Sometimes as a motorist it can feel like the whole world is against you — you might have received a parking ticket; had your wallet depleted by a full tank of fuel; or even had your vehicle stolen. However, by empowering yourself with all the necessary information and ensuring good practices at the wheel, you can make every day a good day, as far as driving is concerned.
There has been plenty written about the security vulnerabilities of keyless cars — and the debate has not gone unnoticed by drivers, with 70% of them saying they would think twice about buying a car with the technology according to a new survey.
As a driver, there are few things worse than having your vehicle stolen, but research cited by Tracker — which carried out the survey — suggests car theft is not as uncommon as you might have assumed: in England and Wales, one vehicle is stolen every five minutes.
Andy Barrs, police liaison officer at Tracker, says that car technology — such as keyless ignition entry — has only made thieves' lives easier, adding:
"The fact that so many of our customers confirm they still have both sets of keys when their vehicle is stolen suggests that electronic key cloning could have taken place."
He explained that this new method of stealing cars works by cloning a key's built-in immobiliser, meaning cars can be unlocked remotely, without their owners' knowledge.
Is it time to invest in extra security precautions?
Another potential cost drivers must be wary of is that of the parking ticket. Of course, there will be times when being issued a parking ticket is just — but for those times when you think yourself hard done by, a new website has emerged to help motorists overturn the fine.
Donotpay.co.uk (web site no longer available) has been created by 18-year-old Joshua Browder, from North London, after he received some 30 tickets parking around his school in Camden.
He felt the regularity in which he was picking up parking fines was the result of a "tickets first and ask questions later" policy having being adopted by councils.
"I was given the parking tickets for trivial reasons. I have had to spend around one hundred hours of valuable study time writing appeals to these tickets, many of which have been successful," he told the Daily Mail.
Recognising that many motorists don't have the "time, legal knowledge or energy" to appeal, he set up donotpay.co.uk, which directs users to pick 12 options, asks them to fill in their details and then creates a customised appeal to the relevant council.
Not too long ago — a mere two years, in fact — drivers were having to pay, on average, 136p for a litre of unleaded petrol in the United Kingdom. However, as of last month, petrol prices averaged out to just 112.42p per litre, according to RAC Fuel Watch figures.
Based on a 60-litre petrol tank, that represents a saving of around £14 every time you fill up, compared with the same month two years ago — with drivers told they can expect to enjoy these savings for a little while yet.
That's because the world is experiencing an over-supply of oil, explains Simon Williams, fuel spokesman for the RAC — who adds that diesel drivers are also making significant savings.
"Due to the global oil over-supply situation we are in, pump prices look unlikely to return to the all-time high levels of 142p for petrol and 147p for diesel experienced in April 2012 so the cost of driving should continue to be cheaper for some time to come," he said.
Often it's said that cars are just a "piece of metal" — a sentiment which can help in the distressing period following an accident — but new research suggests that for many of us our cars are considered more than that.
Cars are often a hub of memories — not a surprise given the amount of time we spend in them — with nearly two in five (38%) Britons admitting they had their first passionate embrace in a car.
However, the research from the RAC Cars website shows how for both men and women, the car itself is more fondly remembered than their first partner.
RAC Cars spokesman Pete Williams said: "Our research shows that whether male or female, old or young — we all appear to love cars.
"Both men and women admit to getting hot under the collar when they think about their dream set of wheels and many of us hold more endearing memories of our first motor than our first partner."
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