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Lancaster Insurance expands MG schemes to support a wider range of models

Classic car insurance intermediary, Lancaster Insurance, has announced that it will be widening its Classic MG schemes in July, further cementing its long standing association with the marque. The new offering will extend Lancaster’s bespoke schemes for MGs and is specifically designed to cover more recent models such as the F/TF, ZT, ZS and the ZR.


Lancaster Insurance sets new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title

Lancaster Insurance is thrilled to announce its status as an official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title holder for the ‘Largest parade of MGs’. The parade took place on Saturday 11th April at Rockingham Circuit in Corby, Northamptonshire; where 144 MG owners and lovers united to take part in a world first.


Lancaster Insurance takes on GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title at MGOC Race Championship

Lancaster Insurance is excited to announce it will be attempting to set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the ‘Largest parade of MGs’ with the help of the MG Owners’ Club (MGOC). Taking place on Saturday 11th April at Rockingham Circuit in Corby, Northamptonshire; all MG owners and lovers are being encouraged to unite and get involved in what will be a world first.


Roadside drug testing to come into force in England and Wales

In an effort to combat drug impaired drivers, roadside drug testing will be introduced in England and Wales this year. But there’s more, drivers may be given a breathalyser test to detect alcohol levels instead of instant drug tests or both. Revolutionary new “drugalysers” have been approved to take saliva samples and analyse drivers on the spot for drugs such as cannabis and cocaine. However, legal highs aren’t detectable as of yet.


Previously, to detect drug impaired drivers, police officers had to rely on field drug impairment tests similar to those before breathalysers were introduced such as making the driver stand on one leg and checking pupils for dilation.  

Drivers who weren’t successful, were taken to the station to undergo medically supervised blood tests. Many individuals however, resisted giving blood samples based on religious beliefs or medical reasons; wasting time and allowing the drugs to exit the system. With the drug analysers available on the streets, there’s no excuse to not providing a saliva sample when asked.

Official numbers indicate that the number of people killed in road accidents whilst under the influence of drugs rose from 3% in 1998 to a staggering 18% in 1998. Furthermore, in a separate report, Durham police found that almost half of the 23 people killed on (roads in the area)  in 2014 showed traces of cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and prescription drugs, which all contribute to impaired driving.


A new drug offence is scheduled for release in March 2015, and these new drug kits will support it as soon as it comes into effect. The initiative to implement drugalysers came after the “No drink, No doubt” campaign that asks drivers to refrain from taking the wheel if they’ve consumed even a drop of alcohol. Policing Minister Mike Penning adds that motorists felt the same about drug impaired driving as they did with alcohol-impaired drivers. Penning also stated that those who get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs and alcohol not only put their own lives at stake, but also those of their passengers and other motorists on the road.

What is a Drugalyser and the Penalties for Drug Impaired Driving?

Similar to a breathalyser, a drugalyser is the machine that will be used for on the spot oral swab tests to catch drug-influenced drivers. It tests for chemical compounds in saliva and can detect up to 16 different drugs. Officials claim that penalties for drug impaired driving will be harsh, and may range from up to £5,000 in fines, prison time of 6 months or more and a license being revoked for at least a year. These offences will also affect future insurance for your car such as classic car insurance and fully comprehensive insurance and will ultimately help keep our roads safer.


Easiest Classic Cars to Modify

You can go buy a clasic performance car if you want, that’s if you can afford it. Modifying cars is an art, and when done correctly it can help engineers improve and design new models. There are a ton of vehicles that can be easily and affordably tweaked to increases their prowess so here are a few of our favourites, and the good thing is that the below all fall within the bracket of classic car insurance now!

Volkswagen GTI – first came the Rabbit and then followed the Golf, and it was called the Rabbit again. Regardless of what you call it, the Volkswagen GTI is a quirky little hatchback that has been a favourite for fine tuners even since its inception. It comes arrives with an already powerful engine, which when tweaked further has the potential to simply sprint across the racecourse. Adding to this, the Volkswagen GTI has a strong online and offline fan base so you will possibly never run out of ways on how to enhance it further. With regards to cost, used GTI’s are easily available and at the right prices, making it an even more appealing proposition for car modifiers.

Golf GTI

Honda Civic – Although it was not offered in powerful versions until the introduction of the SI versions, car tuners had already made their way to its hood from the time it was first released. Just about every aftermarket company has a ton of upgrade options for literally any civic version and year you choose. This not only makes it easy to get your hands on parts, but also at a price that won’t break the bank. Adding to this, most Honda Civics are even more valuable when modified correctly so if you’re looking for a car to enhance, there’s no better option.

Honda Civic Si

Honda Integra – This vehicle has became worthy of modifications right from its base model, but if you can get your hands on an Honda Integra Type R, jump on it! You can pick one up in pristine condition for under £10,000 that’s if you look in the right places. In terms of specs, the Integra Type R delivers an impressive 195 hp at 8000rpm in just 7 seconds, making it one of the most formidable sports coupes to modify in the market.

Honda Integra Type R

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution – The Lancer Revolution was explicitly geared towards drivers who value speed and handling. Rally inspired and literally indestructible, this Lancer model offers a couple different powertrains to choose from so the options for modifications are literally endless. Unfortunately, this model has been discontinued past the 2014 model, but you can pick one up in the U.K. for under £10,000 in good condition.

Mitsubishi Evo 6

Subaru Impreza STI – With the 2015 model all set for release in the U.K., the older Subaru Impreza STI’s are definitely not to be overlooked if you’re looking to modify anything worthwhile. Even the latest Subaru Impreza STI arrives with the same 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine that delivers a stupendous 296bhp (brake horsepower) and is fitted with a manual gearbox and four wheel drive system. Collectively, these features allow the new and old Subaru Impreza STI to move from 0-60mph in a flat 5.2 seconds so you can just imagine what it’s capable off after a bit of fine tuning. 

Subaru Impreza 22B STi


The Strangest Breakdown Callouts of 2014

The RAC and AA made over three million callouts in 2014, and there were some bizarre stories behind these numbers. Both the RAC and AA have published a list of their strangest callouts in an effort to make motorists more aware of what’s covered and what’s not with breakdown cover. These roadside assistance services have rescued everything from raccoons, guinea pigs, snakes and a bunch of other pets, had a close encounter with an alligator, a hopeless groom who had locked his wedding rings inside his vehicle to children trapped in a vehicle.

In terms of numbers, the AA indicates that motorists called for trapped children in cars over 2500 times and upwards of a 1000 callouts to rescue pets. This why with an older car, when you take out classic car insurance for your cherished classic, it is highly recommended that yout take out some form of breakdown cover

But these are just the beginning in a spate of bizarre requests, and we’ve listed some of the most intriguing ones below.

According to the RAC and AA, dogs are the most frequent animal offenders, and many of them have locked their owners out at petrol stations by activating the locks with their paws. In addition, dogs have also managed to swallow car keys, and caused damaged to the interior of vehicles by chewing the fabric of seats, wires and even steering wheels.

One AA serviceman claims he arrived for a callout only to discover a handful of rats living in the fuse box, where they had chewed through all the wires. Another AA member called the AA frantically trying to gain access to his vehicle only to learn it wasn’t his.

Some motorists have even locked a significant amount of money in their vehicle such as one individual who locked over £75,000 in his boot. One of the AA’s most dangerous callouts would have to be when they were called to repair a vehicle that was transporting an alligator to the zoo. On an amorous note, both the AA and RAC have received several calls where couples were locked in their vehicles. There have also been several instances where the AA and RAC have helped motorists in a life changing event such as getting to a wedding and even delivering a baby.

Dog With Car Keys

With regards to the longest recovery, it took the RAC over a 600 mile trip from South London to Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands, and the busiest day was Monday, November 24th 2014 with over 14,000 callouts.

Other strange callouts include:

A strange noise inside the vehicle thought to be of a snake was simply an aerosol container jammed under the passenger’s seat

An elderly woman helped an RAC serviceman fix her fan belt with her tights

A patrol car had to rescue an elderly woman who’d lost her keys and hearing aid and fallen asleep in her vehicle

Porridge was used by a car owner to stop a leak

An owner placed a hot water bottle on top of his engine in an effort to keep it warm. 


Top Ten Practical Tips for Classic Car Restoration

Most classic car aficionados make this rather special investment for the sole purpose of replenishing the car's natural beauty. While this is undeniably an exciting opportunity, it shouldn’t result in you spending more than the cars worth when it’s all said and done. Here are 10 tips to ensure you restoring project brings you immense satisfaction and not crushing disappointment, and remember – get classic car insurance once your beauty is restored as it is much more affordable than generic car insurance.

Classic Car Restoration

1. Choose the Right Vehicle to Restore - When shopping for a classic car to restore, you will be spoilt for choice, which is why you need to apply more caution. Fact is that a few or most of these cars will never prove valuable no matter what the level of restoration. This is why is important to do your homework to determine what models are worth restoring and which ones are better left untouched.

2. Figure out your Budget – Chances are that you already know how much you’d have or like to spend on the restoration process including the cost of the actual vehicle itself. But before making a commitment, it is highly recommended that you inspect the vehicle thoroughly to see if any added costs are involved.

3.  Primary Inspection – In order to determine if the vehicle is worth the value after restoration, it is important to first inspect the mechanical aspects of the vehicle such as the engine, trunk and any other related parts. Reason being is that these are the most expensive parts to replace and generally a restored vehicle with its original engine is more valuable than one that’s been replaced.

4. Secondary Inspection – The second level of inspection will be geared towards checking the vehicle for the level of rust. This type of damage is time consuming and if you seek professional help will cost you a ton in labour costs. Eliminating rust from a vehicle may require replacement of the steel body panels at the least or stripping of the entire chassis and sandblasting them from scratch in worse case scenarios.

5. Does the Car Start? – Buying a car that starts or better yet runs well significantly reduces the cost of repairs. Contrarily, buying one that shows no signs of starting is a risky proposition. On a brighter note, the car might just need a new battery, fuel pump or starter and be prepared to deal with a seized engine in worse cases.

6. Are Spare Parts easily Available? – Considering this is a car that may be more than 15 years old, it may be challenging to source specific parts. If they aren’t available, your restoration project will come to a halt or you will have to invest in expensive aftermarket parts.

7.Are you working alone or with a Friend – Decide whether you have the expertise to complete the entire car restoration yourself or if you’re going to seek professional for some if not all of it. However, it is recommended that you do not involve family or friends as this may backfire if the costs of restoration spiral out of control.

8.  Start the Restoration Process – First begin by fixing the mechanical aspects of the vehicle such as the engine, and works towards the outer part of the vehicle. If you’re getting professional help, make it a point to visit the garage periodically to stay updated on the progress of the restoration.

9. Check the Vehicle – After all the restoration has been completed to specs including the body work and paint, take the vehicle for a long ride to ensure it is in pristine state and excellent working condition.

10. Further Maintenance – a restored vehicle is similar to a new one and must be treated as such. This means that it will require proper and periodic maintenance checks to ensure long service life.     


Is the Bentley Turbo R an investment in the Waiting?

The Bentley Turbo R is arguably one of the best innovations to come out of the Bentley hangar, and car enthusiasts young and old would wholeheartedly agree. In fact, it is unique in its own right in that it is one of the only cars in the world with tremendous bulk and weight, but still capable of delivering a blistering performance with each ride. And if the raw performance is what appeals to you in a vehicle, and if you want to able to haul your family and friends and their baggage in the lap of luxury without bending, and still be able to see clearly out the windows, the Bentley Turbo R is probably the only car that will not disappoint.

Bentley Turbo R

Bentley’s Turbo R arrived with a ton of perks inside and out, most of them hand crafted extras. The picnic tables however were removed around 1969 only to be replaced a few years later with two opening compartments containing lead crystal glasses and decanters. The Turbo R (R for roadholding) was based on the chassis of the Bentley Mulsanne, only that it was intended to be a high performance vehicle. But the Turbo R did have the same turbocharged engine as the Mulsanne Turbo, but even this engine was tweaked significantly in comparison to the Mulsanne.

Bentley Turbo R Interior

Adding to this, the Turbo R was enhanced with a Bosch fuel injection, upgraded suspension, class leading dampers and anti roll bars to allow it to be surprisingly smooth around bends and corners especially considering its size. Adding to the excitement was the powerhouse V8, 6750CC that gave it the potential to literally sprint at 135mph, making it a true performer in a straight track. When the Bentley Turbo R received its first alloy wheels, it garnered mixed reviews from consumers, where some felt it looked too flamboyant and others were impressed.

Released in 1985 in the U.K., four years earlier than the United States, the Turbo R was described by several critics as the first Bentley in decades to merit its name. When first released, it was clear that Bentley was looking to captivate and capture the fashionable sports car market, and that’s exactly what happened! Although Bentley Motors LTD planned to keep both the Mulsanne and the Turbo R in production, sales of the latter were good enough to cease production of the former.

Once this decision was made, the Turbo R created history as being the best ever selling vehicles that Bentley and Rolls-Royse had ever created. In 1989, the same year the Bentley Turbo R was released in the United States, it received a subtle facelift, where the two large square front headlamps were replaced with round headlamps in an effort to boost its sporty appeal. Considering that Bentley created history with the Turbo R, it is definitely one of the most prestigious assets to add to your garage or collection. You can get your hands on one for under £20,000 for a showroom ready example on a later plate, and also get classic car insurance as well. Destined to be an invaluable asset and worth a lot more in the years to come, this is a classic car that looks like it will only grow in stature


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