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Motors, Mobiles & Laptops – What’s Your Backup Plan?

Things don’t last forever. This is particularly true when you think about your electronic devices and of course, your car, too. Invariably these essential things only go wrong when they are a couple of days out of warranty so there’s no chance of getting repaired for free, added to which even if you are insured there might be an excess to pay or a big time gap in terms of getting a satisfactory resolution. What’s more, in these days of sealed components and microchip technology, there’s no longer many simple or cheap fixes. So, what will you do if any of these things do break down? The last thing you will want is to be left carless, phoneless or laptopless, which is why it’s so important to have a backup plan just in case things go wrong. But what are the different plans you can have in place, and do they all work the same?

Bump up some savings

If one of your most treasured gadgets, or your car, breaks down, then one way that you can make sure that you can get it back or replace it is with savings. It is a good idea to set up a savings account, which will be designed to cover you should anything terrible happen to the things that you need. This particular plan will need you to make sure that you can maintain putting money away on a regular basis and also that you are realistic both about what you can afford and what a possible repair cost might be. But remember even £10 every month means you’ve got enough to cover a broken mobile phone screen in six months. If you find it hard to remember to stash away some cash safely each month just set up a direct debit to make sure you do make the payment. Most online accounts now either come with a separate savings account or make it very easy to set one up. Then when you need your savings you can just flip them across. We don’t suggest a shoebox under the bed – that’s like leaving an open box of chocolates lying around the house – too much temptation to dip in!

Take out insurance

A common solution to the idea of anything breaking is to insure it. This is particular true for electronic gadgets as there’s so much to go wrong. Many stores now offer you extended warranties at the point of purchase but many people are put off this by the perceived small print or simply by the fact that it might make that budget-busting purchase just that bit too expensive. Then there’s the idea that if the phone, tablet or laptop doesn’t ever break, then the money paid into the insurance policy is a waste. A good way round this is to consider insurance an essential part of the purchase price – just like that can’t live without turbo extras you’ve added to the base model purchase anyway! If you are worried about small print don’t panic because by law there’s a 14 day ‘cooling off period’ after purchase which gives you plenty of time to go over the details and if you don’t like them – trade in the policy. Also if you don’t rate the insurance/warranty deal being offered there and then in-store you can always shop around for other warranties in general, having insurance on a gadget is relatively low cost and for the most part it’s easy to claim a replacement item.

Regular servicing

Now this is more related to your car then to anything else. Although if you wanted to take your mobile or laptop into a store that could give them a check over then this could be a good idea and virus software for your laptop is always a smart investment. There is a reason why it is suggested that you book your car in for regular services. Not only does this highlight any problems before they become bigger (and more expensive) but it can also prepare you just in case some things are looking likely to go wrong. So don’t sacrifice a little TLC for your wheels for a fashion splurge or big night out and if you’re a bit handy why not get your head around the car maintenance basics such as oil, water and tyre pressure yourself? Invariably there’s an easy to follow YouTuber showing you how online.

Have a second choice

Whilst the above relates to cars, this one is more about your gadgets. After all, there isn’t much chance you will have a back-up car sitting in your garage. If you are concerned that being left phone or laptopless could have some issues for your everyday life, then why not have another option ready and waiting if something does go wrong? This could be a cheaper option, but one that will work okay for a short period of time, ideal if you need to wait to buy or receive a new phone or laptop. Basic pay as you go phones and SIMS are dirt cheap and can be purchased over the counter in most phone and tech stores and you can get some great second hand laptops through accredited dealers on Ebay – rather, of course, than from some dodgy guy in the pub car park! So, there you go. Whilst having a broken car, phone or laptop could be the worst possible situation for you, with a bit of planning, it isn’t the end of world. In fact, there are several things that you can do to mitigate the situation should one of your most useful possessions encounter some problems.

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