WHERE IN THE UK ARE CARS MOST LIKELY TO PASS OR FAIL THEIR MOT?
The latest data from the Department for Transport has revealed the UK postcodes where cars are most likely to pass and fail their MOT tests, with Scotland and the South West of England home to numerous failure hotspots.
When it comes to the areas where cars are most likely to pass their MOT, Nottingham (87%) had the highest pass rates, whilst London postcodes also performed well, with 10 postcodes from the capital achieving over 77% pass rates.
The postcodes with the highest MOT pass rates are:
1. NG (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire) - 87%
2. EN (Enfield, London) - 79%
3. SL (Slough, South East) - 78%
On the other end of the scale, cars in the KY postcode (Kirkcaldy, Scotland) were the most likely to fail their MOT test in 2020, with a pass rate of 70%. The DD postcode (Dundee) ranked third, also with a pass rate of 70%.
Outside of Scotland, postcodes in the South West of England didn't fare well, with eight of the worst ten pass rates located in the region, with the PL postcode (Plymouth, Devon) experiencing the lowest pass rate in England (70%).
The postcodes with the lowest pass rates in the UK are:
1. KY (Kirkcaldy, Scotland) - 70%
2. PL (Plymouth, Devon) - 70%
3. DD (Dundee, Scotland) - 70%
MEDIUM SIZED CARS STAY THE FAVOURED CHOICE
Motorists aspire to drive a medium-sized car throughout their driving life, no matter what their age, reveals new research from Direct Line Motor Insurance. Choice of cars and the number of new drivers and cars on the road is accelerating, analysis shows. The top 10 selling cars now only account for around 26 per cent of all vehicles on the roads compared with 29 per cent five years ago. Around 575,000 new drivers are hitting the UK's roads every year with the number of cars rising by 2.4 million in five years.
But medium-sized cars such as the VW Golf, Ford Focus or Audi A3 are the vehicles motorists on the whole are most likely to drive or aspire to have. A quarter (25 per cent) of motorists drive this size of car and believe they are the most appropriate for their age group, while 15 per cent aspire to driving them. Just nine per cent wish to drive SUVs and eight per cent want a sports car.
The under-25s and motorists aged 45 to 54 break the mould on aspirations - they dream of driving luxury vehicles such as the BMW 8 series or Mercedes S Class even though they are most likely to drive small cars, such as a Renault Clio.
Analysis of official data found attitudes to car ownership varied for different life stages. It revealed what the key indicators are for people either buying their first car or changing their vehicle. The data also shows getting a driving licence and owning a car is becoming more popular - the percentage of the British adult population with a full licence was 76.5 per cent before lockdowns compared with 73.3 per cent in 2014. The percentage of under-25s with licences increased to 36.7 per cent from 35.3 per cent over the same period while the percentage of 25 to 34-year-olds with licences rose 3.6 per cent to 73.6 per cent. With many drivers unable to take their test and secure a driver's licence in 2020, it was a challenge for many, but the trajectory of those who want one has continued to increase over time.
The life event that is most likely to drive someone to buy a new car is inevitably passing their driving test with 26 per cent saying that was their reason to buy. However, 16 per cent said starting a new job was their reason for buying, ahead of 11 per cent who bought because they started a family or after moving to a new area (also 11 per cent). Expanding their family was the reason for buying a car for eight per cent of people.
DRIVER'S SAY THEIR CARS WERE HARDLY USED IN THE PANDEMIC
According to a recent survey of 824 drivers by InsuretheGap, 87% of drivers say they have a car which was hardly used during the pandemic. And almost one in ten (9%) took a car off the road using a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). When checking on their unused car, a third (33%) had a flat battery, 17% had low tyre pressure and one in twenty (6%) found mould on the interior. Others suffered from scratched bodywork, locked handbrakes and one driver's catalytic converter was stolen while the car was parked up. Only 28% said they hadn't had any problems with an unused car.
Over half of drivers (55%) took their car out for specific journeys just to keep the battery topped up, with almost a quarter (23%) feeling guilty for doing this, and 24% worried about being stopped by police for non-essential travel. When it comes to getting their car back on the road, a quarter (25%) said that they took their neglected car for a long drive, 30% have cleaned it (7% professionally), 35% have checked the tyre pressure, 10% have had to jump start it, 11% have had to buy a new battery and one in ten (10%) have asked a garage to check it over. 14% are thinking of getting rid of the unused car.
The drivers in the survey also spoke of their frustration at not being able to drive much in the last twelve months, with one driver saying they had driven, according to their service, 44 miles in the six-month period from September 2020 to the end of March 2021. Savings on fuel costs have been a silver lining for many, however, with one driver saving over £250 a month on petrol.
DRIVERS QUESTION THE NEED FOR THEIR CARS
DRIVERS QUESTION THE NEED FOR THEIR CARS
Almost one in seven (14%) UK drivers have considered getting rid of their car because of the pandemic (17% men and 11% women), rising to one in three (35%) under 34s. According to a new survey of 2,000 UK drivers by InsuretheGap, over half (56%) say they do not need a car as much as they did before the pandemic (53% men and 59% women).
Working from home is the reason that 40% of drivers aged 65 years and under say they have less need of a car, rising to 58% of under 34s. Drivers are also thinking about down-sizing their vehicles, with over a quarter (26%) saying their next car is probably going to be smaller.
However, 73% of drivers say having a car is still a necessity, and avoiding public transport is an important issue for 61% of drivers (59% men and 63% women). Whilst drivers might not be using their cars as much, almost a third (29%) still wash their car regularly (34% men and 24% women). Under 34s (41%) are the most likely to clean their cars, compared to only 25% of the over 55s.
Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Officer of InsuretheGap.com, said: "Cars sitting idly outside homes has caused many of us to revaluate our car usage with some considering selling their cars or downsizing. However, for the vast majority having a car is still a necessity for their day-to-day life and particularly when we're being encouraged to avoid public transport."
WARNING THAT EV CARS WILL BRING ELECTRICITY GRID POWERCUTS
With the sale of new petrol cars banned by 2030, the UK needs a vast investment in both generation capacity and, particularly, distribution to meet the increased demand for electricity this will bring. But with this 9-year clock quickly ticking, £billions of essential investment is being held back through a lack of information and data. A new App, to be developed by Zuhlke UK will start overcoming this by providing green investors with data, models and insights that it is hard for outsiders to the UK electricity sector to acquire.
The new app will save potential investors months of effort in finding data they can trust and decide the best locations to install charging infrastructure, with value added information such as demand at different times of day and in different seasons.
The current UK electricity grid was primarily set up to deliver electricity to industrial centres in the 1950s, not the widespread high demand we will soon find when, for instance, everyone arrives home at 6pm after work and plugs the car in.
For instance, the Hinckley nuclear power station in Somerset was created to supply electricity to the industrial areas of South Wales. To get the electricity from Hinkley to the nearby Somerset town of Yeovil to charge cars, it effectively goes via South Wales to Didcot (near Oxford) and then back to the West Country. That is a simplification, but it illustrates that clever minds have to come together to solve many big problems facing the UK's electricity infrastructure.
When you consider the increased power demands from the suburban car owners of such conurbations as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow it is easy to see that without huge and well targeted investment, Britain in the 2030s will have regular brownouts from the demands of electricity-guzzling cars replacing petrol ones.