Costs of everyday items are rising and with the average cost of a vehicle in 12 months alone being £3,800 we give you some top tips on how to reduce these motoring costs – allowing you to pocket some cash! We show you how to save up to £1,000 a year by reducing your fuel costs, driving economically, shopping around for breakdown cover and considering the Tax & Insurance implications when looking for a new vehicle.
The car market has been up and down lately – with increases in new cars year on year. Used cars are by far the most cost effective solution to owning a vehicle nowadays, with Ford’s being the most popular used car to own by far in the UK – over 200,000 used cars sold in the last quarter on 2013. Our infographic below shows some of the best statistics from the used car market.
This year has been a real treat for all you fellow cars lovers out there! So many great models have been released, and guess what, we still have many to come throughout the remainder of 2014.
Take a look at our newest infographic below and feel free to share with your friends. Enjoy!
Remember, we buy any car whether it’s brand new or a complete write off.
New car technologies in the pipeline that you thought only existed in sci-fi
If you thought that ‘intelligent’ cars that make their own decisions and act of their own accord were things of the far distant future, only made real by sci-fi films then think again. These technologies could be a lot closer to reality then you ever dreamt they were!
Here are five of the most mind-blowing technologies that you could see in brand new vehicles in the not so distant future.
Cars that ‘talk’ to each other
Many car manufacturers are putting a lot of effort into researching technologies that will enable vehicles to communicate with other vehicles and objects around them in order to avoid accidents. Vehicles would be able to communicate their location, speed and direction to other vehicles in the vicinity so that even if you don’t spot another vehicle your car will be able to take evasive action to prevent a collision. As well as potentially being able to communicate with other vehicles, the technologies in question would also be able to receive information from road signs and traffic signals.
Augmented reality dashboards
Imagine if your car’s dashboard was able to tell you information about everything that you are seeing on the road. Perhaps your car would sense that you were too close to the vehicle in front and flash up a warning, or advise you on which lane you need to move into, all without you ever having to take your eyes off the road in front of you. Sounds too good to be true? Well you may not have to wait too long for this technology as many manufacturers including BMW are already working on making it a reality.
Did you know that the biggest cause of motoring accidents is people nodding off at the wheel or having a momentary lapse in concentration? Well there is technology in the pipeline that when installed in a vehicle will warn the driver and correct the vehicle’s path if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane. This technology would work by using sophisticated camera systems to read road markings and could also monitor the driver’s heartbeat to determine how awake or drowsy they are at any given time.
Solar panelled vehicle body panels
In the future cars may be able to produce some of their own energy using solar panelled body parts. The vehicle’s roof and side panels would be equipped with solar panels to produce energy efficient hybrid cars.
Self-driving cars may sound pretty far out there, but engineers from Google have already test-driven cars that are capable of driving themselves. Self-drive cars use a combination of lasers, cameras and radars in order to read road signs and traffic lights whilst communicating with and receiving information from other vehicles and objects on the road.
It’s amazing how quickly technology advances these days and many people believe we could see self-driving cars on the road within the next decade with many of these other technologies appearing even sooner.
In our last blog we looked at what to do if your car breaks down whilst you’re travelling on the motorway, but what should you do if you breakdown on a road that is not a motorway? This is a great question as in this instance the rules are slightly different, in this blog we’ll look at what steps you should take if you find yourself broken down on a normal road.
Survey the situation
Ask yourself whether it is safe to get out of the car? Is it safe to try to move the car off the road? Is the problem something you can easily fix yourself or do you need to call for help? If you feel that there is any risk of your car getting struck by another car then make sure that you carefully get all passengers out of the car and to safety, away from the road.
Use your warning triangle
If you have a warning triangle in your car then now is the time to use it! When it is safe to do so, place your warning triangle at a distance of about 45 metres (50 yards) behind your vehicle, make sure it is on the same side of the road.
If your car slows down rapidly and comes to stop in the middle of the road then you should switch on your hazard lights to warn other road users. If visibility is at all impaired or if it is dark outside then even if you manage to get your car to the side of the road you should leave your vehicle’s sidelights on to make sure that other drivers can clearly see your broken down vehicle. Make sure that no one is standing near the vehicle in a way that may obstruct its lights or prevent it from being seen by other vehicles.
Make sure that neither you nor any of your passengers are standing between your vehicle and oncoming traffic. If you have reflective jackets in the vehicle then make sure that you put them on so that you are clearly visible to other motorists.
Call for help
Once you’ve assessed the situation and made sure that you and your passengers are safe you should use your mobile phone to call the company that you have your breakdown cover with.
If you don’t have a mobile phone or if it is out of battery or doesn’t have signal then you will need to walk to the nearest payphone or ask a passerby to call for help.
In the event of a breakdown – Part 1
Breaking down on the motorway is very dangerous and can be a scary experience, so it’s important that you know prior to it actually happening what the safest way to handle such an event is.
Breaking down on the motorway can be dangerous not only for you, but for other road users too, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that you know how to react safely.
Warn other road users
If you find your vehicle slowing down rapidly then you should try to warn other road users by switching on your hazard lights straight away.
Safely move onto the hard shoulder
You then need to steer your vehicle onto the hard shoulder of the motorway as soon as it is safe to do so. Remember though that the hard shoulder of the motorway should only be used in an absolute emergency.
Park safely and get passengers out
Stop your car as far to the left on the hard shoulder as is possible and turn the steering wheel to the left so that your car’s wheels are turned towards the verge. Any passengers in your vehicle should exit the vehicle using the doors on the left hand side; any animals should be left inside the vehicle. If you have warm, waterproof or reflective clothing in the car then these should be worn and passengers should wait for help behind the motorway barrier if there is one, or up the embankment, as far away from the carriageway as possible.
Call for help
Even if you think you can repair your vehicle yourself you should not attempt to do so on the motorway. Once you’re outside of the vehicle and in a safe location you should use your mobile phone to call the company that you have your breakdown cover with to come and help you.
If you don’t have a mobile phone or if it is out of battery or doesn’t have signal then you will need to walk to the nearest emergency breakdown phone. You will be able to see arrows on posts on the hard shoulder follow these arrows to find your nearest free emergency telephone.
If you can’t get to the hard shoulder
If your car stops moving very suddenly and you find yourself broken down in the middle of the motorway then it’s very important to remember not to get out of your vehicle. With cars moving at such high speeds it is important to stay inside your vehicle and call the emergency services if you have a mobile phone with you. Don’t attempt to cross the motorway or move your vehicle.
If your car is going to break down you can almost guarantee that it will choose a time that is not only unexpected but also extremely inconvenient for you.
So don’t let your vehicle catch you out! Make sure that you are always prepared for an emergency breakdown when you’re out on the road.
What to keep in your car
It doesn’t matter whether your car decides to pack in whilst you’re running your day-to-day errands or during a long and arduous road trip – either way it is still an extremely stressful experience. Make things as easy as possible for yourself by taking a few precautions to ensure that you’re always prepared for the worst when you’re out and about on the road!
Here is a list of items you should ensure you always have to hand in your car in case of an emergency.
You may have sat nav on your phone but what if your phone is broken, lost, out of battery or signal? It’s essential that you always keep a road map in your vehicle for these times!
If your mobile phone fails you in your time of need (as they have a habit of doing) then depending on where it is that you break down you may need some coins to call for help from a payphone.
- The details and telephone number for your emergency breakdown company
- Practical, warm, waterproof clothing
You never know when or where you’re going to break down. The last thing you want is to end up stranded on the coldest day of the year in inappropriate clothing. This is why it’s a great idea to keep warm and waterproof clothing/blankets in the car in case of such an emergency.
- A fully charged mobile phone and an in-car charger
- Red warning triangle
If you’re going on a particularly long trip then it is also advisable to pack food and water just in case you break down and are left waiting for assistance.
Keeping all of the above items in your vehicle will not only give you peace of mind, it’ll also soften the blow of falling victim to a broken down vehicle and make a difficult and stressful situation just that little bit easier to bear.
Part 2 Coming soon!
Have a look at our graphic on some of the most popular cars from the movies.
Want a run-down on what you should do with your problem car? Take a look at our infographic
When my car broke down and had an extremely expensive repair bill, I also had outstanding finance and Sean was able to quickly make me an offer and help settle the balance and the car was collected the next day.
Great, personal and fast service to let me dispose of a broken car. Would recommend to others in a similar situation.