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    Wednesday, 30 September 2009

    BVRLA's Block Exemption Views

    The BVRLA has submitted its response to the European Commission's consultation on the future of the motor vehicle sector's block exemption from aspects of competition law. As with its previous statements on the subject, the association has called for:
    • Preservation of car rental and leasing firms' end-user status with regard to leased and rented vehicles
    • Affordable access to manufacturers' data to facilitate repair, service and maintenance of vehicles.
    For the BVRLA's position on European Block Exemption Regulations click here...
    source: BVRLA

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    14% Drop in Road Deaths

    The Department for Transport has published the statistical report “Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2008: Annual Report”.
    Headline final figures on the number of people killed and injured on the roads in Great Britain in 2008 were first published in June 2009. The statistical report provides more detailed information about accident circumstances, vehicle involvement and the consequent casualties in 2008, along with some of the key trends in accidents and casualties.
    There were a total of 230,905 reported casualties of all severities, 7 per cent lower than in 2007. 2,538 people were killed, 14 per cent lower than in 2007, 26,034 were seriously injured (down 6 per cent) and 202,333 were slightly injured (down 7 per cent).
    The number of fatalities fell for almost all types of road user, with a fall of 12 per cent for car occupants, 11 per cent for pedestrians, 16 per cent for motorcyclists and 15 per cent for pedal cyclists.
    Failed to look properly was again the most frequently reported contributory factor and was reported in 37 per cent of all accidents reported to the police in 2008. Four of the five most frequently reported contributory factors involved driver or rider error or reaction. For fatal accidents the most frequently reported contributory factor was loss of control, which was involved in 32 per cent of fatal accidents.
    Fourteen per cent of accidents had a speed related contributory factor reported, either exceeding the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions. This rose to 24 per cent for fatal accidents, accounting for 25 per cent of all road deaths. Twenty three per cent of fatalities in these accidents were motorcyclists.
    Young drivers were more likely to have a speed related contributory factor reported than those over 25, and more than four times as many male drivers had a speed factor reported as female drivers. Forty one per cent of male fatalities aged 16-25 were in accidents where a speed factor was reported.

    For the full details on the DfT website click here...

    source: DfT

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    Tuesday, 29 September 2009

    UK's Car Scrappage Scheme Extended

    The UK's car scrappage scheme is to be extended, Lord Mandelson has announced.
    He said the scheme, which started in May and gives consumers £2,000 off a new car if they trade in one at least 10 years old, was running out of money.
    The business secretary broke the news, called for by the car industry, in his speech to the Labour Party conference.
    He said "we cannot do everything but that does not mean doing nothing" and said the scheme would be extended to cover 100,000 more cars and vans.
    source: BBC

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    UK Growth Falls Less Than Thought

    The rate of contraction of the UK economy in the three months from April to June has been reduced again.
    Gross domestic product (GDP) has been revised to a fall of 0.6% compared with the last quarter, up from the previous estimate of 0.7%.
    The figures were revised upwards last month, from a 0.8% decline, according to the Office for National Statistics.
    source: BBC

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    Sunday, 27 September 2009

    Singapore Grand Prix 2009

    Brawn's Jenson Button declares himself "very happy" after giving himself the chance to win the 2009 drivers' championship in Japan next Sunday with fifth at the Singapore GP.
    source: BBC

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    Twitter's Major Cash Boost

    Social networking website Twitter has confirmed that it has closed a "significant round of funding".
    Co-founder Evan Williams said in a blog post that the site had secured money from five investment firms. Industry watchers have pointed out that the firm still has no way of making money.
    However, earlier this month the site revised its terms and conditions to allow advertising on its service.
    source: BBC

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    Friday, 25 September 2009

    Bump-and-Scrape Car Parks

    Aviva has named and shamed the ten worst parking spaces in the UK.
    The motor insurance provider asked drivers across the country to nominate their nightmare parking spaces where they feel most likely to end up denting their car.

    For the full story click here...

    source: Insurance Daily

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    August Car Output falls 31.5%

    The number of new cars made in the UK fell 31.5% in August from the same month a year earlier, industry figures have shown.
    But the number of cars built for the UK market reached a near five-year high as the car scrappage scheme boosted sales.
    The SMMT called for the scheme, which was introduced in May, to be extended, saying recovery was still fragile. The drop in production was bigger than the 17.9% fall seen in July, but many car plants have extended shutdowns in August.
    source: BBC

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    Thursday, 24 September 2009

    'Close to 2m' Uninsured Drivers

    Parts of England with the largest number of uninsured drivers have been revealed in new research. The worst offenders were in Greater London, Merseyside and Greater Manchester, with 13%, 12% and 10% of vehicles uninsured, the research found.

    The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), which compensates people in accidents with uninsured drivers, estimates over 1.7m people drove without cover in 2008.

    Philip Gomm, of the RAC Foundation, said the situation seemed to be out of hand and had been for a long time.

    "That might be linked to economic factors. We know that during a downturn a lot of people are finding financial pressure, they are suffering financial hardship and they think that some of their motoring costs are those that they can drive down, but insurance is not an option. You have to have it if you take a vehicle on to the road" he said.

    Meanwhile, research carried out by moneysupermarket.com found that 62% of the 1,800 people questioned think motorists caught driving without insurance should face heftier penalties.

    For the full story from the BBC click here...

    source: BBC

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    Jaguar to Shut One Plant

    Jaguar Land Rover has said it will close one of its West Midlands plants by the middle of the next decade.
    The firm is considering the closure of either its Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham or its factory in Solihull.
    About 800 new jobs will be created at its Halewood plant on Merseyside, which will start building a new Range Rover.
    The company, which is owned by Indian giant Tata, said there would be no net job losses, but unions said they would oppose the plans.
    "We are now in a meeting with the company to hear details of their plans," said Bert Hill, regional officer at the GMB union.
    source: BBC

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    Lada to cut 27,600 Jobs

    Russia's largest carmaker, Avtovaz, is to cut up to 27,600 jobs as it tries to cope with the global slump in demand.
    The job cuts are more than a quarter of the 102,000-strong workforce at Avtovaz, which makes Lada cars.
    Reports had suggested that 36,000 job losses were considered, but the company said that it managed to "significantly lower the initial figure".
    Russia had the fastest growing car market in Europe until the financial crisis hit demand.
    Of the workers being eliminated, Avtovaz said 13,000 employees would retire with pensions while another 5,500 would be forced to take early retirement.
    The remaining 9,100 employees would leave the firm, but Avtovaz said 6,000 of those would have the option to work at the carmaker again in 2012.
    source: BBC

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    Sunday, 20 September 2009

    Uninsured Fines too Lenient

    Rogue drivers getting behind the wheel without insurance are not being deterred because the penalties if they’re caught are too lenient, Direct Line claimed this week.
    Under new government proposals, motorists caught driving an uninsured vehicle will be fined as little as £50 - less than fine given out to people who overfill their bin, Direct Line said.
    “The fact that the new proposed fine for driving uninsured is less than if you were to overfill your bin is alarming,” said Andy Goldby, Direct Line’s director of motor underwriting.
    source: Insurance Daily

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    Friday, 18 September 2009

    Podcast 18.09.09 'About Us'

    In the first of our Podcasts Len Jones -Managing Director of RIVAL Insurance, talks about self drive hire and RIVAL.


    Wednesday, 16 September 2009

    Road Safety Pack Launch

    Fabrics specialist, Vispack, has launched a new road safety pack, which it claims can save lives and reduce insurance claims.The pack, known as “The Driver’s Hub”, contains five high-visibility reflective vests, to be worn in the event of a vehicle emergency.
    source: Insurance Daily

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    Tuesday, 15 September 2009

    Lotus Return to F1

    Lotus are to return to Formula 1 next season for the first time since 1994.
    They have been awarded the final grid spot and join Campos GP, Manor and US F1 as one of four new teams for 2010.
    source: BBC

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    Monday, 14 September 2009

    Delivery/Collection of Minibuses

    The BVRLA's legal services team has received a number of queries from its members regarding the driving licence entitlement for drivers engaged in the collection and delivery of minibuses.
    The D1 entitlement appears automatically on driving licences issued before 1997, but drivers with licences issued subsequently must pass a specific test. Failure to comply exposes its members to the risk of the vehicle being impounded immediately. In addition, the driver faces up to six penalty points and a fine of up to £5,000.

    To visit the BVRLA website click here...

    To visit the 'Driving a minibus' page of the Directgov website click here...

    For RIVAL's additional rules on Minibuses & Large MPV's click here...

    source: BVRLA

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    Sunday, 13 September 2009

    Italian Grand Prix 2009

    Rubens Barrichello headed Jenson Button for a Brawn one-two in a tense Italian Grand Prix as the Englishman scored his first podium finish in six races.
    Button has had his championship lead cut by two points to 14 from second-placed Barrichello, while Vettel sits 12 points behind the Brazilian with Webber 2.5 points behind his team-mate in fourth.

    source: BBC

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    Saturday, 12 September 2009

    Aviva Announce Changes

    Aviva has announced that John Kitson, UK general insurance sales & marketing director, is to leave the firm in March 2010.
    Kitson joined the firm 14 years ago, when it was known as Norwich Union, as head of brand and marketing.
    No successor has yet been named, but Aviva has indicated a replacement will be announced in due course.
    source: Insurance Daily

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    Friday, 11 September 2009

    Mandelson Calls for Apology

    Lord Mandelson has called for the businessmen who ran MG Rover prior to its 2005 collapse to apologise for taking so much money out of the firm.

    A report found the men pocketed an "unreasonable" £42m in pay and perks.

    The Phoenix Four blame Labour for Rover's collapse but Lord Mandelson said ministers had been "faultless".

    For the full story on the BBC website click here...

    source: BBC

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    Thursday, 10 September 2009

    THINK! Targets Texting

    Drivers who text at the wheel are being targeted with a new hard-hitting THINK! campaign. The campaign comes as research shows 30 per cent of young drivers admitted to texting while driving.
    An online 'driving challenge' game has also been launched through social networking communities and entertainment sites. The game shows how distracting using a mobile at the wheel can be and is designed to help change driver behaviour. To play the game, follow the link below - only 19% of people pass the test.

    Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "It doesn't matter how good a driver you are, if you text while driving then you cannot be giving the road your full attention.

    Take the 'online driving challenge' click here...

    source: DfT

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    Wednesday, 9 September 2009

    Insurance Law up for Review

    The Law Commission is dissatisfied with current insurance law, The Daily Telegraph has reported.
    The independent body, which keeps the law under review and recommends reform where needed, is due to report on insurance law this autumn.
    According to the newspaper, it will say that current insurance law is unsuited to mass-market consumer insurance policies because it is based on commercial insurance practices.
    In addition, consumer bodies are lobbying the Government to include proposed changes in the Queen’s Speech that could re-orientate current insurance law towards to the Association of British Insurers’ voluntary code of practice and the best practice guidelines laid down by the Financial Ombudsman Services.
    source: Insurance Daily

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    Award Winning VW Security

    Volkswagen’s latest security system has been honoured at this year’s BusinessCar Techies Awards with the advanced electronic Intelligent Key being named Best Security Device.
    A new standard feature on all Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 and Phaeton models, the key maintains a record of whether the car has been locked and alarmed. By simply pressing a button on the key and looking at the red light indicator, an owner can check, even when they are not with the car, the ‘locked’ status of their vehicle. It can also provide vital evidence to insurers and fleet managers as they can confirm by interrogating the car key’s data chip whether the vehicle was secured before any theft or break-ins occurred.
    For the full story visit the Volkswagen website here...
    source: VW

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    Tuesday, 8 September 2009

    HSBC Ceases Motor Cover

    HSBC Insurance on 2nd September 2009 said it would cease underwriting motor business through its two insurance operations, HSBC Insurance (UK) and HSBC Insurance Management Services Ltd.

    HSBC Insurance will continue to service existing policy holders until their policy is due for renewal.

    For the full story click here...

    source: Insurance Times


    Move to the Left?

    Samoa has become the first country since the 1970's to change the side of the road on which cars are driven.

    At 0600 local time (1700 GMT) yesterday, sirens sounded and drivers were told to move from the right side to the left.

    Police said that no accidents had been reported in the first hours after the switch in the island nation despite predictions of chaos from critics.

    For the full story on the BBC website click here...

    source: BBC

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    Monday, 7 September 2009

    In-Car Emergency Systems

    Reported in this weeks BVRLA update, the European Commission has made a final call to EU countries to voluntarily implement its "eCall" strategy for in-car technology to alert emergency services to road accidents.
    It warns that if there is no significant progress in rolling out the system by the end of 2009 it could propose regulations to compel manufacturers to install it.
    In its recently published strategy document the Commission says eCall could save lives by halving emergency response times and calls for it to be installed in all new vehicles sold in Europe by 2014.
    source: BVRLA

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    Sunday, 6 September 2009

    Rivals 'in Battle for T-Mobile'

    Vodafone and O2 have both tabled bids of about £3.5bn to buy T-Mobile from owner Deutsche Telecom, the Sunday Times has reported.

    The report says a decision was likely to be made within weeks.

    Vodafone and O2, which is owned by Spain's Telefonica, declined to comment on the report.
    source: BBC

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    Friday, 4 September 2009

    UK Car Sales up 6% for August

    SMMT figures released today show a second consecutive month of growth in new car sales, as registrations in August rose six per cent year-on-year.

    The effects of the scrappage scheme helped oversee a 253 per cent rise in city car sales, and a 12 per cent drop in average CO2 emissions of new cars since January 2008.

    While Ford leads overall market share with 16 per cent, Hyundai leapfrogged both Ford and Vauxhall to become the UK’s best-selling manufacturer once fleet sales were removed.

    Visit the Autocar website for the full story...

    source: Autocar


    Thursday, 3 September 2009

    New Mini to be Built in UK

    Two new models of the Mini are to be built at BMW's plant in Oxfordshire creating up to 1,000 jobs, sources suggest.
    Two concept cars, one a coupe, will be unveiled on 15 September 2009 and will be produced at the company's factory in Cowley, near Oxford.
    source: BBC

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    Wednesday, 2 September 2009

    Interview - Ecclestone and Vettel

    In his long career in motorsport, Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone has met legions of drivers. Obviously, however, as F1 racing’s youngest-ever race winner, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel is more than just ‘another driver’.
    The two men may be separated in years by over half a century, but as a joint interview at the Belgian Grand Prix revealed, when great minds think alike and when you have plenty in common, any age gap becomes irrelevant…

    For the full interview from the Formula1.com website, click here...

    source: Formula1.com

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    Tuesday, 1 September 2009

    Fuel Duty Rise Comes into Effect

    A two pence rise in fuel duty has come into effect, the third such increase in nine months.
    Stephen Glaister, director of road users' pressure group RAC Foundation, told the BBC the government's latest rise "will hit everybody hard".
    When VAT is included, the increase will actually total 2.3p. The average price of petrol across the UK is about 105p per litre.
    The government says the extra duty is needed to help fund public investment.
    source: BBC

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