Category Archives: Slightly motoring related

Does good music make us better drivers?

You have a bit of Vance Joy or Edward Sharpe (an obsession of mine) pumping out of your car stereo, all is good. Then, an ad break comes on and you lower the volume. It is then you become aware that you have been travelling at a respectable speed, hands at ten and two and that you were chilled out for the past four or so minutes. You then frantically start to change the radio station and get annoyed when every other station is either on an ad break, reading the news or playing Nicki Minaj.

The title might seem a bit bizarre but I have noticed in recent months it has become more evident, good music makes me a better driver. I am more calm and more aware when I have some good tunes playing . Unfortunately in my car I don’t have an auxiliary cable or Bluetooth so I must rely on the radio to provide my music fix.  A majority of Irish radio stations play the same songs over and over again, so it is a rare and exciting occasion when they play something other than Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith. It is even a regular occurrence when two or three different radio stations play the same song at the same time. So when a  good tune comes on, the volume is cranked up.

I could even go as far as to say that it could cause mild road rage. Now, I am one of those people who say “theres no point in getting annoyed at other drivers, they can’t hear you”. So I do stress the word mild. I may just start to get impatient when I don’t have some good music to lose myself in. Out of 10,274 Irish motorists, 49.6% said they excessively beep their horn at another driver and a worryingly 5.3% said they would  get out of their car to confront another driver. That’s 544 people. I’m not saying that this is all because of bad or over-played music on the radio but if a lot of other drivers felt the way I do, this number may be reduced significantly.

 

So I shall round this post up with a proposal to Irish radio stations, please stop over playing music. It helps no one… Either that or start a fund to help me buy an auxiliary cable for my car.

Sixt Leasing CorporateCar Sharing

Today saw the launch of a new concept of Corporate Car sharing by Sixt Leasing in Ireland. Sixt have already implemented this in other countries across Europe but will now offer it for businesses to introduce into their companies in Ireland.

SixtCCS1

What is it?

Exactly as it says on the tin, it is a car sharing service that companies can introduce to their business to cut costs. For example; If the business has three or four employees doing an airport run, rather than each of them taking their own company cars, they can all take the one car. Therefore saving on mileage, insurance costs, fuel, etc.

A run down of how the service works:
• Once an employee is registered they will receive an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip card.
• Drivers book and schedule the use of a car like they would with a         meeting room.
• Cars are opened with employees’ RFID chip cards
• The black box in the car communicates simultaneously with the           central management system and track the situation of the car, and     scheduled bookings; that is, this service provides a total                             management of the car usage.
• The stations are created depending on companies needs.

So far Peugeot have partnered with Sixt and offer the 308, 3008 and 5008 for long journeys and offer the Peugeot iOn for short commutes and city based journeys. ESB were on hand to talk about the vast amount of charging points available throughout the country, just under 2000 Fast and Standard charge points are dotted around the country.

Peugeot_iOn_compact_styling
The P
eugeot iOn

Now, you may be thinking that the good thing about having a company car to yourself is that you can use it as freely as you like. Well Sixt have not taken this privilege away. They allow businesses to offer their cars to employees at the weekends. The employee just has to book the car in advance, then collect and drop it off at the dedicated Sixt station.

This idea is similar to GoCar, a service whereby someone can take a car from any station placed around Dublin city and use it for a fee. Corporate Car Sharing allows a company to lease a car and give it to an employee to use. Cars can be booked with Sixt online in advance.

PCP – Personal Contract Plan

Bank of Ireland have started a PCP scheme aimed at second hand cars.  You can buy a car that is less than 18 months old and then after two or three years you can either trade it in for a guaranteed value or exchange it for a new a new car using the old one as a deposit.

What is a PCP:
A Personal Contract Plan is a payment scheme that allows buyers to pay a deposit then repayments that are only a little bit more than the depreciation of the car before exchanging it for a new one in three years time. The buyer does not own the car unless they decide to pay out the remaining value of the car at the end of the term of the contract.
Usually a PCP is only available for new cars and the buyer will agree on an annual mileage with the bank. For example, if a car was worth €15,000, the buyer will pay a €5,000 deposit then agree to make repayments over three years based on a €5,000 loan.
Bank of Ireland are working with dealerships to make sure that buyers have enough money at the end of the contract to use as a deposit for their next car.

PCP versus Hire Purchase
A hire purchase scheme is when the buyer chooses their own payment and is spread out between 12 months to five years. They only own the car when the final payment is made. In a PCP scheme, the buyer can choose to either walk away after three years and either use the value of the car to enter into a new contract or they can decide to pay the agreed future value to buy the car.

Advantages:

  • The buyer gets a new or nearly new car for a relatively low cost.
  • The buyer could get a new or nearly new car at the end of each contract.
  • The repayments are a lot less than on a hire purchase agreement.
  • It is targeted at younger buyers. Young buyers have become used to using pay-as-you-go products. Another example being mobile phones.

Disadvantages:

  • Buyers may become locked into one brand/dealership if they decide to change their car every three years.
  • If they decide to hold onto their car beyond their term of the PCP, they might face higher repayments.
  • If they do not want to change their car they will have to buy out the remaining value of the car resulting in the loss of their initial deposit.
  • If the buyer finds they are driving more than the agreed mileage, they will have to pay for the extra distance driven. This can be up to 10c per kilometre.

A tip from Tom Cullen of SIMI;
There is a lot of competition in the car finance market as a result of Renault Bank and Volkswagen Bank lending to customers directly. He recommended looking at all the available options before going for a PCP.

 

 

I shall start with a rant

So, My first blog post and its rant. What a great way to start, eh?

I’ve just been to town to stock up on the trusty Nespresso capsules. If I slow down to let a car pull out, go ahead or overtake I would expect a thanks in return. But no, not this evening. I let 3 cars out along the stretch of St. Stephens Green and not a simple wave or even flash of the hazards. I know its a petty thing to be ranting about but whats so difficult about lifting your hand up in the air or pressing a button? It just irritates me that there are drivers on the road that have no manners.

Another thing is motorists giving out about cyclists. Now, I am a cyclist and a motorist so my opinion is hardly biased one way or another. Cycling has become very popular in the last few years especially with the introduction of the Dublin Bikes and the bike-to-work scheme. So we must all accept that there are going to be all kinds of wheels on the road, whether that’s two or four. The Giro has also landed in Ireland so there will most likely be an increase in the popularity of the sport.

I cycle with a club and every Thursday evening, Saturday and Sunday morning we get motorists beeping at us as they drive by, even if we hadn’t done anything wrong. Its like our presence annoys them! It is legal for cyclists to cycle two abreast but motorists just won’t accept that. However, cyclists should also accept that on a narrow road, for example, that they could cycle in a single file. Now, I’m not speaking on behalf of ALL cyclists and ALL motorists as there are right and wrong on both sides.