Monthly Archives: November 2016

5 Facts About The UK Driving Test You Never Knew – Part Two

Before the days of the theory and hazard perception test, obtaining a driving licence was much easier, or was it? You decide, as the final five obscure facts about the UK driving test are exposed.

1. Did you know? The UK driving exam has altered drastically since being introduced 80 years ago. In May 1975 the use of arm signals was removed from the driving test.

In April 1991 the reverse parking manoeuvre was introduced to the practical driving exam as a compulsory element. For those who struggled to reverse a car, that day in April 1991 proved sombre.

In 2003 the ‘Show Me/Tell Me’ aspect of the practical test was introduced, whereby you are required to answer questions about features of the vehicle you’re driving.

2. Did you know? The UK theory test was introduced in July 1996.

Prior to the introduction of the theory test, examiners simply asked a series of Highway Code questions once a candidate had completed their practical driving exam. But, even if the candidate got the questions wrong they wouldn’t fail. Wrong answers were recorded as minor faults.

In 2002 the hazard perception element was introduced as part of theory test in order to make it ‘more challenging’.

3. Did you know? Before reality television made it big, one of the first reality TV shows was a driving programme named ‘Driving School’. Over 12 million people watched the programme, which followed the driving experiences of Maureen Rees as she struggled to pass the practical driving exam.

Rees achieved a brief period of fame as she eventually passed her test, buying a Lada automatic and having a stint in the music world with a cover of the song ‘Driving In My Car’, originally recorded by Madness.

4. Latest statistics show that the DVSA now carries out over 1.5 million car driving tests annually, not to mention a similar number of theory test sittings. In the UK, over 32 million people currently possess a full driving licence. That’s a staggering 70% of the entire adult population.

5. In the battle of the sexes when it comes to driving, evidence shows that women take much longer to pass their tests. According to research by the DfT (Department for Transport), women have to take, on average, 52 lessons and attempt the test 2.1 times in order to pass.

In comparison, men average just 36 lessons and pass in 1.8 attempts. But, once women have successfully passed the exam, they are much safer on Britain’s roads. According to data published by the Home Office, men are responsible for 96% of dangerous driving offences.

Great Tips For Extending The Life Of Your Car

Owning a car entails a lot of important to-do things in order to keep it running smoothly and efficiently at all times. Car investment becomes a wise investment if you know all the basics of car care – from purchase to maintenance. Good thing there are maintenance tips provided by experts to help car owners prolong the life of their autos. Cited below are some of these tips:

First, you have to be patient during the break-in-period, typically the first 1,000 miles or 1,600 km. Apart from keeping your speed under 55 mph, you also have to avoid heavy loads on to the drive train and do not allow your new car to idle for long periods.

Second, buy gas only at reputable service stations. Also, avoid filling up if you see the tanker. As the station’s underground tanks are being filled, the turbulence can stir up sediments which can clog fuel injectors and filter – this in turn will cause poor performance that will need repairs.

Third, regularly check and change the oil. There is no single step that will help an engine last more than regularly changing oil and filter. Indeed, nothing will ever destroy an engine faster than neglecting oil-level checks.

Fourth, you have to lighten up your key chain. A pretty heavy load hanging off the car key along with the bouncing while you drive can wear out the tumblers inside the ignition and will eventually lead to ignition switch failure. So in order to add years of service to your ignition switch, you have to purchase a lightweight key chain. In any case your ignition key sticks if you try to turn on your car, this is indeed a warning that your ignition switch is about to fail – and this means replacing it before you get stranded.

As for your car’s cooling system, you have to change coolant once a year. A mixture of coolant and distilled water will certainly keep the cooling system in its excellent condition and prevent corrosion and deposits from forming within the cooling system.

It is also a great idea to protect the interior plastic by parking the car in the shade, and applying a UV protector in order to prevent the plastic and vinyl from drying out.

5 Facts About The UK Driving Test You Never Knew – Part One

First there’s the theory test, then the practical exam, then applying for your licence until finally you get a car and you can start driving, ‘for real’.

The route to earning a UK driving licence is a costly, sometimes frustrating and very time-consuming path. But every year, thousands of candidates start the journey, which begins with the theory exam. But, did you know? It wasn’t always like this!!!

Here are the first five most interesting facts about the practical driving exam you probably never knew:

1. Did you know? The first nation to enforce a driving test was France. It began in 1893, introduced alongside vehicle registration plates and parking restrictions.”

The first British person to successfully complete a driving test was a woman. Vera Hedges Butler passed in 1900, and she went all the way to Paris to take it because they had not started in the UK.

2. The cost of the test started out at 37.5p. Today, you pay £31 for the theory and £62 for the practical exam, totalling a whopping £93. It also costs £50 to get a provisional licence just so you can take the theory test and practical exam. However, it costs nothing to convert a provisional licence to a full licence.

3. Back in 1935, theory or driving test centres did not exist. Candidates would have to arrange a meeting point with their examiner in order to take a test. They would often meet at a local landmark such as a town hall or transport hub.

4. In 1935 the driving test pass rate was an impressive 60%. As it evolved, pass rate numbers declined, with the average UK pass rate now just 46%. However, there are substantial differences between some centres. For instance, the Wanstead centre in London has a pass rate of just 30%. By comparison, Stonehaven in Scotland has a pass rate of 68%.

Putting the above figures into perspective though, far more people take a test at the Wanstead centre than the Stonehaven centre. Driving conditions in urban areas, like London, are also more challenging than the rural setting of Stonehaven, hence the low pass rate in Wanstead.”

5. During World War Two, driving tests were suspended completely and did not begin again until November 1946, mainly due to the time it took to rebuild road networks damaged during the war. Furthermore, during the Suez Crisis, they were halted again between November 1956 and April 1957.

Tips For Choosing Car Hire Services

Car hire services come handy when you want someone else to do the driving for you. When you hire these services, you can expect to get to your destination right on time. You do not have to worry about getting stuck in traffic in a bus. With the large number of car hire services operating in the market, it is advisable to take the time while choosing your service provider. There are many factors you will need to consider when making your decision, including the size, event, reliability and cost. Therefore, if you are interested in more room to accommodate more people, car hire services is a great option. The tips for choosing the best services include:

· Shop around

If you have to attend a corporate event or a social event, luxury vehicles are recommended. You are assured of standing out from the crowd. Generally, luxury vehicles come at a premium, especially when you want to hire them for a period. Therefore, shopping around can get you competitive rates. With the large number of companies offering these services, you stand to benefit from increased competition, in the form of better quality services and competitive pricing. Shopping around does not have to be such a hassle because online shopping has made the process of getting the right products/services much easier.

· Time span

If you are interested in driving in luxury and style, limousines are vehicles you should consider hiring. Nevertheless, before hiring, it is important to consider the time you expect to hire the vehicles. Some hire companies give better deals to persons who are planning to hire the vehicles for several days. Therefore, if you are interested in renting the vehicles for 4-5 days, a weekly plan makes a great option. You could end up saving up to 30%.

· Hidden fees

It is advisable to be on the lookout for any hidden costs. It is not uncommon for some of the hire companies to include several hidden fees, which you may not discover upfront. Therefore, take the time and ask for a price estimate and breakdown. This is particularly important if you know how long you intend to hire the car.

Some of the common hidden fees include arena fee, vehicle license fee and fuel cost for filling up the tank. Furthermore, some car hire services may require you to purchase insurance, which is often a huge money-maker for rental companies. You can save substantial money by declining any hidden offers and costs.

Car Leasing As a Safer Alternative to Purchasing

Leasing has turned out be a rather popular alternative to buying or even the more relevant counter option of hiring. Despite automobile manufacturers landing fresh and sweet financing deals in the market, the enticement of buying flashy cars, especially for business use is gradually ebbing out. Leasing is the newest “big thing” in market as it has proven to be a profitable logistical option for small and mid-scale companies that require cars and vans for business operations. Purchasing luxury cars for clients transfer might as well look like a necessity, but it is not a profitable option when considered from a commercial viewpoint.

Lessees have admitted that they are quite content to have taken vehicles on contracts instead of buying or hiring them. To point out the benefits of leasing, the first thing that converts a buyer into a lease is that the annual maintenance expense which is one of the biggest headaches of car owners can be skipped in totality. Such expenses that act as discouragements can be avoided when a car is taken on lease than hire. Research studies establish that customer-loyalty rate of cars lessees is thrice that of car purchasing.

However, the question erupts and lingers among interested people if leasing indeed is a good option for all who are looking to own a car. Perhaps the answer is not in affirmative, but leasing definitely is a popular choice in many cases. The best thing about car leasing is that you can refurbish your stock of cars every time the leasing term expires. This means the prospect of adding newer and more popular model of vehicles to your working fleet is always open. Leasing options have just got more flexible with the rise in the count of tenants and popularity of the option.

Moreover, the amount of money payable for a lease contract requires no advanced arithmetic. The tenants are required to make an instant deposit at the start against which the vehicle will be released. The contract signed is subjected to monthly installments and additional charges, if any gets added to the final lease charge at the end of the term. Car leasing contracts are of different kinds, depending upon the provider you have opted. Basically, the open-end and close-end contracts are the most prevalent ones. Often car dealers make significant contributions to the providers in order to secure a good base of customers to hold the business up for long.

Looking for the Best Driving School Around Town: The Easy Way

How many times have we heard our parents, siblings, relatives and everybody else say that we should be safer drivers? In all honesty, this is much easier said than done considering the fact that accidents on the road account for a lot of the injuries and fatalities reported in the country.

Question is, should you take your driving training in just about any driving school? Will your everyday ordinary driving lessons be enough to help you iron out the kinks in your driving?

You have to remember that not all driving schools are created equal and expect them to offer the same courses as everybody else. In fact, others are just your run-of-the-mill driving school who just decided to offer a new course for the extra cash. Never fall prey to such rip-offs. You have to make sure that you get the best driving school for your own benefit.

Here’s how:

Tip #1: Is the driving school credible?

First of all, you need to consider the reputation, record, and status of the driving school.

Here are the primary questions you should ask:

  • Is it trustworthy?
  • Are people recommending it to others?
  • Do you hear any negative comments from past customers?

Although it is quite elementary, you should always check if the school is a legit business. You can do this by calling the organizations that accredit driving schools in your area. Some schools might offer up a bargain but if they are not duly recognized or registered with the local Department of Motor Vehicles then enrolling in their programs might do you more harm than good.

Tip #2: Is the curriculum good?

Next, choose the curriculum itself. Albeit the fact that film viewing is no longer popular, a driving course should include at least 100 minutes of viewing time. The movies or videos that should be shown should contain information regarding the course. It may or may not contain graphic scenes of accidents depending on the course at hand.

Tip# 3: What is course duration?

You should also remember to check the duration of the course. It may be separated into two parts – the classroom schedule and the behind-the-wheel schedule. You should also check if the behind-the-wheel part of the program applies all that was mentioned during the “class”.

Some substandard schools just let you drive a car and mention instructions every now and then without even letting you apply the lessons you have learned. Also, the instructor should be able to immerse you in different driving situations and locations that will test if you are road-ready.

Tip# 4: Is the course fee worth it?

Lastly, take note of the expenses for the whole program. Some providers show you a very cheap value that tends to have hidden “extras”. Ask the school for the total cost of the program and compare it with other driving schools. You have to remember that going for the cheapest option is not always the best decision. Weigh your options properly and sometimes, you might need to trust your gut.

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What Is Geofencing and How Is It Used for IVMS?

Geofencing is a technology that defines a virtual boundary around a real-world geographical area. A geofence can be dynamically generated-as in a radius around a mine site or office, or a geofence can be a predefined set of boundaries (i.e. school zones or neighbourhood boundaries).

Geofencing is an integral part of In Vehicle Management System (IVMS) (also known as GPS tracking or Telematics) hardware and software. It allows system users to draw zones around places of work, client sites and high risk, dangerous or secure areas. Geofencing can be a valuable tool. Examples of situations where it may be utilised include:

  • Formally mark ‘no-go’ zones
    Example: Could be used to ensure employees avoid construction zones or environmentally protected areas.
  • Create speed awareness
    Example: Speed limits can be associated with certain areas such as a school zone or worksite.
  • Record entry, exit and duration within certain zone
    Example: May be used to verify that driver routes are followed or that certain KPIs are met.
  • Block high risk/dangerous areas
    Example: Aids employees in avoiding unsafe areas such as a train line or explosive area at a mine site.
  • Theft Prevention Tool
    Example: When a car is parked with the ignition off, it can be programmed to put up a geofence. Should the vehicle move from that geofence the user or operator will be notified.

Notification Integration Options

There are many ways that geofence-related notifications can be incorporated into an IVMS system.

    • Events and notifications can be programmed to be automatically sent via email or SMS to multiple parties. Various criteria can be set up (i.e. when an employee enters or exits a certain area a notification is sent to the operations manager, or if a no-go zone is breached, management is notified)
    • IVMS can be connected to trigger an audible or visible warning in-cab to create driver awareness (i.e. if a driver enters a high risk area, they will be warned with a flashing light or buzzer)
  • In high risk areas IVMS can be programmed to report more often for added safety and security

Electronic notifications usually includes the time, date and location that the virtual boundary was crossed, allowing for an immediate investigation or response to the situation.

Geofencing Benefits

Aside from just being a way to track activity within a specific geographical location, geofencing is a powerful tool for:

  • Improving driver safety and awareness
  • Establishing driver accountability
  • Streamlining daily operations
  • Increasing overall company productivity
  • Tracking inventory and high valued assets

5 Insider Tips to Buying a Used Car

Need Some Insider Tips to Buying a Used Car?

Who Doesn’t? From being greeted on the “Lot” to selecting the right vehicle to meeting with the Finance Manager – the whole process can become challenging. Here are 5 critical Insider Tips to buying that perfect used car that will help make the purchase a more positive and financially sound experience.

Tip 1: Know your Budget.

This can be a monthly number or an “out the door” cash price. Remember to account for gas, maintenance, and insurance costs, which can easily add to the monthly payment of the car. It’s important to set a comfortable, yet strict number for your budget so you don’t get “up-sold” by the Dealer.

Also, be wary of extended loan terms. Your goal should be to find the right vehicle at the right price / budget, and within the shortest term possible. Under 60 months financing is optimal, but over 60 months means that you are on too much car. Plus, the vehicle will continue to depreciate dramatically before you get half way through paying it off.

Tip 2: Select your Target Vehicle

This seems straight forward, but most people do not do this – or at least don’t stick with it. So many people enter a dealership needing a certain vehicle, but leaving with something they wanted, instead. This is not necessarily bad, as often times we subordinate our needs for our wants. Just don’t be the bonehead that needs a low-milage family car, but leaves with a very high milage BMW coupe just because the Bmer looked cool. Be realistic with your Target Vehicle and stick to it.

However, being flexible on the color or equipment actually helps the dealer provide you the best deal possible. You may prefer a popular white one, but they may have had a red one in their inventory for a long time that they will do anything to move out.

Tip 3: Do your Research!

The biggest benefit of knowing what type of vehicle you are in the market for is that you can research its reliability, cost of use, and fair market price based on options, milage and condition. Doing so allows the buyer to drive the negotiations, rather than the dealer.

So few people research their desired vehicles, and surprisingly most simply buy on emotion. These are the same customers that end up having buyer’s remorse. Often times, what they just purchased does not pan out like they wanted, or they feel they paid too much after the fact.

Additionally, by pre-selecting a vehicle, the buyer becomes more realistic if that choice is within their budget, and keeps them on a more pragmatic path to a positive car-buying experience.

Tip 4: Love your Saleperson

Funny thing happens when a salespersons feels a strong connection with a potential customer. They tend to become a much stronger advocate for the customer. Prices seem to drop more quickly, and the salesperson truly becomes more helpful. The buyer ends up selling the salesperson than visa versa.

However, going into a dealership with a chip on your shoulder, or treating the salesperson with disrespect or omnipotence creates a confrontational situation where they will take you for every dollar they can.

Being nice, though, does not mean being weak. On the contrary. You would be surprised to see how much easier it is to get great deal with nothing more than a smile and friendly disposition.

Tip 5: Don’t Love the Car

Or at least, don’t show it. Buying a car is like playing poker. Those who tip their hand loses part of their pot. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal. Just make sure that the salesperson and manager know that you are a serious buyer beforehand, and that you are willing to make the purchase right then and there if they make the deal right for you. Car dealers will cut a deal to the bare minimum before they let a true buyer walk.

Remember, that you can visit several other dealers before the end of the day, but you may be one of only a few customers that the dealer sees on a given day. Remember that you are in charge. It’s your money, and the dealer needs to vie to earn your business. No matter what they throw at you, stick to your plan and keep it pleasant.

What To Know Before You Purchase A Car

Though buying a car may seem like a walk down the hill, many people have reported the experiences as stressful and unpleasant. This is because of the decisions that one has to make and the keen attention, which is put into the process before acquiring the car. Whether you are in the progress of buying a car in the near future, below are some of the ways to go about the tense situation.

  • Make a right, informed choice

This seems obvious; before you go on to buy that car that you are looking for, it is essential to make sure that you go for one that best fits you and your needs. Many people rush into the decision of acquiring a car only to make a regrettable decision that they would have been avoided easily by making an informed decision. Some of the consideration here is your body type and the regular functions that the car will be performing.

  • Set your price target

By using the internet, you can be able to acquire great deals on the type of car that you are searching. Moreover, the internet has made it easier for buyers to be able to compare prices of the various dealers while interacting effortlessly with them and hence the internet should be the first stop to view the different costs and land on a good deal.

  • Check your credits

If you are to buy the car on a loan, you should make it your homework to check your credit union to be able to find the lowest available rate. By getting a pre-approved loan, you get confidence in negotiating a better lower pr ice for the car.

  • Do not buy the car on the first visit

Many experts recommend that you do not buy the car during the first visit. This is because you may be able to find other suggestions or change your mind on the processes. Many people who have ignored this step or have rather rushed into the buying decision have been faced with regrets after making a wrong choice.

  • Check for warranty, insurance and repairs

Before you go to purchase the vehicle, it is important to check for other credentials such as the warranty repair services, guarantee and insurance policies. This will be essential in case of accidents and in legal proceedings regarding the car. For instance in case of an accident or repairs for the car you will need a lemon law attorney’s help in legal matters that concern the repair and management of the vehicle.