Holiday money and spending abroad: what you need to know

It might seem progressive that you can choose to pay bills and withdraw money in your home currency, but you would be walking into a tourist trap if you do. When it comes to withdrawing money o...

image
Nathan Cafearo
View article

Finding out what broadband is available in your area

Before you get excited about installing broadband in your home, you need to know which types are available to you and, more importantly, how much they will cost.  What types of broadband a...

image
Sarah Johnson
View article

Getting to grips with fibre-optic broadband

Given how many adverts for fibre-optic broadband flood your television on a daily basis, you will have no doubt heard of this fast and reliable connectivity option. If you’re thinking of maki...

image
Sarah Johnson
View article

What to consider when choosing a mobile broadband deal

If you are in the market to change your mobile broadband supplier, there are a number of factors that must be taken in to account. It’s not merely a case of choosing the cheapest contract, as...

image
Sarah Johnson
View article

It's beginning to look a lot like Cryptos!

There’s a famous quote from Fidel Castro which almost perfectly describes marketplace opinion regarding Cryptocurrency investment ‘... revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolu...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Fixed price energy

The basics Fixed price gas and electricity contracts give you peace of mind that your tariff will never increase and that you can stay on top of your payments, but do you know how they actually...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Understanding what the 2017 budget means to your umbrella company

There are many reasons to work with an Umbrella company solution for your Contractor income. Primarily they are all about convenience. They offer a very simple way for a Contractor to navigate...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

A revolutionary move from banking - Prepaid cards are taking over! 

Where you stand with regard to prepaid cards may depend on where you have first encountered them. They don’t have a premium brand rating with the UK financial consumer simply because of the p...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

What to do when your energy tariff is ending?

If you are on a variable energy tariff, you don’t need to worry about this issue, but fixed rate plans necessitate a proactive approach to sourcing your next deal, or you could find yourself ...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

I have solar panels, so can I still switch energy suppliers?

If you’re thinking about installing solar panels or already have them, you might be worried about trying to switch energy suppliers, in case you are tied in, but actually, you have no reason ...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Decoding the jargon of credit cards

The topic of credit cards always raises a lot of questions and rightly so. After all, bad management of a credit account can have a devastating effect on credit scores, so it’s important to k...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Advantages of using an Umbrella company over a limited PAYE

There are quite a few factors to consider when deciding which legal format to use for you freelance income and foremost the choice lies between becoming a Limited Company or through billing their i...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How do I get a mortgage whilst contracting?!

Warren Buffet has an expression – it’s only when the tide goes out do you really see what swimming trunks people are wearing. Regulatory rules and obligations on Mortgage lenders have b...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

What will the new IR35 rules mean to the private sector?

2017/8 has been a tough period for Public Sector contractors. Carillion of course put in perspective the risks involved with being a contractor. In a period of contraction in any industry or projec...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Government plan to savage self employed freelancers / contractors / locums financially

Public sector IR35 changes There were leaks in the FT and Times, before the last Budget, that the Conservatives were going to roll out the IR35 Public Sector changes to the private sector too i...

image
Gerry McLaughlin
View article

Buying a new car? 

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders have announced a very mixed bag of results regarding car registrations in 2017. The Vehicle Excise Duty increases announced in the Spring Budget cause...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Which cars hold their value?

We are moving from an era when perception was everything – marketers spend vast amounts of money not just creating imagery and slogans that influenced consumers but also had an old-fashioned ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Which cars lose their value the most?

The wrong type of va va vroom perhaps, to paraphrase the Thierry Henry ad of the 1990’s (ex Arsenal FC striker in an era when Arsenal won more than the FA Cup if you are not acquainted with f...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

When is the best time to buy a new car?    

The simple answer to when to buy a new car should be when you can afford one, but then if we followed that mantra we’d still be living in clay huts as no one would buy their first home. Aside...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

A checklist of what car suits my needs

It’s important to have considered your needs and buying parameters before you venture onto a car forecourt. If you don’t the car dealer might well make your mind up for you. Here’...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Buying a car for the long run?

When you are trying to work out the month to month running costs for your car, or its lifetime cost it has to be an imprecise art. How in reality could you forecast how many miles that you are like...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

IR35 private sector contractors, prepare for 2019

The shifting sands of the Government’s IR35 reforms continue. The IR35 changes that have plagued the public sector look likely to hit the private sector as early as April 2019, according to t...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Pocket money goes digital

Parents need to get with the times, as kids are no longer carrying cash; they have prepaid cards now! Yes, you really should believe your eyes, as we did say that children are now enjoying the ...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Great repeal bill

The Government has announced in December it will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act in a move that will end the legislation that gives European Union law supremacy in Britain. In it...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Getting cheaper car insurance

'Compare car insurance online' Shopping around for car insurance is a simple but effective way to reduce the price you pay for cover. Remember that Insurance companies rarely offer thei...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car insurance for younger drivers

'Why does it cost so much for young drivers insurance?' Size matters. It’s often said that the reason that there’s so many perks for older people from the Government, free t...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Ta ta vehicle sales tricksters and hello Tootle!

'Ta ta vehicle sales' It can’t have escaped your notice that a number of companies have sprung up, gleefully (and tunefully, if their catchy jingles are to be believed) promising ...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

EQUI: ringing in the new era of venture capital

  EQUI believes that for far too long, exciting venture capital opportunities have been exclusively reserved for the super wealthy and established entrepreneurs, which is why the early-stage v...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Building an empire the Barrowman way

  Lead founder of EQUI, a brand new inclusive venture capital platform, Doug Barrowman has come a long way since his modest Glaswegian upbringing and every step has been more decisive and ...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Blackbox insurance

'Profiling your driving'  Insurers base their premium calculations on a block of driver profiles and general statistical evidence, and young and newly qualified drivers are statist...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Excess Insurance

1. EXCESS INSURANCE Excess insurance, also known as excess waiver insurance and car hire excess insurance, is an optional insurance policy that protects you against any excess charges you may i...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

The 'good work plan' vs. IR35 reform

The ‘Good Work plan’ The publishing of December’s IR35 Parliamentary Forum minutes, and the Government’s response to the Taylor Review into modern working practices in F...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Umbrella companies and staying within the law

The following are a series of norms that you could expect to experience by running your affairs through an Umbrella Company. Should your umbrella operator be running your affairs or theirs differen...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Retain 85% of your income...?

Tax Inspectors have a habit of being slightly more proactive than they used to be. Big data for example gives them a chance of that. Here’s a two pronged approach that HMRC could use – ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Umbrella companies and expenses

If you are new to contracting, or new to working with an umbrella company specifically it’s important you understand your rights and what you are entitled to when it comes to expenses. By s...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Contractor pensions - a guide

Introduction to Contractor Pensions One of the few downsides of contracting is that you have to take care of things like pensions yourself – although if you are working through an Umbrell...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Umbrella companies - who can you trust in this marketplace?

Umbrella Companies in their marketing materials and online content make a variety of claims and promises. When you hear one that sounds too good to be true, it probably is! To entice trusting contr...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

An IR35 roadmap for 2018

An announcement in the November 2017 Autumn Budget suggests that the Government will not pass comment on their proposed reforms for private sector, ‘IR35 contractors,’ in Spring 2018 as...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

HMRC vs. ACKROYD

The implications of the February 2018 ruling Former BBC Look North’ presenter Christa Ackroyd lost her appeal against the UK tax authorities when the FTT ruled that her trading company ow...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How to successfully establish a freelance contract

Your paper contract could be a key component of a successful defence against an IR35 investigation . It could also be deemed absolutely worthless and overridden in court. The difference between t...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Moving from a limited company to an umbrella company

For most Contractors the choice of how to process their payments through a legal construct is a choice between operating as a Limited Company or via an Umbrella arrangement. Here we consider come o...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

What's in a name? 

The simplest way to get a cheaper car insurance quote, and other ways too. We all do it in the pub, sometimes when a handsome member of the opposite sex arrives. David Scott of Darlington was s...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

IR35

IR35 affects all contractors who do not meet HMRC's definition of 'self employment'. The application of IR35 rules will result in an increased tax and N.I. liability, and will prevent c...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car dealership extras - don't be fooled into buying what you don't need

Loathe the process of having to buy a new car? Dealing with pushy, overbearing car salesmen can be extremely frustrating. Most can actually save themselves the hassle of having to engage with this ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Online car brokers - should you use them?

The British aren’t entirely comfortable with the concept of asking for a discount. It’s easy to recognise some patterns of behaviour that confirm this even if you have such a hunch. ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Always test drive the car

90% of people who buy a new car test drive it first. Do not be among the other 10%. You want to test drive the car for many reasons, but comfort should be foremost in your mind. There are some ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car buying and your rights as a consumer

If a car you buy turns out to be faulty, your rights and options largely depend on who you bought it from and how they described the car. You have less legal protection when buying from a private s...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How do children interact with money?

A fascinating resent survey by the Office of National Statistics (‘ONS’) show girls start spending more than boys as they enter their teens and but the survey’s results see vast d...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Bitcoin - how much does the ex think it's worth?

Divorce lawyers have said that they’ve seen the "first wave" of cases where crypto-currencies were listed as assets. However spouses who feel that they have reason to be suspicious ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

My Ding-a-ling

New legislation introduced in 2017 regarding making a mobile phone call, texting or otherwise using your mobile phone while at the wheel illegal is being enforced. Legislation changed in March 2017...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Electronic car ownership for flat and urban dwellers

Electric cars are clearly the future but as yet the infrastructure lags behind which could be off putting for new buyers of EV’s...there’s even an emergent market in second hand EV&rsqu...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

National grid expands network for electric cars

National Grid is examining plans to install a fleet of super-fast charging points for electric vehicles along Britain’s motorways that would feed directly off the electricity transmission net...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

To a man with a hammer - Dyson's answer to electric cars?

Sir James Dyson has a nice ring about it. If you’re the sort of person that runs pub quizzes or starts articles with questions like ‘which billionaire opened his first shop in the Cotsw...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Financial services passportng - is the UK in or out?

Many have been concerned about how Brexit will impact the labour market in the UK, with many service and labour intensive industries such as Hospitality and Agricultural produce picking being heavi...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

The European Court of Justice

The aim of the ECJ is ensuring that EU law is interpreted and applied in a similar and consistent manner in every EU country. Thus it’s the mechanism to enforce countries and EU institutions ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Income protection insurance

Sometimes people are trying to sell you something but you can still see that they have a point. Income Protection insurance specialists at LV and Royal London point out that people are far more lik...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car insurance for 17 year old's

High premiums reflect the high rate of accidents among 17-year-old drivers. One in five drivers will have an accident in their first year on the road and 26% of road accidents involve at least one ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Multi-car insurance

A multi-car insurance policy can usually cover up to five cars and offers all the same benefits as regular car insurance. Insurers will give you a discount for having multiple vehicles to insure wi...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

The UK's best selling cars - what to watch for in 2018

British buyers’ fondness for SUVs shows little signs of slowing, as it was the only part of the market to grow in January 2018. Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Sports cars for ordinary folk

Sports cars may have a devil may care look, and performance feel about them, but they must be commercial for the car companies to run off the production lines too. There’s a lot of sporty SUV...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

The best hatchabcks of the year

Family hatchbacks have it tough. They have to be reliable, spacious, easy to park, cheap to run, cheap to buy, feel high quality, have a great safety rating, and come with a range of optional extra...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

The best family cars

Family car buyers are in a good position - whether they need a large SUV or affordable hatchback options have never been so varied. Family cars have been a mainstay of the motoring industry for...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Advanced driving lessons - time well spent?

There might come a time when you realise that what you’ve learned isn’t perhaps enough. This applies when it comes to car driving as much as anything else in life. And people do spend q...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Business car insurance

A standard car insurance policy covers your car for domestic and personal use. Most policies also automatically cover your car if you commute to and from a regular place of work, including for exam...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Different types of car insurance

Insurers often don’t offer similar terms or types of cover to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. This doesn’t make it any easier for the consumer. There’s a range of pol...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Dash cams

Cyclists have been using helmet cams similar to these for years – they can be almost bullet proof evidence if you are involved in an incident as no one can argue with live video or recorded (...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

No claims bonus

If you don’t claim on your car insurance the insurer doesn’t have to pay out. That’s not a bad arrangement from the insurers’ point of view! Over time it’s obviou...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Insuring your car at 50

By the time you’ve got to fifty you should have a few years of driving under your belt and it’s likely that you’ll be paying a bargain basement premium for your car insurance. The...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car insurance for the over 70's and 80's

If you’re in the over-70s age bracket, although you’ll be paying less than younger, less experienced motorists, your car insurance premium may still prove to be a significant expense, p...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car insurance for the over 80's

A number of insurance providers offer a discount for those who choose to buy their policy over the internet. This is an easy way to get cheap car insurance for over 80s motorists. If you have n...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan taken out to buy property or land. The duration of the loan varies. Most first time buyers will take out 25 or 30 year mortgages. You can, if your earnings profile allows f...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Where to get a mortgage?

There’s a wide choice of where to get a mortgage from these days and here’s a list of some of your options Directly - From a bank or building society Most banks have more t...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How much deposit do you need? 

Believe it or not it’s less than ten years ago that there were mortgages widely available which gave borrowers 100% of the funds that they needed to buy a house or apartment. In fact in ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Different types of mortgage, the basics

The money you borrow is called the capital and the lender then charges you interest on the outstanding capital it is repaid. The type of mortgage you are able to apply for will depend on whether yo...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

What costs are relevant when buying a home? 

There are a number of fees to consider when buying a new house, including the cost of moving home, your deposit, the surveyor’s fee, stamp duty, solicitor fees, and new furniture if you haven...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Remortgaging

Here’s some general tips for deciding whether to remortgage or not and what to look out for when you do; 1) If you choose to review what’s on the market mortgage wise by using compa...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Help to buy scheme

The government introduced the Help to Buy scheme to improve people’s chances of owning property in England, although there are similar schemes available in Wales and Scotland. From October 20...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Guarantor mortgages

House prices have been rising fast recently putting the dream of home ownership outside of the reach of many young people. The bank of Mum and Dad as it’s now commonly known; parents, familie...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How long does it typically take to get a mortgage?

The length of time it will take you to get a mortgage depends on several different factors: How long you take to do your side of things – finding and sending the documents needed to supp...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Pet insurance - Dogs

Your canine companion may never make it to Crufts. It might never need its own social media account. However you would be daft not to consider taking out some insurance, in particularly if you have...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Equine insurance

Most horse insurance policies provide mandatory basic cover for 'death, theft and straying' and in the event of one of these situations arising will pay out the market value of the horse. T...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Caravan insurance

The sales of new touring caravans, motor homes, and caravan holiday homes in the UK rose 9% in the 12 months to the end of June 2017. For just motor homes, the increase was 14%. It’s a highly...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Cat insurance

What is Cat Insurance? Despite the old saying that 'cats have nine lives' sometimes they need us to provide them with care due to illness or injury. NHS doesn't extend its services ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Life insurance

When you take out a life insurance policy, you’re relying on the cover to offer solid financial protection to your family, or in the era of declining marriages perhaps your significant others...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

The myths of life insurance

For some taking out Life Insurance can almost seem like too grown up a task or an extra strain on the household budget. People also have all sorts of pre-conceived notions about Life Insurance and ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Insurance policies in trust

Arranging your life insurance in the right way should be a big part of your overall financial and wealth planning strategy. Doing so will give your loved ones the maximum possible benefit when you ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How do credit cards work?

Credit cards offer the holder of the card deferred credit on purchases made with the card. Purchases and on occasion cash advances can be made by the holder of the card up to the limit on the card ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Credit cards and charges

Here’s a guide to credit card charges and how to navigate yourself around them to minimise their impact on your financial affairs... Exceeding your limit High street banks in particul...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Balance transfers

There’s new treats and marketing techniques (very few of these commercial treats are actually given away for no good reason) which are now commonplace but which given the scale and the profit...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Frequent flyers miles - still a valuable perk after all these years

The first frequent flyer scheme started with United Airlines in the 1970s, and now most long distance airline carriers have one. The schemes have changed over time, but they’re essentially de...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Why aren't customers switching their car insurance?

In April 2017, the FCA rolled out measures forcing insurers to notify customers of last year’s premium at the point of renewal, and also encourage them to shop around. At the time, 52% of con...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car finance terms, part 1

They do say if you can’t dazzle them with brains, baffle them with technical jargon. Terminology is one way that Finance companies quickstep their way to people’s wallets. There’s...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car finance terms, part 2

The ‘FLA’ or Financing and Leasing Association (not that you were about to get a Financing Association mixed up with the Irish word for a festival ‘Fleadh’ but they are pron...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Can i cancel a PCP agreement?

The simple fact regarding your rights to cancel any arrangements that you make with a car dealership regarding a car buy and/or a financing arrangement are that that it’s not as simple as you...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car finance terms, part 3

A unique and slightly concerning further method for cancelling a PCP agreement (see our ‘can I cancel a PCP agreement’) has been designed by a company called Stoneacre. Stoneacre have f...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

A direct line to profitability

A debate rages on where the regulators and parliamentary committees discuss and attempt to reign back the car insurance industry. It has for quite some time been felt at supervisory level that ther...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

5 things to be cautious of with lenders

There has been a significant increase in debt, particularly among young people, according to the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority. “We should not think this is reckless ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Who owes what?

Above: the world's most indebted man, Jérôme Kerviel By studying the characteristics of around 16,000 people, such as age, tenancy, income and household make up, a recent ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

A quarter of Britons willing to borrow half of their annual income to fund a new car!

Households are struggling with the cost of living as well as meeting necessary costs of big events the latest research has revealed. The total outstanding personal loans balance, unsecured debt len...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Are pre-paid credit cards the secret to a buoyant Brexit?

Given the financial and political uncertainty facing the UK right now, you’d be forgiven for raising a suspicious eyebrow at the notion that credit cards could be the answer, but let us expla...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Beep Beep! What Brexit means for new drivers

The implications of Brexit are far-reaching, but have you considered what leaving the EU could mean at a grassroots level? New drivers could be severely impacted by the decision to leave and it&rsq...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Brexit abroad: 10 reasons why leaving the EU will affect British holidaymakers 

For those of us that live for our next excursion abroad, the Brexit vote has brought an element or two of doubt into play. The question is, how far-reaching will the impact actually be? It&rsqu...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Brexit: will it bottom out car insurance prices?

The UK vote to leave the EU came as something of a shock to a lot of people, but there are more surprises in store, including how being independent of the EU could impact on vehicle insurance price...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Is Brexit set to bring the heat and raise energy prices?

If there’s one thing that all experts can agree on, it’s the fact that energy prices are no doubt going to rise in the wake of Britain leaving the EU. The question is, why and, more imp...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

No-deal Brexit could mean no thanks to Euro cars!

The British public might need to rethink its love affair with European car manufacturers, as Brexit looks set to take its toll on vehicle prices and give UK motorists some serious headaches. Dr...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

The €bn impact of Brexit on car imports

It might be time to bid adieu to your Audi and say bye-bye to your BMW, as the cost of European cars looks set to increase significantly in the wake of the Brexit referendum. Petrolheads and ne...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Car insurance prices fall but motorist costs overall rising

Car insurance prices have fallen for the first time in three years. Premiums have dropped by an average of 7% in the first three months of the 2018 according to research by Confused.com. Prices fel...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

7 ways you can save money on your household bills

Whilst price is by no means the only dynamic in the search for the best trade off when looking at utility bill suppliers verses the value they provide it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on e...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Saving money on phone and broadband

Looking to save a few hundred pounds on your phone and internet costs? Shopping around for better home phone and broadband deals can do just that. - The average household can save £69 on ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How to save money on your mobile phone

How to save money on your mobile phone Looking to buy a new mobile phone? Coming to the end of your contract? Put aside a bit of time to see if you should stay or switch to reduce the cost of y...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Saving money on water bills

The average water bill in the UK set at roughly £385, it’s no surprise that households are looking to cut their costs. In this guide, we pull together some of the best tips and tricks w...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Step-by-step guide to saving even more on your gas and electricity bills

Are you wasting money from your monthly spending on your energy bills? The average household can save £300 per year by switching gas and electricity supplier (Ofgem) There are plent...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Ways to get on top of your money! 

Accurately assess your spending. If you can get the same thing by paying less, then do so. Yet it's not only about car insurance and credit cards. Saving money stretches to cutting childcar...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

5 myths about PCP finance

1. You can't get car finance with bad credit Car finance, in particular PCP, is more readily available than ever before. Most, if not all, lenders will consider your credit score, but it wi...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Facebook and your security

Everyone is taking it seriously everyone should. The privacy of our data on the Internet in particular with relation to Facebook has been in media focus recently, although in many ways it shouldn&r...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Should i buy a new or used car?

Should I buy a new or used car? Each year in the UK used car sales outnumber new-car purchases by around three to one. Here we look at the pro and cons of new versus old Buying new The ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Facebook insurance scams

Police officers in the UK have offered a warning to drivers about a car insurance scam taking place in the UK. Known as “ghost broking” the scam leaves motorists without valid car insur...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Car insurance premiums falling say AA

The price of car and home insurance premiums has fallen in the past three months, according to research by the AA. Car insurance premiums peaked at their highest ever during the second quarter of 2...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Can dashcams bring down your insurance costs?

It has been generally perceived that dash cams can reduce the cost of your car insurance premium - they provide filmed evidence in the instance of a crash or a minor collision and can therefore det...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Wales insurance prices soar but it's still way cheaper than London...

Drivers in North Wales have seen some of the biggest price rises in the UK for their car insurance policy, new research has found. Data has shown that average premiums rose across the UK by 14.6% i...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Digital changes can result in a consumer-centric attitude towards insurance customers

Nick Frankland, Managing Director of Fintech at Legal and General was asked recently how he felt the Insurance industry was reacting to the challenges that the Digital Economy was dishing up and hi...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Happy birthday Facebook - The $400Bn 5 year plan

Facebook is rapidly approaching its sixth birthday as a listed company. When it first launched on the New York Stock Exchange it was one of the largest IPO’s in history. Most saw the route to...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

What is a pension? 

A pension can come in one of many formats. The big incentive that the Government provides to encourage people to use a pension to save for their retirement is to provide a tax allowance for making ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Why do I need a pension?

The amount that you contribute into a pension, or is contributed into a pension on your behalf, largely dictates how much income that you have after you retire. It’s easy to get lulled into a...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How do i get a pension?

These are the categories of Pension mentioned the ‘what is a pension’ article above and how you can arrange to have a pension within each or one of these schemes... Group personal p...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How much should I put in a pension?

That’s very much a personal choice. To illustrate some of the dynamics in such calculations Royal London Insurance contributed some figures to a financial model for an article on the BBC&...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

What is the least and most that you can put into a pension? 

The literal answer to this is nil and as much as you like. You don’t have to put any money into a pension and you might have other plans for how you will fund your bills and spend in your ret...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Salary sacrifices and pensions

Salary sacrifice applies to employee benefits: childcare vouchers, private health insurance gym membership and pensions. It's where an employee can ‘sacrifice’ some of their monthly...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

What happens to my pension money?

Who's holding my money? If your employer chooses which company manages your investments, you can decide the type of risks you want to take with them. You choose the type of investment which...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Pensions - What happens to my pension when I retire?

Once money is in a pension it must stay there until you're at least 55. (There are some extenuating circumstances where you can withdraw the money before 55 but they are largely to do with extr...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How safe is my pension?

With regard to savings accounts in the UK up to £85,000 per person per institution is fully protected should your bank goes under. This protection's provided by the UK's Financial Ser...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Different types of pension

The most obvious consideration is whether a pension is a final salary or a defined contribution (also sometimes called Money Purchase). A pension will always be one or the other Final salary pe...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Pensions and jargon - Part 1

Pensions can be difficult and it could continue that way for some time. For many decades pensions have been mainly the mainstay of public sector workers and corporate executives. The changes impose...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Pensions and jargon - Part 2

The UK pension industry will undergo a “fundamental shift” over the next three years, curtailing new business growth for asset managers hired to provide sophisticated investment strateg...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Pensions and jargon - Part 3

UK parliamentary business is remarkably accessible. Some of the Department of Work and Pensions business is open to the public – there’s an accessible link to Parliament’s micro s...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Pensions and jargon - Part 4

Since auto-enrolment pensions began in 2012, to close the gap between what the average tax payer was saving towards their retirement and the amount necessary not to be reliant on the state for an e...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Complaints, your vote matters

HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland were the two national high street banks with the highest proportion of customer complaints, recorded as a fraction of 1,000 accounts, in the second half 2017 accordi...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Diesel car and other new registrations decline in March '18

Car registrations plunged in March ‘18 according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) - the UK new car market shrank by 15.7% last month compared with 2017. Demand...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Volvo XC90 - The safest car on UK roads?

According to the independent laboratory Thatcham Research the safest car it has ever tested is currently available to drive on the UK roads. Since the Volvo XC90 went on sale in the UK in 2002 it h...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

The ins and outs of ISA's

1. Basic cash One of the first ISAs to be launched in 1999, replacing its forerunner the PEP, a cash ISA puts a tax-free wrapper on your savings if you meet the required criteria; Depos...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Lifetime ISAs vs. Help to buy ISAs - which wins?

Lifetime ISAs vs. Help to Buy ISAs – which wins?   LIFETIME ISA (FOR HOME PURCHASE) HELP TO BUY ISA ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Credit scoring

CREDIT SCORING Your credit score comes most into focus when your application is being assessed by lenders – and the range of people who extend credit to you is wider than you’d expe...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

How do you improve a credit score?

Although each lender scores you differently there are practical things you can do that should help both reduce credit scoring and fraud scoring rejection. Check your files annually or before an...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Slashing the Sterling? Currency exchange predictions post-Brexit

With the excitement of the EU referendum all done and dusted, citizens of the UK have been turning their attention to what the ramifications could be, once the country is no longer governed by EU l...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Taking the sting out of travel arrangements

Imagine how convenient it would be to be able to locate low-cost travel tickets, competitive holiday insurance and a favourable rate of exchange for foreign currency, all in one place. Well, thanks...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Talk about a Revolut-ion

Personal finance is an area that is gaining increasing amounts of publicity, with numerous apps being developed to make responsible spending easier and less restrictive. Chief amongst the innovativ...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Buying a second-hand horsebox

At Switcha, we want our customers to be able to make a solid decision regarding buying a second-hand horsebox to get them to shows and competitions with some peace of mind. We have a really useful ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Do I require an operators licence for transporting horses?

Whether you are competing with your horse for fun or whether the purpose is to ride for financial reward can make quite a difference regarding what type of licence you need to transport your horse(...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

What checks need to be carried out on a horsebox to maintain it?

The wolf spared the mare, left a tail and mane – Russian Proverb With high quality stabling and the best possible veterinary care, you can ensure your horse is comfortable and healthy, bu...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Top 5 best towing cars

The tale is told quickly, but the job is done slowly – Russian proverb Its holiday season and so you won’t be able to miss cars towing caravans, boats, horseboxes or even just a mod...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Facebook fake insurers on the rise

Christmas comes but once a year – Russian Proverb It’s believed that more and more drivers are getting drawn into Facebook ads for Insurers that don’t actually exist resulting...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Va, Va Vroom, BlaBlaCar partner with AXA to provide carpooling product

Heart with pepper, soul with garlic – Russian Proverb BlaBlaCar, an online marketplace matching those looking to complete standard city to city commutes with those who’d rather take...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

It's good to talk

Personal finance has always been a difficult subject, with many people struggling to access the funds they need, but Switcha, working alongside Talk Loans, wants to put an end to the drama. ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Horse sales scam on the rise

Once you've told a lie, you become a liar forever - Russian Proverb Action Fraud has warned buyers to be on their guard after the release of shocking figures surrounding equine scams. The ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Weighing in overweight

Bravery takes cities Overweight horse riders have caused a trekking centre at a Dartmoor farm to close because the animals cannot carry them, its owners have revealed. The trekking centre at B...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Direct Line kicks off partnership to cut the costs of veterinary medicines

Direct Line Pet Insurance has partnered with vet medicine provider Pet Drugs Online to provide pet owners with prescribed medication “up to 64% cheaper” than the average vet practice. ...

image
Frank Ascot
View article

Here to help

When life’s little inconveniences occur, it never hurts to have a team of professionals waiting in the wings to help and that’s exactly what Home Emergency Assist offers, except with on...

image
Amy Buxton
View article

Have you missed a British Airways flight lately?

I was able to claim back £64.50 in 60 seconds. It is a little known fact that you are able to claim all of the tax back if you have missed a British Airways flight for any reason. June of...

image
Nathan Cafearo
View article