Archive for December, 2009

Happy Christmas

Over the past few days, we’ve had to endure a parade of smug Americans appearing on our TV screens telling us how much better prepared they are than the UK for snowy conditions. Oh really… Here’s the American version of Dancing on Ice:-

What this really demonstrates is that no matter what the preparations, or how experienced you are as a driver, you should always take extreme care on snow and ice. Please be careful out there – if you have a prang at speed, car insurance could be the least of your worries.

Meanwhile, we would like to wish all of our customers, readers and friends a very happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

We will be open over the Christmas period, albeit with reduced hours, so please bear this in mind if you need to contact us. If you need to report a claim, you can find details of out of hours claim lines here.

Christmas Eve: 9.00am – 3.00pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Boxing Day: Closed.
27th Dec: Closed.
28th Dec: Closed.
29th Dec: 9.00am – 5.30pm.
30th Dec: 9.00am – 5.30pm.
31st Dec: 9.00am – 4.00pm.
1st Jan: Closed.
2nd Jan: Closed.
3rd Jan: Closed.
4th Jan: Normal Hours Resume.

The Chinese are Coming…


After lots of Eastern promise over the last few years, there hasn’t, as yet been much sign of the influx of Chinese cars we have been promised. There have, of course, been hundreds of Chinese bikes, and Bikesure has been offering Chinese Scooter Insurance for years, but cars have been distinctly thin on the ground.

Now, though, there has been confirmation that at least one Chinese marque has secured a distributor. Great Wall have confirmed that they have done a deal with independent distibutors IM Group, who also look after the smaller Japanese brands Isuzu, Daihatsu and Subaru. Cars will be on sale in the UK from 2011.

So what can we expect from the Great Wall range? Well up to now they have been best known for trucks, but they caused quite a splash at the Shanghai motor show. A big failing up to now with Chinese cars is that few have reached the exacting safety and emissions standards now demanded in the EU, but Great Wall are confident that their 6 launch models (well 5 plus a 4×4 version of 1) will secure type approval.

Great Wall Peri
First up is the Great Wall Peri, which has an engine from Mitsubishi, looks suspiciously like a Fiat Panda, and also comes in a 4×4 variant! In fact, that is going to be the main problem, as Fiat have currently secured an injunction preventing its import into the EU…

Great Wall Phenom
Then there is the i7, aka Great Wall Phenom. Apparently they couldn’t decide whether to name it after an Intel or AMD processor! These have engines developed in house and are being positioned at a higher price point making it a ‘sort of premium’ hatch.

Great Wall Florid
The Xuan Li, or Great Wall Florid, is another smallish hatchback. Apparently the name in Chinese sounds confusingly similar to ‘Yaris,’ and by a huge coincidence the front end styling appears remarkably similar to that of a Toyota Yaris, which has led to further legal issues!

Great Wall Cowry
The Great Wall Cowry is a compact MPV fitted with a 2 litre Mitsubishi engine. There are three trim levels, the highest of which – Super Luxury – is equipped with a KARAOKE PLAYER! Again some have detected styling influence from the Toyota Scion Xb.

Great Wall Cool Bear
The final model is another MPV which looks even more like the aforementioned Scion, the mystifyingly named Great Wall Cool Bear. This spacious model with its angular design is likely to abstract sales from the Kia Soul and Nissan Cube, especially as the price could be lower than £9,000.

In short there are still obstacles to overcome, mostly to do with intellectual property, but if these can be surmounted, the Chinese car could take off in a big way. In the absence of a dealer network, you’d be a brave soul to import a Chinese car privately, but if you do, you can count on Adrian Flux to offer competitive import chinese car insurance.

5 Dumbest Road Signs

Cambridge City Council is in the news after their long-delayed (mis)Guided Bus network sprouted a particularly idiotic piece of the sign-painters art. As you can see, some clever chap has managed to get the letter N the wrong way round…
Stupid guided bus lane sign

In case you think this is a damning indictment of the British education system, rest assured that our American friends are at least as bad:

sotp, no, stop, ah shoot

Even around their educational establishments:

too cool for shcool

Of course some signs are just pointless in the first place:

pointless sign

And others are changed maliciously. We have a spate of idiots changing 30mph signs to read 80 around here, but if you have the technology you can be much more imaginative:

hacked roadsign

And web-celeb Dutch ‘hacker’, Max Cornellisse, has some fun with the roadsigns in this vid:

Of course, with all these malevolant pranksters and signwriting dimwits causing havoc on the roads, a good car insurance policy is essential, as while these might seem funny, they could be seriously distracting to road users. A reminder to all of us that we need to use our common sense…

Panamera’s Family Tree

A post on Influx recently is all about the Porsche Panamera, and how it might not be deserving of all the bad press it’s had recently. Whether you like the Panamera or not, one thing that is undeniably cool is the new american advert for the Porsche 4-seater.

Check it out, it has 50 of the most iconic road and track Porsche’s history has to offer… and despite the CGI graphics, this was really done!