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UK unemployment drops to 1.49m
UK unemployment fell by 64,000 to 1.49 million in the three months to May, official figures show. It meant the unemployment rate fell to its lowest since 1975, at 4.5%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) added. But wage increases continued to fall further behind inflation.
FCA: More taking out drawdown pensions without advice
More people are taking out so-called drawdown pensions without taking advice, the City regulator has warned.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said 30% of consumers go in to drawdown without getting guidance.
That compares with just 5% before the pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015. It also says that those who access drawdown policies before the age of 65 typically stick with their current provider, rather than shopping around.
Why are US car sales falling?
Car sales in America – the world’s second-largest market – are stalling, but there’s debate about whether the downshift is due to normal economic cycles or a sign of bigger changes. Major firms, such as Ford, General Motors and Toyota, have reported sales dips in the first half of the year. They come after a record 17.55 million cars, SUVs, minivans and pick-up trucks were sold in 2016. Forecasters expect US sales to fall to about 17 million this year, as demand recedes after years of increases.
Car insurance ‘set to be most expensive on record’
UK car insurance prices are close to an all-time high, with the average cost for a comprehensive policy reaching £847 at the end of June. That is an increase of 19 per cent over the past year according to Willis Towers Watson and Confused.com, which compiled the data. The most expensive premiums recorded were in 2011, when the average reached £858. The companies say that cost of insurance has risen in 10 of the past 12 months. Older drivers experienced the biggest increase. Younger drivers saw the lowest rise, but their premiums tend to be higher than those of other age groups.
Audi launches most advanced self-driving car
Audi has launched the most advanced self-driving car available on the roads, in spite of warnings from across the industry that a system that allows owners to take their eyes off the road for prolonged periods of time is fundamentally unsafe. The Volkswagen-owned brand unveiled its new flagship A8 saloon on Tuesday, a vehicle that will spearhead the company’s attempts to reclaim the technological lead over arch rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The most eye-catching feature of the car that allows drivers to sit back and watch television while the vehicle drives itself at speeds of up to 60km per hour in heavy traffic is highly controversial.
Average driver overcharged for parking by £209 a year
Drivers are spending more than £200 a year paying for vacant car parking spaces because of a reliance on out-of-date technology, according to research. Motorists are being routinely overcharged because they are forced to buy a set amount of parking time that stretches way beyond their real stay. The study, by Inrix, a vehicle information supplier, found that the average driver was overcharged by £209 over a year. In London, overcharging increased to £380, meaning that drivers in the capital paid out the equivalent of £1.5 billion more than they should, it was claimed.
Auto industry fights back at plan to cut cars’ greenhouse gas emissions
The Australian car industry has tried to kill any government move to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars, arguing it would increase the cost to consumers and contradicting comprehensive government modelling. The government plans to introduce emissions standards for new cars, releasing a series of proposed targets in discussion papers and seeking input from industry and other stakeholders. Under the strongest target considered, new cars would have to cut their CO2 emissions by 45% below current levels by 2025 – from 192g of CO2 a kilometre to 105g.
Drivers spend two days a year trying to find a parking space – and it costs motorists £733 EACH in time and fuel
Motorists spend an average of 44 hours a year searching for a parking space. This costs £733 in time and fuel, or £23 billion to the nation, a study shows. London was ranked the worst city for parking, as drivers waste as much as 67 hours a year, costing them £1,104. It was followed by Belfast (56 hours and £928), Leeds (47 hours and £772) and Bristol (46 hours and £768).Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Southampton completed the top ten. The study, by the traffic data supplier Inrix, found that the total annual cost of time spent searching for a space, money overspent for parking, and tickets for overstaying was more than £30billion.
Thousands of owners complain about their cars losing power after firm removes controversial ’emission cheating’ technologies
Thousands of Volkswagen owners have complained about their cars losing power after the firm’s garages removed the controversial technology that allowed it to cheat on strict emissions tests. The emissions scandal emerged in 2015 when it was revealed that VW had installed a so-called defeat device to make its cars appear more environmentally friendly. The car maker has recalled 1.2million cars in the UK alone, with more than 720,000 having the device removed so far. But an investigation by BBC’s Watchdog consumer programme will tonight show that thousands of these cars have later triggered ‘limp mode’ – a safety feature that protects the engine when it detects a problem by cutting almost all power, resulting in rapid deceleration.