New cars can often be too big for standard size parking bays (Picture iStock/Chaiyaporn1144)
Anyone who’s ever struggled to park has the perfect excuse: more cars than ever are too big for the average UK parking space. According to a survey by consumer association Which?, more than 100 models of car sold within the last 10 years are bigger than the standard size for parking bays.
The result has led to some drivers being penalised for parking with part of their car outside a bay. And one organisation believes it has led to an increase in parking prangs that is costing the UK’s drivers billions of pounds. Here’s why the size of parking bays is a problem.
How big are standard UK parking bays?
We all know running a car is an expensive business. But exactly how costly is it? Over an average driver’s lifetime, do you think motoring will cost tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of pounds?
Now we’ve got some answers. Two lots of research have come up with figures. While neither agrees with the other, both concur: running a car is more costly than many of us think. According to finance company MyJar, people will start forking out for motoring aged 17 and go on until they’re 80. MoneySuperMarket meanwhile looks at the cost over a car’s lifetime. Read on to find out what they think you’ll spend.
How much is the cost of motoring over a lifetime?
Once upon a time this would have been a humble family runabout…
We all like to give things our personal touch and modifying cars is no different. But while it might please you to make parts of your car bigger, brighter, faster and louder, it could land you in hot water.
For a start, the law takes a dim view of cars that aren’t considered roadworthy. And insurers may even refuse to pay out if you modify a car without telling them. Here we look at what you can and can’t do to your car. And whatever you decide, make sure you do it with safety in mind and that you inform your insurer.
There are no end of motoring myths. Most drivers will know at least a handful: sometimes they’re true, but often they’re stories that need to be shown the red light.
From the speed limit on a dual carriageway, to sounding a car’s horn in the small hours of the morning, driving in flip-flops to using an egg to repair an engine’s radiator, they can seem as confusing as the Spaghetti Junction.
To help sort the facts from fiction, we’ve pulled together 10 tricky questions for a motoring myths quiz. Which is driving delusion and which is as factual as the Highway Code?
By 2040 the government expects all new cars on sale in Britain to be either electric or hybrid. But drivers who want to embrace these cars for their low emissions had better prepare themselves for an electric shock with a difference: high insurance bills.
A study of electric cars currently on sale has shown that drivers who want to ‘go green’ will have to pay 45 per cent more for insurance than the average motorist.
It means the rising number of drivers buying electric cars could see any potential savings, such as lower ‘fuel’ bills, wiped out by costly cover. So far this year, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have risen by 37 per cent over 2016. Here’s what drivers need to know before switching to an electric car.
Electric cars: are they more expensive to insure? Continue reading
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?
Whiplash can be a legitimate complaint. But it’s so hard to prove there are calls to make claiming harder to cut down on fraud
Drivers can now work out exactly what their car insurance premium pays for – and it’s probably not what you think. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has broken down the cost of premiums to show the different elements we pay for when our annual renewal is due. It wants to use the stats to encourage the government to speed up reforms which it hopes will cut the cost of cover for drivers.
By far the biggest part of our car insurance is in pay outs for personal injuries. These account for more than a third (37 per cent) of every driver’s premium. With the average driver paying £434 a year for cover, that’s £161 from every driver in the UK going on injury compensation.
Drivers have the right to choose which bodyshop repairs their car after a crash (Picture © Mazda)
The accident that revealed our car repair rights happened right outside our village school, with a crowd of parents looking on. My wife couldn’t have been more mortified: a brief lapse in concentration caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a third party’s vehicle and our family estate car. No one was hurt but worse was to come. It incurred the wrath of the headmistress, citing the crash in the school newsletter and asking parents to walk their children to school wherever possible.
The irony is, we walk our kids to school nearly every day, come rain or shine. But one of the few times my wife needed to go on elsewhere, the accident happened. I’m glad it did. It shone a spotlight on the confusing car repair rights process that drivers face when dealing with their insurer, and highlighted the number one consumer rule of accident repairs: the policy holder has the right to choose where their car is repaired.
Halfords says it is stocking in-car dash cams to help drivers guard against ‘cash for crash’ insurance fraud (Picture © Halfords)
Increasing numbers of drivers are choosing to fit in-car cameras or ‘dash cams’ to their cars. If you don’t own one, the chances are you know someone who does, or have spotted them in other drivers’ cars. But how do you know if you should have one? And which are the best dash cams available? Continue reading
Buyers are urged to buy only EuroNCAP five-star cars such as the Volvo XC90
Drivers can’t do anything about lowering the cost of fuel, but they can drive more economically to save money. And so it is with car insurance: by law, we must all be insured, but there are proactive steps drivers can take to reduce the cost of cover significantly. That is good news, because insuring the car is estimated to make up around 15 per cent of an average driver’s yearly running costs, according to CAP Automotive, the vehicle valuation experts. Here are a dozen top tips to follow which can help reduce your insurance premium.
Limit your mileage