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  1. You don’t know you’re born. If you drive a modern-day auto, it’ll probably be packed full of enough safety equipment, labour-saving devices and driver aids to make David Hasselhoff’s KIT look about as unsophisticated as a fax machine. Our fuel cards (which were first used in the late 60s) aren’t the only things that conspire to make motoring easier nowadays than ever before – here are just a few ways in which we’ve got it better than when our parents were young.

    Read the full story at UK Fuel Cards Blog
  2. When filling up at a forecourt, many drivers simply feed their vehicles from the pump, pop their fuel cards into the reader and drive off again without a second thought. However, your vehicle’s fuel system is surprisingly complex and there are several misconceptions and erroneous ‘facts’ that people believe about refuelling their cars and trucks. Good thing we’re here to set the record straight...

    • Running on very little petrol will not save you money – Formula 1 cars run much more quickly with a near-empty tank than a full one, so many people believe that an empty, ‘lighter’ car is a more efficient one. While it’s true that carrying less fuel will save on weight and make your vehicle more fuel efficient, it will also stir up sediments that could potentially damage your engine’s components. The most efficient solution is to run as frequently as possible with a half-full tank.

    • Super unleaded will not aid your car’s performance – Super unleaded is designed to improve the performance and efficiency of high-performance turbocharged and supercharged engines. If your vehicle is a standard car, van or truck, that extra money spent on such fuel will just be wasted and will benefit your vehicle not one jot.

    • Diesel is not like it used to be – For a very long time motorists associated diesel engines with poor performance and terrible emissions. However, both modern diesel vehicles and the fuel that they run on have been improved immeasurably over the past few years, so diesel fuel now rivals petrol for performance and usually boasts far higher fuel efficiency figures.

    • Fuel card companies can’t realistically offer price guarantees – If any fuel card company claims that their prices are guaranteed and won’t shift you should be very wary indeed; the global oil market is a very changeable beast, and as we’re sure you’re aware, petrol and diesel prices will change sporadically. The best that any company can offer is that they will be competitive against the national average retail price at the pumps.

    • You can drive for several miles after the warning light comes on – The truth is, as soon as your fuel warning light comes on, you’re playing a dangerous game. Once your fuel gauge reaches zero, you’ll be running off of the tiny amount of fuel in the bottom of your tank and whatever is dwelling in the doldrums of your fuel line. You’ll again be dredging up those damaging sediments in the bottom of your tank and will risk grinding to an undignified halt – to make matters worse, most breakdown policies will not recover vehicles that have run out of fuel...

    So, there’s more to think about when it comes to your car’s fuel systems than you may think. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your fuel – pick up one of our fuel cards for a quick, cost-effective and practical solution for your fleet vehicles and their drivers.
  3. [​IMG]
    The upkeep of any car isn’t going to come cheap, but by performing the weekly car checks in the comfort of your own garage, you could quickly save yourself a small fortune. Get yourself clued up on the basics of car maintenance and you can save a bundle in the process - it needn’t be rocket science! Here are just some of the checks you can do in your spare time that are light on the brain as well as the pocket.

    Do your research
    If your car has a specific problem that quickly needs sorting, don’t rope in the expensive services of a mechanic at the drop of a hat – scout the internet! There are literally thousands of message boards and forums dedicated to specific repair queries and you’ll more than likely be able to find a cheap and effective DIY solution to yours. Keep your wits about you and resist calling on unnecessary help when you know the job can be done at home – your wallet will never forgive you! But bear in mind that not everything can be done at home. Learn to judge what needs an expert and what doesn’t.

    Check Oil levels
    Again, these checks can be done at home and you’ll only need the most basic equipment to do them. You should regularly check and change your motor oil every 3 thousand miles, which is about every 3- 4 months depending on whether you live in your car or not. We’re sure you won’t forget this, but be sure you check when the engine is cold to avoid scalding. The oil level can be checked using the dipstick, which has a loop attached, and is found in the centre of the car’s engine. Find it, wipe it clean of any oil with a cloth and replace the clean dipstick. Pull it out and look at the pointy end – if the oil on the dipstick is below the line labelled ‘full’, add a small amount of oil.

    Check Brake Fluid
    The brake fluid reservoir is at the rear of the engine, usually with a yellow cap with the letters ‘DOT’ written on top. Newer cars will have clear ‘max’ and ‘min’ or ‘low’ levels marked inside the reservoir. Simply check to make sure that your brake fluid is two thirds full (the required amount). Any less and you will need to top it up with your car’s individual fluid type, although most domestic cars will require ‘DOT 3’ brake fluid. The motor oil and brake fluid itself can be purchased at most petrol stations and supermarkets, as well as online. It’s a messy job but far cheaper and well worth the pain if you have the patience!

    Rent your own tools
    You needn’t splash out on brand new tools for a one-off emergency repair. Most auto-repair shops will rent tools to those that need them on a one-use basis. Having every car tool under the sun would be an advantage, but investing in the ultimate kit is expensive if you only have use for a third of the equipment. If you know where to look, tool rentals are a great option for those once-in-a-blue-moon repairs to get your car running for less.

    At UK Fuel Cards, we know just how important it is for our customers to save time and money wherever you can, especially if you’re a busy business professional. Our fuel cards let you do just that, often saving you pennies per litre at the pump and offering simple online management solutions for your spending and VAT invoices.
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    Who wants to live forever, eh? Apparently, we all do these days! The population is getting older: fact. For the millions of us doing the aging, enjoying the twilight years is a great thing (50 is the new 40, and all that), but it does mean that there are many more drivers of – how shall we put it - an older disposition on the road.

    Humans aren’t like cars, of course, and we don’t fall to pieces as we get older (even though it may feel like it sometimes!) but we are prone to some slight deterioration and rusting around the edges. This might mean that our reflexes aren’t as sharp, we don’t have the same levels of concentration, our eyesight may not be as good, and any number of other small niggles and ailments.

    Importantly though, driving is a serious business and it is vital that whoever is behind the wheel is competent and safe – not only for their own safety, but for other road users too. The BBC recently reported on how, with a staggering four-fold increase in the number of people over-70 holding driving licences since the 1970s, MPs are now beginning to think about ways to make driving a safer endeavour for older people.

    The current situation is that nobody turns up on your doorstep when you turn 70, just as you’re blowing out the candles, and whips away your driving licence. The decision whether to remain on the road is entirely up to the individual. Well, we say ‘entirely’, but of course after the age of 70, drivers do have to renew their licence every three years. This doesn’t mean sticking the L-plates back on and taking your test again, or being faced with a cringe-worthy full medical, but it does mean having to declare to the DVLA your current health situation. Basically, if you’re involved in any bumps and you haven’t done this, your insurance could be worthless or you may end up being prosecuted!

    Conversely, it’s very important as we get older that we don’t just hide away and become isolated. The secret of eternal youth hasn’t yet been discovered (although Helen Mirren does seem to be onto something!) but if, as is widely acknowledged, remaining independent is key to fending off the irritating ailments of old age then staying on the road for as long as possible is crucial. Whether it’s keeping in touch with friends, popping down for a game of bowls, or doing the weekly shopping, the use of a car could be the deal-breaker. Remember though, to drive-or-not-to-drive doesn’t necessarily need to be viewed in black and white terms. Simply tailoring driving habits can be pivotal to remaining a car user longer later in life e.g. only driving in daylight, keeping away from busier roads, or taking more breaks can all make driving safer for older people.

    We’ve just skimmed the surface of the older driver debate here and more comprehensive information and advice can be found on the Government and AA websites.

    Ultimately, old age doesn’t directly link to driving ability; at the risk of muttering about how different it was ‘when we were young’, some of the worst drivers may certainly be found in the younger age bracket. At times, everyone can benefit from a refresher course when driving to correct those little habits that creep in, and this is certainly true for those driving professionally. Of course, another thing to bear in mind for professional drivers is how to pay for fuel, and how to easily claim back the VAT afterwards. Luckily, we have you covered. Our online VAT management system is approved by the HMRC, and our cards are accepted at thousands of sites across the UK and beyond. Contact us today and we’ll suggest a card that fits your needs.
  5. Buying a new vehicle tends to be an expensive venture at the best of times, but there are some people who have taken ‘excess’ to a whole new level of ludicrousness. Check out our rundown of five of the most expensive cars to never tentatively negotiate a busy multi-storey car-park...


    5. Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster

    $1.6 million

    Known for its bonkers concepts, high-quality engineering and top-end performance, Italian manufacturer Pagani has always had a penchant for the spectacular. The Cinque Roadster is no exception, accelerating quickly enough to rip the skin from your face and powering all the way to a staggering 217mph. If you have $1.6 million burning a hole in your pocket, I’m afraid you’re out of luck, as all five units Pagani produced have already been snapped up...


    4. Bugatti L’Or Blanc

    $2.39 million

    In 2011, Bugatti decided that simply having produced the world’s fastest car wasn’t enough for them, so they had a punt at making the most expensive, too. They teamed up with German company Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur in order to imbue their already valuable Veyron supercar with porcelain bodywork, making it both extremely fast and presumably quite fragile. The L’or Blanc is a one-of-a-kind and was bought by a wealthy Abu Dhabi businessman in 2011 for an unfathomable $2.39 million.

    3. Aston Martin Super Sport

    $9.6 million

    Aston Martin has always been synonymous with excess, but the Super Sport takes things to a new level entirely. Its $9.6 million price tag makes it the most expensive new car ever made, and if you do happen to have a spare 10 mil knocking around, you’ll have to act fast because Aston Martin and French company Star Electric cars are only building eight of them. Those lucky enough to get their hands on one of these ludicrous beasts will be able to enjoy as much as 950bhp. We can only speculate as to who would be mental enough to actually drive anything as fast and as valuable as this...


    2. Duesenberg Model J

    $10.34 million

    In 1933, the Duesenberg Model J was the most powerful American car on the market, offering 320bhp and boasting a top speed of 130mph; incredibly respectable for the ‘30s but hardly scintillating by today’s standards. However, the 1931 version represented here is no ordinary Duesenberg. It’s eccentric first owner George Whittell Jr ordered this Long-Wheelbase Coupe version built to his exacting specifications, and it has been lovingly maintained by five caretakers in the more than three-quarter century since, guaranteeing its unique value and status.


    1. Ferrari Testarossa Prototype

    $16.39 million

    Classic car auctions often see truly eye-watering prices for perfect examples of the world’s most prestigious, desirable vehicles. We could have filled this list with the most expensive Ferraris ever sold at auction, and most of them would be Testarossas, but then where’s the fun in that? The 1957 prototype has an extensive racing pedigree and was thoroughly restored before auction, helping the Ferrari, which is one of only 22 examples of its kind, set the undisputed record for the most expensive car ever sold.

    Regardless of the history, pedigree and performance of your car, we’d bet the price of any of these machines that it’s going to need filling up sooner or later. To streamline the process a little, take a look at our convenient and economical fuel cards.

  6. Motorists who spend many hours on the road are potentially more at risk of accidents, incidents, and extremes of weather, all of which could leave them vulnerable. Keeping a pack of essentials in the vehicle will mean that the driver and their passengers are better equipped to deal with potential problems. Detailed below are the main items to include.

    Firstly, extra clothes and a blanket are essential for warmth at night and especially in the winter months, when roads can be brought to a halt unexpectedly with heavy snowfall, potentially trapping motorists for hours. Sunglasses are also a good idea: glare can be caused by direct sunlight, from reflections on snow, puddles or other vehicles, and sunglasses can help minimise the risk of an accident from this.

    Food and drink should also be included in the kit- packs of individually wrapped energy or cereal bars are ideal as they are long lasting and nutritious and need no preparation. A large bottle of water should also be kept on hand for keeping hydrated, but can also be utilised for washing if necessary and as emergency engine coolant.

    Other things to go in the emergency kit are a torch (keep the batteries separate if it is being stored for long periods), a first aid kit for dressing and treating minor cuts and burns, and a pack of refuse sacks, useful for keeping things clean and dry as well as disposing of waste. An Atlas is also a practical consideration, as a back up to a sat nav system just in case it fails or is potentially inaccurate.

    Lastly, a small collection of tools such as jump leads, wrenches and a tyre pressure gauge can help with ongoing maintenance as well as any minor repairs that may need to take place should things go wrong.

    This equipment is inexpensive and will take up a minimal amount of boot space, so is well worth considering as it could prove invaluable in an emergency situation. And for the non-emergency, day-to-day on the road, you’ll need a fuel card. It will save you money, make managing your company-related spending on fuel simple & efficient, and is supported with excellent customer services. Apply online for one now.