Posts filed under 'advice'
Recent research by car insurer swiftcover.com has revealed that one in three drivers heading to foreign roads this summer may drive on the wrong side of the road at least once clocking up thousands of miles driving on the wrong side of the road.
One in ten UK drivers identified Italy as being the most difficult country to drive in, followed by France and then Germany.
The insurer provider compiled a mini-guide for driving in France and the EU with some useful tips to know before heading out on your next road trip:
• The speed limit in France is 130kph on motorways. This is reduced to 110kph in wet weather, which is legally enforceable
• In France and most of the EU, the maximum permitted level of alcohol is 0.5 mg/ml. This is substantially lower than the UK (0.8 mg/ml), so catch a taxi home after sampling the forbidden fruits of France. Cabs in France will cost you a lot less than a ride in London so take the safer approach.
• In the EU, traffic already on the roundabout has priority, unless signposts indicate otherwise. In this case, traffic approaching the roundabout has priority.
• While driving in France, you are legally required to carry a high visibility jacket and a warning triangle, and it is recommended that you carry a first aid kit.
And before you head out onto the open road, be sure to check that your car insurance covers you adequately for driving aboard.
August 22nd, 2011
Where do you keep your car keys at night - in your hand bag, near the front door, in your pocket … or in your bed?
According to swiftcover.com more than 1.5 million motorists take their car keys to bed with them. This has resulted from the increase in home burglaries where car keys are targeted.
Despite this growing trend there are still 4.5 million motorists who leave their car keys next to their front door, and a quarter of Brits leave them in a bag or coat pocket.
Robin Reames, claims director at swiftcover.com, said:
Millions of motorists are so worried about car key burglaries that they’re resorting to taking their car keys to bed, but millions more are ignoring the dangers. Modern cars are extremely difficult to steal without a key, thanks to sophisticated security systems but the downside is that car key burglaries is now an increasing threat to UK motorists. Motorists who keep their keys on a surface near their front or back door are the easiest targets for burglars and may even be victims of car key fishing where thieves literally fish for the keys through the letterbox.
Where ever you decide to keep them, make sure they are in a safe place and out of view of prying thieves.
May 18th, 2011
You may think that a multi- car insurance policy will save you money. But that’s not always true according to recent research from swiftcover.com.
Swiftcover found that buying a multi-car policy could cost as much as 29 per cent more than if separate policies were bought.
Sarah Vaughan, motor director at swiftcover.com said:
It’s easy to assume that multi-car discounts must offer the best value, but it’s clearly not the case for everyone. It may be slightly easier but is it really worth paying hundreds of pounds over the odds?
In some cases a multi-car policy may be the cheapest option but it’s always worth shopping around to make sure you get the best deal.
April 21st, 2011
According to The Telegraph, burst pipes and other leaks cost the industry £644 million last year, and it’s expected that this winter could be worse. The importance of protecting your home has been highlighted even more during the past few weeks of freezing weather. So make sure you don’t have to make an insurance claim this winter by following these handy tips.
1. Heavy snow can cause branches to break and cause damage to your home, so it’s a good idea to prune the trees around your house.
2. Keep your gutters clear to avoid flooding and damage to your home.
3. To avoid frozen pipes and flooding always keep your heating on at a low temperature. And remember to keep it on if you go away over the festive season.
4. Make sure your pipes and water tanks are well insulated.
5. Know how to turn the water off, so you’re prepared in case your pipes do start leaking.
6. If you are planning to use your chimney this winter then check it’s in good working condition. The cost of a chimney sweep is fairly small and could prevent a chimney fire.
7. Make sure you have home insurance home insurance cover for extra peace of mind.
January 4th, 2011
Fuel prices are soaring with the average family now paying 18% more on petrol than last year. Swiftcover.com has a few tips that may help you reduce your bills and get more out of the fuel you are spending your hard earned cash on.
1. Make sure you remove any unused clutter such as roof racks, old damaged tyres and anything else that may add extra weight to your car.
2. To be fuel efficient you need to keep your speed between 55-65mph. Anything over that speed will increase how much fuel you consume.
3. Driving erratically by accelerating and braking will also increase your fuel consumption. By driving smoothly and intelligently you can save up to 30% on your motoring costs.
4. Making sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure is not only necessary to make sure your vehicle is safe in wet, wintery weather but can also save you up to 10% in fuel costs.
5. Try to avoid driving short distances. Cold engines use much more fuel and by walking or taking the bus for short distances you will not only save money but you will also help save on unnecessary emissions.
6. Turn your engine off if you get stuck in a traffic jam and you won’t waste fuel on going nowhere.
7. Save fuel by changing up a gear only when you reach 2500rpm for a petrol car and 2000rpm for a diesel car.
8. Plan your journey and the times you travel so you can avoid rush hour. Not only will this stop you from becoming stressed but will cut your fuel bills too.
9. Keep you cars service record up-to-date so that your car is running at its optimum level. Doing this will also ensure your engine is clean and not clogged up.
10. Using your air con will eat fuel so if you don’t need it, don’t use it.
By changing a few little things when driving your car, you will be able to save money by lowering your fuel costs.
November 19th, 2010
More than 6 years has passed since the ban of using mobile phones whilst driving and if caught using a mobile phone you could have to pay a fine of up to £60 and get three penalty points, but this doesn’t seem to be stopping the distraction of mobile phones. A recent survey by Autoglass found:
More than half of drivers say that texting whilst driving is the biggest distraction for motorists.
71% admit that it is easy to become distracted at the wheel.
2 out of 10 people admit they have had an accident or momentarily lost focus while on the road.
Other distractions which made it on the list were eating and drinking, singing along to the radio, checking hair and make up, sneezing, lighting a cigarette and staring at an accident.
For tips on how to minimize distractions at the wheel visit
June 21st, 2010
You would think that a multi-car insurance policy would save you money but in actual fact it could be cheaper to buy individual policies, according to swiftcover.com. They put it to the test and compared the price of two popular cars on a multi policy with the cost of insuring them separately. They found that multi car policy users could be paying up to twice as much for their car insurance!
Over the past 30 years the number of households with more than one car has grown and in 2008, 32% of households had access to two or more cars, so it’s no surprise that multi-car insurance sounds appealing to many. But before you rush into buying your insurance, it’s a good idea to compare the prices of different policies first- you could save yourself a lot of money.
May 1st, 2010
The eruption of a volcano in Iceland has made headline news over the last few days, after it caused a massive cloud of ash to drift over Britain’s airspace. All flights from and to the UK have been delayed which has caused travel disruptions for thousands of people.
It is not yet known how long the disruptions will last, but the Met office has said that the ash could take a few days to clear. It has been advised that anyone travelling today should contact their airlines before heading to the airport.
Looking on the brighter side, I just read an article in The Mail Online which reported that the volcanic ash could result in some magnificent sunsets, so for the many people who aren’t travelling the volcanic cloud could just mean a beautiful evening.
April 16th, 2010
Many drivers will be feeling the strain of the rising fuel costs, with petrol prices rising close to a record high in the past few weeks. It seems almost unbelievable that this time last year we were paying an average price of 90.7 pence.
Here are some useful tips to help you save money on fuel:
Shop around for the best prices- some petrol stations offer better value than others so it’s always worth shopping around. There are websites such as www.petrolprices.com where you can find which petrol stations are the cheapest.
Lose unnecessary accessories and gadgets- anything that protrudes from your car will add resistance and cause you to use more fuel, so best to lose the roof racks and roof boxes when you’re not using them.
Drive smartly- breaking hard and accelerating harshly can use more fuel than driving smoothly. Driving fast also uses more petrol so stick to the speed limit. Taking your foot of the accelerator early when slowing down can also help.
Share a ride to work- if you are able to share lifts with others then this is a great way to cut down on fuel costs.
Don’t use your car for short journeys- short journeys are often more cost efficient than longer journeys.
Click here for some more tips on how you can save petrol.
April 9th, 2010
The freezing weather which we experienced at the start of the year has certainly taken its toll on the roads, with the number of potholes increasing by 60 per cent in the past two years. The AA reported that the amount of potholes has resulted in an increasing number of car insurance claims, and people have been left with flat tyres, damage to the wheels, steering and suspension problems.
I came across a useful website last week called fixmystreet.com where you can report potholes and other local issues; they will then forward your report to the local council, who will then look into the problem. There are a number of websites similar to this one which are useful for reporting damaged roads.
If your car has been damaged after hitting a pothole then you may be able to claim from the local highways authority. Here is a useful article about claiming for compensation: http://www.moneywise.co.uk/news-views/2010/02/09/claim-compensation-pothole-damage.
March 19th, 2010