A Little Low Cost Car Maintenance Goes a Long Way

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Autumn has officially begun, and although car maintenance might not be at the top of everyone's list of things to do, it's surprising how a little bit of care and maintenance now will save time, money, unnecessary breakdowns and even accidents as winter draws near.

A well maintained and properly cared for vehicle not only increases its safety, but also makes it more economical to run

"A well maintained and properly cared for vehicle not only increases its safety, but also makes it more economical to run," says RIAS Managing Director Janet Connor. "Minor jobs like checking fluids, tyre pressure and condition, and replacing worn small parts like windscreen wipers, can really help prevent major issues later on: after all, steering clear of potential problems in the short term has to be better than making an avoidable claim, risking your no claims bonus, and increasing the cost of your premium in the long term."

RIAS advises the following checks for keeping your car in tip top condition this autumn and winter:

  •     Check the anti-freeze strength and try to change the coolant and anti-freeze every two years
  •     Use a good quality anti-freeze, even the best only costs a few pounds. Use a 50-50 mix of anti-freeze and water in the cooling system for winter (check your owner's manual) to avoid severe engine damage costing hundreds of pounds to repair
  •     Lights, heaters and windscreen wipers all put high demands on your car battery - when starting the car, make sure these non-essentials are turned off until the engine is running. And remember, batteries rarely last longer than five years, so check the condition of yours and replace if necessary
  •     Check all tyres for condition, pressure and tread depth. Don't be tempted to reduce pressure to increase grip, this is dangerous and affects breaking capacity
  •     Make sure you have a maintenance kit ready - including jack and wheel brace. Consider including a warning triangle in the kit plus spare engine oil, water, spare fuses and bulbs. Check the condition of your spare wheel/tyre
  •     Check all lights and indicators are working and clean
  •     Keep the windscreen, mirrors and windows clean - and make sure screen wash reservoirs are kept topped up
  •     Replace worn windscreen wipers

Performing these simple, low cost maintenance tasks should help keep your car safely on the road through the winter months.

Janet Connor, Managing Director of RIAS is available for further comment and interview. To arrange an interview with, or photography of, Janet, please call Simon Robinson on 07976 329823 or e-mail srobinson@rias.co.uk.

About RIAS

  •     RIAS was established in 1992 and is a specialist provider of insurance products including home insurance for the over 50s age group
  •     RIAS negotiates with a panel of insurers to secure competitive, value for money products
  •     RIAS has over 970,000 customers and employs over 1,100 people across two locations - Bournemouth and Belfast
  •     In December 2007 RIAS won the 'Personal Lines Broker of the year' award at the Insurance Times awards
  •     RIAS was ranked 2nd in the 2008 Auto Express Driver Power Survey on motor insurance and was rated best for claims payout
  •     In August 2008 RIAS was awarded 2nd place by Which? magazine for home insurance customer satisfaction and rated best for settlement time on claims
  •     RIAS received a Commendation at the 2008 CCF European Call Centre awards in the 'best people practice' category
  •     RIAS was a finalist at the 2008 UK Broker Awards in the 'Intermediary of the Year' category
  •     RIAS is a finalist at the 2008 Insurance Times Awards in the 'Personal Lines broker of the year'

RIAS is part of Fortis (Insurance UK), a leading provider of award-winning personal and commercial lines insurance solutions in the UK and the 2007 British Insurance Awards 'General Insurer of the Year'. The insurer's successful customer-centric strategy has been founded on aligning its activities to how customers want to buy insurance, combined with delivering high quality products, manufactured at costs better than market norms.

Fortis's unique multi-distribution capability enables it to deliver products face-to-face, by phone (inbound and outbound), over the Internet and via SMS technology. Aligning its business activities with its partners' general insurance strategies enables Fortis to offer end-to-end white label capabilities in product development, marketing, campaign management, sales, fulfilment and claims - providing a seamless integration with partner brands.

Insuring in excess of 6.7 million customers and working with a range of partners, Fortis is recognised for delivering consistent and high-quality customer experiences. It employs 2,901 people as of 31/12/07 with a head office based in Eastleigh and others in Belfast, Bournemouth, Gloucester, Haywards Heath, Redditch, and Stoke-on-Trent. In 2007, its profit before tax and interest (excluding impact of weather related events) was £92.2 million and its GWP was 757.8 million.


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Sadie Sheppard
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