Posts

Vauxhall Corsa GSi (2018)

2018 Vauxhall Corsa GSi: surprise package but surprise price

The Vauxhall Corsa GSi is a car down on power compared to the Ford Fiesta ST, but can the way it drives justify its ambitious £18,995 list price?

Accidents

Younger drivers most likely to trigger serious accident alerts

Accidents

Britain’s biggest black box car insurance company has released new data that appears to show that some of the riskiest drivers on our roads are also some of the youngest.

Insurethebox has been providing telematics-based car insurance since 2010. It recently analysed its records for 2017 – and has found that, from 4 million miles of driving data, drivers aged 17-21 were responsive for more than 7 in 10 of the most serious ‘high impact collision alerts’ via its Accident Alert service.

These alerts are auto-generated when dangerous incidents are detected. It works in a similar way to eCall, the automatic emergency call function that’s now mandatory on new cars sold in the EU.

The alerts are triggered when a significant G-force is registered: the system will examine the time of day, whether the vehicle is still moving, and what road the car is on. If it senses an accident is a possibility, contact with the driver is automatically attempted. If this unsuccessful, the emergency services can remotely be alerted by an operator.

Accidents

For younger drivers to generate such a high proportion of the highest-level collision alerts is naturally damming, but the firm is framing it as a positive: “Our Accident Alert service is an example of telematics technology making UK roads safer,” said its road safety manager Simon Rewell.

“We provide young drivers with the benefits of connected motoring – and they don’t need to buy a brand new car to access it.” 

Insurethebox revealed some other interesting findings from the data: it seems drivers who trigger Accident Alerts between midnight and 5am are six times more likely to require emergency services, with 43 percent of all accident alerts being triggered after 5pm.

The highest number of alerts throughout the year were triggered in December, while vehicles on a 30mph road are six times more likely to trigger an alert than those on a motorway, no matter what time of year it is.

Read more:

Rising costs forcing young drivers off the road

Foxes

Rising insurance costs, mounting debts and the cost of lessons are to blame for young people being priced out of driving. That’s according to research commissioned by InsuretheGap, which found that 22% of under 25s cannot afford to learn to drive.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) says that the average cost of a driving lesson in the UK is £24, and you’ll need to factor in the cost of a provisional licence (£34 if you pay online), the theory test (£23), and a practical driving test (£62 weekdays or £75 evenings, weekends and bank holidays).

Assuming you have 10 lessons, that’s a total cost of £359, before you’ve considered the cost of insurance and the actual car. Passing first time could save you time and money.


More young driver news on Motoring Research:


Car insurance is a further barrier, with the average cost of a policy just under £3,900 for a 17- to 20-year-old driver. Little wonder, then, that an online petition called for car insurance for 18- to 25-year-olds to be capped at £1,200 a year.

InsuretheGap’s survey went on to say that without the support of parents or a bank loan, a quarter of young drivers would be unable to buy a car, and 24% said they would like to buy a car but would be unable to cover the running costs.

“When one in six jobs specifies that the applicant must have a driving licence, this generation are potentially being held back by their lack of wheels,” said Ben Wooltorton, director at InsuretheGap.com.

“The RAC Foundation analysed 847,000 job vacancies last year and found that jobs requiring a valid licence ranged from a zoo worker, a chef, sales consultant, security guard, hairdresser and even gymnastics coach, so we’re not just talking about driving jobs here”.

If you want to go out, don’t buy a car

Meanwhile, a similar study into the cost of motoring conducted by Admiral found that motorists under the age of 25 are having to fork out £3,435 a year to stay behind the wheel. This cost is broken as follows:

  • Fuel: £1,077
  • Insurance: £1,014
  • Maintenance: £558
  • Vehicle Excise Duty: £411
  • MOT costs: £375

The research claims that motoring is forcing young drivers to sacrifice social plans to stay on the road. Around two-thirds shelved plans to go shopping, while 60% decided against attending a music festival. Nearly half of under 25s were forced into abandoning holiday plans and smartphone upgrades, while 60% cancelled a romantic date.

Let’s just hope you love your car enough to forgo the opportunity for a candlelit meal with somebody you ‘met’ on Tinder.

Young drivers warned: lie about your insurance and lose your car

Young drivers warned: lie about your insurance and lose your car

Young drivers warned: lie about your insurance and lose your car

The RAC has discovered that almost half of young drivers are willing to name a parent as the main driver of their car in a bid to save money on insurance.

The motoring organisation’s survey of 500 17 to 24-year-olds found that 47% didn’t see the problem with ‘fronting’ – despite it being an illegal practice that could leave your car uninsured.

This is despite the majority (57%) of young motorists questioned admitting they realise the act is against the law.

“Fronting is where someone other than the main driver of a car is said to be the policyholder,” said the RAC’s insurance director Mark Godfrey. “In the case of a young driver who is the most frequent driver of a vehicle, this tends to be a parent with a longer, proven good track record as a driver and therefore attracts a lower insurance premium than their son or daughter would.”

With 18- to 20-year-old drivers paying £993 a year for car insurance on average, it’s not a surprise to see young people resorting to desperate measures in a bid to save cash.

The RAC says that young men know more than young women about fronting – perhaps because of the myth that males pay more for their insurance than women.

Godfrey added: “It’s important for anyone who has done this to realise that it could result in invalidating the policy for everyone covered by it, not just the young driver concerned. What’s more, its illegal activities like this that increase the overall cost of insurance for all young drivers.

“The fact our research shows more young males are aware of fronting may be because they think their insurance premiums will be higher than young women’s which, of course, is no longer the case since the EU ruling that gender cannot be used in determining premium prices.”

If drivers are found to be fronting, their insurance company might refuse to pay out in the case of a crash, and could force them to compensate for damage caused to other vehicles.

You could also be refused insurance in the future, be charged more – and the police could hit you with a £300 fine and six penalty points for driving without insurance. Your car could also be confiscated.

The RAC says young drivers should reduce their car insurance costs by legal methods such as buying a car with a smaller engine or having a telematics ‘black box’ system fitted to monitor their driving behaviour.

This electric car can be driven by a five-year-old

This electric car can be driven by a five-year-old

This electric car can be driven by a five-year-old

A UK manufacturer has developed an electric car that can be driven by a child as young as five – with sensors to detect obstacles and a remote-control allowing adults to stop it if required.

The makers of the Firefly say it “handles and drives like a full-sized car”, and fills a gap between ‘toys’ aimed at under-fives and ‘real’ cars, able to be driven from the age of 10 through Admiral’s Young Driver scheme.

The two-seater is powered by two electric motors, providing a top speed restricted to 10mph. It uses hydraulic disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, independent suspension, and even an electronic tablet-based dashboard.

It can be operated in Junior or Experienced mode – with the former limiting top speed to 5mph and using sensors to bring the car to a halt if it detects an obstacle.

This electric car can be driven by a five-year-old

In either mode, a supervising adult can bring the car to a halt using a remote control switch which can be operated from 120m away.

Young Driver head, Kim Stanton, said: “Firefly is something very special, it’s a real car in its own right, designed, engineered and manufactured in the Midlands, Great Britain – home of the car industry.

“We know that youngsters will enjoy driving it and that through this they will learn about road safety, finding out about the basics of driving and gaining a better understanding of how it feels to be behind the wheel. That can only be of benefit when it comes to them being pedestrians, cyclists and future motorists out there on the roads.”

Revealed in pre-production prototype form at the Gadget Show earlier this year, the Firefly is now being officially launched –  with a price tag in the region of £5,750 plus VAT when it goes on sale next year.

That’s strong money for a car that won’t legally be able to be driven on the roads, but children will be able to have a 20 minute driving lesson in the Firefly for £19.99 through the Young Driver programme.

Young drivers in the UK most likely to be distracted by 'attractive pedestrians'

Young drivers in UK most likely to be distracted by ‘attractive pedestrians’

Young drivers in the UK most likely to be distracted by 'attractive pedestrians'

Drivers aged between 18 and 24 in the UK are more likely to be distracted by ‘attractive pedestrians’ than anywhere else in Europe.

That’s according to research by Ford, which questioned 6,500 young drivers across Europe about the risks they take behind the wheel.

The survey found that two thirds of young drivers admit to being more relaxed about their driving in summer – which explains why motorists in this age group account for 21% of road deaths during the summer months. This drops to 15% at other times of the year.

Ford is offering free training for young drivers through its Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme. By the end of the year, 20,000 drivers across 13 European countries will have benefited from the scheme.

DSFL manager Jim Graham said: “Summer is a great time to enjoy the freedom of driving, which is as much a part of being young today as it was for previous generations. But too many young adults are dying in car crashes caused by a combination of inexperience and poor decision making.”

The majority of young driver fatalities involve young men, and the Ford survey confirms they are more likely to engage in risky behaviour.

Young men are three times as likely as young women to be distracted by attractive pedestrians, while 25% have been stopped by the police compared to 16% of women.

They’re also more likely to speed, use mobile phones while driving and drive after consuming alcohol.

Graham added: “It is crucial that we find the right way to reach young people with these very important messages and to ensure that as many drivers as possible have the opportunity to benefit from DSFL training.”

Alarmingly, 57% of young drivers admit to driving more safely with parents or grandparents in the car, and 41% said they would take more risks with friends in the car.

Young drivers in the UK most likely to be distracted by 'attractive pedestrians'

Young drivers in UK most likely to be distracted by 'attractive pedestrians'

Young drivers in the UK most likely to be distracted by 'attractive pedestrians'

Drivers aged between 18 and 24 in the UK are more likely to be distracted by ‘attractive pedestrians’ than anywhere else in Europe.

That’s according to research by Ford, which questioned 6,500 young drivers across Europe about the risks they take behind the wheel.

The survey found that two thirds of young drivers admit to being more relaxed about their driving in summer – which explains why motorists in this age group account for 21% of road deaths during the summer months. This drops to 15% at other times of the year.

Ford is offering free training for young drivers through its Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme. By the end of the year, 20,000 drivers across 13 European countries will have benefited from the scheme.

DSFL manager Jim Graham said: “Summer is a great time to enjoy the freedom of driving, which is as much a part of being young today as it was for previous generations. But too many young adults are dying in car crashes caused by a combination of inexperience and poor decision making.”

The majority of young driver fatalities involve young men, and the Ford survey confirms they are more likely to engage in risky behaviour.

Young men are three times as likely as young women to be distracted by attractive pedestrians, while 25% have been stopped by the police compared to 16% of women.

They’re also more likely to speed, use mobile phones while driving and drive after consuming alcohol.

Graham added: “It is crucial that we find the right way to reach young people with these very important messages and to ensure that as many drivers as possible have the opportunity to benefit from DSFL training.”

Alarmingly, 57% of young drivers admit to driving more safely with parents or grandparents in the car, and 41% said they would take more risks with friends in the car.

Young people 'too embarrassed' to comment on bad driving

Young people ‘too embarrassed’ to comment on bad driving

Young people 'too embarrassed' to comment on bad driving

More than 9 in 10 young people aged 17-25 say they’ve felt uncomfortable in the passenger seat of a car – but 41% would rather keep quiet than ask the driver to slow down or concentrate on the road.

The research by Goodyear Tyres’ Young Driver programme found that 78% of 17 to 19-year-olds have been in a car when the driver has been distracted, and half of young people have been a passenger when a friend has answered the phone while driving.

Despite these worrying stats, many young people are worried about appearing ‘geeky’ by speaking out – especially if the driver is older than them.

PR & corporate communications manager at Goodyear Tyres UK, Kate Rock, said: “No one should be made to feel uncomfortable whilst a passenger in any vehicle, whether the driver is older or younger. Peer pressure is a strong influence on young people today, but by not approaching the subject of poor driving, it is putting themselves, the driver and other road users at risk.”

The survey of 1,000 17-25s found that 41% of young passengers have seen friends send a text while behind the wheel, and women are less likely to comment on poor driving than men.

Rock added: “It’s vital to speak up if you see a driver is distracted, so that we, as a nation, begin to view safe driving as the celebrated way to drive – for all ages – and work to reduce road crash statistics.”

Previous research by Goodyear Tyres has found that 41% of young drivers have had a crash or near miss in the past 12 months, with nearly a quarter of these a direct result of being distracted at the wheel.

23% of young drivers also admit their driving skills are worse when they have a friend in the car, with a third saying they concentrate less.

Young people 'too embarrassed' to comment on bad driving

Young people 'too embarrassed' to comment on bad driving

Young people 'too embarrassed' to comment on bad driving

More than 9 in 10 young people aged 17-25 say they’ve felt uncomfortable in the passenger seat of a car – but 41% would rather keep quiet than ask the driver to slow down or concentrate on the road.

The research by Goodyear Tyres’ Young Driver programme found that 78% of 17 to 19-year-olds have been in a car when the driver has been distracted, and half of young people have been a passenger when a friend has answered the phone while driving.

Despite these worrying stats, many young people are worried about appearing ‘geeky’ by speaking out – especially if the driver is older than them.

PR & corporate communications manager at Goodyear Tyres UK, Kate Rock, said: “No one should be made to feel uncomfortable whilst a passenger in any vehicle, whether the driver is older or younger. Peer pressure is a strong influence on young people today, but by not approaching the subject of poor driving, it is putting themselves, the driver and other road users at risk.”

The survey of 1,000 17-25s found that 41% of young passengers have seen friends send a text while behind the wheel, and women are less likely to comment on poor driving than men.

Rock added: “It’s vital to speak up if you see a driver is distracted, so that we, as a nation, begin to view safe driving as the celebrated way to drive – for all ages – and work to reduce road crash statistics.”

Previous research by Goodyear Tyres has found that 41% of young drivers have had a crash or near miss in the past 12 months, with nearly a quarter of these a direct result of being distracted at the wheel.

23% of young drivers also admit their driving skills are worse when they have a friend in the car, with a third saying they concentrate less.

This car can be driven by a five-year-old

This car can be driven by a five-year-old

This car can be driven by a five-year-old

A new car designed for under-10s is set to make its debut at this week’s Gadget Show Live at Birmingham’s NEC.

Developed over nine months in association with Young Driver, provider of driving lessons for under-17s, the two-seat car has a top speed of 10mph and features twin electric motors, disc brakes and independent suspension.

It also uses an innovative system to detect obstacles and stops the car to prevent collisions, as well as a remote-control system which can be used to stop the car if necessary.

Visitors to the show will be able to see prototype models of the car, with youngsters invited to test drive it and provide feedback.

Young Driver director, Kim Stanton, said: “This is not a toy, it is very definitely a small car. We’ve had children involved throughout its development, working with the designers and engineers to ensure that it provides a realistic driving experience.

“The Gadget Show will allow us to get a wider cross section of ages and sizes behind the wheel, trying out our final pre-production models. All young test drivers at the Gadget Show will be able to tell everyone they were one of the very first people to give the car a try, and that they had a hand in its development.”

The final version of the car will be officially launched in May, with children aged between five and 10 able to drive it at Young Driver venues across the UK.

The company uses Skoda Citigos fitted with dual controls to offer driving lessons for 10-17s on the firm’s private roads designed to mimic realistic road systems.

It comes following the news that the number of underaged drivers caught on UK roads is increasing – with young boys most likely to break the law to get behind the wheel.