What can I do to get my newly purchased car repaired? Your Rights

What steps you can take if your car dealer has offered to repair your car, has already attempted to fix it or is refusing to repair your vehicle.

USED CARS FROM THE DEALER

The dealer has offered to repair it

If you decide to let the dealer repair the car, give them a reasonable amount of time to do it. Agreeing to let the dealer repair the car doesn't affect your consumer rights.  If it's still not acceptable you can ask for it to be repaired again or replaced.  Look at the Sale of Goods Act.

If the repair is going to take some time, you can ask for a courtesy car. If the dealer doesn't provide one, you can ask for compensation for the cost of hiring an equivalent car while yours is being repaired.

You don't have to accept a repair.  You can insist on a refund. However, you'd have to reject the car very soon after purchase. The longer it's been since you bought the car, the less likely you'll get all your money back.

You could get the car independently assessed before you decide to let the dealer repair the problem. That could give you a better idea of the extent of the problem, and help you decide if it's better to accept a repair or hold out for a replacement or refund. Both the RAC and the AA do car checks, as do many other independent and accredited garages.

The dealer has already tried repairing it

Agreeing to let the dealer repair the car doesn't affect your rights.  If it's still not acceptable you can:

  • ask for the vehicle to be repaired again
  • request a replacement vehicle, or
  • your money back

If the repair hasn't fixed the problem, inform the dealer in writing as soon as possible and say exactly what you want done about it. Send a copy of the letter to the dealer's head office if it's part of a franchise. If you've bought the car on credit, you should also send a copy of the letter to the finance company.

If the repair is going to take some time, you can ask for a courtesy car. If the dealer doesn't provide one, you can ask for compensation for the cost of hiring a car while yours is being repaired.

If the dealer's refusing to fix your car

You can contact Consumer Direct for advice and to make a complaint. They may pass your complaint onto your local Trading Standards office.  They can take action if they feel the dealer is not treating you fairly or are trading dishonestly.

You can contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) who can offer you advice.

As a last resort you could take the dealer to court.

NEW CARS

If you’re having any trouble with your new car, you need to tell the dealer that you are rejecting the vehicle as soon as you can.

The dealer who sold you the car is the one who is primarily responsible for its quality under the law, not the manufacturer – it is the seller who must sort out any problems.

If there is a manufacturer’s warranty on the car, this is extra protection for you – it doesn’t replace the dealer’s legal responsibility for what they’ve sold.

If you speak to the dealer on the phone, follow up the conversation as soon as you can with a letter so you have a written record of any correspondence.

If you’ve bought the car on a credit agreement arranged by the dealer, send the finance company a copy of all correspondence – in most cases they are equally responsible for the car.

Stop using the car if you can

If you can, you should stop using the vehicle altogether. This is part of the process of rejecting the vehicle. If you carry on using it, the law may take it to mean that you have ‘accepted’ the car. If you stop using the car, you must tell the dealer that you’ve done this. The sooner you reject the car, the better your chances of getting a full refund, a replacement vehicle or a free repair.

If the dealer or finance company is disputing the rejection, then it may be up to you to prove your case. You will need to obtain an independent assessment of the car so you have an official record of the faults. You can then decide to sue for damages.

You’re protected by law

There are laws in place to protect your rights as a consumer, and it’s worth checking with Consumer Direct to see which laws apply to you. One of the most important laws for consumers is The Sale of Goods Act which says any goods sold must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.

This means the vehicle must be in the kind of condition you’d expect. So if it’s a new car, you wouldn’t expect any major faults. To say it must be ‘fit for purpose’ means it must be safe and capable of carrying out the tasks it was sold to do. The car must also be ‘as described’. For example, the dealer isn’t allowed to sell a car advertised as having a 1.8L engine when in fact it’s 1.6L.

It is up to the seller and not the manufacturer to ensure the car meets these standards before selling it. If you think your dealer has sold you a car that is in breach of the law, contact Consumer Direct, they can help you with your complaint and may also pass your complaint on to Trading Standards – it’s their job to enforce consumer legislation.

Private Car Sales, Your Rights

Advice on cars bought in private sales, what rights you have and what steps you can take if you have a problem.

Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware

When you buy privately, you don't have the same rights as you do when buying from a professional trader. It's a case of 'buyer beware'. That means it's up to you, not the seller,  to make sure the car is in good condition before you buy it.

The Sale of Goods Act applies to people who sell in the course of their normal business, but for private sales, the only part of the law that applies is that goods must be 'as described'.

So to protect yourself, get the seller to give you written confirmation of the state of the car before you part with any money.  They should at the very least agree to it being roadworthy. This written statement becomes a binding term in the agreement.

Has the vehicle been misdescribed?

The burden of proof is on you, not the seller, to show that the car has been misdescribed. If you can prove that it has been falsely described, you could ask for some or all of your money back. Make sure you keep any written description of the goods as evidence.  Particularly the original advert.

Get in touch with Consumer Direct who can advise you. You could also take action through the courts.

Are you concerned the car may have a dodgy past?

You can check if the car was stolen or has a history of bad finance by doing a vehicle check through an organisation like the AA, the RAC or HPI.

The DVLA has information on their website that you can use to check if a car has been stolen.

If you've bought a car and it turns out to be stolen you could lose the vehicle and the money you paid for it. If this happens, you might be able to sue the seller for breach of contract. If someone tries to sell you something, it is an implied term of the contract that they have the title to the goods in the first place.

Do you have the seller's address and phone number? If not, you'll have a lot of trouble getting any redress. If it is stolen and you can get hold of the person who sold you the car, you could take them to court to get your money back.

If the person selling you the car still owes hire purchase money on it at the time that you buy it, the hire purchase company own the car and can ask you to give it back to them.

However, you can keep the car if you can prove that you genuinely didn't know that there was any hire-purchase money owing when you bought it. Make the seller give you a signed and dated receipt with the make and registration number of the car on it and saying that there isn't any HP money owing on the car.

Faulty headlights and brake lamps can lead to fatal accidents, motoring association warns

An estimated half a million cars with a defective light will present a hazard on the roads, says the AA.

The roadside assistance giant is encouraging drivers to check their vehicle for any blown bulbs, as last year faulty lights contributed to 168 road accidents in the UK, leading to four deaths and 33 serious injuries.

Cars with a defective driver-side front or back light – which the AA calls ‘one-eyed monsters’ – can look like a motorbike from a distance making judging gaps and overtaking a real hazard, as well as increasing the risk of being hit following a breakdown.

Broken brake lights also give drivers behind less time to react when the traffic slows.

Mark Spowage, AA patrol of the year, says: “During the lighter summer months a lot of people don’t notice or even ignore problems with their car’s lights. When the nights suddenly get darker, that’s when more accidents happen.

“Checking your lights only takes seconds but could potentially save your life. Either you can get someone to help or reverse up to a wall to check the rears – not forgetting fog, reversing lights and indicators.

“The fault often occurs because of a blown bulb, or because corrosion has built up on the terminals. However, it could also indicate an electrical problem, so if in doubt, it is best to get it checked at a garage.

“If this is the case, it would be a good idea to combine it with a pre-winter service to help prevent other problems from arising.”

As well as an MOT failure, driving with a faulty or damaged light could get you stopped by the police and issued with a ‘defect rectification notice’. Failure to accept the notice or fix the fault could mean a fixed penalty notice, or three points on the driving licence plus a bigger fine if it goes to court.

Drivers who cause a fatal or serious accident due to faulty lights could face harsher penalties, including a possible prison sentence.

10 ways to avoid online second-hand car scams

It's easy to buy and sell cars online. However, according to a car trading website, ExchangeandMart.co.uk, there are a growing number of criminals who target online used car buyers and sellers.

Even though the vast majority of online trading is safe and legitimate it is important to beware of the common pitfalls that trip up unsuspecting consumers.

In recent years, according to ExchangeandMart.co.uk, there has been a rise in the number of 'virtual car' scams, where a seller will advertise a car, claiming it is out of the country but located with a shipping company ready to import to the UK.

This means that the buyer will have to hand over the cash without even seeing the vehicle. Unfortunately, once the money is handed over, the car and the seller are never seen or heard of again.

Before you buy a vehicle make sure you read our ten-step checklist to avoiding online scams.

1. When you are looking to buy a car make sure you use an online classified ad service that is a member of the Vehicle Safe Trading Advisory Group (VSTAG). The VSTAG were set up to combat vehicle related fraud and sites which are approved by them will have practices in place to protect buyers.

2. Never transfer money electronically to someone you don't know.

3. Never pay upfront for delivery.

4. Conduct a vehicle check to ensure it is legitimate. Before you buy a used vehicle you can check its details to see if it's been stolen, written off or has any finance outstanding against it. You can check online or by telephone using services from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and private vehicle check companies.

5. Never provide money in advance, no matter how convincing the seller is.

6. View the vehicle and consider investing in a professional inspection before buying.

7. Be wary of incredible bargains as there is likely to be a catch, i.e., a stolen vehicle.

8. Walk away if the seller cannot produce the vehicle registration documents, MOT and service history.

9. Make sure the seller is legitimate by meeting them at their home address and checking that the vehicle is registered on the V5 at that address.

10. And remember, if it seems too good to be true it usually is, walk away.

7 Top Tips to Spot a Stolen Car

If you buy a stolen car, the police can take it from you to return it to the original owner or the insurance company.

You will get no compensation even though you bought the car in good faith. You can sue the seller for your losses, but this might be difficult if you bought privately and the seller has disappeared.

Also, if you bought the car on credit, you may still have to pay off the loan depending on the type of agreement you have.

It can be hard to tell whether a car is stolen. Its identity may have been changed. For example, the identity number and number plate of a legitimate car may be transferred to a stolen one. Vehicle registration documents can be forged or obtained by fraud.

But there are tell-tale warning signs to look out for:

  1. The seller can't produce the vehicle registration document (V5) - a common excuse is that it has been sent to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for updating. This may be true - for example, the seller may have changed address recently. But be wary: it means you cannot check the car's ownership and identity details.
  2. If the seller claims the car was bought very recently and the V5 is with the DVLA for the change of ownership to be recorded, the seller should have a green slip (this applies only to cars issued with V5s from March 1997).
  3. There are spelling mistakes or alterations on the V5, or it does not have a watermark.
  4. The name and address on the V5 are different to those on the seller's driving licence, passport, or recent gas or electricity bill
  5. The three main identifying numbers listed below don't match the numbers on the V5:
    The vehicle registration mark (the number plate).
    The vehicle identification number (VIN) - this can be found on a metal VIN plate, usually in the engine compartment, and stamped into the bodywork under the bonnet and the driver's seat. As a security measure, some cars have the VIN etched on their windows or lamps.
    The engine number.
  6. The engine and VIN numbers have been tampered with. Areas of glass may have been scratched off the windows, or stickers may cover up etching which has been altered.
  7. The seller cannot show you the insurance policy for the car.

Car Repossession Laws in the UK

Car repossession laws are important for people who buy any cars on car loan or credit.

Here is all the information you need regarding car repossession laws. Remember, you signed a contract that when you purchased the car. This agreement is mainly is to protect the creditor and give them the rights to repossess the car if the buyer does not pay car installments.

Purchasers must be aware that the bank or creditor can repossess the car if they fail to receive payments on time. The banks repossess the car and resell it to someone else to recover the debt. It's why there are many repossession cars for sale in the market.

Car payment not on time
The most common reason for a bank to repossess the car is the payment not being made on time. Usually, the grace period will be stated in the contract as the bank will accept late payment.

Repossessed cars for sale
In general, the creditors MUST inform the owner the date of the car to resell to the public. However, the owner has the rights to get back the car by paying off all the late payments, storage fees, late charges and tow fees in a given time.

The owner also has the rights to demand the car to be sold.

Personal property in the car
Personal property such as CD player, sport rims, stereo and speakers is not allowed to be removed or to resell when the car is being repossessed. Only items not connected to the vehicle are allowed to be removed.

Hiding the car
It is a crime to conceal the car with the intention to hide it from the creditor under general car repossession laws.

Repairing car repossession credit
The fastest and most efficient way to repair your credit after car repossession is to clear off all negative accounts.

Laws concerning repossession of a car
Laws allow creditors to repossess any cars at any hour without prior notice.

However, the creditor has got no rights to repossess the car recklessly if the owner keeps it inside a closed garage. The creditor has the right to come onto your property to seize the car but not to harm any property. They will have to compensate if they cause any damage or loss and the creditor may lose the rights to seize the car.

Repossession on a car could give you a very bad credit history and stay on your credit report for several years. It is important to read the contract and car repossession laws you are going to sign when buying any cars.

How to Avoid Repossession of Your Vehicle… 

When you take out a car loan, you are agreeing to make all monthly payments on time through the terms listed on your contract. If you end up struggling to make your monthly payment and miss several payments, you could end up having your vehicle repossessed. Not only will you lose your car, truck or motorcycle, but your missed payments will show up on your credit report and severely hurt your credit score. Your account will be in “default” and the bank or financial institution you got the car loan from will have the right to seize your vehicle.

A car bought on hire purchase or conditional sale belongs to the finance company until the payments have been completed.

If you buy such a car, the lender can take it back. You can sue whoever sold you the car, but only if you can find them.

There are only a few exceptions to this. If you were not aware the car was subject to an outstanding hire purchase agreement and bought it in good faith, you may be allowed to keep it. This does not apply to stolen cars or cars which are subject to a hire agreement. Contact Consumer Direct for professional advice on this subject. 

There are companies that can tell you if a car is clear of any outstanding finance deals. You can usually find details of such companies in motoring magazines. If you are buying from a dealer, ask whether this check has already been carried out.

Here are few ways to avoid repossession of your vehicle:

1. Trade in for a cheaper vehicle. If you think you can afford a certain monthly payment, consider trading down to a cheaper car so to reduce your  monthly payment. Talk to your dealer about your options in trading down and determine what your new monthly payment would be. Keep in mind that this strategy will only work if you don’t owe more on the loan than the car is worth.

2. Refinance your loan. Refinancing isn’t always the most cost-effective option when you want to reduce your monthly payment, but it can work for some people. Instead of working with your current bank or their competitor, consider seeking out a refinancing loan package.

3. Contact your bank or loan provider about your financial troubles. If you know you just can’t make your monthly payments anymore – and probably won’t be able to pay that loan in the near future – contact your bank or loan provider to find out what options you do have. Don’t wait for your lender to contact the repo company! Some lenders may be a little flexible when you’re direct and honest about your situation, and they could offer you some alternative payment plans or a different loan package.

4. Consider a lease transfer. If you are leasing your vehicle and can’t afford to make payments, consider a lease transfer, or a lease assumption. You will need to find a suitable person to take over your lease and complete the lease transfer paperwork. This is a fairly simple and straightforward process, and can prevent you from paying the high fees associated with terminating your lease early.

5. Sell the car. If you can get a decent price for your car in its current condition, consider selling it and using the proceeds to pay off a good portion of the loan. Even though you will still have a loan balance, you can continue making very small payments going forward and avoid the negative effects of repossession altogether. Of course, this might be a last resort for most people. You may still need to purchase another car, and will need to either save up enough money to make a cash purchase or get a new loan that you can actually afford.

Are Radar Detectors Legal in the UK?

Since the 27th of January 1998 it has been legal to own and use a radar detector in the United Kingdom.

  1. Anyone who constantly drives above the speed limit will get caught and fined. Its just a matter of time.

  2. Buy a quality Radar Detector, now totally legal within the UK, We recommend a Snooper S5 or Beltronics Euro Target 550 or Valentine One. If your main worry is Speed Cameras, visit Geodesy UK or Origin Blue I where you'll find more information and be able to buy the GPS speed camera locator online.
  3. Invest in a Radar Diffuser. (No case Law as jet on diffusers and the law on these is unclear currently)

Roadside Radar
The Department of Transport and the ACPO guidelines state that policemen on the roadside must wear fluorescent jackets and be clearly visible, as must their patrol cars.

Visibility of Police Officers Who Are Performing Speed Checks
ACPO Traffic Enforcement Guidelines are also not mentioned in the law, but they unambiguously state that traffic officers performing speed checks should do so from a position that's clearly visible to the public - take a look.

"31.2 The operator must be clearly visible to the public and the target vehicle throughout the check."

So, if you see a Traffic Officer hiding behind a bush or working from inside an unmarked transit van, why not stop and ask them if they realise that their conduct is breaching the ACPO guidelines - please don't forget to ask them for their name, number and the contact details of their Chief Constable so that you can write a letter of complaint about the officer's conduct.

To 'Corroborate The Police Officer's Personal Opinion'....

ACPO guidelines also clearly state that the officer should only use speed-measuring equipment to corroborate their prior personal opinion of excess speed - take a look at section 32.5.

"32.5 Operators should bear in mind that the device confirms and corroborates prior personal observations."

This means that the officer is not supposed to point the equipment indiscriminately at all of the passing traffic, in the hope of catching one of the vehicles "speeding". This also explains why a police officer's witness statement normally includes the words "I formed the opinion that the vehicle was exceeding the speed limit".

The LTi 20/20 that recorded this traffic video was being operated by PC 06 Evans of Gwent Constabulary, and you can decide for your self whether or not it's recorded any disingenuous behaviour.

Since the 27th of January 1998 it's been legal to own and use a radar/laser detector in the United Kingdom. It's worth keeping a copy of this information in your car.

In summary, passive radar detectors that simply warn you that they're receiving a radar signal are not illegal, but the use of jamming equipment that then transmits a "jamming signal" back to the radar device is illegal - this link will take you to a related story on the BBC News website.

A judgement of the Queens Bench Divisional Court, dated 29th January 1998, makes it clear that the use of Radar Detectors is not unlawful as has hitherto been claimed by some.

In the past prosecutions have been brought by claiming that the use of radar detectors was contrary to section 5(b) (i) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 as amended by section 3 of the Post Office Act 1969. However, the Acts refer to the interception of wireless communications for the purpose of obtaining information as to the content, sender or addressee of any message. The Court concluded that the radar transmission wasn't communicating a 'message' and therefore equipment designed to detect the presence of the transmission couldn't decode any such message. It was further stated that section 1(1) of the Act, which requires a licence for the reception of radio signals, has been superseded by the Wireless Telegraphy Apparatus (Receivers) (Exemption) Regulations (SI 1989 No 123) which exempts radar detectors and similar equipment from the need for such licences.

Detector users in Scotland should note that currently this judgement has not been tested under Scottish Law, although the likelihood is that a positive outcome would be the result of any test case.

Here's the full transcript of the ruling:

Regina v Knightsbridge Crown Court, Ex parte Foot
Before Lord Justice Simon Brown and Mr Justice Mance
[Judgment January 29]

Microwave radio emissions from police radar speed guns did not constitute a "message" for the purposes of section 5(b)(i) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, even within the extended meaning of "message" given by section 19(6).

Accordingly, the use by a motorist of an electrical field meter to detect the presence of such emissions was not an offence under section 5(b)(i) since the device was not used "to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of any message".

The Queen's Bench Divisional Court so held, granting David Adrian Foot's amended application for judicial review to quash the dismissal by Knightsbridge Crown Court on January 8, 1997, of his appeal against conviction by Marylebone Justices on July 23, 1996 of an offence contrary to section 5(b)(i).

Section 5 of the 1949 Act, as amended by section 3 of the Post Office Act 1969, provides: "Any person who - . . . (b) otherwise than under authority of the [Minister of Posts and Telecommunications] or in the course of his duty as a servant of the Crown, . . . (i) uses any wireless telegraphy apparatus with intent to obtain information as the contents, sender or addressee of any message . . . shall be guilty of an offence. . ."

Section 19 provides: "(6) Any reference in this Act to the sending or the conveying of messages includes a reference to the making of any signal or the sending or conveying of any warning or information, and any reference to the reception of messages shall be construed accordingly."

Mr Anthony Calloway for the applicant; Mr John McGuinness for the prosecution.

LORD JUSTICE SIMON BROWN said that the applicant was using an electrical field meter to detect radio transmissions from radar speed guns. The device was not able to decode the transmissions. Mr Calloway submitted that the police radar gun did not send or receive messages, even within the extended meaning of that term given in section 19(6).

In *Invicta Plastics Ltd v Clare* ([1976] RTR 251), the Divisional Court had held that those advertising such devices as the applicant's were guilty of incitement to motorists to contravene section 1(1), which required a licence for the use of such devices.

However, those devices were now exempted from the need for such a licence by the Wireless Telegraphy Apparatus (Receivers) (Exemption) Regulations (SI 1989 No 123).

Mr McGuinness submitted that a radar beam emitted towards a vehicle was equivalent to making a signal within the meaning of section 19(6).

His Lordship disagreed. No doubt it was a signal or sign which conveyed something of meaning to another person, but Mr McGuinness did not say that it amounted to sending or conveying a "warning or information" within that subsection. His Lordship also rejected the submission that the operator was the addressee of a message, that is of information, sent back by the passing motor vehicle.

A police officer beaming emissions to and receiving information from an inanimate moving object was not exchanging messages with the motorcar. There could be no reception of a message save between two human operators.

Tempting though it was to outlaw the anti-social use of such devices, now that they were no longer banned under section 1(1) of the Act, to do so would be to stretch the language of section 5(b)(i) to breaking point.

If, as was probable, the 1989 Regulations had been brought into force without recognising the present lacuna, the matter had to be put right by a further such instrument.

Mr Justice Mance delivered a concurring judgment.

Solicitors: Moss Beachley & Mullem; Crown Prosecution Service, Victoria.

How Much Money Could Your Car Sell For At Auction?

Selling at Car Auctions

When we’re looking to sell a car, we tend to do so in one of two ways.

The first is we’ll part exchange it for a new car.  We know we won’t get as much money as if we sold it ourselves, but it takes a lot of the hassle out of the whole process – you simply agree a price with the garage, they’ll deduct it off the price of your new car and when you pick the new car up, you drop the old one you’re selling off.

The second option is to sell the car yourself privately.  You’ll generally get the most money for your car this way, but you’ll also need to dedicate a lot more time to selling your vehicle and it could mean you might have to pay for certain things (advertising, for example), too.

But there’s one more option that although isn’t considered by many people at first, could be the best choice – and that’s to sell your car via auction.

Just like it’s important to choose the most suitable jewellery auctions when you’re selling pieces of jewellery, it’s vital you put your car in the right auction.  This could take some time, as there’s a whole host of factors to consider, but if you get it right, there’s every possibility your car will sell for more than it would have done via any other method.

However, it’s not all about the auction, as some cars will almost aways sell whichever car auction they’re included in and conversely, no matter how much time you spend looking for the right auction, if your car isn’t sellable, it’s not going to go under the hammer.

For example, a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa Prototype went to auction in August 2011 and sold for a staggering £9.9 million.  Although this price tag was achieved with the help of the car being in a specialist auction, the fact it’s one of the most coveted Ferraris ever to be produced did most of the hard work.

If we were to look at a relatively standard car that has nothing special about it – let’s say a 2002 Renault Clio – whilst it’ll probably sell at auction, the price you’re going to receive from it is likely to be considerably lower than what it’s actually worth.

This is because the auction it will be included within will usually be for people looking to grab a bargain.  These cars don’t have huge values anyway and so at an auction, where it could essentially sell for a couple of pounds, there’s every possibility this is what will happen, particularly if those in the room aren’t looking for that car on the day.

A lot of people think of auctions as simply being places where you can sell antiques or collectables, but the reality is most items can be sold at auction, including cars.

And as long as you take the time to ensure you’re putting your car in front of the right audience – and it’s actually worth selling – there’s every possibility you’ll receive a higher sale figure than if you were to sell it in any other way.

How To Ensure The Safety Of Older Cars

Most drivers will own a second hand vehicle at some point in their lives that requires a little maintenance in order to ensure smooth running and continued safety.

Maintainance is generally fairly easy to do and often doesn’t require much time to complete.

As long as this type of maintenance occurs regularly, you can be much more confident that your vehicle is safer to drive. While you can never make your car 100% accident-proof, these tips should make it less of a hazard.

Regular check-ups

If you feel your car requires it or it has repeated problems in certain areas, it may be a good idea to try and have it checked out regularly by trained mechanics. Though a car will always have to pass its MOT to be road legal, there is quite a bit of time between tests. Consequently, taking it in to be serviced regularly will give you peace of mind in-between tests.

Important features

There are a number of important features on all cars that should be checked regularly and replaced if necessary. These include things like your brakes, windscreen wipers, engine oil, tyre pressure and headlights.

A good car owner will perform regular tests on all of these features to ensure everything works as it should. Remember to look for the smaller things as well. Are your tyre treads deep enough? Does one of your indicators flash faster than the other?

Safety mechanisms

Another way to maximise your safety in a vehicle is to make sure mechanisms designed to prevent injury are functioning as they should. This includes testing seatbelts and airbags.

While this may require professional help, many safety mechanisms can be tested easily on your own. You may also want to check that you have the necessary safety equipment for an accident or breakdown. Do you have a spare tyre and is it suitable for use? Do you have warning triangles to use in the event of a breakdown?

Be a good driver

It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving a Mercedes CLC or a commercial van, your safety ultimately comes down to the quality of your driving. Avoiding reckless driving and making sure you are a sensible and careful motorist will keep you safer for a much longer period than most checks and alterations to your car.

The Compelling Case for Green Oil

Even if you don’t buy the climate change argument, you should still be very concerned about the future of oil.

Events in the Middle East and the attendant increase in the global price of crude oil have combined to make Western governments very worried. And if they aren’t, they should be.

You may not remember the 1973 oil crisis which followed the Yom Kippur war, but the price of crude oil quadrupled in the space of a few months. This was partly responsible for the 1973-1974 stock market crash - causing the largest upset in global economics since the Great Depression which began in 1929 and lasted more than ten years.

Oil Prices Are Increasing Strongly

Oil prices, even more than property prices, are a direct result of supply and demand. With the current unrest in the Middle East there is likely to be reduced supply , not just now but well into the future. Combine that with the constantly increasing demand fuelled by Chinese economic expansion and a burgeoning world population and you get strong upward pressure on the price of oil.

So, point number one, the price of oil will always go up faster than your income. It may fluctuate from time to time but the trend will always be upward. Are you worried yet?

The Oil Is Running Out

Well … it gets worse. Here’s point number two. The oil is running out; we are using more oil than we are finding.

The chairman of BP, Peter Sutherland, has been quoted as saying there is only 42 years’ crude oil supply left, based on current usage volumes - we have already entered the depletion phase and are on a downhill slope of terminal decline. But usage is going up, so the estimate of 42 years may well be an overstatement: it could be less than 40.

The Terrifying Consequences

Let’s just, for a moment, consider the consequences. If all the oil is used up; if there is no more oil; what difference will that make?

  • For a start there will be no transport – cars, lorries and buses mostly run on petrol or diesel, both of which come from crude oil.
  • There will be no new buildings - the motorised vehicles used in the construction industry (cranes, diggers, earth-movers and tractors) all run on diesel.
  • There will be no mass-produced food - farmers’ tractors and harvesters mostly run on diesel, so if there’s no oil then there will be no food. Even if you harvest the food by hand, there will still be no lorries to collect it and take it to market.
  • There will be fewer trains - many of them run on diesel, apart from those that are electrically powered. And where does the electricity come from? You’re right … a lot of it comes from oil- burning power stations.
  • There are plenty of sane, intelligent people who believe that the spectre of oil reserves running out poses a greater threat to mankind than global warming. So by now you should be very worried indeed. Am I being alarmist? You decide – on the evidence.

Climate Change

Let me hit you with point number three - climate change. Is our planet getting a little bit or a lot warmer? Are we wrecking the delicate eco-structure with our carbon emissions? Is the burning of fossil fuels destroying our environment? Arguments on both sides are logical and passionate and there is no definitive proof either way. But the possibility is worrying.

So, we are possibly wrecking our planet by burning oil which is escalating in price and running out fast. But is there a solution?

The Perfect Solution – Green Oil

The perfect replacement for fossil fuels, particularly crude oil, is already available. It can power diesel transport and it can be burned to generate electricity. Everything that crude oil does, Green Oil does it cleaner, cheaper and renewably. While the cleanliness and cheapness are highly desirable, the renewability is the trump card.

Green oil is produced from plants and trees (such as Millettia) by crushing the fruit to extract the oil. Generally speaking the oil can be burned immediately, with no further processing, to generate electricity which is then either consumed locally or fed into a national grid. In its raw state it is also suitable for powering agricultural machinery and requires very little processing to drive diesel- engined lorries, cars and trains. It can be blended with petro-diesel to improve diesel’s cleanliness and make it last longer.

When you burn fossil fuels, it can take a million years to make any more. With green oil, the replacement fruit grows in weeks.

Australia – Politically Stable And They Speak English!

Unfortunately green oil trees will not grow reliably in the UK - our climate is too cold – but they are already established in a number of countries, most notably Australia. As a politically stable country where English is the first language and the culture decidedly Western, it is the ideal place to be growing oil. In the early stages the green oil will be used locally, both for transport and electricity generation, removing the need to import expensive fossil fuel from overseas. This in itself has a beneficial effect on the country’s foreign currency reserves. As production is stepped up by planting further farms then export becomes a distinct possibility.

Australia is a very large country with extensive land tracts suitable for growing Millettia, the Ideas Factory’s recommended green oil tree. It may not single-handedly save the planet, but it will make a massive contribution.

Green Oil Q&A

Q: Why did you choose Australia to host this project?

A: We considered many aspects before choosing a country to host the Millettia projects. The first reason is political stability. From our research, this issue stands at the top of investors’ concerns list. Since we are offering a tree and land lease, we could not in any way risk the possibility of leasing the land from an unstable government and then have this taken away from us should the next political leader decides he wants to own your plantation. We are able to safeguard you by purchasing the freehold land title in Australia from which we can grant you a lease. The second reason is the area.

Queensland offers the ideal climate in which to grow Millettia trees, together with a good level of rain fall. We also have land with guaranteed water supply. The third reason is the significant demand for energy in the area. For those wishing to take advantage of the Millettia trees, the Green Oil to be produced can be used to create electricity, which can be sold to the grid locally. This green oil production will not resolve the energy crises but will help reduce it. We have full support from the local Mayor who is very excited with our project and the prospects for the area. These plantations can also create many jobs in the local community.

As well as the oil, the trees can produce animal feed and fertilizer that can be sold to local farmers. The honey can be sold locally or exported. The fourth reason is the economical stability and strength of Australia. Australia is the 14th strongest world economy with the 7th largest GDP growth in the world; ahead of the UK and the USA. With such a strong and stable currency, we feel you will further benefit from investing in Australia.

Q: Why did you choose Millettia Green Oil for these projects?

A: You will find that Millettia (previously known as Pongamia) may not be as well known as Jatropha or Palm. It has been growing in India and Australia for over 1,000 years and people have been using its oil as fuel and energy. It is also a native plant of Australia and thrives in areas of poor soil. Millettia is a perfect tree to produce high levels of Green Oil:

  • It produces nearly double the yields of Jatropha and Palm l It is a non-food, non-toxic plant
  • It produces high quality animal feed and fertilizer
  • Crops can be mechanized, which makes it commercially viable
  • Roots grow up to 10-metres deep in its first three years, which means it doesn’t need irrigation from the third year
  • It is resilient in the event of droughts.

 

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