The Carlover Blog

Helping you find your next used car

How to Get Cheaper Car Insurance

Car insurance premiums in Northern Ireland have seen price fluctuations over the previous years due to inflation within the automotive industry so if you are looking for cheaper car insurance for your used car in Belfast or further afield Northern Ireland – you have come to the right place.

 It’s no secret that these car insurance premiums are based on a magnitude of factors. This can range from one’s age, gender, occupation, the horsepower of your vehicle, how the vehicle is used, your address, the mileage of your vehicle, the type of cover you will need, your experience driving, if you have any insurance claims,  your car insurance excess and if your insurance provider offers multiple insurance policies. 

Influences On Insurance Prices

On that note, car insurance premiums can be heavily influenced on the make and model of your vehicle. The more expensive a car is, the more likely it is for you to pay a higher premium. For example, older vehicles are more at increased risk to break down, therefore increasing your premium. 

However, used vehicles may also have lower insurance due to the loss of value in the vehicle. A brand new car has more risk to it than a used car and this is a factor insurers take into account when setting a quote.

How can we combat this? Here are some tips guaranteed to lower your car insurance that you might want to take action on considering the rising costs of fuel.

Paying Your Premium Upfront

By paying your premium annually instead of monthly, you can avoid interest as high as 20% from your provider.

Consider Buying a Secondhand or Used Car

Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, the cost of your insurance can be lowered. Remember, older vehicles are more likely to break down therefore, increasing the price of insurance. However, depending on how you choose to use your vehicle, your insurance cost is unique to you.

The used cars in Northern Ireland have seen a price inflation, particularly on vehicles aged 1-3 years, even exceeding the original price of some models made brand new. If you’re an experienced driver, having a used car may be more beneficial as you already have an existing record that insurers can verify. 

Receive Quotes from Insurance Brokers

Inquiring about quotes from different providers is the equivalent to shopping around and looking for the best value. You can receive quotes from online brokers, or alternatively through insurers. By doing so, you can give yourself the best quote by comparing notes.

Avoid Last Minute Renewal of Your Insurance Cover

The best time to buy cover would roughly be around 3 weeks before your existing policies expire. There is increased competition among providers to compete on price as consumers are able to compare them to each other.

Become a Named Driver/ Add an Experienced Driver to Your Policy

If you’re a recently qualified driver and the cost of owning your own policy is too expensive, it might be more economically better for you to be added as a named driver on a guardian’s or sibling’s car. Alternatively, you can add an experienced driver with a clean licence to your policy, as their record can aid in bringing the cost down. 

Consider having a Multiple Car Policy

 Using the same insurance provider for households with multiple cars can result in having lower car insurance premiums. 

There you have it, 6 top tips on how to get cheaper car insurance in Northern Ireland! If you’re looking into getting a used car then get in touch with Car Lover Northern Ireland and follow our top tips on getting a better deal on the insurance.

Fuel Price Hike Fuelling The Electric Movement

electric car showing its dashboard and electric functions
The future is electric.

With the fuel price hike across the UK and Northern Ireland that have sparked chaos at the fuel pumps recently, it’s a likely scenario that those seeking a new vehicle might opt to go electric sooner than originally planned.

Save the cues at the fuel stations and the fluctuating prices by switching to electric and ensuring yourself a more stable energy source. 

The Benefits of Electric Cars

Whether you are hoping to have a positive impact on the environment or simply just trying to see a positive balance in your bank with the savings on fuel, there are a multitude of benefits that come from going green. 

No Emissions and Reduction in Noise

Operating on an electric battery means that you will not be contributing any emissions on your journeys and will do so in silence as EV’s seamlessly glide to your destination. The reduction in noise is just pleasant and sitting at the traffic lights if everyone went electric would just be a healthier alternative for us and the planet. 

Cheaper Running and Maintenance

With less than half the fuel costs to run your vehicle and no cueing at fuel pumps, you save time and money. As well as this, the costs to repair EV’s is substantially lower, so while you may be met with upfront costs in buying the vehicle, the savings over your time with the car are black and white to see – simply amazing.

There has been a dramatic increase in the search for electric vehicles, across electric cars and van’s mainly.  The rise is very apparent, with EV sales increasing by a staggering 76% last year. With over 1.2 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the road UK wide, there is a trend that is only set to explode over the next few years. 

Fuel Price Hike:Go Green

Asides from the very apparent environmental impact that switching electric has, there is also the money saving and the time factor to consider. There are government grants to switch to electric vehicles, hitting the £1500 mark, so if you are on the fence, maybe that is the push you needed. 

We have a range of used electric cars on our smart search used car database and work with some of the top used car dealerships across Northern Ireland.

We are committed to helping you find the used car you deserve, be that a traditional combustion engine, hybrid or electric, you can count on Carlover to complete your search.

Electric Car Emissions: Remove Your Footprint

electric car running costs
Better for the environment and your bank balance.

Electric car emissions are non existent, they are better for the environment compared to fuel powered vehicles. They produce fewer greenhouse gases and can improve the quality of air in the areas you live in. In recent years electric used cars across Northern Ireland have become more accessible to suit a range of budgets as their costs have dropped.

We have created a list of how electric vehicles can lower your carbon footprint and why you should consider switching to electric.

Electric Cars Emissions: Go Green 

Fully electric vehicles have zero CO2 emissions, making them kinder to the environment compared to cars powered by petrol or diesel. They do not emit harmful gases into the environment, which is a major cause of air pollution. By reducing these harmful emissions into the air, Northern Ireland will be taking a step towards using more sustainable and renewable sources of transport.

As technology is also advancing, EVs are developing with more environmentally friendly batteries and quieter engines. This will help to make driving a pleasurable experience for everyone. At Carlover we have a  range of electric cars for sale NI from well known manufacturers around the world.

Easy and Fast Charging

Many people are put off purchasing an electric vehicle due to the fact their batteries need to be charged. They feel that it is more convenient to top up a car with fuel at their nearest station. However this couldn’t be more wrong as charging your electric vehicle is fast, easy and cost efficient.

The UK Government has released a government grant that will help you to cover the costs when installing an EV charging port at your home. Once installed, charging your car will be as easy as plugging your phone or laptop into charge.

The most popular electric vehicle home charging port is the 7kW charger that will charge your car to full battery between 5 to 10 hours. Using these chargers means that you will save money that you would have spent topping your car up with petrol or diesel, and you are also using less of these fossil fuels that are damaging to our environment.

Reduces Noise Pollution

Electric vehicles are a lot quieter than fuel powered cars. One of the first things that people realise after switching to an EV is how quiet it is when out on the road. This will create a more enjoyable and relaxing driving experience, especially when you are travelling longer journeys. 

Electric cars are so quiet  that a law has been put in place that they need to make a noise above 56dB when the car is reversing or travelling under 12mph to alert pedestrians of their presence. Investing in an electric vehicle will help to reduce noise pollution as well as lowering your carbon footprint. This will help to create an enjoyable and peaceful environment in your town or city.

At Carlover we have a range of used electric cars in Belfast in our dealerships, that are located in a number of towns and cities across Northern Ireland. Whether you are new to EVs and would like to learn more or you would like to upgrade your current electric model, we have something to suit everyone’s needs and budgets.

For more information on our range of electric vehicles and how it can help you to lower your carbon footprint jump on over to Carlover today.

Used Car Maintenance Tips for Summer

The Summer months provide ideal weather for road trips, vacations, drive in movies, and unfortunately, car troubles, we have put together a list of some of the best car maintenance tips. If you are considering purchasing a used car in Northern Ireland this summer we are here to help you ensure your car is safe for travel during the warmer months.

Following our used car maintenance tips for Summer will ensure you are prepared for all scenarios that will protect your car, you and your passengers when out on the road.

Maintain Your Air Conditioning 

Losing your air condition on a hot summer day can lead you to feel uncomfortable and frustrated. One of the best ways to tell that your air conditioning has issues is by checking if it can maintain temperatures that are 10 degrees or below the temperatures outside of the car.

Air conditioning is an essential when driving in the summer months. If your system was experiencing issues during the winter months now is the time to get this checked out.

Checking Your Tire Pressure

Tyres that are low on air, over inflated, worn out or misaligned can pose a threat when out on the road and can reduce your fuel economy. If you are planning a summer trip away, the last thing you want is for your tyres to blow out during your journey. Checking your tyres regularly can save you money in the long run and can prevent high repair bills.

Check Your Car Battery

Battery failure is one of the most common reasons for a car breaking down. Extreme warm temperatures during the Summer months can decrease the life of your car battery if it is not properly sealed as it will cause the electrolyte to evaporate quicker.

You should regularly  check your car battery’s fluid level and top it up with distilled water if needed. Battery health checks can also help to prevent corrosion and battery acid leakages that can lead to serious car problems if left untreated.

Clean Your Car

The long Summer evenings when the sun is low in the sky are stunning views, however they can also be hazardous for your car especially if your car’s windshield is covered in dirt. This layer of dirt and debris from the road mixed with the bright sun can make it difficult for you to see while driving. As this dirt builds up over a long period of time, we usually don’t notice any problem until it is too late.

Keeping the exterior of your used cars Belfast clean will also protect the paintwork from the sun’s rays, and will keep the car’s exterior looking fresh. Cleaning your car regularly will help to prevent corrosion and damage to your car that might cost you money to repair in the long run.

Change the Air Filter

A car’s air filter acts like a barrier against dirt, debris and other airborne particles that can cause damage to the engine. Over time the air filter can become blocked which will restrict airflow to your car’s engine. This can affect the performance of your car when out on the road and can lead to your car’s power stopping altogether. Before your next long road trip, it is a good idea to get this checked to ensure that your car is in top working condition when out on the road.

At Carlover we understand that used cars NI are a long term investment. Looking after your car can help your car to stay in quality condition until you are ready for your next upgrade. For more information on the range of cars for sale NI we have in our local dealerships, you can view our website and check out the major brands we have in store.

Inflation In The Automotive Industry

electric cars in northern ireland

We have previously delved into the price fluctuations of the used car market but as the inflation of the automotive industry continues we are here to give you up to date information on the industry as a whole so that you can act accordingly. 

The competition for new vehicles is so high around the globe, while that is to do with new vehicles, this in turn directly impacts the demand for used cars and the supply still just cannot catch up. This means that consumers are left with a limited choice in the cars available to them, markups in the price and a greater urgency to proceed with the deal, meaning less shopping around.

Ordering a New Car

Those that are purchasing a new vehicle instead of a used car are faced with a dilemma of avoiding the dealership markups by ordering directly from the car manufacturer, but in doing this, they are hit with 6 – 8 weeks wait time on receiving their purchase – often a luxury that people can’t afford. 

Leasing Less Enticing

With stock levels of cars running low and the ones that are available being decked out with all of the extras – they are so much less likely to be sought out for leasing as the depreciation value is often a lot higher.

If you are currently in a lease agreement, it would be a great idea to do some research and consider buying out your lease as the market value was calculated years before the market entered such a volatile state. 

Relief From Used Cars

With the shortage, the buyer preferences changed – albeit forcefully – to used cars. This caused a shortage of its own that wasn’t associated with the chip shortage, but rather the unprecedented demand, which led to sky high prices. 

There are used cars on the market today that are 1 – 3 years old with the price exceeding that of a new car.  While there is stability predicted in the market, for the time being, the prices are at record highs across the country. 

We partner with the top, award winning used car dealerships across Northern Ireland to bring to you the best used cars on the market at just the touch of a button with our smart and easy to use car search engine that brings you all of the options that are available to you.

Consider Going Electric

With the governments help to buy electric car grant that is circulating at the moment, the reduced running fees of electric cars, the sky high new and used car prices, as well as considering the green initiative that is planned to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2030 – a lot of roads lead to electric cars or even hybrid models that are available on the market as a very viable contender. You can read more in our other blog about the cost of a electric cars.

We are proud of the support that we have provided to the people of Northern Ireland in the most unprecedented price hike in the history of the used car market. Matching hundreds of thousands of people with the right  used car that matches their financial circumstances from the best used car dealers in Belfast and greater Northern Ireland.

Check Out Some of Our Used Car Dealers:

Shelbourne Motors

McKinney Motors

Colin Francis Cars

How Much Is It To Charge An Electric Car?

best economical cars uk
The Cost of an Electric Future

As it is easier to work out how much it will cost to top up your car with fuel, the main question on many people’s minds is ‘how much is it to charge an electric vehicle?’ We have created a guide on how you can charge your electric vehicle and an idea of these costs.

According to the latest RAC Report on Motoring, almost 8 in 10 motorists believe that electric vehicles (EVs) are too expensive. Although EVs are expensive to buy, the overall purchase balances out with the lower running costs compared to fuel powered vehicles.

These lower costs are due to the fact that it is cheaper to charge up the car’s battery compared to filling up the tank with petrol or diesel.

The Costs of Charging An Electric Car At Home

If you are considering charging your electric car at home, you will first need to consider the costs of installing a wallbox charger. The prices of these charges can vary between £400 up to £1,500 on top of installation fees depending on the power output required to charge your car. Although this may seem like an extra expense on top of the cost of purchasing your vehicle, this purchase will be worth it in the long term.

After you purchase your electric vehicle you may be able to get a wall box cheaper from the manufacturer of this car. Alternatively, when you visit your local dealership you can speak with the dealer and see if they will consider adding the charger to the price of the car if it isn’t already included. At Carlover we have a range of cars for sale across NI that are kinder to the environment. These are from major brands, including Audi, Mercedes, Tesla and BMW.

The Costs of Charging An Electric Car At A Public Charging Point

Charging your electric vehicle at a public charging point can be less straightforward compared to charging it at home as charges can vary. Although a majority of public charging points come with a fee, there are a number of chargers that can be used free of charge. These can be found at supermarkets, hotels and other areas within the city centre.

When you are out on the road, you are most likely to find a 7kW charger, which is the cheapest solution when your car is running low on battery. Rapid chargers usually cost more money, however these are ideal when you are in a hurry as they charge your car at a faster rate.

Some of these chargers may require you to register an account to use their services and add money to your account. Alternatively charging points are beginning to offer pay-as-you-go services that will allow you to pay through with a contactless credit or debit card.

The Costs of Charging An Electric Vehicle on the Motorway

Similar to topping up your car with fuel, charging an EV at a station on the motorway will cost you more compared to charging it at home or in the city centre. This is because charging points are less common on the motorway and the price of their kWh is usually higher. 

Compared to most public charging points, the motorway has a higher number of rapid chargers compared to other locations. This means you can charge your car faster when you are in a rush to reach your final destination. It is important to bear in mind that these chargers have a time limit for their usage so they can be used by other drivers with EVs.

For Tesla drivers, you will be glad to hear that you can find a Supercharger at most motorway stations. Older models of these cars come with a free Supercharger use, however newer models made after 2016 do not have this luxury. These models have a set amount of mileage credits annually that are free of charge.

At Carlover we have a range of electric cars for sale NI at dealerships in a range of locations, including Belfast, Derry, Newry, Armagh, Enniskillen and Cookstown. Whether you are a first time EV buyer or you are keen to upgrade your current model, we have something to suit everyone’s needs.

For more information on the used cars across Northern Ireland dealerships, get in touch with a member of our team today for more information. Alternatively you can visit our website to browse the used cars we currently have in stock.

How Much Is An Electric Car?

best electric cars
The Future is Electric

Buying a car, be that a new or used car is a financial commitment, one that you need to make sure you can keep up the repayments on. With the government’s plans in action to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, the question comes to mind: How much is an electric car? – If you have recently bought a car, then this will likely be your next purchase and if you are looking now, then you will likely be joining the electric car craze.

In the beginning of the electric car’s introduction to the market, they were seen as the ultimate luxury, with high end price tags to match this status, but as climate change motors to the forefront and protecting the environment is important to consumers, this status is changing.

Manufacturers are on board and the electric car era of the industry is taking over. Purchasing an electric car is more realistic for those on an average salary and in the not too distant future could be a first time buyer option as the used electric car market follows the new electric car boom trend. 

Diesel & Petrol vs. Electric

There is a huge money saving benefit to going electric, that being based on the fuel comparison. There is no fuel cost when you go electric and the electric bill costs half of the price. As well as this, the maintenance costs are substantially lower, as there are far less moving parts that can break – say goodbye to spark plugs, oil and timing belt issues. 

The higher upfront costs associated with purchasing an electric vehicle are offset by the savings that you will see over the car’s lifetime. 

Costs of Powering Electric Cars

The cost of fuelling an electric car varies from model to model, much the same as the traditional combustion engine type. You can get an accurate figure of how much a car is going to cost you to run by the number of kilowatt-hours the car gets per 100miles (kWh/100 miles). This information will be available to you with any car purchase.

If you really are considering buying an electric car, then you also should take into consideration getting a charging station installed at your house – this will give you an accurate figure for the true cost of the commitment. With stability in electric prices compared to fuel prices, the future costs of running are more predictable.

If you want to look at the prices of electric cars that are available on the market, you should refer to our blog: Electric Cars to Watch 2022

Most Reliable Used Vans To Buy 2022

Whether you are a local builder, a courier that delivers parcels, or a well known firm, you will need used vans that are spacious, reliable and cost effective for your business. Finding the perfect used van for you can be difficult, especially as quality vans won’t stay on the used vehicle market for long.

When you are searching for a new van it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. At Carlover we have made a list of the most reliable used vans to buy this year and what features you should look out for when browsing the market.

Ford Transit

What Is An Economical Car?

A Future of Green Driving

When you are planning on purchasing a new car, it is a good idea to take into consideration how economical the car will be. This should be one of your top priorities as fuel efficiency is currently a popular topic within the car industry.

Throughout the UK many industries are working to lower CO2 emissions and prevent global warming from progressing any further. Driving a more economical car won’t only be more eco friendly but it will also save you money in the long term. The main question on many people’s minds is ‘What really is an economical car?’ The team at CarLover are here to explain in more detail what to consider before purchasing a car.

4 Electric Vehicles To Watch 2022 : Part Two

The future is electric.

Although none of the following electric vehicles are the UK’s top 3 in the electric vehicle sales, they are certainly not something to turn the nose up at, with excellent mileage on some models and well as recycled material making up some interiors.

They are the future of the market and make for the more affordable options that our previous electric vehicle car watch.

1. Audi E-Tron

Audi are known across the world for their luxury status and their unique yet flawless design that add a touch of class in everything that you do.

This car is not only an electric delight, but the aesthetic appeal really does stand out from the crowd, it is capable of doing 150 miles per charge, which is not the highest range in the SUV line of electric vehicles that are currently available on the market.

As far as SUV’s go they are a luxury in their class alongside the likes of Tesla, Jaguar and Mercedes. They are certainly not the sportiest, or practical, but if you are looking for luxury then you are certain to get it from this show stopping electric SUV.

2. Mini

This is the perfect electric car for you if you are looking for something small and compact to get your foot onto the electric car ladder and start your zero emissions journey this year.

This electric car perfectly suits city life for a couple with its iconic quick power steering and zippy nature but small boot space and somewhat cramped back seats. On a single charge for the electric mini, you can expect to get in the range of 140 miles and with it being the cheapest small electric car on the market at the moment, expect to see a lot of these on the roads over the years for those first time buyers as they hit the used car market.

Mini’s have long been classically retro and while they move to electric and the future, there is still a very retro feel from this car.

3. Renault Zoe

As with the Mini, this is very much a city car and also one of the first mass produced small electric vehicles that came to the market. Since the Zoe model first came to the market there have been significant improvements, launching in 2013 with a driving range of 130 – 150 miles on a single charge, the Zoe has come on leaps and bounds and now offers a very impressive 245 miles per single charge as well as a very spacious interior.

As with all models of cars, there are options and different choices in spec, battery and in electric car’s case, there are options on battery size across the basic, mid-range and high spec GT line. If you are looking to head in the ultimate eco direction then the Zoe model is for you, not only is this vehicle electric, the interior seats are made with recycled materials. With a high end look and a unique high setting where the battery is situated under the front seats, this car really is a great option in the small electric car market

This car is easy to drive and with all the comfort and design that you would expect from the Renault manufacturers. They really are one to watch as the used car market evolves.

4. Vauxhall Corsa-e

Vauxhall have taken a slightly different approach than all of the other manufacturers that have gone for a real futuristic feel, really emphasising their electric capabilities. With only slight changes in the look of the vehicle, it is over 300kg heavier, but handles much the same, just without the emissions. 

On a single charge the Corsa-02 can go just slightly more than 200 miles depending on the driving mode selected, not a problem on long haul driving as the battery can be back to over 80% charge in just 45 minutes.

Corsa’s have traditionally been fairly basic on the inside and while they boast a 7 or 10 inch screen in their interior, this is not the best electric car on the market for the price. 

Electric Vehicles Market

There are many electric vehicles available on the market and we will continue to explore them as they are released and as the models continue to evolve. We will be back with some other electric vehicles that are to be watched this year.

In our opinion though, it is the Renault Zoe that is the standout with its 245 mile range, spacious interior and recycled yet high end interior elements. If you want to read more about electric cars to watch 2022 then check our these car reviews.