Why go through the task of filtering the news you’re really interested in, when a blog can do it for you! If you’re interested in motoring news, then take a journey to Roadweb, for all the news, views, and advice you’ll need. Cyclists, drivers, and learner drivers are all catered for here, where you’ll find posts on anything from classic cars to driving abroad. Legal eagles can find out more about road safety, motoring laws, and how to stay safe on the road, while all of you can indulge in some motoring trivia as well. Why not have a read and see what else you can find?
Article by Carl Fenchurch who is a blogger for business contract hire specialists Contract Hire a Car.
The new BMW M3 is due for release in Summer 2014, but the buzz is already building around the latest iteration of BMW’s popular high-performance series. Speaking to AutoExpress.co.uk, a company insider said the new M3 “will take the brand’s most popular and famous performance model to new heights with the latest body and engine technologies.” The new model will weigh around 100kg less and have more power, promising improved speed and acceleration.
BMW has used as many lightweight materials as possible to make this weight reduction possible, including a carbon fibre roof, boot-lid and bonnet.
Open the bonnet and you’ll find a brand new 6-cylinder, 3 litre twin-turbo engine – smaller than the 4 litre V8 in the existing version, but delivering around 30bhp more power as well as increased torque.
BMW are claiming that the new M3 will do 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds or less (at least a 30% improvement on the current model), with a top speed of 180mph on derestricted versions (limited to 155mph on the standard model).
But anyone who’s owned a BMW M3 or M5 will know, there’s a lot more to these cars that straightforward speed and power. They have to be fun and rewarding to drive, and with improved agility and traction on the 2014 model, it looks like the M3 won’t disappoint.
For those who like to tinker, there are plenty of customisation options, such as modifying the weight of the steering and the responsiveness of the throttle, and changing the gear shift speed on the automatic version.
As well as overhauling the M3’s inner workings, BMW are also making some aesthetic changes, giving the new model a rather more youthful, urban flavour. That means lowering the suspension, redesigning the front bumper, and making numerous other visual tweaks. And the M3’s sonic credentials haven’t been overlooked – BMW are still working on getting the engine acoustics just right.
It’s rumoured that the public will get their first chance to look at the new M3 at the LA Motor Show, which takes place from 22nd November to 1st December 2013. The car is due to go on sale in the UK in summer 2014, costing roughly £55,000.
Despite press reports to the contrary, the majority of us still rely on our cars to get us around, and inevitably there are times they let us down. Thankfully, most of us now realise that it is vital to have breakdown cover to keep us on the road should the worst possible scenario occur, but many are being ripped off left right and centre by the companies who offer this kind of cover, and there are a few ways for you to save money but still get the level of cover you want and need.
The key to finding the best deal is to compare prices with level of cover, and ensure you are covered for what you need and aren’t paying for something you don’t need. For example, without checking the small print you could be paying extra for being covered if you should break down on a European motorway, and if you simply use your car for commuting or to go to the supermarket this is an area where you can make a saving straight away.
This kind of use tends to fall under the umbrella of basic cover, and is the least expensive of them all. This level of cover should give you roadside assistance if you are more than a mile away from home when you break down, distances do vary so check between companies, and if your car cannot be fixed there and then it will be towed to a garage. Failing to have this cover, however, can cost you in the region of £250 to be towed off the motorway hard shoulder so you can see why breakdown cover is so important.
Those who have no other means of getting work should their car fail to start in the mornings, or whose vehicle is temperamental depending on the weather, should seriously consider having the home start option in their cover. This will add money to the cost of your policy but it means someone will come out if you are stuck on your driveway and get you going.
Another option worth considering for those who drive long distances is onward travel. This includes roadside assistance and if you car cannot be fixed there and then you are provided with a hire car or the cost of the public transport you will have to use to continue this journey. As this can be limited, many opt for the hire car as if you have to be somewhere in a hurry and aren’t familiar with the area, trying to work out the public transport you need can be a nightmare, especially if you have baggage with you.
Make yourself a list of what cover you need and head online to compare prices. One of the best comparison sites is http://carbreakdowncover.com/ and their cheerful and user friendly site will have you the results you are looking for in no time, and invariably have saved you some money into the bargain. You can then head out onto the road safe in the knowledge that your cover is in place and that you are only paying for what you actually need.
London and Essex are the UK’s hotspots for car crime insurance claims
Ilford postal area (IL) takes top spot for people making car insurance crime claims
- ’Theft of vehicle’ is most common type of claim
- Motorists in Perth, Shrewsbury and Carlisle among those least likely to have made a claim
According to the lastest analysis from MoneySupermarket motorists in London and Essex are the UK’s most likeliest to claim on their insurance for car crime. The number one comparison site in the UK analysed 13.2m car insurance quotes that were run on their site over a 12 month period and found that the top spot was taken by the IL, Ilford, postal area.
The urban areas of RM, Romford, and W, West London, were next in the list of area where people are the most likely to make a claim for either vandalism to their car, theft of items from their car or theft of the vehicle.
At the other end of the scale, motorists in the Scottish city of Perth (PH), historic market town Shrewsbury (SY) and county town Carlisle (CA) are among those least likely to have made a claim.]
The research revealed the most common claim type is theft of vehicle making up over half of all claims (52 per cent), followed by vandalism damage (41 per cent), and theft of contents from a vehicle (seven per cent).
Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at MoneySupermarket, said: “While there are clearly some areas of the country with a higher proportion of insurance claims for car crime than others, this doesn’t actually mean the area is rife with crime. Thieves often specifically target areas with a high number of cars parked on the street, such as urban areas where space is at a premium and fewer houses have garages.
Alternatively quieter areas can often be targeted, where there’s not a lot of passing traffic, where the rewards are potentially greater and the risk of being caught in the act may be lower. This year, the IL postal area of Romford has taken the top spot for car crime insurance claims.
“No matter where you live or where you drive, there is always a chance you become a victim of car theft and vandalism, so motorists should take precautions when it comes to security. Ideally, try and park in a driveway or garage if you can. This is obviously not always possible, so if you’re parking on the street, look for busier roads with a good amount of lighting and more passing traffic.
If you’re parking on the street at home, try and park the car near to your house and again, look for good lighting and think about how the area might look in the dark – thieves could be less likely to target your car if they can be seen by other people, so parking under a street light is a good idea.
“Motorists should always secure their vehicle properly and hide any gadgets or bags left in the car; leaving expensive gadgets such as Sat Navs on display may encourage opportunistic thieves.
Installing an alarm or steering wheel lock will also act as a deterrent for anyone looking for an easy target. Even if your area is in a car insurance claim hotspot, you can still save money on your insurance by doing your research and switching to a better deal online. Don’t just accept your renewal quote as shopping around can amount to savings of £405.”
For just about every new biker, even those who are blessed with unshakable confidence, the first tentative steps on the road represent something of a giant leap into unknown territory. While it’s easy to ride a motorcycle, and it’s something millions of us take for granted, it’s sometimes difficult to remember just how nerve-wracking it once was. Even if you only felt trepidation for a short time, it was still a tangible and somewhat scary experience.
There are plenty of publications and websites which offer practical advice for first-time riders, of course, so there’s never any need for newbies to feel as though they are on their own. Thankfully, every revolution of the wheels takes the rider to a more experienced level, so the most important thing to do is simply gain expertise. Every ride you take will lead to an increase in your proficiency and, in time, to your confidence.
It goes without saying that you should watch your speed when you first take to the road on two wheels. Every potential issue will be more difficult to deal with if you are going too fast, so it’s only natural that you should be a little wary at first. In time, as the confidence begins to appear, you will become increasingly skilled, and one day you may look back and wonder at your initial slow pace. In the meantime, just accept it and, as they say, go with it.
Always be aware of others
Even the most experienced riders will tell you that you need to be wary of other road users, especially car drivers who may not be able to see you or your bike. Many of the worst accidents involving two and four wheel vehicles came about because of a rider proving ‘invisible’ to a car driver. The smartest bikers are always thinking about whether or not they are positioned in a car driver’s blind-spot.
Although biking is a far less expensive activity than driving a car, the need to find bargains is still of paramount importance. Thankfully, finding a great motorcycle insurance deal with MCN Insurance will help to keep costs down. Regular preventative maintenance is also an excellent idea, because it can save a small fortune in the long run. Repair costs at accredited garages can be higher than you might think.
There is nothing to match the sense of unbridled freedom you get when you head off into the sunset on your bike, especially when you know there is a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re heading into the city for work or off to the sunspots of Spain for a biking holiday, you can garner far more enjoyment from the trip once you are confident enough to handle any journey.
- AA Driving School and BSM to roll out cycle awareness module to all instructors
- Module launched with support from the Driving Standards Agency and Department for Transport
- Focus on cycling key to improving road safety
Two of the largest driving schools in the UK are committed to teaching new drivers the proper safety rules when it comes to cycles. As part of the new training initiative a module has been created that standardise how drivers should practice safe driving when they are passing or sharing the road with cyclists.
BSM and the AA will ensure that all instructors offer vital skills and lessons about properly maneuvering around cyclists. The decision was made after the AA made a new commitment to break down the problems that often arise between motorists and cyclists.
All driving instructors from both schools will take a module to teach drivers how to drive safely around cyclists. They will also be given a worksheet about safe driving around cyclists for their pupils to use.
The driving schools are committed to improving road safety by radically reducing the 107 killed and 3,087 seriously injured on the roads in 2011.
AA Driving School and BSM, as part of AA Driving Services, make up the largest provider of new driver training in the country.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “I am personally committed to breaking down the ‘Two Tribes’ attitude displayed between some drivers and cyclists. Often we are the same people. I am delighted to announce that two of the biggest driving schools, AA and BSM, will be working to bring harmony on the roads between drivers and cyclists.
“This new module means we now have a standardised approach to teaching learners how to drive safely around cyclists from two of the country’s leading driving schools. I am convinced that this initiative will change attitudes and save lives.”
The training content has been developed with input from key members of the cycling community.
The module for instructors covers some ‘do’s and don’ts’ for driving around cyclists, as well as useful resource links and guidance on how to teach pupils the best way to drive with cyclists.
The pupil worksheet sets out the facts about cyclists on the roads and encourages learners to think about the care, courtesy and consideration they should afford cyclists. It also highlights conversation topics to have with their instructor to aid their understanding.
Mark Peacock, head of BSM, said: “Successfully teaching a learner to drive safely around cyclists means instilling a good attitude, as well as, the necessary practical driving skills.
“It can be intimidating and confusing for learners the first few times they come across a cyclist. Understanding why cyclists behave in certain ways, such as avoiding potholes or how they are affected in strong winds, is key to being safe around them.
“Ultimately, we want to make sure that when someone learns with BSM they can be totally assured that when they pass their test they will be equipped to cope safety amongst all other road users.”
Driveways are some of the most expensive parking spaces in the UK according to research that was announced this week by Europcar, the top car hire services provider in Europe. The study of about 100 motorists found that about ten percent of them spend their income on car ownership and motoring costs even though two-thirds of them use their cars for less than an hour every day. Therefore, most cars are simply staying parked in the driveway all day.
Managing Director Ken McCall for Europcar UK Group stated that they started the research in order to figure out how people are driving in the face of the higher motoring costs. McCall added that from the research it was very clear that most people are not sure how they could manage if they did not have a car, but at the same time they are dealing with costs by using them less. Now that about half of all people are driving less than a hour every day it seems that driveways are the top parking spots in the county.
The research from Europcar also found that insurance is a large issue for most drivers with most motoring respondents stating that their costs have increased by about £57 every year and most admit that they spend as much as £600 on their car cover alone. Consider the fact that about a third of all motorists have two cars in their households and all of these costs need to be doubled.
Even though car ownership costs are increasing steadily about half of those in the survey stated that public transport would not be able to take the place of their car and most admitted that it is too costly, unreliable, and inconvenient to depend on public transport alone.
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond has put forward what the Government see’s as the best possible options for a new Lower Thames crossing.
The first step in deciding on the location of a new lower Thames road crossing is the consultation period. The Government has decided that there will be three possible options that may be considered in order to tackle the current congestion and under capacity problems that are without any argument plaguing motorists in the area and only getting worse.
The three possible options are:
Option A: at the site of the existing A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing;
Option B: connecting the A2 Swanscombe Peninsula with the A1089; and
Option C: connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30. The variant to Option C would additionally widen the A229 between the M2 and M20.
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said:
“With traffic levels expected to increase by a fifth over the next 30 years, it is vital we take action now on the future of a new Lower Thames crossing to make sure that our road network is able to meet the future economic needs of the country.
“There are some tough decisions to be made, but this is the first step in making sure that the residents, businesses and motorists who rely on the crossing receive the service they expect and deserve in the years to come.
“I encourage anyone who uses the existing crossing or has an interest in the location of the new crossing to let us have their views on these proposals. This will enable us to make the right decision on the location of the new crossing.”
There are several ways to find out more information, either through the Department’s website or by attending one of the public information events being held next month in the Lower Thames area. They are:
- Thursday 13 June, Dartford Library, Central Park, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1EU from 2-8pm;
- Saturday 15 June, Grays Library, Orsett Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 5DX from 10am-5pm;
- Monday 17 June, Chadwell Information Centre, Brentwood Road, Chadwell St Mary, Grays, Essex, RM16 4JP from 2-7pm;
- Thursday 20 June, Bluewater (Thames Walk at the entrance to the plaza), Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9ST from 10am-9pm;
- Friday 21 June, Lakeside (level two near the customer service desk), West Thurrock Way, Grays, Essex, RM20 2ZP from 10am-10pm; and
- Saturday 22 June, Gravesend library, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1BE from 9am-5pm.
The events are a chance for all those who are interested in the proposals to speak directly to member of the consultation team. For those who can not make it along to an event, the relevant information will also be available to view and download from the Department’s website.
Anybody interested in commenting on the proposed location options can have their say by completing the online response form on the Department’s website or by submitting the response form by email or post. All responses need to be submitted by the Tuesday 16 July 2013, when the consultation will close. Decisions following this consultation will be announced in the autumn 2013.
Thousands of classic car owners will be struggling to get their MoT exempt vehicles properly taxed due to ‘technical issues’ that are considered to be on going between the VOSA and the DVLA. Owners of vehicles that were manufactured before the year of 1960 have been continually complaining about how hard it is now to obtain to their tax discs because the DVLA system will not recognise the exemption to the MoT that was first introduced in November of last year.
The DVLA did admit to the CCfS that it had several technical issues with its computers for vehicles that were made prior to 1960 but that it was working hard on correcting the issue and that once they find a resolution to it the problem will not rear its head again for re-licensing.
Although the DVLA stated that it is not quite sure how many were affected by the change, they do know that the problem only affected vehicles that were made prior to 1960 in which case the MoT was due to expire about the same time that the vehicle was licensed.
DVLA spokesperson David Whitbread stated that the Electronic Vehicle Licensing system has been linked to the MoT database that is administrated by the VOSA (Vehicle Operator Services Agency) and in just a short period of time the DVLA made changes to the system that allowed them to remove the MoT check that all vehicles have to pass through before they can be issued a tax disc.
He added that customers that have problems using the Electronic Vehicle Licensing system can head over to their Post Office to get a licence, but first they will have to complete the V112 and declare that their vehicle should be tax exempt.
Every year, car manufacturers release the latest model to add to their ranges, not only to fall in line with what the consumers wants, to utilise the latest in car technology but also to become one of the preferred car brands in the world. Manufacturers either improve an existing model but adding up to date technology or have a complete new design to add to their expansive list of every day vehicles.
There are so many different car types that manufacturers can focus on to appeal to the target consumer. Whether they look at the size of a car, the effect it has on the environment or even the overall cost of the vehicle, all are appealing to the potential customer.
Cars aren’t just a luxury; they are an intricate part of everyday life and the most popular mode of transport.
2013 has been the year that leading car manufacturers have chosen to launch their newest additions and designs. Below are the 5 I think all car enthusiasts will enjoy…
Peugeot 208 GTI
The lighter more powerful version of the original 208 will no doubt be just as popular as the original model. Peugeot have focused on re-designing and improving areas of the model that proved unsuccessful last time round. Stronger suspension, bigger breaks and a sporty appearance make the 208 almost unrecognisable.
Conscious of the negative effects cars have on the environment, Volkswagen have released the environmentally version of the Golf. By far the manufacturers most popular model, the car now comes with the title of being the best electric car created so far. A longer driving range, different driving modes combined with the standard Golf appearance will ensure this car is a success.
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo
The 5 door hatchback will easily eclipse the success of the GT model. The car has been made more spacious, faster and sleeker. The features are similar to that of the GT but they have been enhanced to make the ideal family car, just with the edge of a spoiler for increased speed.
Mercedes Benz f125
Labelled as a luxury vehicle, the hydrogen power shows a real advancement in fuel technology with Mercedes joining the attempt to create an environmentally friendly car that doesn’t lose the qualities of a petrol based car. The car is made of carbon fibre and is lightweight and nimble and has an overall sharper appearance.
Toyota Auris Touring Sports
Toyota has launched the estate version of the incredibly popular Auris. The design is incredibly similar with the differences being difficult to identify. Full hybrid power has increased the speed of the vehicle and the rear of the car has been overhauled to ensure it differs from the original model and to allow for the increase speed and space. The Auris Touring Sports is one of the most reasonably priced estate cars available.
Buying a new car is one of the hardest choices, yet one of the most exciting purchases you can make. A new car takes pride of place on the driveway and owners have an overwhelming desire to keep it in perfect condition for as long as possible. One of the best ways to keep your new car scratch and dirt free is to have it delivered to you, car transport on uship is one of the best ways to ensure your precious purchase arrives to you safely and in the best possible condition.