Free UK fuel prices. Over 8,000 petrol stations covered Fri, 22 May 2015 10:39:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 FTA Warn Against a Summer Fuel Duty Increase Fri, 22 May 2015 10:39:57 +0000 a report in The Western Morning News, he states that, before the election, parties “ruled out increases in just about every other tax except fuel duty.” He is therefore concerned that motorists will be targeted as a way to raise revenue to meet the cost of fulfilling manifesto pledges. It’s unlikely that British motorists will take this lying down when they already have to buy the most heavily taxed fuel in Europe. The FTA are calling for a reduction in fuel duty as part of the summer’s budget, but given the circumstances will perhaps be content with another continued freeze! Petrol and diesel prices have crept up over recent months, but there is a chance they could begin to fall again soon. We very much hope that the government won’t seek to cancel out the saving with a tax increase. It certainly won’t do much for their popularity so early in their electoral term. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia]]> 0 Traffic this Bank Holiday COULD be Worse than Ever! Thu, 21 May 2015 08:19:27 +0000 UPDATE: The train strike has now been called off, however drivers should note that traffic may well still be heavier due to those who had already made alternative travel plans in anticipation! Every bank holiday it’s the same: Media outlets across the UK predict various kinds of “TRAVEL CHAOS!” in the run-up. We even do it here on! The predictions usually come true, with the level of aforementioned “chaos” varying from holiday to holiday. This time round, the big news is the prospect of a strike by Network Rail workers that really could cause chaos at theTrain Strike end of the bank holiday, spreading well into the next working week. The workers have announced a strike that will begin on Bank Holiday Monday and continue until 5pm on Tuesday 26th May, a normal working day. Talks are taking place to potentially suspend the strike, but Virgin Trains have already announced that they are cancelling all services on the West Coast main line on both Monday and Tuesday. Given that Wikipedia describes this line as the “most important intercity rail passenger route in the United Kingdom,” it’s not hard to image the fall-out from this! Even if the strikes are called off (and cynics may wonder if dragging this out is a negotiating tactic on the part of the unions), thousands of people are likely to have already changed their travel plans, most likely to involve travelling by road to avoid the prospect of getting stranded at the end of the holiday weekend. If the strikes do go ahead, things will be even worse, with vastly reduced or non-existent rail services on Monday and Tuesday, and likely disruption over a longer period too. While this may all seem like the same kind of news that appears every bank holiday, a train strike of this magnitude is actually very rare. The last time there was a full national strike over a bank holiday was over 20 years ago. If you’re going to stay at home for just one bank holiday this year, this one could be a good choice! IMAGE CREDIT: Pixabay]]> 0 Calls for Tougher UK Drink Driving Laws Wed, 20 May 2015 12:41:50 +0000 this one from the BBC. The main change the federation wants to see is a reduction in the legal blood alcohol limit. This currently stands at 80Drink Driving milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, but the federation suggest changing this to 50 milligrams. This is actually far more in line with most countries in Europe, including Scotland, where the change was made last year. The remaining UK nations currently have the highest limit in Europe. The police federation have also expressed concern about the drinking and driving behaviour of British women. Although the majority of drink driving convictions are handed to males, the male incidence of drink driving is falling, as is the overall incidence. However, female convictions are “not decreasing at the same rate,” which suggests women are not changing their habits as readily. With Northern Ireland already discussing this reduction, it seems likely with rest of the UK will follow. Together with the new drug driving tests we discussed last week, Britain is becoming far less friendly to intoxicated drivers. Despite this, there are far stricter places. In several European countries, including Hungary and Romania, the legal blood alcohol limit is zero. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons]]> 0 Another Prediction for Lower Oil Prices Tue, 19 May 2015 17:49:18 +0000 too much supply, against a backdrop of steady demand, should mean that the oil price will begin to fall. As we’ve previously reported, various experts think that this is exactly what will happen. In turn, this should see the price of petrol and diesel starting to fall again too – but as any market watcher knows, there’s often a delay before this happens! Yesterday, we reported on a setback, as tension in the Middle East actually caused prices to rise on the global market Oil pumpdespite the “glut.” However, we remain reasonably convinced that a price fall will happen, and an report backs up our optimistic theory. The report states that oil prices are currently rising “on sentiment alone.” It highlights data from a recent EIA study that shows there is now the greatest surplus of oil since prices began to “collapse” last year. The writer goes on to suggest that the issue that pushed prices down to around $40 per barrel is actually more severe now that it was then. That basically means that current prices are only artificially high, and that once they do start to fall, they could even fall lower than they did earlier in the year. This may seem like a bold prediction, but the figures seem clear enough. Yes, it may be some time until the cheap petrol returns, but this report provides compelling reasons to hang on in there and hope. We’ll be watching developments very closely. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons]]> 0 Middle East Tensions Cause Oil Price to Rise Mon, 18 May 2015 12:16:52 +0000 reported, plenty of experts predicted a downward trend due to a growing global stockpile. They then had their theories rubbished by OPEC. Now, as we begin a new week, the oil price is again moving upwards. This is due to tension in Iraq, according to a Reuters report. Islamic State fighters have taken over Ramadi, described as a “key city” in the West of Iraq. Meanwhile, airstrikes overIraq Aden have been resumed, in an area close to “key oil routes.” All of this points to the prospect of a potentially interrupted supply, and indicates that tensions in the region are failing to abate. As a result the oil price has risen to over $67 per barrel, and just over $60 in the US. Despite this additional rise, which will disappoint drivers expecting a move in the opposite direction, the fact that the world is oversupplied with oil remains valid. The same article emphasises the point that there is still a “glut” of oil. The USA can always increase production from fracking, and the Middle East OPEC nations still have no intention of cutting supply. If we are to look at this optimistically, we can only conclude that prices will eventually come down if demand remains the same and there continues to be too much oil out there. However, today’s price rises do serve to emphasise the volatility of the market, and the fact that military action thousands of miles away can and will have an impact on what petrol costs at home. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons  ]]> 0 In a Jam? Here’s why Motorway Lanes get Closed Down! Fri, 15 May 2015 13:35:58 +0000 fascinating recent article from ETAMotorway has revealed the main reasons for these. Right of the top of the list are breakdowns on the hard shoulder, which sometimes cause a driving lane to be closed for safety reasons. These account for 33% of lane closures. An additional 9% of closures are due to breakdowns in an actual motorway lane. “Planned roadworks” are the cause of an unexpectedly low 14% of lane closures, a figure we would have expected to be higher – not that that knowledge makes it any less frustrating when the roadworks in question appear deserted when we pass them! In forth and fifth place are general obstructions (8%), with tires being the most common article in the way, and minor accidents (7%). The article goes on to list the five other main reasons for lane closures, including pedestrians on the motorway, miscellaneous “incidents,” and the rather sinister sounding “observation.” The latter is responsible for 12,000 lane closures yearly. So, next time you get caught in an unexplained hold-up, you’ll be able to hazard a guess as to what’s causing it – and the most likely reason is that somebody’s broken down up ahead. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons]]> 0 How to use Webuyanycar and Similar Services Fri, 15 May 2015 12:33:49 +0000 Arguably the best way to realise the maximum value for your car is to sell it privately, but that is also fraught with potential problems. First of all you’ll have to deal with all the prospective buyers, and the chances are that a fair few of them will be time-wasting “tyre kickers,” or people who only intend to make a daft offer. Even once you’ve agreed a sale, it’s on you to make sure nobody rips you off, and this can encompass everything from dealing with escrow or bankers drafts, to making sure you’re not paid with a fistful of forged notes! It’s therefore little wonder that car buying services have stepped in to make it easier to quickly shift your car for a fair value. Webuyanycar (We Buy Any Car) is the market leader, and very well-known throughout the UK.

An Introduction to Webuyanycar

Established in 2006, Webuyanycar describe themselves as the UK’s “largest car buying service.” They have a nationwide presence, with over 200 offices across the nation. These offices are where the actual purchase of your car is handled if you do a deal with them. In just under a decade they have purchased over three quarters of a million cars. WBAC

Using Webuyanycar

The first step to selling your car with Webuyanycar is to visit their website and enter your car’s registration number. The basic details of your car should then automatically appear, including the make and model, and date of initial registration. You then need to provide some basic details about the car’s mileage and service history, before providing your own personal details, including an email address and your postcode. At this point, you are shown your initial valuation, which is valid for one week. You are also shown a list of your local We Buy Any Car branches, and given the opportunity to arrange an appointment for your car to be inspected, with a view to completing the deal. WBAC branches It looks simple – and essentially it is simple. But there’s a little bit more you need to understand to make the most out of the Webuyanycar service – so we’ll move onto that now.

Tips for Dealing with Webuyanycar

One thing you must understand about Webuyanycar is that the initial estimate you’re provided with should be taken as a guideline only. Once you’re given your valuation on their Web page, there’s an option to “change assumptions and add damage.” We Buy Any Car make a series of “assumptions” about the state of every car they provide an online valuation for. This includes the vehicle having at least six months of valid MOT, two keys and, most importantly, absolutely no damage. In order to avoid disappointment when you visit your local Webuyanycar office, you should make use of the “change assumptions and add damage” option, and be as honest as possible about the true state of your vehicle. The car will be thoroughly inspected, and if you’ve omitted anything, you can be sure that the initial figure will go down, sometimes dramatically. On the bright side, if you’re completely truthful, you may find you overestimate the seriousness of certain scratches and damages, and that the value you’re offered when you visit is actually higher that what you see online. So, make sure you click into the “change assumptions and add damage” section, and complete all the fields as fully as possible. Things you will need to disclose include: – Whether the car is an import. – If the car is a “non runner.” – If the car has ever been written off, or repaired following an accident. – If there is any damage to the car’s bodywork or components. – How much MOT is remaining. – If the car has ever been used for private hire. – If there are fewer than two keys. We will reiterate the importance of answering all these questions honestly, as failure to do so will only make your valuation inaccurate. Once you’ve answered the questions, your online valuation will be revised to take account of the changes.

Your Appointment with Webuyanycar

Assuming you decide to move forward with the purchase, you can then book an appointment to take your car in for inspection, and can complete the sale on the day (so you’ll want to arrange some transport afterwards!) WBAC appointments At the appointment, you can expect your car to be fully checked over, and then the representative will confirm the final valuation. It’s then up to you whether you proceed with the deal. If you do, payment is made straight away by bank transfer.

Webuyanycar Feedback

Any company as large as Webuyanycar is sure to have had some negative feedback, but it’s worth remembering they’ve done over 750,000 successful deals. However, you will find critical reports of them online without looking very hard. The thing to remember here is that most of the bad reviews are due to people with unrealistic expectations, or written by people who’ve not disclosed the true state of their vehicle and then felt insulted when the valuation has dropped upon inspection of the car. If you look into these reviews in detail (as we have), you’ll find that there are also plenty of people who’ve been pleased with their valuations, or even seen them go up on inspection. Looking at the raw figures, We Buy Any Car actually has a very solid reputation. At the time of writing, there were nearly a thousand reviews of Webuyanycar on TrustPilot, with an aggregate score of 8.8 out of 10. Given that individuals are generally more likely to take to the Web with bad feedback than good, this is a very impressive score. Feefo, another review site, provide a 91% average score from nearly 10,000 reviews. In addition to all of this, it’s worth highlighting Webuyanycar’s own statistic: Over eight out of ten car sellers say that the company were willing to pay more than they would have got on a part exchange.

Webuyanycar Summary

As discussed above, Webuyanycar’s reputation is solid. It’s fair to say that their detractors, in the main, probably have unrealistic views of their car’s value, or make an unfair comparison of what their vehicle could sell for privately. Many people have no desire to allow a succession of people to snoop around their car, only to make an insulting offer. People’s own time has a value, and once this is taken into account, Webuyanycar’s valuations are often very fair, especially when one takes into account that there has to be some profit for them somewhere! There’s absolutely no harm in seeking a Webuyanycar valuation for a vehicle you’re looking to dispose of. You’re under no obligation to proceed with the deal. But you may well find it’s actually the simplest and most hassle-free way of selling your car.

Webuyanycar Alternatives

Webuyanycar are the market leader in this field, but various alternative companies have popped up in recent years, and you may wish to give one or more of them some consideration. We discuss a few of them below: 1. We Want Any Car WWAC       Wewantanycar is practically a carbon copy of Webuyanycar, with an almost identical “online quote then visit us” system. This is a smaller company, established in 2010, with fewer branches, so you may have to take your car further for inspection. Although they achieve an average 94% score on Feefo, their TrustPilot rating is much lower, but it’s worth seeking a second valuation to see how they compare to Webuyanycar, especially if they have an office near you. One extra trip might be worth your while if it means getting a little more for your vehicle. 2. WeBuyCars WeBuyCars       WeBuyCars works completely differently to the above two options. You kick things off in the same way, by providing your registration number and mileage details, but the car’s details are then sent out to a “nationwide network” of professional car buyers. You simply sit back and wait for offers to come in. This means that the process is a little less predictable, and arguably a little closer to advertising your car for sale in Auto Trader, but you’re only dealing with professional dealers and not private “tyre kickers!” Obviously individual experiences with individual buyers can vary, but WeBuyCars currently has an average rating of eight out of ten on Yelp. 3. We Buy Cars Today WBCT     We Buy Cars Today is another Webuyanycar clone, but this one is a far smaller concern, with just over 70,000 deals done, rather than over 700,000! Bigger isn’t always better, however, and WeBuyCarsToday has a four-start TrustPilot rating, and the added comfort of a 24-hour helpline. There’s also another significant difference in how they do business: they collect the cars they buy, rather than meet you at a branch. For some, this will be a useful added bonus. There’s certainly no harm in seeking a second valuation, and WeBuyCarsToday is a good place to do it. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons]]> 0
OPEC Dispute Long-Term Oil Price Predictions Thu, 14 May 2015 13:15:25 +0000 reported on the fact that various media outlets had been quoting sources and experts suggesting that oil prices could remain low for the next decade, which would, needless to say, be great news for drivers. Reports of this nature are continuing to emerge, even today. However, there’s been another interesting development: One of the news outlets referring to a decade of oil below $100 per barrel was The Wall Street Journal. They Opecsuggested that OPEC agreed with these broad predictions. Now, in a rather unusual move, OPEC has “denied” the report, according to a Reuters bulletin. It quotes an official statement from OPEC saying that The Wall Street Journal’s report “refers to a number of scenarios, including crude oil price assumptions,” and that “these and other statements (made in the WSJ article) have no basis whatsoever.” As the Reuters bulletin points out, it’s “rare” for OPEC to make such a statement, leading one to wonder why they felt compelled to. Perhaps they’re concerned that such long term forecasts of cheaper oil could become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Unfortunately for OPEC, but fortunately for the consumer, OPEC don’t have quite as much control over global oil as they once did. Fracking in the US and Canada has given those nations more oil for themselves, and the pro-fracking majority Tory government will likely see the same happening on this side of the pond. Against this backdrop, it’s hardly surprising OPEC wish to rubbish claims of long-term cheaper oil. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons]]> 0 TEN YEARS of Cheap Petrol?! Wed, 13 May 2015 13:16:23 +0000 reported that there is a growing global surplus of oil, and that “speculators” could be Petrol moneyresponsible for the fact that current prices are being kept artificially high. Now, a report in The Daily Mail suggests that the price of crude oil is quite likely to continue to fall, according to “experts.” The report states that per-barrel prices exceeding $100, like those seen in the middle of last year, are unlikely to return “over the coming years.” An OPEC report states that this situation is likely to remain for ten years or more. Thanks to the strength of the Pound, and the fact that oil is traded in Dollars, the situation looks particularly good for UK motorists. The UK’s situation looked shaky for a while when people were expecting a hung parliament, but now a stable majority government is in place, the Pound has made a fast recovery, against both the Dollar and the Euro. While the report doesn’t say anything about petrol price decreases in the short term, it does acknowledge that there’s currently a “glut” of oil on the market. If there’s an excess of supply, price falls do seem likely. Our fingers remain firmly crossed on that, and also on the prospect of long-term low(er) prices. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia]]> 2 UK Begins to Arrest Motorists Under New Drug Driving Laws Tue, 12 May 2015 17:43:59 +0000 reported by Metro. The new laws were introduced at the beginning of March, when driving limits for certain drugs, both legal and illegal,Drugs were introduced to stand alongside the alcohol limits. One of the first people to be arrested was charged with being “over the limit for cannabis” in South Yorkshire, according to a secondary report  The new drug driving tests use a saliva swab system. Previously, police officers would have to use field impairment tests that were far more subjective. According to the report, the permitted limits for illegal drugs are very low, to the point that consumption the previous day could cause a test failure. The seven illegal drugs included in the test are heroin, cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), cannabis, ketamine, LSD and methamphetamine. The tests also look for commonly abused prescription drugs including morphine and Valium. Apparently there are far higher failure thresholds for these drugs, to account for people who take them legally on prescription. If you are prescribed one of these drugs, carrying a prescription in your glovebox could make sense. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia]]> 0