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An 11-year-old boy was one of 991 children convicted of driving without insurance in 2014, according to the RAC – although that’s just a fraction of the one million drivers thought to be on our roads without insurance.
Its Freedom of Information request to the DVLA found that there had been a 21% rise in the number of under 17s convicted of driving without insurance from 2012 to 2014.
The youngest driver was an 11-year-old boy, with 32 times as many convictions in 2014 for boys (961) as girls (30).
Meanwhile, the conviction rate among drivers of all ages who did not hold valid driving licences and were caught without insurance also remained stubbornly high – rising 6% from 14,466 in 2012 to 15,307 in 2014.
In total – taking in full, provisional and non-licenced holders – 100,323 people were convicted in 2014, which is a 6% reduction compared to 106,233 in 2012.
Among drivers will full licences, 45,838 men were convicted of driving without a licence in 2014 compared to just 12,879 female convictions – although there was a nine per cent fall in the total number of convictions among men that hold full driving licences – from 50,454 in 2012 to 45,838 in 2014.
The RAC also discovered that some of the largest rises in convictions were among male full licence holders aged 65 and over. In this age group, convictions rose 23% from 809 (2012) to 992 (2014). Convictions involving women of the same age group grew 19% from 148 to 176 cases.
Three manufacturers have had to recall electric cars in the last few weeks, with Volkswagen, Nissan and Renault all admitting problems with their models.
VW has just recalled 5,561 e-Golf cars in the US following complaints of the vehicle stalling unexpectedly.
The manufacturer said that the car’s management system could ‘inadvertently classify a brief internal electrical current surge/peak as a critical battery condition’, causing the battery to shut down. VW says a software update will resolve the problem.
This recall follows brake issues for both the Nissan Leaf (47,538 recalls) and Renault Zoe (10,649 recalls).
However, one industry expert says issues like these should be expected with new technology, and reports suggest the uptake of electric cars will only increase.
Speaking to the BBC, Jay Nagley , managing director of the Redspy auto consultancy, said, ‘Yes there are teething troubles, but the great thing about electric cars is they don’t catch fire – they are the only product I know of, fitted with lithium-ion batteries, for which that is the case.’
Meanwhile, a report by the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016 found that the falling price of EV batteries will have a big impact on the market. It found that in 2010 the global average for EV batteries was $1,000 per kWh, but that had fallen to just $350 last year. It put the tipping point, the point when EVs can become mainstream, as $150 per kWh.
However, the reduced battery costs are already telling, with 462,000 EV sales reported around the world in 2015, a 59% increase on 2014.
At this rate, a report by Argonne National Laboratory predicted that 58% of the light vehicle market will be EVs by 2030, with less than 25% non-hybrid gas cars.
Source: Bodyshop Magazine
Demand for UK-built cars shows “no sign of slowing” as the UK automotive manufacturing sector experiences 13.1% year-on-year growth, according to SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.
British car manufacturing achieved another month of strong growth in February with output up 13.1% year-on-year and 10.6% year-to-date, with 284,507 vehicles built so far.
Output for the domestic market rose 24.4% in the month, accompanied by a robust 9.1% increase in export production, the SMMT reported.
And Hawes said: “The UK automotive industry’s impressive growth continued into February, with demand from both domestic and overseas customers showing no signs of slowing.
“The outlook for the sector is bright, but much will depend on global political and economic conditions in the months and years to come.”
Dealership rents to grow ‘significantly’
Dealership rents are predicted to rise “significantly” this year as the sector keeps pace with competition from other retail users.
The message comes from Automotive Property Consultancy (APC) in its spring 2016 market review.
In it APC says despite strong demand for new cars, rental growth in car dealerships has been relatively subdued.
“Rents for competing uses – industrial for example – have seen significant increases particularly in the last three years. This means that any premium offered by dealership uses has been eroded significantly.
“We anticipate that dealership rents will rise significantly over the next year as this differential is re-established, raising the average back to figures last seen a decade ago.”
The UK market has seen a surge of dealer interest in online car finance, including calculators and pre qualifier tools.
The development has been aided by the boom in sales of new – and increasingly used – cars on contract PCPs.
Customers increasingly choose to pay to drive rather than pay to own vehicles.
Seven thousand dealers are now connected to iVendi online motor finance products.
The growth was generated by deals with leading finance providers, car portals, dealer groups and manufacturers.
James Tew, CEO, said: “Over the last couple of years, there has been dramatic growth in interest in online motor finance tools, and we have been very well positioned to meet this increasing demand.
iVendi products connected to dealers include the Quoteware online finance calculator, Car Finance Checker finance pre-qualifier and the second generation iVendi Platform – a complete motor finance management suite launched in January.
Last year Codeweavers, another operator in the online finance sector, launched an upgrade of its finance calculator for dealers called Finance Finder.
It uses plug-in technology which allows for quick changeover from the current calculator. The upgrade allows customers to see finance products side-by-side and establish their relative affordability.
Dealer pre-registrations are ramping up in the final days of March in a bid to hit ambitious carmaker sales targets.
More than one-third of franchise dealers questioned by cap hpi reported that pre-registrations were likely to make up over 16% of the total in the first quarter of 2016.
It said pre-registration activity had been “fairly light” year-to-date but this was predicted to change during the final few days of March.
In the used car market for March cap hpi reported strong demand for cars and static values.
Derren Martin, senior editor of Black Book, said: “Supply and demand have been well matched in the used car market in 2016.
“According to data received by cap hpi, the number of used cars sold so far this year is up 7.7% on the same period in 2015.
Cap hpi say one side-effect of the strong overall trade values since early January has been a compression of dealer margins, plus very early signs of a reluctance by some to pay the high prices in the market.
Auction conversion rates remained healthy as expected, and analysis of data received by cap hpi showed a 14% increase in cars sold through auction, compared to the same number of working days in March 2015, illustrating the strength of the used car market this year, as well as the fact that auctions remain a popular way of buying and selling used cars.