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Tips for Your Motoring Budget in Lockdown

Added: 20 April 2020


The lockdown to help keep everyone stay as safe and healthy as possible during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected most people’s finances. However, manufacturers, finance companies, insurance firms and dealerships are doing their very best to be sympathetic and flexible. Here are a number of ways in which you can get help with monetary issues that may be affecting your motoring.

If you were in the middle of buying a vehicle when the lockdown came into effect, then it is definitely a good idea to contact the company with whom you have taken out your finance. Some customers may have been affected by disruptions in the supply chain from the manufacturer to the dealership meaning that they have not yet received their new vehicle but their payments under their finance agreement will soon be due.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently wrote draft guidance for motor finance providers, encouraging them to offer “exceptional and immediate support to customers facing payment difficulties” because of the pandemic and lockdown. While the guidance isn’t a lists of enforceable rules, the regulator described several temporary measures meant to help motorists who might be having temporary difficulty in making finance or leasing payments because they have unfortunately lost income or who might be about to experience such difficulties. The suggested measures include 3-month payment deferrals, lowered payments or rescheduled terms to help customers make ends meet.

If you have a purchasing, finance or leasing problem with payments, then our advice is to contact the company to whom you make the payments to discuss what flexibility may be available.

It is a not dissimilar story for car insurance, where some drivers may be eligible to claim a partial refund on their insurance premiums, according to a report by Auto Express. Auto Express’s Tristan Shale-Hester said: “The good news is that, depending on the details of your insurance policy, a change in one or more aspects of your car’s use as a result of the lockdown could make you eligible for a partial refund on your premium, whether it’s paid monthly or annually.”

While the lockdown is in force, it’s likely that your expected mileage will have dropped dramatically. Therefore, it’s possible for some drivers to contact their insurer ask for their annual mileage limit to be reduced by 1,000 miles and receiving a partial refund on payments for a premium.

A spokesperson for the Direct Line Group of insurance brands told Auto Express: ““If a customer believes that their mileage will be a lot lower than originally estimated at the start of their policy, they can contact us and we can process a refund. As long as you’re reducing mileage by at least 1,000 miles per annum and you’re not already on a particularly low estimated annual mileage, a refund will generally be available.”

Another possible change that could lead to a partial refund is to remove other named drivers on the policy.

It’s another case of “don’t ask, don’t get”, so pick up the phone to your insurer and you could save a bit of money just when you need it most.

While our Sales departments are currently closed, if you need to contact us for any reason, please email, select one of the dealers in our Dealer Directory to find the relevant phone number to call us on, chat with us by texting 07520 649139 or use the online 24/7 Live Chat facility on our website to instantly message us. We will then help you as soon as possible.

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