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Car stolen without using a key! how to protect you car from relay box theft

This is the shocking moment thieves steal a vehicle without the key by using a relay box. West Midlands Police have released what is believed, the first footage of a ‘relay crime’ where criminals can drive off with cars without the owner’s keys. The incident happened in Solihull, Birmingham at 9pm on September 25 2017. The footage shows two men pull up outside the victim’s house, holding a relay box, which is a device used to receive signals through walls, doors and windows, but not metal.

We recommend sticking two fingers up to car thieves by purchasing a defender signal blocker available at shops like Amazon.

10 Most Common Distractions When Driving

Road traffic accidents in the UK are thankfully decreasing each year but unfortunately there are still far too many injuries occurring on our roads. Surveys show that many accidents happen as a result of a driver being distracted when driving. This comes as no surprise at all given there are so many things that can easily distract us when driving. For myself, one of the biggest distractions is our two boys arguing or fighting. If you’re a parent like myself then you’ve probably experienced your children distracting you when driving. Another big distraction I find is following our sat nav when driving somewhere new.

This week I came across some research by Accident Advice Helpline stating that ‘kids arguing’ and ‘kids fighting’ are both in the top 10 of the most common distractions when driving.

Here is the graphic I found with the percentage break down for each distraction:

Driving Distractions

 

 

10 Things to Do to Get Your Car Ready for Winter

Accepting that winter is on the horizon is never particularly pleasant.  Especially when this also means acknowledging that the time has come to get your car or cars ready for the cold weather ahead.

On the plus side, dealing with everything ahead of time can be far less stressful than attempting to tick all necessary boxes at the last minute. So for those who prefer to take a proactive approach, here’s a quick rundown of 10 things to start doing right now to get your car ready for winter:

  1. First of all, you need to comprehensively check the condition and maintenance of your tyres. If there are any excessive signs of wear or damage, now’s the time to replace them.
  2. If you live in an area where winter driving conditions tend to be particularly severe, you might want to think about investing in specialist winter tyres. These can make an astonishing difference in terms of both performance and health and safety alike.
  3. Manufacturers typically recommend deflating tyres very slightly over the winter months. Check what’s recommended for your own vehicle and choice of tyres online.
  4. As for your battery, it’s worth remembering that cold weather can do a number on even the best batteries out there. Which means that if your own battery isn’t exactly reliable or in the best of health, you might want to get it sorted before the weather takes a turn for the worst.
  5. Never leave it until the last minute to replace the windscreen washer fluid in your bottle with a specialist winter product. If you do, you run the risk of the summer washer fluid freezing in the bottle and pipes, potentially destroying them in the process.
  6. The same also goes for antifreeze, as you don’t want to leave it too late and risk problems that can easily be avoided. Experts recommend refilling antifreeze once every three years, so be sure to keep an eye on this.
  7. Make sure your windscreen wiper blades are in the best possible condition. Given the way in which they will have to deal with much heavier punishment over the winter, now could be a good time to replace and upgrade your current wipers.
  8. Check that your fans and heaters are working appropriately, as you will be needing them to keep your windows and windscreen free from interior fog. For obvious reasons, anything that affects visibility negatively during the winter isn’t a good thing.
  9. Make sure that you not only have an emergency kit in the car, but that said kit contains everything you need. An emergency phone charger, blankets, something to eat and drink, a torch, basic first aid supplies and so on.
  10. Last but not least, if your car has not been professionally serviced for some time, it is imperative that you get it done before the winter weather sets in. The reason being that while it may have performed adequately during the summer, you’ve no idea what kind of damage the winter weather might do when it eventually sets in!

Easy Fixes for Ensuring Your Car is Always Road Ready

Many car owners take their car directly to the garage for even the smallest of repairs. This can cost a fortune over the long run as vehicles need to be maintained each year. Instead, it is much better to read up on how to make easy fixes so that your car is always road ready.

All you need for many fixes is a suitable working space, an internet connection and a handful of garage equipment. Places like SGS are ideal for finding everything you need in one place. Here are a few easy repairs that any motorist can make to keep their car on the road:

Changing a Flat Tire

Changing a flat tire is a topic that is constantly seen in film and TV and is viewed as a sign of independence. If you do not know how to change a flat tire, read on so that you never find yourself stuck on the side of the road.
First, secure the automobile by pulling over on a flat surface and using bricks or anything similar behind the wheels of the side that will not be raised. Next, use a screwdriver to pry the wheel cover off and loosen/break the lug nuts with your wrench (turn counterclockwise). Jack the car up 6 inches off the ground and remove the lug nuts. Pull the tire straight towards you until it comes off.
Lift the spare onto the lug bolts and replace the lug nuts – tighten by hand but not all the way. Lower the car and then use the wrench to secure the lug nuts. Replace the hubcap and you are done.

Replacing Air Filter

Perhaps the easiest repair of all – replacing the air filter will take just 10 minutes and with minimal fuss. Pop the hood and locate the air filter box. Release the clips or screws to lift the cover off and take note of which way around the filter goes. Lift the old one out, quickly clean the inside of the box with a damp cloth and replace with the new
filter. Attach the clips or mounting screws to secure the box.

Change Battery

A dead battery is a big problem but one which is not actually too difficult to fix (but always wear protective gloves and goggles). First, it is essential that you identify the positive and negative connections (negative is usually black with a – whilst positive is red with a +). Remove the negative terminal first and then loosen the positive terminal followed by the clamps and screws. Carefully lift the battery out and keep it level to avoid acid spillage.
Place the new battery in its housing and ensure that the positive and negative posts are in the correct position. Tighten the clamps, remove the protective covers and then connect positive first followed by negative.
These are just three simple fixes that anybody can make to save on mechanic fees and keep their vehicle on the roads at all times.

Why Leasing Cars is Cost-Effective for Businesses

When it comes to businesses looking to add to their assets, they will always want to find the most cost-effective solution. If looking to add business cars, it is always best to lease the automobiles. Whether your business relies heavily on a large fleet or you simply have one company car, leasing makes the most financial sense and is a great option for both big and small companies.

What is Leasing?

So, what exactly does leasing involve? Instead of purchasing a vehicle outright or paying for it over an extended period of time (hire purchase), a lease involves hiring the automobile for a predetermined period (often 2 or 4 years but this is usually negotiable). During this time you will make monthly payments and then simply hand the keys back at the end of the agreement. There are often annual mileage allowances and a charge is incurred if this is exceeded (the distance is often negotiable).

The Main Benefits

One of the major benefits of leasing a car for business purposes is the fact that you can avoid as much as 100% of VAT when you hire a car. This is if the automobile is solely used for business purposes, but even if it is used for personal reasons then you can still avoid a large percentage of VAT. Needless to say, this is a huge financial advantage.

Other Advantages

The other benefits of leasing are that you completely avoid vehicle depreciation – this can be as much as 60% after the first three years of ownership. Additionally, leasing allows businesses to add brand new vehicles to their fleet every few years. This can boost morale, but you could also benefit from greater fuel efficiency and other improvements. driving new cars is also a way of promoting that you are a successful business.

Leasing companies like Car4Leasing often include a full maintenance and service package as part of the agreement too. Finally, these hire agreements have much lower monthly payments than hire purchase deals and this
makes them more cost-effective. From a financial standpoint, there are many benefits of hiring a car for your company. You can avoid VAT and depreciation, the monthly payments are manageable and you do not have to pay a huge sum upfront. There are then other benefits, such as getting to drive a new car every few years and not having to worry about selling the car on. Overall, leasing is a smart move to make for any business looking to add to their fleet and much more cost-effective than buying outright or hire purchase deals.

The State Of UK’s Roads 2017

Whether you’ve recently passed your driving test, or been driving for 20+ years, potholes are a problem for the majority of UK drivers – a problem that just won’t go away, especially if the results of a new report by the RAC is anything to go on.

And it seems, potholes aren’t just a problem for drivers – according to the RAC’s figures, the organisation dealt with over 6,500 breakdown jobs between January and March 2017, which were likely attributable to poor road surfaces. The last time that so many pothole-related breakdowns were recorded in a three-month period was in the first quarter of 2015 (almost 6,900 breakdowns were recorded then).

However, in the early months of 2015, the country was subjected to more days of frost and rainfall when compared to the first three months of 2017, when the nation experienced mild and moderately dry conditions.

“Our figures sadly show a surprising and unwelcome first
quarter rise in the number of breakdowns where the poor quality of the road
surface was a major factor. We had expected a figure no worse than that
recorded in the first quarter of 2016 (4,026) and it is very concerning that
the roads, strangely, appear to have deteriorated in a mild, comparatively dry
winter”

commented by David Bizley, a chief engineer at the RAC.

As reports show worrying figures about the state of the UK’s roads, Inchcape Volkswagen, providers of VWservice and repairs, investigate further:

 

Pothole hotspots

FillThatHole.org.uk has compiled a league table of the top ten locations that have had the most road hazard reports.

However, the league table differs when FillThatHole.org.uk’s ranked locations on open reports though:

 

Frequency of potholes being filled in

The average number of potholes filled in 2016/17 per local authority across England was 13,468, according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey 2017.  The top ten authorities ranked on fixed reports in FillThatHole.org.uk’s league table is as follows:

Number of drivers reporting damage in the past 12 months (ranked by region)*

Region
Number
of drivers
South East England
941k
London
733k
South West England
721k
Yorkshire & Humber
720k
North West England
687k
West Midlands
609k
Scotland
521k
Eastern England
457k
East Midlands
365k
North East England
343k
Wales
201k
Average cost to repair pothole damage (ranked by region)*
Region
Average
cost
Eastern England
£163.68
South East England
£124.93
London
£124.65
Yorkshire & Humber
£120.00
South West England
£119.01
Scotland
£109.02
West Midlands
£87.59
North West England
£87.01
East Midlands
£86.33
North East England
£72.66
Wales
£61.83

Structural road condition percentage split in England

Percentage of roads across England in poor condition (i.e. they have less than five years’ residual life remaining) — 17 per cent. Percentage of roads across England in adequate condition (i.e. they have between five and 15 years’ residual life remaining) — 30 per cent. Percentage of roads across England in good condition (i.e. they have 15 years or more residual life remaining) — 53 per cent.

Sources:

 

Chevrolet Suburban Vs Removal Company: Which One Is Most Helpful?

There was a time when you could fit all your belongings in the back of a tiny car and just drive to your next student accommodation, or back to your parents’ house for the summer. Unfortunately, it seems that the older you get, the more stuff you collect. Suddenly moving day is too much work for your little car; you’d be lucky if you managed to move all your stuff in two trips with help from a friend with a slightly bigger car. There are two solutions to this; you can get a car with huge trunk space and leave your furniture behind, or you can hire guys with a van like all grown ups do. How does a Chevrolet Suburban compare to any removal company?

Chevrolet Suburban

Pros

Massive trunk space: The Suburban boasts more than 120 cubic feet of cargo space, so it can fit many packing boxes for a secure journey – especially if you put your Tetris skills to good use. Whether you’re transporting boxes or bed frames, there’s still plenty of room for passengers to sit comfortably up front, and help with the lifting once the journey is over.
Massive engine: Although the Suburban’s 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine isn’t exactly fuel efficient, it’s still large enough to get you from one end of the country to the other without stopping for petrol.

Cons

Parking: Suburban’s size advantage is great for hauling your belongings to your new house, but it’s not the easiest car to park. If you don’t have a parking space you’re going to have a hard time finding somewhere to unload your boxes.
Fuel: You’d better hope you can move all your stuff to your new place in one trip. Too much back and forth between houses is seriously going to increasing your petrol bill.

Removal Company

Pros

One trip: All removal companies have a van that is bigger than any car you could hire, so it’s a no brainer that they will get everything you own to your new place in one trip, no matter how big your stuff is. If you’re looking for a company that you’re certain can transport big items, check out the best autotransport quotes 2017 – Shiply was highly recommended by its users for its removal services. Shiply even transports cars to different countries, so you know they can handle your relatively big sofa.
One-off payment: You might convince yourself that driving your stuff out yourself will be cheaper than hiring a company, but if you factor in petrol expenses it’s not such a bargain. Looking on price comparison sites for the best deal won’t take up too much of your time, and you can find a deal that suits your budget.

Cons

Weekends: You’ll likely decide to move house on a weekend because you have other commitments during the week. However, removal companies charge more on the weekends, so you might not get the bargain you wanted.
Inexperienced men: Always do your research before hiring a company.

What Technology Will Feature In Cars Of The Future?

Cars have been advancing for over a hundred years, more so in the last decade then ever with ever increasing efficiency (electric cars were just a concept a few years ago, now they are reality), more manoeuvrable and safer than ever before, but what does the future of the automotive industry hold?

We are already starting to see autonomous driving vehicles on our roads and internet connected systems being integrated into vehicles, but what else can we expect?

YourParkingSpace have explored some of the emerging technologies that could one day feature on our cars and have created an infographic highlighting these which I wanted to share with you.

 

Should you pick a car or a van for your next business vehicle?

Choosing a business vehicle, whether it is the first or the tenth time, can be daunting. There are many different aspects of the business that must be factored into the purchase of a business vehicle and weighing them up against one another can seem impossible. What’s even more confusing is that there are many manufacturers that produce vehicles combining the comfort and convenience of a car with the practicality and pragmatism of a van.

Above anything else, the answer to this question depends on what your business does. Transporting goods and equipment is relatively unimportant to many businesses, especially in the technological age, so picking a car may seem more convenient for many businesses out there. However, leasing a van has many benefits that are often overlooked.

First things first

Before taking anything into consideration, the first and most important thing to ask is: who from your business will be driving this vehicle? Depending on your employees, insurance rates can vary significantly, and overall liability and exposure costs can also be affected. Whatever the capabilities of your employees and the faith of you and your business in those capabilities, accidents can and do happen and all good businesses should structure themselves around worst case scenarios.

Open to possibilities

The potential of a good van cannot be understated. Vans have so many potential uses in business, even though they are thought of as vehicles for people trade services such as electricians and plumbers, but are also ideal for landscapers, caterers, transport and more. Carefully considering the potential uses of a van against a car is crucial.

A few figures

It is common knowledge that using a van over a car will grant various tax breaks, but the real numbers can be trickier to understand. Vans are taxed at a flat rate of £3,170, whereas car taxation depends on its CO2 emissions. Breaking this down to brass tax, essentially van drivers can expect to pay approximately half the amount of tax as car drivers.

The numbers, of course, can vary so to look at the specifics, here is a handy tax calculator provided by comcar.co.uk.

Buy or Lease?

It can be difficult to choose whether to buy or lease your company vehicle and again this is dependent on the specific situation of your company. It is true that tax paid on a leased vehicle can be deducted fully from your profit statement without any complication, meaning it will save money. There are numerous great options for leasing and many bespoke deals that can be made when it comes to arranging the right lease for you.

Again, the answer to this question will always depend on the aims and the structure of your business but if your business is ready to take the next step and expand its borders to the larger market, then considering leasing a van can be one of the keys to unlock the potential of a more successful business.

What makes the ultimate off-road course?

Inspired by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ recently launched #VWTrailblazers challenge, I’ve been spending a little bit of time researching off-road courses around my area. The challenge pits two teams against each other in the ultimate off-road pursuit, navigating rocky terrain, deep mud pits and the intimidating fell mountains of the Lake District in the VW Amarok (you can watch the video below to see how the two teams got on).

Perhaps it was natural then that one question stood out to me above the rest: what exactly does make the perfect off-road destination? There’s the chance to get muddy, sure, and of course the potential to put the pedal to the metal and quickly bound through unpredictable landscapes. But what else goes in to designing a course that promises to really get pulses racing?

It’s all about variety

Perhaps one of the most important factors is the variety of terrains that a course has to offer. Those participating in off-road pursuits are usually driven by the desire to push their vehicle to the limit, so it goes without saying that the more varied the landscape the better. Think shingled beach nestled alongside crowded forests, the likes of which promise to test your capabilities in more ways than one.
A range of different heights is another plus point, as climbing hills has to be one of the biggest thrills of off-roading. In fact, it’s perhaps only second to scaling back down them, which is the ultimate test of a vehicles grip and precision. Steep peaks and mountains are a perk along any off-road course, as well as mud pits and sand dunes that aim to deliver one heck of a bumpy ride.
Ultimately, you want any off-road pursuit to test four key vehicle components – power, precision, navigation and technical ability. Choose a course that caters to them all, and you’re in for an adventure that gets the absolute most from your off-road machine. Hard and soft, fast and slow; the perfect off-road course is one that hands the driver full control, while still promising a challenging ride from start to finish. The Amarok is able to tackle all of that and more with relative ease, while still managing to look awesome at the same time.

What are your recommended off-roading locations in the UK?