Does Your Motor Have Intelligent Technology Already Fitted?

iStock_000002313919SmallA recent article by the Daily Mail has revealed that despite the Government spending millions trialling driverless cars in Britain in 2015, much of the technology may already be fitted into millions of family cars. Self-driving car technology isn’t only being developed by Google – Volvo, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Vauxhall, VW and Honda are fitting it too. This technology includes automatic braking, cruise control that slows down when the car in front of you brakes and then speeds up again when it moves on, self-parking and lane recognition.

Many executive vehicles also have cameras that can ‘read’ a speed limit sign and warn the driver if they are going too fast. The biggest test is linking all of this technology via a central on-board computer in a way that will follow safety and liability laws. Almost a quarter of all new cars have blind spot monitoring systems while one in ten has self-parking as standard.

We found this article interesting and thought you might too. The original article can be found here.

Reasons for Middle Lane Hogging

iStock_000014079397SmallAccording to a recent article by the Telegraph the top reason for middle lane hogging is ‘it saves me changing lanes,’. New research has found that 60% of motorists have admitted to being middle lane hoggers, as well as shedding light on their justification for the not only selfish but dangerous practice. A tenth of drivers have confessed that they have hogged the middle lane – even if the inside lane was clear.

A poll of over 2,000 drivers revealed that 43% of hoggers said that they drove in the middle lane because it was an ‘easier way to drive’ and ‘saves me changing lanes’. The second most common reason was that they only did it when the road was quiet. A third also insisted that they hogged the middle lane without realising it.

We found this article interesting and wonder how this bad habit can be discouraged. The original story can be found here.

Two Thirds Of Motorists Use Mobile Phones While Driving

Concerned Blonde Woman Using Cell Phone While Driving.According to a recent story by Yahoo! Cars News two thirds of drivers in Britain have admitted to using their mobile phone while driving despite it being both illegal and dangerous. It was found in a recent study that 60% of drivers make calls, send texts and even browse the web on their phones when they are behind the wheel. Research by Flexed revealed that six out of ten drivers said that they answer the phone and reply to texts when they are driving.

The study also revealed that 45% of drivers admit to using their phone illegally in the car, while 78% of van drivers admit to doing the same. Lorry drivers are less likely to use their mobiles while at the wheel but 31% still admit that they do. Many motorists believe that they won’t get caught when using their mobile phones while they are driving as conviction rates for illegal mobile phone use have fallen over the past year.

We found this article slightly worrying and thought that you might find it interesting to read. The original story can be found here.

Fuel Economy Tips

iStock_000008421452SmallMSN Cars News has recently come up with a list of the top fuel economy tips for drivers and we would like to share a few of these with you.

1. Choose the right car – It’s no surprise that some cars are more fuel efficient than others. When choosing a new vehicle, think carefully about what you’ll use it for, where you’ll drive and how many miles you will cover. Once you have done this you shuld pick the car that does the job but doesn’t have features or size that you don’t need.

2. Get your car serviced - Modern cars tend to require a lot less maintenance than older cars. However, ignoring the service intervals laid down by the manufacturer is a recipe for disaster (including reduced fuel economy).

3. Keep your vehicle well oiled - It is a well-known fact that we should all regularly check the engine oil in our cars but how many of us actually do it? When you check your engine oil level and a top up is needed, you should make sure that you use the right type of oil for your car. The details of the correct oil should be in your car’s handbook. Oil acts as a buffer between the engine’s more mechanical parts and looking after your lubricant helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly and efficiently.

4. Inflate your tyres - If your car’s tyres aren’t inflated enough your car will have to work harder to move it along the road. For every 5% that a car’s tyres aren’t inflated enough, fuel consumption increases by 1%.

5. Pick the right tyres - Most drivers feel tempted to choose to fit their tyres with the cheapest tyres available. However, specialist eco-friendly tyres may cost slightly more than the bog-standard options but are designed to save you money in the long run. They use special rubber compounds with lower rolling resistance and can lead to fuel savings of up to five per cent.

We found this article interesting and thought that it may be of use to you. The original article can be found here.

Safety Concerns Over School Run

iStock_000042319804SmallAccording to a recent article by Yahoo! Cars the latest research from the BCA has revealed that many parents – and other motorists – are beginning to feel the pressure on school routes. Both parents and non-parents were surveyed by one of the leading vehicle remarketing companies and results showed that almost half (45%) of non-parents said that they drive by schools or use the same route as parents dropping off their kids.

The key findings of this research included the discovery that 46% of all motorists have the belief that parents drive their children to school as it would take too long to walk. 30% of non-parents believed that children demanded to be driven to school compared to only 17% of parents. Another key finding was that 38% of all drivers think that parents are prompted to drive their children to school due to public transport being unreliable. Over half of all motorists see illegal parking outside of school gates and 44% have also seen parents and children not looking at oncoming traffic when opening car doors. Further findings included both parents and non-parents being in favour of schools creating drop-off areas to ease congestion and parking issues during the school run. 29% of parents also think that police officers should be on patrol to tackle parking issues by schools.

We found these findings interesting and thought you might too. The original article can be found here.

Temporary Paper Tax Discs Before October

British Car Tax DiscAccording to a recent story by the Telegraph, the DVLA is about to ‘run out’ of tax disc paper. The licensing authority has confirmed that tax discs are now being printed ‘in-house’ and without perforations as it runs down its supply ahead of their abolition on October 1st.

In the next few weeks before this is set to happen, the tax discs issued by the DVLA won’t be printed on the thick perforated paper that was previously used which will make it easier to tear out in October. This means that people will have to cut out their own tax discs. However, Post Offices will continue to use their existing supply of tax discs. It has also recently been discovered that two in five motorists were unaware that the paper tax disc is being abolished.

We find it slightly concerning that as many as two in five drivers are still unaware that paper tax discs are being abolished. The original article can be found here.

Are Half Of All UK Drivers Oblivious To Tax Discs Being Abolished?

British Car Tax DiscAccording to a recent article by the Daily Mail almost half of all British drivers are oblivious to the fact that tax discs will be abolished on October 1st 2014. This is quite worrying considering that this is a mere six weeks away.

Car owners will still need to have paid the vehicle tax to drive or keep a vehicle on the road and police cameras will now automatically check a car’s number plate to establish if it has been paid. Of those who are in fact aware of the changes, 50% do not know the exact date, six per cent believe that it is next year and 32% won’t even try to find out what the changes are. This information was revealed in a recent survey from money.co.uk. Almost a third of people polled claimed that they will wait for instructions from the DVLA although it has been claimed by the comparison website that the DVLA has still yet to start adding warnings to tax renewal reminders.

Drivers will need to be aware of the impending tax disc changes or face an £1,000 fine as well as potential penalty charges against any car they no longer own. This move away from paper discs is set to save motorists money on postage and should offer more flexible payment options. It will also be harder from tax dodgers to drive untaxed. It has been estimated by This is Money that taxpayers will be saved £10 million each year.

New rules also state that used car sellers much inform the DVLA of any change of ownership immediately. Meanwhile used car buyers must be aware of any outstanding vehicle tax as it will no longer be transferred to the new owner, meaning that those selling might be able to claw it back.

We wonder if any scams will arise from this change due to a lack of understanding of the new rules. The original article can be found here.

Tax Discs Coming To An End

British Car Tax DiscAs of the 1st October the DVLA will no longer be issuing tax discs to be displayed in vehicles. You will still need to tax a vehicle in the normal way, you just don’t get a tax disc. Reminders will still be sent to private individuals to remind them that their vehicle needs taxing.

One of the biggest changes is that you can no longer transfer the tax when you sell a vehicle. The seller has to send the slip back to DVLA and gets a refund on any outstanding tax. If you have just purchased a vehicle you will still need to tax it before you drive the vehicle away and DVLA has said that you can tax a vehicle in so many electronic ways that it should not be an issue. Failure to send in the paper work or driving an unlicensed vehicle can result in a £1000 fine, and with the introduction of more ANPR Cameras people will soon get caught.

By David Hill – Head of Light Commercial Vehicle Valuations with 25 years’ experience in used van sales.

How To Turn In The Road

woman parking carIf asked to perform this manoeuvre in your Practical Test you will be expected to do so safely, under control and smoothly without touching or mounting the kerb. The examiner will mark you on your accuracy, control and observations, i.e. looking out for pedestrians and other vehicles, checking your blind spot before turning, etc. If a car or a pedestrian approaches you on this manoeuvre stop the car until they have passed.

To start this manoeuvre you will move off as you usually would, checking all of your mirrors and blind spots. Go slowly forward in first gear, keeping control of the clutch and quickly whip the wheel fully right. Your aim here is to get the car at a right angle to the road. When the front of your car is about a metre from the kerb start moving the wheel briskly to the left. This will make your next step easier. Stop the car and place it into reverse while still checking all around you for cars or pedestrians. When you are ready start going backwards very slowly while quickly steering left. Look through the back window as you are reversing and when you need the kerb look over your right shoulder and start turning right so that your car wheels will have straightened up ready for the next step. Stop before you hit the kerb. Select first gear and start moving slowly while steering right and then straighten up on the left side of the road ready to move on.

How To Left Reverse Around A Corner

woman parking carDuring your Practical Driving test if you are asked to perform this manoeuvre you will be expected to do so safely, correctly, smoothly, under control, keeping parallel and reasonably close to the kerb without swinging too wide or hitting the kerb. The examiner will not only mark your accuracy and control but also your observations, i.e. looking out for pedestrians and other vehicles, checking your blind spot before turning, etc. If a car or a pedestrian approaches you on this manoeuvre stop the car until they have passed.

Before starting this manoeuvre you will be asked to pull in just before a corner. You will then drive past, peer into the road to make sure it is a suitable place to perform the manoeuvre (while also seeing how sharp/wide the corner is) and pull up about two car lengths past the corner. Carry out a check of all of your mirrors and your blind spots and put the car into reverse. Reverse slowly keeping control of the clutch and just before you start your turn stop and again check your blind spots. Your main observations should be over your left shoulder but remember to check all around for pedestrians and other cars. When you see the kerb disappear in the window pillow turn the steering wheel fully to the left while keeping the car slow. When the car is parallel to the kerb straighten the wheels up and watch where the car is going (with glances in the mirrors and around the car). Keep reversing to a reasonable distance from the corner and stop the car when you are finished.