Drivers could be forgiven for thinking almost every other car, van, lorry or motorbike has a dash cam fitted to it. The pocket-size portable video devices have boomed in popularity, with an estimated four million dashboard-mounted cameras now on Britain’s roads.
And that number is only set to rise. When 29 leading vehicle insurers were questioned about dash cams, all said they would consider accepting dash cam footage in the event of a claim. Some companies go so far as to offer discounts to drivers for using a dash cam.
However, one of the UK’s leading road safety organisations has spoken out over concerns that footage from dash cams might take traffic police off the roads. And privacy campaigners have slammed the phenomenon of ‘vehicle voyeurs’. These are drivers who publicly share footage of other road users without their consent. Find out how objections are increasing to this widespread and relatively new gadget.
Vauxhall has been running its scrappage scheme since May (Picture © Vauxhall)
For drivers who might be considering swapping their old car for a new model, there are now multiple scrappage schemes to help. But, unlike last time when we had government-organised scrappage, these are car maker-inspired schemes. We explain what scrappage is, which manufacturers are currently doing it and look into these latest incentives.
What is scrappage?
Millions of us will have spent the summer driving around the country. And that means looking out of car windows and spotting famous landmarks to alleviate the boredom. But how well do you know yours? Take our cunning quiz to see how much you know about the famous places we see as we drive around Britain.
Google is hoping this driverless car could be the future of motoring. Drivers might have other ideas…
Drivers are struggling to come to terms with driverless cars. Recent research shows that people are suspicious of giving up control of their car and relying on computers.
The studies have been carried out for technology company Continental and insurer Direct Line. These reveal people are struggling to see the real-world benefits in driverless cars. The Continental report claims 37 per cent of people say humans are becoming too reliant on technology. Meanwhile 36 per cent think there are too many risks associated with the technology, such as it being hacked.
The Direct Line study backs this up. It found drivers equally split over whether the roads will be made safer or more dangerous. And a piece of work done on driverless cars reveals that we’re unlikely to reap any real road safety rewards from the technology until every car on the road is driverless. It seems the road towards autonomous vehicles is already a rocky one.
What do we really think of driverless cars?
Innovate or die is a famous catch phrase and nowhere is it more true than in the car industry. Not only do engineers work on developing cars that are faster, stronger and more economical than those currently on sale. They’re also intent on making them more user friendly. All the buzz might be about self-driving cars but there are a host of other car industry innovations coming to a model near you in the not-so distant future.
We’ve had unique access to a company that specialises in inventing equipment for the car industry. German giant Continental might be best known for making tyres but it’s also an automotive technology business. Every year its boffins spend countless hours and millions of pounds working to shape the future of motoring. Here are five of our favourite innovations.
The self-parking car
The government’s announcement that diesel and petrol cars will be banned in Britain from 2040, as a way of tackling air pollution, has led to widespread confusion amongst drivers.
Common concerns include the impact on residual values of used diesel and petrol cars; the relatively high cost of new electric cars; whether hybrid cars will still be available; and how the industry and infrastructure will cope.
We try to tackle these concerns, and more, based on the limited information currently available.
Why ban petrol and diesel cars?
From Henry Ford to Enzo Ferrari, Nigel Mansell to Bernie Ecclestone, these are the people who’ve made a meaningful contribution to the car industry, drivers and enthusiasts the world over. So we’ve devised a tricky quiz to see how much players know about each famous face from motoring.
Spanning car production, Formula One, sport, technology and safety innovations, the topics are varied. But if you have a healthy passion for cars, you stand a good chance of scoring top marks. So take the quiz, and then share your result with friends and challenge them to beat your score. Continue reading
To many people, the driving test is a rite of passage. Like turning 16, heading off to university or arriving for the first day of work, ripping up the L-plates is something we all remember.
However, some drivers look back and feel a chill run down their spine. The driving test may have been one of the most stressful times of their life. And to make matters worse, it may have taken several attempts to pass.
All too often, that’s because they unwittingly sat the examination in an area with one of the lowest pass rates in the UK.
Believe it or not, at the UK’s toughest test centres, less than a third of candidates get their licence. The most successful areas see a staggering 80 per cent pass first time.
So the 1.5 million new drivers looking to pass every year should think carefully about where they take their theory and practical tests. Especially in light of the changes to the test, due to be introduced this December.
Plan ahead, and it could be as easy as mirror-signal-manoeuvre. Pick poorly and it could be more bump and grind.
Where’s best to take the driving test?
The Niro is one model that helped Kia be named maker of the most reliable new cars (Picture © Kia)
New-car problems should be few and far between. You hand over a vast amount of money or sign up to expensive monthly payments and expect everything to be perfect. However, it seems things don’t work out like that. A new survey by respected consumer organisation JD Power reveals that while new cars are getting ever more reliable, there are still problems.
Unlike other surveys, which monitor how reliable cars are when they’re a few years old, the JD Power Initial Quality Survey concentrates on cars that have just left dealerships. It monitors and assesses the problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) within the first 90 days of ownership. The results give an accurate reflection of the new cars that are reliable… And those that aren’t.
What new-car problems do drivers face?
Experts are warning that the very equipment that’s meant to protect drivers is hitting them where it hurts: in the wallet. Increasingly advanced safety technology is sending car repair costs soaring.
Experts at Thatcham Research, the not-for-profit agency that works with car makers and the insurance industry, claim car repair bills have increased by 32 per cent over the last three years. The average repair bill is now £1678, says Thatcham. But what can car owners do about these increasing costs?
What’s causing car repair costs to rise?