A Guide to Insuring Your Modified Car

Anyone who drives a modified car will know the difficulties of getting a good price on their

insurance. Some insurance companies won’t even offer you a price, while others will charge you

a heavy premium. Lenders see drivers of these vehicles as an added risk, assuming they’re more

likely to be involved with an accident.

Why You Should Declare All Changes

Any car that has additions or alterations to its standard factory specification is what the insurance

industry refers to as a “non-standard” or modified vehicle. If you have multiple modifications,

this will all be grouped under the same insurance rate. It’s important that you make your lender

aware of all of the changes you’ve made to your vehicle, though, even if they aren’t performance

related. If you don’t do this, they may have the right to void your contract or refuse to pay out in

the event of an accident.

Not All Modifications Are Negative

Equally, it’s important to remember that not all modifications will increase your premiums.

Performance enhancing changes like engine tuning can cause your rates to increase dramatically.

Similarly, exterior alterations that are purely aesthetic could still have a negative effect as lenders

feel this could make your car more attractive to potential thieves. However, adding functional

customisations, like parking sensors or extra security measure, may in fact lower your car

insurance premium as your lender considers these as positive additions.

How You Can Lower Your Premiums

If you’re interested in bringing your insurance premiums down, there are a number of things you

can do. Even simple changes, like making sure your vehicle is locked away safely at night, can

have significant effects. The first thing you should do, though, is look for an insurance provider

who offers specialist cover on modified vehicles like A-Plan. This should give you a much more

favorable rate than compared to a standard lender. You could also look to take additional driving

qualifications, such as the Pass Plus scheme. This could be especially worthwhile for younger


Unfortunately, the stereotype of the young “boy racer” getting into trouble shines a negative light

on us all. In reality, the vast majority of those driving modified cars are actually enthusiasts who

are not only more knowledgeable about the inner workings of their vehicle, but are safer and

better drivers too.


Best Ways to Finance Your Next Car


When it comes to financing your next car, there are several different options available to you.

Because each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages, deciding which one is right

for you can be difficult. Here’s are the four most popular solutions explained.

Personal Loan

Taking out a personal loan from a bank, building society, or other finance provider is the most

common way of financing a car. This will give you instant ownership of the vehicle and is ideal

for those who don’t want to deal with any kind of annual mileage restrictions. It’s not

recommended that take out any loan against your home, as you’d risk losing it if you failed to

keep up with repayments.

Hire Purchase

Hire purchases are another popular way of financing a vehicle. Here, you pay a deposit, typically

10%, followed by a series of fixed monthly payments, usually spread out over one to five years.

Remember, under this kind of agreement, the car is owned by the lender until the final payment

is complete. This kind of approach is ideal for those that want to own the vehicle, but need to be

able to budget it over a certain length of time.

Personal Contract Purchase

A personal contract purchase works a lot like a hire purchase, but you’ll have a few more options

at the end of your contract. Like a hire purchase, you’ll pay an initial deposit along with your

monthly repayments at a fixed interest rate. At the end of the contract, though, you can either

return the car to the supplier, keep it, or trade it in against a replacement. Buying the vehicle

entails one final payment, set at the start of the agreement, which takes into account the car’s

projected retail value of the vehicle.

Personal Leasing

Finally, personal leasing is where you pay the lender a fixed monthly amount for the use of the

car. This fee, which includes servicing and maintenance fees, takes into account the make and

model of the vehicle, the length of your contract, and your agreed upon annual mileage limit. At

the end of the agreement, you simply return the car to the dealer where you’ll have the option of

choosing another new vehicle and starting over again. This is arguably the simplest approach to

vehicle finance, as you won’t have to worry about aspects like depreciation.

To learn more, take a look here. Remember to consider all of your available options and weigh

the pros and cons to find out which approach is right for you.


What Are the Best Racing Games Available Right Now?

With the next Gran Turismo game officially announced, racing game fans around the world will

be itching to play the next version of Polyphony Digital’s long-running franchise. With the last

couple of installments, though, we’ve seen a gradual decline in reception from both critics and

fans alike. Will Gran Turismo Sport have what it takes to take back its crown? Here’s how the

current competition looks. Take a look here for the history of racing games by LeaseCar.

Forza Motorsport 6 (Xbox One)

When Forza Motorsport first debuted in 2005 for the original Xbox, it was firmly positioned as

Microsoft’s challenger to PlayStation’s Gran Turismo series. The latest game has been heralded

as a return to form, with many feeling that the fifth game was rushed to meet the launch of the

Xbox One console. The biggest new addition to the formula is the inclusion of wet-weather

driving, which the developers promise is more than a just cosmetic change. Players not paying

attention will soon find themselves facing the other end of the track if they try to tackle a puddle

too quickly.

DRIVECLUB(PlayStation 4)

DRIVECLUB received mixed reviews during its initial launch phase. Many players bemoaning

its lack of content or the ability to play in a sixty frames-per-second mode, though many praised

it for being one of the most visually stunning games to be seen on consoles. Since then, the

developers have continued to add both new content as well as tweak the controls. The

reaffirmation that DRIVECLUB is here for the long-haul was further cemented when

DRIVECLUB BIKES, a standalone or downloadable expansion to the main game, was

announced at the recent Paris Games Week conference.

Project CARS (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Project CARS, which stands for Community Assisted Racing Simulator, was released this year

by Slightly Mad Studios, developers of the Need for Speed: Shift series. Thanks to the new

physics engine that’s built to take advantage of the latest generation of hardware, the game

intends to create as realistic a driving experience as possible, with 74 driveable cars and over 30

unique locations with at least 110 different courses, 23 of which are based on real locations. All

of the tracks of vehicles are available to the player from the offset, rather than restricting much of

the game behind a progression system like the Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport series.

The Crew (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Unlike the three previous games, which are all centered around track-based racing, The Crew

puts players in a massive open and persistent world where they’re freely allowed to roam. The

map is a scaled-down version of the United States, split into five regions: The Midwest, East

Coast, Mountain States, West Coast, and The South. Each region has its own unique

geographical features and terrain, as well as at least one city to race in. Players are encouraged to

team up and form “crews,” before heading out into the world to tackle missions together or

compete in an eight-player multiplayer mode.

Do you think that the next Gran Turismo game has what it takes to reclaim its crown as the best

racing game? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Best Diesel Vans You Can Buy Today

Picking a van may not give you as many options as when you’re picking a car, but that doesn’t at all

mean that it’s a simple and straightforward decision to make. If you’re in the market and are not sure

where to start, then this quick rundown of three of the best vans available today should help, and

we’ve separated the categories into small, medium and large.

Best Small Van

This category is very hotly contested, and you’ve perhaps got the most choice here because there are

so many options. This is likely because lots of manufacturers dabble in this market as small car

chassis can easily be transposed into small vans. Here you’re looking for a good price, economy, and

the best use of space you can fit in a small frame. The Ford Transit Connect, the smaller sibling of the

traditional van, is probably the choice of the discerning buyer in this category. It’s an excellent all-

rounder, and represents good value even when comparing it to some of the cheaper options out there.

Best Medium Van

The standard Transit van is certainly the best known van in this category, and indeed it still represents

a fantastic choice – a version of the Transit could probably win all three categories here. However,

there are still some other great choices, and this time we’re going to go with the Renault Trafic or

Vauxhall Vivaro. They’re both essentially the same vehicle, but have won awards for being extremely

efficient. The 1.6-litre diesel unit has a respectable 116bhp, and an incredible 47.9mpg fuel efficiency

rating. That’s best in class, and we think good enough for top spot, as fuel economy is an increasing

concern for commercial buyers.

Best Large Van

There are fewer choices in the large van sector, but the decision is still pretty difficult to make. At the

top end you’ve got offerings from Mercedes such as the Sprinter which offer excellent refinement,

and excel in every area, but which are still a little pricey compared with competitors (though leasing

might be a good option if you want the best – more info here). The Iveco Daily is the choice here, as it

offers excellent value for money while having good engines and a very durable finish. The previous

generation as popular, but the van you can buy today is even more refined, more fuel efficient and

better to drive.


Planning a Road Trip? Here’s What You’ll Need

While the summer may feel like a long time ago now, it’s never too early to start thinking about

your next road trip. With time on your side, you can even start thinking about a new route to

tackle. Why not head out and see the sights of mainland Europe instead? Here are some of the

things you’ll need to make it a trip to remember.

Sat Nav

There’s a long-running stereotype about guys being reluctant to ask for directions. Guess what:

it’s true. To prevent any potential arguments, make sure your bring an up-to-date sat nav with

you. While your smartphone will likely have a built-in GPS, you won’t always be able to find an

internet connection. Plus, it’s always best to try and preserve your phone’s battery life. As a last

resort, why not pack a tried and trusty map as well just in case technology lets you down?

First Aid Kit

You may think that taking along a first aid kit is excessive. After all, you’ll have your phone with

you to call a professional if any accident happens. If you’re travelling through rural areas,

though, the time it takes for emergency services to arrive could be drastically increased. A

simple health and safety pack will help you combat any cuts or bruises, and could protect you

from sustaining any long-term injuries. While you may think this kind of thing will never happen

to you, it’s always best to be prepared.

Digital Camera

The old adage goes that “the best camera is the one that’s with you.” Since the proliferation of

smartphones, many people no longer see the need for a dedicated device. When it comes to a trip

that will no doubt be full of unexpected turns, though, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The best

thing about single-use devices is you won’t have to worry about charging them every night

either. Depending on how much you use it, you may be able to go the whole trip without needing

to switch the battery.

Breakdown Cover

Naturally, being on the road for so long will increase your chance of running into any problems

by tenfold. Take out breakdown cover to make sure you don’t end up wasting a valuable day of

your trip being stuck on the side of the road. There’ll be plenty of local companies that can offer

you cover, but you can also use a UK-based company Breakdown Direct if you’d prefer. This

will give you the protection you need when heading overseas.