Awesome Camper vans!

Thinking of staying in the UK this summer, then you need to see these 9 unbelievably awesome camper vans you’ll want to adventure in…

From amphibious mode to the ultimate retro chic, these high-spec campers are as cool as adventure travel gets.

When you think of a camper van, what normally springs to mind is one of those slow-moving, white plastic roadblocks you get stuck behind on the twisty roads to Cornwall or the Lake District. Well think again, because here are the coolest camper vans on the planet.One can turn into a boat, one can even hide a sports car underneath it and one has its very own, erm, command centre. Yes, these are the most radical sets of wheels you would love to cruise into your nearest campsite with.

1. The classic one

Van Wurks Volkswagen Type 1

A 1962 Van Wurks Volkswagen Type 2
The VW Transporter is the quintessential campervan© VAN WURKS

No camper van will ever rise above the original VW Transporter. A stone cold classic, just take this refurbished number which gleams like it just came off the production line in 1964, only with some added high-spec cons.Modified by UK-based Van Wurks near Manchester, its pastel-hued paint job, with matching interior trim, makes it look like a kid’s die-cast toy. Added extras are a ‘disco seat’ with speakers, a modern kitchen and LED floor spots.

A 1964 VW Type 1 with a birch plywood and eggshell finish
A 1964 VW Type 1 with a birch plywood and eggshell finish© VAN WURKS

So if you’ve got your hands on a previously owned VW and want to get it tweaked in all the right places you know where to go. Prices for customisation are available on request.

2. The super luxury one

Marchi Mobile Plazzio Superior

Marchi Mobile Plazzio Superior
The Marchi Mobile Plazzio Superior has a king-size bed and floor heating© MARCHI-MOBILE

If you have a couple of million pounds spare (specifically £2,840,000), this is the camper for you: a high-tech, futuristic monster with a pop-up rooftop cocktail bar, cosy lounge and a fireplace.

Marchi Mobile Plazzio Superior
You’ll be king of the campsite in the Marchi Mobile Plazzio Superior© MARCHI-MOBILE

The sleeping area’s bigger than most hotel rooms, boasting a giant TV and rainfall shower, while the kitchen/diner has a wine cabinet, coffee machine and ice maker. To get onboard, there’s a set of folding steps which are lined with carpet (red, obviously).Better start filling up that piggy bank pronto.

3. The off-road one

Nomad Vanz Out of the Blue

Nomad Vanz Out of the Blue
With its plaid tartan, Out of the Blue is a tribute to the VW Bus© NOMADVANZ.COM

The best thing to come out of Canada since maple syrup, this is a showcase camper from Nomad Vanz, a custom outfitter based in North Vancouver. It’s loaded with gizmos and gadgets, including their signature ‘Mother Ship’ 175-litre water tank and a side-mounted mountain bike repair station.What started life as a basic Mercedes Sprinter cargo van now has a lithium off-grid ‘Command Centre’, a kitchen with diesel stove, a teak table and custom upholstery. It just shows how far you can go if you want to up-spec.

Nomad Vanz Out of the Blue
The best thing to come out of Canada since maple syrup© NOMAD VANZ

Truly next level, Nomad Vanz have different upgrade levels from £40,000 to £130,000 and always create a bespoke look you won’t find anywhere else. Though if that’s a little outside your budget and you don’t have plans on moving to Canada anytime soon, that’s no reason not to take inspiration and convert an old cargo van yourself.

4. The wild one

Outside Van Off Grid

Outside Van Off Grid
With bunk beds, the Outside Van Off Grid is ideal for adventures with mates© WWW.OUTSIDEVAN.COM

This US camper was built to live in the wild. Its roof is covered in solar panels and it has a ‘plug-and-play’ interior that allows it to morph into different functions on different days. Not for nothing has it billed itself as the Swiss Army Knife of campervans.

Outside Van Off Grid
You won’t find a van with better storage for two-wheeled adventure© OUTSIDE VAN

It’s the attention to detail that makes this stand out from the norm – including a premium fitted kitchen, a carefully designed shower with 150-litre tank and funky LED rock lights that illuminate the ground at night.Portland-based chop shop Outside Van are happy to either help you design your own van, or even choose from one of their ‘ready to drive’ models taking their cues from the camper above (prices available on request). Cheeky American roadtrip, anyone?

5. The one for the beach

Danbury Heritage 64

Danbury Heritage 64
Seating up to six, the Danbury Heritage 64 is ideal for group weekends away© DANBURY MOTORCARAVAN

One closer to home here, this sumptuously specced retro-effect van is a modern VW T6 taken back to the style of the 1960s – with iconic two-tone metallic-on-white paintwork and diamond stitched and piped red leather seats.

Danbury Heritage 64
The Danbury Motorcaravan is perfect for summer getaways© DANBURY MOTORCARAVANS

UK-based Danbury specialises in kitting out basic T6s (which are already sleek enough themselves) with seven different layouts, all of which are designed to optimise space. This one’s based on the Surf and Surf King models.You can snap one for around £55,000. Check it out here.

6. The one with the car garage

Volkner Mobil Performance

Volkner Mobil Performance
The Volkner Mobil Performance wouldn’t look out of place in a Bond movie© VOLKNER-MOBIL.COM

This is made for the millions of us – ok, the rare few – who want to head out in their motorhome but can’t bear to be without their sports car.A built-in garage can house a low-profile car – you know, like a Porsche, Ferrari, or BMW i8 – and slide it out whenever it’s needed. The interior has slide-out walls too, to maximise space, and is designed from scratch for every buyer.It’ll cost you close to a million pounds, but then you’ll probably make your money back with whatever Fast & Furious-style heist you have up your sleeve.

7. The one with the bike ramp

VW T25 Syncro custom conversionThis radical revision of a T25 camper was built by pro mountain biker Rob Heran and includes a blow-up roof tent and a bike ramp that turns it into a freestyle jump on wheels.The van was re-fitted with a TDi engine, Recaro seats for added comfort and, as you’d expect, plenty of bike storage. The ramp is made of a series of connected bike rails and it hooks to the roof rack that carries them.

8. The amphibious one

Cami Terra Wind Amphibious motorhome

The CAMI Terra Wind motorhome
The CAMI Terra Wind can double as a boat© CAMI

CAMI, or ‘Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International’, have cooked up something brilliantly offbeat with the Terra Wind camper van.Just one of the company’s wild and wonderful designs, this is a massive million-pound motorhome that actually turns into a boat. If James Bond ever started a family you can bet he’d be taking his clan holidaying in something like this.

The CAMI Terra Wind motorhome
Could the CAMI be the future of camper vans© CAMI

Far from fiction though, a high-tech dashboard controls the gizmos that make it possible to float on water and if you fancy a swim in the middle of the lake, the back drops down to create a handy dive platform.Watch it in action here.

9. The one for desert dunes

Unicat Terracross

The TerraCross 52
The TerraCross 52 is spacious enough for a family adventure© UNICAT.NET

This rugged truck might look as if it were built for lugging a bunch of tourists around on a long-distance road trip through Africa, but it’s actually made for mad independent adventurers who want to do it for themselves.Built on a MAN or Mercedes Unimog chassis, there are six different base models to suit different travellers, from basic to luxury, with a modular system that lets you kit it out with all the different elements you wA few of the amenities you’ll find in the TC52-Comfort, for instance, are a solar power system, motorbike bicycle carrier and flushing porcelain toilet. With prices start from an eye-watering £384,000, affording one means you’ll have to be pretty flush yourself.

And one if you can’t afford a campervan just yet…

VW Van tent

VW Van tent
The VW Van tent is as close to the original camper as you can get© MARK ROBINSON / FLICKR

Finally, while everyone loves the retro VW camper, many can’t afford the price tag of these super cool 1960s surf vans. Fortunately, this offers a solution… sort of. It’s a VW Camper – but it’s a tent. It’s exactly the same scale as the original, has two zip-separated double rooms inside, and to get in, well, you just open the side doors like you would on the real thing. Happy camping.

Full credit to Will Gray For writing this article.

B+E Training

Those eagle eyed people on our social media channels may have noticed recently that I (Lewis) sat my trailer test, also known as B+E and it has sparked some conversation with pupils about what it is and why it could be important to have on your licence.

What can you do without it?

Category B – if you passed your test before 1 January 1997
You’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). View your driving licence information to check.
You’re also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.

Category B – if you passed your test on or after 1 January 1997
You can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM with up to 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).
You can also tow heavier trailers if the total MAM of the vehicle and trailer isn’t more than 3,500kg.
You can drive motor tricycles with a power output higher than 15kW if you are over 21 years old.
Physically disabled drivers with provisional category B entitlement will also have provisional entitlement to ride category A1 or A motor tricycles.
Able-bodied drivers can no longer ride motor tricycles with a provisional category B licence.

Category B auto
You can drive a category B vehicle – but only an automatic one.

What it entitles?

You can drive a vehicle with a MAM of 3,500kg with a trailer.
The size of the trailer depends on the BE ‘valid from’ date shown on your licence. If the date is:
• before 19 January 2013, you can tow any size trailer
• on or after 19 January 2013, you can tow a trailer with a MAM of up to 3,500kg

What’s involved?

There are 6 parts to the driving test:
• an eyesight check
• ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
• reversing your vehicle
• general driving ability
• independent driving
• uncoupling and recoupling the trailer

You’ll drive for around 50 minutes.

Eyesight check
You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:
• 20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
• 20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate
New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, for example, AB51 ABC.
You’ll fail your driving test if you fail the eyesight check. The test will end.

‘Show me, tell me’ questions
You’ll be asked 5 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. These test that you know how to carry out basic safety checks.

Reversing your vehicle
You’ll have to show that you can manoeuvre your car and trailer into a restricted space and stop at a certain point.
The examiner will show you a diagram of where to reverse your vehicle.

Your general driving ability
You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, including motorways where possible.
The examiner will give you directions that you should follow. Driving test routes aren’t published, so you can’t check them before your test.
Pulling over at the side of the road
You’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including:
• normal stops at the side of the road
• pulling out from behind a parked vehicle
• a hill start

Independent driving
You’ll have to drive for about 10 minutes by following either:
• traffic signs
• a series of verbal directions
• a combination of both
The examiner can show you a simple diagram to help you understand where you’re going when following verbal directions.
You can’t use a sat nav.
If you can’t see traffic signs
If you can’t see a traffic sign (eg because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.
Forgetting the directions
You can ask the examiner to confirm the directions if you forget them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction.
Going off the route
Your test result won’t be affected if you go off the route, unless you make a fault while doing it.
The examiner will help you get back on the route if you take a wrong turning.

Uncoupling and recoupling the trailer
You’ll be asked to:
• uncouple your car from the trailer
• park the car alongside the trailer
• realign the car with the trailer and recouple them

If you make mistakes during your test
You can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your result if it’s not serious.
The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.

Why did I do it?

At present it isn’t something I currently need, however as we have many trailers in the family (caravan, car trailer, boats, motorbike trailer etc) then it is something I may need to utilise at some point. You never know when it could come in useful.

Where can I do it?

I did my trailer training with a local company (Feet2Wheels) and top ADI, Kate Fennelly. She is a great instructor and very local to Derby, if your looking to do your training/test, check out her website here.

Buying vs Leasing

Puzzled about if it’s cheaper to lease a car or buy one? Could leasing a vehicle be a better option for you than buying one outright? Find out more with this guide.

Key points

When you’re in the market for a new car, there are a lot of decisions to make:

It’s worth considering whether it might actually be cheaper to lease your vehicle, even though that means you won’t own it outright and will have to hand it back when you’re finished. One thing to get clear from the start is that this is not a general rule.
Some drivers can save money by leasing their vehicle instead of buying it, while for others it will be far cheaper to buy it with finance.
Admittedly it does seem pretty counter-intuitive that it can be cheaper to lease a vehicle, after all, if you buy a car then you have a car. You can continue to drive it or sell it, whereas at the end of a lease you have nothing. But you need to factor depreciation into your sums.

If the gap between the price of your new vehicle and its value after three years is more than it would cost to hire a car during that time, then you’ve potentially lost out.

How do I know if it’s cheaper to lease or buy?

A lot of factors influence whether it’s cheaper to buy or lease a car, such as the number of miles you drive and how well the car retains its value. If it appreciates, buy it and if it depreciates, lease it.

For example, Which? looked at some specific car models and found in its analysis that, while a VW Scirocco was worth 63% of its original price after three years, a new Ford Mondeo was typically worth just 36% of its initial value.
Because of that, the survey suggested that most people would be better off buying the VW Scirocco on finance, but leasing a Mondeo.

As a general rule, if a car has a good resale value then you’re better off buying it. After three years you’d own a valuable asset, whereas with a leased car you’d have nothing. But if the car plummets in value then it’s probably cheaper to lease it, as you won’t be bearing the brunt of the depreciation.

Points to note:

Do you need a new car every three years? If you don’t plan to sell your new car any time soon, then you could be better off buying it. After all, once you’ve paid for it you can continue driving it and not pay any monthly amount for your motor.
However, if you’ve only leased a car then you’ll need to either buy one or continue leasing one once you’re done.

What about a personal contract plan (PCP)?
There is a sort of middle ground between buying and leasing a car. A personal contract plan means you pay a deposit then pay monthly instalments, but you also owe a ‘deferred payment’ at the end of the contract if you want to keep the car.
When the contract ends, you have a choice. You can hand the car back to the dealer without making the deferred payment, leaving you with no car but no debt either. Or you can make the payment and keep the car.

An option is to sell the car privately to repay the final amount owed – if the car is worth more than the debt then you can pocket the difference. That gives you some flexibility over what you pay; if the car has kept its value then you can keep it or flog it, but you won’t pay more than you agreed at the start of the deal. If the car is worth less, you can simply hand it back.

If you return the car it has to be in good condition. You’ll also be asked to estimate your miles at the start of the contract – you’ll have to pay a penalty if you’ve exceeded that. Bear in mind that PCPs are usually more expensive than hire purchase deals, with larger deposits and monthly sums. You pay for flexibility, meaning that PCPs are unlikely to be the cheapest option.

Does leasing affect your car insurance?
Most insurers are happy to provide cover for a leased vehicle, as this really isn’t an unusual way of paying for a motor.
But you do need to make sure you have sufficient insurance; the leasing agency is likely to demand you buy fully comprehensive cover rather than just third party. After all, they need to know that their asset is protected.
Remember, whether you’re leasing or buying, one definite way to keep the price of running a car down is to compare car insurance quotes.

Dealer finance There are three main types of finance a dealer is likely to offer: Hire purchase (HP)   This is secured against the vehicle itself and you do not own the car until you have made the final payment – you can’t sell it without the lender’s permission, although you can return it. You typically pay a deposit (often 10%) and then repay the balance in instalments, plus interest, over the loan period. At the end of the loan period, you own the car outright. Be aware that: the car can be repossessed if you miss a payment. It can prove more expensive than an independent bank loan. Servicing may be included, but check all terms and conditions.

Personal contract purchase (PCP) This typically involves paying a deposit then low monthly instalments over a fixed period. At the end of this, you can either pay a lump sum (‘balloon payment’) to purchase the car outright, return the vehicle or sell it privately to pay off the remainder. This suits people who want to change their car frequently, and is based around a ‘minimum guaranteed future value’ (MGFV) for the car. Be aware that: it’s important to stick to the agreed mileage limits and to keep the car in good condition to avoid penalties. You are hiring the car and will not own it until the balloon payment is made. It may be less cost-effective than HP if you plan to keep the car, however.

Personal leasing (contract hire) This is like a PCP, again with low monthly payments, but you have no option to buy the car. However, it is convenient and it’s easy to change the car. The type of car, length of contract and agreed mileage limits determine the overall leasing cost. You normally have to pay up to three months’ rental in advance. Be aware that: although servicing may be included, a large upfront deposit is usually required. Again, mileage limits may apply. Make sure you compare deals taking into account APR, the monthly payments over the loan period, and the total amount repayable, as well as any further ‘option to purchase’ and administration fees. 0% finance ‘0%’ deals are often offered, usually to shift an outgoing or slow-selling model. These can work out affordable, with no interest charged on your monthly repayments. Bear in mind that they typically require a large deposit (35% or more) and that you’ll be unlikely to negotiate any further discounts. And if you miss any payments, you’re usually switched to a scheme with a higher interest rate.

Additional extras Dealers also make commission from additional insurance and other products that they may offer as a package with the finance plan. These typically include:

For further information you can read more here.

Test Drives

So you’ve had your car a while now and are thinking of a new car. You might be a little unsure of what your after and understandably so as there is so much choice on the market. With so much choice then how do you decide and make an informed decision…taking many test drives of course. So here’s our top tips for taking test drives;

Hopefully these pointers will keep you in the right direction but if you want any more advice just ask.

Track Days

Ever wanted to go on track but didn’t know where to start, well here is a basic breakdown of how a typical track day runs:

TYPICAL DAY
The following is a description of how a typical UK Track Day runs. Please be aware that times can vary depending on the weather, how the day is running or if it is a Sunday/Bank Holiday and those given here are for guidance only.

TYPICAL DAY
Make sure you arrive at the circuit as early as you can. At the circuits which have pit garages (Donington Park, Anglesey, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Croft, Silverstone,Brands Hatch) you usually need to be there by 7.00am to ensure you get a garage space. If all the garages are full, there will always be space in the paddock. Most circuits have electrical hook up with exceptions of Cadwell Park and very limited at Mallory and Bedford.

7.30am SIGN ON
Sign-on usually commences between 07:30 and 08:00. Make sure you check sign on & briefing times for your day on track. In order to get your day off to a good start, it is essential for us to get most of the riders signed on as early as possible as most circuits are now enforcing noise testing prior to the track sessions beginning. So if you would like your day to run as smoothly as possible, it is important to be punctual to assure you get maximum tracktime.

Bring your confirmation with you to show when you sign on. You can also use a smart phone, showing your confirmation email.

You will need to complete an Indemnity form for each track event, and at Motor Sport Vision (MSV) circuits (Cadwell Park, Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Bedford & Oulton Park) you must also complete a Motor Sport Vision Indemnity form as well.
Your full unrestricted driving licence or full ACU licence will also be checked at the Motor Sport Vision circuits. These tracks also require you to be over 18 (unless previously approved by MSV). Please note, this is a MSV requirement so if you do not present your licence on the day, you can not be allowed to drive or ride, (in exceptional circumstances the circuit can confirm it within office hours at DVLA on your behalf to confirm your entitlements. This will normally attract an admin fee which is payable to MSV but we recommend not to rely on this method) see our Terms & Conditions for details.
The sign-on is completed by issuing you a wristband according to the group you are riding in on the day, and a sticker to be placed on the front of your bike. At some circuits the stickers are handed out after the safety briefing. Please ensure it it clearly visible or it may delay your first session.

08:30am COMPULSORY SAFETY BRIEFING (For All Drivers or Riders)
The compulsory safety briefing as the name suggests is mandatory. Whether it’s your first time or your 500th, there is no exception. All participants must attend the briefing and collect a briefing sticker or wristband to confirm your attendance. These will be issued after the briefing, and will be checked in pit lane before each of your track sessions throughout the day.
No Sticker, No Wristband, No Tracktime!!

The briefing consists of a welcome, introduction, the format of your day, health and safety, issues on the day,rules and etiquette on and off the circuit, instruction available, services available, hints and tips and any questions. (please feel free to ask any questions)

After the main briefing, a separate briefing is held at all circuits for our novice group. Quite simply this is to quell any fears you may have, instil confidence and to go over some of the finer points of track craft, and what to do if you are riding a road bike.
Listen carefully to the safety briefing/novice group briefing, and do ask any questions you may have. The question you think is silly is the one that everyone else also wants to ask and tea and coffee is usually free!

Schedule
09:00 Intermediate group on circuit – 3 sighting laps then open session
09:20 Fast group on circuit – 3 sighting laps then open session
09:40 Novice group – 3 sighting laps then open session.
We will then run 20 minute sessions throughout the day (dependent on stoppages).  Lunch is generally an hours break 1pm-2pm].
1 pm Lunch (The time can alter dependent on the weather) 2 pm Sessions resume, Intermediate group first, then Fast at 2.20pm and Novice at 2.40pm. 5 pm Home Time (circuit closes). Important to note that it is the track that is closed and not the paddock which is open for a further 1 hour for clear down purposes.

EVENING TRACKDAYS
We suggest getting to circuit timely, as you will have customers packing up from the day sessions and you need to secure a place in the garages or paddock and set your bike up.
Sign on is from 4pm and your compulsory safety brief will be at 5pm. The plan is to have the first of the 2 groups out at 5.30pm or as soon as the circuit is clear from the last session from the previous trackday.
All being well, we plan to run 2 groups over 4 sessions that evening. Comprising of 3 X 20 minute sessions and 1 X 15 minute session (circumstance and weather dependant) and finish for the evening at 8pm.

Open Pitlane Trackdays
Throughout the year there are a number of open pitlane (OPL) track days for experienced drivers and riders who prefer to drive/ride without the constraints of timed sessions. On these days, the number of participants is limited so you can be guaranteed maximum track time (Strickly no novices please.)

PLEASE NOTE *
We strongly recommend only fast group and confident upper inters riders for our OPL trackdays. This is for yours and our other customers safety as this event does attract the more confident faster riders. It is your responsibility to assess your ability before booking a OPL. (If you are unsure but would like to book a OPL, please ask an instructor on a normal trackday to ride go out with you and give feedback)

FLAGS

* YELLOW flag means that there’s danger ahead of you so take extra care, don’t overtake.
* RED flag means there’s been a serious incident and the sessions have been stopped, so slow down, don’t overtake and make your way back to the pits or as directed.
* YELLOW and RED striped flag means there’s debris on the circuit or poor grip so take care.
* BLUE flag means that another car wants to overtake you.
* BLACK flag means you have been naughty or there’s something wrong, you need to slow and come into the pits asap.

HINTS & TIPS
* Stay hydrated, bring plenty of fluid such as energy drinks and water.
* Stay energized, bring snack foods to keep your energy levels up such as chocolate (Or cake)
* Keep concentration, remove distractions so cover up speedo’s and remove mirrors.
* Stay controlled, both bike and rider be ready for your next session so its not a mad flustered dash.
* Stay on track, Check/adjust tyre pressures, assure good maintenance and ride within your ability.
* Stay inspired, ride out with one of our trained instructors who will show you abilities you only dreamed of on the road.
* Stay with the number one trackday company that’s here to assure its customers a 100% satisfaction experience and an unprecedented customer service.

For a list of available track days try UK Track Days here.

Track day locations

Popular Cars

I recently read an article about the most searched for cars around the world. I found it so interesting I thought I’d share it with you…

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To read the whole article click here

Traditionally buying a German or Japanese car was a safe bet, they we much more reliable than other brands of motor. French cars had good style and Spanish/Italian usually broke down. However in recent years things have begun to change. Take a look at the reliability stats below showing the best and worst cars.

The 10 Best Cars, Position,  Make/Model & Reliability Rating:

Honda Jazz – 4.00
Mitsubishi Lancer – 4.00
Chevrolet Kalos – 15.00
Ford Ka – 16.00
Mazda MX-5 – 16.00
Mercedes-Benz CLC – 17.00
Citreon C1 – 18.00
Kia Picanto – 19.00
Toyota Yaris – 22.00
Ford Focus – 22.00

&

The 10 Worst Cars, Position,  Make/Model & Reliability Rating:

BMW M5 – 751.00
Nissan GT-R – 629.00
Bentley Continental GT – 526.00
Mercedes-Benz GL – 522.00
Citroen C6 – 519.00
Mercedes-Benz R-Class – 490.00
Audi Q7 – 463.00
BMW M3 – 429.00
BMW 7 Series – 422.00
Mercedes-Benz M-Class – 411.00

You can check out your vehicle by searching here

Basic Insurance Tips

When it comes to insurance it’s a bit of a minefield but unfortunately it’s an important part of driving so we’ve given you a few pointers to help you out. This is part one of two regarding insurance so keep tuned for the next instalment soon.

Insurance Types:

1. Third party – This is the minimum requirement for insurance. It will pay out if you cause damage to a third party such as another driver or property. It will not pay out for your own vehicle.

2. Third party, fire and theft – This is similar to the first type of insurance but will additionally cover your own vehicle for fire or theft if it was stolen.

3. Fully comprehensive – This is the premium of insurance and is the best of the bunch however usually costs more. You need to weigh up the benefits of fully comp insurance against the cost of the vehicle.

Be realistic with your estimated mileage and be honest about where the vehicle will be kept overnight. Driveways or private car parks are cheaper than on street parking but don’t lie. By adding an additional driver to the insurance policy it usually decreases the premium however don’t try to pass the car off as your parents and become a named driver if you are driving the vehicle everyday, it is illegal and the insurers will catch you out.

You may also want to think about your insurance excess, by increasing the initial amount you are willing to pay in the event of a claim you can again reduce your insurance premium. It is usually worth using comparison sites to get initial quotes and then calling up to haggle a deal.

If you wanted a starting point, Marmalade provide excellent short and long term insurance cover specifically for learner and newly qualified drivers at competitive prices. Click here to find out more…

Finally, you will find that after your first years insurance and you obtain a years no claims discount, your policy price will begin to drop quite significantly and will continue to do so for a few years providing you don’t have a claim. After 25 is when the premium reduces further as you are statistically out of the high category of vulnerable drivers.

We hope this gives you a few ideas on what to look for where insuring your little motor and if your looking for a quote check out Marmalade insurance here, their great!

2, 4 & All Wheel Drive

Many students and even qualified drivers struggle to understand the differences between front, rear and 4 wheel drive along with their benefits and disadvantages. So with that in mind, we’ve decided to give you a break down of each and tried to keep things simple.

Front Wheel Drive:
As the title suggests, the front wheels are the driving force allowing the car to move. The majority of cars are front wheel drive because the arrangement of the engine and gearbox allows more space inside the vehicle for passengers. Our learner minis are front wheel drive.

The main issue with FWD cars is that they tend to under-steer in tight corners. Under-steer is where the vehicle doesn’t follow the line through the corner you intended but instead pushes wide, this is because the front wheels are trying to steer but are also trying to put the power down and in turn can’t cope.

Rear Wheel Drive:
Again, as the name implies this format is where the rear wheels propel the vehicle. The RWD system is an older system that was initially introduced when cars were first made, this was due to the simple setup of the engine and gearbox.

The downside to this method is that the car can over-steer. Over-steer is where the vehicle takes a tighter line through the corner than you intended. Also, too much power could result in a spin as the back of the car can slide out.

4 Wheel Drive:
The 4 wheel drive system is a combination of the previous two. All 4 wheels have power at the same time but drivers can usually press a switch to select just 2 wheel drive if necessary, maybe when terrain isn’t too demanding.
Newer vehicles with an All Wheel Drive system allow the car to automatically apply power to whichever wheel/s have more grip and traction.

The downside to this 4 wheel drive approach is more tyre wear compared to both of the others and also an increased fuel consumption overall.

Hopefully this breakdown gives you some useful information and will help you with your car control but if you’d like to read in more detail take a look at this great Top Gear article here.