Is your lifestyle reducing the future value of your car?

As the costs of motoring increase, fewer people are now in a position to buy a new or nearly new car outright. Instead, many motorists choose to opt for the tempting Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deals offered by car manufacturers.

Unlike a hire-purchase agreement — where the customer owns the car once payments are complete — PCP allows motorists to pay lower monthly instalments over a shorter period of time. Then, at the end of the contract, they can simply hand the car back to the dealer and swap the expired deal for a fresh one on another new car, or purchase the car at its agreed Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV), which is specified in the initial contract.

As with all seemingly ‘win-win’ situations, there is a catch. Namely, how guaranteed this future value price actually is. Because it has been known for motorists to be financially penalised if their lifestyle subjects the vehicle to more wear and tear than the T&Cs allow.

To find out more about what motorists assume will affect the GMFV price on their car, boot-liner manufacturer Hatchbag ran a survey asking the UK public “What parts of a car do you think are likely to cost you money at the end of a lease?”  

Here’s what the survey revealed:

The results

As expected, motorists were most worried that damage to the bodywork would affect the GMFV when they returned the car to the dealer. Bumper scuffs, interior and window damage were also cited as being potential costs.

Surprisingly, the area that attracted the least amount of consideration was interior boot trim — the area of a vehicle that arguably receives the highest amount of daily wear and tear. With only 14.7% of respondents expressing concern, it highlights that the remaining 85.3% are at risk of facing financial penalties due to the state of their car boot.

Why is the boot such a key area for damage?

The primary purpose of the car boot is to transport larger bulky items, such as luggage, pushchairs or sports equipment. The very nature of these items means that they’re likely to rattle around in transit, potentially knocking or scraping against the interior of the boot and tailgate, not to mention the potential damage to the bumper that could be caused getting them into the boot in the first place.

The boot is also used to store items that might otherwise permanently stain the upholstery in the main seating area of the vehicle — such as muddy boots, wet coats and bags of food shopping— despite the fact that these items are equally likely to soil the interior of the boot. This also presents the additional risk of mould spores that become ground in to the boot lining if wet items aren’t removed immediately.

Boot damage can be a problem in any leased car; however, it is more of a risk in cars belonging to young families, pet owners and sport lovers.  Here’s why…


More often than not, the primary requirement for a family car is size. It’s not rocket science to discover that larger cars generally come with a larger price tag, making families the ideal candidates to opt for a budget friendly PCP option.

Unfortunately, young families are also the sector who are most likely to subject their car to an excessive amount of wear and tear — possibly jeopardising their chance of receiving the car’s full ‘future value’.

This is because the car is often used for the following purposes:

Family holidays – A time when the boot is invaluable for storing lots of luggage and possibly camping and outdoor equipment. Factor in sandy buckets and spades, deckchairs, wind breaks, muddy tents, dirty walking boots and the obligatory wet swimwear and towels, and you have a boot full of items that are likely to deposit dirt, sand and water. There is also the added risk that a boot packed with assorted holiday items could scrape the interior walls and tailgate.

Kiddy gear – Young children notoriously come with a lot of equipment, from every-day items such as prams and strollers to activity equipment like bikes, scooters, roller skates and football kits. All of this gear has one thing in common – dirt, be it mud, grease or oil.

Shopping - Although this isn’t a problem exclusive to families, multiple shopping bags accelerate the risk of delicate items becoming damaged in transit and subsequently spilling out of their packaging. A leaked bottle of olive oil, juice, tomato sauce or red wine can wreak havoc on the boot interior, which no amount of scrubbing can completely remove.

Dog owners

Cars with larger boot spaces are also popular with dog owners, and are often used to transport dogs to and from muddy countryside walks. Inevitably, pet hair and mud will quickly become ingrained in the fabric lining of the boot, something that is difficult to prevent even with the use of dog cushions and blankets.

There is also the consideration that pets may become travel sick or have an ‘accident’ in transit. These stains — and their subsequent odours — can be particularly difficult to completely remove from a fabric boot lining. Some dogs also like to chew or scratch at the boot interior, causing irreparable damage.

Sport lovers

Larger cars aren’t exclusive to those who need to transport additional people or pets; sports lovers often opt for a car with lots of boot space to carry their equipment back and forth. It’s not unusual for boots of the neatest looking cars to be filled with golf clubs, fishing equipment, mountain biking and climbing gear, alongside football and general gym wear. Again, many of these items can create muddy or oily stains, plus scratch and scrape against the boot interior and possibly even rip the fabric lining.

Damage limitation

As there is such a grey area around what counts as ‘normal’ wear and tear on a vehicle, it pays to take precaution and protect your car from any potential damage where possible. External scratches to bodywork are often unavoidable; thankfully it is much easier to prevent internal damage. 

It is relatively easy to valet the front and back seats and footwells as you go to prevent stains appearing; with boot space it is generally better to take a ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach.

One great way of ensuring that your boot is not subjected to damage is to fit a boot liner. Rather than throwing down a protective sheet — which is likely to bunch up or slip around, leaving areas of the boot lining unprotected — it is possible to purchase a wipe clean, padded boot liner designed specifically to fit the exact measurements of the make and model of your car. This secure fit means that every inch of the boot lining is protected from any potential damage.

By protecting the boot lining — and inside tailgate if necessary — there is no need to worry about how your lifestyle may be affecting the future value of your car. Instead, you can maximise those family outings, muddy walks and outdoor activities — the very reasons why you may have chosen that particular car in the first place.

Why is a boot liner perfect in keeping your boot clean from a new puppy?

A new member has joined the family albeit they may be small, hairy and full of beans, when the question pops into your head, how are you going to keep the car boot clean with a puppy on board. One things for certain your boot will end up being full of dog hair and dirt, which means you will have to spend a lot of your time either hoovering or cleaning it or the hair itself will end up getting entwined into the boot carpet making it nigh impossible to remove. So, here is where Hatchbag’s boot liners come in. And to see how well our boot liners suit a new puppy, we have Eddie the Westie, an eight month old puppy, who is very active and lively to be our tester. His owner has a Citroen DS4 and has chosen a red boot liner with a rear plus, which allows her to fold the backseats down all together should she wish. This is the perfect way to protect her boot from little Eddie. Image 1 Puppies are very nosy and always want to look and touch everything around them. So, if your puppy is like Eddie and enjoys putting his paws on the back of the seats to peek outside the front window then it won’t be too long until the back of the seats are covered in doggy hair or dirt from mucky paws. But this can all be protected with a boot liner. image 2 Or it may be that after a long stroll in the park your little furry friend wants to take a rest by nestling his bum against the backseats and therefore, you want to protect your boot. Image 3 Our boot liners also suit puppies who travel in a dog cage. As a dog cage is open at all sides then I can guarantee that in a matter of seconds of your puppy being in the cage in the car, their hair will end up getting everywhere – it is astounding just how much a little thing can spread so much hair. But with our boot liner you will not need to worry and your pooch can shake away without you thinking, oh no I am going to have to clean my car boot again! Image 4 So, as you can see our boot liner is a perfect match for a puppy, Eddie himself has given us the paws up, in keeping your car boot clean from dirty puppy paws and puppy hair. And your little nosy four legged friend can roam around the boot or rest his bum on the sides of the boot without making a mess. So, why not go and find your vehicle here and choose the perfect colour boot liner for you and your furry friend!

Give Your Pooch The Food Nature Intended

If you are looking for an alternative to dried dog food, a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet (BARF) could be a natural solution. The whole concept of raw feeding is based upon a dog’s natural instinct. Adopting a raw diet for your four legged best friend can reap a whole host of benefits as illustrated by our friends at sure4pets: sure4pets poster sure4pets are a family run business that specialise in supplying natural foods, treats and toys for dogs. Their products have been given the lick of approval from the dogs here at Hatchbag HQ; we highly recommend you treat your four legged friend to a bowl of their natural, tasty treats. For more information about sure4pets and their products, click here to visit their website.


Last year, the RSPCA raised an impressive £60,000 through their fabulous “Big Walkies” campaign. Involving more than 3,500 dogs, 6,000 people and 750 volunteers, Big Walkies is all about raising awareness and money to aid in the protection of animals from cruelty and neglect. This year, Hatchbag would like to ask all its dog loving customers to get involved with this fabulous event! I don’t know about you, but the dogs at Hatchbag HQ go crazy when they hear that magic word… “walkies”…. We don’t even have to finish the sentence “who wants to go for a walk?” and their tails are happily wagging and those paws are dancing with excitement. But not all pooches are as lovingly pampered and need a little helping hand. The RSPCA: Big Walkies campaign is a series of sponsored walks aimed at raising awareness and money to aid in the protection of more animals from cruelty and neglect. The events are a little bit more exciting than your average walk in the park, involving hundreds of owners (and dogs!) across the country. Big Walkies 2015 had tails wagging all over the country, so much so that the event is set to run in 2016, where there will be even more excitement! Registration is now open for 2016, so get ahead of the pack and don’t let you dog miss out by registering today! Something tells us your pooch might be a little muddier than usual after a day of making new friends, so be sure to pack your Hatchbag boot liner to protect your boot from those muddy paws! For more information about the RSPCA: Big Walkies or to register please click here.

Announcing The New Audi Q7 Boot Liner!

We are pleased to announce the release of the Audi Q7 Hatchbag boot liner! The Audi Q7 is the ultimate luxurious sports vehicle with 4x4 drive, the car is designed to provide its passengers with the utmost comfort and ease of drive. The Audi Q7 has all the benefits of a larger vehicle with 7 seats and a spacious interior. It also has the ability to cruise along motorways with ease whilst maintaining the stylish sports vehicle look. Now your Q7 can have the ultimate protection with a custom fit boot liner, allowing the boot upholstery to remain flawless no matter how much use the car gets. The Hatchbag Audi Q7 custom fit boot liner has been specifically created to perfectly fit the shape of the Q7 interior, making sure that not the slightest bit of dirt can get to your carboot. Our bespoke boot liners come in a range of colours, so you can protect your Q7 in style. Get yours here today:

The new BMW X4 boot liner has arrived!

The BMW X4 is a lower, more athletic looking version of the X3 model; therefore BMW has named the new model as a Sport Activity Coupe (SAC). The X4 is the same length as the X3 so allows for five occupants, however, due to the lower sloping roof, the car appears sleeker, smaller and sportier. All the X4’s are 4x4 drives, in order to provide all the passengers with ultimate comfort and safety during their driving experience, wherever and on whatever terrain your travels may take you on. So, we are thrilled to announce the release of the BMW X4 Hatchbag boot liner!

 Down at Hatchbag, the team have been working hard to create a boot liner that is tailor made to perfectly fit the boot interior of the BMW X4, and we are very proud of the new addition to our forever growing collection. Now, all those BMW X4 owners can feel at ease knowing they can give their vehicle the utmost protection from the day to day wear and tear of life. The BMW family also contains the X1, X3 and X5 models,, for which we also supply a range of tailor made boot liners to fit each individual car perfectly.

The new boot liner comes in a great range of colours to compliment your X4, so that you can experience the ultimate car upholstery protection in style. So, what are you waiting for, get your BMX X4 Hatchbag boot liner today!


Zpets Top Five Tips for a Well Behaved Dog

How a person teaches a dog to behave is important (for large dogs, it’s also a requirement of being a responsible owner), not least for when your pet needs to interact with other people or animals. To guarantee that your dog learns to behave in the right way, there are some basic techniques that when followed, should make the time with your pet even more special. 1. Pack mentality: It cannot be emphasized enough, but your breed (or its canine ancestors) used to go around in a wolf pack. Within that pack each dog knew its place and there was always the head of the pack. While the dog has been domesticated, it is really important that owners project on to the pet the owner’s position as the head of the pack. Some dogs are pack-leaders by birth (this can be problematic where a big dog is concerned!) while others are happy not being the leader, but – because owners do not let them know their position in the pack – end up trying to be the pack leader. These situations can be very stressful for both the dogs and their owners. Therefore consider your role as owner as the head of the pack, and ensure that your behaviour with your dog reinforces this position when you spend time together. 2. Walking Style: The owner should walk in front of the dog. This is position in which the dog is made to understand that you are the boss not he/she. Creating this order in the mind of the dog will make it understand better its role within your domestic situation. 3. Short Lead or Long Lead? A short lead is better for walking your dog. You will have more control with a shorter lead and this means that it is easier to communicate with the dog through the lead. It is important to guide the dog through the lead when walking, so that your dog learns which is the correct and incorrect way to walk. 4. Exercise is key Nearly every dog needs good exercise and anything from half an hour upwards of two hours (depending on your breed) will ensure that you dedicate the right amount of time to your dog, and that you build a relationship and understanding together. An early morning walk does both the owner and dog a world of good. 5. Positively Reinforce As an owner you should reward great behaviour even when just out walking. This form of positive reinforcement will help your dog understand that it is behaving in the right way. A treat could also be a little longer running around to explore the new smells it has found, or a snack. Feeding a dog after returning from a walk also tells the dog that if they behave well, when they get home it will be feeding time!! Irrespective of your techniques a constant through any kind of dog training is that you, as the owner, are the head of the pack. This should be your main take away from reading this post and which will have the greatest positive impact of the time you spend together. Presented by Hatchbag on behalf of Zpets – Italian pet supply store Zpets offer a wide range of pet products tailored to the Italian market, with great products at great prices! – They also offer advice and tips on all aspects of pet ownership in their blog – which is a recommended read for all of our Italian customers!

3 ways to protect your car boot

Keeping the boot of your car in pristine condition can be a tough task. Daily usage can introduce grit and dirt and carrying equipment can cause general wear and tear to it.  You may wonder what happened to the beautiful interior of when you first purchased the car! 3 ways to protect your car boot However, if you want to avoid being left with a frayed and scratched car interior follow our top 3 days to protect your car boot. Follow our top 3 ways to protect your car boot: Boot liner for your Boot The boot of your car often has a very tough life. Whether it's transporting muddy football kit, bikes, golf trolleys, pets or gardening supplies it can end up looking messy and uncared for.  You should provide protection for your car boot through a car boot liner.  They fit perfectly into the corners of your boot and are tailored to fit a wide range of makes and models.  They are made of a tough PVC material that can be easily cleaned.  It acts as another layer in your boot to keep it clean and fresh. Floor mats Placing mats in the boot will help protect the carpet from dirt being brought in from your goods, and in particular pets.  Adding mats will stop the hard task of removing mud from the material; instead you can simply remove the mat and clean it.  This is a perfect choice for animals that have dirty paws! Preventing smells Smells can be one of the hardest problems to remove from the material of your car- especially the smell of wet dog!  Although air fresheners can mask the problem, they can never get rid of the smell.  The odour control pet mat comes with a quilted blanket that contains carbon to absorb and eliminate the odour.