Flat batteries are the most common cause of a breakdown at any time of year, but particularly so in winter says AA Rescue. 

Flat batteries account for nearly 25 per cent of breakdowns in Ireland, according to the findings of our most recent Annual Breakdown Review.

AA Rescue reports that a breakdown in batteries can occur at any time of the year, but is a growing trend in winter months and is mainly due to a drop in temperatures, motorists’ high dependency on lights, wipers and rear demister.

Reasons for flat batteries

A flat battery is most commonly caused by:

  • a lack of use or vehicle only used for short journeys
  • something has been left on (light(s) or a faulty component is draining the battery)
  • a fault with the vehicle’s charging system
  • a fault with the battery itself
  • excessive vibration
  • over charging
  • corrosion
  • temperature (extreme heat and cold)

How we deal with battery problems

When we attend to a vehicle with a flat or suspected flat battery, we don’t just jump start the vehicle and send you on your way. Our patrols will always look for the cause. The patrol will:

  • test the battery
  • check the vehicle’s charging system
  • check for a vehicle fault that may be draining the battery, and
  • ask what sort of use the vehicle gets

AA patrols carry the latest industry leading battery tester which uses conductance technology to measure the health of a battery. Conductance battery testing has become the industry standard and is used by all of the major motor manufacturers.

Need a new battery?

Batteries generally can last up to eight years, depending on usage. However, its efficiency will begin to deteriorate the older it gets and consideration must be given to its replacement following the five year period. Ensuring these are replaced before it reaches its life expectancy could save a great deal of inconvenience and time at the side of the road. If your car is struggling to start it’s usually a sign that the battery is weak. That will certainly catch you out when weather is colder as batteries have to work harder in low temperatures.


If you mostly do short journeys or leave the car standing for days at a time, invest in a modern battery conditioner/intelligent charger. These can be left connected to the battery indefinitely and can prolong its life without overcharging it.


Check that everything electrical is turned off when you park up – even an interior light, boot light, or radio left on overnight can kill a battery when it’s cold.

Give the battery a chance

Switch off everything electrical and depress the clutch (for a manual vehicle) to reduce the load on the battery when you start a cold car.

Read more here: http://www.theaa.ie/blog/flat-batteries-the-number-1-cause-of-irish-breakdowns/

We buy cars for cash in Dublin so if you would like to see what kind of deal we can put together for you simply get in touch via our website to get started.

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Whether you’ve been waiting to get behind the wheel for as long as you can remember or are learning to drive out of necessity, getting the knack for driving can be tough. It takes practice, patience and perseverance to get it right.

So you’ve done all the necessities. You’ve passed your theory test, gotten that provisional license, put up your ‘L’ plates and sorted out your insurance. But are you finally ready to get behind the wheel? AA Roadwatch’s Doireann Garrihy has five essential nuggets of advice that you need to know before you get motoring.

Calmness is Key

The gasping mothers and handbrake-holding fathers of this world can be a learner driver’s worst nightmare. Of course, they mean well and are there to guide you, but they can often create an atmosphere that is unnerving and frustrating when you’re doing your very best. It is vital that the fully licensed driver who is beside you is calm and conscientious; the last thing you need is a nervous or impatient passenger. Have a chat with them beforehand to ensure you’re both on the same page and ready to have a gasp and shriek-free experience! You will only gain confidence behind the wheel through encouragement and positivity.

Get Comfy

Feeling comfortable in the driving seat is essential. Your instructor or fully licensed passenger should show you how to position your seat for optimal comfort and control of the car. In addition to this, wearing comfortable footwear is a good habit to get into; inappropriate footwear can not only affect your driving but can warrant failure of your driving test. After several weeks of mastering the art of driving, the last thing you want is to fail for reasons that are very much avoidable.

No Phone Zone

Start as you mean to go on and keep your phone well and truly out of reach when you’re behind the wheel. Not only is holding or using a phone whilst driving illegal, it is an extremely dangerous distraction. Leave your phone at home during a driving lesson or if you must have it with you, switch it to airplane mode. That way if someone does try to contact you, the temptation isn’t there to reach for your phone if it beeps. Driving lessons with an instructor generally don’t last for longer than two hours anyway, so any call, text or social media notification you receive can more than likely wait.

Mirror Mirror…

Consider your mirrors to be your best friends. You wouldn’t ignore your best friends if they were trying to show you something important, which is exactly what your mirrors do for you. They give you the helping hand you need to keep both yourself and your fellow road users safe; be it pedestrians, cyclists or other drivers. The downfall of many learner drivers’ is looking in their mirrors but not reacting effectively to what they see. For example, looking into their left wing mirror before taking a left turn, seeing a cyclist riding alongside their car but failing to slow down or stop to let the cyclist pass. If you are stopped in traffic, use this waiting time to scan each of your mirrors so as to anticipate what or who will be around you when you do move off.

The Big Day

So the test itself is a while away but it’s not too early to think about your preparation.  How will you get to the test centre? Who will accompany you? What will you need with you? Be sure to plan all of this in advance so as to avoid any unnecessary stress or panic on the day. Take a look at RSA.ie where you will find checklists with exactly what you will need in terms of documentation. Again, do this well in advance of your test date – printer malfunctions happen! Arrive at the test centre at least half an hour in advance of your test to give yourself time to relax and perhaps have a glance at the RSA’s Rules of the Road book.  At this point, referring to tip number one is essential: calmness is key!

We hope you found this article useful. You can find the original here: http://www.theaa.ie/blog/learning-to-drive/ and just a reminder that we do buy old scrap cars for cash along with most commercial and recreational vehicles so be sure to get in touch to see what we can do for you today.

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The average price of a litre of petrol has slipped to 121.9c, a 5 cent drop in comparison to last month according to the AA’s National Fuel Price Index. Diesel prices have also tumbled, dropping by a further 7 cent to 105.4c.

According to The AA, motorists will continue to see fuel prices trend downwards in 2016 with the energy commodity heading towards its lowest mark since 2009. The month of December during that year saw motorists hand over 122.4c per litre of petrol, while diesel has not been this cheap since October 2009 when it clocked in at 105.3.

“These are chunky falls this month which is obviously good for us as drivers,” says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “We don’t know when we are going to run out of road in terms of price falls but for now oil remains fairly weak on international markets. As we emerge from winter in the northern hemisphere we tend to see Diesel drop in price relatively, so it’s not a huge surprise to see that seasonal trend emerge. Diesel is very similar to heating oil so demand falls a bit in the spring.”

Oil prices have seen a dramatic fall since the middle of last year when it was holding above US$100 per barrel. The price for a barrel of crude oil slipped to US$27 last month – the lowest in 23 years – in a sign that pump prices will continue to fall in the short term. Compounding this is scepticism surrounding a possible production freeze between global oil producers, with Iran recently voicing their disapproval of the proposal. The price of petrol has declined 20 percent since February 2014. Diesel has dropped by 28 percent within the same time frame.

“We can’t do a lot about world prices, we just have to take the rough with the smooth,” says Conor. “We do control our own taxes, though. A litre of either fuel actually only costs 30-40 cent. The reason why we pay so much at the pumps is Irish tax. This is a point that the AA expects to be making to the incoming government in the near future.”

Read original article here: http://www.theaa.ie/blog/big-drop-in-february-fuel-prices/

Remember that we buy any car whether it be damaged, no NCT or a non runner. Simply get in touch with us via our contact page to find out more.

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2016 Mercedes-AMG G63

Mercedes-Benz knows its customers perhaps better than any other manufacturer, a point best observed from the old-school helm of its burly Geländewagen SUV. When a cadre of highly affluent buyers—about 3600 in the U.S. last year—clamor for a mildly modernized 1970s-era military rig with which to pound the suburban pavement, the German luxury brand obliges. And so the 2016 G-class receives yet another update to further extend its iconoclastic relevance into the 21st century, with the now mid-grade Mercedes-AMG G63 remaining our favorite of the bunch.


Goldilocks on Dubs

Lording over the plebian G550 4MATIC and its new-for-2016 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8—yet bowing to the similarly freshened 2016 Mercedes-AMG G65 and its 621-hp twin-turbocharged V-12—the G63 hits the sweet spot in the lineup. The G63 packs the full IMAX experience that is a large, glitzy box on wheels with the bellowing roar of an AMG V-8 coming from its four chrome side pipes. That V-8 is the same hand-built, twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter found in many other high-powered AMG vehicles, but some tuning changes let it produce 27 more horsepower than last year for a total of 563, along with 561 lb-ft of torque from just 1750 rpm.

That boost made our 5961-pound G63 test vehicle the fleetest G-wagen we’ve ever recorded, stomping to 60 mph in an implausible 4.8 seconds and covering the quarter-mile in 13.3 seconds at 117 mph. Mercedes allows the fun to continue up to a governed top speed of 130 mph, at which point the atmosphere is locked in a cage match with the G63’s blocky profile.

Fitted with chunky Yokohama Advan S.T. tires on 20-inch wheels, our G63 also stopped from 70 mph in an impressive 163 feet. However, the big tires—and a hyperactive, undefeatable stability-control system—can’t help much with lateral grip around the skidpad, which amounted to only 0.63 g. Still, given the truck’s narrow track, slow and disconnected steering, and ultrahigh center of gravity, it’s a miracle the G63 doesn’t fall onto its door handles around corners. Fuel economy is as bad as you’d expect, with our test vehicle swilling a gallon of premium every 13 miles.

Righteously Out of Place

But it’s the G’s swagger on the street that matters most here. From the thundering exhaust to the rifle-bolt door locks to the vault-like kachunk when shutting the doors, the G63 is an aural delight. Put the seven-speed AMG automatic into Sport mode, tickle the throttle, and let every Prius driver know the well-heeled antichrist has arrived.

Despite the initially odd driving position with limited fore/aft seat travel and the upright windshield in your face—a design characteristic we found to be highly vulnerable to ice and spray buildup in winter weather—it’s easy to get comfortable in the G63. The plush leather seats are comfy and supportive, as well as heated and ventilated. And there’s the full gamut of Benz’s latest amenities, including auto stop-start capability for the engine, a new instrument cluster and driver-information display, a central COMAND interface, and several driver aides, such as blind-spot monitoring, parking assistance, and adaptive cruise control.

Not that many G63 drivers will explore the full extent of its abilities, but there are still three locking differentials for off-roading, a low-range transfer case, and minimal overhangs for steep inclines and declines. This is a vehicle that was initially designed more than three decades ago, with live axles at both ends and the interior packaging of a shipping container. Despite more than 120 cubic feet of interior space, the cabin is narrow, legroom is limited, and the rear seats are perched, stadium-style, high above the front row of occupants, greatly diminishing headroom for those in back.

You Know You Want To

As you’d expect, the Mercedes-AMG G63 is a properly expensive lifestyle purchase at more than $140,000 to start. Our test truck also tacked on AMG’s carbon-fiber interior trim ($2950), a rear-seat entertainment system with dual monitors ($2650), purple-ish Designo Mystic Blue Metallic paint ($2300), a heated steering wheel ($250), and all-weather floor mats ($200) for a total of $149,175. Buyers looking for maximum visibility can also opt for one of four special color-and-trim packages, including eye-searing Alien Green, for an additional $20,000.

Yet, considering the AMG touches and its outright performance, the G63’s premium over the $120,825 G550 seems like money well spent—and a real bargain versus the G65’s stratospheric $218,825 base price. Mercedes knows that over-the-top-and-tumbling-down-the-backside is just the right amount of crazy for some of the most ardent G-wagen fans, which justifies the existence of the G65. But for those simply looking for the ultimate G-class experience, look no further than the G63.

Read more here: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2016-mercedes-amg-g63-4matic-test-review

Such a beautiful 4×4 and a timeless classic design. I would love to own a G-Wagon one day so this is definitely on my bucket list. Be sure to get in touch with us via our contact page if you would like to learn more about selling your car for cash

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New Aston Martin DB11 leaked ahead of 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Aston Martin’s DB11 successor to the legendary DB9 will get an all-new 600bhp, 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 engine

The brand-new Aston Martin DB11 has been revealed in a sneaky picture, apparently taken at a customer clinic ahead of the car’s reveal at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

It’s the first time we’ve seen the car undisguised, and proves the brand has ditched the cookie-cutter design that featured so heavily over the last decade. The car will replace the ageing DB9and go on sale later this year.

From the image, posted by @Rudybenjamin13 on Twitter, we can see the new LED headlights in all their glory. The huge grille gives the front end a wide, purposeful stance, while the deep ridges in the bonnet emphasise its muscular look.

Unfortunately, it appears we’ll need to wait a little longer before we’re treated to a full view of the DB11’s rear, though the camouflaged spy shots shown here hint at an even bigger deviation from the Aston we know so well.

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told Auto Express last year: “We have the issue with some people saying the cars all look alike – that’s solved in the next generation of cars.”

The leaked image comes just over a month after Aston Martin teased us with a 30-second YouTube video, confirming the car would use an all-new 5.2-litre twin turbo V12 engine.

The film shows the new engine starting up, with ‘V12’, ‘5.2’ and ‘twin turbo’ etched in the top. Power and performance figures have not yet been announced, but this brand-new turbo is expected to be one of the most powerful V12 engines the brand has ever produced. Discounting super-rare models like the One-77 and Vulcan, that could mean in excess of 600bhp and a 0-62mph time of less than four seconds.

Anyone worried about the loss of Aston’s glorious naturally aspirated V12 needn’t be concerned. Even from our sneak preview it’s clear engineers have worked hard to ensure this new twin-turbo unit has all the aural sensation associated with its predecessor – with a familiar roar on start up.

As we revealed back in September last year, Aston’s new sports car will bear the DB11 moniker, after the DB10 name was used by James Bond in his latest film Spectre.

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer revealed all to Auto Express, while also explaining the reasoning behind the move. “The current car’s 12 years old now,” said Palmer, “so arguably we’ve missed a step.

“DB10 was a concept car that was already agreed for the [new James Bond] film. But calling it 10 meant we were always going to skip a generation [for DB9] and call the next one 11. So we decided to call [the Bond car] 10 – up to that point it was DB8, I think.”

Spy shots give first glimpse of new DB11

In addition to the leaked image, the long-awaited successor to the DB9 has also been caught testing around the company’s HQ in Warwickshire.

These pictures allow us to see the full shape of the Brit-built supercar from every angle. The front-end retains the signature Aston grille design but with a pointer nose shape and sharper headlamps.

Side on, you can see the long bonnet and jutting lip spoiler below. The windscreen is more steeply raked than the DB9, and distinctive lines can be seen running down the wings.

We can also see an air scoop behind the wing, likely more a styling feature as the DB11 will be front-engined. That pronounced shoulderline then leads round to curvy rear with hints of Jaguar F-Type, and we can see an electric boot spoiler protruding upwards. Twin exhausts and a neat diffuser design complete the look.

Inside, as we’ve seen before, dash displays and central interfaces are lifted from Merc’s S-Class Coupe and grafted onto the dashboard, presumably to allow the prototype to be driven. It’s not clear yet whether Aston will develop its own display designs, but aside from that we can expect the British firm to maintain a truly luxurious cabin design.

Pricing details are unconfirmed as yet, but we could expect a V8 model to sit at a similar £150,000 starting point as the current DB9, while the V12 could nudge £170,000.

You can read the full story here: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/aston-martin/db9/90946/new-aston-martin-db11-leaked-ahead-of-2016-geneva-motor-show

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How much car mileage is too much?

It’s an oft-asked question when it comes time to shop for a second hand car. If there are lots and lots of miles (or kilometres) on the odometer, should you walk away? Are high miles too many miles and does a six-figure readout mean that the car is on its last legs?

Historically, this was certainly the case. Back in the eighties and into the nineties, cars were quite simply not as robustly built as they are now. Testing regimes were not as punishing, nor were factory-fit tolerances as fine as they now are. As with almost any mechanical object, a car and its components are ‘lifed’ – which is to say that they are designed to have an expected service life of a given number of miles or kilometres, assuming a reasonable regime of care and servicing. Think of it as a sell-by date for oily metal bits.

So, those eighties and nineties cars were really only expected to last until they were about 100,000-miles, or 162,000km old. Doesn’t sound like much, and isn’t but that’s a reflection of the general build quality standards around at the time.


Mileage may not mean the car is too old


car mileage 2It doesn’t necessarily mean that the cars were junk after that period. Clearly, cars which were carefully looked after and regularly serviced, and once in a while had major components replaced, could run for a lot longer. There is a Saab in the Wisconsin Automotive Museum which has racked up a verified 1,000,000-miles. That’s a million miles, not kilometres. VW has a million-mile Beetle in its museum, while there are a couple of a Passats and at least one Volvo P1800 that have passed the million-mile barrier.

Surely the all-time champion is the 240D saloon in the Mercedes-Benz museum, though. Originally sold in Greece, it has racked up 2.8-million miles and is still in perfect running order. Imagine putting that figure on your classified advert…

So, with care, cars can easily last a lot, lot longer than their original supposed lifetime. And the news gets better. The massive improvements in technology and engineering since the turn of the century, aided and abetted in no small part by the increasing power of computers and innovations such as Toyota’s ‘Kaizen’ philosophy of constant, incremental improvements (a philosophy swiftly adopted by most of the rest of the car industry) means that the expected lifetime of a car is now creeping up to more than 300,000km, or 200,000-miles. In some cases, Volvo for one, car makers boast that their cars are ‘lifed’ for as much as 400,000km.

So, realistically, any mileage less than, say, 200,000km (which is 124,000-miles) would suggest that a car, any car, still has plenty of life left in it.


The mileage/age dilemma


car mileage 3Of course, all car mileage is not equal and this is where things get tricky. The classic dilemma is the choice between an older car with low miles or a newer car with high mileage – which one is better? The only answer is to delve into each car’s history. If the higher mileage car has done most of its miles on motorways (nowadays a distinct possibility in the Irish market, and one which our fathers and grandfathers couldn’t even take into account) then the higher miles could actually have been better for the car. There will have been less wear and tear on items such as clutches, brakes and gearboxes and, better still, the engine will have been operating in its preferred mean temperature range for most of the time, further reducing wear and tear. In the case of the diesel cars, that goes double and there won’t be any worries about clogged up particulate filters.

Lower mileage cars may look tempting, but if most or all of those miles have been around town, or on country roads, then the wear and tear will be much higher. Brakes will have been used more, clutches will be more worn down and suspension will have taken more of a pounding. The small number on the clock could be hiding a whole lot of problems.

And that’s without even thinking of clocking. Clocking, or turning back the car’s mileage to make it appear more valuable, has thankfully, only recently, been made illegal, not least thanks to a campaign from ourselves at Motorcheck to make it so. Nevertheless, it still goes on and is still worryingly easy to do, so again, low mileage does not mean a better car. If the mileage is lying, it’s likely to be significantly worse than an honest high-miler.


The best solution


So, what’s the solution? Simple – stop fixating on mileage because, by and large, it’s pointless. Spend much more time focusing on a car’s history and servicing and you’ll do much better. Care and attention are far more important than the distance travelled. Also, consider a car history check from a reputable provider.

Article originally posted here: https://www.motorcheck.ie/blog/how-much-car-mileage-is-too-much/

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Donegal is the most expensive county for filling-up a tank of petrol with an average of 128.1 cent per litre, 1.6c higher than the national average. The more expensive county for diesel is Wicklow with an average price of 116.3, 3.5c above the national average according to the AA.

The AA has found a number of garages in the border county to be charging the highest in the Republic with rates of 131.9 cent for a litre of the fuel – 5.4 cent more than the national average.

“To be fair there are garages in Donegal and in Wicklow where cheaper prices can be found, and indeed some that are very good value.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “On the whole though we did find prices in these counties to be a bit ahead of the norm. With prices falling as they are at the moment it can happen that garages that are less busy get less frequent deliveries and hence can appear slow to drop their prices. The message to drivers is to be canny about this and to shop around.”

 “Border counties tend to be more expensive to fuel-up by virtue of geography,” says AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan. “It is common for motorists to cross the border in an effort to dodge the UK’s considerably higher pump prices. That coupled with its rural nature make it unsurprising that Donegal a relatively expensive county. It is certainly worth shopping around for the best deal as there is a significant difference of 7.1 cent in the same county,” says Faughnan.

Laois appeared as the second expensive county for petrol, very slightly cheaper than Donegal. Wicklow ranked in third place with the average litre reporting 127.6 cent for the fuel.

Consistent with previous media reports, Mayo and Roscommon are the cheapest counties to fill a diesel car with an average of 106.5 cent. The AA has found two service stations in respective counties to be selling the fuel for a very impressive 99.9 cent a litre.

Mayo was the cheapest for petrol as well with a local average of 122.7 cent a litre – 3.8 cent cheaper than the national average. With averages of 123.1 cent and 123.7 cent per litre, Kildare and Waterford took respective second and third cheapest counties in the country for the same fuel.

 “There is quite a bit of variation and we should be careful about reading too much into it.” says Faughnan. “Even so there are parts of the country where various factors and local competition mean that drivers are getting better value.”

The AA’s National Fuel Price Index tracks monthly national average figures with petrol now costing 126.5 cent per litre – 5.1 cent less than it was the same time last year. Diesel also dropped this month and is now averaging at 112.8 cent.

The Capital’s average litre petrol rate is in line with the national average, while diesel is trading modestly above at 115.6 cent a litre. The AA’s research indicates an evident price fluctuation where one service station retails at 128.9 cent and another 123.9 cent per litre of petrol. Similarly, diesel rates reach a high of 117.9 cent and as low as 111.9 cent a litre in some parts of the county.

While all motorists are benefitting from the fall in crude oil prices internationally pump prices are still not as low as they were the last time oil fell to these levels because of higher Irish taxes.

Fuel taxes in Ireland are charged by the litre so when the price falls the taxes do not[1]. At the beginning of 2008 motorists would have been charged 70 cent a litre in tax.  Since the emergency budget of 2008 there has been five separate tax increases adding about 20 cent to a litre of petrol and an extra 18 cent for diesel in extra austerity era taxes. The AA calculates that these extra taxes have added about €403 and €360 on motorists’ petrol and diesel bills each year[2].

The AA calls for the abolition of these extra austerity era taxes, as it is effectively taking money out of motorists’ pockets.

“These taxes were applied in response to the economic crisis,” adds Faughnan. The crisis has now passed, meaning these extra taxes have essentially fulfilled their initial purpose. There’s simply no reason why these taxes shouldn’t be reduced.”

  • Ends –

Notes to the editor;

Cheapest county for petrol
1. Mayo 122.7c
2. Kildare 123.1c
3. Waterford 123.7c


Cheapest county for diesel
1.       Roscommon + Mayo 106.5c
2.       Kerry + Sligo 108.7c
3.       Carlow 109.1c


Expensive county for petrol
1.       Donegal 128.1c
2.       Laois 127.7c
3.       Wicklow 127.6c


Expensive county for diesel
1.       Wicklow 116.3c
2.       Dublin 115.6c
3.       Laois, Donegal + Louth 113.9c


Dublin Fuel Average
Petrol 126.5c
Diesel 115.6c


National Fuel Average
Petrol 126.5c
Diesel 112.8c


Breakdown of the price of a litre of petrol and diesel for the month of January 2016.

January 2016
  Petrol Diesel
Pump price 126.5c 112.8c
Price before taxes are added 36.634c 36.954c
Breakdown of taxes x 3:
1. Excise (including carbon)* 58.771 47.902
2. Nora 2c 2c
3. VAT 23% 29.095c 25.944c
Total taxes 89.866c 75.846c
Estimated retailer margin 4c 4c
Estimated wholesaler margin 8c 8c
Average price of a barrel of oil (accurate as of 14th of January) $30.37 $30.37
Currency exchange rate – US$1 to euro (accurate as of 14th of January) .91899c .91899c
Tax as % 71.040% 67.239%

[1] Apart from VAT at 23% which is charged on top of Excise duty & Carbon tax.

[2] The AA calculates that the amount of taxes added to petrol and diesel between 2008 and 2012 is 19.777c and 17.670c per litre. If a car does 12,000 miles per year at 30 miles per gallon (19,200 kilometres at 9.42 litres per 100 kms) it will therefore use 2,038 litres per year.

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With motor insurance premiums on the rise, it has never been more important to make sure you’re getting the best value quote that’s fit for purpose. Here are our top ten questions to ask to make sure you get the best deal on your car insurance.

  1. What cover is included in the quote?

We always advise motorists to do their homework before signing on the bottom line, which means shopping around for the best deal. When getting quotes from different motor providers, ensure you’re comparing like-with-like.  Have your renewal notice to hand so you can dissect the quotes and check the levels of cover. It’s important to be fully informed about the type of cover, or you could find yourself out of pocket in the event of a claim.

  1. What optional extras are included in my price?

Only buy what you need.  Remember, insurance providers are obliged to tell you about any optional extras or add-ons to your policy. If you don’t require these you have the right to decline.

Does your quote include bonus protection?  If you feel this is something you don’t need, request for the cover to be removed – after all, it may save you up to 10 percent on your motor insurance premium.

  1. My partner has their own car – do I get a discount for this?

According to a CSO survey conducted in 2011, about 42 percent of Irish households have two or more cars. A number of insurers provide a discount if your spouse or partner also has their own car.  Make sure you tell your insurance provider if this is the case in your household to help you save on your premium. Adding a second family car to your policy will certainly help you save money on your motor insurance premium.

  1. Would adding my spouse / partner to the policy reduce my price?

Some motorists are unaware that they could bag themselves a further discount by adding their spouse or partner to their motor insurance policy – just make sure they have a clean driving record before doing so.  Some insurance providers offer a discount of up to 20 percent just for adding your spouse or partner, so it is certainly worth inquiring.

  1. Should I haggle?

Some people may associate haggling as a thing of the past or something you might do in a market whilst on holiday. However, there is nothing wrong with asking for a discount from a provider to ensure you get the most competitive deal.  Don’t be afraid to inform them that you’ve shopped around – feel free to tell them the quotes you’ve obtained and ask them if they can offer a better deal.

  1. Would increasing my excess give me a discount?

An excess is the amount of money you have to pay in the event of a claim.  Most insurance providers offer discounts if you agree to increase this amount. In theory this can seem like a tempting option as it may reduce your overall premium. Bear in mind, though, that excesses can reach as high as €500 per claim and more for inexperienced drivers and selecting a voluntary excess will increase the amount you have to pay even further.

  1. What are my payment options?

There are a couple of payment options that are available to you: an annual lump sum or monthly direct debit. Paying by monthly direct debit is the most common option because it is a convenient way of spreading the total bill over a number of months. However, some people are unaware that insurance providers can charge an additional fee of anything between six and eight percent.

  1. Are there any loyalty discounts?

A lot of us require more than one insurance product these days and most providers, including ourselves, offer multi-product discounts so don’t forget to ask what’s available. The AA offers all of its home insurance customers 5 percent off the cost of their motor insurance premiums.

  1. How long is my quote guaranteed?

Quote guarantee periods can range from 1 to 30 days which is why it is important to ask the provider when your quotation expires. With the recent increase in the cost of motor premiums it may prompt you to jump at the opportunity of securing your bargain there and then.

  1. Can I get a cheaper price online?

Plenty of motor insurance providers offer online discounts, nowadays. It’s always worthwhile to surf the internet in search of a possible price reduction – The AA offers a €40 discount when you purchase your car insurance online.

You can read the rest of this article here: http://www.theaa.ie/blog/10-questions-to-ask-when-buying-your-car-insurance/ Dublin.Cashforcarsireland.com – cash for cars



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Apple Wants to Start Producing Cars as Soon as 2020

For those of you who use Apple products as much as we do you may find this following article interesting. Their products seem to be ingrained in our everyday lives from checking the time to listening to music to speaking with our friends and family. Have a quick read and let us know what you think?

Apple Inc., which has been working secretly on a car, is pushing its team to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The timeframe — automakers typically spend five to seven years developing a car — underscores the project’s aggressive goals and could set the stage for a battle for customers with Tesla Motors Inc. and General Motors Co. Both automakers are targeting a 2017 release of an electric vehicle that can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000.

“That’s the inflection point — the proving ground — that brings on the electric age,” Steve LeVine, author of “The Powerhouse,” a book about the automotive battery industry, said on Bloomberg TV Thursday. “Now you have Apple coming in and this is critical mass. Was GM really going to be able to match Tesla? Apple can.”

 Apple, which posted record profit of $18 billion during the past quarter, has $178 billion in cash with few avenues to spend it. The Cupertino, California-based company’s research and development costs were $6.04 billion in the past year, and Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is facing increased pressure to return cash to shareholders. The CEO has been pushing the iPhone maker to enter new categories to further envelop users’ digital lives with Apple’s products and services.

Apple’s possible foray into cars follows a similar path it’s taken to break into other industries. The company wasn’t the first to make a digital-music player or smartphone, and only entered those markets once it had a product that redefined those categories.

Apple representatives declined to comment for this story.

Photo Credit: http://www.cmlviz.com/cmld3b/images/aaplcar.jpg

Car Team

Tesla’s success in creating a startup car company has shown that the traditional barriers of entry into the auto industry aren’t as difficult to overcome as originally thought, said one person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. At the same time, automakers have struggled to bring technical leaps to car development, something that Silicon Valley is also seeking to accomplish. For example, Google Inc. has invested in developing an autonomous vehicle since 2010.

 “Apple would have some advantages as a new entrant to the auto industry,” including its cash, ability to connect with its own devices and the infancy of the electric-vehicle market, Barclays analysts Ben Reitzes and Brian Johnson wrote in a note to investors. “Finally, Apple’s brand – arguably the most important advantage – is a big attraction for the next generation of car customers.”

Apple may decide to scrap its car effort or delay it if executives are unhappy with progress, as they’ve done before with other secret projects, the people said. The car team, which already has about 200 people, began ramping up hiring within the past couple of months as the company sought out experts in technologies for batteries and robotics, said one of the people.

Battery Lawsuit

An experienced automaker typically spends five to seven years developing a new vehicle before bringing it to market, according to Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group.

“If you’re starting from scratch, you’re probably talking more like 10 years,” Virag said. “A car is a very complex technological machine.”

A lawsuit filed this month gives a window into Apple’s efforts to create a automotive team for the project. Apple began around June an “aggressive campaign to poach” employees from A123 Systems LLC, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based battery maker said in the lawsuit.

Apple hired five people from A123 and has tried to hire battery experts from LG Chem Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co., Panasonic Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Johnson Controls Inc., according to the lawsuit.

“Apple is currently developing a large-scale battery division to compete in the very same field as A123,” the battery maker said in a separate state-court filing.

The recent hiring effort at A123 began with Mujeeb Ijaz, a former Ford Motor Co. engineer, who founded A123’s Venture Technologies division, which focused on materials research, cell product development and advanced concepts. He began at Apple in June and began hiring direct reports from A123’s venture technologies division, which he had headed.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek this month that Apple was seeking to hire away his workers, offering $250,000 signing bonuses and 60 percent salary increases.

Photo Credit: http://hexus.net/media/uploaded/2015/2/8b3e387f-3833-4f0b-b01f-ad50455b3c5e.jpg

Bricks and Mortar

“Apple is good at developing technology but car making is, and will continue to be, a bricks-and-mortar proposition,” Matt DeLorenzo, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book, wrote in an e-mail. “Apple will need a partner, perhaps a Chinese manufacturer, with an infrastructure if it’s going to hit the five-year goal.”

Some parts of the automotive industry seem unfazed by Silicon Valley’s increasing interest in the market. Last month, before Apple’s efforts were revealed, Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn brushed off the increasing competition.

“We’re not afraid of these new competitors,” Winterkorn said at a reception outside Stuttgart, Germany, according to a transcript obtained by Bloomberg. “The opposite is true: they encourage us to look more intensively into the chances of the digital world.”

You can find the original article here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-19/apple-said-to-be-targeting-car-production-as-soon-as-2020

So pretty interesting stuff there. Would you be in a hurry to sell your car in order to pick up a new apple vehicle?

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Retire Your Ride – Canadian Vehicle Recycling

Retire Your Ride is an initiative of The Government of Canada, Summerhill Impact and its partners, designed to enable people to get their high-polluting cars off the road and reward them for doing so. The program is committed to improving air quality by responsibly recycling vehicles and aims to retire at least 50,000 vehicles per year.

If you have a car that needs retiring, we’ll recycle its parts in an environmentally responsible way, and reward you for it.

Reducing Emissions and Saving the Environment

Did you know that 1995 model year and older vehicles produce 19 times more smog-forming pollutants than 2004 and newer models?

By ensuring that vehicles are properly recycled, we can prevent the release of toxins into the environment. By retiring vehicles earlier, you’ll be helping reduce harmful emissions.

Results so far



# of vehicles accepted into the program * # of vehicles permanently retired ** # of participating recyclers
Alberta 4,262 2,282 21
British Columbia 7,795 7,789 2
Manitoba 2,200 1,052 4
New Brunswick 717 559 12
Newfoundland and Labrador 478 301 7
Nova Scotia 1,218 1,071 21
Ontario 22,844 17,153 115
Quebec 13,133 7,882 52
Prince Edward Island 334 291 5
Saskatchewan 2,071 1,199 15
Total 54,962 39,579 254

*Total number of vehicles accepted into the program.
**Total number of all vehicles completely off the road and handed over to recyclers.

Who Can Participate?

Eligible participants must be owners of 1995 or older model year vehicles that are in running condition and have been registered and insured in their names in Canada for the previous consecutive 6 months.

NOTE: If you are a resident of British Columbia, please visit www.scrapit.ca to view program requirements in your province.


We offer participants a wide range of rewards to retire their vehicles. When you Retire Your Ride, we will ensure that it is recycled responsibly, and give you rewards that encourage you to use environmentally-friendly transportation, including a public transit pass or a membership to a car-sharing program, $300 cash or a rebate on the purchase of a 2004 and newer vehicle.

In some regions, you could also receive a charitable tax receipt. So, not only are you helping to improve the environment, you’re contributing to charities.

To qualify, your vehicle needs to meet the following guidelines:

Your vehicle must start and move
Your vehicle is currently fully insured and registered in your name and has been for the past 6 consecutive months (minimum) prior to the date of application
Your vehicle must be for personal use
Your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating must be under 3856 kg (8,500 lbs)
Your vehicle is complete with no parts removed
All liens (parking tickets, 407 fees, etc.) must be paid off before donation of your vehicle
Personal vehicles that are used for a small business may be considered.


References can be found at:
Retire Your Ride http://retireyourride.ca/
Scrapit http://www.scrapit.ca/


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