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New UK Speeding fines – All you need to know

The new UK speeding laws come into effect from 24th April 2017, motorists caught speeding from this date on-wards will find themselves facing tougher new laws and regulations. In this blog we tell you all you need to know about these tough new speeding fines.

Speeding Fine Bands

There will be 3 speeding bands which your speeding fine will fall into, depending on how much faster you were going over the actual speed limit. There will be Band A, Band B and Band C.

Band A

As illustrated in our diagram below, these are for the lowest speeds driven above the speed limits, for example Band A applies if you’re going between 31 – 40mph in a 30mph limit. If you’re caught speeding within this band, expect 3 points on your licence and a speeding fine relevant to 50% of your weekly income.

Band B

If yo care caught speeding in band B, for example going 41 – 50mph in a 30mph limit, you can expect to receive a fine relevant to 100% of your weekly income and either 4 – 6 points OR 7 – 28 days disqualification.

Band C

Being caught speeding in Band C will see the most severe fines. If for example you’re doing over 51mph in a 30mph, you can expect to see a fine equivalent to 150% of your weekly income and 6 points OR 7 – 56 days disqualification.

Speeding Fine Limits

There used to be a cap of £1,000 and £2,500 for motorways, there is now just a cap of £2,500 in place with more offenders receiving the higher level of fines.

How Many Speeding Offences Are There?

Speeding offences have increased by a staggering 44% over the past five years according to data gathered by Green Flag. The council in charge of sentencing have decided to increase the penalty depending on the seriousness of the offence to ensure there is a clear fine increase to match.

So How Much Could A Fine Be?

An average salary in the UK (April 2015 national statistics) was £27,600, which means the following speeding fine could be true if you’re caught speeding:

Band A – £132 – £398 (typically 50% of weekly income but can range 25 – 75%)

Band B £398 – £663 (typically 100% of weekly income, but can range 75% – 125%)

Band C £663 – £928 (typically 150% of income, but can range 125 – 175%)

However if you are a first time offender you could be offered the chance to take a speed awareness course to avoid penalty points.

Check out https://www.gov.uk/speeding-penalties for more information on UK speeding laws.

new speeding fines april 24th 2017

 


Frozen door locks – Top tips to defrost them

frozen car door locksSo You’ve gone to get into your car in the morning or when you’re leaving work to drive home and your car door locks are frozen! Don’t panic, here’s some handy tips to get you into your vehicle and on your way!

Unfreezing your car door lock

There are quite a few items which you will probably have handy which can defrost that car lock and gain you entry to your vehicle.

Your Hands

Yes this may be a method that might leave you with a cold finger or thumb for a little while, heating up your hands and placing a thumb or finger on the lock for a short while could defrost the lock enough to gain you entry to your vehicle.

Cigarette Lighter

For those of you who carry a cigarette lighter with them, use this to warm up your car key, being careful not to get it too hot so you can’t hold it or melt the plastic cover. Then slowly push the key into the lock to melt the ice, you may have to do this a few times to defrost the lock and gain entry.

Hand Sanitizer

Yes you may have some hand sanitizer on your person, this contains alcohol and by putting the sanitizer on the lock and key, and then gently wiggling the key into the lock, you can defrost your lock.

Hair Dryer

If you are at home and have an extension cable that will reach to your vehicle with an hair dryer, you can use this to defrost the lock and gain entry.

WD-40

This is in many a garage, and if you have some in yours, try spraying the lock with this, it should defrost the lock for you, though you may have to spray it a couple of times and wait a little while for it to melt the ice.

De-icer

Yes it’s an obvious one, but sometimes we can forget when we’re in a rush, your window de-icer, spray it on the lock and wait for it to melt the ice..

Preventing Locks From Freezing

If your vehicle is out in the open, look at investing in a good car cover, so the frost doesn’t get at the locks. You can also purchase graphite powder, which will work on all types of locks to help stop ice from forming when it’s cold, the only drawback is it can be a bit messy.

Remember – Don’t force the lock, this could end up in a broken key in the lock and a costly repair bill!


UK Fuel Prices Brexit & Bremain Predictions

The European Referendum

In the run up to the European Referendum on 23rd June, we will all be asking ourselves what factors will be making us vote either  IN or OUT.  Fuel prices may well not be something that you have considered.

This article covers what has been predicted by both the Brexit and Bremain campaigners regarding how a stay or go vote will affect UK fuel prices.

Bremain – Predictions for Fuel prices following an IN vote

Bremain Fuel Prices

It seems that a large proportion of the motor industry has declared themselves to be in favour of a vote to remain within the EU with the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders) divulging that three quarters of it’s members had stated that they were looking for an ‘IN’ outcome.

There has been numerous claims and predictions threatening a soar in petrol prices should we pull out of the EU, with the AA predicting an increase of up to 19 pence per litre.  These figures are based on a prediction that leaving the EU will inevitably cause a 20% weaker £ alongside OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) already looking to freeze oil output increasing oil prices.

With this in mind, the AA have predicted a cost to the average 2 car UK family of an extra £494 per year, an 18.7% rise in the cost of fuel.

Brexit – Predictions for Fuel prices following an OUT vote

fuel duty budget 2016

The Brexit campaign backed by former Mayor of London Boris Johnson would argue that most of the grim predictions made regarding fuel prices by the Bremain campaign are scare mongering.

All of those three quarters of the SMMT who have indicated that they would urge for an ‘IN’ vote are large companies…none of the smaller ones indicated the same.  They say that prices could stay low.

The uncertainty regarding whether we will stay in or out f the EU has already had a dramatic effect on the value of the £.  The £ having fallen to it’s lowest value against the $ since March 2009.

Fuel prices are generally related to the value of oil and oil is traded most often in dollars, therefore sterling value against the euro is less of an issue than it’s value against the dollar.  The bulk of our fuel prices are taxes and fuel duty – making up 70% of the cost of a litre and this will ot change following a Brexit.

Howard Cox ( Founder of Fair Fuel UK) who are foremost n campaigning for lower tax on fuel prices stated that the AA are engaging in ‘ill-informed exaggerations to scare drivers about Brexit’.  He added ‘ Despite the UK already having the most punative fuel duty levels in the EU, any thought that pump prices would rise further if Brexit became a reality is a red herring’.  ‘If the ound does not crash, contrary to the pro-EU doom merchants predicting, and oil remains low due to over production, then it will still be down tp George Osborne how we pay at the pumps’.

The Brexit campaign predicts that the AA’s prediction of an increase of 19p per litre is a worst case scenario and that actual increases could be as low as between 2p and 4p per litre according to an alternative AA and RAC statement.  If the pound were to strengthen then we could even be paying 2p less.

IN or OUT?

It seems that there is a broad argument that fuel prices will increase but that most of the speculations and predictions are based on assumptions that the £ will crash…..If it does crash, it may well only be for a period while it recovers.  It may not crash at all.  Both Brexit and Bremain have compelling arguments.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Contaminated Fuel – How much is too much?

Contaminated Fuel

Contaminated fuel from misfuelling can be a distressing mistake.  It is far more common than you would think and is equally common for both sexes.  Not only can mis-fuelling be embarassing but it causes you both time and money.contaminated fuel

The quantity of time and money, the extent of damage caused to your vehicle and the necessary action required depends on the volume of wrong fuel and the type of fuel which you have mistakenly put in.

Diesel in Petrol

It is much harder to put diesel in petrol than petrol in diesel because the fuel nozel for diesel tends to be much larger than it’s counterpart meaning that it often does not fit.  Therefore, this scenario is far less common.

If a diesel in petrol mistake has been made however, starting the car can cause the spark plugs and fuel system to clog up causing misfire and smoking.  Depending on the quantity of diesel in petrol, the vehicle could stop running.

How much Diesel in Petrol is too much?

If you have put 2 litres or less of diesel in petrol ( less than 5% of a completely full tank of fuel) when you realise you have contaminated fuel in your tank, then carry on fuelling with the correct fuel until the tank is full and you should be able to be on your way without calling for assistance and with no damage to your vehicle.

In the unfortunate circumstance that you have more than 5% of a full tank of contaminated fuel, then you should not turn the engine on ( or turn off immediately you realise your mistake) and call a misfuelling recovery service such as Auto Fuel Fix for assistance.  Auto Fuel Fix will completely drain your vehicle, usually on site and give you any advice before getting you on your way again.  They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Petrol in Diesel

Mis-fuelling with petrol in diesel is far easier than the other way around and with an increasing number of diesel cars now on the market, it is a growing mistake.

Petrol in diesel can cause slightly more problems than diesel in petrol depending on how long the car is run for, what type of diesel engine you have and how much wrong fuel you have put in.  Should you start the engine, damage can be caused to the fuel system seals and pumps as it travels along the fuel system.

If you have put petrol in diesel then you should notice smoking when it’s running, if it will start at all and a noisy rattling sound.  If you notice any of these signs then switch off your engine impediately you realise the wrong fuel mistake.

How much petrol in diesel is too much?

Providing that you have put less than 10% of a full tank of petrol in diesel, equating to 5 litres or less, you should be able to get away with filling the tank full with the diesel and your vehicle should be able to burn off any contaminated fuel without the need to call for assistance.

If you have put more than 10% wrong fuel petrol in diesel then unfortunately, starting your engine or carrying on driving could cause much more damage.   You will need to call a mis-fuelling company to drain the wrong fuel from your vehicle and get you on your way.  It is possible that you will need to change fuel filters at a sooner date than usual as they could be affected by your contaminated fuel mistake.    If you have not started your engine, then there should be no damage to your vehicle once the contaminated fuel has been removed as it will not have circulated the fuel system.

 

 

 

 


Premium Fuels – Worth the extra money?

Most of us have probably looked at the premium fuels nozzle at the fuel pump while filling up and wondered whether we would see any benefit from paying the extra for super fuel…….sometimes up to 30p per litre more.

premium fuels

So what exactly is Premium Fuel?

Premium fuel has a higher octane rating (RON) than their standard fuel counterparts and this increased rating is claimed to make your engine run more efficiently, wasting less energy and with improved performance, lower fuel consumption and protecting your engine too…..

Premium fuels are availabe in both petrol and diesel formats.   The octane rating for standard unleaded fuel is 95, whereas most premium unleaded fuels are 98.

The octane rating is the fuels ability to resist engine knocking….the higher the number, the lower the knock.

Premium diesel is a higher quality of diesel which may have additives claiming to improve performance.

The cost of premium fuels at the pump.

The average price of standard unleaded fuel is currently 108.27p per litre in contrast to the average price of super unleaded being 117.98p per litre.  That is over 9p per litre more.

Diesel drivers will find that the average cost of a litre of standard diesel is 108p and premium diesel 120.76p per litre on average.  That’s a fairly hefty 12.76p per litre more.

Premium Fuel Claims.

  • Improve mileage
  • Improved performance
  • Reduced engine wear & tear
  • Saving money longterm

Improve Mileage?

Premium fuel should burn more efficiently than it’s standard counterpart meaning that less fuel is burned to deliver equal power.  These claims however could be effected by the type of car which you drive and factors such as driving style.

Many users of premium fuels claim that they only notice a small amount of increased fuel efficiency.  Drivers of performace cars will see the most benefit.

Improved Performance?

As a rule, drivers of high performance cars who often drive regularily on long drives and open roads will see the most marked improvement in engine performance.  Drivers with small engines and those who make many short city journeys will see little benefit.

The engines of high performance vehicles operate with higher temperatures and pressures and therefore the premium fuel can increase the amount of horsepower which in turn will show a marked improvement in performance.  These factors are not indicative of regular engines though and hence, these drivers will see much less improvement.

Factors such as driving style will play a larger part than fuel type in engine performance for most drivers.

Reduced Engine Wear & Tear?

Drivers of high performance vehicles again are the ones which will see a marked difference here too.  This is because the claim to reduced engine wear and tear refers to the higher octane fuels reducing engine knock which is most prevalent in performance cars due to their superchargers and turbos.

Engine knock is the term used for unburned fuel igniting in the engine.

Premium fuel can however also contain additives which help in maintaining your engine, keeping it cleaner and working more efficiently for longer.

Saving money longterm?

In essence those drivers of performance cars could well benefit longterm from using premium fuel by increased performance and improved miles per litre.  This of course will show in their pockets.   Drivers of regular cars, small cars and those who do little driving in a week will probably notice hardly any difference at all, especially those who drive older vehicles.

So is it worth buying premium fuel?

The only way to really tell if you will see any improvements in your vehicle or pocket by using premium fuels is to try it out a few times and see.  If you are a driver of a performance vehicle, then you may see a more marked improvement than drivers of regular vehicles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fuel Tax Frozen For 6th Year – Update

Tax on Fuel Frozen Again

After all of the pre budget speculation and predictions that the chancellor’s Budget statement 2016 would include an increase in fuel duty, it seems that Mr Osbourne has chosen to give the British motorist another year of frozen fuel duty.  This is the 6th consective year that fuel duty has been frozen in the UK.

Fuel Tax

Mr Osborne’s Budget Statement on Fuel Tax

George Osbornes Budget Statement 2016 on Fuel Tax was that tax on petrol and diesel will remain at 57.95 pence per litre.  The decision comes as a great surprise to both motorists and the financial sector who predicted a rise in fuel tax following the chancellors autumn statement which indicated that a rise would be likely in line with inflation.

“Families paid the cost when oil prices rocketed; they shouldn’t be penalised when oil prices fall.” was one remark from Mr Osborne.  “I know fuel costs still make up a significant part of household budgets and weigh heavily on small firms.”

What is Fuel Tax or Fuel Duty?

As the name suggests, fuel tax or fuel duty is the tax which is put on all hydrocarbon fuels.  Petrol, Diesel, Biodiesel, LPG.  These are all fuels used by motorists.

Why was Fuel Duty Frozen Originally?

Fuel duty was last increased in Jan 2011, rising to 58.95 pence.  At that particular time, petrol and diesel was being sold at a much higher price than it is now £1.25.2 for petrol and £1.29.3 for diesel on average. Todays prices are approx £1.03 on average.   This difference was due to oil prices being approximately twice what it is today.

In the 2011 Budget Statement, the chancellor said that he wanted to “put fuel into the tank of the British Economy” and reduced fuel tax by 1 pence per litre to 57.95 pence and he has frozen it at the level since that date.  Keeping Brits on the road.

Fuel tax was due to raise in line with inflaion thereafter but it has never been implemented.

How much is fuel duty?

Fuel duty accounts for 75% of the cost of fuel.  With oil prices at an all time low, the proportion of tax paid is markedly higher.

Fuel tax is estimated to produce £27 billion for the British Economy in this following year.

What does a continuing fuel tax freeze mean for the motorist?

It is predicted that fuel prices will not remain at the low they are now indefinitely.  It is predicted that oil prices will eventually rise once more and that the cost of this will of course be passed on to the motorist.

The freeze in fuel tax will nonetheless mean a saving for the motorist.  The cost of fuel and motoring continues to be one of the biggest household bills and freezing tax will inevitably keep fuel prices lower than if the fuel tax had risen.

 

 

 


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