Tag Archives: Automotive

Motorists are Needlessly Wasting Fuel Through Ignorance

Whilst the usual focus of TorqueCars is on car tuning, they spend a lot of time educating drivers, making the roads a safer place and keeping the flow of traffic going.

The forums are full of tips and pointers from seasoned car tuners and enthusiasts from around the world making it a great destination for people looking for sound advice.

TorqueCars note that there are a few common mistakes drivers make that are costing them hundreds each year.

Poor maintenance of the car wastes money. Oil changes are vital and reduce wear and tear on the engine. Good quality oils can also save fuel by effectively reducing the friction in the engine. Low oil levels and using the wrong oil really accelerates engine wear and worn engines are less efficient and will use more fuel.

Additionally when filters get clogged up, air fuel and oil they add restrictions into the engine decreasing efficiency.

Tyre pressures make a big difference to your fuel consumption. Under inflated tyres can adversely affect your handling, in addition to wasting fuel. TorqueCars owner Waynne Smith says, “In the real world simple things like checking tyre pressures, adjusting your driving style and correctly servicing your car can make a massive difference to your motoring expenses and costs.”

Driving style and habits are certainly one of the biggest wastes of resources. Most inexperienced drivers are guilty of at least some of the following fuel wasting habits.

Driving too fast – this can waste around 15% of your fuel or more! Going at 50mph is a lot more fuel efficient than driving at 70mph. Every 5 mph over 70 uses exponentially more fuel.

Braking hard also wastes a lot of momentum. Just easing off the throttle earlier as you approach a stop or junction will also avoid wasting fuel.

There is also another top tip from TorqueCars. Choose the right gear! Contrary to popular belief being in too high OR too low a gear will waste fuel. Your aim should be to keep the car in it’s power band where it is most efficient. Going outside of this will not only waste fuel but will increase the wear and tear on your engine resulting in costly repairs.

In addition to these fuel saving tips there are some tuning modifications you can apply to your car to maximise your fuel. TorqueCars website goes into these in some detail and they range from remaps, internal engine work and modification to the wheels and tyres.

Via EPR Network
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Avoiding the Perils of Dangerous Car Modifications

TorqueCars http://www.torquecars.com, one of the UK’s leading online car modding communities today launched an awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of poor quality DIY car modifications by inexperienced owners.

We see many modified cars that are downright dangerous or at least going to be unreliable. It seems that lots of car owners with minimal knowledge are making changes to their cars without realising the implications. By highlighting these problems TorqueCars hope to minimise the negative impact created by these low budget, poor quality modified cars, and focus on a professional approach to car modification.

It only takes a few high profile incidents involving poorly modified cars before the clamour is raised for legislation outlawing all modifications or restricting the choice of modifications people can do.

Some young drivers seem to think that the more noise the car makes the faster it goes. Experience proves this to be incorrect and often these large exhausts and noisy induction kits have a negative effect on the cars performance and power.

One particular area of concern is with car electrics. Inexperienced DIYers will often overload circuits or hack into wires for power without making proper provisions for vibrations wear and adequate electrical insulation. These can often short out potentially causing a fire or at least creating a breakdown.

The most common electrical mistake is putting a wire straight through a bulk head without placing a rubber grommet around the wire to shield it from rubbing on the bulk head and wearing through.

A holistic approach to car modification is required where increased power is matched with up rated braking and handling. Dropping a 2.0 Turbo engine into a car which originally had a much smaller engine will offer a dramatic power hike but the brakes and suspension will be unable to handle this causing a potentially dangerous situation.

The main motivation for modifying a car is to maximise the drivers enjoyment of the vehicle. Most modifications merely release the full potential of a car where manufacturers have detuned or restricted the car in some way for economic or reputational reasons.

It is also fair to assume that each driver has their own personal preferences when it comes to a cars power band, handling characteristics and the aesthetic design of their car.

A well modified car should be safer than the standard unmodified one due to the stronger or uprated parts introduced. Braking distances can be dramatically shortened, the risk of skidding on a deceptive bend or corner or losing control should also be lower.

By increasing an engines efficiency there is often an additional saving in fuel consumption. This fact is particularly true when it comes to tuning modern turbo diesel engines.

It’s not just poorly modified cars that present a danger; poorly maintained cars are just as big a risk. According to TorqueCars senior partner Waynne Smith, “if you walk around any public car park you will find many cars will illegal tyres. The tread depth will be below the legal minimum or there will be damage to the sidewall of the tyre. We try hard to promote responsible car ownership to our members and readers of our articles.”

The forums at TorqueCars are a great place to go to discuss your car tuning project in details with experienced car modifiers and enthusiasts from around the world. By garnering as much information as you can you’ll be better placed to avoid the common pitfalls associated with modified cars.

Via EPR Network
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Team Tankboy Takes Third Place: CannonBall Run 2011

It was gruelling hot as 200 cars headed north for the 2011 CannonBall Run. Among the Ferrari’s, GT40’s, Aston Martin’s and other exotic cars was Team Tankboy’s, ex-US Army Humvee.

There were some great themed teams, Magnum PI, Priscilla Queen of the Dessert with a giant shoe atop a bus, a Back to the Future DeLorean and even Shrek to name but a few.

Everyone was having fun, nice cars, plenty of hot babes, miles of winding countryside roads and great weather. What more could one ask for? OK, there could have been a wet T-Shirt competition but then I doubt our focus would have stayed on the road.

Out of 200 entrants, a total of fifteen speeding tickets got handed out and one car caught fire and burnt to a crisp. Not bad for a day of fuel induced excitement.

Team Tankboy consisted of Charles “Tankboy” Knight and Nick “Nuke” Scott from the reality series “Tankboy TV”, along with actor/comedian Aaron Beard.

“It was our first time competing in the event, so we weren’t 100% sure what we were up against. We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, compared to seasoned contestants, but we had a plan, and we stuck to it.” said Tankboy. “And making third place was awesome!”

“If you think we were crazy on the rally, you should see us in our TV show.” said Nuke. “And that cute girl in the Impala, she can facebook me anytime”.

You can check out these mad boys of destruction, at www.tankboytv.com

The CannonBall Run is a street legal car rally, competing over one day with heaps of wacky missions, entertainment and just plain craziness along the way.

The event is limited to 250 cars and is run by Auckland Motorsport. http://www.aucklandmotorsport.co.nz

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AW Rostamani Trading Wins Exclusive Distributorship With Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile (ZNA) In UAE

AW Rostamani Trading, part of the AW Rostamani Group, has signed an exclusive distributorship with Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile (ZNA) in UAE. Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile (ZNA) is one of China ‘s biggest automotive manufacturers established in 1993.

As part of the partnership, AW Rostamani Trading is also launching a brand new state-of-the-art showroom on Deira’s Airport Road in Dubai.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Abdul Wahid Al Rostamani, Chairman of AW Rostamani Group said: “We are proud to be partnering with one of the largest automotive group in China and look forward to the ­­vast experience they will no doubt bring to the region. The company’s outstanding reputation and excellent vehicle quality assures us of the success of this venture.”

Speaking on the appointment of AW Rostamani Trading as the exclusive distributor in the UAE, General Manager Overseas Business of Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile Co., ZHAO Hongwei said: “We are honoured to announce this partnership with AW Rostamani Trading part of AWR Group, a group with over 42 years experience in the automotive industry in the UAE. Highly successful and well known throughout the region, we look forward to a successful future working alongside the company.”

CEO of AW Rostamani Automotives, Michel Ayat said: “AW Rostamani Trading is honoured to be undertaking this joint venture with what is one of China ‘s biggest and most successful automotive groups, Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile Co. We are confident that ZNA’s high quality vehicles – which will now be distributed in the Middle East for the first time and which include the well known and reliable Nissan and ZNA brands – will ensure the future success of this partnership

Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile Co. (ZNA ), established in 1993 and located in Zhengzhou in central China , is a 50/50 joint venture between DongFeng Group and Nissan Motor. ZNA’s newest partnership with AW Rostamani sees the company supplying high-end pickups and SUVs to the UAE with the AW Rostamani Trading distributing the vehicles exclusively, as well as offering support in the form of servicing and warranty.

ZNA has 185 distributors all over China , with 654 dealers and 356 service centres. In high-end pick up and off-road SUV segments, ZNA has ranked number one in over 80% of its market share.

Via EPR Network
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Autoquotenow.com Announces Online Auto Insurance Quotes Service That Caters To New Market

With recent economic conditions and changes in consumer behavior, to look for lower rate deals on the web, AutoQuoteNow.com backs up their time tested service with speedy and reliable online insurance quotes.

By simply entering a Zipcode, the portal immediately produces the 2-10 lowest and best auto insurance rates from the top car insurance companies. It also fetches the state requirements about clients’ location the insurance quotes are compared; investigating which ones will work best for them. This provides more security from the coverage in the long run, such as in claiming for a major accident that could really get quite expensive.

The website lets visitors compare the financial ratings of the insurance companies and check their status from the respected financial services and research institutions like Standard & Poor and other reliable critics to help them make an informed decision.

The information database at Auto Insurance Questions & Answer section carries answers to all questions asked by past inquiries and visitors. It helps prospective customers to find a precise solution to their particular situation, and get the perfect insurance coverage. AutoQuoteNow has partnerships with many insurance providers that offer multiple discounts to help reduce the policy premiums.

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Hengehold Trucks of Northern California Celebrates 62nd Anniversary

Hengehold Trucks of Palo Alto is proud to announce that 2010 represents their 62nd Anniversary of operating in the San Francisco Bay Area. Originally founded in 1948 by Fred Hengehold of Globe, Arizona, the family owned business has grown to boast largest selection of pre-owned commercial vehicles in Northern California. Up until 2003, Fred Hengehold continued to run Hengehold Trucks at which point he finally announced his retirement at the age of 100.

In 1965, Hengehold Trucks moved to San Antonio Road in Palo Alto f r o m its original location on El Camino, and was eventually joined by sons Jim and David Hengehold. By the time of Fred’s retirement at the age of 100, granddaughter Christine Hengehold Twichell and grandson Matt Hengehold had joined the business. Today the company represents one of a dwindling number of long-established, multi-generational family businesses still operating in the Bay Area.

Since the company’s inception, the customer base has changed along with the times. One of the earliest customers of the business was the (at-the-time) newly incorporated Hewlett-Packard Company. Today, there are a huge variety of clientele f r o m  contractors seeking utility trucks, to business owners looking for value in entire fleets of used trucks for sale, to the annual Burning Man enthusiasts searching for cargo vans and box trucks for their pilgrimage to Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

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ACF Car Finance Springs Forward With New Website Launch!

The new customer-focused website launched by leading specialist sub-prime car dealer, ACF Car Finance Limited, has been created to support its enhanced brand proposition and has already received praise from two influential trade bodies.

ACF Car Finance Springs Forward With New Website Launch!

The Chester based company, with used car dealerships throughout the country specialising in arranging tailored car finance solutions to suit a variety of budgets and circumstances, has produced the website to meet changing customer needs and growing demand. The website has undergone a full re-design and a variety of technical features have been added. Visitors will find the website contains more information than before and is easier to navigate, making it more user-friendly and helpful to customers who need a car and have been unable to obtain car credit.

The new website has garnered support from both the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) and Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI), for its customer-focused approach. Commenting on the new website, Chief Executive of the RMI, Robert Foulston, said:“The internet is often the first port of call for people looking to buy a new or used vehicle therefore new and existing ACF Car Finance customers will welcome the new website. Design and layout is very easy to understand, navigate and there is lots of other useful information. The RMI looks forward to a long association with ACF Car Finance and wishes them every success with the new website.”

Visitors will see the fully branded website is fresher and more contemporary than the old website and contains useful information and tools such as the ‘dealership finder’ facility where customers can type in their postcode to find their nearest ACF Car Finance Dealership and to get directions. There are also links to an independent credit checking service which allows customers, who aren’t sure of their credit status, to view what prospective lenders would check.

Paul Harrison, Head of Motor Finance at the FLA, also adds: “The new ACF Car Finance website is greatly improved. It’s easy to navigate and has a variety of user-friendly features for visitors to the website. The clear and simple language makes it easy for customers to understand the products that ACF Car Finance offers and the process of buying a car and applying for finance.” This latest news continues from the successes recently announced by the market leading company, which in January reported a record breaking highest ever daily volume of customer applications.

Jane Whittle, Marketing Manager at ACF Car Finance, commented: “We help thousands of customers to get approved for car finance every month and as the market leader our reputation is important to us. That’s why we remain totally committed to making the ACF Car Finance customer experience a pleasant one, ensuring that we continue to treat customers fairly through all of our promotional activity and most of all delivering accurate and helpful information to our customers when they need it, allowing them to make informed decisions.”

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Continued Success For ACF Car Finance

The UK’s leading specialist sub-prime car dealer, ACF Car Finance Limited, has reported an increase in demand for its services with the business demonstrating continued success during a difficult period.

ACF Car Finance specialises in helping customers to find the car they’re looking for and in helping to arrange finance at a monthly repayment to suit their budget and circumstances. The market leading company recently reported its highest monthly volume of customer applications, in the last 18 months of trading.

This continues from the success announced earlier this year in January where ACF Car Finance reported the highest number of customer applications ever processed in a single day, demonstrating its healthy trading position and emphasising its market leader status even further.

Norman Beaumont, Sales and Marketing Director for ACF Car Finance, commented: “No company has remained unscathed throughout 2009 as the market has been so unsettled, but there are encouraging signs which improve the outlook for 2010.“We believe that our success is due to a mixture of elements. Firstly the trading environment has changed and competition within the market has decreased, and there is a definite increase in the numbers of customers in the sub-prime and near-prime marketplace. This increase however also means that our customers are now more discerning than ever before and we have had to react to that changing customer profile. By using new channels to acquire vehicles we have been able to meet the new demands, giving customers exactly what they want, by stocking our branches with a wider choice of cars across all price ranges.

“Secondly, we have made a number of strategic business decisions in order to make the company more sustainable. By undergoing certain cost saving initiatives and streamlining the business, the company is leaner than it has ever been before, putting us in a much stronger position within the market.

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New Used car Website Has Wheels and is Screeching Out the Door

Vehicletext.com a UK based fast growing used car advertising service, for both new and used cars. They have simplified every detail of buying and selling a car.

Thousands of buyers are using this service to purchase or sell vehicles, ranging from Alfa Romeos to Used Volvos. If you have a car to sell, regardless of make and model, you could join the thousands that are already reaping the benefits for as little as 10 pounds. 10 pounds is all it takes to list your vehicle for a period of 2 weeks.

The creator of this site experienced great personal difficulty when trying to sell the car of a family member, and has used the advantages and disadvantages experienced, to create a site that makes selling a car as easy as possible.

“Not to long ago my mother wanted to sell her car so I decided to help her as I thought that this would be a simple task. How wrong I was! I decided to do some research as to where I could list it and how much it would cost. It turned out to be a very expensive and time consuming process. I placed a few adverts online and in the local paper. It ended up costing me a small fortune and placing an advert was a tricky process.”

Recent users of this site have claimed that it provided them with an effective solution, especially as a lot of them have also had bad experiences in the past. Vehicletext.com provided them with an easy and efficient solution without any stress or unnecessary worry.

Chief Executive of The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in the UK stated in May, 2009, that, ‘buying a second hand car is a major and potentially difficult purchase, given the fact that many consumers lack the necessary experience or knowledge to make an informed buying decision’. Sites like Vehicletext.com recognise these difficulties faced by the consumer and provide as many details as possible to alleviate these concerns.

A Vehicle Text Spoke person said:

Queries are important and the dedicated customer service team at Vehicletext.com take your queries seriously. Any possible question you may have regarding a car sale or purchase will be answered thoroughly.

It has been said that the comprehensive customer support team can even handle the most difficult of queries.

You will find this competitive site packed with quality features such as ‘real’ images, descriptions, car buying advice, finance options and insurance. This website is not just for personal sales and purchases, as dealerships can also take advantage of the web presence to expand their businesses further.

Via EPR Network
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Chester Firm In Driving Seat For Children In Need

ACF Car Finance Limited, based in Chester, has shown its support for national charity Children in Need after donating a car to raise funds for the renowned BBC appeal.

ACF Car Finance, which specialises in providing quality used cars and helping to arrange tailored car finance to meet each customers’ individual needs, donated a part-exchanged Vauxhall Vectra for the auction held on the 19th November. The auction was organised by British Car Auctions (BCA) in Walsall as part of the national fundraising campaign taking place across the UK for Children in Need.

The car achieved a fantastic £170 sale price and, as the auction house did not take any fees from the sale, all proceeds will now go directly to the charity.

Leyton Cooper, Group Buying Manager of ACF Car Finance, commented: “We are delighted to show our support for this worthy cause. There was a good auction performance on the night and the car achieved over 140% of CAP average, so we’re pleased that despite the financial climate people are digging deep to give as much as possible to Children in Need.”

This donation is the latest event in the firm’s long line of charitable activities throughout 2009, for a variety of worthy causes including the automotive and partner industry’s own charity BEN.

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EuropcarClub Launches in the UK

Europcar, the UK’s leading vehicle hire company, has launched EuropcarClub to offer the membership benefits of a car club with the flexibility of daily hire. The UK launch follows a successful roll out in France in 2008.

Bringing a fresh approach to car clubs, EuropcarClub is a subscription based service with two tiers – Easy and Premium. The new service is ideal for those who have decided to opt out of second car ownership but still want the flexibility of different cars to suit different demands or for those who just want to find ways to drive greener. EuropcarClub also offers a solution to businesses who don’t want the financial commitment of leasing or buying company cars.

The launch comes off the back of recent research conducted by Europcar* which found that across Europe, Britons are the most open to the idea of car sharing (34% vs. 28% for the rest of Europe), with the age group most open to giving up car ownership being 18 to 34 year olds.

The Europcar Club ‘Easy’ subscription promises members low rates on daily hire of any vehicle size or type – f r o m compacts to MPVs and vans – with no additional charges for excess cover, one way hires or additional drivers who are also members. Those who subscribe to EuropcarClub’s ‘Premium’ service will get discounted rates on all vehicles on Europcar’s fleet including Prestige f r o m Europcar which offers some of the most coveted vehicles on the road today.

All customers are guaranteed vehicles that are, on average, just 6 months old and can select a car group by its average CO2 emissions. In fact Europcar’s fuel-efficient and low emissions cars use 33% less petrol than the average car on the road.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar said: “EuropcarClub is all about flexibility and cost-savings. Members can change cars on demand, leave a vehicle at any Europcar location and benefit f  r o m fantastic rates all year long. With no worries over depreciation, tax, maintenance and roadside assistance, they can enjoy access to vehicles suited for the job, the occasion or their mood. We believe EuropcarClub takes the car club concept to the next level and we are committed to be at the forefront of delivering transport solutions to meet the needs of today’s cost conscious and environmentally focused travellers.”

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Introducing an Online Cheaper and Easier Way to Sell and Buy Vehicles

Buying and selling used cars just got easier. Gone are the days when people had to rely on the print medium to place their advertisements and wait endlessly for potential customers to turn up. Moreover, they were still not guaranteed about the genuineness of the customer and could end up wasting a lot of time with such casual visitors.

At Vehicle Text, they can place advertisements for buying or selling cars online for a period of two weeks at just £10. The car advertised for sale gets the benefit of exposure to many thousands of potential buyers. All that is required to be done is to post the make, model, mileage covered, color and other such essential details of the car on the site and wait for the potential buyer to make the contact. It makes the entire process transparent and seamless without any middlemen involvement and that is advantageous to both the parties.

Similarly it is very convenient to look for a car to purchase. The site has an easy to use search facility that will throw up results based on price, area and the model sought. The seller can then be contacted directly to negotiate prices. One great advantage of buying through Vehicle Text is the warranty that accompanies the purchase making it possible for a buyer to take the vehicle back to the dealer in case of any malfunction. That is a departure from purchases at auction sites where there is no warranty provided.

The registration process is a simple one where the member is just required to provide some basic information such as name, email and contact number. This is a necessary step to list the vehicle on sale with the site.

The other useful features of the site include links to facilitate insurance, financing and HPI check. It would indeed be very reassuring to have the vehicle checked for its history including any previous damage, CO2 rating, inspection report and other relevant details before purchasing the vehicle.

Car enthusiasts and aficionados can pick up lot of useful information about how to care for the vehicles and look up some interesting reviews about them on the site. News about the automobile industry and other relevant articles pertaining to cars feature quite prominently and that is also likely to go down well with visitors to the site.

People who wish to buy or sell cars will thus find this initiative very beneficial for them and that in turn augurs well for the automobile industry.

Via EPR Network
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The Website Vehicletext.Com Provides A Reliable And Fast Way To Sell Cars Online, Giving An Ad Valuable Online Exposure

VehicleText provides ready access to a huge range of buyers and sellers of used cars, with luxury and economy models available for the discerning buyer to browse. The easy-to-use, simplistic interface ensures that any level of internet user can readily access the information in your advertisement, by making sure that your car is listed and available to a wide range of buyers from many locations.

The Website Vehicletext.Com Provides A Reliable And Fast Way To Sell Cars Online, Giving An Ad Valuable Online Exposure

Listing your vehicle ensures that a huge range of people online can access the information and they may even want to buy the vehicle listed.

Based in Middlesex, England the business owners developed the site after having a difficult time selling their mother’s vehicle. By avoiding the classic pitfalls and offering a complete service the site is able to not only sell cars, but also arrange finance and insurance options for vehicle buyers.

Selling a vehicle is easy. All that needs to be done after registration is the uploading of information pertaining to the current vehicle for sale. Making sure to provide all the information that one needs to make the purchase process a simple one for a potential buyer can make the process of selling one’s car smooth as silk.

As with any service provider online, there is an extensive set of terms and conditions that a user of the service should be aware of and adhere to when utilising the site. These terms are designed to secure and simplify the operation of the site for all parties.

The use of SSL technology ensures that credit card information is kept safe and secure, and makes the use of the website a breeze. There are several other facilities offered on the vehicletext.com site also.

Being able to perform an HPI check directly on the site provides information as to the history and legal status of the vehicle. The environmental rating of the vehicle and the Vehicle Identity can be ascertained and with this valuable information the sureness of the vehicles saleability can be known.

The operators of the site work hard to provide information on the used cars available, and this dedication to top quality service means that anyone using the site can be sure that they are operating in a safe and well managed environment.

The growing media facility being offered by the site provides a wide range of other services to the customer. Information on a variety of used cars and other articles covering the successful launch of new car models complete the excellent offering available.

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Europcar Has Been Named The World’s Leading Car Rental Company At The 2008 World Travel Awards

Europcar has been named the World’s Leading Car Rental Company, at the 2008 World Travel Awards ceremony in London, following its title of Europe’s Leading Car Rental Company in Portugal on October 17.

The World Travel Awards are the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry, with 187,000 industry professionals voting for the best company in each category across seven regions of the world.

These two global awards not only reflect Europcar’s professionalism but also its commitment to customer satisfaction: a double victory for the group, which further strengthens its position as Europe’s number one car rental company.

As the European Leader in short-term light- and utility vehicle rental, Europcar is strongly customer-orientated and strives to listen carefully to its customers’ demands. For the last two years the company has taken a global look at its customers’ mobility habits with a pan-European survey: the Europcar Mobility Observatory. This has enabled Europcar to better understand and predict drivers’ habits across Europe, in order to deploy car rental deals and offers which meet customers’ needs.

Europcar has also worked to make progress in innovation and formed partnerships with other leading travel industry players, to offer customers an ever wider and more accessible range of services, as well as renewing agreements with some of the leading names in the European tourism industry. These agreements include easyJet and Swiss, and the launch of a new service of reservations tailored to the customer’s needs with ACCOR.

Additional developments include the development of a new B2B website ‘click4wheels’, known in France as ‘Click@ndDrive’, which facilitates vehicle reservations through the websites of Europcar’s travel agency and tour operator partners. The car rental company has also recently launched a new mobile phone service, which allows users to make or change a reservation, and find the nearest car rental location from compatible mobile phones.

Jehan de Thé, Global Marketing Director of Europcar International, who accepted the trophy in London, commented: “We are truly proud to have won these two awards. They represent our commitment to providing the highest quality of service – a value shared by our entire network, as demonstrated by the awards won by Europcar in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central America.”

About Europcar:
Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rentals. The company serves business and leisure customers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Excluding franchise operations, in 2008 Europcar signed more than 10 million rental contracts, with 8,000 employees and a fleet exceeding 225,000 vehicles. In September 2008, Europcar and U.S. market leader Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined forces in a strategic commercial alliance to form the world’s largest car rental network, with more than 1.2 million vehicles and 13,000 locations around the world. Europcar is owned by the French investment company Eurazeo.

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The Co-Operative Accelerates Brand To Cover Motor Business

The Co-operative Group today unveiled the latest phase in the rebranding of its family of businesses – a positive change for almost 20 sites in its £250 million motor retailing operation.

The rebrand of 19 showrooms as The Co-operative Motor Group is part of The Co-operative’s £1.5 billion re-branding exercise – the largest in UK corporate history.

The dealerships, which until now, have traded under the Sunwin Motors brand, will be renamed in a move that marks their formal induction into the family of businesses, which includes food, funerals, travel, pharmacy, motors, financial services and legal services. More than two-thirds of the Group’s 5,000 outlets have been rebranded over the last two years.

Mike Austin, Managing Director of The Co-operative Motor Group said: “Sunwin has worked hard to establish a trusted reputation in the Midlands and North of England, and we intend to build on that by adopting The Co-operative’s strong brand.

“This is a name change only but it is the right time to make that change. The relaunch of The Co-operative brand has been a major success, and the financial performance of The Co-operative Group is stronger than ever, as is trust in our brand.”

The first of the Group’s dealerships to be rebranded will be the Renault dealership in Preston on October 27. The rebrand programme will be rolled out to the rest of the dealerships over the next (x) months.

The Co-operative Motor Group, formerly Sunwin, which represents nine major motor manufacturers (Renault, Nissan, Mazda, Peugeot, Fiat, Suzuki, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep), has reported sales of more than £250 million for the last financial year, and in the space of just over two years it has refitted more than two-thirds of its 4,300 used cars outlets with the new look.

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New Research: The Insurance Industry Foots A GBP1.9 Billion Fraud Bill

•As the insurance industry shoulders a GBP1.9 billion fraudulent claim bill and investigators report a 44% increase in fake motor insurance claims, car insurance stealth charges are also on the up

•Compulsory excess payments have been increased by 32% in the last year from GBP129
to GBP170 – 85% of drivers would pay this charge in the event of an accident

•Drivers with a compulsory excess above GBP500 has increased almost tenfold from just 0.3% to 2.7% – 1.55% of these could pay between GBP1,000 to GBP3,000 to claim

•With over 4.4 million accidents resulting in a claim each year, this GBP41excess increase will make the insurance industry GBP154 million more in the next 12 months

•The number of drivers with a compulsory excess on their policy has jumped by 4% from 81% and currently impacts 21.5 million drivers

•On top of this, the average policy price has increased by 10% from GBP478.70 to GBP526.42 for fully comprehensive cover and almost 13% for third party

As the insurance industry foots a GBP1.9 billion fraud bill and recent reports reveal a 44% increase in false claims, new research from uSwitch.com shows that providers are strategically recouping this money from consumers by hiking compulsory excess charges by almost a third (32%) in the last year. In addition, the number of drivers being hit with a compulsory excess fee of between GBP1,000 and GBP3,000 has increased almost tenfold from just 0.3% to 2.7%. Across the country, this means that in the event of an accident, drivers will now have have to pay their insurer an average of GBP170, a fee which has gone up by GBP41 from GBP129 since August 2008.

With over one in five drivers (4.4 million) claiming on their car insurance each year, insurance providers will now be making an additional GBP154 million more from compulsory excess hikes in the next 12 months. This GBP170 compulsory excess charge combined with the average voluntary excess payment of GBP197 can make claiming for an accident a costly business. In fact, any damage that costs less than GBP367 to repair really isn’t worth making a claim.

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Protect Your Taxi Company with Taxi Insurance

The main source of transportation in big cities such as New York City or Chicago, taxis offer many people the convenience of not having to deal with the responsibilities of owning a car. For a taxi company to thrive, however, it must possess a quality taxi insurance policy to protect not only their employees, but the customers as well. A recently published article on InsuranceAgents.com explains how vital taxi insurance is to a company. To compare insurance rates, fill out this form now.

“Not only are taxis a cheap alternative to owning a car, they also act as our own designated driver after a long night of over-age drinking,” the article, Taxi Insurance: Protection for Your Yellow Vehicle, reveals. “At the end of the day, however, a taxi is first and foremost a business, and any legitimate taxi company needs taxi insurance to protect their business. Operating in an industry that results in over two million passengers injured each year, taxi insurance provides taxis with the assurance that they will be protected in case an unfortunate incident occurs.”

Unlike standard auto insurance, taxi insurance provides a number of coverage options designed particularly for taxis. This includes liability coverage that protects the cab company, the driver, and the company’s assets. It also includes comprehensive coverage against vandalism, theft, fire and other damages caused by an accident.

There are certain requirements a taxi must first meet before even being considered for coverage. On top of functioning as fare-based, taxi drivers must also be between the age of 25 and 65, have a valid driver’s license for more than two years in the United States and possess a clean criminal record.

Via EPR Network
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Take Action Against Car Title Fraud

Most people were raised with the value of treating others the way they would like to be treated but unfortunately in this cutthroat society we live in these days, that value gets lost and it becomes every man or woman for themselves. Car title fraud is a prime example of people taking advantage of people for an easy profit. However, car title fraud can be avoided by simply performing a vehicle title history check, according to an article recently published on InsuranceAgents.com.

Knowing why car title fraud exists and how it works is an important stop in prevention. “The main reason car title fraud exists is because states lack conformity on what constitutes a ‘salvaged car,’” states the InsuranceAgents.com article titled, ‘Car Title Fraud: An Introduction‘. “There has been a push for the federal government to step in and mandate what is considered a ‘salvaged car’ so there isn’t a discrepancy between states.”

But until the feds step up to the plate, here are a few simple tasks that be accomplished by the purchaser to avoid car title fraud.

-Perform a vehicle title history check online by running the vehicle identification number, or VIN, of any vehicle made after 1981. -Take a pick from any of the numerous Web sites designed to perform accurate and timely VIN checks.

-Purchase car title insurance. This is relatively low cost and can save bundles if the buyer runs into a fraudulent title.

Via EPR Network
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Breaks From Driving Fuel Accident Rates

New research released by Lloyds TSB Insurance has revealed the serious impact of driving breaks on accident rates, as nearly 100,000 crashes caused last year were by drivers taking to the wheel after a long break from driving.

Lloyds TSB Insurance commissioned road safety experts to test the roadworthiness of licensed motorists who had not driven for six months or more. The results revealed that these drivers made four times as many serious safety errors as regular drivers, worryingly increasing their crash-risk by a quarter.

The insurer estimates that 98,000 accidents last year can be directly attributed to lack of driving practice, causing over £200 million worth of damage. Yet public awareness of the risks is low, with half a million ‘rusty drivers’ planning to take to the road in the next 12 months.

Driver ability in all key areas is impaired, according to the findings, with serious deficiencies in observation (86 per cent), speeding discipline (27 per cent), clutch control (33 per cent) and steering (13 per cent).

Crash risk is also heightened by the length of the driving ‘break’, with those taking to the wheel after a year nearly twice as likely to have an accident.

Despite the experiment revealing no marked difference in performance between the sexes, further research suggests women are more likely to take extended driving breaks than men (58 per cent vs. 42 per cent).

Commenting on the research, Karen McCarthy of Lloyds TSB Insurance, said:

“There is no substitute for practice and anyone thinking of getting behind the wheel after a long break needs to think really carefully about the risks. A simple refresher lesson or practice in a low traffic area can make a huge difference to your confidence and road awareness.”

Via EPR Network
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Europcar Revamped Its Website By Enhancing Their Location Based Pages

Europcar, the UK’s leading vehicle hire company, has announced that it has revamped its website by enhancing their location based pages throughout the site. This update will provide customers with additional information on all car and van hire locations across its 160 countries.

The new location pages have been designed to help improve customer experience for UK based Europcar customers, by providing them with additional details on the specific geographical location of Europcar rental sites as well as some up-to-date extra information regarding the local area, with this extra information provided by Europcar, customers can plan their journey more efficiently thus ensuring a relaxing and stress-free vehicle hire experience.

The new sections which have now been added to the UK site include enhancement through the use of Google Maps to help customers find the numerous car hire locations situated in cities around the UK, including the ever popular car hire London locations. As well as Google Maps, each individual page has up to date weather information for the city as well as details of any special deals for booking car hire online for each particular location.

Catriona Lougher, marketing director for Europcar, said: “The improved location pages on the Europcar website has really improved our customer’s experience. At Europcar we know that customers want as much information as possible available to them, to make their car hire experience simple and stress-free. With the inclusion of Google Maps, customers can now find out how far to travel to our locations and decide whether to take advantage of our free delivery and collection service.”

Via EPR Network
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