Britain’s Worst Drives

Everyone has their own driving dreads, whether it’s something that affects them on the daily commute or just worries they have when driving in an unknown area. Being caught by speed cameras, stuck behind cyclists and confusing one-way systems are just some of them. These aspects make up some of Britain’s worst drives, but at HPI Check we wanted to know what some of the worst ones really are. We conducted research to discover what the most common driving worries are and where worst drives in the UK are situated.

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Speeding fines explained

In April of this year the Government introduced a new set of guidelines for tackling speeding offences in England and Wales. This passed many people by, and of those who do know about the changes, many are confused by how the new system works. So here at hpi we’re going to spell it all out for you, in our usual public-spirited way.

The first thing you need to know is that the tougher penalties apply only to drivers who go a bit crazy behind the wheel and exceed the speed limit by a big margin. So if you stray just a few miles an hour over the limit, nothing has changed. You’ll probably still be offered a speed awareness course if you’re caught under the threshold and you haven’t already taken part in one within the last three years.

If you’re not offered a course you’ll be handed a fixed penalty which means your wallet will be £100 lighter and you’ll get three points on your license. The camera partnerships that set up fixed and mobile cameras around the UK are funded by these speed awareness courses so they’re very keen for you to choose that option; elect to pay a fine and take the points instead, and your cash goes straight to the Treasury, thus reducing the partnership’s income by a typical £35. No wonder they want you to do the course instead.

For a full run down of the new sentencing guidelines it’s all spelled out on the Sentencing Council website, while there is more general information about speeding penalties on the official government website.

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Advice and Tips

How black box insurance works

Young drivers have a habit of crashing cars, sometimes through inexperience and often through bravado – and frequently because of the two combined. Not all young drivers behave so recklessly of course, but until relatively recently, insurance companies could only go by statistics, so they’ve long struggled to treat drivers as individuals. Not any more, as modern technology allows insurers to monitor how their customers drive, to see just how safe (or otherwise) they are. Thanks to the use of telematics, or black box technology, young drivers can now prove to their insurer they’re not a liability.

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Heat Map

Where is the Most Expensive City to Park in the UK?

Every car owner and dweller will know that finding suitable parking in the centre of any UK metropolis can be a nightmare, with the charges sometimes high enough to break the bank!

Well, here at HPI Check, we’ve done some research into the UK cities with the most expensive bays and found an easy way for you to put the brakes on pricey city parking! Here’s how we did it and what we found out…


First off, we needed to pick the locations we wanted to focus the research on, we opted for: London, Manchester, Cardiff, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and Sunderland.
We then needed to determine the questions we wanted to answer through our research, we decided on the following:

  • How much is parking for one hour in the location?
  • What is this cost on average for a working day? (based on a typical working day of 9-5)
  • On average, how much does the above cost when a person is parking for a week (Mon-Fri), and a month?
  • Does the above change if a person parks slightly outside of a city centre, and, if so, how much different is this?

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Advice and Tips, Buying Advice

New insurance write-off categories on the way

It’s always the same. Just when everyone has got used to something, along comes someone who just has to change things around so nobody knows what’s going on any more. The perfect example is the insurance write-off system; for years we’ve had category A, B, C and D write-offs, but that’s all set to end on 1 October. That’s because from this date, written-off cars will instead be categorised A, B, S and N.

Thatcham is a safety and security testing facility (based in Thatcham, Berkshire) and in conjunction with the Institute of Automotive Engineers the new categories have been devised, in a bid to ensure that damaged cars are categorised correctly. Or to put it another way, the new scheme is being introduced to make sure that cars that are too badly damaged won’t be returned to the road.

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Press Releases

What’s the coolest car for dads on the school run?

Automotive experts at hpi have revealed the Top five list of cars guaranteed to boost the ‘school gate cred’ of UK dads following a poll amongst its team of motoring editors.

The poll comes ahead of Father’s Day (Sunday 18 June).

James Dower, senior Black Book editor at hpi, said: “With Father’s Day this month we thought it would be fun to look at some of the makes and models of cars that can give the ultimate feeling of school gate cred. Our team of editors considered everything from top of the range supercars to one-off fantasy cars as seen in the movies such as the classic DeLorean from Back to the Future or Vin Diesel’s 1968 Dodge Charger featured in the latest Fast and the Furious movie. They eventually decided to keep it real by settling for more realistic vehicles that would really appeal to dads.

The Top 5 list of cars offering the greatest school gate cred is as follows:

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Buying & Selling

10 great used convertibles for the summer

We love our convertibles here in the UK and the good news is that no matter what your budget, you can buy something open-topped to enjoy the wind in your hair. With the summer now here it’s the perfect time to splash out on a soft-top to enjoy the warm weather. Whether you’ve got just a few hundred quid to spend or tens of thousands, there’s something suitable. These are the drop-tops that we think you should be homing in on.

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Industry News, Uncategorized

An introduction to electric cars

Once the car had been invented in 1885 by Karl Benz, it didn’t take long for a massive global industry to spring up, with thousands of tiny companies around the globe each building small numbers of cars. The thing is, while the internal combustion engine (ICE) was in its infancy at the turn of the last century, so was the widespread use of electricity. As a result, car buyers could choose between electric and ICE models – while there were also a few steam options.

Many of the cars being built back in the late 1800s and early 1900s were powered by electricity, because while they took ages to charge and had a very limited range, they weren’t much less practical than a petrol-powered car. The latter had to be hand cranked to get them started and they were slow, noisy and unreliable once they were running. Electric cars could be started instantly and were much easier to drive as well as less anti-social as they were far quieter.

At this point, most people were still relying on horses to get around and as a result few people travelled very far back then, but as the car evolved to become faster, more efficient and much more usable, the electric car got left behind. What effectively killed off the electric car in one fell swoop was the Ford Model T; it cost little more than a third of the electric alternative as it was mass produced.

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