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Car insurance shake up as RAC backs black box technology

rac black box car insurance Car insurance shake up as RAC backs black box technology

Insurance black boxes have been the product of choice for many young drivers struggling to afford the astronomical premiums demanded by many car insurance providers. They constantly monitor driving habits to assist insurance claims and reduce premiums.

Recent moves by the RAC could see black boxes fitted in up to 2.5 million more vehicles after its partnership with Quindell. The partnership has established a joint venture “Connected Car Solutions” which could see the boxes fitted “on mass” to both breakdown and insurance customers.

The industry has such high hopes for the new venture, so much so that the venture has been valued at £1bn even before it’s signed it’s first customer. This drive for the technology could see the use of black boxes pushed into the main stream, expanding their use from the usual young “at risk” drivers and doubling the take up of such devices by UK motorists.

Rob Terry, founder and executive chairman, said the Quindell model would “revolutionise the insurance industry” and cut the cost of claims.

Britain leader is one of Europe’s fastest growing market for vehicle telematic services (after Italy). Figures show that more than 5m cars are already being tracked globally by insurance companies.

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UK government freezes fuel duty again in the 2014 Budget

fuel duty uk budget 2014 UK government freezes fuel duty again in the 2014 Budget

Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that number 10 will continue to freeze fuel duty in his annual Budget statement today.

To date, fuel duty has been frozen for over four years and will remain at  57.95p per litre of fuel. Mr Osborne claimed that the governments stance on fuel duty has resulted in 20% lower prices than we would have seen under the plans of the last government

Going further, George confirmed that he will relieve the VAT on fuel for the UK Air Ambulances and Inshore Rescue boat services across Britain. 

The cost of the fuel duty freeze is said to have cost the government in excess of £22 billion in lost revenue over the life of this Parliament. 

Many motoring and pressure groups such as FairFuelUK have been lobbying for a cut in duty, however this was seen as unlikely even during these times of increasing prosperity.

This good news is likely to go down well with hard up motorists, however its easy to forget that nearly 60% of the price you pay at pumps is made up of VAT and fuel duty.

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Why are diesel particulate filter (DPF) issues becoming common place and what’s being done about it?

dpf smokey diesel truck Why are diesel particulate filter (DPF) issues becoming common place and whats being done about it?

Issues with diesel particulate filters seem to be popping up in message boards and in the press with an increasing frequency. DPFs have certainly have done a lot to clean up diesel’s act but it’s turned into a rather costly affair for many motorists. 

Yesterday someone asked me: “Why there are so many “perceived” issues with Diesel Particulate filter and what car manufactures were doing about them?”. Here’s our take on the situation.

I for one am rather unimpressed and frustrated with the whole affair. I do around 16k miles a year which includes quite a lot of motorway miles at usual motorway speeds (60 – 70MPH). With that in mind, should I really be having DPF issues with such regularity? If you take a look at the vast number of other owners on the owners club forums, you’ll see that I’m certainly not alone in my struggle. In fact since I’ve owned the car (2008 Nissan Qashqai 2.0dci 2WD) its been dealer “forced” regenerated twice and I’ve had to do no less than three “DPF burn” runs, all since owning the car for less than 2 years.

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Fuel prices could go on the rise as world oil demand increases

opec oil pumping field Fuel prices could go on the rise as world oil demand increases

The oil cartel Opec has upgraded its forecast for world oil demand raising concerns that motorists could soon be paying more at the pumps.

The cartel which represents 12 of the world’s leading oil producing nations has expects oil consumption to increase by 1.14m barrels per day (bpd) in 2014. This revised figure represents a rise of 50,000 barrels on its previous estimate.

The increased demand is likely to raise prices at the pumps and also put pressure on the UK Chancellor not to increase fuel duty in the wake of this rather depressing news. The last time fuel duty was increased was in January 2011, however this unpopular move was later reversed by 1p / litre in March of the same year.

Opec’s latest monthly report stated that, ”The assumption that the global economy will see a gradual recovery in 2014, led by growth acceleration in the major OECD economies, remains valid, that recent developments in Ukraine have added to this year’s growth risk”.

Adding to the upward pressure on fuel prices is the stand off between Russia and the Ukraine over Crimea and the turmoil in Libya.

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Tesco launches Clubcard Fuel Save scheme, saving you up to 20p a litre

tesco club card fuel save Tesco launches Clubcard Fuel Save scheme, saving you up to 20p a litre

The battle of the supermarket forecourts has paved the way for yet another fuel saving scheme. This time it’s Tesco’s turn to tempt motorists into it’s stores to get money off at the pumps.

Tesco’s latest offer comes in the form of what it calls the “Clubcard Fuel Save” scheme. In a nutshell, every purchase you make gets added up and when you hit £50 you get 2p off a litre of fuel. For every further £50 you reach you’ll get another 2p off, up to a maximum of 20p off a litre.

This offer is not just restricted to those shopping in one of it’s many superstores and express outlets, any purchases made for grocery’s online are also covered under the offer.

The promotion is available at every Tesco filling station in the UK, but just be aware that the purchases only count that calendar month, it does not carry your spending totals over to the next one.

Tesco UK MD Chris Bush has this to say, “Petrol prices are forcing families to make tough choices. By introducing Clubcard Fuel Save, we can do our bit to make everyday life easier. Nearly three in four users who took part in the trial said the savings we’re offering would make a big difference to their budgets. We’re delighted to be rolling this out nationally.”

As expected the move has seen the other petrol supplying supermarkets reduce prices at the pumps in an attempt lure motorists to their forecourts. Asda responded to the offer by cutting prices yesterday to 132.7ppl for diesel and 126.7ppl for petrol.

For those fuel savers who choose not to shop at Tesco, Morrisons own Fuel saver scheme is still in full swing. More on that here.

To find out more about the scheme and see how much you could save check out the Clubcard Fuel Save website Read more ›

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UK new car sales up by over 17 percent over the past 2 years, still going strong

ford fiesta ecoboost new car sales 2014 UK new car sales up by over 17 percent over the past 2 years, still going strong

Figures from the SMMT have shown that the UK car market is still storming ahead with sales up over 17 percent over the past 2 years.

Even though February is seen as a quieter month in the car sales calendar, UK dealers still managed to increase sales by 3 percent over last years figures.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive put the growth in sales down to the attractiveness of the new car market and growing consumer confidence. He said, “While February is typically a quieter month ahead of the March registration plate change, we expect the arrival of the new 14-plate and increasing economic confidence to maintain a steady rate of growth.”

The Ford Fiesta continued its reign of the leaderboards, selling over 40 percent more cars than it’s nearest rival the Vauxhall Corsa. The introduction of the critically acclaimed Fiesta ST and sort after fuel efficient models and helped Ford continue their dominance of the market.

In 2013 the UK overtook France to become Europe’s second-largest car market behind the German powerhouse, which saw 2.95 million new car sales.

Read on for a list of the best selling cars for last month.

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Audi Traffic Light Recognition technology could save millions of litres of fuel

audi connect a6 traffic light detection Audi Traffic Light Recognition technology could save millions of litres of fuel

Audi has released further details of it’s Traffic Light Recognition technology which it claims could save millions of litres of fuel.

The system works using the cars own internet connection to relay information from the central traffic computer for the town or city it’s currently in. With this information the system can determine the speed required and alert the driver to ensure a stop free journey, sailing through green light after green light.

In the event that the driver is caught at a red light the technology ensures that the engine is running a mere 5 seconds before the green light gives passage.

Audi claim that the system could save a whopping 900 million liters of fuel if deployed across Germany alone, while reducing CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent. At present there’s no confirmation that the system will be compatible with the UK traffic signalling network but we’ll certainly be asking that very question.

The Audi press machine say that the technology is ”production ready” and could be fitted to every Audi model in the range subject to the necessary government legislation.

My fellow Hypermilers would agree that the technology showcases the possibilities of the “connected car”, and how information gathered from the road network can do wonders for helping motorists save fuel and reduce emissions.

Read on for the full press release from Audi.

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