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UK car sales slide 9% in September
Sales of new cars in the UK fell for the sixth month in a row during September, with demand for diesel cars plunging more than a fifth. There were 426,170 new car registration last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said. The figure was down 9.3% from September last year, while diesel sales – which have been hit by worries over air quality – fell by 21.7%. It was the first time in six years that the key September market had fallen.
Theresa May: Tories rally round PM after speech woes
Tory MPs have rallied round Theresa May after her conference speech on Wednesday was marred by mishaps.
James Cleverly said he was “proud” of the PM for contending with a persistent cough and a prankster. John Redwood said MPs backed her “strong message”. The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said that while many MPs wanted her to stay as leader, there were “emerging plots”. These involved Tory MPs trying to get support to approach Mrs May privately and persuade her to stand aside. This group will only act if they feel they have the numbers to do so “quickly and cleanly”, our political editor said, adding: “It is just not clear at the moment where the numbers really lie.”
Bank calls for Brexit transition deal by Christmas
The UK and the EU must agree on a Brexit transition deal by Christmas or risk banks triggering their contingency plans, the Bank of England has warned. Deputy governor Sam Woods said that while the UK is committed to an implementation period, the EU’s position “is not yet clear”. If no deal is reached, banks will begin a potentially disorderly shift of operations overseas. He said that would mean banks becoming more complex and harder to supervise.
Dealerships braced for crash in new car sales
Ministers and the motor trade are bracing themselves for the worst new car sales figures since the recession. For the September registration plate change month, dealerships are privately warning about big falls in new registrations because of confusion about the future of diesel engines and the unwillingness of motorists to commit to a big-ticket acquisition in uncertain economic times. In 2010 new September registrations fell by nearly 9 per cent. A year later they were still drifting downwards before a strong recovery. In 2012, 2013 and 2015 September sales rose by about 10 per cent per annum.
Electric cars must be limited too, say pollution experts
All cars, including those run on electricity, will have to be banned or deterred by high entry charges on many roads to meet the mayor of London’s new air quality target, according to the government’s top pollution adviser. Frank Kelly said that large parts of central London should be pedestrianised or placed off limits to private cars during the day to reduce the tiny toxic particles produced by brakes and tyres. Professor Kelly, chairman of the committee on the medical effects of air pollutants, was responding to Sadiq Khan’s pledge yesterday to reduce pollution to the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit by 2030.
Drink-driving in a driverless car should be legal, expert body says
Uber drivers could one day be spared from engaging in small talk with drunks if a National Transport Commission suggestion to allow people under the influence of alcohol to use fully automated vehicles is adopted by state road authorities. The NTC, an independent statutory body tasked with reforming Australia’s driving laws to prepare for the arrival of driverless cars, has recommended an “exemption” from drink and drug-driving laws for people who ride in fully automated vehicles. In a new discussion paper it argues there is a “clear-cut” justification for an exemption from drink-driving laws because there is “no possibility that a human could drive a dedicated automated vehicle”.
Voice-controlled car ‘infotainment’ systems are so dangerous to motorists they should be BANNED, experts warn
Voice-controlled systems allowing motorists to use their sat-nav or text at the wheel can be so distracting they should be banned, a new study advises. Many drivers assume that because the devices are factory-fitted and legal to use they must be safe. But, in fact, they divert a driver’s attention so much that they are hazardous – with sat-nav the riskiest of all, followed by texting, the researchers found.
Five million left with credit card debts they can’t repay: City watchdog chief launches scathing attack on card companies for failing to help their customers
Five million people are drowning in credit card debt that costs up to £3.50 for every pound they borrow.
The figures were revealed last night by the boss of the City watchdog who said the debtors would find it almost impossible to repay the money. Andrew Bailey launched a scathing attack on card companies for failing to help their most pressed customers. He revealed that high fees and charges mean that for every £100 borrowed some families are repaying a total of £350. This is often because they repay only the minimum each month, allowing interest to build up for years.
The mistake that’s adding an extra £300 to car insurance policies for 821,000 drivers
How often do you really use your car? If the answer is ‘rarely’ or ‘just on the weekends’ you could be wasting hundreds on car insurance. That’s according to a new report by Cuvva, a pay-as-you-go policy app, that claims almost one million British motorists are paying needlessly for a service they rarely use – to the tune of £300 a year. In a report, Curva found there are more than 821,000 drivers in the UK who spend one hour a week or less behind the wheel. Those on an annual insurance policy will effectively be paying £16 an hour to be on the road, with the average annual premium now £847.The app reckons that if these drivers switch from an annual premium to a pay-as-you-go policy, they could bring their annual cost of cover down to around £570 a year, a £277 saving. If all 821,000 were to make the switch, the saving would be more than £227 million annually.