Cars

Emissions test ‘gaming’ costs motorists thousands in additional fuel costs

Posted on August 30, 2018 at 10:04 am

Anyone with a keen interest in cars will know that it’s rare for a modern vehicle to be able to achieve its published MPG figures under what most of us consider normal driving conditions, and often with some quite considerable variations. Speaking as a regular road tester, it’s something I assess in every vehicle I drive – what does it take to get or beat the published MPG?

Much of this can be put down to the now-defunct NEDC testing system, which was a laboratory based standardised testing system, that perhaps poorly reflected the nature of real-world driving. Or rather, much can be put down to manufacturers response to it. Whilst this is now being replaced as we speak with the more realistic (albeit still laboratory-based) WLTP system, manufacturers have been used to gaming these tests for years.

In the most extreme example, you have the defeat software as used in the Volkswagen emissions scandal, but the system-gaming runs much deeper; manufacturers will test vehicles with overly hard tyres, remove absolutely any unnecessary components, ensure any non-essential electrical loads are disabled, and so-on, all designed to ensure that the machine performs as best as it can in test conditions.

It would be naïve to expect this to end under the new system.

 

Posted in Cars

Owning your Own Business Vehicle

Posted on May 24, 2018 at 1:54 pm

There are many careers where you will be expected to have your own vehicle. You might be a taxi driver, a delivery driver or someone who works in the community, such as a nurse. For all of these jobs, you will need to have your own transport and means of getting around.

With a job like taxi driving, you can also make money from having a vehicle. In this case, you will need to be very careful about insurance. Make sure you have the correct insurance policy at all times and keep it up to date. If anything changes with your circumstances or your vehicle, you will need to update your insurance company straight away.

It is important to keep you care safe when you use it for your living. Get regular services, keep the MOT up to date and as you car gets older, consider investing in a new one.

Posted in Cars

Automatic or Manual Cars and your Options when Buying

Posted on March 20, 2018 at 11:12 pm

A manual car has a gear stick, which is used to control the gear box of the car. This means the driver will need to change gears up or down as they speed up or reduce their speed. In an automatic car, the car will do all of this for you, so you don’t have to worry about gears at all. Here are some of the ups and downs for each:

Manual 

  • Most people learn to drive in a manual car, so it feels more natural to drive one.
  • You have more control and can use gears to control braking.
  • You can change gear when you want to control acceleration

Automatic 

  • There is less to think about. Some people feel safer driving a manual car.
  • It could be easier to drive abroad, as you won’t have to think about the gear stick being on the opposite side.
  • It can be useful for people with disabilities, because you don’t need to change gear or press down a clutch.

Posted in Cars

Running a Fleet – What is Needed?

Posted on December 17, 2017 at 10:13 am

Running a fleet of vehicles is no easy task. You will need to be a highly organised, focused person in order to take on the task. It’s not something just anyone can do, and some knowledge of cars is also preferable. Here are some of the main things you will need to be a successful fleet manager:

  • Organisation. You will need to be organised and methodical in your approach to fleet management. It simply won’t work if you aren’t organised.
  • A knowledge of cars and car maintenance. Whilst you don’t need to be a mechanic, you will need to know how to liaise with car garages, breakdown services etc. Some knowledge is going to come in useful.
  • Good communication skills. You will be talking to lots of different people, including the person who owns the cars as part of their company.
  • Reliability. People need to know they are getting the right information about their cars.

Posted in Cars

How to Choose a New Car – Style vs Practicality

Posted on November 30, 2017 at 9:55 pm

When choosing a new car, it can be so tempting to go for the shiny, new, pretty option. You need to remember the practicalities as well though – it needs to do what you need for it to do, otherwise it is a major waste of money. Think about your non negotiable points and have these ready to go when you are car shopping.

Size is a very important factor. Small sporty cars may look great, but they just aren’t going to be practical. This is especially true if you have a family and need to get car seats and baby carriers into the car. The bigger the vehicle, the better.

You should also think about running costs. Whilst a big engine and great horsepower may be tempting, it’s going to be so much more expensive to run a powerful car. It will need more fuel and won’t be especially efficient with it.

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