Nov 192018
 

Even for confident and experienced drivers, fog can be one of the most daunting (and dangerous!) weather conditions to drive in. With limited visibility, it’s vital that you’re prepared in order to keep you and those you’re sharing the road with safe.

While standard rules of the road of course apply, these 10 tips will help you navigate even extremely dense fog to avoid an accident.

  1. Leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you. While it’s always important to keep a bit of distance, amid fog, it’s an absolute must. We recommend allowing 3-4 seconds between your car and the car in front of you, giving yourself extra time to brake.
  2. Look and listen. When visibility is low, use your sense of hearing in addition to sight. For example, at a foggy junction, roll down your window to listen to traffic. With this in mind, it’s also wise to turn down – or even turn off – your radio to allow you to focus your attention completely on the road.
  3. Turn your headlights on. This should go without saying. Make sure you turn on your headlights or your fog-lights if visibility is reduced to 100 metres. Also, bear in mind that automatic lights might not turn on in foggy conditions and you can’t rely on them all the time.
  4. Use windshield wipers and defrosters. Foggy conditions often go hand-in-hand with cold or damp conditions and a build-up of moisture and ice can create a glare, making it even more difficult to see. Use your defroster and windshield wipers to make your view of the road as clear as possible.
  5. Slow down! It can be extremely dangerous to drive the speed limit or faster when it’s foggy. Slow down to allow extra time to react to potentially hazardous situations. This will also help enable others on the road to drive more safely.
  6. Don’t use the taillights from the vehicle in front of you as a guide. This is an easy trap to fall in to but using the taillights from the vehicle in front of you could give you a false sense of security. It also acts as a distraction, limiting your awareness of the road and landscape in front of you.
  7. Be aware of the car behind you. Constantly check your mirrors so that you know how close the car behind you is and brake accordingly. If the car behind you is following too closely, resist the urge to speed off. Without being able to see very far ahead, you run the risk of causing an accident. Stick with a safe speed, even if the driver behind you doesn’t seem to want to.
  8. Expect delays. As is the case with other unfavourable weather conditions, fog could cause delays. Wait patiently and don’t attempt to ‘make up time’ by speeding.
  9. Minimise distractions. You should never attempt to multi-task when driving in foggy conditions. Put your phone away, keep conversations with passengers to a minimum, and give your full attention to the road in front of you.
  10. Don’t be afraid to pull over. Only you can determine how comfortable you feel and, if you don’t feel right about being on the road, pull over! But, make sure you pull as far off the road as possible and turn on your hazard lights. Remember that everyone on the road is struggling to see, so make sure you’re well out of the way and do your best to make sure other drivers know where you are. If possible, pull into a service station or car park.

 

Oct 162018
 

Warranty Direct used the latest data from GlobalPetrolPrices to compare different global fuel costs and calculate how far you would travel on a series of iconic car journeys around the world on twenty pounds’ worth of petrol.

As announced earlier in July, these are the top five most expensive and cheapest petrol rates around the world:

Bottom 5 least expensive countries Cost per litre ($) Top 5 most expensive countries Cost per litre ($)
Venezuela 0.01 Hong Kong 2.20
Iran 0.29 Norway 2.08
Sudan 0.34 Iceland 1.98
Kuwait 0.35 Netherlands 1.95
Algeria 0.35 Greece 1.94

While not in the top five most expensive countries, it’s still bad news for the UK. Our rates came in the bottom 15% of the study (129th) with petrol costing $1.71 per litre.

As a result, drivers taking on one of the country’s most famous routes – Land’s End to John o’ Groats – using UK fuel rates, wouldn’t even make it a fifth of the journey (16%) on a £20 tank of fuel. The total cost of the journey would cost £122 to complete.

US and UK global petrol rates rankings, compared with the rest of the world:

Global Ranking Country Cost per litre ($)
36 United States 0.85
129 United Kingdom 1.71

Comparatively, US drivers taking the route from Cornwall to Scotland could complete the journey on just £61 worth of fuel, if using the US fuel rate ($0.85 per litre).

The USA performed well in the study, with petrol prices appearing in the top quarter cheapest in the world (36th). US drivers pay less than a quarter of the fuel tax their UK counterparts pay, meaning they benefit from much lower prices.

US drivers could even drive the famous US Route 50 (3,017 miles) on just £205 worth of fuel. To put this into perspective, driving the same route on UK petrol prices would cost more than double (£422).

Hong Kong posts the highest global fuel prices, with a litre of petrol costing $2.20, which is over 200 times as much as it costs in Venezuela (the cheapest country). This means a driver from Hong Kong would need to spend £157 to make the 874-mile journey from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.

European countries dominate the top 5 most expensive petrol prices, with Norway, Iceland the Netherlands and Greece taking spots 2-5 respectively.

Norway posts the second most expensive fuel prices in the world – $2.08 per litre – with high tax levies to blame for Europe’s extreme petrol prices. In fact, £20 would only enable Norwegian drivers to complete 13% of the Land’s End to John o’ Groats route.

Native drivers taking on an equivalent iconic route in Norway – Trondheim to Sandefjord – would also only make it 39% of the distance on £20 of fuel.

Venezuela keeps fuel prices drastically low due to government regulation, meaning prices haven’t changed since 1997.

Such low rates could see you complete the Land’s End to John o’ Groats journey on just 72p and the longest drivable distance on Earth (from Sagres, Portugal to Khasan, Russia) on just £10 worth of fuel, and still have over a quarter of a tank left.

The contrast between the cheapest and most expensive countries is further emphasised when you consider a trip to the moon. On £1,000 worth of fuel, a driver from Hong Kong would only make it 2% of the way to the moon, whereas a Venezuelan driver would make 511% of the journey.

Warranty Direct also completed an analysis of several other well-known routes including; the Karakoram Highway, the longest drivable distance on Earth and Argentina’s Ruta.

See how other countries compared here (link to infographic)

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

“The results of our latest data analysis are really interesting and the driving routes help to visualise the size of the gap in fuel prices across the world. Although most people wouldn’t drive these journeys in one go, they go to show how much the price gap can add up”.

Sep 042018
 

Essential Driving AppsBeing able to drive is one of life’s luxuries, but, it can also bring with it a host of frustrations. There’s parking, fuel costs and car maintenance to consider (as well as the initial stress of selecting the right vehicle for you at the start.)

However, with the rise of driving apps, motorists can now enjoy additional car add-ons, without the hefty price tags.

Here, Warranty Direct shares some of the best apps to take some of the stress out of your daily drive.

Triumph over traffic

There’s nothing worse than having your morning commute to work ruined by stand-still traffic.

This is where your trusty sat-nav can come in useful, as it helps plan the best and quickest route to your chosen destination. It can also work out the best alternative route, if you find yourself stuck in a bit of a jam.

There are apps available to assist too, such as Waze. All you need to do is log the journey and destination before you start driving and, voila, a less time-consuming travel experience should await!

You can use maps on your iPhone or Android to stay up-to-date with the latest traffic conditions as well, but make sure your phone is set up as hands-free, to avoid any safety issues on the roads.

Stay on track

As most drivers know only too well, keeping a car on the road can be costly. There’s car maintenance, fuel costs, insurance and tax to think about.

There’s a lot to consider, but luckily car management apps can help put you on the right course. Drivvo is designed to help you manage the cost of fuel consumption, car maintenance expenses and service costs.

It also has an innovative feature which allows you to check fuel prices at stations nearby.

Park your troubles

Research on the cost of parking in the UK found the average motorist spends almost £2000 a year on parking. Thankfully, apps such as JustPark help motorists find a solution to this costly problem.

From work journeys to weekend trips, JustPark can provide you with directions to car parks and on-street spaces, plus information on availability and restrictions.

It also offers 20,000+ reservable locations, so you can book parking in advance too.

With the average Brit spending an estimated four days every year looking for parking spaces, this app could bring an end to hours of parking woes.

In a dash

According to a recent AA study, dashcam usage has rocketed from 1 to 15% in just four years.

One of the reasons behind this boom is because these small cameras (usually mounted on the dashboard or windscreen of your car) document crucial evidence that could protect you in the event of a car accident.

Not only does dashcam footage help in the event of an accident, but some insurers are offering motorists discounts on their car insurance premiums if they have a dashcam installed.

While the reliability of dashcam apps greatly depends on the quality of your smartphone, they can give drivers additional peace of mind.

Breaking it down

Sometimes it’s hard to know what condition the internal components of your car are in. Unless a fault happens, you won’t know and if it happens suddenly, it could take away your control over your vehicle.

Warranty Direct recently teamed up with Engie to help put control back in your hands with its diagnostic device.

By connecting its Bluetooth device to a car’s computer via the OBD2 port, it can transfer data such as daily vehicle diagnosis, journey data and more to the accompanying smart phone app.

In the event of a malfunction or an upcoming vehicle service, the Engie app can also help aggregate real time quotes from nearby mechanics as well; helping you save money during your vehicle ownership.

We believe the Engie device and app brings more control to vehicle owners and allows them to talk directly to their cars. As such, we’re offering an Engie device to new and renewing customers for FREE*.

*Subject to Warranty Direct and Engie terms and conditions. See warrantydirect.co.uk for further information.


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