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Van Drivers Targeted in ‘Cash for Crash’ Schemes

One of the reasons insurance for commercial vehicles is so expensive is because there are those that abuse the system, ultimately pushing up premiums. For example, some people falsely claim that they are suffering from whiplash in order to receive compensation, which had led to insurance providers increasing their premiums in order to cover their losses. There are also individuals who purposely get into accidents with other drivers in order to claim monetary compensation, otherwise known as ‘cash for crash’ schemes. Continue reading

The MINI Clubvan

Over 50 years later since the very first Mini Van was released which had a pay load capacity of just 250kg and a very plain and simple interior there is a new one on the market.

Today’s MINI Van comes will all the latest technologies which is perfect for up market businesses. Whereas before you were lucky if there was a heater in your van let alone electric windows or air conditioning. With this in mind why not opt for the other small vans on the market such as the Ford Fiesta Van or the Vauxhall Corsa Van. Well we have listed all you need to know about the MINI van so you can make your own decision. Continue reading

What is the Public’s Opinion on Tradesmen?

A report was commissioned during July by TrustMark in which they hoped they would be able to find out the public’s opinion on British tradesmen. There were mixed results, positive and negative which outlined that overall homeowners are confident in tradesmen however rogue traders are tarnishing the industry. The results showed that because of the minority this is having an effect on the public’s opinion turning a positive into a negative. Continue reading

Welsh company provides black boxes for commercial vehicles

As the cost of fuel is currently so expensive there has been an increase in interest in ‘black boxes’, or telematics, which can be installed into vehicles and monitor driving patterns. Black boxes can provide information on any person’s driving patterns, and so can alert them to how they can improve in order to cut down on fuel wastage. Furthermore, they can reduce the cost of insurance for owners as some insurance companies are now offering flexible insurance schemes which can reduce in price over quarterly periods depending on the information the black box provides. Continue reading

Ford Fiesta Van: New Launch

Smaller vans are starting to become majorly popular among fleets looking to downsize to save money and cut down on vehicle bangs and scrapes.

It’s all about choosing the right vehicles that are fit for your purpose of purchasing, and this has seen a growing number of van makers enter the picture.

Ford spotted this open opportunity a very long time ago with its original Fiesta Van, launched just a short period of time after the first Fiesta car was released in the late 1970s.

The most recent all-new model was launched in 2010, when it won the Fleet Van City Van of the Year title.

Despite being harried by a trio of high-cube arrivals in the small van sector, namely the Fiat Fiorino, Citroën Nemo and Peugeot Bipper, the Fiesta Van has managed to hold on to sales and thrive against this storm of opposition and commands a sturdy 63.5% of sector sales.

Now just over two years have gone by, a fresh version is about to go on sale and while the Fiesta Van can’t come anywhere near the high-cubers in terms of load volume, it certainly wins out the driveability stakes – after all, it is a car made into a van, so can boast true car-like ride and handling.

And also as many people who purchase these vehicles only need room for a few boxes or a couple of small items, the load space wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. Although whenever purchasing a van, it’s vital to find a valid and affordable van insurance policy.

A two-year lifecycle is literally never heard of in the van world but that’s hugely down to the fact that the outgoing model was launched half-way through the Fiesta car’s lifecycle.
Ford has taken the decision to update it just short time after launching the face lifted car, no doubt yet of the growing threat from the likes of Mercedes-Benz which has recently just launched its first-ever small van.

Fortunately, Ford’s entire van range is being upgraded, of which this new small contender is a part.

The Ranger has also been relaunched due to winning the title of Fleet Van LCV of the Year back in 2012 – while the Transit Custom, which is a new small Transit released by Ford about to go on sale.

Later on in the year we will be experiencing first examples of a new full-size Transit and Transit Connect, meaning the entire Ford range will have expanded and upgraded in the space of a year.

Van owners are warned against lending their vehicles to Family and Friends

Most people that own a van or other type of commercial vehicle have at one point in time been asked by family or friends if they would lend it out to them for a short period of time in order to help transporting heavy goods or moving home. However, a study published yesterday conducted by AXA business insurance has shown that many van owners do not realise that their van insurance policies do not cover additional drivers, which means if there is an accident then the costs will have to come out of their own pockets.

The survey questioned four hundred and fifty van drivers throughout the UK from small to medium businesses, and revealed that eighty one per cent of commercial vehicle owners have been asked to lend their vehicle to family, friends or acquaintances, with one in ten even saying that it happens “all the time”. The research went on to show that,= due to helping out friends and families, van drivers can spend up to two hours each week using their vans for non-commercial purposes. Not only that, seventeen per cent of those surveyed said that they are often asked to assist with other business’s transit needs, which could also invalidate their insurance as it could be seen as part time or secondary occupation, especially if the van owner is being paid.

There have also been warnings that even if you have van insurance, this may just cover the actual vehicle and not the goods inside. So if a van is stolen whilst helping a friend or family member move house they could lose all their possessions and then find out that they are not covered. Managing Director at AXA Business Insurance, Darrell Sansom said: “Often owners of commercial vans are ‘employed’ by friends or family to help them move furniture or carry boxes, just because they’re the cheap option. However, there are a number of reason why both driver and ‘mates’ should be very careful doing this. The results of a theft or accident if not properly insured will almost certainly outweigh the savings made.”

Van Driver Stranded in Hertfordshire

A van driver had to be rescued from a flooded ford after becoming stuck while attempting to drive through it. The driver, from Stevenage, attempted to drive through 2ft 6in (75cm) of flood water at Barwick Ford, near Ware, Herts, but was forced to leave his van. Adding to this, he’ll have to have a very good van insurance policy for the damage to be covered! A member of the public called Hertfordshire Police at 12:36 GMT after he became stranded in the “fast flowing” water, the force said.

Police said he was rescued and taken home. He received no injuries.

The road has since been closed. Police went on to say that the vehicle will not be recovered until the flooding dies down. They have also issued a warning to drivers to not attempt to drive through any flowing water. Flood alerts have been issued in the country by the Environment Agency around the River Colne, between Hatfield and London Colney, and the River Ash, between Bishops Stortford and Hertford. Alerts are also in place in the north of Hertfordshire around the River Cam.

The Environment Agency also issued a flood warning the Newport Pagnell area along the Great Ouse near to North Bridge and Woad Farm in Buckinghamshire.

People are advised to check its website for updates.

Fuel duty rise put on the hard shoulder

Holders of commercial vehicle insurance policies throughout the UK will be delighted with at least one bit of news that came out of an otherwise dire Autumn Statement delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in the House of Commons yesterday.

The news that the proposed 3p per litre rise in fuel duty in January was cancelled had MPs clapping and cheering the Chancellor yesterday and it’s a safe bet that the news was greeted just as happily in many boardrooms and van cabs across the country. Mr Osborne said the cancellation meant the Government had not increased fuel duty for over two years now and in future any increases would take place on September 1st instead of April 1st. Further good news for the UK’s commercial fleet came with the announcement that money will be made available to upgrade the A1, the A30 in Cornwall, and several sections of the M25.

The cancellation of the fuel duty increase is a major victory for pressure group FairfuelUK who have relentlessly lobbied MPs to vote against any increase. A spokesman for the group said they were happy the Chancellor had made the right choice. They said: “The cancellation of the 3p rise completely is a welcome surprise; it would have cost 35,000 jobs and hit growth. [It is] fantastic news but the fight for fairer fuel pricing goes on for the sake of hard pressed businesses, the public and to stimulate growth in the economy.”

In fact the news was welcomed by motorists throughout the country with the Road Haulage Association issuing a statement saying: “Our position was broadly shared by organisations representing SMEs in the manufacturing and plant sectors, with which we worked. It is encouraging to know that the Road Haulage Association has a voice that is listened to.”

Vans burnt and burgled in Lancashire towns

Van drivers in East Lancashire have been told to keep a wary eye on their vehicles this week as a spate of robberies and arson attacks have resulted in at least half a dozen vehicles covered by van insurance being damaged.

The crimes have all occurred in the Burnley and Barnoldswick area of the county and local police say at least four vans were broken into inside 12 hours. The thieves seem to have been on the lookout for expensive tools to sell on and three of the vehicles had valuable equipment stolen from them. The thieves stole a power drill valued at £150 from one van, while a van parked up in Byron Street had two electric drills, an electrical testing unit and three showers stolen from it. The owner estimated the value of the goods at around £680. A third van had an aluminium ladder taken from its roof in nearby Harrison Street but thieves left empty handed when breaking into a fourth van as the owner had taken his equipment out of the vehicle.

Investigating Officer, Kim De Curtis, said “We’re warning all motorists not to leave their tools or ladders in your van overnight.” Meanwhile down the road in Burnley two vans were burned to a shell in what fire and rescue services presumed to be arson attacks. The two vans were set alight within ten minutes of each other in the early evening. Both vans were parked in pub car parks, one outside the Lanes Ends Pub in Kiddrow Lane and the other outside the Hare and Hounds Pub in Halifax Road.

The fire crew attending the incidents are still not sure if they were connected but are asking commercial vehicle drivers to beef up their security where at all possible.

Authorities say pothole situation to get worse

Authorities responsible for the upkeep of almost 200,000 miles of the UK’s roads are warning that potholes are set to become even more of a problem for motorists in the coming months.

According to the Local Government Association (LGA) the body that maintains the majority of Britain’s road network, a continuation of the disastrous weather that is affecting much of the country at the moment will see the disintegration of many road surfaces over the coming winter. The LGA say they have had £500,000 cut from their budget since the Coalition Government came to power and any more cuts from now on really could spell disaster.

A spokesman for the LGA said local councils had fixed over four million potholes over the last two years but repairing roads is far more expensive than resurfacing them in the long term and more Government money would address that situation.

Transport Minister Norman Baker refuted claims that the Government were not doing their share saying: “Despite the economic challenges we are facing, this Government is providing over £3 billion to councils across England for road maintenance between 2011 and 2015, demonstrating our commitment to maintaining our existing transport infrastructure. We also provided an additional £200 million in March 2011 to help repair local roads damaged by the severe winter weather in 2010. It is ultimately up to local highway authorities to determine how they prioritise their funding and the department has simplified its funding streams to better enable them to do this.”

No-one suffers more from the poor state of UK roads than drivers whose vehicles are typically covered with commercial vehicle insurance. They spend long hours every working day traversing the country and often enduring delays and damage to the vehicles simply because of the road surface they are travelling on. They will also sympathise with the observations made earlier this week by the Road Safety Markings Association who report that markings on over a third of our major highways are in desperate need of repair.

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