Posts Tagged ‘cars’
In Britain, it’s more expensive to run a car than anywhere else in the world. Yes, your little Honda Jazz costs more to run than Justin Beiber’s pimp mobile, or Bret Michaels’ souped up RV full of dirty ladies.
On average we pay £3453 a year to stay on the road, which is a grand more than the Americans and the French, and £2000 less than the Chinese, who are scooting about on the cheap and living it up.
Webuyanycar.com took motoring costs from 21 countries and found that we shell out 27p a mile on average – paying more for fuel, tax and insurance. And of course, the thing we’re spending the most on is petrol. A whopping £2256 a year goes on filling the damn thing up.
Only Denmark and Switzerland came close to our prohibitive car costs. But the cheapest place to run a car is Saudi Arabia, where it costs the princely sum of £237.32 a year to own a car. But of course, they do have all the oil. And women aren’t allowed to drive, so that cuts costs for the oppressed ladies straight away.
Do you want a depressing table of costs? Thought so. Happy motoring!
1. UK £3,453.66
2. Netherlands £3,370.42
3. Switzerland £3,321.80
4. Italy £2,966.69
5. Portugal £2,914.63
6. Germany £2,856.04
7. France £2,538.82
8. USA £2,425.36
9. Spain £2,421.87
10. New Zealand £2,387.20
11. Australia £2,128.24
12. Canada £1,828.65
13. India £1,805.94
14. Russia £1,727.82
15. Japan £1,628.38
16. China £1,315.12
17. South Africa £1,280.18
18. UAE 672.01
19. Qatar £527
20. Argentina £269.92
21. Saudi Arabia £237.22
Volvo have decided to put out an advert starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Of course, vaguely depressing, half-tragic figures from the 80s are making decent money through adverts at the moment, thanks to appalling cod-nostalgia and irony. Kevin Bacon has been on the box looking pristinely haggard, while Mr T likes Snickers.
JCVD has been promoting awful American beers thus far, but now, he’s showing off Volvo’s Dynamic Steering System with his legs.
Impressively, this stunt is real and a Volvo rep confirmed that the shot was done in just one take.
If you want to peer behind the curtain, Van Damme was protected by safety lines not visible in the final video and small platforms on the trucks’ mirrors helped prop his feet up. Other than that, what you see is a man doing the splits on two moving vehicles, for real.
Of course, Volvo could’ve gone with some cool, young ninja or something, and went for someone who hasn’t been cool for over 20 years, making them look a bit duddery. Either way, the end result is pretty badass.
According to MPs, motorists who appeal against what they believe to be an unjust parking ticket should still be given a 25% discount, even if they lose their appeal. This idea has come about in a bid to help drivers to feel more at ease when challenging tickets and would put an end to the process that gives you a discount for paying it immediately, whether you’re guilty or not.
There should also be a 5 minute ‘grace period’ before having a ticket slapped on the windscreen and that CCTV should be stopped from spying on motorists to stop everyone from being looked at like they’re ‘wallets n wheels,’ they added.
Not only that, we shouldn’t have to appeal against parking tickets where tribunal adjudicators have noticed repeat problems, such as poor signage and the like.
In essence, it looks like this is an attempt to put an end to cowboy councils and parking firms who are rinsing everyone. To bring some kind of fairness and transparency, councils could soon be asked to publish annual parking-charge reports to show where their income comes from and how it is being used, according to a report by the House of Commons’ Transport Select committee.
The use of parking charges and fines specifically to raise revenue is “neither acceptable nor legal”, said its chairman Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, who added: “There is a deep-rooted public perception that parking enforcement is used as a cash cow, so it’s essential that local authorities apply stringent transparency.”
“Annual parking accounts would allow the public to see how much local revenue is derived from the enforcement of fines, and what proportion of this come from on or off-street parking charges. It’s right that parking charges be determined locally, but hard to justify fines that substantially exceed penalties for more serious offences like speeding.”
“A 25 per cent penalty charge discount should also be introduced for motorists who pay within seven days of losing any appeal to a parking tribunal. Local authorities currently offer a 50 per cent discount if motorists pay their penalty charge within 14 days, but remove this benefit entirely from motorists who appeal to a tribunal.”
AA president Edmund King said: “The AA receives many complaints about parking enforcement and we believe that some of the measures in this report would help to ease the situation. In particular we welcome the five-minute grace period as many drivers are petrified that rushing into the corner shop for change for the pay & display will cost them dearly.”
“Offering a 25 per cent discount to those who lose appeals is a step in the right direction but we still feel that the full discount should be offered.”
Data obtained under a Freedom of Information request showed a 79% increase in compensation claims in the last financial year from people who have had their vehicles borked by potholes. Cyclists will be rolling their eyes at the news too, as Britain’s cycle lanes are like Screwball Scramble.
Britannia Rescue, which conducted the research, said potholes take up a total area of 295 square miles on these shores – that’s twice the size of the Isle of Wight.
With that, nearly 1 in 10 people have suffered car damage as a result of our dreadful roads in the past 12 months, and the company added other stats:
- Local authorities have paid out £2.5m in compensation to motorists in the past financial year.
- UK councils have received 32,600 compensation claims over the same period – a 79% increase over the previous year.
- The most common problems are tyre damage (43%), damaged suspension (34%) and damaged wheel rims (26%).
Britannia Rescue said: “Short-term fixes are often chosen over longer term solutions, with close to a quarter of councils admitting they usually temporarily fix potholes rather than resurface the area. The average cost of repairing a pothole is around £50, meaning the amount paid out by councils in compensation could have been used to repair more than 50,000 potholes.”
The company’s managing director, Peter Horton, said: “Britain’s pothole epidemic has resulted from years of under-investment … we now have around 200,000 potholes on UK roads. Motorists should protect themselves and their vehicles by reducing their speed on potholed roads, and also reporting damaged roads to their local council.”
The watch is designed for drivers of the various Nissan Nismos… but what does it do?
Well, using a Bluetooth low-energy connection, the watch gathers data from the car, including speed, efficiency information, fuel consumption and all that. Nissan says the telemetry data will then show drivers their track performance.
It’ll also monitor driver health, such as heart rate and all that jive.
You’ll be able to charge it through a Micro-USB port and Nissan reckon the battery will last for a week. In the future, these Nissan watches may include technology about electrocardiograms, electroencephalograms and monitor your skin temperature.
Just what you need when you’re driving to work, farting along to your Michael McDonald CDs.
Cardiff topped the survey for driver behaviour and scored 97% for politeness with Birmingham and Sheffield in second and Coventry and Glasgow completing the top five.
Factors taken into account were a driver’s likeliness to thank other drivers, stop for pedestrians at crossings and giving way at junctions.
The worst drivers were found in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, with Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh also scoring low because they’re all filled with impotent rage and the men have small penises.
With that, the survey found that woman drivers were more polite than their male counterparts and, unsurprisingly, drivers of small and medium cars were much better behaved than van drivers.
Here’s the league table:
Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a foldable, compact electric car, which could answer a lot of pollution and parking problems.
In-Soo Suh, Associate Professor of the Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST and his research team introduced a prototype micro electric car called ‘Armadillo-T’.
The Armadillo-T, like its animal namesake, tucks itself away, shrinking its 2.8 metre size down to almost half, 1.65 meters. It’s a four-wheel drive, all-electric and, when folded up, takes up only one-third of a 5-meter parking space.
It has a smartphone-interfaced remote control, which means the vehicle can turn 360 degrees, which will help when parking into tiny spots.
Professor In-Soo Suh said: “I expect that people living in cities will eventually shift their preferences from bulky, petro-engine cars to smaller and lighter electric cars. Armadillo-T can be one of the alternatives city drivers can opt for. Particularly, this car is ideal for urban travels, including car-sharing and transit transfer, to offer major transportation links in a city. In addition to the urban application, local near-distance travels such as tourist zones or large buildings can be another example of application.”
Motorists hogging the middle lane or tailgating will get three points on their licence and a £100 on-the-spot fine, while driving without a seatbelt and using a mobile at the wheel will end up in a £100 fine, up from the old £60 penalty.
Anyone driving with no insurance will now face a £300 penalty. If you do all of the above at the same time, you’re buggered.
Police have also been given powers to issue on-the-spot fines to drivers found using the wrong lane on a roundabout or not giving way at a T-junction.
The Government are hoping these plans will stop careless or dangerous driving, provided of course, there’s enough police to call upon to patrol and enforce these new rules, which come in as of today.
Road safety minister Stephen Hammond said: “Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.”
“We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences.”
Another day, another scam – except this one is particularly evil. Motorists are being warned about a new insurance scam nicknamed ‘Flash for Cash’, where gangs are flashing their lights to let people out of junctions and then crashing into them on purpose.
Criminals usually target expensive cars, but also – because they’re lovely that way – they’re ploughing into the back of vehicles driven by old people and women with children in the back. As Neil Thomas from the Asset Protection Unit explains, they like to pick on people who won’t fight back.
‘Perhaps single females in the car with children in the back, perhaps doing the school run. Where they know there’s going to be no resistance, no real argument at the scene. The children are going to be upset.’
There’s already an established scam, known as ‘crash for cash’ where the scumbags slam their brakes on (often with tail light bulbs removed), causing innocent motorists to crash into the back of them.
However ‘flash for cash’ is trickier and harder to prove, as it’s a case of the innocent motorist’s word against theirs. Gangs are making thousands per accident through false personal injury claims, loss of earnings and repair claims – and it’s costing insurance companies around £392 million a year.
So, forget goodwill, courtesy and all that crap. If some dodgy-looking geezer flashes their lights you to let you out, ignore them.
Thanks for making the world a better place, criminals.
Road safety charity Brake, along with DVLA and insurance company RSA, reckon that regular eye tests for drivers could cut the number of casualties on UK roads by around 3,000.
A survey of 1,000 drivers found 26% have not had an eye test in the last two years and that more than one million drivers have never had one, aside from a driving instructor asking them to read a licence plate when they were doing their lessons.
Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: “Being able to see properly is fundamental to being a good driver. Your eyesight can deteriorate rapidly without you noticing, and at the wheel that can be lethal.”
This campaign comes on the back of the death of Cassie McCord who was killed in Colchester when an elderly driver mounted a pavement and hit her in February 2011. The driver had failed a police eye test, but officers were unable to persuade him to hand over his licence.
Cassie’s mother Jackie told Sky News: “They spent two hours coercing him, trying to get him to surrender his licence voluntarily, but he refused. He got in the car three days later and killed Cassie.”
The subsequent campaign resulted in “Cassie’s Law” which now enables the police to remove someone’s licence from someone within minutes, rather than the old process that took days. The upshot of this could now result in drivers needing to take some personal responsibility and get regular tests.
What do you think?
In a document called ‘Action for Roads’, the Department for Transport confirmed that Oxford University brains will start trials of autonomous ghost cars later this year.
The DfT said: ”Researchers at Oxford University are currently working with Nissan to… create semi-autonomous cars. These vehicles will have a driver present but are capable of driving fully independently, using knowledge of the environment in which they are driving. A groundbreaking trial of these vehicles on the road is expected to start later this year.”
They added: ”By 2040, experts expect a world of connected vehicles and road users, where ‘semi-autonomous’ and ‘autonomous’ control of vehicles will be part of life. Vehicles will communicate not only with the road infrastructure, but increasingly with each other. Innovative ways to make vehicles cooperate with one another, such as the “platooning” approach for heavy vehicles on strategic roads, have the potential to make our roads work better for everyone.”
Prof Paul Newman, who leads the team working on the cars, said: “It’s a great area to be working in because it’s IT and computers and that’s what changes things. The British government sees that engineering is important.”
Censors at the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency meet twice a year to decide which combinations need blocking. Also on the list are anything that might spell out ‘bum’, ‘arse’, ‘slags’, ‘drugs’ and, bizarrely, ‘bonk’.
One specific ban is a plate that would read ‘BB11 TCH’. You can’t have anything ending in ‘KOK’ either.
The DVLA also take umbrage with terrorist phrases like HO57AGE, and MU11 AHS.
Irritatingly, you are allowed to have WTF and LMFAO, which is far most irritating and offensive than ‘bum’.
A spokesman for the DVLA said: “We have a responsibility to ensure that the combinations used do not cause offence.” Christ knows what these motoring prudes think of ‘honk if you bonk’ stickers.
Remember the plans to raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph? Well, they’ve been put on hold after Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the move was “not a priority”. The world’s financial crisis is probably more pressing eh?
That said, the policy was originally launched to help give a boost to the economy, however, it doesn’t seem to be much of a concern for the Transport Sec.
In an interview with The Times, McLoughlin said: “Look, that’s not a priority, to be absolutely honest. You would have to do trials in certain areas so it’s not something that’s a high priority.”
A source close to the Transport Secretary told the newspaper: “This is not going to happen with Patrick McLoughlin as Transport Secretary. Safety is paramount to him and his view of how to run the roads and he would not be confident about how you would do it.”
Hilariously, The Times understands that the Government are wary of raising the speed limit for fear of alienating women voters. Hear that women? Notice the implied ‘you’re all rubbish, slow drivers’ from Cameron & Co there?
Of course, whatever the Tories suggest, Labour say the opposite. Doesn’t matter what it is, they just base their chat on the opposite of whatever That Lot say. Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said: “The chaos over plans to change motorway speed limits is extraordinary, even by the Department for Transport’s usual standards.”
“Only a week after the Roads Minister confidently claimed that trials of a new 80mph speed limit were to go ahead, it’s clear that the Secretary of State has applied the brakes on his own reckless policy. Labour has consistently warned that a blanket increase in the motorway speed limit risked increasing deaths and serious injuries, pushing up the cost of driving and making it harder to cut the emissions that contribute to climate change.”
Until then, drivers, you’ll just continue to drive at whatever speed you want, keeping an eye out for speed cameras.
Paul Wilkins, the git who runs and owns the company, is aiming to attract high-profile customers.
He said: “Well, for that price I will fly out to any location in the world. I’m usually dealing with serious car collectors who have temperature-controlled showrooms. We’re not talking about cars which are parked up on the side of the road so I travel to wherever they are kept.”
He added: “I might need to go over it hundreds of times to make sure it is 100% clear of any marks. Each job is so different but what I say is that, for the £100,000 price, I will work on the car for as long as it takes. I’m a perfectionist so sometimes it’s taken me a few months before I’m happy to hand the keys back.”
In other news, celebrities and people who own expensive cars continue to have their cars cleaned in the exact same manner they did previously.
The average price of petrol in the UK has risen from 133.35p a litre to 134.61p, while diesel has gone up from 138.17p a litre to 139.16p. Over in Northern Ireland, petrol is the most expensive with London having the cheapest.
The same goes for diesel, with Northern Irish paying 139.8p a litre and London and the south west paying out 139.1p.
The AA warned that this year, retailers have on average been “creaming up to £1 a tank extra off diesel car drivers and up to £1.40 a tank extra off diesel van owners”, adding; “at present, the 1p-a-litre premium that fuel stations are generally adding to the cost of diesel adds 5,500 miles to the break-even point for a new car buyer who chooses diesel instead of petrol.”
“Diesel cars typically cost £1,500 more but the saving from better fuel efficiency should eventually recoup that.”
AA president Edmund King said: “To be fair, there is often much greater variation in the price of diesel among retailers in a town than with petrol. However, on average, the profit margin on diesel is consistently at least a penny higher than with petrol.”
“The clear message to diesel drivers is to take advantage of the greater range of prices locally. Some forecourts are more diesel-friendly than others.”