A winter of rain and flooding has caused havoc for many people around the UK. From damaged houses over the Christmas period to long delays for drivers, it appears to have been relentless. With large amounts of people having to flee their homes for their own safety it’s important not to forget the transport issues in all of the mayhem.
Some people have been “risking it” in their vehicles through deep flood water which is never a good idea. If you attempt to tackle moving water that’s deeper than 30cm, there is a chance that your vehicle could be caught in the current and swept along. The Environment Agency advises not to tackle water any deeper than 10cm as this is a potential safety risk and can cause serious damage to your vehicle.
SO don’t risk the water especially if you don’t know how deep it is, use your common sense, be responsible and find an alternative route!
Visit the Continental website for more details on flood water safety. http://blog.conti-online.co.uk/tyre-safety-flooded-roads/
The Telegraph’s online motoring show includes an award for readers’ favourite family car this year. The newspaper is looking for the very best family vehicle, able to cope with the demands of family life, from comfortable seating to storage space to standard equipment that will keep your kids happy on long drives. We would also add benefits like reliability and affordable replacement parts so you can keep costs down when it comes to your MOT and car service.
The Telegraph’s definition of a family car is one that has: “enough room to seat four (five at a squeeze) and their luggage, decent performance and some big-car equipment as standard. It should also feel well built and protective.”
A few familiar cars that are in for the running include:
* the Ford Focus
* the Vauxhall Astra
* the Peugeot 308
* and the Volkswagen Golf (which recently won European Car of the Year)
Other contenders range compact SUVs, estates and hatchbacks, as well as premium offerings from BMW and Audi. The same names appear from last year’s group of best-selling family cars, with the models mentioned above along with the Nissan Qashqai, the Kia Cee’d, and the Honda Civic.
The Telegraph Festival of Motoring online motor show will take place from 29th April to 3rd May 2013. Get involved by voting on the Telegraph website for your favourite family car. You can also vote in other categories, including best executive car, best luxury car, best sports car, best supermini and best SUV.
Do you turn the air blue when driving with your SatNav? A recent study by Direct Line showed that 55% of drivers end up swearing when using a SatNav compared to 31% who felt the need for profane language without!
And women are worse offenders than men, with 48% of women losing their cool while behind the wheel compared to 40% of men. The study used eye-tracking technology to monitor their driving behaviour to find that only 22% of the participants were actually aware of swearing more than usual.
Unsurprisingly, younger drivers were more susceptible to four-letter words whereas only 15% of motorists aged between 40 and 49 using profanity to make themselves feel better…
It seems that even mild-mannered people are as likely as any other to use expletives when behind the wheel, especially during stressful and irritating situations like being tail-gated or driving behind a slow driver. One of the most annoying instances for the male participants appeared to be when another driver used the outer lane when not overtaking, which was more than twice as likely to cause a man to swear than a woman. For women the worst offender was being cut up by another driver.
Direct Line offered a few tips for avoiding getting irate when driving, such as:
* Making sure you’re comfortable while behind the wheel – having a sore back or neck because of a badly adjusted seat can make you more irritable than usual.
* Plan your journey and make sure you know where you’re going and how to get there – getting lost or accidentally taking a wrong turn is likely to make anyone annoyed.
* Try to rise above it and avoid letting bad or aggressive drivers get to you. You’re more likely to drive recklessly or dangerously if you’re angry.
* Keep distractions to a minimum, including listening to music, eating and drinking.
We can’t help you drive completely stress-free but we can help you to avoid an irritating flat tyre or technical failure while driving – get your car checked out at FastFit Station for your MOT or car service to ensure that breaking down isn’t one of those moments that makes you say something like *************!!!!
If the EU imposes new restrictions on manufacturers to keep CO2 emissions below 95g per km, motorists could potentially save £3,300 on fuel during their car’s lifetime. This has to be weighed up with the additional cost to vehicles for the innovation, which would be approximately £860, but this would be offset within 3 years due to substantial savings in fuel – around £350 per year.
The report comes from Ricardo-AEA and Cambridge Econometrics and claims that if all European cars and vans met the proposed standard, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 60% by 2050, meeting EU targets and saving almost £30bn each year. With the first of a series of votes on car standards raised in the European Parliament, the report suggests that strict standards are necessary to encourage competitiveness between European car manufacturers.
The Ford Focus ECOnetic already achieves the standard proposed for 2020, and European car makers are striving to match the efficiency of the US proposal which demands a limit of 93g/km by 2025. Another benefit of introducing this new technology is the creation of up to 450,000 new jobs in Europe.
In the meantime, if you have a concern about your exhaust system or your car’s emissions, book your vehicle in at FastFit station in Milton Keynes for an exhaust check.
Sometimes even with the best of intentions we end up parking somewhere we shouldn’t. If you’ve ever found an ominous yellow envelope on your windscreen you’re certainly not the only one! Over 6.8 million parking fines were issued during 2011, according to statistics found by Swiftcover, raising £234 million in revenue from drivers illegally parked. However, a quarter of those tickets was appealed, with almost 40% being successfully overruled. So if you find yourself with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and don’t believe you were in the wrong, it might be worth appealing the decision! Here’s how to do it:
1) Record the evidence
Take a picture of your vehicle and its parking space – look for unclear road markings, signs, faulty ticket machines or anything else that could help you revoke the charge. If there are any witnesses, take down their details and ask them to provide you with a signed statement.
2) Appeal formally in writing
Send a letter or email formally appealing according to the guidelines on your PCN. You will need to provide information about why you’re challenging the charge and any relevant evidence along with your address, registration number and PCN reference. You will need to do this within 28 days, although if you appeal within 14 days and you don’t win the appeal you will pay a discounted fee.
3) Rejection or success
If your appeal is successful, celebrate! If not, you have a further 28 days to appeal the decision with the Independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
What are the grounds for appeal?
It’s useful to know in what situations you can appeal a PCN. Of course, it’s better to ensure you park legally at all times but if you find your car unfairly plastered with a charge notice then keep the following grounds for appeal in mind to see if you can appeal the ticket:
* Unclear or misleading signs or road markings
* The penalty charge is higher than the applicable amount
* The council issued a new restriction without following appropriate procedures
* The PCN doesn’t contain the required information
* The vehicle was stolen, taken without the owner’s consent or the driver was not the owner when the charge occurred.
* The council claims the charge notice was issued via post (perhaps because the traffic warden was unable to give the ticket in person) but this did not happen
* The vehicle is a hire car
* The charge has already been paid
* Extenuating circumstances such as an emergency or breakdown
We hope you don’t need to use this information but we hope it helps if you find yourself with a PCN in the future! And of course if you have any worries about the condition of your car or need a quick and efficient MOT or car service, drop into a FastFit Station near you soon!
Milton Keynes’ very own racing world champion, Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was unable to convert pole position into a victor in Melbourne yesterday. Vettel led the way at the qualifying session, followed by team mate Webber.
Vettel initially took the lead with Ferrari’s Massa and Alonso closely behind, but Webber dropped back to seventh by the first corner. After the top three pitted for new tyres, Vettel was unable to regain first place with Force India’s Sutil taking the lead and Alonso second.
Webber struggled further, losing valuable time in the pits due to a failed front jack. Back on the field he battled with Button and Grosjean and eventually climbed one more place to finish sixth. Vettel meanwhile took on Sutil and won but still lagged behind Alonso and Raikkonen who took first place after sacrificing a pit stop. Vettel placed third, voicing his disappointment on his lost position: “I think you’re always a little disappointed when you start first and don’t finish first, but overall it was a good weekend for us.
“We had a good day today with a pole and a podium – but in the race we were a little too aggressive with the tyres and lost the front and the rears, while others did a little better.
“There are always areas where you can improve, but the result we got today is fair. We didn’t see Kimi on the track, he was too quick and Fernando jumped us at a vulnerable time – but we can be happy with third.”
The next race will be held in Malaysia next weekend and we’ll be crossing our fingers for the Red Bull boys! If you’re in need of a fast pitstop to rival the F1 teams, visit FastFit Station in Milton Keynes and we’ll have you back on the road faster than you can say Sebastian Vettel…
A recent survey conducted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that younger drivers are not opting to have their car serviced properly. As we know having regular car servicing helps keep your car in good working order thus keeping them safe, reliable and preventing breakdowns. The poll of 2,000 drivers of various ages revealed that 10 per cent of drivers aged between 18 and 24 never had their car serviced, with this figure rising to 12 per cent among drivers aged 25-34.
It appears these younger motorists are aware of the benefits of having a car serviced but are concerned over the cost and any other maintenance issues that could arise. Holding off car servicing and repairs is a false economy as the cost and risks far outweigh any short-term gains. Your local garage in Milton Keynes offers cheap car servicing and MOT’s by fully trained car technicians. Finding out the price of your service and booking in is easy – simply go online to our website and pop in your registration details to find the service package that is right for your vehicle. The price you see is the price you pay and you don’t even have to hand any cash over into your work is complete and you’re completely satisfied with our good old fashioned service.
There’s been a record surge in the number of new cars that have been sold. In 2012 there were over two million new vehicle registrations in the UK, a rise of 5.3 percent in comparison to 2011 and the highest since 2008.
Chief Executive Paul Everitt of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said the sales have been boosted by strong consumer demand and was driven by innovative, fuel-efficient models. The most popular new car sold was the Ford Fiesta followed by the Vauxhall Corsa whilst the Ford Focus took third place. It appears people still like the reputable blue oval badge.
Alternative fuel vehicles took a new high with a 1.4 percent share of the market. With almost 28,000 sold it was an increase of 9.4 percent whilst more people chose to opt for a diesel vehicle as they tool a record 50.8 percent of the market share. There were just over a million diesel motors sold in comparison to 978,000 petrol vehicles.
Whether your car is new, old or in between ensure you keep it regularly serviced. In doing so you’ll have a reliable, healthy and happy motoring. Our FastFit Station garages located in and around Milton Keynes offer a range of services to suit your car’s needs. From a major service to an MOT, new tyres to exhaust fitting our friendly team can help whilst going that extra mile with their good old fashioned service. Booking couldn’t be easier – simply pick up the phone or book any time of day using our new online service.
At FastFit station we are always investing in ways to save our customers time. We have developed our brand new website with this in mind. It takes just a few minutes to book your car in for a service, new tyre’s or a Mot. You can book online and book yourself a convenient time slot. The great news is that you will know the prices of the work that needs to be carried out and will only pay once the work has been completed. All additional work such as brakes, shock absorbers, air con and anything else that you may want us to check out for you.
Our new site is really easy to use. All you need to do is click on the service you require from the petrol pump. Once you are on the right page simply fill in your registration number and our system will find the details of your car. All you need to then is add the required service to your basket. You will then be given the option to book an appointment., simply choose a convenient time and confirm your booking.
We have also a launched Grippy our new mobile tyre fitting service. As you would expect from the FastFit team we have done this with customer service in mind. All of our brand new Van’s are named so be sure to keep an eye out for the mobile team.
My son asked today “how do they change the batteries in the Cat’s Eye”. I did explain that they were reflective and they were reflecting the lights back at us to show us where the road goes.
However the Cat’s Eye has an interesting past and was invented nearly 80 years ago! The cleaver little device originated in the UK and is now used all over the world. The Cat’s Eye is made up of two pairs of reflective glass spheres set into a white rubber dome. This is mounted into a cast iron housing, which is then situated in the road. Cat’s Eyes have developed over the years and now different colours indicate where to leave a carriageway. The cast iron mounting also works to alert the driver as you feel the car rumble over the bump in the road.
Shaw the inventor is responsible for saving many lives over the last eighty years. Percy Shaw reached a respectable age of 82 passing away in 1976. There are several stories of how he came up with the idea as he gave different stories to different people. Percy became eccentric in later life he keep three T.Vs on constantly one on each of the three channels, all muted! You would have thought that the inventor of one of the world’s best gadgets would have been extremely wealthy. Whilst he was be no means poor his estate was valued at £193,500 in 1976 which is worth an estimated 1.5 million pounds at today’s value.
For more car news, advice check out Fastfit Stations blog page. We are your local garage in Milton Keynes looking after all your vehicle needs from new tyres and exhausts to MOTs and car servicing. Once you’ve discovered our good old fashioned service you won’t take your motor anywhere else!