Dec 112017
 

Somehow, we are nearing the end of the year and the festive season is upon us yet again.

John Lewis has released its Christmas advert extravaganza, which today symbolises the official start to festive preparations.

However, buying gifts for picky loved ones can sometimes make this wonderful time of year feel less than magical. To help take the stress out of your Christmas shopping this year, Warranty Direct’s elves have put together a motoring gift guide for all the petrol heads on Santa’s nice list…

BEST FOR…A STOCKING FILLER

 

Classic Top Trumps – Sports Cars

If they love their fast cars, then this game is for them. With facts about legendary models on every card, this game’s a great way to discover a few new facts while lusting after your dream cars. Don’t worry though – you don’t need to be a car lover to enjoy playing along.

£6.20 from Tesco

BEST FOR…THE INNER CHILD

 

Build your own V8 engine

 This model of a working V8 engine will keep any motoring enthusiast or budding engineer busy, with over 250 parts to assemble. Once put together it runs with illuminated spark plugs and plays V8 engine noise. If they can’t have the real thing, this won’t satisfy the longing completely – but it may keep them quiet for a while.

£49.99 from Amazon

BEST FOR…MUSIC LOVERS

 

Pure Highway 600 In-Car Digital Radio Adapter with Handsfree Calling

Help make a music lover’s commute their favourite time of day through the gift of digital radio. Digital radio can be better quality than FM with access to a much broader range of stations. The adapter sits on the dashboard of your car without changing its interior cosmetics, has no messy wires and is compatible with any car with an FM Radio. This version comes with easy music streaming and hands-free calling with a DAB adapter too.

£149 from Halfords.com

BEST FOR… the CAUTIOUS DRIVER

 

Nextbase 412gw dashcam

Give the gift of peace of mind to a motoring friend this Christmas, with a dashcam. A dashcam records your journey continuously. This can come in handy if you run into any unfortunate incidents in the future, as you can also share footage with police or insurance companies if needed.

£129 at Halfords.com

BEST GIFT FOR… THRILL SEEKERS

 

Hot Drives & Rides Experience Day

Do you know a motoring enthusiast, for whom normal roads just don’t cut it? Give your thrill seeker friend a day to remember with a driving experience day. With this option from Getting Personal, you can choose from either a fast track ride with a professional, rally driving and off-roading – so you’re not short of options, even for the fussiest of friends and family members.

£39.99 from getting personal

BEST FOR…THE DEDICATED

 

Motoring t-shirt

This one is for the true car fans. You have to be a certain type of motoring enthusiast to want to work themed clothing. However, if your motoring friend or relative loves their cars a little too much, Petrol Threads should provide you with plenty of clothing options – so head over and pick out a something with their favourite model on to leave under the tree.

T-shirts from Petrol Threads

BEST FOR…THE SERIOUS DRIVER

 

Leather driving gloves

A throwback to a golden age, for those who still appreciate the fine art of driving, a sturdy pair of driving gloves could be the perfect gift to open this year. Also great for colder months, this pair from Aspinals of London is made from fine Nappa leather and come in two colours.

£95 from Aspinals of London

BEST FOR…THE PERFECTIONIST

 

Black & Decker dustbuster® Flexi® Car Vacuum

While this may not seem like the most exciting of gifts, for the right person this may  (secretly, perhaps) be their favourite present from Father Christmas. This useful hand-held vacuum will keep your prized position looking its best. The extendable hose and long crevice tool allow you to get into those hard to reach areas – a perfectionist’s Christmas wish come true.

£53.00 from Currys

Aug 272016
 

New research for Kwik Fit, the UK’s largest automotive servicing and repair company, has revealed that the average driver knows only 79% of UK road sign meanings, with one in five road signs a mystery.

For two in five drivers, not being able to understand a sign or being confused over its meaning has led to problems on the road. The most common mistakes due to misinterpreting road signs are breaking the speed limit (16%), braking suddenly (15%) and having to slow down, causing traffic to build up (9%).

Perhaps recognising the gaps in their knowledge, the majority of drivers believe that the driving theory and hazard perception tests should be retaken throughout people’s motoring lives, with more than half (53%) thinking it should be repeated at least once every twenty years.

When researchers for Kwik Fit tested drivers on some specific UK roads signs and road markings, some significant gaps in their knowledge were revealed.  Only one in ten drivers correctly identified the central white line markings which indicate a hazard ahead.  In direct contrast to their true meaning, the vast majority (66%) believed that this line meant normal road conditions.

A circular white sign with a red border is worryingly unfamiliar to the majority of drivers, as only a quarter (27%) know that this means “all vehicles prohibited expect bicycles being pushed by pedestrians”. More than this number (30%) of drivers think it signifies a “red route – no waiting” while a further third (33%) admitted to not knowing.

While a white “C” on a red circle should be familiar to drivers in the capital, one in four Londoners (22%) don’t recognise this as signifying a congestion charging zone.  In fact, 6% of Londoners think it means “caution children ahead” with 4% believing it marks a charging point for electric vehicles. Those drivers from outside London should take care if they are making a trip to the capital, as more than a third (34%) could not correctly identify the road sign, and so could find themselves risking a penalty fine.

Signs giving indications of speed caused confusion for a surprising number of drivers. Kwik Fit found that almost one in five drivers (19%) were flummoxed by the meaning of a white circle with a black diagonal bar.  5% thought this meant a 70 mph limit applied, 4% thought 60mph applied while 7% thought it meant no speed restrictions, something which doesn’t apply on any public road in the UK. The correct meaning is “national speed limit applies”.

As well as maximum speeds causing confusion, drivers are also in danger of being caught out by minimum speeds signs.  A white 30 on a blue circle with a red diagonal line through it indicates the end of a 30mph minimum speed zone, something that could be identified by just one in four (25%) of drivers.

Two-thirds (68%) of UK adults believe that drivers should have to re-take the driving theory and hazard perception tests, with an average gap of every 15 years. Those who do currently drive would leave a longer period between tests, on average every 16.5 years, while non-drivers believe motorists should be retested every 11 years

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, says: “The findings show that although many of us think we are good drivers, we are ready to accept that we don’t know the meanings of all road signs. Our research showed that some surprising results, and indicated that there are some clear instructions and safety warnings which drivers are not picking up on when out on the road.

“While people can’t be expected to voluntarily retake their test, it would be a good idea for even those of us who have been driving a long time to make sure we really do know the correct meaning of road signs and markings.”

Answers to the signs above are as follows:

A – Warning of ‘Give Way’ just ahead

B – No Entry

C – Level Crossing without barrier

D – National Speed Limit applies

E – Hazard Warning Line

F – Side winds warning             

G – End of minimum speed limit

H – Congestion Charge Zone just ahead

I –  No vehicles except bicycles being pushed

J – Country Park attraction