Friday, 19 April 2013
Personally, after displaying safe motoring habits for years, my no-claims bonus has helped me to obtain cheap van insurance – which has allowed me to (so far) weather this financial crisis.
It seems every day I hear news stories about cities which are struggling during these harsh economic times. However Dubai appears to be having no problems whatsoever – its police force has recently purchased a Lamborghini Aventador.
The supercar – worth approximately £326,000 – can reportedly accelerate to 62mph in less than three seconds and is able to travel at a top speed of 217mph. Potentially, this vehicle could be used to police individuals cruising around in their exotic motors while also helping to impress tourists.
Although I'm glad that Dubai appears to be having no financial difficulties during this time of austerity, I dread to think how much it would cost to insure a Lamborghini...
Photo © Bentom Wyemji via Flickr under Creative Commons Licence
Monday, 8 April 2013
I know that, even though I'm not directly rewarded for my good parking, I've probably made someone's day easier by not choosing to park somewhere I shouldn't have.
So, I'm ever so slightly annoyed that one van driver in Haywards Heath in West Sussex got a Cadbury's Creme Egg given to him after parking appallingly.
On Easter Sunday, a van was found by residents of the area, parked almost in the centre of the road. Instead of putting an angry note under his windscreen wipers – they were apparently feeling particularly good-natured that day because they decided that sarcasm and chocolate would be enough of a warning against repeating the poor behaviour elsewhere.
The two notes read: "What an amazing place to park a vehicle," and "You definitely didn't block the whole road. Happy Easter, from the residents of Southdowns." Along with these was a Cadbury's Creme Egg balanced on one of the wipers.
It hasn't been reported what the driver's reaction to the notes and chocolate was, but I hope it made them feel guilty about parking so badly. Who parks in the middle of a road and thinks that's ok?
Anyway, perhaps one day I will be rewarded by others for my good parking – but for now I'll just have to keep patting myself on the back.
Image © UnpublishedGuy via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence
Monday, 25 February 2013
Sometimes, the congestion charge really does my head in. I realise this measure is meant to cut traffic volumes and reduce CO2 emissions, but there are times when I really need to access certain parts of London – and it just feels like I'm being taxed on my deliveries.
For example, I might have to enter the City of London in order to deliver an item. It would be impossible to transport this object via public transport so I need to take the van. Consequently, I have to pay the congestion charge to complete the job.
Each time I enter the chargeable zones on weekdays, I have to pay £10. Incurring this fee regularly adds up &ndash potentially costing quite a bit.
However, it appears the Freight Transport Association is trying to make my life easier. The organisation wants Transport for London (TfL) to introduce a congestion charge exemption for "essential users".
If implemented, I might be excused from paying this fee if my delivery could not be completed without a vehicle and there was no way to fulfil the assignment without venturing into a chargeable zone.
Of course, this exemption could apply to other van insurance holders, delivery drivers, as well as couriers.
Still, this is a moot point at the moment. It would be nice to enter the City of London without having to pay a £10 fee, but TfL has not agreed to anything yet. Still, if it decide to introduce this exemption, I'll be delighted – and I'm betting the majority of delivery drivers will be pleased as well.
Photo © mariordo59 via Flickr under Creative Commons Licence
Monday, 18 February 2013
Picture the situation – I meet up with old acquaintances and they ask me what I'm doing these days. After a short description, they often jokingly say something along the lines of, 'So, you're a white van man then?'
No, I am not.
When behind the wheel, I refrain from aggressive or inconsiderate driving behaviours while always adhering to the rules of the road. You can take my word for it, but I feel my no-claims discount usually speaks for itself. However, the findings of a recent survey suggest even the safest car owners could also be 'white van men'.
This research, conducted by a provider of business van insurance, appears to show that van drivers commit a higher number of motoring offences in these modes of transport than in other vehicles. For example, while using their vans, the survey suggests these people are more likely to acquire a speeding ticket, travel through red lights, and suffer a traffic accident.
Thinking logically, this research could mean that van drivers are being pressured into completing as many jobs as possible during their shifts. As a result, this may lead to them ignoring traffic laws in order to fulfil these deadlines.
Conversely, these same people may slow down and behave more appropriately when using their cars or other vehicles for personal reasons.
Obviously, there are no good reasons for flouting the rules of the road. Although these are hard economic times, and getting more jobs done may mean more money coming into a business, violating traffic laws simply isn't worth it. – partly because suffering a vehicle collision or receiving a driving conviction could substantially increase the price of an individual's van insurance policy.
Photo © didbygraham via Flickr under Creative Commons Licence
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
If you mention speed cameras to a group of motorists, you will probably receive a variety of different responses. Some may call them a stealth tax, others could say they save lives, but a few might say they are not perfect &ndash and can make mistakes.
Unfortunately, a possible any driver van insurance policyholder recently lost his job due to a speed camera error. Reportedly, the motorist was travelling down a 40mph street in a company vehicle when he saw this device flash.
Despite the fact that his van had been fitted with a speed limiter which prevented the vehicle from exceeding 70mph, the camera clocked him driving at 103mph. Therefore, it should have been obvious that this was the result of an unfortunate mix-up. However, the man's employer allegedly believed the camera's report and sacked him.
Although the error has now become apparent and police have apologised, the driver's job has been filled by someone else and he has yet to find new employment.
I can't imagine what he is going through at the moment. Losing your job is a terrible feeling, but being sacked because of a simple misunderstanding must feel ten times worse. Personally, I wish him all the best for the future and I hope he manages to find work soon.
Photo © ell brown via Flickr under Creative Commons Licence
Friday, 1 February 2013
I hate sexism, it drives me up the wall.
I especially hate it when a group of male and female motorists get together and the seemingly inevitable debate begins – who are better drivers, boys or girls?
In the grand scheme of things, the answer to this question doesn't really matter. When I am trying to do my job, I only care about driving safely and adhering to the rules of the road. As a result, I have managed to build up a history of no-claims – and a cheaper van insurance policy.
While I have experienced a reduction in my van insurance premiums, many women might have recently seen the price of their cover increase. It seems the European Court of Justice hate sexism as much as I do and passed the 'Gender Directive'.
When this legislation came into effect last December, insurers were prevented from using gender as a risk factor when pricing policies. Consequently, when a female motorist purchased or renewed her cover, she might have seen her premiums increase to match the figures generally quoted to men.
While hanging around the staff room one day, a couple of my female colleagues were talking about this directive. However, they were also chatting about a new insurance website called "drive like a girl".
After my workmates explained the situation to me, it seems these insurers have quite a good idea. Statistically speaking, women are involved in fewer serious traffic accidents than their male counterparts and tend to make less expensive claims. Consequently, by 'driving like a girl' policyholders could eventually save money on their insurance premiums.
Even better, the insurers do not discriminate on the basis of gender – and will be happy to sell policies to men. In theory, if I were to purchase cover through them, I might be able to demonstrate my motoring abilities and prove that blokes are more than capable of driving safely.
Unfortunately they only sell car insurance at the moment, so I will only be able to get a 'drive like a girl' policy for my car, not my van.
Photo © kk+ via Flickr under Creative Commons Licence
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
It means that even though women drive better and historically have always paid lower car insurance, insurance companies can no longer discriminate in their favour.
drive like a girl aims to give women back their cheaper premiums.
This is because their insurance policies are based on black box technology.
A telematics device is fitted to the car which measures GPS positioning, acceleration and braking. The data from the box allows drive like a girl to lower premiums if the driver is driving responsibly and safely. The company is also willing to insure men, so no discrimination on the basis of gender occurs.