insurance policy outside the initial fourteen-day window may incur a variety of charges and fees. This makes it essential that you thoroughly read and understand the terms of your policy before you agree to it.

How do you go about cancelling it?

All you have to do is contact your insurance provider. You should have either a telephone number or a customer service email address you can contact. Just get in touch and tell them that you want to cancel your car insurance policy and they will do the rest.

If you choose to do this during your cooling-off period you will likely get a refund of whatever you paid to establish the policy, minus certain charges. If you do it outside your cooling off period make sure you’re aware of any further charges they intend to bill you for cancelling the policy. The cooling-off period is designed specifically for you to be allowed to change your mind. Insurers may take off an administration fee minus any days of that two-week period you were covered when calculating the refund that you’ll get. But it still works out to be the cheapest cancellation period.

Cancelling outside the cooling off period

There’s no standardised fee when it comes to cancelling your car insurance outside your initial two week cooling off period. It comes down to your specific insurer and the nature of your policy. There are some things to consider, though, when it comes to cancelling:

  • Paying your insurance monthly will likely limit your chances of getting a refund, and you could end up paying more for administration charges
  • If you pay annually, you will be refunded on a pro-rate basis minus any relevant charges incurred from cancelling your insurance policy early
  • Cancelling your policy and direct debit are not the same thing, and there may be additional charges incurred from cancelling the direct debit
  • Any additional options you chose on your coverage are unlikely to be refunded, you will usually only get the cost of your minimal legal coverage
  • If the insurer is the one electing to cancel your policy early rather than you, it’s unlikely you’ll receive any kind of refund for anything

Will your no-claims bonus be affected?

It’s possible, because a no-claims bonus is generally calculated on a rolling annual basis. Interrupting your insurance coverage by cancelling it and switching to another provider may mean your no-claims bonus is affected. It’s best to ask your insurer directly before you make your decision to cancel.

What about when selling a car?

Cancel your insurance policy immediately after selling your car. There’s no reason to keep paying for the coverage of a car that you no longer own. Also if the car’s new owner was to get in an accident while it was still covered by your insurance, it’s possible a claim could be made and you’d have to pay the excess.

Are early-cancellation charges disputable?

Yes. Make your complaint directly to the insurer as soon as possible, and they will have up to eight weeks to respond. Most insurers will have a dedicated complaints channel that you should follow. Be aware that you should keep all appropriate records, including every piece of correspondence between yourself and your insurer. If you do not hear anything back or your answer is unsatisfactory you can take the matter further by contacting the Financial Ombudsman.

It’s important to note that if the company has acted in accordance with their stated early cancellation charges and protocol, your claim won’t be successful.

Always shop around

You should never let your policy auto-renew. Always shop around when it comes time for renewal to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. This gives your current provider more incentive to compete for your business by offering more competitive prices and incentives for continuing your cover with them.

How Do I Know When My Car Needs to be Serviced?

Getting your car serviced regularly is very important if you want to keep it running reliably. There are some very easy ways you can tell it’s time for your vehicle to be serviced, and if you want your vehicle to be dependable, you shouldn’t ignore them.

Check the service schedule

The easiest way of knowing when your vehicle needs to be serviced is by using the service schedule. Every vehicle should have a service book. When your vehicle is serviced, the garage doing it will stamp the book, date it, and write the mileage at the time of service. This is usually called the “service history” when you’re buying a used vehicle, and it’s very important. It’s the easiest way to keep track of services.

Generally speaking, most manufacturers recommend a service every twelve months or 12,000 miles – whichever happens sooner. If your vehicle has gone over a year without so much as a basic service or has driven more than roughly 12,000 miles, you should get it serviced. If you’ve bought a vehicle and don’t know when it was last serviced, or you can’t remember when the last time you had it done was, it’s time to do it now.

Check for dashboard lights or messages

Many cars have some sort of indicator in the dashboard to tell you that a service is due. This either works by syncing with the computer’s date or the milometer. Either way, the vehicle will know when it’s due to be serviced and it will let you know.

The key is understanding what the warning looks like. In some vehicles, it’s very obvious and comes up as a message in the dashboard saying that a service is due. Some vehicles even specify the type of service required, i.e. major service or minor/intermittent service. Others, however, just have a light, so it’s important to read your owner’s manual and make sure you understand what all the warning lights mean.

Differences in the way the vehicle drives

Sometimes, when a vehicle needs a service, you will be able to notice changes in the way it drives. You may, for example, notice it’s becoming a little harder to start, or the engine is turning over for longer before firing. This can indicate that your spark plugs are fouling and need to be replaced. Your vehicle might also become smoky if your oil is old and contaminated and hasn’t been changed.

You may also notice a difference in the way the vehicle feels and performs under braking. For example, when the brake pads need to be changed, you can often hear a squealing sound as the material of the pad has rubbed away enough to cause metal friction. This is usually a sign that you should get your brake pads replaced, your brakes thoroughly checked, and your vehicle serviced sooner rather than later.

If your vehicle has a cambelt, hearing a squealing sound coming from the engine may indicate the belt is wearing or loose. If your vehicle has an interference engine, the cambelt failing can have disastrous consequences. If you hear this noise, or you don’t know when your cambelt was last changed, you should consider getting it examined and possibly replaced as soon as you can.

Keeping your vehicle serviced saves you money

Ensuring you stick by your vehicle’s maintenance and service schedule will help protect you against unexpected breakdowns and issues. The best thing you can do for your vehicle is to keep it serviced regularly, so be sure to book your vehicle in for a service as soon as it’s required.

What Are The UK’s Most Stolen Cars?

The car is one of the more significant investments that most people will make in their lifetime, second usually only to their home. Having your vehicle stolen is always a miserable experience, particularly when you think about how much we spend on our cars. Compiled by the insurance company Tracker, here are the top ten most stolen cars in the UK – a list you’ll want to watch if you happen to own any of them.

The list of the UK’s most stolen cars

The UK’s most frequently stolen cars, in order, are:

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta


Range Rover

Range Rover Sport


Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf Gti


Ford Focus

Ford Focus


BMW 3 Series

Bmw 3 Series


Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra


Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery


Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes Benz E Class


BMW 5 Series

Bmw 5 Series


Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqui


This information was reported by AutoCar using data obtained from the DVLA via a Freedom of Information request from Riverside Leasing.

The role of keyless entry

It’s estimated that 93% of thefts are now done without the owner’s keys, increasing 26% over just five years. Keyless entry is a handy feature; it allows you to unlock and start the car without doing anything. The vehicle senses you have the key in your pocket, then as you get close, it opens and allows you to switch on the ignition. This is down to the keyless fob constantly transmitting a signal to the car.

The trouble is that enterprising car thieves are now using devices known as signal boosters, which amplify that signal your key is transmitting. Often they can do this without even entering your property. A transmitter placed at the front door picks up the signal from inside your home; they direct it to the car, which they are then able to open and drive away without ever needing to lay a hand on your actual physical key fob.

Keyless entry is considered a premium feature and is becoming more common across all sorts of higher-end brands. This means it’s now easier than ever for car thieves to be able to steal higher value cars, which can then be cloned, parted out, or sold on the black market.

What can you do to prevent it?

If your car has a keyless entry system, you should invest in an electronic key security pouch or box. These use the Faraday cage principle and work to block the signals of the key fob as long as it’s stored inside. This means that thieves won’t be able to boost the signal to unlock your car from outside the house. You should get one of these devices for your home and also get one for use while you’re out and about. Car thieves can steal your car while the key is in your pocket as you wait in the coffee shop as quickly as they can while you’re at home. Be sure to invest in safety pouches for the home and to carry them with you.

You might also want to think about having a tracker installed on your vehicle. A tracker can’t help with your car being stolen, but it can help make sure the police know exactly where it is if it’s taken. This gives you a greater chance of actually having your vehicle caught and recovered back to you, as well as the thieves being prosecuted. This can be particularly useful when the vehicle’s theft isn’t noticed immediately – for example, if your car is stolen. Plus, if you’re asleep, you won’t notice until you wake up hours later, by which point the car could already be hundreds of miles away.

Taking sensible precautions

If you do own one of the vehicles on the above list, there’s no need to panic. Keeping your car safe is comparatively easy, as long as you understand the risks. When you know how thieves most often operate, you’re able to take simple yet effective measures to block them. By using a simple electronic key pouch, you can considerably minimise the risk of your vehicle being stolen – it’s a minimal investment, but it can have significant results.

This information shouldn’t put you off purchasing a new car to best suit your needs, however. Whether it’s buying a new car, hiring a car, or getting reputable and reliable servicing and MOT work carried out, you can trust in the Tottington Motor Company team. Contact us today.

What is E10 fuel and Can You use It?

For those of you who already sit in a quandary over the different fuel options available, and what’s best for your precious set of wheels, along comes another variety to add to the mix.

E10 comes into our world this summer, September to be exact. But there’s no need to panic and start searching online for a new car or means of transport as E10 is simply an upgrade and renaming of the Premium petrol currently available and will become the default form for the UK. The good news is it’s compatible with 95% of the vehicles currently on the UK’s roads today including most brands manufactured since 2011.

What to look for

All fuel stations will rebrand their pumps clearly, marking the relevant pumps as E10 or E5. The branding will be featured on the pumps as well as near the nozzle for easy identification, so there is no risk of filling up with the incorrect grade. Each label will feature a bold 10 or 5 in a thick, black circle making it easy to read, even for the most sight-impaired driver.

Where to find it

E10 will be available at most fuel stations across the country. For the drivers who have access to fuel stations that have multiple pumps, you’ll find E5 available as well should your vehicle not be compatible with E10. For those who reside in the more remote areas or use a smaller filling station, you may find you’ll only have access to E5 initially.

The green stuff

With up to 10% renewable ethanol, 5% more than the current Premium fuel, this means it reduces overall CO2 vehicle emissions. Basically, you’re leaving a greener footprint in your wake and protecting our fragile environment. This will also contribute to the target the UK has set in terms of meeting climate change by 2050. Imagine up to 350 000 vehicles being removed from the UK’s busy roads, or the equivalent of 750 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. This is good news and brings the UK in line with some countries in Europe as well as Australia, which has been selling E10 for several years.

The technical jargon

Why E10 you ask… E10 is a biofuel made up of 10% ethanol and 90% regular unleaded, and this is how the name came about.

Ethanol, which is an alcohol-based fuel, is produced by the fermentation of sugar-cane and grains and some of their by-products. This process offsets the greenhouse gas emissions due to ethanol supposedly being atmospherically carbon-neutral.

Compatible or not?

UKPIA (UK Petroleum Industry Association), who represent major fuel suppliers in the UK, has advised: “If an owner of a classic or cherished car is uncertain of their vehicle’s compatibility with petrol containing more than 5 percent ethanol and is unable to obtain guidance from the vehicle manufacturer, they can avoid potential difficulties by using the super grade.”

So for anyone in doubt, check the compatibility before you make the switch. E5 will still be available for older vehicles. Some vehicles that won’t handle the new E10 are the Mazda MX5, some VW Golfs and Vauxhall models, and Nissan Micras. Other brand models included in this list are the Mercedes C200 CGI and CLK 200 CGI which were manufactured from 2002 to 2005.

The RAC reports that should you accidentally fill up with E10, your vehicle will still run; however, the petrol may cause damage to certain metal and rubber seals over time.

So rest assured that should your vehicle not fit the E10 spec sheet, you can fill it up with E5 which is equivalent to the “Super” that you are familiar with. E5 won’t be leaving the forecourts just yet, so you’ll still have access to your familiar mix of petrol for a while.

But for peace of mind, you can check out this link and see if your vehicle is compatible or not, so there’s no chance of a costly error of filling up with the incorrect mix.

Which should I choose comprehensive or third party insurance?

The cost of car insurance means it’s common sense to shop around and find the best-priced policy, with the level of cover you need.

It’s not all about the price though. The decision to choose a comprehensive policy, or third-party car insurance, can make a big difference if you ever need to make a claim.

Here is a handy guide to the main types of car insurance.


Purpose of your car insurance

When choosing between third-party and comprehensive car insurance, the important thing to keep in mind is the ‘risk’ you want to cover.

It’s easy to think that insurance is there simply to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged or stolen. In fact, car insurance varies in the protections and pay-outs it provides. Though it always includes vital cover for if you accidentally cause damage or injury to someone else or their property. They are known as a ‘third party’ (i.e. not you or your insurance company).


What is third party insurance?

By law, this is the minimum amount of insurance you can have when you own and drive any kind of vehicle.

You are paying to cover the risk that you may damage someone else’s car in an accident. Or, for any damage, you accidentally cause to a building, for instance.

Third party insurance will also payout if you hurt someone in an accident. That means you don’t have to find money to pay for the injured person’s medical bills or loss of income.

However, if you choose to only have third party insurance cover for your car, there are things that you personally could lose out on. Including claiming for the cost of your own vehicle repairs or replacement.

To illustrate how third party insurance works, what happens if you crash into someone’s garden wall? The policy would settle any claim made by the third party, including any medical bills if they were injured in the incident. Then, you would have to pay to mend your car yourself!


Third party, fire and theft policies

It’s possible to buy a different kind of third party car insurance policy, that gives you more chance of making a claim when something happens to your vehicle.

This is called a third party, fire and theft policy. It enables you to get the value of your vehicle back if it is stolen, as well as covering repairs such as new locks and windows if they are damaged as a result of someone trying to break into your car.

It could also cover getting your car sound system replaced, following theft from your vehicle.

In addition, you can claim on this type of car insurance policy if your vehicle is damaged by fire.


What is comprehensive car insurance?

As the name indicates, this sort of policy covers a lot more of what could go wrong when you own and drive a vehicle.

It includes all the cover outlined above. However, a comprehensive insurance product also fills some of the gaps in the ‘risk list’ mentioned so far.

With comprehensive car insurance, you protect yourself from a wide range of things that can happen to you or your vehicle.

Let’s look at another example of how this works. You park in a multistorey car park and return to find a big gouge in the side of your car and no sign of the driver responsible. With third party policies (both kinds) that repair bill is all yours! However, you can use a comprehensive car insurance policy to claim money towards restoring your car’s bodywork.

Just think what a big difference it would make if your car was a write-off, and you needed the comprehensive insurance pay-out to buy a replacement!


Which costs more, comprehensive or third party insurance?

The more risks a policy covers, the larger the potential claims settlements will be. Therefore, the higher the premium.

However, that doesn’t always mean that third party insurance is the cheaper option! If the policy includes a big sum pay-out for damage to another road user, pedestrian, or cyclist, it could be relatively expensive.

This makes it vital to get good advice on the best car insurance for you.

It’s important to consider though, that comprehensive car insurance is going to make claims for damage to you and your vehicle more successful, covering more everyday risks.

That kind of peace of mind is priceless!

What Are The Cheapest Cars to Insure in 2021?

Your choice of car is one of the key factors behind how much you will pay for car insurance. You can hardly alter how old you are or even where you live, so one of the best ways to keep running costs low is to pick a model from one of the lowest insurance groups, especially for younger drivers.

There are 50 car insurance categories in the UK. A car’s grouping is based on a number of criteria, including its value, repair costs, its performance and safety and security features.

A car in a lower grouping will be less expensive to insure. Our research suggests that these are the cheapest cars to insure in 2021.

Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo Gti

The Volkswagen Polo has been a staple of UK motoring since its launch in 1975. The Polo is a stylish and economical motor and used models hold their value well.

The ethos of the Polo has long been its purpose as an everyday car, whether you use it for the school run, shopping trips or weekend trips out. Check the version you’re pondering first as some may fall into a higher insurance group.

Skoda Fabia

Skoda Fabia

The Fabia was once the plain Jane of the small car market, but recent years have seen it blossom into a really smart model. The Fabia retains its practicality. It’s a very roomy car with lots of head and legroom and a surprisingly big boot for this class.

The 1.0-litre petrol models fall into the lowest insurance group and the Fabia is the ideal choice for the daily pottering around, picking up kids and bits from the shop. It shares parts with its VW group counterparts and Skoda have a great reputation these days for reliability.

Hyundai i10

Hyundai I10

You’ll find the Hyundai i10 on the used and new market. The previous generation which was manufactured between 2014 and 2019 has models which fall into insurance category one. They’ll also likely have been looked after and as a city car will tend to have low mileage.

The Hyundai i10 is practical and has sufficient space inside for most uses. With low running costs and decent build quality, the i10 is an ideal choice for running around town.

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta Ecoboost

The Ford Fiesta has been one of the finest small cars around for years. While most models don’t fall into the lowest insurance group, 1.1 “Style” petrol models squeeze into category two.

Fiestas are fun cars to drive which don’t compromise on quality and pack in plenty of safety features plus low emissions. There are tonnes of great Fiestas on the used markets, meaning you can pick up the option that suits you best.

Nissan Micra

More Micra

The Nissan Micra was rather dull until its metamorphosis into a funky run-about in its fifth generation, 2017 relaunch. You can pick up a used 2017 – 2019 model which slips into the cheapest insurance bracket.

The Micra is a neatly affordable car that boasts a roomy boot, decent equipment levels and sharp, modern styling. The Micra is built in the UK and France and many of them come from the same factory as the Renault Clio. The Micra boasts low running costs and is a really economical choice with decent specs across the used and new markets.

Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero

Dacia is enjoying a rapid rise in the car buyer’s list of manufacturers to consider. The Renault-powered brand delivers the Sandero as its small car option and it certainly meets the brief.

The Sandero is functional and seriously smart to look at as a mini-SUV. It’s a family-friendly compact with lots of space inside and is one of the cheapest cars to insure on the market.

Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto

Do check your model, but plenty of used Kia Picanto’s fall into insurance group one and newer trim 2 models also slip into the cheapest categories. The Picanto scores as it’s a light handling compact option, ideal for city use. You also get the legendary 7-year Kia warranty and the Picanto is one of the favourite small cars around for its wide-ranging appeal.


Seat Mii

The SEAT Mii has gone all-electric in its latest models but you can pick up a bargain in the used market with petrol versions in the lowest insurance categories. The 1.0-litre varieties come in three and five-door body styles and the Mii is a really comfortable and smart car to drive. Perfectly at home around town, the SEAT Mii also does just fine out on the open road.

Renault Twingo

Renault Twingo

70 hp Twingo models sneak into insurance group two and this neat hatchback has some seriously sleek styling. The petrol-powered Renault Twingo is neatly economical, offering up to 48.7 mpg. The Twingo is quite the radical little motor with a rear-engined configuration under the floor of the boot. With nippy engines and a tiny turning circle, the Twingo is a great little city car that is cheap to insure.

Skoda Citigo

Skoda Citigo

Where the Skoda Fabia scores for feeling like a bigger car than it is, the Citigo is the little brother, ideal for tinkering around town. At its least powerful options, the Citigo falls into the lowest insurance category. It has just four seats but that delivers plenty of space in this compact car. The Citigo is simply really fun to drive and can squeeze into the smallest of spaces at the supermarket.

Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is popular with younger drives as 1.0-litre models sit neatly in the lowest insurance group. Billed as a “subcompact car”, the Yaris boasts stand-out looks with a mean and moody grille upfront. It has great fuel economy and more than enough kit thrown in as standard.

The Toyota Yaris is great fun to drive and super light in the steering. It’s great in town but more than happy to unleash itself on winding country roads thanks to its fantastic handling.