Aug 232018
 

Driving LawsIt’s been over a year since the new laws for speeding and mobile phone use behind the wheel were introduced, but have they really made a difference?

Leading car warranty provider, Warranty Direct has analysed Department of Justice data from over the past five years, to reveal what impact the new laws have had on the driving behaviours of the general public.

While it might seem extreme that driving laws are becoming increasingly stricter, research has shown how important it is for laws to be in place to prevent reckless driving.

Road safety site, Think, found you’re 4 times more likely to be in a crash if you’re using a mobile phone while driving, and also 4 times more likely to crash while travelling at 40mph than 30mph.

With alarming statistics on the rise, March 2017, saw higher fines issued to people caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel. Punishments were doubled from three points to six points on your licence and a fine of £200 up from £100.

Laws against speeding were also updated on 24 April 2017. Fines increased from a minimum of £100 to up to 150% of a person’s weekly wage. You could also expect to receive up to 6 points on your licence, depending on how much over the speed limit you are caught driving.

To find out how successful these new laws have been at reducing dangerous activity behind the wheel, Warranty Direct compared the number of fines issued before and after the updates were introduced.

The tables below show the number of fines issued from May to December 2017, compared with the number of fines issued in the same period in previous years.

Date range Quantity of fines for speeding
May- Dec 2013 75428
May- Dec 2014 101823
May- Dec 2015 111067
May- Dec 2016 110863
May- Dec 2017 101654

The number of speeding fines issued annually between 2013-2015 increased up to 68%. Although there was a slight reduction in 2016, after the new fines were introduced, not only did the number of fines continue to decrease but they dropped by 8.5%.

2017 data recorded the lowest number of fines for 4 years, and if this drop continues next year, the number issued for speeding will drop below 100,000 for the first time since 2013 (to 93,000).

Date range Quantity of fines for mobile usage
Mar- Dec 2013 14974
Mar- Dec 2014 14970
Mar- Dec 2015 14027
Mar- Dec 2016 11052
Mar- Dec 2017 6175

Fines for using a mobile phone while driving decreased even more dramatically. The number issued dropped 44% in 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, and by 59% compared to 5 years prior in 2013.

It’s clear from this steep decline, drivers have taken note of the updated punishments for breaking the latest driving laws and being more cautious on the roads.

Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct commented on the findings:

“It’s great to see these updated driving laws have had a significant, positive impact on driving behaviours, in such a short space of time.

“I don’t believe it’s just the increased financial penalties influencing people’s driving behaviour either, as motoring authorities have increased their efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of unsafe driving.

“We fully support any new measures which make our roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians. I believe more motorists are truly beginning to understand the consequences of speeding and using their mobile phones at the wheel.

Jun 222018
 

 

With environmental concerns at the forefront of news stories, documentaries and media campaigns, it’s not surprising many people are now considering whether to ‘go green’ with their next vehicle.

However, if you have your eye on a certain non-eco model or are in the market for a higher performance vehicle, there are still ways you can be economical and as environmentally friendly as possible. Once you have a shortlist, make sure you check out the Reliability Index to compare models.

Here are Warranty Direct’s tips on how to make sure you’re efficient, without sacrificing the enjoyment of driving a performance vehicle.

What are you looking for?

Whether price, fuel efficiency, practicality or enjoyment is your priority when buying a car, you need to weigh up your options and see which vehicle matches your lifestyle.

If you are mainly going to be using the car for city driving, which doesn’t require high speeds or fast acceleration, look at smaller vehicles with an engine size of around 1L. This will not only be a practical size for urban driving, it should work out to be more economical than a larger engine.

If a small engine is constantly used at high speed, it’ll need to work much harder than a large engine to keep the car moving at 70mph. This will increase fuel consumption and could lead to greater long-term wear and tear as the engine’s components are put under strain.

So, if you do a lot of long distance or motorway driving, choose a car with a larger engine, which provides a good mpg.

Eco-driving

If you can’t help but go for a high-performance or sports car, there are still ways you can limit your fuel consumption to save money and cut pollution.

Get your car serviced regularly to make sure it’s running well and always use the right specification of engine oil, which you will find in your handbook. Check your tyre pressures at least once a month and before any long journeys, as under-inflated tyres will cause your car to use more fuel to overcome the added resistance.

Driving smoothly, accelerating gently and reading the road ahead to avoid breaking unnecessarily will all reduce fuel consumption. Stick to the speed limit, as not only is speeding dangerous it also uses more fuel.

Technological advances

Due to advances in engine technology, some of today’s smaller engines are able to produce more power than some bigger, older engines due to turbocharging. When looking at buying a new car, research into models such as Suzuki’s BoosterJet or Ford’s EcoBoost, where there is little or no sacrifice in power or style.

Some manufacturers now include a ‘sports’ mode or a ‘4WD’ mode in their cars. This means you can have all the fun of a high-performance car when you want it, but the practicality of a more economic drive for everyday use.

It’s all about the extras

Many cars now incorporate eco features, so you can get the style of car you want, but with the benefits of efficiency too. For instance, some modern cars now have LED head-lights and can even incorporate emissions sensors to help keep our air clean.

Extras which aim to improve your in-car experience can also help to improve driving economy. Many cars – even on the more affordable end – now come with cruise control and using this will not only give you a more comfortable ride, it could even save you up to six percent in fuel costs during motorway driving.

For extra savings, adaptive cruise control will speed up or slow down based on the position of cars in front. It uses either a radar or camera system to track the vehicles ahead and adjusts speed accordingly, alleviating the need for sharp braking and accelerating.

Warranty Direct is a trading style of BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. BNP Paribas Cardif Limited is a company, registered in England and Wales No. 3233010 at Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 2XX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Register No.309075.

 

Jun 222018
 

For many, going on holiday means hopping on a plane and jetting off to the sunshine.

However, with regular ferries and the Channel Tunnel, it’s never been easier to escape the UK by car. If you need some extra convincing, Warranty Direct has put together eight fool-proof reasons why driving is better than flying…

1. Take charge

If the thought of flying makes your palms sweaty, forget the plane; sit back and enjoy the feeling of being behind the wheel in your own car.

Many phobias of flying stem from the fear of not being in control, so keeping your feet firmly on the pedals could be the best choice if being air bound is not your favourite pastime.

2. Forget baggage allowances

Driving allows you a lot more flexibility with luggage, so load up the boot and be on your way.

Just make sure you’re within the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) or Maximum Permitted Weight (MPW) for your car, which can be found in your handbook. Always load responsibly, with heavier items at the bottom for added stability.

3. It’s all about the food

While in recent years plane food may have improved, it’s still not going to be your first-choice cuisine.

When driving, not only can you stock up on your favourite snacks, you could even stop at some gastronomically fantastic cafes or restaurants. Check sites such as Trip Adviser before you leave, so you won’t be disappointed.

4. You can have ‘fun stops’

You can also visit sights on your journey. Plan your route and put in some cities or attractions you’ve always wanted to see to make travelling part of the holiday. This is also a great way to keep kids entertained along the way!

However, with driving you run the risk of the less-fun stops; breakdowns. To get you on the road again as quickly as possible, make sure you’re covered in case of emergencies.

5. You can control the temperature

One of the worst things about being on a plane is temperature control. Sure, you have an individual air vent, but there’s very little you can do if you find yourself too hot or too cold.

In your own temperature-controlled car, you get to be in charge of the in-car environment. That is until the children have their way with the dial.

6. Think about the children

Flights with children can be stressful. With the extra baggage, the early morning start and the queue for security, you may find yourself needing a holiday before you’ve even taken off.

When driving, you can avoid airport queues, stop whenever is needed and even put children in the car in pyjamas, so they continue to sleep while en route.

7. Your wallet will thank you

Plane tickets can be pricey, even short-haul ones. If you calculate the cost of flights for the whole family, the price can quickly mount up.

Driving can often work out much better economically, even when accounting for fuel, ferry or channel crossing costs. If you have a car full of friends you can split the fuel costs, which will make the journey even more affordable and potentially a lot more fun.

8. Leave no one behind

If you’re a pet owner, you will know the pain of leaving your furry friend behind and also the hassle of finding a good quality pet sitter, kennel or cattery while you’re away.

If you’re driving, it’s easy to make your pet part of your holiday. Install either a pet seatbelt to clip into your car or a travel cage in the boot, as a loose pet could be distracting for a driver. If you’re going abroad, pets will still need passports, so make sure you’re covered.

Warranty Direct is a trading style of BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. BNP Paribas Cardif Limited is a company, registered in England and Wales No. 3233010 at Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 2XX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Register No.309075.