More than a third (37.2%) of drivers who called out the AA to fit new tyres were either driving with tread depths below the 1.6mm legal minimum (9.6%) – or were on the limit (27.6%), according to the latest data from the AA. The AA analysed thousands of call outs in 2016 to its team of specialist tyre fitters – providing a snapshot of the state of tyres on Britain’s roads.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has outlined a number of proposed changes to the driving test, which are being made in order to improve road safety. The changes, subject to the outcome of research and consultation feedback, will be introduced in early 2017. The changes have been trialled with more than 4,500 learner drivers and 850 driving instructors in 32 locations across Great Britain. The 6-week consultation starts today and closes on 25 August 2016.
According to the latest research from Ubeeqo, the mobility app, Londoners are wasting thousands of pounds each year on buying, taxing, maintaining, insuring and parking cars they hardly use, as they do not want to solely rely on public transport. “Londoners seem to be hostage to car ownership” said Benoit Chatelier, founder and CEO of Ubeeqo.
The Parts Alliance has launched autoparts vending machines in partnership with the AA. The machines are designed to provide the UK’s biggest breakdown provider with access to parts on the road, 24 hours a day. The PA PartVend concept is being piloted in a number of strategic locations, with the machines electronically linked so The Parts Alliance can tell instantly which products are being used and when to replenish the stock.
The AA is encouraging drivers to check their tyres as research released during Tyre Safety Month reveals the risks drivers are taking by neglecting vital tyre safety checks. Two-thirds of women (65 per cent) and a third of men (36 per cent) do not check their tyres regularly, instead relying on their garage to tell them when their tyres are worn out and need to be changed.
A growing number of motorists use the internet as the start point when searching for car maintenance services, and the AA has responded to this practice with the launch of AA Garage Guide, an online search and booking tool that helps motorists find the best local franchise dealerships and independent garages in the UK.
In his Budget, the Chancellor said Insurance Premium Tax will be increased from 6 per cent to 9.5 per cent. The AA, for one, was unimpressed, describing the increase as “an outrageous hike thatcould well backfire by leading to an increase in uninsured drivers.” The IPT increase will mean an extra £17.50 on a £530 average Shoparound premium according to AA benchmark British Insurance Premium Index.
Lost keys at a naturist camp. Diplomat’s car skewered by bollards in Whitehall. Wrong fuel in a ‘push me-pull you’ car with two ‘fronts’. Rising tide around an ice cream van. German armoured carrier gone kaput. In its 110-year history, AA patrols have seen it all…and then some. These quirky call-outs, based on true stories, are among those featured in the AA’s new TV advertising campaign, which kicks off on Thursday (18 June).
UK voters with cars and other vehicles pay more in fuel duty (£26.9bn) alone than UK firms and companies pay in business rates (£26.8bn) and the equivalent of 97.5 per cent of what is received through council tax (£27.5bn). Other motoring taxes raise another £6.1bn in vehicle excise duties, and a further £25bn from VAT […]
2 April sees the launch of the AA’s first professional mobile tyre fitting service. Called ‘AA Tyres’, the service is a joint venture with Manchester-based Event Tyres and initially, the fleet consists of 30 AA-liveried vans, each equipped to change tyres, repair punctures and balance wheels at a location convenient to the driver. The news confirms earlier reports suggesting such a move was on the horizon.
The AA will soon launch a tyre-fitting fleet as part of its company’s expansion strategy as a listed company. Tyres & Accessories understands that this will run in conjunction with a specific industry partner as opposed to being directly owned and run by the AA. AA Tyres will being with 30 vans, something which suggests it will not offer national coverage initially. However, this figure and therefore also the coverage, is likely to increase over time.
AA research reveals that the UK continues to levy the highest level of road fuel tax in the EU – despite four years of a fuel duty freeze. Analysis of road fuel tax levels in Europe shows that, despite UK fuel duty being frozen at 57.95p since March 2011, drivers in this country still pay the biggest chunk (69 per cent) per litre than those in other European countries.
The Government’s Road Conditions in England Report brings a mixed bag of results with some minor improvements on certain road categories and deteriorating roads elsewhere. Generally the AA believes that a great proportion of motoring taxation should be ring-fenced for road improvements.
The AA are warning classic car owners they could be driving ‘death traps’ after a teacher was killed when his MG “folded like a penknife,” according to The Daily Telegraph. Older vehicles do not have crumple zones and even recent classics like Minis and Ford Capris will come off a lot worse in a collision with the latest models, says the AA.
Modern cars are in danger of being hacked by criminal gangs, motoring experts have warned once again. Possible motivations for hacking are said to include theft of information, extortion and even causing vehicles to crash.
Security vulnerabilities in connected cars and in TPMS/RFID systems have been identified before (see “Automotive suppliers, smart cars, intelligent tyres and safety concerns” in last February’s magazine and “Researchers Hack a Hole in TPMS” in the September 2010 issue of Tyres & Accessories), but now attention is turning to cars fitted with wireless networks and Internet. The fear is that these connections can be exploited by hackers with access and control a car’s systems, including braking and acceleration potentially being overriding remotely, according to security consultants.