Andover Sponsor Advertising with YOPA Online Estate Agent    Andover Advertising with Broadway Garage | MOT | Service

Advertise with Andover & Villages - Cost Effective Advertising

Cutting Motor Insurance Costs Is First Priority For 63% Of Motorists

  • Written by Lucy

Andover Motor News | Cutting motor insurance costs is first priority for 63% of motorists | Andover & VillagesCutting motor insurance costs is first priority for 63% of motorists

Yet only 9% are considering usage based insurance that could reduce premiums by up to 40%

A survey of motorists has reinforced just how ‘dysfunctional’ the personal insurance market has become, as described by Aviva’s Chief Executive. The survey by Smartdriverclub, the connected car service, asked motorists to confirm what actions they were taking to manage their motoring costs. 63% said they were shopping around for motor insurance, indicating the level of frustration motorists are feeling towards their insurance providers. However, just 9% are thinking of taking a usage based insurance policy – a response that suggests the vast majority of motorists are unaware of the savings they could be making by taking insurance based on their driving behaviour.

Smartdriverclub asked what are you doing to manage your motoring costs?[1]

63% are shopping around for insurance

48% are being more conscious of fuel use

44% are using their car less

25% are delaying buying a new car

16% considering downsizing their car to save motoring costs

9% are thinking of switching to Usage Based Insurance (telematics)

The survey was undertaken as motorists face another hike in their premiums when the new rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) becomes effective on 1st June 2017, rising to 12%, the third increase in two years.

Penny Searles, CEO of Smartdriverclub said: “Insurers are now required to show last year’s premium on renewal quotes which will be spurring motorists to shop around for a better quote. The problem is that it’s a cycle that will be repeated year after year unless more motorists shun traditional insurance and start being priced based on how they drive through usage based insurance. We have customers who have saved up to 40% on their insurance by taking this type of policy from us. It’s a fairer basis on which to calculate premiums, will make our roads safer and is the way most motor insurance will be in the future.

“The problem is that there are many misconceptions about Usage Based Insurance – for a start you don’t have to have a fixed black box – our device is self-installed and fits under the dashboard. Also concerns about data privacy or its use in law enforcement should be allayed – the data is collected for the purposes of insurance provision. At Smartdriverclub we have gone a step further and offer a whole range of additional benefits that help customers protect themselves, their families and their pockets.”

[1] Survey base: 200 motorists. Survey completed 9/5/17


Mandy Reeves, 49, a Marketing Executive from Southampton says, “I am a careful driver, so it seems unfair that premiums keep rising, despite the fact that I haven’t had any accidents in the past 9 years. When I heard about a club that would help me get insurance at almost 40% less than my usual premiums, I wanted to know more.

“The Smartdriverclub Smartplug device was easy to fit to my car and after around three months it had enough data to show that I am a good driver. My insurance used to cost me £490 per annum, but now, with Smartdriverclub it’s £350. The real bonus is that I also get the peace of mind knowing that if something’s not right with my car, the Smartdriverclub digital mechanic will flag this so that I can get the problem fixed before it becomes serious or if I do have a crash, Smartdriverclub will know where I am and can alert the emergency services. There are a whole host of benefits that I get for free as a Smartdriverclub policyholder.”

Penny Searles concludes: “Unlike other insurers, Smartdriverclub only covers good drivers, which is how we can deliver savings to customers like Mandy. It is time motorists gained some control over escalating car insurance costs. Take advantage of the technology that now enables insurers to offer fairer premiums to good drivers but look for those that go that bit further and with benefits such as theft tracking or crash assistance free with the policy.”

Smartdriverclub comprises the following services in one package:

Business Miles – Business drivers can accurately record their business vs personal miles and download the information directly into their expense forms, confident that it is validated information for mileage claims

My Mechanic - This will alert a motorist if a car problem crops up, suggest what they can do about it and find a local dealer they can talk to. This includes TAX and MOT reminders

Crash Assistance - If the customer is in a collision and Smartdriverclub can’t reach the customer on their mobile phone, they will contact the emergency services and direct them to the location.

Stolen Car - An in-car tracker activated by the customer means that if it’s stolen, the Police should know exactly where to look.

Breakdown Help - Smartdriverclub will inform roadside assistance so they know where the customer is and have useful information about their car.

My Driving - Motorists can save money on fuel costs by seeing how efficiently their car performs on each journey with a smart driving history that helps them manage fuel use.

My Deals - Customers can save money on everything from servicing to new tyres. Just tap through the app for the latest deal from their dealership.

Value My Car - Smartdriverclub provides a valuation of the customer’s car that’s actually based on their car so that they can use this instant price for better deals and finance.

Where Did I Park? - A handy little map is provided to those that have forgotten where they parked

Club Insurance – Preferential rates for good drivers based on their driving behaviour, to ensure customers are not paying for the poor behaviour of others.

Customers sign up by calling 0333 772 0489.

43,000 Breakdowns Expected Over Bank Holiday Weekend

  • Written by Editor

Motoring News | 43,000 Breakdowns Expected Over Bank Holiday Weekend | Andover & VillagesGreen Flag reveals high risk of breakdowns on Britain's roads this early May bank holiday

Data* from breakdown cover provider Green Flag predicts that 43,000 breakdowns will take place over the long weekend – that's 10 breakdowns every minute

Around 9,800 battery-related issues will cause delays to journeys

There will be 4,400 tyre-related breakdowns

Green Flag provides tips on staying road-safe and preparing vehicles

As drivers prepare to hit the roads and enjoy the early May bank holiday weekend, Green Flag is warning that 43,000 breakdowns will cause chaos on Britain's roads, with 10 breakdowns taking place every minute.

Over 9,700 battery breakdowns are expected to occur along with 4,400 tyre-related and 2,900 engine-related issues causing delays and disruptions. 2,300 Brits will put the wrong fuel in their tanks while 900 will lock keys in their car.

According to Green Flag, the most common causes of early May bank holiday breakdowns (Saturday 28th April to Monday 1st May) are:

Battery-related incident (9,800)

Tyre-related incident (4,400)

Engine (2,900)

Fuel-related issues (2,400)

Clutch issue (1,600)

Alternator issue (1,300)

Keys lost/locked in car (900)

Wheel (580)

Fuel pump issue (520)

Immobiliser (360)

Green Flag hopes the data will encourage people to check their cars before they travel to give them the best chance to make the most of their time off.

Nick Reid, head of automotive technology at Green Flag, commented: "We don't often get days off work so we want to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy the early May bank holiday to the fullest and not be stuck on the side of the road.

The roads will be extremely busy, so it's no wonder that a high number of breakdowns are predicted to take place, however, the majority of these breakdowns are avoidable. We're expecting a breakdown every 10 minutes, so are urging people to ensure their car has been fully checked before hitting the road."

In order to give Brits travelling over the early May bank holiday the best chance of getting to their destination no matter what, Green Flag has also prepared some hints and tips on how to avoid and prepare for breakdowns before you set off on the road:

Walk around the car and look for any signs of potential trouble, especially tyres and lights

Check tyre pressures, spare included

Check all fluid levels and top up if necessary

Make sure you have breakdown cover. If you’re travelling abroad make sure your cover extends to your trip away. If it doesn’t, you may need to arrange separate cover

Keep a road map in the car so you’ll be able to explain where you are when you call for help. Don’t rely on the map on your phone – you won’t always have signal

Keep some coins or a phone card in the car in case you need to call for help and there’s no mobile phone signal

Make sure your phone battery is topped up – think about buying an in-car charger just in case you need it

Have the number for your emergency breakdown provider handy – you’ll usually find it on your policy certificate so you could keep this in the glove box

Carry a red warning triangle at all times

For more information about how to make sure your car is road-ready, visit

A full set of hints and tips can be found here:

Motorists Warned To Update Licences Or Face £1000 Fine

  • Written by Lucy

andover motoring news | drivers warned to update licencesMotorists are being warned they could face hefty penalties for driving with the wrong information on their driving licences.

If you have moved house or got married since you originally applied, you need to change the details on your licence. Addresses must be up to date and women could face a fine if they have taken their husband's name upon marriage but still hold a licence in their maiden name.

Motorists are also being reminded that photographs on photocard licences should be renewed every 10 years with an up to date photograph. It costs £20 to renew a photocard.

Failing to inform the DVLA could result in a £1,000 fine under Section 99 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

When to inform the DVLA

Any change of address, permanent or temporary.

A change of name after marriage.

If you have any medical conditions that may affect your driving, including eye problems, diabetes, epilepsy, a stroke, Parkinson's, and heart disease.

Sixth Of UK Motorists Used Phones Whilst Driving In The Last Month Despite New Laws

  • Written by Lucy

Romsey Motor News | Sixth of UK motorists used phones whilst driving in the last month despite new laws | Romsey & VillagesA sixth (16%) of UK motorists have admitted to using their phones whilst driving in the last month, despite the new law which came into force on 1st March, detailing that motorists caught using their phones at the wheel could now be given six points and a £200 fine.

The study, which was conducted among UK drivers on behalf of Co-op Insurance reveals why drivers are using their phones, with almost three quarters (71%) making phone calls, over a quarter (27%) texting friends or family and over a fifth (23%) scrolling through Facebook.

Furthermore, a fifth (18%) of those motorists who admitted to using their phones at the wheel since the law change say it’s in response to work emails. A fifth (17%) snapchat whilst driving and over a tenth (14%) say they kill time scrolling through Instagram.

What do drivers use their phone for behind the wheel?

Action % of drivers who admit the action

To make a phone call 71%

Texting a friend of family member 27%

Facebook 23%

Sending work emails 18%

Snapchat 17%

Twitter 16%

Scrolling through Instagram 14%

Sending a Whatsapp Message 13%

When delving into the road conditions that drive motorists to take to their phones, a tenth (11%) say it’s whilst they’re stuck in traffic, a tenth (11%) say they look at their phones at traffic lights and a further tenth (10%) say they do so when stationary on motorways.

Road conditions UK drivers are using their phones

Condition % of drivers who admit this

Stuck in Traffic 11%

At traffic lights 11%

Stationary on a motorway 10%

Quieter roads 7%

Country lanes 5%

The study also reveals that a fifth (16%) of UK motorists weren’t aware that the law regarding using mobile phones whilst driving changed on 1st March.

This proves true as one in ten (11%) of drivers say they use their phones when driving just as frequently as they did prior to the law change and just 6% have used their phones less since the law changed.

Furthermore, a fifth (18%) of UK drivers say since the 1st March they’ve been in the passenger seat and witnessed a driver use their mobile phone at the wheel.

James Hillon, Head of Products at Co-op Insurance, said:

“At the Co-op we’re committed to making the UK’s roads as safe as they can possibly be. We’ve welcomed the penalty change as we believe that anything that may lead to safer roads and thus communities in the UK can only be a good thing.

“However it’s still concerning that since the law change on 1st March, a sixth of drivers have used their phones whilst driving. Using a mobile phone whilst driving can seriously impact a motorist’s ability to drive safely, so we’d strongly advise drivers to lock their phones away in glove compartments when driving.”

Mike Bristow, spokesperson for Brake commented:

“Driving is a highly unpredictable and risky activity, so it requires full concentration at all times and therefore, mobile phones should not be used at all.

“We’ve seen first-hand the devastation caused by people who kill and seriously injure because they couldn’t wait a few more moments to make a phone call or respond to a text. For that reason, we would urge all drivers to ignore their phones when driving.”

Could You Pass Your Driving Test Again?

  • Written by Lucy

romsey motoring news | could you pass your driving test again? | romsey & VillagesMillions of British adults would FAIL their driving test if they had to take it again, according to new research.

A study of 2,025 motorists who drive at least once a week shows six in 10 are convinced they couldn’t pass their practical test if they had to re-take now.

And 52 per cent are convinced their failure would be down to the bad driving habits they have developed while on the road.

Just under half of those polled believe modern tests would be totally different to the ones they passed, while a third are sure it was easier to pass a test years ago.

Three in 10 people claim to feel more pressure while driving now than when they first started. David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, which conducted the research, said “It is worrying that more people don’t feel confident in their own skills on the road and feel that they’ve developed bad habits which would cause them to not pass their driving test.

“Too many people are injured on the roads due to poor judgement and a lack of road skills so people should keep the good habits they learnt while taking their lessons.”

The study found two thirds of drivers don’t think they’d pass a theory test today unless they revised hard for it.

Of those who took a theory test originally – since its introduction in 1996 – only two in 10 can remember everything they were asked, while 46 per cent don’t remember anything at all.

Only a third of drivers can still remember everything they had to do in their practical test.

When it comes to the bad habits developed since driving – 68 per cent admit they rarely drive with both hands on the wheel at all time.

Just under half of those polled don’t put on the handbrake every time the car comes to a stop, and 25 per cent don’t look in every mirror thoroughly when pulling away.

Fifteen per cent of motorists even admit they don’t always look at the road signs.

As a direct consequence of these bad habits, one in 10 drivers admit to having become involved in an accident while on the roads.

Researchers found it takes the average person nine and a half months of lessons before they pass their test at the age of 21.

Only two in 10 people took longer than 11 months to pass their driving test, with a large gap between lessons and nerves being cited as the most popular reasons for taking longer to pass.


New Speeding laws - What do Brits Think?

  • Written by Editor

Motoring News | New Speeding laws - What do Brits Think? | Andover & VillagesAhead of the enforcement of stricter penalties for speeding which come into effect on 24th April 2017, breakdown cover provider Green Flag has released new research on British attitudes toward speeding and other driving offences.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of Brits knows someone who's been in an accident as a result of speeding. Despite this, 41 per cent of people admit to having been caught speeding, with the countryside (32 per cent), being where people are most likely to speed, followed by the city (27 per cent), in an unfamiliar area (17 per cent) and in a residential area (11 per cent).

Two per cent (864,500) of Britain's 45.5 million drivers say they have been caught speeding at more than 101 mph, while the total speeding over 70 mph rises to 13.2 per cent (6,006,000 drivers). 27 per cent of people believe speed limits should be made more lenient on empty roads, while 56 per cent of people think that drivers breaking the limit by speeds of less than 5 mph should have allowances made for them.

Three quarters of Brits (74 per cent) think the motorway speed limit should be raised to 80 mph - with almost 40 per cent saying the UK's speed limits are "out of date and in need of review."

On the other side of the debate, 55 per cent say speed limits are most important in built up areas while 45 per cent say 20mph zones in town centres are a good idea.

The new guidelines mean that drivers caught speeding will pay a percentage of their weekly wage in fines – ranging from 50 per cent to 175 per cent - but 46 per cent of Brits say they disagree with wealthier drivers having to pay a greater proportion of their incomes in speeding fines.

73 per cent believe the new laws will have little effect as lack of funding means law enforcers are overstretched, while 39 per cent believe fewer police will mean less enforcement.

When it comes to how people think they get caught speeding, fixed speed cameras top the list (39 per cent) followed by mobile speed cameras (36 per cent) and a police officer in a car (9 per cent). 7 per cent of people believe others don't get caught speeding.

The new guidelines on speeding follow new rules on using phones at the wheel – which will please the 80 per cent of people who believe the offence should have harsher penalties. In addition, 78 per cent of people think drug driving should have stricter penalties, while 77 per cent of people are calling for tougher penalties for drink driving. 30 per cent and 29 per cent voted for harsher penalties for smoking at the wheel and eating at the wheel respectively, suggesting that they want laws around these offences to be looked at. Currently, the law only forbids smoking at the wheel when minors are in the car, while you can only get arrested for eating at the wheel if you are also driving carelessly. The law around driving carelessly would also apply to those smoking at the wheel, even if there are no minors present.

Simon Henrick, head of news at Green Flag, commented, "With a 44 per cent increase in speeding offences in some parts of the country last year and a quarter of people saying someone they know has been injured by someone else's speeding, it's important that drivers stick to the speed limit, stay off their phones and check their car is road worthy before heading out on a journey."