Welcome to Total Drive Industry Round-Up, the place for any need-to-know industry news. Our updates are aimed directly at you, the driving instructors of Britain, and are full of all the things you should know. Here’s what has been going on recently:
DVLA Reveals List Of Banned ’71’ Number Plates
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has revealed the list of banned combinations for the new 71 series number plates.
The number 71 comes after the first two letters on vehicles that are first registered between 1 September and the end of February – but combinations which ‘may cause offence, embarrassment, or are in poor taste’ are banned by the DVLA.
As such, it is someone’s job to think through all the possible combinations and block anything that looks even remotely rude.
With the new 71 plates, the likes of PR71 CK, BA71 ARD or AS71 HOL have been blocked, while contemporary combos such as CO71 VD, CO71 ONA, CO71 RNA and AN71 VAX are also prohibited.
Credit Lad Bible
Digital driving licences to be introduced in bid to make transport ‘fairer, greener and more efficient
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is aiming to develop an app featuring the licences, required by those learning to drive, by 2024. It is understood that if the digital rollout proves to be a success then full driving licences could follow suit.
Credit Sky News
Void or Valid: 10 ways you could be invalidating your car insurance
Car insurance prices have reached a seven-year low1, with Covid helping to drive down the price, but it’s important to remember to be as accurate as possible when providing your personal details.
Providing false information or failing to update with changes of circumstance, whether accidentally or not, can invalidate your insurance, meaning your insurer is able to refuse to pay out for claims or even cancel your policy. Some types of misinformation may even be classed as fraud and could see you end up in court.
That’s why CarParts4Less, an online retailer of car parts, accessories and tools, has shared ten easy to make mistakes that might be invalidating your car insurance.
1. Lying about your main address
Car insurance premiums can vary depending on the postcode, as some areas have higher rates of thefts and break-ins. It can be tempting to put down your home address as somewhere different to where your car stays every night – a parents’ house while you are at university, for example, or at your house when you spend five nights a week living at your partner’s. However, doing so can mean your insurer can refuse to pay out any claims made, for example if your car is broken into in the location it actually resides.
Insurance for young drivers often costs more than groups deemed less of a risk, and one way some motorists try and get round these higher premiums is by having a low-risk driver, such as a parent or partner, named as the main policy holder, and adding the real motorist as a named driver. If you get caught ‘fronting’, your policy will immediately be cancelled, and any claims denied. These cases are often taken to court, too, as it is classed as insurance fraud, with outcomes including fines of up to £5,000 and six points on your license.
3. Ignoring your morning commute
There are three types of car usage that insurance covers; social only, social and commuting, and business. Social only insurance covers driving for social or leisure use; driving to and from friends’ houses, going to the supermarket, etc. The commute to and from work, or even to and from the train station, are not covered by this policy, so upgrading to a social and commuting is necessary, even if you only commute a few times a month. Insurance companies may dispute or refuse claims made during a commute if the policy is for social use only, even if it is claimed to be only a one-off.
4. Not informing your insurer about any car modifications
Car modifications can affect your insurance premium for two reasons; if they increase the likelihood of an accident, or if they increase the likelihood of theft. Optional add ons for brand new cars, including something as simple and common as fitting in a SatNav, can impact insurance so it’s important to ensure these options are noted when applying for insurance. Your insurer will also need to be made aware of modifications that are made during your policy, as this may require a change in policy.
5. Not informing your insurance company of minor accidents
In the case of small bumps or minor accidents where only cosmetic damage occurs, it’s common for motorists to have their car fixed without making a claim. However, even if you intend not to claim, it is important to inform your insurance of any damage received, as to not do so is a breach of your policy. This helps in the event that the other driver changes their mind and decides to claim, and also ensures damage is accounted for if you do need to claim after future incidents – damage which is inconsistent with a claim may mean that your claim is denied.
6. Using more miles than you thought
Your annual mileage is one of the main factors used to calculate your insurance premium; the higher the mileage, the higher the cost. It’s important to be as accurate as possible when providing this figure, rather than just guessing, as it’s possible your insurance provider will decide not to pay a claim if your mileage is higher than what you’ve estimated. When working out how many miles you drive, don’t forget to include weekends away, weekly shopping, etc, and add some contingency miles – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
7. Driving with pets
If you are driving with your pet in the car, you are legally required to make sure they are secured. Unsecured pets can make a car more at risk of accidents, as they may distract the driver or even physically get in the way of driving. If you crash with an unsecured pet in the car, it’s likely that your insurance company will refuse to pay for your claim.
8. Letting other people drive your car
While it’s possible for your friends or family to have insurance policies that allow them to drive other people’s cars, it is unlikely these policies cover damage to the vehicle in the event they are in an accident. It’s more than likely that your own policy only covers vehicle damage that happens when a named driver is in the car, so while your friend can legally drive it, any accidents that occur may not be able to be claimed for.
9. You’ve recently changed jobs
Your current occupation is one of the factors used to determine your risk profile, so it’s important to update your insurance company if you have changed jobs or occupations. Failure to do so many mean any claims made after a job change can be denied by your insurer.
10. Charging for lifts
Some policies specifically exclude cover for car sharing, whether you make a profit or not. For those whose policies do allow lift sharing, it may be void if you make a profit from giving lifts – many state you may only make enough to cover petrol and driving costs. Earning money from giving lifts can identify you as a ‘taxi hire service’, making a policy which does not cover this void.
It’s important to always read the terms and conditions of your car insurance policy, to ensure that you have not accidentally invalidated the policy. Keep your insurance provider up to date with any change of circumstances, regardless of whether or not you think it’s relevant, as some seemingly unrelated life changes can impact your premium.
DE-car chargers will turn off to prevent blackouts
Electric car charging points in people’s homes will be preset to switch off for nine hours each weekday at times of peak demand because ministers fear blackouts on the National Grid.
Under regulations that will come into force in May, new chargers in the home and workplace will be automatically set not to function from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm. Public chargers and rapid chargers, on motorways and A-roads, will be exempt.
Credit The Times