Posts tagged car
Boasting tutors from various backgrounds, including motor racing and advanced driving instruction, CarKraft has become an award-winning road safety initiative. The course was designed with a view to reducing the number of drivers killed or seriously injured (KSI) as a result of car accidents in the Northamptonshire and surrounding areas.
Since the driver improvement scheme was established in 2001, over 3,000 young drivers have benefited from the wealth of knowledge and experience at their disposal. Based in Northamptonshire, the county actually saw the lowest number of KSIs recorded, during the year of 2011.
In 2012, CarKraft noticed a niche in the market, with regard to providing additional training and education for already qualified or older drivers. Since branching out to older and licenced drivers, a further 200 have embarked upon the sessions.
Operating at the state of the art purpose built facilities at Silverstone, the course offers an enthralling mix of workshops taking in educational tutorial sessions, with hands-on experience on simulated, adverse road conditions.
Driving research expert, Dr Julie Gandolfi, carried out a full and independent evaluation of the courses, with her findings subsequently being published by the Department for Transport as part of a best practice study.
To summarise her conclusions:-
Participants displayed improved attitudes to unsafe behaviours including speeding, drink driving, close following, thrill seeking, mobile phone use, overconfidence and aggression. Female participants displayed a greater degree of attitude change than males. These findings indicate that catching young road users prior to full-scale independent driving brought about the greatest improvements in attitudes.
It is with these changes in driver awareness, education and attitude in mind that we, here at Adrian Flux are proud to have sponsored the CarKraft initiative for a number of years, providing insurance cover for all of the cars and users whilst under tuition at the test centre.
Statistically, 1 in 5 new drivers – regardless of age – will have an accident within 6 months of passing their test (Source; brake.org.uk). However, with the education and insight that it provides, Adrian Flux are happy to place a markedly increased confidence in the skills of new drivers who have completed this course.
In fact, so much so, that all drivers that complete the CarKraft initiative are entitled to a £50 voucher, that can be redeemed against any car insurance policy at Adrian Flux.
For more information on the exceptional courses on offer, please go to www.carkraft.info or call 01604 346606.
Adrian Flux offer great rates for new drivers insurance with discounts available for a range of advanced driving qualifications. We also offer special learner driver insurance for those who want a bit more practice before their test. Call 0800 369 8590 for a no-obligation quote.
Cars are becoming increasingly more economical. With the price at the pumps soaring to record highs, a more fuel-efficient car is desirable. Low CO2 emissions also mean lower road tax, and better still free road tax with tax band A cars. Adrian Flux Insurance Services give the low down on some of the most economical cars that will make other drivers ‘green’ with envy, especially as they all qualify for free road tax.
- Smart Fortwo cdi – 86g/km CO2
Probably the most economical car on the market in Britain, the Smart Fortwo cdi diesel, averages an incredible 85.6mpg and super-low CO2 emissions of 86g/km. The downside is it only seats two and it is not the fastest or most attractive car on sale. But if economy is what you’re after it definitely tops the list.
- Toyota Prius T3 – 89g/km
The Toyota Prius T3 is the third-generation of the Prius eco petrol-electric hybrid car. The Prius T3 averages 72.4mpg and emits just 89g/km CO2. The Prius is not only more aesthetically pleasing than the Smart car but also has a more spacious interior. Worth losing some mpg and adding 3g/km Co2?….. Perhaps.
- Toyota Auris Hybrid – 89g/km
The Toyota Auris HSD Hybrid is a British-built alternative to the Toyota Prius. This petrol-electric hybrid has a 136bhp 1.8-litre petrol engine that combines with a hybrid battery pack. It averages 74.3mpg and has CO2 emissions of just 89g/km.
- Skoda Fabia Greenline – 89g/km
The Skoda Fabia Greenline averages 83.1mpg and emits only 89g/km CO2. With five seats and five doors it may be worth trading in 2.5mpg on the Smart car for an economical family car and better looks.
- Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion – 91g/km
Volkswagen’s Polo 1.2 TDi Bluemotion utilizes the same TDi diesel engine as the Skoda. It’s not quite as economical, but 80.7mpg and 91g/km CO2 is nothing to be sniffed at.
- SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive – 92g/km
The SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive has the same 80.7mpg as the VW and is overall very similar, apart from an extra 1g/km CO2 emissions. The 1.2 TDI CR Ecomotive S has an engine capacity of 1199 and 74bhp. It can go from 0-62mph in 13.9 seconds.
- Lexus CT 200h – 94g/km
The petrol-electric hybrid, Lexus CT 200h is both stylish to look at and economical. It has an average fuel economy of 69mpg and emits just 94g/km CO2.
- Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi 95 Stop/Start – 94g/km
The Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi 95 supermini has a 95bhp, 1.3-litre diesel engine. It produces just 94g/km CO2 emissions and has an average fuel economy of 80.7mpg.
- Fiat 500 0.9 TwinAir – 95g/km
The Fiat 500 0.9 TwinAir has a two-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. Driven with care it rewards you with 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of just 95g/km.
- Fiat Punto Evo 1.3 MultiJet 85 Eco – 95g/km
The 1.3-litre Fiat Punto Evo MultiJet turbodiesel can average over 78mpg, which makes it the most fuel-efficient Punto to date. CO2 emissions have also been reduced down to 95g/km.
There’s nothing worse than a long journey in a car that whiffs. Adrian Flux Insurance Services like to keep things fresh, so the team have brought together a guide to car air fresheners.
There appears to be a car air freshener in any shape or scent imaginable, so there really is no excuse for a smelly motor…. although it’s best to keep the interior of the car clean and locate the source of the pong. You can even get fresheners that smell like the scent of a new car.
The traditional car air fresheners hang down from the rear view mirror. There are versions of these on the market, including car-shaped air fresheners from Haynes, depicting various models, including this VW Beetle one available from Halfords. For the really traditional look there’s the classic magic tree air freshener, available to purchase from a number of garages and retailers, including Amazon.co.uk. The shapes available range from feet to football team emblems. Even Jelly Bean (www.jellybelly-uk.com) have brought out a range.
Another type of air freshener, known as vent sticks, clip onto your car’s air vents discreetly to deliver a more subtle way to keep your car fresh-fragranced. Like these Carplan odour eliminating pink lily and grapefruit vent sticks, £2.49 from Halfords (www.halfords.com).
Also available on the market is spray air freshener specifically designed for use in a car. There are a number available including these from Richbrook (www.richbrook.co.uk). Richbrook manufacturer Ford and Vauxhall branded pump air fresheners, as well as a general spray, all designed to give off the new car fragrance, without having to have an air freshener on show. Using these kinds of air fresheners enables you to use them just when they are required, which also makes them last longer.
Other Flux favourite fresheners include Richbrook’s refillable air fresheners, depicting MG, Vauxhall or Ford logos, which stick to dash board. Some of the teams film buffs also like those depicting favourite film characters, such as this Dr Who Dalek one available from Amazon.co.uk.
Driving in Europe can be a great pleasure – especially on some of the less crowded roads, such as through central and Southern Spain. On the other hand, for inexperienced drivers heading for, say, the Paris Périphérique or Central Barcelona, it can be a harrowing experience.
Here the experts at Adrian Flux Insurance Services give a few pieces of sage advice about how to get the most out of driving in Europe.
The key thing is: plan ahead. Obviously you’ll need maps, even if only as back-up to the Sat Nav, and there are plenty of sites to buy them online, such as Drive Alive. It’s a good idea to have paper versions of your planned routes, too, using one of the many services available. One of the Flux team’s favourites for European routes is ViaMichelin.
If you are driving your own car abroad, check you have what you need in terms of emergency triangles, first aid kits, spare bulbs, headlamp beam adjusters, hi vis jackets, GB stickers, a Green Card, and so on. Regulations vary from country to country. There are plenty of sites giving advice, including the AA and RAC, both of whom offer kits for those travelling abroad. There are also lots of sites selling essential legal items individually, so if you already have a triangle (or two) you don’t need to buy another as part of a package. Try Auto Bulbs Direct for starters.
Make sure you tell your insurance company or broker you are taking the car abroad. Most insurers include some driving abroad as part of the policy, assuming it’s for pleasure, for a limited time and in permitted countries. You need to tell them where you’ll be visiting so they can check your cover. They can also give you information about your Green Card.
If you’re not used to driving on the right, take extra care and give yourself time to get acclimatised. Pay special attention when overtaking or driving on narrow lanes, as your spatial awareness needs to adjust. Hazards like roundabouts take a while to get used to. The Foreign Office site has some useful tips on driving abroad.
These days many people will buy Sat Navs to help them navigate on the continent. Make sure the model you select has maps for the countries you plan to visit – often two similarly-named units will cover either the UK only or all of Western Europe, for example. Also, don’t assume that, because it’s new, it will have the latest maps on it. Many manufacturers offer a free map update within a specified period of purchase, so make sure you take the time to log on to a computer to do it before you set off. SatNav Expert offers price comparisons on many of the most popular models.
Parents experience some trepidation when piling children into the car for a journey of any length – children quickly get bored, and long trips especially can deteriorate into a miserable, bad-tempered experience – unless you do a certain amount of forward planning.
In these days of iPods, iPads and hand-held gaming consoles things have got a lot easier but sometimes you can’t beat good old-school games to get the family chatting and laughing while the miles tick away. Here Adrian Flux Insurance Services looks at the top ten games that have stood the test of time.
Friend or Foe is probably the most common and the most irritating game. It’s where children wave at people in passing cars and if they wave back they are a friend, and if they don’t, they are foe.
When I went to the Car Boot Sale is a variation on the old ,when I went to market’ game. The game weeds out those with a poor memory. The first player says “when I went to the car boot I picked up an aardvark, the second player then repeats this and adds another item and so on. If you forget an item, you’re out.
Link Words is a category game. Once a category is chosen, such as footballers, the first player says a name, for example ‘Lampard’ and the next player has to think of a footballer that starts with the last letter of that name, so they could say ‘Defoe’, then the next ‘Earnshaw’ and so on.Terrace Chants is a useful reference site to settle arguments.
I Spy is one of the simplest games around and known by all. Someone starts off by choosing an object and saying, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with ….”, the others then have to guess the object. You do need to choose an object that can be seen at all times to avoid a huge shouting match.
Treasure Hunt needs some preparation by making a list of things to be seen on your journey that can be ticked off as they are spotted along the way. If you can’t be bothered putting together a list, then I-Spy Books, which were first published in 1948, and have recently returned to the shelves provide a ready-made alternative. There are now 37 titles in print that also cover holiday activities such as On the Seashore as well as On a Road Trip.
Rock Paper Scissors, a game for two players, is another old favourite that doesn’t need any preparation or any special equipment, just a couple of players, each with a free hand. There is even a Rock Paper Scissors Society that has tips on how to win. For anyone who doesn’t know how to play this game of bluff and skill, the UK Rock Paper Scissors Championships website has some simple rules.
Silence of the Lambs is usually a short game which, unlike the film of the same name doesn’t involve cannibalism. Simply offer a treat as a prize for whoever can stay quiet the longest. It might be advisable to put a minimum time requirement on this one, or else you will need a humungous bag of treats!
Who am I couldn’t be easier. One member of the family thinks of a well-known person and the others have to guess who it is by asking up to 20 questions.
Fizz Buzz is the age-old numbers game, deceptively simple but fiendishly difficult. This one is especially popular with maths freaks as it requires a working knowledge of your multiplication tables. Players start counting from one and on every multiple of five say fizz and of seven say buzz. When someone makes a mistake they are out. Details of the rules can be found on Classic Games and Puzzles.
Number Plate Bingo requires some Bingo Cards. Players look out of the window and cross off the numbers on their cards. Double figures require seeing that sequence of numbers. The winner is the first one to complete their card.
How did these people know where to start looking?
…at least they don’t fear their car being stolen!
Slamming your brakes on with a snow laden roof is not advisable…
Lets hand it to ourselves though, this image shows the extent of our snow fall. There is not one green patch! No wonder insurance claims shot up by 70%!
All of the environmental advantages of taking the bus to work are negated by two things:
First, hundreds of freeloading pensioners, who ‘need’ to get their shopping at rush hour, taking all of the seats.
Second, drivers like these:
Norwich Union sorry, Aviva* have announced that they are pulling the plug on their Pay As You Drive Car Insurance product, after disappointing sales and low take up of their tracking technology.
The idea behind PAYD is that you install some GPS telemetry gubbins in your car, so that Norwich Union can track where you go, when you go and how you get there, and in return they charge you a variable rate per hour of between 5p a mile and £1 a mile, depending on whether you’re on a leisurely drive through the Cotswolds at noon or caning it through Brixton at midnight.
The problems with this are manifold. Do you really want your insurer to know how fast you are driving on every occasion, where you go to regularly? Privacy is a major concern for many people with any kind of pay as you drive mechanism, and who is to say what NU would use the info for, or even if they’ll sell it to the highest bidder?
Even Norwich Union’s own marketing spiel could only come out with a statistic as underwhelming as this :
“24% of “Pay As You Drive”™ Pilot customers would have saved up to 30% compared to a standard Norwich Union Motor Insurance premium”
I’m not sure if that means that 76% were worse off, or no better off for choosing PAYD, but in any case you would expect bigger savings than this from the hot air they spouted when they launched the product.
In any case, ans as we previously pointed out, a limited mileage policy is a better, lower tech solution for most young drivers, and offers the added advantage of a set monthly bill, so no sudden stings or big fluctuations when you have to travel more than in an average month (like many students travelling long distances a couple of times per term.) What’s more, in many cases the savings with a limited mileage policy can be quite substantial, and you don’t have to worry about fitting an ugly black box to your pride and joy. (Hmm. I wonder if you have to declare a telematics unit as a modification.)
Despite Aviva’s attempt to spin this failure as a result of fears of a surveillance society, I think the real problem is that the product was quite gimmicky and did not in fact offer drivers an attractive way of using their cars, and so it was doomed to failure.
The 10,000 policyholders are now being substituted onto other policies, which means in a week or two we will be seeing uproar on the forums as someone gets stung for a massive premium increase. Oh dear.
*(incidentally, we told you that piece of news aaaages ago – before they did, in fact)