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Monday
Jan122015

Driving Licence Paper to be abolished in June

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has confirmed that the paper driving licence will be abolished on June 8, 2015. 

Originally, the launch had been scheduled for January 2015, but there had been a delay and no new date had been confirmed as of December.  However, June 8 is now the official date.

What is going to change?

The current British Driving Licence comes in two parts: a card and a paper licence.  The paper licence must be kept by law and handed over to officials.  Once the change comes into effect, the card will become the only part required by law. It has also been confirmed that drivers will also no longer have to keep their insurance documents with them: they’ll also no longer be required for tax disc renewal.

Once the law changes, the DVLA will store all the details for registered drivers in their main database, which can then be checked from any computer. 

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) had previously called for the date to be pushed back, noting that the six month delay would give the vehicle rental members breathing space in which to test and develop new processes for helping to verify customer driving licence details. 

The BVRLA has also called for a real-time, online driver detailing checking service to be implemented in advance of the abolition date. The DLVA responded by promising ‘technical solutions that provide up-to-date, fit-for-purpose alternatives to the paper counterpart’.

What has the reaction been?

Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA, said:

“We welcome this delay and are happy that the DVLA and the Department for Transport have listened to the needs of some of their biggest customers.

“The DVLA finally has a clear plan of action for developing its online alternative to the paper counterpart, and we look forward to working with them in delivering a robust, cost-effective solution for the vehicle rental sector.”

Karen Dee, director of policy for the Freight Transport Association, added:

“We had voiced concerns that the new date would be rushed and would not allow any significant re-development of the systems that businesses were expected to use to carry out critical safety checks on their drivers.
 
“FTA was given assurances by the DVLA that the removal would not happen until such a time that an alternative was in place that satisfied the requirements of FTA Business.  The announcement of June 8, 2015 demonstrates that Ministers have listened to industry’s concerns, and we look forward to working with DVLA to develop a system which is fit for purpose." 

Friday
Jan092015

The Afterlife of a Car - Infographic

Ever wondered what happens to your car after you've disposed of it? Our brand new infographic contains some great information on just where our cars go when we've finished driving them. If you’ve ever wondered how the salvage industry works, this is the infographic for you:


Love our infographic? Copy and paste the code below to embed this to your site:

Tuesday
Dec302014

What to look for when buying brake pads

Image: Nick AresBrake pads are one of the most commonly replaced parts in the car world.  In providing the friction needed to actually slow the car down, they’re used every single day a car is on the road.  As such, they wear out much faster than more or less every single other item. If you’re looking for replacement brake pads for your vehicle here are some key things to consider:

Know your types

There are four main types of brake pad available, and it’s important to know in advance which type your vehicle is fitted with, so you can find suitable replacements.  Remember to consult with a specialist if you’re not sure what you’re looking at!

  • Semi-metallic brake pads.  These are very durable, but can cause damage to the rotors, and tend to be less effective in cold weather.
  • Non-asbestos organic (NAO).  These pads are much quieter, but wear out more quickly, and also create more dust.
  • Low-metallic NAO.  These pads function effectively, but are both noisy and dusty.
  • Ceramic brake pads.  Probably the most effective form of brake pads.  Quiet, clean and with minimal damage to the rotors.  The downside, inevitably, is that they’re more expensive.

On some occasions, it may be possible to have a higher quality of brake pad installed.  However, definitely consult with an expert to ensure that’s the case with your car.

Brake pads squeal

A sure-fire way to check if brake pads are still good to go is whether or not they squeal when used.  This persistent squealing is actually included as part of the design to alert the driver.  Where possible test the new parts out: a squeal is an instant tell that they shouldn’t have been re-sold. 

Installing them yourself

Changing brake pads is a task that can be carried out at home, but you should definitely consider whether it’s really worth it.  Brakes are, after all, probably the most important safety device on the car, and they’re not something that can be half-done.  A good way to look at it is this: if you’re at all worried about whether or not you should make the repair, it’s probably best not to!

Get what you pay for

One of the main reasons for buying second-hand car parts is that it can be a real money-saver.  However, even within the second-hand market there are different price points.  Purchasing parts from the original manufacturer, for instance, is always going to be more expensive than buying them from a third party.  As a general rule, we’d recommend you buy the very best you can afford: with a part as important as brake pads, it’s just not worth compromising your safety.

Monday
Dec222014

What to look for when buying replacement door parts

One of the most commonly replaced car parts is the door (or internal parts of the door).  Because they’re relatively detachable, it can be much easier to replace a damaged door than something like an engine.  However, there are still certain things that you need to bear in mind when shopping for a second-hand car door.  Here are some of the major considerations:

Is an OEM door essential?

OEM (in all car part purchases) stands for original equipment manufacturer.  It simply means that the door was manufactured by exactly the same company as built your car.  If you’re buying a Ford Escort, for instance, the door will have been manufactured by Ford and will be completely compatible with your car. The alternative to this is an aftermarket door.

Aftermarket doors

These are manufactured by a third party, and are available both used and new.  Whilst they will usually fit the car, it may be that they don’t include certain features that were on the original doors, such as opening mechanisms or automatic windows.  Aftermarket doors are great if you’re on a slightly lower budget.

Are there any electronic parts within the door?

Whilst the majority of early car doors were simply metal panels, more modern models will often be linked to cars electronically for features such as proximity alarms or automatic locking.  If you’re planning to purchase a whole new door, ensure that it’s compatible with any features that your car has.  If you’re a bit unsure about replacing the part, then consult an expert who’ll be able to help.

Colour and condition

Both the colour and the condition of the door will largely be dependent on what your budget is for a new part.  Ideally, of course, you’ll want a door that matches your current car in terms of both condition and colour.  However, go for condition and model first: there’s always the option of repainting a door if that’s the only problem with it. 

Upholstery

Another thing to remember is that if you’re buying a used car door, the upholstery might not be exactly the same as that found on the original car.  This won’t bother everyone, of course, but it’s worth remembering as upholstery can be much harder to replace than you think!  If you can’t pick up a perfect match, at least try and pick up one that doesn’t clash.

Non-standard doors

As a general rule, car doors are typically created and fitted to the vehicle in the same way.  However, there are some exceptions:

  • Butterfly doors.  These doors are hinged to the car’s frame at the top, and then open upwards.
  • Canopy doors. Canopy doors are hinged to the car at both the roof and the sides: the entire door lifts vertically.
  • Coach doors. Coach doors (otherwise known as suicide doors) are hinged at the back.
  • Gullwing doors. Hinged at the top (like butterfly doors) gullwing doors open straight up rather than outwards.
  • Scissor doors. These sliding doors have a track along which they slide in order to open and shut; they’re particularly common in vans and large taxis.

ASM Auto Recycling

If you’re struggling to find a suitable replacement car door then why not try us? At ASM Auto Recycling, we stock a wide range of high quality car parts, with over 250,000 vehicle parts stored on-site.  Click here to be taken straight to our online shop.

Monday
Dec152014

George Osborne announces fuel duty freeze 

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that fuel duty is to remain frozen until at least the end of the current parliament in May 2015, with the next planned rise delayed until at least September, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Some motoring groups had predicted an early return of the fuel duty escalator, the government’s system for increasing costs by the level of inflation plus 1p per litre.  Had the escalator returned it would have led to almost immediate increases, with the government looking to take advantage of the recent fall in oil prices.

However, Mr Osborne said that he was ‘freezing fuel duty to help hardworking people be more financially secure.’

‘Despite falling fuel prices let me make this clear; we’ve cut fuel duty and we will keep it frozen.’

Duty on unleaded petrol and diesel will remain at a cost of 57.95 pence per litre.  It’s remained at this price point since the government first scrapped the escalator and introduced a ‘fair fuel stabiliser’ in 2011.

When the stabiliser was introduced, the government stated that a fall in oil price below $75 per barrel for a sustained period would lead to the escalator being re-introduced.  Brent crude is currently trading at around $71 per barrel.

The OBR also announced that from April 2016 onwards, rate rises would stay in line with Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation.  This will lead to receipts growth of 2.5 per cent on average between 2016-17 and 2019-20.

Chief engineer at RAC, David Bizley, said:

"The negative impact of fuel duty on economic growth is now acknowledged by the Treasury.

"We had feared an early return to the fuel duty escalator system - a deeply unpopular practice which led to a series of fuel duty hikes - but, for now, it appears that is not going to be the case."

Motorway signs

The Department for Transport (DfT) also announced it is set to trial fuel signs in motorway petrol stations early in 2015, the aim being to ensure that drivers can see the cheapest places to fill up, and to foster more competition between service stations.  There is currently no date set for the trial.

Transport minister Robert Goodwill said:

"For too long drivers have been ripped off by petrol prices on motorways."