Archive for October, 2007
The Guardian on Saturday had an interesting piece on the perils of buying your womens car insurance from a so-called “womens car insurance company”, such as Sheila’s Wheels, Diamond, Ladybird and Diva.
Despite jingly and annoying adverts promising massive savings on car insurance to members of the fairer sex, the Guardian’s research found that women might not actually save “a bunch of fivers”, by taking out insurance from the self-proclaimed specialists.
Oh no. In fact, they could end up paying a whole lot more.
When they ran a quote through a well-known insurance price comparison site the womens car insurance companies did not fare as well as expected. Sheila’s Wheels came out at £26 more than the cheapest quote (the stupidly and expensively rebranded LV=), and poor old Diva wanted a whole £94 more.
But if you’re a woman driver, there’s worse news to come, when you hear who else beat Sheila’s Wheels. Other insurance brands that came out cheaper than Sheila’s Wheels included – Halifax Car Insurance, Sainsbury’s Car Insurance and esure.
Hang on a minute! Cast your mind back to my previous post “Who owns your insurer?“
Let’s check that list again, shall we?
- Halifax Insurance – part of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS)
- Sainsbury’s Car Insurance – run by esure (part of HBOS)
- esure – part of HBOS – calm down, dear!
Now remember, all of those came out cheaper in the Guardian’s survey than “women’s specialist” Sheila’s Wheels, who are (let’s just check their website) – oh, yes “a division of esure” and part of HBOS.
So it turns out that (for the examples the Guardian checked, anyway) esure will charge you less, as a woman, than their own specialist women’s “division”.
The Sheila’s Wheels spokeswoman (Niki Bolton) accounted for this by saying that the Sheila’s Wheels policy had bonzer extra features such as:
- Handbag cover (available elsewhere, but almost certainly included in your home insurance!)
- Female Friendly garages (remember if you’ve had an accident and claim on your insurance, it’s down to the insurance company to worry about which repairs are necessary and how much work the garage has actually done. Believe it or not, most insurance companies don’t tend to deal with garages who habitually rip them off or patronise clients and will have their own network of garages who they trust. Plus climbing onto your moral high horse over patronising attitudes is a bit rich if your parent company is responsible for those Michael Winner ads.).
- A 24 hour counselling line for drivers traumatised by an experience on the road. (They don’t say if they provide a similar service for drivers traumatised by the size of their car insurance quote)
Spokesperson, Niki Bolton, is also listed here as PR manager for esure and also speaks for First Alternative. Perhaps if the Guardian had asked her to speak on behalf of esure, she might have told you that all of the above “features” are just pointless trimming and that you should get your insurance from esure instead. And presumably if you are traumatised on the road and ring esure in an emotional state you are put through to Michael Winner who simply tells you to calm down, dear. Sadly we’ll never know.
As the Guardian found, if you want womens car insurance you would do well to look beyond the big spending advertisers who tell you they can save you big money, but in reality charge you a hefty premium for a pink policy document and some flaky add-ons.
Having seen the photos from the flux babes photoshoot, the IT department here at Flux fancied their own shot at glamour modelling stardom.
Here is the video from their very own photoshoot!
The R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R is an awesome car. And if you’ve maxed it out with a ton of performance modifications, taking it up to 420bhp in the process, it can probably knock spots off of most supercars you could mention on any track.
Sadly, though for one Jap Import fan, the joys of owning this fearsome beast of a car have come to a premature and unhappy end.
As the clearly disgruntled seller discovered, if you’re in a relationship, your dreams may be cruelly dashed:
Reason for Selling: Purchased without proper consent from the wife. Apparently “do whatever the F**K you want” does not mean what I thought.
So there you are. If you want to purchase the car and give it a good home you can get the full specs and buy it here. Just make sure you check with the missus first.
Although as the owner points out insurance for a Nissan Skyline can be a tad expensive and, if you’re young, difficult to even find. Fortunately, Adrian Flux can fix you up with some modified Nissan Skyline insurance, or indeed insurance for any japanese import.
Monday would have been PDA’s 41st Birthday so in memory of our good friend and colleague, the Flux staff had an additional dress down day (or dress up day, you could say.)
In a fitting tribute to the ‘Man’ himself, there was a Competition on the day with a Prize for the person who looked the most ‘Camp’!!!
I hear you all cry that its a fix and that Rob Balls is going to run away with the prize! We totally understand your concerns. So to be fair and to give everyone a fair chance of winning, Rob Balls was excluded from this contest!
After having a wander round and observing everyone the judges decided on a winner – Lloyd Geddes. Even without dressing up Lloyd still took the undisputed title of ‘The Campest of the Camp’. There’s more queen potential in his little finger (Ed: that’s not his little finger in the picture!) than Alex ‘AI’ Field bending Ashley Hewitt over in the boardroom. Congratulations to Lloyd, and a long wished for prize of pink Toni and Guy hair straighteners. He was highly excited when a 12 inch package was produced until he realised batteries weren’t required.
Lloyd was so overcome with emotion at winning that he couldn’t make the speech that he wanted, so on his behalf – thanks go to all of his friends, his colleagues and the readers of ‘Attitude’ magazine.
As the standard of campness was so high, some runners up prizes were in order.
2nd prize went to : ‘The Village Quotes People’ consisting of Steve Rush (sailor), Ashley Hewitt (cowboy), Darren Wood (Indian), Rob Aves (Builder), Gary Edgeley (cop) and Alex Field (bondage biker). After a 5 minute experience with them in the boardroom I am in need of some serious therapy………well done boys! Any volunteers for Steve to carry home a la Richard Gere/Debra Winger, please call ext 209 (look it up you young’uns)
3rd prize went to : David ‘Pimp Dogg’ Wilson who has clearly missed his calling in life – get down the docks and fulfill those dreams David!
4th prize went to : The quotes receptionists, all attired in such a way that it’s a wonder the male quotes floor staff have got any work done today.
All in all a day to remember and if PDA were looking on, he’d be proud of the efforts all of the staff made to out-camp him, even though we never got close to his standard.
That’s modifications to your body.
Today’s Times carries the story of Welsh teenager Jessica Collins who was involved in a serious car crash in Germany. Apparently her injuries were exacerbated by her belly-button stud being pushed by her seat belt through her body and almost to her spine. Doctors described the injuries as being like a bullet wound.
There’s more on icwales.
Unlike a certain satire site, I’m not going to suggest that removing your seatbelt would be an appropriate course of action if you have a navel piercing. And much as I understand the distraught parents’ pleas for teenagers to remove their piercings, the circumstances of the accident suggest that this was a freak incident.
But what you might do, if you have a piercing somewhere in your abdomen, but which you should certainly do anyway, is to check whether the seatbelt fits you correctly. For correct operation the lap part of your seatbelt should go over the pelvis region and not the stomach. The diagonal strap should pass over you shoulder and not your neck. If your seatbelt doesn’t fit, you can usually adjust the height of the seatbelt via the b pillars, and often the c pillars too.
The danger of news stories like this is that they will either put people off wearing a seatbelt, or – more likely – give the 10% of muppets who still drive without one another convenient but bogus reason to not belt up.
By wearing your seatbelt you will significantly raise your chances of surviving a serious accident – over 2,500 lives are saved a year, which means 250 are still being lost needlessly, and that’s to say nothing of the serious injuries prevented.
In contrast injuries caused by seatbelts are rare, usually amounting to bruising, often in the course of preventing more serious injuries, and only vanishingly rarely anything as serious as has afflicted poor Jessica.
You can find out more about seatbelt safety in this pdf download from RoSPA.
So remember – “Clunk, click – every trip” – and by all means get rid of your belly studs if you want, I’m not a fan.
And remember that modified car insurance is comparatively safe!