Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Poor Driving Costs Young Drivers £7 Billion A Year

A recent study by the Energy Savings Trust has revealed that poor driving is costing British drivers a massive £7 billion a year!

On average the Energy Savings Trust believes that drivers could save themselves an annual cost of £270 - which is the equivalent of 20 pence per litre, if they were to adopt a eco-friendly style of driving.

The cost of fuel is clearly not helping matters and there is no denying that things need to change to bring costs down to a more affordable, manageable level for motorists. However, that doesn't mean drivers should ignore the potential cost savings that fuel efficient driving styles can bring.

With the cost of young drivers insurance, road tax and car maintenance to worry about young drivers are best advised to consider ways they can improve their driving to reduce the amount they spend on fuel.

Tim Anderson, the Senior Transport Advice Manager for the Energy Savings Trust advised the following top ten methods to help improve fuel efficiency:

1. Try and drive more smoothly

2. Anticipate road conditions

3. Shift up gears early

4. Turn off your car's engine - if you expect to stop for over a minute

5. Switch off your air conditioning

6. Remove roof racks

7. De-clutter your car

8. Reduce your speed on motorways - drive the speed limit

9. Ensure your tyres are inflated correctly

10. Try to avoid sharp braking - give yourself more time and look ahead whilst driving

If all British motorists adopted these simple guidelines Mr Anderson believes that as they could save as much as £6.6 billion a year.

Find out more about the Energy Saving Trust's "Fuel Your Passion" campaign and how you can improve your fuel efficiency by visiting their website.

Source: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Energy-Saving-Trust/Press/Press-releases/Energy-Saving-Trust-urges-motorists-to-fuel-their-passion-and-save-money-to-buy-the-things-they-love

Monday, 8 October 2012

The ABI On Learning To Drive - An Overhaul

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) are calling for a complete overhaul to the way in which young people learn to drive.

The proposals have come about due to the number of young drivers aged under 25 who are involved in road accidents. In fact one in every three people who die on British roads are aged under 25.

With 27% of car insurance injury claims involving a young driver aged between 17 - 24 it is increasingly more important to help improve road safety.

The Director General of the ABI, Otto Thoresen commented:

“Radical action is needed to reduce the tragic waste of young lives on our roads, especially among the 17-24 age group.  A car is potentially a lethal weapon, and we must do more to help young drivers better deal with the dangers of driving. Improving the safety of young drivers will also mean that they will face lower motor insurance costs.”

The ABI have put together a list of proposals to help improve the safety of young drivers, including:

• A minimum learning period of a year prior to taking the driving test. This is to ensure that learner drivers gain more supervised practice before taking to the road by themselves.

• A complete ban on taking intensive driving courses as the only means of learning to drive.

• A reduction in the age at which young people can start learning from 17 to 16.5 years of age.

• A graduated driver license - to include restrictions on the number of young people that can be driven by a young driver in the first 6 months after passing their driving test. This is because figures produced by the ABI suggest that the risk of a crash is significantly increased when driving with young passengers. The graduated license would also include:

• A restriction on young drivers driving between 11pm and 4am - similar to iKube's black box insurance scheme. However, there would be an exemption that allows young drivers to drive to a place of work or connected with education.

• A lower blood alcohol driving limit. This would effectively be a zero limit as it would only allow for the consumption of alcohol linked products - such as mouthwash.

Source: http://www.abi.org.uk/Media/Releases/2012/10/A_safer_start_for_young_drivers__ABI_calls_for_an_overhaul_in_how_young_people_learn_to_drive_.aspx

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Road tax to be abolished

New proposals are currently being put forward to abolish road tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) in favour of upfront fees.

Under the new plans the price of small cars would see an increase of over £1,500. Owners of sports cars or vehicles with large engines could end up paying huge fees of £23,000.

Under the new scheme the rate would be set at £50 for every gram of CO2 a car produces over a pre-set point. Under the new proposals this is expected to be 94g/km.

In spite of this the Government are suggesting that those drivers who buy eco-friendly, fuel efficient cars could be granted a £750 subsidy.

Under the scheme it has been calculated that it could cut fuel usage by around 450 gallons over a 100,000 mile lifetime – saving drivers well over £2.5K.

Transport Minister Norman Baker has previously suggested that the use of a black box or telematics device could be used to monitor vehicle usage. This is very similar to the the way black box insurance companies utilise these devices to monitor driving behaviour.

However, he has suggested that the device will monitor vehicle usage to charge per mile on roads like motorways rather than behaviour.

He believes that this is feasible since road tax will be abolished and fuel duty (if any) will be significantly reduced.

What do you think about this new proposal by the Government? Good or bad? Whatever your views please feel free to leave a comment below.

Source: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-2212240/Scrap-road-tax-hit-big-car-buyers-tax-says-think-tank.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Autumn Driving - Safety First

Autumn can be a lovely time of the year to be a young driver – but there are obvious and hidden dangers to be aware of when taking to the road. 

Picture this - you're driving down a road with an array of trees either side with leaves that are just starting to turn from green to golden brown, it's a glorious sunny day... but the clouds are starting to move in. 

Whilst autumn can be a nice time to be on the road it can also be a hazardous time of the year to drive - especially with the increase in wet weather we've been having in recent years. Cold and wet weather can lead to accidents on the road if you drive carelessly – resulting in potential young driver insurance claims.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has recently put together a useful list of road safety hints and tips to help keep you safe whilst on the road. iKube has also added a few other things to think about when driving during the autumnal season:

1. Did you know that a patch of wet leaves can be as dangerous to drive on as standing water? Well it's true - always take care and reduce your speed before driving over them as leaves can be slippery when wet (ed. there's a Bon Jovi joke in there somewhere...).

2. Cold weather driving - autumn does tend to be a warmer time of the year than winter and really cold days are rare. However, don't discount them - especially in more northern or hilly areas of the UK. Always ensure that you clear your windscreens and windows of ice or condensation before setting off as it can impede your visibility whilst driving.

3. Make sure your heater controls are turned on in wet weather as rain can make your car's windows mist-up in mere seconds.

4. Be aware of strong winds - winds can unsettle your car and even alter your direction of travel. Make sure you have a firm grip on your steering wheel and be aware of other road users - especially motorcyclists and flat-sided vehicles.

5. Use your lights properly - if you're driving in the rain it's strongly advised to put your headlights on so that you are visible on the road and you can see other road users. In addition to this you should aim to turn your headlights on before sunset and keep them on for an hour after sunrise (if driving) during the autumn months - this makes it easier for other motorists to see you during twilight.

6. Check your car battery - try to keep the top of the car's battery clean and dry and ensure that the terminals are tight and free from corrosion. IAM recommend that if a battery is more than 3 years old you should check it now as you could save yourself a frustrating start in the morning.

7. Wiper blades - make sure they're in good condition. If your blades squeak whilst wiping they may need replacing. IAM have also suggested that you ensure that your wipers are switched off when you start the car in the morning as you could risk blowing a motor fuse when frost hits.

Source: http://www.iam.org.uk/news/driving-tips/1147-2012