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Wallace Performance is a name that is synonymous with providing quality service from day one.
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Lewis Hamilton picked up his sixth Formula One Drivers’ Championship in 2019, putting him just one short of Michael Schumacher’s record in the sport now.
Since moving to Mercedes from McLaren in 2013, Hamilton has been the most dominant driver in the sport. He has now won 84 races, his latest success coming at the Yas Mana Circuit in Abu Dhabi last December.
Hamilton’s contract at Mercedes expires at the end of this year so expect to see the world champion at the top of his game. He will want to prove he deserves a new lucrative deal either with Mercedes or elsewhere.
The British driver is bidding for his fourth straight world title this year where he is the clear favourite in the latest F1 odds for the 2020 Drivers’ Championship with the bookmakers.
Here is a look at who the biggest challengers are to Hamilton as he looks to defend his crown once again.
Max Verstappen joined F1 in 2015 and since then he has improved his position at the end of the season with every year. The 22-year-old looks certain to be a world champion in the near future. After finishing third in 2019, he may not have to wait much longer to get his hands on the title.
The Red Bull driver already has a wealth of experience in F1 as, at the age of 17 years and 166 days, he became the youngest driver to compete in the competition at the 2015 Australian Open.
Verstappen was very consistent in 2019 with nine appearances on the podium. If he can convert some of those second- and third-place finishes into wins, he is going to prove to be a strong threat to Hamilton.
Many pundits in F1 believe the biggest threat to Hamilton this year comes from within Mercedes with Valtteri Bottas.
The Finnish driver ended 2019 as the runner-up behind Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship. Bottas finished on the podium in 15 of the 21 races, winning four times across the year.
Bottas has been given a big boost ahead of the new season with his Finnish compatriot and former two-time champion Mika Hakkinen tipping him to win the world title this year.
The 30-year-old clocked the fastest time in pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Those numbers may suggest Bottas is set for a strong campaign in 2020.
There were a lot of firsts in 2019 for Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. The biggest being his maiden Grand Prix success in Belgium.
Ferrari see Leclerc as the future of their construction. He will be joined in 2021 by Carlos Sainz Jr but it is the man from Monaco who is expected to be the number one driver.
Leclerc was fourth in the Drivers’ Championship last year. He outscored his teammate Sebastien Vettel by two races to one. Expect to see him improve on his tally in 2020.
The opening race of this season’s F1 calendar is the Austrian GP which is scheduled to take place on the 5th July.
Amid environmental concerns and new requirements for trucks, natural gas has proved a great option. Natural gas is closest to diesel in terms of speed and power. Trucks can also re fuel faster when using natural gas, in around 10mins. They have a good range of on average 966kms before the fuel needs to be refilled too. On top of that, natural gas prices are at an all-time low. Prices are the lowest they have been in 25 years.
In California this month the two largest ports (Los Angeles and Long Beach), announced the readiness of near zero emissions trucks for short haul transfers. These heavy-duty trucks, running on natural gas are now recognised as TRL-9 (Technology Readiness Level 9) in their feasibility for drayage. TRL-9 is the highest level possible, meaning it is safe and ready for commercial use. The California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership has approved the upgrade requested by the LA and Long Beach ports, for use immediately.
Twenty natural gas-powered trucks were used to demonstrate their effectiveness in order to gain approval for permanent use. The trucks used run on Cummins ISX12N NZE engines. The demonstration was run by Cummins in partnership with Clean Energy. The same trucks have now completed over 1,609,000 kilometers of deliveries throughout California.
Both main Californian ports have already started upgrading their current trucks and using the new fuel system. This is a great move for the industry in general. No doubt others around the globe will now look at natural gas as a feasible option for their short haul trips.
Environmentally speaking, natural gas is significantly less destructive and lower emissions than traditional diesel or petrol. The new natural gas truck technology expected to be used in California is ‘near zero’ emissions. It is not quite zero, but will still make a huge positive difference from using the traditional diesel drayage trucks.
Other companies across the globe are currently working on fully zero emission trucks. Toyota has recently developed a hydrogen fuel cell heavy duty truck for shipping purposes. Their truck will be zero emission but lacks some of the benefits of a natural gas run truck. Electric is another low emissions type truck, that the likes of Tesla are progressing well with.
Natural gas is a bi-product of shale drilling. It is used industrially as a fuel for the development of plastics, pharmaceuticals, ethane and propane and antifreeze. It has been used safely for a range of purposes, and as a fuel for years. Natural gas is a viable option as a fuel source for heavy haulage trucks as well. It also comes in liquid form for easy re-filling.
Natural gas is cheaper. Another draw card for developing trucks run on natural gas is the cost. Prices are dropping due to warmer than average temperatures, reduced consumption and increased supply. The cost of natural gas is expected to sink further, into the foreseeable future. The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on natural gas prices too.
The move to natural gas-powered trucks in California will have a measurable impact on the whole state, and the country. Air pollution from diesel trucks impacts 90% of Californians, which equates to over 35 million people. There are over 17,000 short haul trucks travelling to and from the ports of California in any given day. The impact is phenomenal.
In California around 75% of natural gas is already from renewable sources, according to the California Air Resources Board. There is an extensive natural gas refueling network across the state with public access. The infrastructure to roll out more of these natural gas powered trucks is there, ready and waiting. The potential is there, and the private sector is willing to invest further into infrastructure to run their trucks as needed. The project will help the public greatly, without even requiring any tax-payer contributions, it’s a win win.
Shipping and truck rental companies are looking toward a cleaner, greener future and working to meet government emissions targets. California in particular has put in place strict short deadline emission reduction targets, particularly on the transport sector. There is a world-wide move towards lowering carbon emissions, as is necessary for the future of the planet.
Other countries like the UK, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand also have short and long term targets for phasing out the use of diesel trucks. The world is gaining real traction now with working towards zero emission transport. The transport industry, for both freight and passenger vehicles is responsible for 28% of total greenhouse gases worldwide. Low to Zero emission type vehicles and innovative fuel ideas are on the rise, and predicted to continue to rise steadily until they become the majority of the transport market.
We’ve seen the movies, with slick car thieves making their getaway with stolen luxury cars. And in London, these fantastic storylines are coming true.
There’s been a string of car thefts targeting high-end car dealers, and many are saying it is part of an organised crime ring. Intruders are taking multiple cars using the key fobs in the early hours of the morning.
This technique not only required knowledge of the dealership such as location of the keys, but also a reasonable amount of planning; they were successful at the Porsche dealership, taking four cars valued at $400,000
Police arrested five suspects a few days later and credited the general public. Lockdown orders mean that people are home more and noticing usual behaviour. The constant flow of information resulted in the arrests.
The first success
Three luxury vehicles and forty keys were stolen on April 27 from Titanium Autos. The offenders broke into the premises, stole the keys, and from there it was a simple act to take the cars. Police have since recovered the vehicles, all in immaculate condition, and with full tanks of petrol. The car yards normally only keep tanks a quarter full, so these cars had been filled and there were future plans for them.
The second success
Offenders accessed the keys and the cars early in the morning of May 2. They broke into the showroom, grabbed the keys, and took off with four Porsche luxury cars. One of these cars has been located.
A failed attempt
Less than ten hours after their Porsche success, the thieves attempted another haul. The Mercedes-Benz showroom footage showed potential thieves arriving at the dealership. However, the security guard arrived, and the suspects tried to run off. However, only three were successful in escaping, as one was tackled by the guard.
Is this a sign of a larger operation?
The manager of Mercedes-Benz, Rob Stockie, suspects it’s part of a large operation that targets luxury vehicles. There is an element of sophistication in disposing of a stolen luxury car, and the volume of thefts is indicative of a supply chain.
The fact that the vehicles Titanium Autos were filled with petrol is a sign that there was much more planned, and a way to fill the vehicles that wouldn’t draw attention to the thieves.
The police have recovered eight stolen cars and more than 175 keys that have been stolen from local dealerships.
What does this mean for car yards?
Steve Rempel, the general manager of Porsche in London, has been in the industry for almost 20 years. And, he hasn’t seen anything like it in his time. He’s used the crime as a reminder to be more careful. Not only of the keys, but also paperwork and who is walking around your yard.
He’s taken the opportunity to increase the security on the lot, and started a CCTV footage-sharing system with other dealers nearby. He’s also hired security guards to monitor the yards at night. While the extra expense in the time of COVID-19, when the business is facing a loss of sales from the lock-down, is difficult, he’s hoping that lifting the lockdown will allow buyers back in his showroom.
Mercedes-Benz has started storing the keyfobs for the cars off- premises at night. This is a policy that the local police have applauded, and many other car yards may follow suit.
Is this due to COVID-19?
World-wide, there has been an increase in car thefts. There are a variety of reasons for this, including people using their cars less, and leaving them sitting in the driveway of their homes, and a loss of employment, and some people needing an income stream.
But for both these commercial thefts and residential thefts, a lot of blame is being aimed at the police. With less police on active duty, patrolling the streets, they simply aren’t as visible as they have been in the past.
Advice for car owners
There are a few things you can do to make sure your car is less of target for thieves.
- Always lock your car doors, even when it’s stored in the driveway
- Invest in immobilisers, such as a steering wheel lock and wheel clamp
- Don’t store anything in the car, especially anything of value
- Get your windows etched with your rego number
- Install a car alarm, or at the very least, a light on the dash that looks like an alarm
- If you have keyless entry to your car, consider buying a Faraday pouch to store it in so thieves can’t exploit a known security weakness to break in using your own remote
- Make sure you have good car insurance (visit AMI Insurance for more info). This doesn’t deter thieves, but it will save future financial distress.
Motor trade insurance allows those that work in the motor trade industry to do their jobs, providing cover for a number of different scenarios. Without this policy, a business’ future could be at risk.
This type of specialist cover is similar to private car insurance, in that it also provides you with different levels of cover such as Third Party, Third Party Fire & Theft and Comprehensive. In this guide we are going to cover what motor trade insurance is, why you may need it and what level of cover you may require.
What is motor trade insurance?
Motor trade insurance, sometimes referred to as road risk insurance is a specialist type of cover that may be used by car salesmen or to anyone who valets cars. It’s for those who work in the motor trade industry, regardless of if you’re a small, medium or large business. This policy provides cover to workers allowing them to drive any vehicle whether it be for personal or work purposes.
What levels of cover are there?
Similar to personal car insurance, there are different levels of cover available to choose from. These include:
Third Party Only
This is the most basic level of cover you can buy as a motor trader. It offers the least amount of protection and is the minimum legal requirement. If you’re involved in an accident, your insurer would cover the costs for the third party, but not costs for your vehicle.
Third Party, Fire & Theft
Similar to the above, this level of cover allows motor traders to drive their own vehicle and those belonging to customers on the road. Additionally, it provides cover for fire, theft, loss and damage to any vehicle in your possession. You will also be covered for third-party damages, injuries and claims if you are found to be at fault.
This level of cover includes everything mentioned previously, in addition to accidental damage to both your personal vehicle and that of the customer’s.
Do I need a motor trade insurance policy?
If you clean, modify, transport, repair or sell vehicles, you will need this type of business cover. This is regardless of operating part-time or full-time. Even if you’re only buying and selling one car a month, you will still be required to have this insurance.
Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is a legal requirement for those in the motor trade industry to have this type of specialist insurance in place. If you’re driving on a UK road or public space without the appropriate cover, you are breaking the law and could be given a £300 fine along with six points on your license. Furthermore, if the case was to go to court, this could be an unlimited fine and you may also be disqualified from driving. For this reason, you will need at least a minimum third party only level of cover.
What to avoid when buying motor traders cover
If you’re arranging cover for your motor trade business, it’s important that you are completely honest and truthful. This is not only because it’s the right thing to do but if you’re found to be giving false information, your policy may be void and any claims you wish to make may not be accepted. Here’s a list of things you must avoid:
- Claiming to be a full-time motor trade when in fact you’re actually part time
- Not disclosing any previous claims
- Not disclosing any convictions
- Providing the wrong address
- Stating that you have on-site parking if you do not
- Insuring a vehicle for a family/friend to use privately and not for business
- Claiming to be an employee if you’re actually a company director
- Failure to declare any car modifications and undervaluing stock
How to get cheaper motor trade cover?
There are a number of steps you can take to reduce your total motor trade insurance policy cost. These include the following:
Increase your excess – All policies will include a standard excess and a voluntary excess. If you were to increase the voluntary excess, your premium may be reduced. Please note that the discount provided will vary from each insurance provider. It’s worth checking how much of a difference it makes to the total price at each different excess level. Whatever voluntary excess you do choose, make sure you’re comfortable with this figure as you will be expected to pay it in the event of a claim.
Reduce the number of drivers on the policy – The more drivers you add to the policy, the higher the total premium will be. Having multiple drivers increases the level of risk as more drivers are likely to be on the road in any vehicle at any given time.
Use a comparison site – Comparing motor trade insurance by using an online comparison site such as Utility Saving Expert is a great way to find the most competitive deal. You will complete a short form and be able to compare quotes from leading industry providers in a matter of minutes.
Pay annually – If you’re able to pay for your policy in one lump sum, you may also receive a discount. Some insurance providers may charge you slightly more for choosing to pay through monthly instalments.
In conclusion, having a motor trade insurance policy is a legal requirement for those in this line of work. It’s important that you purchase an adequate level of cover that is right for your business needs. Being dishonest and withholding information will likely result in your policy being made void. There are a number of legitimate steps you can take mentioned above to reduce your overall premium.
If you have been pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol, or some type of mind altering substance, you will be given a DR10 conviction. This simply means that drugs or alcohol were detected in your body, and depending upon how much was detected, the courts can sentence you to what could be a probationary period that can last for several years. You will be required to disclose this to your employer which is necessary if your job requires a substantial amount of driving. Getting insurance after your DR10 conviction can be difficult. However, you can get what is called drink driving insurance or DR10 insurance.
What Is DR10 Insurance?
This is the type of insurance that people who have been convicted of drink driving must get if they wish to continue driving. The premiums are going to be much higher. If you can attend a drink driving rehabilitation course, this can cause the premiums to go down. The best way to find the lowest rates is to find an insurance broker that has contact with multiple companies that offer this service. There are other things you can do to make the premiums go down which are limit how much you drive, make sure that your vehicle is properly secured, and to also work with one of these insurance brokers.
How To Find Insurance Brokers For DR10 Insurance
By doing a search for DR10 Insurance brokers on the web, you can find several companies that offer this type of service. You may not realise how many there are, and how many quotes you will receive. Once you get this information back, it can tell you which companies offer the best premiums and coverage. You can choose from this list of potential contenders. After comparing the rates, you can make a decision on which company will offer you the best deal on this type of drink driving insurance.
How Long Will It Take To Get The Policy In Force?
After making your payment, your policy will be in force. They will then send a copy to you either digitally or physically. You will have to keep this policy until the time that your DR10 conviction has run out per the orders of the court. For example, if you were convicted of driving under the influence, you could have this restriction for up to five years. Once that five-year period of time is over, you will be able to get regular insurance which will be far less expensive.
It is so important to not drink alcoholic beverages or take drugs while driving. If you are ever pulled over, and you are convicted, you will have to get DR10 insurance in order to drive. This can become a very problematic situation, especially if you are on a limited budget, and you also spend a lot of time driving due to the type of job that you have. By using one of these insurance brokers, you will find many companies that offer affordable premiums on this insurance that you must use. Once this has expired, you can go back to regular car insurance which will be far less expensive.
Do you need affordable insurance for your taxi fleet? You can find good policies for taxi fleet insurance that will ensure every vehicle that you have. Finding a reputable company that can help you is very easy to do. You simply have to locate a business that is either an insurance firm, or an insurance broker that can connect you with multiple companies. Once you have estimates back from all of these businesses, it will be clear which ones are actually the best for providing you with the best possible cover on the market today.
Where Should You Begin Your Search?
You should begin your search on the web by looking for these companies that can provide you with these exceptional deals. In some cases, you will be able to find the exact policy that you need within the first few hours of searching. It’s easier to work with a broker because they already have connections to some of the top insurance providers in the industry. They can take your information down months, convey that to all of the companies that they work with, and they can deliver the estimates to you within the next few days.
How To Evaluate The Policies That They Are Offering
Evaluating the policies requires you to look at three specific factors. The first factor will be the amount of the monthly or the annual premium that you will be paying. Second will be the deductible that you will have to pay if you ever do file a claim. Finally, you need to consider the total amount of the coverage. Depending upon the size of your fleet of taxi vehicles, and how new or old they are, your coverage can vary significantly based upon all of these variables.
How To Limit The Amount Of Your Deductible
The deductible is the amount of money that you will have to pay upfront in order to initiate the claim. With policies that are extremely affordable, the amount of the deductible tends to be much higher than those with a more costly premium. If you are in an industry where accidents are quite common, you will want to pay more for your policy every month so that the deductible as much lower. However, if you have a very good track record with your fleet, you will probably be more comfortable with lower premiums and a higher deductible because of the limited number of claims that you will make.
Finding affordable taxi cover to ensure your taxi fleet is simply a matter of contacting as many companies as you can. It is imperative that you contact at least one broker that can connect you with businesses you may have never heard of. They may have very good deductibles and extremely reasonable premiums, all the while providing you with the top amount of coverage that you can get. These policies are available, but you will have to do your research in order to locate the businesses that will offer you the best deals available.
There are plenty of different performance cars that come in various shapes as well as sizes, and to term, something that has plenty of rivals and counterparts that are equally as good as the best is extremely hard considering the number of variables that are present.
But after spending quite some time thinking from every possible angle, we have narrowed it down to the following. Let us look at some of the best cars in the performance range.
1. Caterham Seven
The performance of the Caterman Seven is mainly due to how the body has been constructed. Being lightweight, the car is incredibly easy to handle. You should also keep in mind that the car has been in production for over 60 years and yet the experience hasn’t even deterred from being extremely unique. You also get the feeling of being in one of the greatest track cars, and this is something that only a few cars can offer. Initially designed by Colin Chapman in 1957, the latest versions of the Seven has drawn a lot of inspiration from its forefather.
2. BMW M5
It’s surprising to think that the M5 has been here for more than three decades and each iteration has set a new precedent as well as standard in the industry. The latest version has been upgraded to a four-wheel drive, and for the longtime fans, this could be something that dampens their expectations, but once they get their hands on this beast, they’ll soon realize that it only adds to the overall experience.
3. Porsche 718 Boxster
Many might label this car as the Porsche that the poor man would greatly prefer but let it be known that that isn’t doing any good to spread the message that this car is actually really good! Not only is this car a superb entry-level vehicle that introduces the driver to how a Porsche should be driven, but it also offers handling which is natural as well as fun. The car has been in development for nearly 20 years after all, and it clearly shows. The latest model houses a flat-four turbocharged engine which although some might consider being a downgrade, it hasn’t necessarily detracted from the usual driving experience.