Archive for October, 2007

Vehicle Color influencing Insurance Premium

October 26, 2007

I suppose most of you don’t actually know that the color of your car affects its insurance, considering that I could still see several neon green and jet black-colored vehicles everywhere.

So, what would be the best car color then? Insurers said that buying a red, yellow, white or silver vehicle can positively influence your insurance premium. According to AA Insurance spokesman Gary Ronald, such colors were proven to be more visible, cheaper to maintain, and less likely to be involved in collisions because of dark or bad weather condition, “Avoid colors that merge with dark times of the day and bad weather conditions,” he said.

Ronald also mentioned that another good idea is calling a potential insurer for possible premium payments, based on the risk profiling in the country and maintenance costs. Ha said, “Most insurers are happy to give you a quote on a premium. But shop around for the best one for you.” “It makes good sense to take top cover because of inevitable outcomes that could leave you with a huge bill. The book value of your car depreciates every month, top cover pays for the book and not actual value of the car,” he added.

According to Hollard spokesman Zuriel Naicker, the area where you live in and where you park; in a garage or carport; also influences how much you pay for insurance. He said the cost of repair of a vehicle is also a significant factor to consider. He also mentioned that although not all eventualities can be covered, fitting a tracking system in your vehicle made a difference to payments.

Naicker said, “Each insurer uses different underwriting criteria. It is common practice in the global insurance market for some insurers to not cover persons under 25, or a particular gender… Environmental factors influence the ratios of theft and hijacking.”

Recently, Hollard announced a decision to stop covering Golf 1’s made between 2004 and 2006. The Volkswagen Citi Golf 1 is considered as one of the inexpensive entry level cars. It retails at R70800 to R109600, which makes it one of the favourites for first-time car buyers. The decision was made mainly because providing cover for the cars has become too costly for them. That is considering that those cars were reported to be prone to theft, and accounted for one percent of its books. The action is said to be their way of avoiding an unfair increase in premiums of all clients. The good thing is that they would still be covering their existing 2000 customers.

However, Ronald said that AA will not be following Holand’s route. He said, “You cannot dictate to a customer what they should or should not buy. Rather improve risks.” Good point at that.

Still, for those of you who are planning to purchase a car and wanting to save up money on premiums, it would be worth to pick the colors they have mentioned. Besides, red and silver are excellent car colors.

High-tech, High Theft

October 19, 2007

Today’s latest cars are loaded with high technology features that most likely attract customers who seek for quality, convenience, safety and entertainment. Since everyone loves to have them all, those who can’t get those gadgets out of their own pockets are likely to take them from others through stealing. As a result, thefts of car gadgets continue to rise.

According to an article in kfoxtv.com, on top of the list of most targeted items is the global positioning satellite (GPS) unit.

Miguel Martinez, with Audio Express, said, “Customers lately have come in with, you know, video packages being stolen, base packages being stolen and, along with the video, you have your connections to your navigation and satellite, so usually they all get stolen together.”

GPS, aside from having high resale value, is portable, which makes it easy to steal. A woman from El Paso for instance said that her satellite radio got swiped despite having her truck with an alarm system. She said, “There were other things that they could’ve taken but it seems like they had their eyes on the radios, remotes, DVDs, CDs.”

There are some satellite radios that are mounted on the windshield. Even if you take such radio off and keep it out of sight after parking your car, the thieves could still see the mark left behind. The mark lets them know that there is still something of value inside your car.

Martinez said, “People stealing cars, it’s just like a bonus being able to find a system in there that they can grab as well.”

Victims are then left with the painful lesson of taking more precautions to make sure that it won’t happen again.

The theft victim said, “I’m more careful now as to where I park. Before I used to park far so I could walk and now I just park with the rest of the crowd.”

Though many stolen GPS units and satellite radios are never recovered, authorities still recommend the people to write down serial numbers and notify either the police or the manufacturer if a theft occurs. It takes a more vigilant approach to make sure not one of the valuables in your car are stolen.

OOIDA Safe Driving Award, sponsored by Volvo

October 15, 2007

We all know that Volvo is very much dedicated in bringing safety in all their vehicles in markets worldwide. They even organize programs promoting safety to both group of drivers and passengers.

Recently, it was announced that Volvo Trucks North America would be sponsoring the Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association’s (OOIDA) Safe Driving Award Program. The said program will recognize and reward OOIDA members for their safe, accident-free year of commercial vehicle operation, as per featured in etrucker.com.

Scott Kress, Volvo senior vice president of sales and marketing, said, “Volvo Trucks North America is proud to support OOIDA’s recognition of its members’ contributions to highway safety.”

“Safety has been a Volvo core value for 80 years now, and our experience tells us the driver is far and away the most important factor in truck safety. Owner-operators are also highly visible to the American public. Volvo thinks it is important to spotlight OOIDA members’ achievements and to encourage other drivers – whether in trucks or passenger vehicles – to emulate them,” Kress added.

Currently, there are more 156,000 members of the OOIDA. All of which represents the interests of owner-operators and professional drivers. As in the award program, all of the active ones among the OOIDA members are qualified for the award. That is for as long as they haven’t had any preventable accident that they went through, and drives a commercial vehicle as their primary occupation within year of the award. Among the awards that will be given includes one Safe Driving Award patch and one certificate.

Well, I believe this is a simple but great effort from Volvo to recognize the participation of the members in the continuous promotion of safety.

Volkswagen: ‘A competitive price. Promise.’

October 9, 2007

Volkswagen, the fourth world’s largest automaker, has recently launched a new price match campaign. With a catch line of “A competitive price. Promise,” the campaign was designed to reassure new and existing Volkswagen customers that they will always be paying a fair and competitive price for the service, maintenance and repair of their vehicles.

The campaign is actually more like a simple promise to ensure customers that they could get the most out from their motoring budgets. Under the campaign, all participating Volkswagen Retailers will price match any service, maintenance or repair (SMR) quote from an independent garage within a five mile radius. The small print was kept simple and precise: “all they ask is that it is a like-for-like job”; “the quote is provided in writing”; and that “the independent outlet uses Volkswagen Original Parts”, as per mentioned in an article at easier.com.

Paul Lougher Smith, Volkswagen’s Aftersales Martketing Manager, is at the helm of the campaign. He said, “Our customers enjoy the quality, reliability and great value for money that’s synonymous with the Volkswagen brand but when it comes to servicing the general cliché is that all franchised network outlets are more expensive than independent garages. At Volkswagen we are so confident in our prices being competitive that we’re giving Volkswagen owners of any age of vehicle the chance to shop around and then demand the same price from their Volkswagen Retailer. That way, they get the best quality work as well as the knowledge that they’re also paying the best price.”

Customers have cited not having their cars serviced within a franchised network. According to research, the main reason is the perception of price. Volkswagen, through removing any potential barriers, is hoping that all customers will enjoy the peace of mind and high quality workmanship brought about by having their vehicles looked after within the network.

Paul Lougher Smith also said, “We’re running this advertising campaign for six weeks – but the offer continues for the rest of the year. Our retailers are looking forward to welcoming customers back into the network and giving them the service and value for money they deserve. The Volkswagen brand has long stood for honesty and value and this latest campaign aims to reinforce this promise.”