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FLAFLA: Consumer car finance grows 12% in April

The number of vehicles bought on finance rose 12% in April to 85,436 according to figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA). The value of this finance was £1,456m, 17% more than in April 2015.

These are extremely strong results especially if we consider that new car registrations only grew 2% in April. Finance penetration grew to 83.6% for the twelve months to April, up from 82.7% for the 12 months to March. The number of used cars bought on finance showed a more modest growth of 8% in April to 109,821 and the value rose 9% year-on-year to £1,163.


DriverlessCarAutonomous vehicles sales revised up

The latest forecast from IHS Automotive predicts sales of nearly 21 million autonomous vehicles by 2035, a substantial increase from its previous estimates.

America will lead in early adoption of autonomous vehicles, while Japan will simultaneously start investing in the industry ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, according to HIS predictions.

Several thousand autonomous vehicles in 2020 will be distributed in the US, these figures will grow to nearly 4.5 million vehicles by 2035. In western Europe major markets will maintain industry technology leadership through the premium segment, with a little more than three million autonomous vehicles expected to be sold in 2035.

Egil Juliussen, Ph.D. and director of research at IHS Automotive, said, ‘Global sales of autonomous vehicles will reach nearly 600,000 units in 2025. Our new forecast reflects a 43% compound annual growth rate between 2025 and 2035 – a decade of substantial growth, as driverless and self-driving cars alike are more widely adopted in all key global automotive markets.’

CarInsuranceSheila’s wheels discovers gender inequality

Contrary to popular belief, women pay less than men for identical car repairs at UK independent garages.

A new study has found that women pay on average 13 per cent less than their male counterparts, according to research carried out by car insurer Sheila’s Wheels.

It sent a 2011 Ford Fiesta in need of service and repairs to 100 independent garages, and found that men were quoted £106 for a minor service compared to £94 for women for the same job.

And the older the driver, the more discrepancy in the price; men aged 60 and over were quoted 32 per cent more to change an alternator than women of the same age. On average, the men were asked to pay £258, while the 60+ women were only asked for £196 for the work. Older men were also charged 26 per cent more for a basic service and 17 per cent more to fit a new set of brake pads than older women.

The study said, ‘Cars are becoming increasingly technical, which means most of us are in turn becoming less and less savvy about car maintenance – men as well as women. This means you can now be ripped off whatever your gender.” 

DriverlessCarsFirst driverless insurance policy launched

Adrian Flux has launched the first personal driverless car insurance policy. It is designed for consumers who may already have driverless features in their existing cars or who may be thinking of buying a new car with driverless features. It aims to encourage debate and discussion around the issue of liability and autonomous technology

The new driverless policy has additional features over a standard car insurance policy. Customers will be covered in the following scenarios:

  • If updates or security patches for things like firewalls, operating systems, electronic mapping and journey planning systems haven’t been successfully installed in the vehicle within 24 hours of the owner being notified by the manufacturer or software provider, subject to an increased policy excess
  • If there are satellite failure / outages that affect the navigation systems, or if the manufacturer’s operating system or authorised software fails
  • Where there is loss or damage caused by failing, when able, to use manual override to avoid a collision or accident in the event of operating system, navigation system or mechanical failure.
  • For loss or damage if your car gets hacked or an attempted hack results in loss or damage.


MobilePhoneUsageDrivers call for harsher punishments on hand-held mobile phone use

Most drivers believe the current penalties for using a hand-held phone when behind the wheel are not severe enough and they should be revisited, according to a recent research from RAC.

Among those who feel the penalty should be increased, a fifth (21%) think both the number of points and the fine should be raised, 12% said just the fine should be increased, whereas 6% stated that only the points should be. For 11%, disqualification from driving is the answer, with the majority of those (52%) believing it’s the only deterrent likely to make a difference. The Government is already considering raising the fine from £100 to £150 and increasing the penalty points from three to four.

According to the RAC, the number of road police officers has reduced 27% from 2010 to 2015, which the company believes is a key factor to the sharp decline in fixed penalties issued; from a high of 125,500 in 2009 to just 52,400 in 2012.

A study conducted by the University of Sussex also revealed that talking on a hands-free phone can be just as distracting as talking on a hand-held mobile. Conversations seem to cause the driver to use the part of the brain that normally watches the road to visually imagine their conversations, thus leading to a reduction in concentration and attention.


AALogoEco driver training could yield 9% annual fuel savings

The initiative integrates the Energy Savings Trust (EST) training methods into AA DriveTech’s courses with each driver completing two laps of a pre-defined road circuit.

Comparative fuel economy figures and average speed figures are recorded both before and after the driver receives practical and easy to follow coaching; each driver is given a driver report to show what they achieved on the day.

With an average saving of 9% on fuel costs, EST says a typical business driver covering 12,000 miles a year could expect to see annual savings between £180 and £210.

Andy Wheeler, head of the Training Academy with AA DriveTech, said: “An immediate fuel saving of 9% is a great result as our programme is focused on ‘real world’ training in real-life driving situations. Our coaching techniques are completely practical and also deliver additional safety benefits due to the increased focus by drivers on anticipating the driving hazards ahead.”


261211 Save money on car insuranceAnnual cost of motoring falls 22%

the average annual cost of running a car is around £2,197.42, which is 22% – or £622 – less than 2013, as research from Sainsbury’s Bank revealed.

The main reason for this change is that the cost of fuel – nearly half of the cost of running a car – has fallen by 37.8% during this period. The second biggest expense is insurance, accounting for around 28%. Since 2013, car insurance premiums have increased by 5.2%.


120413 PCP or HPPCP finance is in the sights of claims lawyers, claims broker trade body

PCP motor finance could be the subject of the next mis-selling scandal if sales executives haven’t been clear at the point of purchase, warns The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers.

Franchised dealers and captive finance companies have been accused of giving insufficient advice on PCP interest structure and likely equity.

Graham Hill, board member and car finance expert, NACFB, said: “While the PCP in itself can be an appropriate solution for many car owners, as it reduces the monthly payments quite significantly, the issue lies with the way these products have been sold.

“Were people made aware of the increased interest rate charges on PCPs relative to hire purchase agreements, and were they misled about the prospect of equity, either deliberately or out of dealer naivety?”

Source: AM-Online

DieselGovernment May Increase Taxes On Diesel Cars

The Transport Minister has told the Evening Standard that the government may look at increasing taxes on diesel fuel in order to try to reduce pollution levels in London and other large cities across the UK.

The popularity of diesel cars may fall significantly, resulting in a shift in stock priorities in the motor trade industry. In 2001, then-Chancellor Gordon Brown reduced taxes on diesel in a bid to encourage diesel car ownership, as it was seen as the lower-carbon option. As a result, diesel car ownership increased from 13 per cent of overall ownership, to around 28 per cent. Diesel does emit less carbon than petrol, however it contributes far more nitrogen oxide (NOx) and other particulates into the air, which are damaging to public health.


Posted by Sue Robinson on 17/06/2016