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September 2016

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Having a car personalised number plate used to be pretty cool…but what do the British public really think about those people that own personalised number plates?

I remember in my early 20’s looking for my name (M 5HAW) and it was taken – coincidentally that same week I spotted that exact registration plate on a Land Rover Sport driving just around the corner where I used to live near Birmingham…spooky!

But I’m actually glad I didn’t fork out hundreds/thousands on a personalised number plate as I think they’ve become pretty tacky and way too popular.

Recent research from vehicle leasing company OSV Ltd backs up my thoughts about personalised registrations plates with their research revealing that they are no longer considered an essential status symbol, with 68% of Brits describing them as tacky.

However, despite the majority of Brits holding this opinion, it would seem that UK drivers are still enthusiastic to show off their wealth by buying a personalised number plate – a status symbol. They should add this to the board game The Game Of Life .

The most expensive number plate ever purchased is ‘1’ which cost £7.25million by Abu Dhabi businessman Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri in 2008. I reckon there are far better ways to spend that sort of money but there you go.

The DVLA claims that almost 335,000 registrations were sold in the last year – more than four times the figure in the mid-nineties. But, according to those quizzed in the survey, the fact that they are ‘now so common’ is the leading reason why they are no longer considered impressive.

Co-Founder of OSV Ltd, Debbie Kirkley explains; “While once considered the essential status symbol or a way to express individuality – private registration plates are now seen as a tacky purchase.

The study of over 1,000 UK residents discovered that those aged between 35-44 were the least impressed by personalised number plates, with only 17% describing their owners as impressive. Those aged between 18-25 were the most impressed, with 43% describing owners as impressive.

The Welsh were most opposed to private number plates, with more than three quarters stating that they were tacky. The Scots were most fond of the personalised number plate, with 42% labelling them impressive.

As everyone knows, wearing a helmet is rule number one in the safety guide to riding motorcycles, but it is also extremely important to get a properly fitted helmet. You can get helmets in all shapes and sizes these, but the size that does matter is that of your head. An ill fitting helmet can be as dangerous as not wearing one in the first place, aside from being uncomfortable, they also don’t even have to be that expensive and you can get really good cheap motorcycle helmets. Therefore, here are some important things to know when getting yourself a helmet.


Get The Tape Measure Out

Get a tape measure that can be easily wrapped around your head without creating bumps or gaps, to ensure that you get the exact measurement. Wrap the tape around your head just above the eyebrows, making sure that it doesn’t dip around the back, or anywhere else for that matter. Take the measurement in centimetres and make a note of it, it may also be worth getting a measurement in inches as well because some stores may vary in their measurements terms.

Size Guides!

Size guides are extremely important. These will allow you to get a helmet as close as possible to your exact measurements, as well as this different stores can use different size guides, so if you are a large in one shop you may be a medium in another, and it’s very important to know your measurement rather than rely on a size that you usually would get. Another important note is that in the UK we have specific helmet sizes and this can vary in different countries, where the UK may have a 6 or 7 or something like that, it can be totally different in a foreign country.



Try it on and get comfortable

When trying it on you must make sure that there are no gaps between the helmet and your head, it should fit like a glove. The helmet should feel secure but comfortable, if you end up getting lines in your skin, or you skin turning red it is probably because you have actually got the helmet on too tight. However, this might not necessarily mean that you have the wrong sized helmet, but rather that the straps are too tight. These can be altered and loosened either by making the straps themselves looser, or on many modern helmets they can be loosened at the back. In the same breath, you must make sure that they are not too loose. If you move your head around, the helmet should not wobble or move around, because if you were to crash and this happened, well we are back to the start again where it just as bad as if you weren’t wearing one at all.

When you have done all of this then you are ready to get out there and start riding. Safety is so important when on a motorbike, as we have all seen in the news and elsewhere, it can be devastating when one is not properly dressed when riding. On top of that, a properly fitted helmet will make you much more comfortable, which in turn will give you a better riding experience.

Some of us feel extremely sentimental about our cars, especially if we have had them for a long time. Every time we turn on the ignition we are filled with nostalgia about drives we’ve taken and places we’ve visited. Sadly, even with the best upkeep and care cars aren’t built to last forever. They wear out and become impractical to drive as often as we would like. Eventually, there comes a time when we need to replace our beloved older car with something more reliable. Unfortunately, this is difficult for some people to accept and their love for their car often causes them to be in denial. So if you or someone you know needs a reality check, take a look at these tell-tale signs that a new car is something you need.


You’re always breaking down


Older cars are expected to break down and need minor repairs every now and then. But if they are happening every few months, multiple areas of your life can be affected. Firstly it stops you from being able to drive anywhere, which can make it difficult to get to work or see friends. If major repairs such as replacing your exhaust system is needed each time, this can be a big drain on your finances too. If you know your mechanics contact details off by heart, this means you’re seeing them far too much. So get your car looked at to see what other potential issues you may have in future. If they think a lot of expensive repair work is needed to get it working correctly, replacing your car might be a more sensible option.



Your car isn’t fuel efficient anymore


As cars get older, they tend to becomes less energy efficient. This means that your car is using petrol at an alarming rate and needs to be topped up more frequently. It’s no secret that petrol prices can be extortionate, which isn’t ideal if you have to fill up your tank every few days. This adds to the costs of running your car and going to a petrol station continually can be inconvenient and frustrating. Newer cars are designed to be energy efficient, while also being more environmentally friendly. So replacing your older car with something newer can be good for the planet and your bank balance in the long run. Visit Saxton 4×4 or other car dealerships to see just how efficient newer models can be or read reviews online. You might be surprised just how little you have to fill up compared to your current car.


You’re paying more for your insurance


The older your car is, the more expensive it is to get it insured. This is because they are more likely to experiences issues. But also because they don’t have the same level of safety features that newer cars have as standard. Even if you are a model driver with no claims or points on our license, this won’t stop your premiums from increasing. Paying for insurance that continues to increase each year can be difficult for many people. Especially if you are already paying for expensive repairs and petrol. While you could use price comparison sites to try and get a better deal, you won’t necessarily save a great deal. So If you’ve noticed a steady increase in how much you are paying to insure your car, buying a new car could be a good solution.


Your car is becoming unsafe


If you use your car to transport your family or friends, safety should always be a main priority. But if your car is getting old, the safety of your vehicle might be brought into question. Your car may break down in a hazardous location such as on the motorway. If it’s an old model, the interiors such as the headrests and seatbelts might also have started to disintegrate. This can be particularly dangerous if you are involved in a crash as they won’t provide optimal protection. You can pay to have enhanced safety features added to your vehicle, but these can also be expensive to have installed. If you or your family ever feel unsafe when inside your car, an upgrade should be something you consider immediately.


If one or all of these signs sound familiar, replacing your old banger with a newer model is probably the best option. The memories you associate with this car will remain even after your car has been replaced. So take your car out for one last adventure and start searching for a new car that you can create new memories in.