80mph Trials in the Pipeline

Well, it has been talked about for long enough and, at last, we get the chance to weigh up the evidence for and against a speed limit increase on motorways. All sensible drivers know that their cars are more than capable of accommodating this extra speed in safety. Equally, they know that there will be a penalty to pay in fuel economy but understand you can’t have it both ways. Allegedly, 49% of drivers admit to flouting the speed limit now anyway and the true figure is probably a bit higher!

Trials of the new speed limit will take place on up to seven sections of the motorway network that are deemed suitable, so only three and four lane sections will be considered. It is unlikely that dual carriageways will ever be included, should this new limit be introduced. Details of the scheme will be published in the early Summer. Over a total distance of around seventy miles, large signs will be erected on overhead gantries to control the flow of vehicles. When the traffic flow is light, the limit will be increased to 80mph, but adjusted downward at busier periods.

Motorists should not be complacent, however. At present, so we are told, police ‘guidelines’ allow drivers a bit of leeway under the “10% plus 2mph” formula. If this was applied to an 80mph limit, drivers would be doing 90mph and the boys in blue aren’t having that, are they? So, 80 will mean 80 and speed cameras will enforce this as Mike Penning, the roads minister, has made clear:

“I hope the public are listening to me, because average speed cameras, especially on managed motorways, are ridiculously accurate. The argument, which will be in the public consultation, is what we enforce over 80mph. The answer will be that 80mph will be the speed limit, and not, as we interpret it today, 90mph.”

The AA have welcomed the move on the wider motorways. Edmund King, the President of the AA said:

“If you have got a five star motorway in terms of safety then 80mph is fine.”

Rather predictably however, the road safety campaigners Brake have accused the government of ‘gambling with people’s lives’. Ellen Booth said:

We know from basic physics that the faster people travel, the longer the stopping distances, the less time you have to react to emergencies and the harder you hit.”

The truth is likely to be somewhere in the middle. There will always be accidents and there will always be stupid people. Most drivers act responsibly and that is unlikely to change.

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How to Save Money on Petrol

Petrol is a major ongoing drain on any driver’s pockets.  It is needed by most drivers on a weekly or even daily basis and is consistently going up in price.  Every month sees another price hike and indeed it is possible to see petrol go up day after day sometimes.  The huge price of petrol means that any saving made can be substantial and highly welcomed.  Here are a few simple ways to save when you next fill up the tank:


Supermarket petrol is often cheaper than some of the big brand petrol stations.  This isn’t because the quality of the petrol is any worse, it is simply because they can afford to subsidise their prices due to the high volume of traffic they already have coming in and out of their premises.  It is also a way that they attract people in; the way they see it is if they offer you cheap petrol you will come in, fill up and then pop into their supermarket and spend more money.   Therefore it is always worth trying to fill up at a supermarket rather than a “big brand” petrol station whenever you can.

Petrol Comparison Sites

The power of the internet has now provided us with websites that will analyse petrol prices on a daily basis and then let you know the cheapest garage in your area.  So, if today is the day you are going to go fill up with a full tank of petrol then have a look on one of these sites, find the cheapest petrol station and head straight over there!  Just make sure it isn’t going to cost you more in petrol to get there than you will save!

Special Offers

Supermarkets will sometimes run special offers in order to attract more shoppers.  For example, “Spend £50 on your shop and get 5p off per litre” is a common offer that some supermarkets run.  Some supermarkets have offered as much as 10p off per litre at their pumps when combined with a shop.  If such an offer is being run then this is the time to fill up the tank.  If you know an offer is being run for the next week or so then put off the “refill” for as long as possible so that you can fill up with as much cheap petrol as possible.  Combine it with your normal weekly shop and you have made a substantial saving.

Drive More Economically

Of course the most consistent way to save money is in the type of car you drive and how you drive it.  If you have a gas guzzler then consider changing it over for something more economical.  However, even the smallest and most economical of cars can still be made to use less petrol simply by driving carefully.  Avoid accelerating hard, make sure you are not carrying unneeded weight (for example, heavy golf clubs in the boot that are not even being used)  and avoid heavy braking.  Other advice is to never fill up with a full tank of petrol.  Instead, always drive on half a tank.  The extra power required to propel your car with the weight of a full tank of petrol actually makes your car less economical.

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Colour Matters

Have you ever really given any thought to the colour of your car?  If you bought your car brand new then you probably opted for the specific colour in the manufacturers range that you wanted.  However, if you bought your car second hand then there is more of a chance that you simply went with whatever colour happened to be on the best value car that met the spec that you were looking for.

So just how much does colour matter when it comes to cars?  Well, like anything else in life, certain products have more demand than others and sometimes this can be determined by something as simple as colour.  Some colours are more desirable than others while other colours are more fashionable in the short term.

Research shows that it all depends on the type of car you are driving.  In certain cases, a specific colour of a certain car can dramatically increase the price, while another car can see a significantly lower resale price.

Let’s take, for example, a Ferrari.  The resale values of Ferrari’s that are not red, yellow or black are often significantly less.  For example, a smoky blue Ferrari will often command literally thousands of pounds less than its red counterpart when it comes to resale, despite them both being of exactly the same spec, mileage and quality in every aspect.  The reason here would be that Ferrari’s are famous for being red and it is a colour that really stands out.  The chances are that anyone buying a Ferrari is doing so to stand out from the crowd and therefore wants a bold colour and therefore a regular blue colour simply isn’t good enough.  Therefore there is less demand and therefore it achieves a lower resale price.  The same also goes for Lamborghini’s and various other sports cars.

On the flip side, when it comes to executive cars, it is the darker and more reserved colours that maintain their price best.  The last thing you want here is a bright red Ford Mondeo.  The typical driver of a Ford Mondeo is looking to blend in and be part of the crowd, not stand out.  That means that the generic colours of silver and grey often hold their prices best.

When it comes to most other cars, anything in black or white always holds on to its price better than any other colour.  So, next time you come to purchasing a car, give some serious thought to that shade of pink that you like so much!

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The Audi R8

The car of the year – the Audi R8 is amazing!


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