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Vinyl Wrap Or Respray?

Inevitably as a classic car enthusiast you will notice that many classic cars do not have their original paintwork that came from the factory. This is due to many reasons such as corrosion setting in, damaged bodywork or the original colour just being too plain awful for the 21st century, hearing aid beige anyone?

The issue here though is that full body re-sprays do not come cheap, and if they do - then you get what you pay for. If you have a beautiful old Mercedes 350SL then you are not going want to skimp on a cheap paintjob, you will want the best. However their are alternatives to going for the full re-spray and spending £5,000 for your dream colour choice. Vinyl wrapping is becoming increasingly popular amongst enthusiasts, and for good reason too. You can get the same look and feel as a full body re-spray for a fraction of the cost.

5 Reasons Why Wrapping May Be Your Desired Route

Cost – First and foremost this is the biggest factor here. Re-spray’s can add up, especially if you are going for a high-end paint job that is metallic. Wrapping can start anywhere from approximately £500 in any colour and finish you so desire. The life expectancy is shorter, ranging from five to eight years though. But many re-sprays only last that long on some classic cars.

Options – There are some many options available with vinyl wrapping. From all the colours under the rainbow, to custom designs such as carbon fibre, racing stripes or even cartoon characters if that is your thing. The classic car market is known for enthusiasts customising their cars, and it doesn’t get much more customisable than wrapping.

Vinyl Wrapped Mercedes

Installation – Imagine having your classic G-Wagon re-sprayed, due to the size of this beast it could take up to two weeks for your average paint-shop to turn around. With a vinyl wrap however it could be done in 48 hours.

Protection – This is the added benefit of wrapping a car. It protects the vehicle from the natural elements. An important issue on Britain’s wintry roads. It protects the paint underneath from corrosion and also any scratches and stone chips. The vinyl essentially acts as a shield. No need to claim on your classic car insurance for nasty scratches to your paintwork.

Maintenance – Imagine not having to wax your classic car again? Sounds good right. All you need to do is wash your car with car shampoo to bring it up looking like new again. Many classic cars are garaged and this is another factor, which prolongs the life of the vinyl. Sun damage can weaken the vinyl over time. If you get fed up of your current vinyl three years down the road, then no problem just get it removed and the paint underneath will not be affected.



How to Find the Perfect Classic Car Online

Although buying a car online today is much easier than say ten years ago thanks to the internet, buying a classic car however does require a fair bit of extra effort compared to buying your average modern car. Even with a modern digital online marketplace, car shoppers and even tech savvy shoppers are sceptical of making an online purchase especially if the value and size of the classic car is higher. Investing a significant outlay of cash based on simply reading consumer reviews and viewing photos is just not enough to put people in the comfort zone. But apart from viewing photos and reading reviews, there are several key things a classic car buyer can do to help make this process much easier.

Listed below are a few tips to buying classic cars online, which cover all major aspects of online car buying for classic cars. These tips are not only aspects that must be considered when buying a classic car online, but also serve as a checklist for other items you need to address to ease your buying decision when you aready to depart with your hard-earned cash.

1. Checklist – whether you’re buying a small or big ticket classic car, it is important to make a checklist to include a list of things to take care of to avoid any hiccups in the buying process. Your checklist should include items such as test drive, the distance of the seller, license plates, insurance, storage, body work, mechanical inspection and any questions you might have for the seller including availability of service records and previous owner details.

2. Know your Seller – There are no exact rules to go by when investigating a seller online and it all boils down to the route you take to buy the car. If you’re buying a classic car by replying to a personal ad, you will have to work with whatever info you have about the seller. You can however perform some additional research yourself by entering their details into one of the better search engines and seeing if anything flags up, and also running a hpi check. The point here is not to see how many classic car forums they are active on, but to determine their online reputation.

Most classic car buyers prefer to use auction sites to make their classic car purchases, which is definitely a more hassle free approach. Online auction marketplaces generally have state of the art tools to help buyers make an easy decision such as an unbiased feedback and rating system and also the option of escrow payments. Most people sell through auction sites as it adds to their overall customer reviews resulting in more future business, and many consumers prefer to buy classic cars through auction sites because they get a clear insight into a seller’s reputation through these reviews and their level of feedback.

3. Ask The Right Questions – when you find the classic car you want, ask questions that may be missing from the listing description. You will have to refer to the checklist you created initially for these questions, but don’t limit yourself to them.

 Classic Car For Sale

4. Inspect the vehicle – bottom line that you should never pay for a vehicle online if it hasn’t been inspected by you personally or someone you know. This can make the process so much easier and give you a great peace of mind, The rates for general vehicle inspections can vary but this should not be the reason to overlook this aspect considering that the price tag of the classic car is often significantly higher and more expensive to fix if something major is wrong with the car. Inspection would also include checking the previous owner details and service records, ensure that all panels are inspected for previous damage and rust. 

Buying a classic car online is certainly an in-depth process that requires more effort than buying your average daily commute, but following the tips mentioned above will help make the process easier. 


Wheeler Dealer, Edd China finds Peel ‘a bit of a squeeze’ at Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show 2014

Wheeler Dealer, Edd China showed his funny side at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show when he ‘squeezed’ himself into a tiny Peel P50. The 6’7” restoration star was joined by Mike Brewer on Lancaster Insurance’s stand when he climbed into the miniature motor, officially the world’s smallest car.


Should You Claim On Your Insurance For a Damaged Windscreen?

Having a chipped or cracked windscreen is extremely annoying and unsafe to say the least. It starts out with something small such as a stone chip or road debris hitting your windscreen, which creates a little line and then gradually leads to a large cracked windscreen. Depending on the location of the crack, it could impair your vision when driving or compromise the structural integrity of the glass. This issue can also be even more prominent on classic cars of a certain age, as modern cars use safety glass (laminated glass) for the windscreen, whereas early classics used plate glass whichfor todays standards it wouldn't pass a safety test on a new vehicle.

But before rush to get auto glass work done, it is wise to speak to your insurance agent to see if you have windscreen damage coverage and if it will affect your classic car insurance insurance policy and in what way. Chances are the windscreen crack is still in its infancy and hence maybe an easy fix. In this case, you may be able to get away with simple windscreen repair rather than replacing the entire windscreen. 

Classic Car Windscreen

Owing to fraudulent insurance claims made between certain insurers and auto glass professional, where claims were submitted without the client’s knowledge, insurance companies scrutinize every case diligently. But since windscreen damage is extremely common type of car repair, most insurance companies pay the complete cost of windscreen repair without a excess. This means that if you do get your windscreen repaired, it should not affect your insurance premiums of policy.

In most cases and again because it a fairly common type of repair, a majority of windscreen repair shops will simply bill your insurance company directly. This streamlined approach is not only easy on you as a driver as you don’t have to shuffle bills and fill out long claim forms, but also makes it easier for the merchant to receive payment for their services. Most of the time, even a cost of replacing an entire windscreen with a whole new one is less than your excess so refer to your insurance policy and calculate the costs.

If you do get a windscreen repair done, you may have to pay an excess to cover part of the bill. This is why it may be a good idea to get a non-obligatory quote from a windscreen repair specialist to determine the actual costs involved and if you would be better off paying for it out of your pocket rather than speaking to your insurance company.

There also may be a limit to the number windscreen repairs in your policy, but generally the first one is free. Filing regular windscreen claims may affect your insurance policy in the long term so it important to drive safe and steer clear of imminent road hazards. Coverage changes may include removal or windscreen repair cover from your policy or an increase in your excess.

The moment you notice a crack in your windscreen, dot waste time getting it fixed as the glass can spread fast and result in more serious damage and staggering repair costs. Whether or not a chip can be repaired depends on several factors including location, size and extent of damage, and the rule of thumb is that any crack that’s longer than three inches or any chips bigger than a quarter will need complete window replacement, or your car will fail its MOT.


Insurance Issues To Be Aware Of when Driving in Europe

Europe is one of the biggest and closest destinations for business travelers and holiday makers alike, in both summer and winter seasons. Hence, it is important to understand the level of protection you currently have, what you may be short of and other practicalities before setting off especially if you are driving a classic car. Many Europe bound British motorists assume that their current insurance is automatically protects them when driving in the EU, and although this is partially true, most insurers only offer basic RTA (Road Traffic Accident) level of protection.

Driving Classic Car In Europe

Depending on the country you’re travelling to, your insurance policy may also include third party cover, which again is no big help in the event of legal matters resulting from the accident or even if your vehicle were stolen. Research indicates that 80% of UK insurers provided protection for foreign travel as standard, while most of the rest provided comprehensive cover as an optional chargeable extra, and others provided no cover at all. Adding to this, some insurance companies expect to be notified of your travel dates and countries you will be visiting, while other insurers may not ask for any notification at all.

If you have a specific classic car insurance policy, call us to check your level of cover to the country you are visiting. 

Demystifying the Green Card

Owing to history, British motorists have needed a Green Card document as prove as their insurance coverage overseas. However, due to the onset of the single market in the early 90’s, a few European countries permitted British motorists to travel without a Green card, but this directive was not welcomed by all the countries in Europe. To avoid any difficulties on your trip, it is highly recommended that you do carry your Green card no matter what country you travel to.

There are no costs associated with getting a Green card, which is a document that proves that you have adequate level of cover to drive in the UK, and that cover under EU law protects you while you drive within Europe. But take note that in most instances Green card cover offers basic level of protection such as third party coverage, even if you’ve signed up for comprehensive cover in the UK. This is when it starts to get tricky as some insurers offer comprehensive European cover generally for up to 30 days at the same level of protection like you have in the UK and label it as Green Card Cover. Simply put, a Green card offers the basic level of protection needed in drive in the EU at no cost, whereas if you’d like the same level of cover as you currently have in the UK, you will have to pay more for what insurers dub as “Green Card” cover.

That said, insurance rates will vary depending on several factors such as the length of your trip and the type of vehicle among others. If you do plan on taking out “Green Card”, it is highly recommended that you do so well ahead of your travel date so that your document arrives in time. Furthermore, ensure that you’re vehicle is in a good state by completing a comprehensive check to include updating MOT, refilling water and oil. With regards to breakdown cover, it may be exempt from your UK insurance when travelling in the EU so it is important to keep a helpline number handy in case you’re faced with any such inconvenience.

Another aspect and often overlooked in the high cost of car repairs in the EU compared to the UK and may be a reason for a boost in insurance premiums. When planning a trip to the EU, give your insurance company a call further to clarify exactly what you’re covered for in order to avoid any nasty surprises in the event of an accident.



The Best Way to Prepare Your Car for Cold Weather

It is important that you prepare your classic car for wintertime, just like you would prepare yourself for the harsh weather and cold temperatures. It is unlikely that you will go out in the freezing cold with just a t-shirt, unless you are Bear Grylls. Cold weather puts a stronger demand on your vehicle's output and running gear. Ensuring that you vehicle is ready to face the extreme winter weather and temperatures will make you feel more at ease when you get behind the wheel to take it for a spin on a bright wintry day.


Why Buying A Convertible In Winter Is A Good Idea

In winter seasons, people want to buy cars, which can withstand the snowy weather in the UK and the freezing temperatures that come with that. It is also a common time that people sell off their old vehicles and upgrade when winter is going to hit. Until now, 4x4’s and hybrid four-wheelers were considered the best option for winters, as they can plough through any weather conditions with relative ease. But is that always the best option?


Classic Mini, ‘Henry’ is just the Italian job

Before his ‘starring role’ on Lancaster Insurance’s stand at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show in November, ‘Henry’, a 1990 ‘H’ reg Mini embarked on another big adventure. His owners, Tanya and Jason Field, from Oxfordshire, took him on ‘The Italian Job’, a charity car rally for classic and modern Minis around Italy.


Peel Cars - the Re-launch

The Peel cars were originally built between 1962-5 (Peel P50) and 1962-6 (Peel Trident) in the town of Peel on the Isle of Man by Cyril Cannell, owner of Peel Engineering Company until it ceased trading in 1970.


Friends Reunited

Staff at Lancaster Insurance were delighted to be able to help one of their customers surprise her husband for their wedding anniversary by reuniting him with the car that they had used on their wedding day.


Lancaster Insurance helps customer towards target for USA charity road trip

Staff from classic car specialist Lancaster Insurance ‘clubbed together’ to raise £275 for customer, Les Durrant, from Chester, who is embarking on a charity road trip across America. The fundraising fun took place on the 27 June, at the Lancaster offices in St Ives, Cambridge, where activities included a Where’s Wally quiz, raffle, 1980’s fancy dress, a ‘bake off’ and Space Invaders and Pacman themed games.


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