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Daily news round upBack


Women are key audience for service plans

A recent survey by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has revealed a large percentage of women are uncomfortable when it comes to having their car serviced, with one of the main worries being cost.

Since around half of all cars are purchased by women, EMaC is getting behind the IMI campaign to ensure every woman buying a new or used car has access to information about the way in which service plans can provide real pricing certainty.

17% of all women interviewed felt that at some time they had been over-charged for servicing costs at some time and 36% were totally reliant upon their dealer for guidance.



Apple and Google preference could segment younger car buyers, says Glass’s

Personal preference for an iPhone or Android smartphone could soon dictate the car choice of younger buyers, predicts Glass’s.

The publishers of the trade pricing bible say motor manufacturers are already working with Apple or Google on next generation systems that will see smartphones, tablets and cars integrating much more closely, giving drivers greater access to information and apps.

Glass’s head of valuations Rupert Pontin said: “Smartphone and tablet technology is something that is already integral to the lives of younger car buyers in a way that is more rarely the case for older people.

“Car manufacturers know this and most are now working on a new wave of connectivity systems that will see your smartphone functions become a part of the dashboard display and functionality. Essentially, these integrated systems will augment and replace the same functions in today’s cars.

“Several have chosen a partner for working in this arena and, predictably, have chosen to go with either Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto. However, these two are unlikely to be cross compatible and here is where the problem lies.

“If you are a car manufacturer that has chosen to go with Android, can you still sell your car to a committed Apple smartphone user? This is something that might make older car buyers roll their eyes but for many people in their late teens and early 20s, it is a genuine issue. Backing the wrong horse could see their models become not just less attractive to a growing group of buyers but also see their residual values hit.

“Unless compromises are made over the operating systems being installed in vehicles to encourage something approaching universal compatibility, some manufacturers and owners will inevitably lose out.”



Sainsbury’s deal offers 10ppl off fuel

Sainsbury’s is launching an offer which it says will provide customers with unleaded petrol at less than £1 per litre.

From Thursday 26th February until Wednesday 4th March it is offering customers spending £30 or more in store or online 10p off per litre of fuel at its forecourts.

Sainsbury’s says the deal could save a customer driving a family saloon car on unleaded fuel as much as £12.44 compared to prices from the same week last year.

The saving is available to customers shopping in supermarkets and convenience stores, and online customers will receive a coupon with their grocery delivery.

Sainsbury’s retail and operations director Roger Burnley said: “We’re delighted to be offering customers this super saving on fuel. For the cost of their essentials, they can take advantage of some of the biggest fuel savings in the market. Customers can fill up at nearly 300 petrol stations at our stores straight after their shop.”



Companies in the dark over drug-driving law

One in four respondents to a Fleet News poll say they are in the dark about new drug-driving legislation that comes into force from March 2.

The new law, which is being introduced in England and Wales, sets limits for eight illegal and eight prescription drugs.

Once the legislation is in force, police will be able to take up to three saliva tests at the roadside to identify any drugs used. If any are positive, then the motorist would be taken to a police station for a blood test.

Under the existing offence of being impaired by drugs while driving, police and prosecutors have to show how a driver’s ability had been affected by what they had taken. In the future, they will simply have to show that the individual had taken drugs.

Motorists found guilty will face an automatic driving ban of at least a year, as well as a possible jail term of up to six months and a fine of up to £5,000. Their driving licence will also show they have been convicted for drug driving, which will last for 11 years.

The new measures are intended to reduce the wasted time, expense and effort involved for the police and the courts when prosecutions fail, because of the difficulty of proving that a driver is impaired by a particular drug.



Private plates at risk has analysed 226 comprehensive car insurance policies and found that only 12 would cover the loss of a personalised number plate if the car was lost or stolen.

Its analysis also found only 10 insurers covered a financial loss of £5,000 or more. Private plates however are on the rise, with nearly 250,000 private plates sold between 2013 and 2014 alone.

But drivers who are thinking about splashing out on personalised car trimmings should first consider the insurance implications; namely that if your vehicle is stolen or written off, your private plate may be at risk.

If a car insurance policy includes cover for personalised number plates and a claim is made for the cost of the car, including the plate, then the insurer owns the vehicle that the registration number is assigned to and, therefore, owns the rights to the registration number. The claimant can buy the registration number back if the insurer is willing to sell it to the policyholder or hasn’t already sold it on, for no more than the settlement price. If the vehicle has already been disposed of by the insurance company then all rights to the registration plate go with the vehicle.

But that’s not the end of the personalised plate conundrum.

If a vehicle with a personalised plate is stolen, its owner will have to wait 12 months to get the number plate back. They will also have to prove that the car had a valid MOT and tax at the time of theft to reclaim the personalised plate.

If the vehicle has been written off, the owner should contact the DVLA and the insurer to let them know that they want to keep the plate – the insurer will then write a letter of non-interest and send it to the DVLA. The registered keeper will have to pay a retention fee to keep the plate if they don’t have another vehicle to transfer it to. The registration transfer fees are changing from 9 March 2015. The retention fee will be reduced to £80, while the fee for transfer will remain the same at £80. The period that a registration number can be retained for is also being changed from 1, 2 or 3 years to 10 years, the annual retention fee of £25 will also be removed from 9 March 2015.

Motorists who have had their vehicle with a personalised number plate written off have to work fast. If the car is scrapped the number plate dies with it. The registration number moves with the vehicle it is assigned to, not the person who may have bought the registration number.



Posted by Lois Hardy on 25/02/2015