Free UK fuel prices. Over 8,000 petrol stations covered Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:33:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Diesel now Costing UK Retailers Less than Petrol Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:33:01 +0000 reported earlier in the year. To top it all, diesel costs more than unleaded in the UK, with prices the opposite way around for Dieselalmost everyone else in Europe. Now, to add insult to injury, The Daily Mail has reported that wholesalers are actually charging fuel retailers less for diesel than than they are for unleaded petrol. This brings into sharp focus just how ludicrous the UK price difference really is. According to the report, wholesale prices for diesel have sat between one and three pence less per litre than prices for unleaded throughout all of June. Despite this, diesel drivers typically pay four or five pence more at the pumps. The RAC now describe diesel drivers as being “demonised” due to emissions and say that owners of diesels deserve to be “treated fairly.” They add that by rights, the price of diesel should drop by around five pence per litre in the next fortnight, though they don’t expect this to happen. After monitoring how these things tend to pan out over a long period, we don’t hold out much hope either. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons      ]]> 0 Are Electric Cars Finally Going to Hit the Mainstream? Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:31:57 +0000 report in The Guardian. Obama isn’t the only one to to have been overly optimistic regarding the adoption of electric vehicles. Electric CarBack in 2011, according to the same report, Renault-Nissan stated there would likely be 1.5 Million of their electric vehicles sold by 2016. With only a quarter of a million sold at the time of writing, it’s clear this prediction will be impossible to meet. The rise of electric vehicles certainly suffered a setback last year when petrol prices started to drop dramatically. They’re climbing again now, but prices are still far lower than at their peak, and as we reported here last year, lower fuel prices were enough to tempt plenty of motorists back towards traditional “gas guzzler” vehicles. Now, with fuel prices rising again, what’s stopping electric cars enjoying a resurgence? Well, according to The Guardian’s report, not really that much. If electric cars become more popular, economies of scale should mean that they become as cost-effective to produce as petrol and diesel vehicles. Then, the industry needs to address the issue of “range anxiety” – the worry that an electric car’s battery won’t make it to the next charge point. This should become less of an issue in “five to ten” years, by which time electric cars should be able to cover up to four times the range they do now on a single charge. So, with range anxiety and pricing disparities removed, there should be far fewer barriers to choosing an electric car. Some people are still hopeful that these vehicles will eventually win the day, among them Richard Branson, who has boldly proclaimed this week that nobody will be driving new petrol cars in 20 years time. We’ll have to wait and see if he’s correct. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia]]> 0 Are the UK’s Roads Really Going to MELT?! Wed, 01 Jul 2015 13:46:36 +0000 melting roads! Speculation that roads could melt began to emerge in the press yesterday, and a report todayTar in The Shields Gazette has suggested that roads are already beginning to “soften.” Apparently the AA have stated that roads are “soft in places.” Melting roads aside (and one has to wonder if there’s more than a little sensationalism on that score), today’s not been easy for plenty drivers in the UK. The French port of Calais has been closed due to a ferry workers’ strike, which has led to enormous traffic jams in Kent’s M20 motorway to Dover. Apparently water has been supplied to the hundreds of lorry drivers trapped in the chaos and the heat. According to BBC Weather, the London temperature will drop by as much as ten degrees tomorrow, so unless roads begin to melt in the next few hours all should be well! IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia]]> 0 The Dartford Crossing: More Delays and Complaints Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:08:03 +0000 article about the new electronic toll system on London’s Dartford Crossing, we briefly touched on how there had been complaints about the new system, and discussed how works were often causing delays on the M25. Just a few days later, everything has stepped up a gear. Monday’s rush hour was made extraDartford Tunnel stressful for thousands of drivers after a fault with the Dartford Tunnel barriers caused huge tailbacks. Regulars on the road will have had a feeling of de ja vu, because two broken down cars had caused similar delays on approach to the tunnel just before the weekend too. To top it all, a Sunday Times report has detailed how the new Dart Charge system has already generated more fixed penalty fines than all of the speeding fines usually issued in England and Wales put together. Unfortunately “thousands” of these 867,897 fines are thought to be incorrect and are likely to be contested. Now, according to Kent Online, the MP for Dartford, Gareth Johnson, has described the Dart Charge system as “woefully inadequate” and suggested that payments to Sanef, the company running the charging system, are ceased until the problems are rectified. The amounts at stake are not small at all, with the system expected to generate nearly £30 Million in fines alone over the first six months. The Dartford Crossing has never been much fun to use, and has always had a reputation for delays, but so far the system brought in to improve things has only seemed to make it worse. The Sunday Times report refers to “dissent” among drivers, and of people refusing to pay. Things need to improve soon, or the situation could get much worse. IMAGE CREDIT: Geograph]]> 0 UK Driver Convicted for Driving in the Middle Motorway Lane Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:19:44 +0000 is clear.” You may be unaware, but in 2013 “road hogging” was decreed an offence in the UK, usually punished with a £100 on-the-spot fine. Now, a driver from Wigan has actually been convicted of the crime and fined nearly £1000 including court costs, according to a report in The Daily Mail. The driver, Ian Stephens, has described the penalty as “extortionate” and argues that he was overtaking slower vehicles. However, police say he caused multiple vehicles to swerve out of his way, and that he had ample chance to move into the correct lane. The offence took place in August 2013, and Stephens was first summoned to court in February 2014. However, he was “unable to attend” due to work, according to the report. Cynics will perhaps wonder if the fine would had been quite so punitive if the driver had attended court when first requested. Mr Stephens intends to appeal the court’s decision. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons]]> 0 Dartford Crossing Works Continue Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:15:52 +0000 on to the Dart Charge website and make a payment there. There is also a phone payment line (0300 300 0120) for those without Internet access. Various options exist for payment. You can pay for a one-off crossing or return, sign up for an automated account, and also apply for discounts if you live in the Dartford area. The key point, however, is that payment must be arranged by midnight on the day following your use of the toll. According to a report in The Week, the new system is already attracting plenty of complaints. There have been reports of number-plates being incorrectly identified and of people with accounts being charged for incorrect journeys. In fairness, these teething problems will probably resolve themselves in time, but they won’t prevent people falling foul of fines when they simply forget to make a payment in time. This is easily done, as any Londoner who’s lived with the congestion charge will attest! In the meantime, works are still being carried out at the Dartford site, frequently resulting in tail-backs, and not only at peak times. It’s worth allowing some extra time for your journey, especially if you need to use the tunnel, where queues are almost a given at the time of writing. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia]]> 0 Is Fracking About to Restart in the UK? Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:30:58 +0000 coming days as to whether it can begin on a site in Lancashire. Fracking is vehemently opposed by environmentalists, who believe it can cause various problems from polluted water to increased potential for natural disasters. On the opposite side of the argument are those who see potential for cheaper oil (and therefore petrol), and a reduced reliance on imports. The decision was initially expected today or tomorrow but has been postponed while the local council consider (likely complex) legal advice. Protesters with placards had already begun to assemble in in Preston in advance of the decision, according to a BBC report. The result of this debate is likely to have a significant impact on future decisions, and on the prospect of an emergence of more fracking across the UK. How do you feel about the prospect of fracking in the UK? Let us know in the comments. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons]]> 0 London Cyclists Protest About Road Safety Wed, 24 Jun 2015 11:34:28 +0000 where a period of silence was observed and placards were raised, according to a report in The Evening Standard. The popularity of cycling in Britain’s capital has been on the rise for some time now, in part due to the launch of Boris Johnson’s popular public cycle hire scheme. According to The BBC, 23 Million cycle journeys are now made in the capital each year. The London Cycling Campaign is calling for more to be done to increase safety for cyclists in the capital. Roads in London are constantly hectic, and despite the continual launch of new “cycle super highways” the city can prove a rather intimidating place to ride a bike. While Transport for London has highlighted that 2014 was technically the “safest on record” for cyclists, the same figures reveal the scary statistic that one in 515,000 journeys ends in “death or serious injury.” It’s clear that more must be done to make London safer for its 610,000 daily cyclists. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia]]> 0 MUCH Cheaper Holiday Driving this Year Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:02:23 +0000 petrol prices back on their way up and even the threat of a sneaky upcoming rise in fuel duty. In the interests of keeping things in perspective, it’s worth remembering that the cost of fuel is still significantly down if you consider past years rather than past months, and according to a Travel Weekly report, you’ll really notice the difference if you plan to drive in Europe over the summer. In fact, compared to last summer, you’ll be paying around 25% less for your fuel – and thisDriving in Europe really will make a difference if you’re planning to board a ferry and head off on a long trip to the sunny shores of southern Europe. Diesel drivers, in particular, will notice the difference between the UK and mainland Europe. According to the article, diesel costing more the petrol is now unique to Britain, so you’ll want to wait until you hit the continent before filling up a diesel vehicle. If you do, you will find diesel for less than one Pound per litre (at current exchange rates) in countries including France and Spain, where a litre of diesel currently costs the equivalent of 91p and 89p respectively. While we realise that this news will do little to ease the blow of steadily increasing fuel prices, at least some Brits will find a few extra Euros to spend when they head over the channel. According to the article, one in five Brits will do just that this year. IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons  ]]> 0 Car Insurance Company Practices Criticised Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:19:59 +0000 report in The Daily Mail has accused car insurance firms of a “£1 Billion swindle,” due to the way these companies are handling renewal quotes. The paper cites “hidden price rises” when renewal time comes around, and says that with theCar insurance exception of Axa, the big firms are intentionally refraining from reminding customers of the price they paid in the previous year to make price increases seem less pronounced. Conventional wisdom dictates that it’s always best to shop around for new quotes at renewal time, but for the sake of simplicity many people (around 20% according to the report) simply allow their policies to roll over into a new year at the end of the term. It’s here that insurance firms are being accused of adding in sneaky price increases. People who are careful with money probably won’t be surprised by this; In many situations long-term customers can get the raw end of the deal while companies – from TV providers to banks – entice new sign-ups with the best offers. However, since 2011 UK law has made it mandatory for insurance firms to make car policies auto-renew, something that’s allowed this practice to become endemic. According to “industry sources,” renewal quotes are routinely up to 20% higher than the same quotes for new drivers – so always make sure you shop around! IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons]]> 0