Car Theft payouts at a 7 year high!

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) the insurance industry trade body have said claims for January to March for vehicle thefts have hit their highest level in seven years.

Some facts for January to March:

· The number of claims increasing from 14,000 to over 16,000.

· Costs of thefts at £108 Million, an increase of 22% on the same period

· LAST 4 YEARS – Overall theft costs have doubled.

The ABI said that this was partly due to an increase in thefts for vehicles with keyless entry. Working in pairs the thieves use electronic signal devices to steal the owner’s vehicle. One often stands by the car whilst his partner stands close enough to pick up the signal from the key and amplify it so the vehicle electronics believes the owner is in the immediate vicinity.

Ways of reducing the risk of keyless car theft:

· Leave keys in a signal blocking wallet
· Install CCTV
· Install spot lighting overlooking the vehicle
· Install a tracking device – whilst it doesn’t stop the theft it increases the chance of the Police finding the vehicle.
· Invest in a steering Lock

Highbury corner bridge replacement

TfL are replacing the bridge at Highbury Corner – the bridge was built around 1850 to carry the Holloway Road (A1) over London Overground’s East London line and Network Rail’s Northern line. Highbury & Islington station sits on the bridge. Now the bridge carries more than 25,000 vehicles a day over the railway lines by Highbury and Islington station. One lane of traffic in each direction will remain open throughout the duration of the works. Nick Fairholme, Director of Projects & Programmes for Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Highbury Corner is a key junction in London and it is therefore important that we ensure that it can continue to remain usable and safe for years to come.

We are committed to completing these bridge works as quickly and efficiently as possible and will keep the local community and road users informed of progress as we work to deliver these vital improvements.”
During these works, TfL will also continue to develop a scheme to remove the Highbury Corner gyratory, creating new facilities for pedestrians and cyclists as well as improving the look and feel of the local area. These improvements, which form part of TfL’s 33 “Better Junctions” programme, will help transform the area and support the continuing regeneration of Highbury. A consultation will begin on the final concept design for these plans by late 2015.


The empty Post Office building needs to be demolished, and TfL expect to start work in the week beginning Monday 5 January 2015. The demolition work will be completed by March 2015.
Highbury Station Road (east of Swan Yard) will be closed from the end of 2014 and Highbury Crescent (between Highbury Terrace and Highbury Place) will be closed from January 2015. Both will be closed for the duration of the works.


End of the road for the Tax Disc

2014 will see the end of the road fund tax disc on windscreens. From October motorists will no longer have to display their road tax disc in the windscreen of their vehicles. But you will still be paying Vehicle Excise Duty.

The treasury claims that there will be savings of £20 million. The number of windscreens checked for tax discs by officials has dropped 75 per cent in the last five years, thanks to the electronic vehicle register that is used by both traffic police and the DVLA. The tax disc is no longer needed for enforcement purposes, the police use number plate recognition equipment.

If they pull you over they can immediately tap into this database and see whether the vehicle is taxed and insured and what the driver ought to look like. Road tax is calculated based on the carbon emissions of the vehicle, there are thirteen different bands with annual duties ranging from £0 to £490 and as we know only too well even up to £1,065 for gas guzzlers in their first year on the road. One thing which will most definitely be a plus for motorists will be the choice of paying the vehicle excise duty by monthly direct debit.

It is always a bill that has had to be paid in full and on time so this will be a welcome addition. It will also be cheaper to pay for a six month period due to a 10 percent surcharge it can currently cost £55 for a half-year disc or £100 for a year. Under the reforms, the charge will be reduced from 10 to 5 percent, reducing an identical six-month period to £52.50. Paying monthly will also attract a 5 percent rather than a 10 percent charge. Vehicle tax was introduced in the 1888 budget and the current system of excise duty applying specifically to motor vehicles was introduced in 1920.

The tax disc was introduced in 1921, with a plain design of black ink on grey paper which drivers had to cut out themselves. Colour was introduced in 1923.

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Driving records to go online

Insurance premiums for most motorists could fall as driving records go online. Moving all driving records online could reduce the cost of car insurance for most people, say ministers.

The migration, which will be complete by mid-2015, will end the need for the “paper counterpart” document drivers have to keep with their licence. At the moment, insurers cannot check licence or traffic offence details when they sell policies, meaning they have to “price in” a risk factor.

The Association of British Insurers says premiums are pushed up by the fact that firms have to take account of the risk that drivers either do not tell the truth about speeding points to get a lower quote, or simply make a mistake. Most drivers would struggle to find the official document we are meant to keep with our driving licence. But from the middle of 2015 we will not need to. All the information on it – such as speeding points and endorsements – will be available online.

A system due to be launched by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will allow insurers to access the information using an individual’s licence number. The paper counterpart to the driving licence photo card is due to be phased out by 2015 while it was announced in December that paper car tax discs would also be scrapped.

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Old Merc goes to auction

Old Merc goes to auction

One of the oldest surviving Mercedes-Benz cars in the world, the 1905 Simplex 28/32 HPs Phaeton was auctioned by Coys at their True Greats sale on December 3rd.

This Mercedes is one of the oldest surviving examples of the marquee in the world today that is still complete and roadworthy.

For many years it was in the famous Mercedes-Benz collection of Mr. Arturo Keller in Napa, California, in the United States. Chris Routledge, Managing Partner of Coys, said: “It’s an amazing car that is nearly 110 years old it’s so big, magnificent and powerful.

It has the most imposing presence and is such an important piece of early motoring history. Many cars of this period were glorified motorised tricycles, but this represents the ultimate in Edwardian super-technology”.

Old Merc goes to auction

Norwegian Wood arrives at Trafalgar Square

A 50-year-old Norwegian Spruce has made its way to London from Norway to stand ion Trafalgar Square once again this year.

Each year Oslo donates a tree to the people of London as a mark of thanks for their support during the Second World War. The first was sent to Britain in 1946.

This year’s tree, a 50-metre specimen, known as the Queen of the Forest, was felled by the Mayor of Oslo Fabian Stang, alongside Westminster’s Lord Mayor, Sarah Richardson. The tree made a 700-mile journey by lorry and boat to arrive in London on December 2.

Norwegian Wood at Trafalgar Square

Tropicalized electric Taxi unveiled

For those cities in the world that have a tropical climate vehicles need to be able to cope with the heat and humidity.

TUM CREATE has unveiled its electric taxi prototype, codenamed EVA, at the Tokyo Motor Show. TUM CREATE is a joint research program by Technische Universitaet Muenchen and Nanyang Technological University.

A key highlight is the vehicle’s super-fast charging system. It is designed to be recharged in just 15 minutes to cover a realistic range of 200 km (based on Singapore driving patterns), which will be an industry benchmark. “This new electric taxi for tropical mega cities, developed and constructed by two leading universities, highlights the successful collaboration of Technische Universitaet Muenchen and Nanyang Technological University,” said Prof. Dr. Wolfgang A. Herrmann, President of Technische Universitaet Muenchen.

“The challenge of current electric vehicles is the extremely limited range and long recharge times (up to 8 hours), making them impractical as taxis. TUM CREATE aims to address these issues, as well as the unique challenges posed by the heat and humidity in tropical megacities, through its research and development. Unlike temperate climates, passenger cooling and battery pack heat management are issues specific to tropical and equatorial regions. As a form of public transportation, introducing e-taxis into the local taxi fleets has a high leveraging effect to decrease carbon emissions.

While taxis account for less than 3% of the vehicle population in Singapore, they contribute to 15% of the total distance travelled, the average two-shift taxi covers over 500 km a day.”

Tropicalized electric taxi

Silver Blanket could save lives

Silver Blanket that could save your life

So far, we have not seen any of the dreaded white stuff falling from the sky but the chances are there will be some this winter. Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is offering this advice to all drivers – add a ‘Silver Blanket’ to your ‘Winter Driving Kit’. “An emergency foil blanket is a simple item, takes very little space and is cheap and easy to find on the internet. But it could create a difference between a life or death situation, if trapped in your vehicle due to severe weather,” said David Williams, MBE and CEO of GEM. “Whilst we recommend people do not drive in snowy conditions unless absolutely essential, if you do have to drive, make sure you are prepared. In the first instance carry out regular checks on your vehicle to reduce the risk of breakdown,” advises David Williams. “But breakdowns are not the only concern. Snow can suddenly prevent you from continuing on your journey, and every year we read about hordes of motorists stranded on the road – often miles from civilisation. A foil blanket would be a very welcome item to have in your glove box in such a situation,” David Williams said.


Silver Blanket could save lives

New Quotax Insurance News

Welcome to the Quotax Insurance news page, we will be bringing you regular updates on the latest news and general information related to the industries we provide cover for including taxi & minibus insurance, as well as medical and motor trade cover.

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