Who is the man and woman with a van?

Vans are becoming more and more popular across the UK, with statistics by the government revealing that the number in operation increased by 3.2 per cent between June 2014 and June 2015 alone. This figure makes vans the UK’s fastest growing vehicle type during that period.
Ever wondered just who the typical man and woman who drive vans are though? The UK’s largest used commercial vehicle retailer Van Monster has attempted to find out by putting the question to van drivers themselves.

The results of the light-hearted survey can be found in the infographic below. Split into various age groups and genders, the visual reveals:

  • How satisfied drivers are with their commercial vehicle.
  • Whether they make use of their van other than for work purposes.
  • What they tend to listen to when behind the wheel of their van.
  • The average weekly spend of topping up their commercial vehicle’s fuel tank.
  • Which manufacturer they tend to choose their van from.

Find out all these details plus much more by viewing the graphic in full…

Van Monster - Man with a Van

Britain Votes to Leave EU – What now for the Car Industry?

We awoke this morning to the news that Britain had voted in favour of leaving the EU and following that came a tidal wave of uncertain members of the public calling for answers to the question: what now for car leasing and the automotive industry?

With all of the turmoil surrounding the event it seems the facts of what will happen next have been clouded and are even uncertain while the nation recovers. In the calm of the aftermath we have looked into how Brexit might affect the British car industry and the predictions industry officials have made for the future.

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Who is saying what?

Before the referendum took place reports were mixed about the future of the UK car industry, some claiming it would fail due to international manufacturers moving their plants out of the country, and others saying we’d have access to the global market which could increase our sales range and ultimately our profits.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has reacted to the result of the referendum, he said, “The British public has chosen a new future out of Europe. Government must now maintain economic stability and secure a deal with the EU which safeguards UK automotive interests.”

Previously, Mike Hawes had warned against us leaving the EU, claiming that, “We want this success to continue rather than jeopardise [the UK automotive industry] by increasing costs, making our trading relationships uncertain and creating new barriers to our single biggest and most important market, Europe. Remaining will allow the UK to retain the influence on which the unique and successful UK automotive sector depends.”

However, Mike said before that that “UK Automotive is globally competitive, securing record levels of investment…and exporting to over 100 countries,” which begs the question of why we need to retain EU custom at all costs if we can export to other international countries.

The SMMT conducted an internal survey of its members to find out whether they believe remaining in the EU would be best for their business. It was revealed that 77% believed that remaining in the EU would be best for business, with 14% undecided and 9% voting that leaving the EU would be best for business.

Obviously these figures are irrelevant to the current situation, but it does raise some questions about what safe-guards have been put in place so that Britain doesn’t lose a valuable sector of its custom.

What might it affect?

As Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, Nissan and Toyota all have factories in the UK providing over 800,000 jobs, it is critical that these companies don’t choose to leave Britain, as not only could it cause a ripple effect with other industries, but also it could leave us with fewer business options in the future, as well as a huge number of skilled workers unemployed.

Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, said “The British public has chosen a future out of the EU, and like most businesses, the fleet industry will need time to assess the ramifications of the referendum result.”

She also went on to say that, “for its part, the association will be working closely with UK and European policymakers to ensure that the exit process has a minimal impact on members and their customers. We remain confident that BVRLA members will adapt – after all, our sector is very experienced in dealing with challenge and change”. It seems then that industry leaders have different approaches to our new reality.

Other aspects of the industry that could be affected by UK exit from the EU are fuel prices and car insurance, namely, fuel is likely to go up and down along with the current instability and weakening of the pound against the dollar and car insurance policies further in the future may not cover driving your car in Europe. But, these things are pure speculation at this time and are merely aspects of Brexit to consider.

It would be extremely hasty to assume that anything good or bad has already come from the results of voting yesterday and the subsequent result of the referendum. Crucially, we as a nation must pull together in order to move forward and become strong independently, and that means doing our own research, forming our own opinions and not relying upon a handful of media bodies or public figures to scare or bully us.

Remember, we’re called Great Britain for a reason, so let’s live up to our name and make the most of the opportunity we have to build a solid future for generations to come.

Drink Driving Morning Motorists

Morning breath tests are catching out late-night revellers as, according to government departmental figures, approaching 6,000 people are stopped by the police and fail breathalyser tests in the UK each year – not, however, because of getting into their cars straight from a night out to go back home, but the morning after while still feeling the effects of their alcohol consumption from the night before.

breathalyserAlmost 750 drink driving-related road incidents occurred in 2013, so it seems that a lot of drivers, while taking great care to not drink and drive on their night out, are far less attentive or concerned when it comes to driving the next day.

These kinds of figures are surprising since Britain has come a long way in changing its attitudes to driving under the influence; a tough stance on drink driving law and a succession of sophisticated government campaigns have done wonders to bring about a cultural shift that has drink driving frowned upon throughout the country, and that has seen a huge fall in the number of alcohol-related road accidents over the last few decades.

In 1979, drink driving-related fatalities totalled 1,640. By 1989, that figure had dropped to 810, then 10 years later in 1999, there were a reported 460 deaths associated with drink driving. Recent years have seen those numbers drop even further, with an average of around 230 deaths each year.

This level of improvement in road safety is a far cry from many other countries, who have entirely failed to stem the tide of drink driving incidents – for example in the US, where, despite drink drive-related fatalities having halved since 1980, there are still in the region of 10,000 drink driving road deaths per year – an alarming statistic, indeed.

However, even among countries who have succeeded in making significant strides towards improved drink driving levels, Britain’s problem with hungover driving is still far from unique. Take Australia, where the Transport Accident Commission has identified Saturday mornings until 8am and Sunday mornings until 10am as “high alcohol times”.

Australia has seen a huge decline in drink driving incidents over the last two decades; close to 130 drivers/riders were killed while over the limit in 1987 compared with just over 40 in 2012. Yet it is noteworthy that still today one in four drivers/riders killed on Australia’s roads die with alcohol levels that register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05g/100ml. That’s above the current BAC limit in Scotland (also 0.05g/100ml), but lower than the 0.08g/100ml limit in England and Wales.

The reason behind the UK’s continuing issues with morning drink driving could be a case of people not caring, but that would be inconsistent with attitudes generally, so it seems more likely that people are not properly aware of the dangers of driving while still worse for wear. For example, research has shown that a third of UK drivers don’t know that only four pints or big glasses of wine in a single evening could cause you to be over the limit come the morning.

This is because on average the human body takes around an hour to process one unit of alcohol. A pint or large wine each can have around three units, so multiply that by handful of drinks, and suddenly your body could need a lot more than just a few hours to reach safe driving and legal driving levels.

With police continually looking to crack down on drink driving, and with England and Wales considering bringing down limits in the near future so that they are in line with Scotland’s breath alcohol and BAC limits, there is every reason for motorists to start taking greater care and ensure that, if they have been drinking the night before, they seek alternative methods of transport the morning after

Top 5 Places To Visit In Your Car

Summer may still be a way off, but this doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your holidays! Going abroad might not be for everyone though, as it can get pretty time-consuming and pricey. That’s why driving holidays are a great idea. You can simply get in your car and go, whether it’s for a 2 week driving trip or a weekend getaway. Check out some of our favourite driving destinations from around the UK.

Cornwall Beaches
Not only is Cornwall a gorgeous place to visit with plenty going on (such as theatres, gardens and museums), but the beaches are fantastic too. If you do happen to stop by any beaches, make sure you take a quick visit to Watergate Bay and Sennen Cove, as they’re two great spots to park up and go for a bit of surfing!

5rexfeatures874921aThe Lake District
Looking for a great drive with fantastic views? The Lake District definitely won’t disappoint. With wonderful driving routes and some of the best scenery and visitor attractions in the country, the District offers great days out for the entire family. Routes are 30-50 miles in length, so they can be driven in just a few hours. With plenty of exciting stops on the way, you and the family won’t get bored!

Glen Coe
Located in the Scottish Highlands, north of Argyll, Glen Coe was recently made famous as one of the main settings for the James Bond ‘Skyfall’ movie. With volcanic origins and breath-taking views, plenty of people now want to drive around where the Bond movie was filmed, to take in some of the extraordinary scenes and landscapes on offer to tourists.

Drive-in Theatre
Finding a drive-in movie or theatre near you is a great opportunity to go for a drive and have some fun one weekend. Drive-in movies work by parking up with other cars in front of a large projection screen. Some of them even serve snacks and have picnic tables or other forms of entertainment. Overall, they’re a great chance to catch the latest film release, cult classic or Shakespeare play.

Eurostar
Want to get out of the country without spending tonnes of cash for a plane ticket? The best way to do this is either by driving to Dover and hopping on a ferry, or by getting aboard the Eurostar. Not only will you get a fun drive down to the coast, but once you’re across the channel, you have the option of driving around some beautiful locations such as Brussels, Lille, Marseille and Paris.

And if you’re looking for a perfect car to take you away on your next driving trip, then you could always lease a car before the holiday season. Zero deposit car leasing is also available, so you can save cash and put it towards your next holiday!

Make the most out your car insurance

Insurance is a pain, expensive and not the most exciting thing to spend your time or money on! If you want to save, you’ve got to be smart. Car dealership Carspring was keen to share some small trips and tricks with Driving News on how to beat the car insurers. Here are 8 surprisingly easy ways to save your cash for the more exciting things in life.

1) Add more drivers to your insurance contract

Sounds strange, right? Although it does seem a bit odd, it can actually be a really good way of saving yourself a fortune. If you add a 2nd or 3rd driver, who is deemed to be low risk by the insurance companies, this can bring down the average risk on the vehicle. The insurance companies will assume that this responsible person will be driving the vehicle for at least some of the time, reducing the overall risk and therefore reducing your premium.

2) Pay for annual premiums upfront

This is all about the interest rate that the insurance companies charge you. Signing up to monthly installments when paying your premiums is exactly the same as when you pay monthly for a TV or a phone. You’re basically taking out a loan to cover the upfront cost. You can lower the amount you’re paying by taking out a loan with a lower interest rate and pay your premium in one. Or, alternatively, use the 0% interest period on a credit card, making the cost of borrowing completely free.

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Using a 0% interest period on a credit card can save you money…

3) Increase your excess, save on your premiums

There’s no doubt about it, this is a risk. However, it’s a risk that could very easily pay off depending on your circumstances. Although sometimes unexpected claims may come out of the blue, evaluating the risk yourself is key to ensuring you’re getting a good deal. If you don’t think you’re likely to claim, raise your excess. If you don’t claim, the chances are that you’ll save a considerable amount more from lower premiums than you’d have to pay out in an excess.

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Are you a careful driver?

4) Save by shopping around, then go direct

This is key. In order to get the best deal, you’ve got to see what the market has to offer. Price comparison websites have completely changed the way we shop for insurance. And, while they’re a good tool for finding the best rates, using them before shopping direct is a sure fire way of saving the most amount of money. This is because these sites often take a cut, or promote results that have been paid for by the insurance companies. Take your time. Do your research. Get the best deal.

5) Optimise your answers

When you’re filling in your insurance application you should think carefully about the way you answer every question. Each small variable can make a big difference when it comes to the way the insurance companies calculate risk. Being meticulous at this point will save you money. For example, lowering your mileage cap could be a good idea – especially if you have two cars and use one more than the other. Another way is picking your job title carefully, as this can also have a big affect on the perceived likelihood of you making a claim. For more information take a look at Money Saving Expert HERE.

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What you do for living can make a huge difference to your premium.

6) Save with basic cover

Insurance companies are nearly as good as low budget airlines at up-selling. This is where a little bit of consumer diligence can go a long way. A lot of the time you’ll be able to find a cheaper price on some of the options they offer you elsewhere by going to specialist suppliers in any given area. Think about what you want your insurance to cover and, again, how often you’ve claimed in the past, do you really need what they’re offering?

7) Opt for ‘black box’ cover and save

Fitting a black box to your vehicle is a way for insurance companies to gather accurate metrics about your driving habits, meaning they can give you a quote that’s accurately based on the way you drive. These boxes cost nothing to fit and use telemetrics to see how careful you are and what times of day you drive. If you’re a good driver, you’ll soon see big reductions on your premium. There’s no doubt about it, this is the future..

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Driving at the busiest times of day will cost you more…

8) Do everything you can to make your car secure

There are a lot of security steps you can take to reduce the amount you pay on your vehicle. Obvious (and free) steps such parking your car in secure parking, such a driveway or garage, should be your first priority. If this isn’t an option or you want to add that extra bit of security, further measures such as fitting an immobiliser, an alarm, or a tracking device can also reduce your premiums by as a much as 5%.