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Autumn Driving Tips

Tuesday was the first day I had to scrape ice of the windscreen and thus thought it would be a good idea to put out our autumn blog to ensure that you are ready for motoring in the up-coming months? 

Autumn brings different problems to the motoring public but there is nothing like a beautiful autumn day when it is cold and crisp and the autumn sun is at full strength.  However, during the early mornings and evenings, when the sun is low, it can be difficult to see through dirty, smeary windows and you need to keep the windscreen and side windows as clean as possible and clear of marks.  Ensure your windscreen washer bottle is full and you have cleaned the inside of your windows and keep some window wipes in your car, so that you can stop and quickly clean them should visibility become unclear.  A pair of sunglasses kept in the car can also help should the sun get below the sun visor.

Ensure your battery is not too old, as the evenings draw in quickly and coming out from work at 6pm and finding your battery is flat, it’s getting cold and you are going to have to find someone to help you jump start it or wait for the vehicle recovery people is not a pleasant thought after a long day at work.

For those of you who live in the country and especially those who live near forest and heath, the deer are becoming more of a problem.  If you see one deer, there are probably several more nearby.  Slow down and keep an eye out.  Should you hit one, pull over to the side of the road and call the police or highways agency.  Don’t forget to put your hazard lights on and get out of your car, put on a high viz jacket and wait by the side of the road.  Do not approach an injured deer.

Leaves are a big problem in the autumn months (more so for the railways than cars!) but be wary, they can hide potholes and ruts in the road as well as be slippery for tyres which are very worn.  Remember you need a 3mm tread on all your tyres and the pressure should be at the recommended psi. 

Ice and frost becomes more persistent later on in autumn and you may want to watch the weather forecast to ensure you are up early enough to clear your window before work or the school run.  Mist can be a problem in the early mornings and during the night.  Ensure your lights are clean and when driving at dusk, switch them on as soon as the sun starts to set.  It can be easy to forget and not realise how hard it is for other road users to see you in falling light levels.

But the main thing is to enjoy the autumn colours, the cold crisp mornings, bonfire night and the hazy sunshine, and be safe.



In order to comply with the minimum Euro Emissions Standards, London for Transport have introduced the new T-charge, also known as the Emissions Surcharge whereby older cars (which do not meet the Euro minimum vehicle emissions standard), are charged an extra £10 on top of the congestion charge of £11.50 per day, although historic tax charged cars and commercials manufactured before 1973 are exempt.  However, vehicles which have exemptions on their congestion charge, will in most cases , have the same exemptions on their T-charge.  

Drivers of vehicles which do not meet the Euro emissions standards will have until midnight on the following charging day to pay their congestion and T-charge which may be paid together.  Failure to pay will result in a penalty charge (PCN) of £130 which is reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days.  If you do not pay within 28 days, a 50% surcharge is added to the penalty, called a charge certificate, increasing the fine to £195.  You can of course challenge the PCN.

With this in mind, should you enter the congestion charge zone in London 5 days per week and do not warrant any discounts or exemptions, your weekly charge for entering for work purposes (5 days for the week) is £107.50.  Your weekly extra charge for work purposes with an older car would be £50 and should you work 4 weeks that month, your charge would be a further £200.  For this kind of money you would be able to afford, for example, one of our current offers, a brand new Skoda Octavia 1L TSi SE Technology Manual on business or personal contract hire from £135.66 + VAT.  Even if you only go into London for a few days per week, you may find it less expensive to change your vehicle for a newer version, or even get a ultra-low emission vehicle e.g. electric and stop paying the congestion charge and T-charge altogether. 

For more information, contact one of our brokers, Paul, Phil or Lawrence for an informal chat.

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) is one way in which an individual can afford a new car without having to pay for the car in one lump sum.  By paying for the vehicle over a period of months, usually 24, 36 or 48, consumers are able to spread the cost of a new car, enabling purchase of a more economical, environmentally friendly vehicle which should save the consumer money in the long term. 

However, by going down this route, there will be a deposit due at the beginning of the agreement and a balloon payment at the end.  When you choose this type of agreement, your monthly rentals will be lower, than if you pay your deposit and then pay for your car by standard hire purchase.  The balloon payment will be calculated at the beginning of the agreement and is then set (guaranteed value), therefore, at the end of the agreement if the vehicle is not worth as much as the guaranteed value (balloon), as a PCP client, you are entitled to give the car back to the lender should you wish.  Although it should be pointed out that you are then left without a car.  However you would be able to enter back into another PCP.  In some instances, should the guaranteed value be less than the vehicle is worth you may use any equity as a deposit on a new vehicle.

In Summary

  • Consumers are able to afford new vehicles and spread the cost over a period of time.
  • Payments are reduced by having a balloon payment at the end of the agreement.
  • If the consumer wishes, they can reduce the balloon payment by increasing their monthly payments and are therefore more likely to have equity at the end of the agreement.
  • Should the consumer wish to, they are able to give back the vehicle at the end of the agreement without paying the balloon payment and choose not to take ownership, (note: this does depend on the condition and mileage of the car, any excess mileage and damage will have to be paid for by the consumer).
  • Consumers may use the car they have just finished paying for, by trading it in and any equity left over and above the guaranteed value may be used as a deposit for a new PCP.


Are you looking to purchase a van

In this short blog we talk about the different ways in which you can invest in a new van for you or your business.   There are several ways in which to purchase a new van.  The 3 main options are to buy it outright, contract hire, and lease purchase.  We will take each one individually.

Buying outright

By buying your van outright, you will of course save on interest rates and you can do what you wish with your van without any restrictions, however, you are making a large payment and considering vans, like cars, lose the majority of their depreciation within the first six months, you will not get back what you paid for it.  So when deciding to purchase your van, you have to ensure that the van has the correct capacity and height and the financial out lay is right for your company.  You do not want to pay for a van and find that within a year it is not fit for purpose as your business has changed.  Some if the things to think about are:

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Troman Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for credit-related regulated activities.  Firm reference number 668753.  Troman Finance Limited is a credit broker, not a lender and work with a panel of lenders.  Troman Finance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales; company number 2564927.  Our registered address is Fu-chi Lodge, Parkgate Road, Newdigate, Surrey, RH5 5DX.  Information Commissioners registration Z6891335.  VAT registration number 596 1125 30.

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