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‘Thousands’ driving without crucial diesel filters
Thousands of motorists are breaking the law by driving diesel cars without pollution filters, experts have told BBC 5 live Investigates. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency says 1,800 cars have been caught since 2014.
But experts say they believe the number is much higher, claiming the current MOT test, which requires only a visual inspection, is not fit for purpose. The DVSA says it plans to introduce changes to improve the test next year. All new diesel cars produced after 2009 have diesel particulate filters designed to reduce pollution levels, but they can sometimes get clogged up and break down, costing thousands of pounds to replace. Because of the cost involved, some motorists are opting instead to have them removed. It is illegal for drivers to use a car with the DPF removed, but it is not illegal for garages to take them out.
Scrap student loan interest and extend payback time
Scrapping interest on student loans and extending the time limit on paying it back could help to avoid a future debt crisis, a centre-right think tank says. The UK 2020 report said the measures would “bring down costs” for students and graduates. Changing payback time limits from 30 to 50 years could also save billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, it said. Ministers are reviewing the student finance system. They said sustainable university funding was a priority. The PM recently abandoned an increase in tuition fees due next year, announcing a review of the whole student finance system in England.
Hammond faces spending dilemma, says IFS
The chancellor is between “a rock and a hard place” for his forthcoming Budget on 22 November, a think tank says. Philip Hammond may have to abandon his target for getting rid of the deficit if he wants to increase spending on public services, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said. He is also facing a likely cut in the forecast for productivity growth, and uncertainty around Brexit, it said. The Treasury said it would continue to adopt a “balanced approach”. Mr Hammond is to unveil his Budget on 22 November – the first since the general election.
Car clocking on the increase as mileage cheats escape prosecution
A failure to tackle the surge in “car clocking” is letting criminals act with almost complete impunity, an investigation by The Times has found. Fewer than 150 prosecutions have been brought in the past five years despite an estimated two million cars having had their mileage changed by tinkering with the mileometer. Freedom of information requests to every council in Britain, which have responsibility for policing the crime, found that one in five has not investigated a single case since 2012. A further one in three has investigated less than one a year. The lack of prosecutions comes amid a boom in clocking — triggered by the popularity of mileage-related car finance deals known as PCP contracts.
Safety advice to motorists as tomorrow dubbed Black Out Monday as millions face return commute in the dark
Safety advice is being given out to motorists as millions of commuters face driving home in the dark tomorrow on what has been dubbed ‘Black Out Monday’. Now the clocks have gone back returning commuters face their regular drive during darker nights, which can spell trouble if your car has defective bulbs stopping your from seeing or being seen. Research by Halfords has found that 17% of motorists weren’t certain that all the lights on their car were working, while 41% were worried about being seen by other drivers or had already experienced difficulty reading road signs. Almost a quarter (22%) said they became tired more quickly as a result of the darker nights. The investigation also found that 89% of motorists would continue to drive with a blown bulb for up to two weeks.
British motorists fork out £44BILLION a year in fuel duty, taxes and penalties — but less than £4billion is spent on highway repairs
British drivers fork out almost £44BILLION a year to the State in fuel duty, taxes and penalties, a Sun investigation reveals. That works out at £1,183 each for every single one of Britain’s 37million drivers — the first time the full extent of the Government’s motoring money-grab has been made public. Despite this massive outlay, less than £4billion a year is spent on highway repairs and major new roads. And despite duty and taxes making the price at the UK pump the highest in Europe for diesel and third-highest for petrol, there are plans to HIKE fuel duty next month. This would be a cruel blow to drivers — a quarter of whom already spend more on motoring costs than on accommodation or food, our exclusive survey has found.
Details on how UK drivers pay the highest price at the pump compared to the rest of Europe