Insurance for Young Motorcycle Riders

OP-ED by P. Wimsett

(Note: the following contains information about insurance pricing from the customer point of view. It has not been evaluated by insurance professionals nor is it meant as insurance advice.)

For those who wish lower fuel prices and road tax a motorbike is preferable to a car, but if you are under 25 you can lose what you save in increased insurance premiums. Most people know that insurance for young motorcycle riders is expensive because they don’t have years of experience on the roads, or in life.

Age is not the only thing that means you will have to pay more for your insurance. Other factors include the make of the bike, the engine power (also known as the CC, the measurement between the bore and the stroke). The stroke refers to the rotating motion, or cycle of cylinders, which draw in fuel air mix and exhale exhaust. Engines tend to be either two stroke or four-stroke. The bore is the length of the cylinder. You will also have to pay more if you break the no claims bonus.  

A biker may ride any size of bike after passing his test. Moped users do not need any test at all, but it helps in terms in insurance.

So, ways to keep costs down include having a bike with a small engine, driving as safely as possible, keeping the bike safe and secure, and gaining advanced qualifications (check out the state laws).

Of course, wearing a helmet use to factor in insurance price, but now it’s the law pretty much everywhere. It is best to not to modify your bike (which might be described as “keeping a sensible bike” – rare is the motorcyclist who doesn’t wish to change things).

Also, be certain you added yourself as a named driver; because if you don’t state yourself as a main driver the insurer can refuse to pay up if you have an accident as they have no idea if it is your bike or not.

It is debatable whether it is worth increasing your deductible. Although payments are reduced, it does mean that if you do need to claim you will pay a higher share of it.

If you carry a passenger, you will need pinion coverage, so they are covered in the event of injury. As with any insurance peace of mind is all.

When obtaining a quote make sure you have all the details to hand, including your license number and in addition the number of your motorbike.

It is vital that you only pay for the cover you need: should you only drive on holiday for example or alternately for test drives, you should attempt to get temporary cover–there are specialist insurers who can do this for you. It’s advisable to look at comparison websites too.

Before you attempt driving another person’s motorbike make certain that you’re covered to do so, many people do not check these things. You don’t want to fork out for a new motorcycle hoping to save money and that may be the least of your problems.

Top Car Shows That Should Be On Your Bucket List

Whether you love Ford, Chevy, or just want to see the latest automotive advances, a car show is the place to be. You will be able to see and possibly test drive the newest models and get the first glimpse of the latest concept vehicles. Car shows are fun, exciting, and even educational and you can be a part of it.

Here are our picks for the top U.S. car shows automotive enthusiasts will want to attend.

Top 5 U.S. Car Shows

1. Woodward Dream Cruise

Typically held in mid-August, Michigan’s Woodward Dream Cruise is the largest single-day event in the world. Held appropriately on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, over 25,000 hot-rods, along with classic and muscle cars are proudly shown off by their owners.

Whether you own a vehicle to enter in the parade or just love to look at a piece of automotive history, the day-long event is something everyone should experience at least once in their life.

2. The North American International Auto Show

Detroit, Michigan is home to the North American International Auto Show. If you’re curious about what next year’s models will look like or what concepts are in development, this is the place to be.

You can also catch some great concerts at the auto show, along with see which company takes home the award for ‘truck of the year’. If you’re interested in attending the auto show, it’s usually held at the beginning of June.

3. Bonneville Speed Week

If luxury isn’t important but speed is, head out to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. During August, vintage cars take over the salt flats looking to see which vehicle is fastest, along with trying to beat previously set top speed records.

The week-long racing event has been held annually since 1949 and it is still the largest. Teams race everything from roadsters, hot roads, and motorcycles, to belly tankers, streamliners, and lakesters. Every type of vehicle can be seen during speed week.

4. Pebble Beach Concourse D’Elegance

If you prefer luxury to speed and salt flats, Pebble Beach, in California, welcomes the world’s top luxury car models each year in August. The car show doesn’t just draw in luxury automobile lovers, but celebrities and some of the richest people in the world also attend.

Along with being able to see these fabulous cars, you can also get into the bidding. Vehicles are auctioned for large sums of money, and even if you don’t enter the auction it’s still fun to see what some of these rare luxury vehicles sell for.

5. The SEMA Show

November is when the Las Vegas Convention Center usually hosts the annual SEMA Show. The acronym for the Specialty Equipment Market Association, you can expect to see over 2,000 exhibits showcasing new components, parts, and tools. Everything an automotive mechanic or car enthusiast needs to keep their vehicle running and looking great.

Product demonstrations and educational seminars will also be held. Don’t forget about the after-party where you can mingle with celebrities and see award-winning custom automobiles.

Get Your Vehicle Ready for the Show

Whether you want to show off your vehicle or just make it there safely, there are a few things you need to do. After all, the last thing you want when showing off your ride is for there to be a problem under the hood. This also applies if you’re just planning on driving to the car show.

It’s often the little things that drivers forget, and these are the ones that can cause the biggest problems. Check your oil and other fluid levels. Think about the last time you had the oil changed, how long ago was that? Depending on the type of motor oil, you can go as long as 15,000 miles but this only applies to synthetic blends.

Consider having a professional inspection, the kicker always recommends Tire Kickers, but we’re biased—they sponsor us.

Checking the little things on your vehicle will help ensure you make it to the car show and if you’ve entered your vehicle it’ll be ready to impress the crowds.

The Future of Transportation

OP-ED by Stephanie Larson

With the interstate building project of the 1950s, most U.S. cities suddenly became connected by paved roads. What was once dirt and gravel roads became paved asphalt highways. For car lovers, these highways were a dream come true. Drivers finally had long stretches of paved roads where they could see what their vehicles could do.

Some thought the interstate system was the future of transportation, but technology is advancing and changing how drivers get around. Here are some automotive advances you should watch for in the coming years.

1. Self-Driving Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are already here, and several car manufacturers have models slowly making their way up the guideline levels set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There are four levels and two sub-levels vehicles have to pass before considered fully-automatic and safe to drive.

Most self-driving models are at level one. The vehicle reliably provides drivers with warnings and information. Some vehicles are in the early stages of level 2 for automated parking and highway driving. However, Google is currently the company ahead at level four. While the company’s vehicle is fully-automated there are still a few glitches that need to be worked out.

Soon, your car may be the one driving instead of you.

2. All Electric Vehicles

Hybrid vehicles are becoming more common as technology progresses. The batteries are capable of holding a charge longer and the vehicles are getting a little bigger instead of smaller. All electric models still won’t be larger than a small sedan for quite some time.

One of the appeals electric vehicles have is its simple components. Without the need for gasoline, several components will no longer be necessary. The essentially scale-downed vehicles are also expected to cost consumers less in the purchase price and maintenance.

These advancements in technology have even lead Bloomberg New Energy Finance to predict electric vehicles will comprise 35 percent of worldwide car sales by 2040.

3. Self-Driving Electric Vehicles

It’s not uncommon for technologies to mix. Smart cars owe their intelligence to computer technology. It’s not too far-fetched to imagine smart electric cars. Automobile manufacturers with eminent plans to release self-driving technology in 2022 now include giants like Ford. However, the automotive giant plans on using the technology in their hybrid vehicles first.

In the future, ride share services like Uber and others could do away with their drivers. When you use the app to order a ride, a self-driving electric vehicle shows up. Instead of bus drivers and train operators, public transportation could also become fully automated, along with electrically powered.

With these vehicles, you are the passenger.

What These Changes Mean For You

It’s impossible to stop technology advancing and this means changes, even in transportation. Self-driving cars, both gas and electric will be on the roads in the future. However, this doesn’t mean that your love of the open road has to change.

Electric cars don’t have the ‘oomph’ that an 8-cyllander engine has. Self-driving vehicles are still crashing into things on road tests. However, these glitches will be fixed, and these automobiles will become a common sight on the interstate.

There is one thing that will remain the same regardless of how far technology goes. Vehicle maintenance will always be important. Even self-driving electric vehicles need regular tune-ups. You will also want to keep an eye on the battery condition. This is something that you should still be doing regularly whether you drive a hybrid or have a gas engine.

Car Gorilla Adverts

Op-Ed By Wimsett

Guerrilla marketing for cars seems to suggest too many young guns given too much money. If it’s to show how wonderful the car is, that’s all to the good, but a weird idea doesn’t automatically sell the car. You need to think about your advertising in greater detail.

It’s not as if you can replace each billboard with a guerrilla campaign, it’s something you can only do in huge built up areas. And as suggested above, it’s a bit hit and miss.

However it does give a humorous direction to tempt potential buyers, particularly those who don’t respond to TV or radio adverts or even those Facebook adverts. In other words, advertisements for people who don’t respond, or feel they don’t respond to mainstream commercials.

Some campaigns do seem better than others, Honda’s “The Power of Dreams” seems memorable. But a large funnel of knickknacks going into a back of a box containing a Honda doesn’t necessarily work.

It does tend to be the more expensive cars such as a huge monster hand coming from nowhere holding a BMW or a Mercedes Benz apparently crashing through a poster. Maybe you remember an Alfa Romeo in a tiny shopping cart (held in place by ropes) or a SEAT, S.A. in a large plastic box where it is slightly obscured? No?

Then there was the mini cooper campaign which showed a conveyor belt with baggage coming out of it or a Renault in a giant snow globe. Or things like a car held in place by a giant bike lock or an upside-down car apparently being held in place by chewing gums. Then you have Smart Cars apparently being dispensed by a giant vending machine. Ideas about size and having the car at funny angles seem to play a part in most of these guerrilla ideas.

You might like an idea which includes technology and access to information as this is what 70% of car users are interested in. Could it be turned into a video? Video is what convinced 61% of potential buyers to buy a car in 2019. It makes sense-a moving image is much more convincing than a stunt in a mall.

What are we supposed to make of these ideas? There could be a link to economy in design with the vending machine or the giant bike lock ideas, you’re buying these because it’s a small car. The conveyor belt idea meanwhile must surely indicate a spacious trunk. Or the snow globe a celebration of the Christmas season as well as an advertisement for the car. Most ideas do seem a bit of a mishmash.

It should be pointed out that there is difficulty in coming up with a campaign to indicate a family car or a car for the older market. In these cases, your best bet is to rely on traditional advertising techniques.

Despite this young buck feeling of using obscure ideas and concepts there must be something profitable occurring or else it wouldn’t continue. It goes without saying that just because a crazy ad catches your eye, doesn’t mean you buy the car without further research.

Macho Cars?

You might be tempted to think, in this day and age, that the love affair between men and cars isn’t what it once was—and you’d be wrong. While car ownership is down a bit, and men don’t make up the 90% of drivers they once did, the topic hasn’t disappeared until advertisers stop asking THE question, and they have not.

What is THE question? “what makes a car a ‘man’s’ car?”

The idea that every man want to drive a tank or a truck is misguided but it’s fair to say that men have a type. It’s not, statistically speaking, women who are buying long vehicles!

Driving still seems to be a male activity. According to a poll by Strategic Vision 31% of men say they love driving compared to 18% of women. But not all the time men spend with cars can be blamed on the love of the open road. Men also prefer tinkering with cars and washing their car when compared to women.

Reasons for the love affair:

Traditionally, at least according to car salesmen, a car is associated with wealth by men. Some men may even see their car as making them more attractive, even in these days. There must be some signals in the opposite sex, otherwise men would quit thinking this way. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that a man who believes women are attracted to status symbols will be able to attract some women who are attracted to status symbols. In other words, he may not notice the women who are repulsed by a fancy car.

Perhaps the real question isn’t do men buy cars to attract women? Is it possible that men buy cars to advertise their style, and thereby attract the kind of lady they’d like to date.

What are macho men looking for—in a car?

Although men’s cars seem to be about looking good and going at fast, something like a Lamborghini maybe impractical for day-to-day use. Now that we’ve said, “looking good and going fast,” we see where a car can vibe with a man’s thinking.

To represent an animal nature, automakers use big wheels pushed to the corners of the vehicle, suggesting high shoulder lines. They use taut lines resembling muscles. What doesn’t appeal is the overdone interior. The jury is still out on animal names like Jaguar.

Some cars are even known as muscle cars, known for their rumbling, deep sounding engine. This is a good chance to test our theory about men using a car to express style in a potential mate. It seems likely that a woman who finds a man in a muscle car is probably very different than a female who might prefer a male who drives an Aston Martin or Rolls Royce, should they have any preference at all. Even if it doesn’t exactly attract the women of your dreams you still have a mean machine in your possession.

The macho cars include the Ford Mustang, the big black 7 by Aston Martin, Range Rover and Dodge Vipers. Men seem to like boxy cars. The Hummer1 was driven by Arnold Schwarzenegger and this seem to increase its popularity. Certainly, taking the idea of muscle car literally.

So is that raw power a metaphor for something more primal?

There are a number of obvious innuendos to be seen in adverts such as a “hot hatch”(back) but in general, as the rest of the world has become more sexually overt, car innuendos have become more subtle.

Are their car designs aimed at women?

Absolutely! There are even cars aimed at the Metrosexual. Cars aimed at non-macho men seem to be VW Beetle, Mazda and Nissan Cube according to sales. For some reason convertibles are not liked by men. It’s not immediately obvious where these conventions come from.

When 47% of cars are purchased by women it is maybe time to go beyond lazy stereotyping but only time will tell.

Choosing a Car Tracker

There are so many different options for car trackers that it’s hard to obtain a complete picture of the technology and application. Some of them are useful, others might be charitably described as not fit for purpose. The smarter companies have decided to niche down to one market segment so they could better represent what they do for their customers.

Potential Purposes for Vehicle Tracking:

Why might you need a tracker? Well there are several reasons…

Assuring that a vehicle doesn’t get stolen.

  • The first thing that leaps to mind on the topic of car tracking, perhaps due to early offerings in the field like Lo-Jack.

Check that a troublesome teen is driving within the law.

  • Monitoring your teen sometimes means knowing where they are, but it can also mean monitoring how they’re driving. It’s possible to verify that your teen is driving within designated speed limits or using their vehicle within times you’ve allowed—like only during daylight on a school night. Teen

To keep tabs on an older relative.

  • Hopefully if your aging parents and grandparents aren’t able to safely operate a vehicle you or their doctor have already helped them stop driving. However, there are a number of seniors who can drive safely with a few accommodations. It could give you peace of mind to have a GPS tracking on their car so if they breakdown they can call you with their location. It’s possible that that they could suffer a heart attack or other life-threatening issue and not be able to tell you where they are. This service started with companies like OnStar, but have mostly transitioned to personal car tracking so that consumers don’t have to combine the expense of monitoring with the expense of roadside assistance.

Possibly it is used as a business investment.

  • Knowing what your employees are doing when they are out “in the field” or on delivery has become a standard. Some systems even monitor how you drive—like the ones for parents of teenagers. This is far superior to the old system of installing a governor to prevent workers from speeding in you moving van. It also lets you know if they’re actually going about the delivery rout you hired them to.
  • It’s not just about how they drive or do their job though. These monitoring systems keep track of the locations of major assets your company owns. This could be reflected in a discount on your insurance bill.

Tracking your Spouse.

  • Then there are people who wish to spy on a partner who may be having an affair or secretly taking drugs or gambling. It’s a personal choice and a tough issue to even address in a post like this, but it’s one way in which people use the technology and therefore some companies market to that purpose.

Desirable qualities in a Tracker:

Many of these systems do have some tethering, or connectivity problems. A 24 hour helpline is vital in order to deal with any difficulties – but these are common problems when you purchase a new device these days. When checking reviews, listen to what other people stay about helplines. How hard was it to get through to a person? Do they have limited hours as in they’re out of office whenever you need to locate your teen at a party they were grounded from?

In choosing a tracker look for ones who work with programs such as Google Maps, so you have a clear view where each vehicle is, from any google enabled device.

If you fear your car will be stolen and the license plate changed, opt for global coverage, in case the car gets shipped abroad.

Another feature to look for is whether you must check it or if it gives you push notifications. Spy Tec. For example, can be programmed to send you periodic updates and can be placed anywhere in the car. Marketing from the company states that the strong battery can last up to four weeks, which to be honest is a big consideration if you’re not wiring into the cars power system.

The MotoSafety Teen GPS, and Spy Tec for that matter, require a monthly subscription. If you research you maybe able to find ones that don’t have further payments once they’re installed.

The Drawback to tracking?

Using a tracker does indicate a lack of trust though. If your relative/employee/whoever needs to be tracked in this complicated way is it time to just have a tough conversation.

It’s also less expensive to do your own detective work if we are talking about a relative or a partner. In these days of mobile phone it’s getting exceedingly harder to keep things private, you might do a bit of snooping and learn the same information.

Monitoring your partner’s movements probably shouldn’t be a way of life, only a way to eliminate concerns. In a similar way, your teen is likely to move on from borrowing your car to driving their own vehicles so…do you really want to invest in buying and installing a tracker.

The most lucrative market for trackers must surely be commercial fleets. To think of it, it would be hard to run a cab business or any enterprise involving delivery vehicles without a number of tracking devices.

If you have a fear that your car will be stolen then a tracker is definitely for you but ultimately it’s all dependent on the car you drive—frankly you can just buy a car that’s less likely to be stollen.

The other difficulty with a tracker is that many you have to pay to install. Although many try a tracking device on the cheap, the easier it is to find the easier is it to dismantle.

Still it’s a developing market and if you feel your vehicle or group of vehicles need it, go for it!

Cars and Smoking – A Bad Combo.

Op-Ed by P. Wimsett and A. Bunch

Imagine a cartoon scene that’s all too familiar for most of us. The picture is of a car lot complete with a dodgy car dealer in front of a number of dubious vehicles. In the cartoons he (it usually is a he in the cartoons) has a Clarke Gable mustache and a wide brim hat. You can almost smell his cologne and you know when he smiles a gold tooth will glint in the sun. As he sells you the car he smokes a cigar which produces smoke rings in the shape of dollar signs. And all is clear what is on the car dealer’s mind; fleecing the punter.

Would he really do that in the non-cartoon world? Only if he’s dumb. It’s not advisable to smoke near tires or engines not to mention smoking while showing a customer the interior, it’ll only mean trouble.

It’s common knowledge, unless you’re Kelley Bluebook, that bad smells, like cigarette smoke, reduces the value of a car. KBB.com doesn’t seem to have a category for bad smelling vehicle. Either they assume you have a magic wand that will erase the smell, or they lump it in with poor condition. It’s an unofficial reduction, but it’s a reduction all the same.

Smokers’ cars can be 7-9% cheaper than non-smokers, according to a survey from the year 2000. (20 years old but sentiment is not likely to have relaxed on the topic.) Cigarette smoke will form part of the dust in the car, not mention sticking to surfaces. You probably don’t need to be reminded that this dust contains nicotine and similar toxic ingredients.

But is it possible to remove the smell?

Not really, it would be like smoking in a closet and to expect the smell to vanish! Most methods you encounter online tend to temporary, the smell will come back a bit weaker in a few days.

The chief problem, which smokers don’t truly grasp, is just how detectible smoke is to a non-smoker. Smokers have a dulled sense of smell and often think they’ve taken precautions to remove the smell. The reality is quite different.

So, what do I use if I bought a great runner with a B.O Problem?

Something like furniture polish won’t cut it, you’ll need anti-bacterial or bleach wipes to remove the oils from the plastic surfaces like dashboards.

The seats, the carpets and the area underneath the carpets need to be steam cleaned. An ozone generator is another option, but again it can only be temporary. Steam cleaners and ozone generators are not cheap but if you got $700 bucks off the price…

Change the cabin filter!

Really Kicker, No Ninja tip to Fix this Oder Problem?!?!

OKAY! If you’ve tried everything else…you can take dryer sheets and put them all over the dashboard and rear window area (on the inside you…) on a hot day. You want heat to activate this little miracle. It’ll do a pretty great job of pulling the smell out.

Car Dealers aren’t the only ones who try to pull a fast one.

We hear stories of potential buyers “looking at the engine” and then you notice white smoke emitting from your car. You’ve not seen any smoke from the engine before, what should you do?

Well, don’t feel pressured into dropping your price. What it may be is the potential buyer surreptitiously applying a coolant on the vehicle in order to make it smoke—then asking for a discount. It’s a general rule that if you notice something strange when selling your car to take it to a mechanic as possible.

Also consider reporting the potential buyer to the police. If local police are alerted the scammer may move onto better hunting grounds.

(But don’t jump to the conclusion that your buyer is trying to pull a fast one. An engine overheating will cause irreversible damage. If there’s a fuel smell in addition to the smoke it’s could be something like faulty fuel injector or the valve timing?)

In summary, cars and smoke in any form is best avoided. If you smoke and have children under 18 please consider not smoking in your car. That’ll protect your resale value and preserve the other things you care about.

German Cars – Good Value for the Money?

When we refer to German car we’re specifically talking about a BMW, a Merc, an Audi or a VW.

The German auto makers enjoy a good reputation based on a uniform brand identity for quality. Basically, instead of getting a reputation for family cars or sports cars etc. they focus first on promoting German Engineering. This gives them the flexibility for each brand of German car maker to claim a specific application of German Engineering like, the best German family car, or the best German daily driver.

Clearly the German car reputation is effective for sales since 30% of all cars sold in 2019 were German cars.

So, what is the German Engineering Brand?

Germany is known for “performance machines” and “muscle cars”. The stereotype is that the cars are built with military precision. But is it really justified, or is it more accurate to say they’re constructed with pragmatic appeal?

What some classify as affordable luxury with a solid reputation, combining the best engineering and the best quality. Others would say, too expensive to be a daily driver, too expensive to maintain as a family car, and chalk full of impractical features. In other words, by prioritizing performance and speed before niche specific objectives, are German cars…over engineered?

Many BMW’s cost $200 dollars for an oil change, and don’t get us started on the tire prices.

Is the German Car Impractical?

Do you really need a German car, something like a Ford Focus is better suited for a daily driver when compared to a BMW. The Dodge Grand Caravan, which is rated as the top two minivans of 2020, sells for thousands less than the Mercedes Sprinter Van. Indeed, by calling German cars a muscle car, it sort of suggests a car only for a bachelor not a family at all. The status symbol of the car only goes so far, you don’t want to pay for the name alone.

However, the consumer needs to decide for themselves if they need a daily driver or a family van with a top speed over 150 that corners like it’s on rales. If money is no object, why not? Unless the reputation is hokum.

Is the German Car Reputation Misleading?

Let’s compare two models that are examples of this dual-design mishmash.

The VW Golf has four cylinders and a top speed of 155 mph. This might be a bit too much for a family hatchback, but it’s a lot of fun.

The BMW Turbo meanwhile is designed to combine a light body with a powerful engine, although its mantra was always about supporting those who love performance. The 2002 model altered the functioning of the suspension.)

The question is, why does it needs the word “Turbo” written backwards on it. It works on an ambulance, so that you can easily identify it in your rearview mirror, but on a car…not so much. You’re really putting all your cards on the table calling it a Turbo. So, the Golf may be preferable for most uses and the turbo is for someone who sports car that looks like a luxury car???

To be fair, there are many other BMW’s to pick from if you require something specific. There are a number of innovative BMWs out there, not just the Turbo and something like a station wagon or a SUV might be preferred? Alternately, you check out a cross over or one of the later “Series” cars such as the Series 6 or 7.

On the topic of Variety and Customization:

If you decide on an Audi you can tailor the seats, upholstery, door finishes and even your dashboard? To play Devil’s Advocate is there a bit too much choice here for most buyers?

From https://www.audiusa.com/technology/design/interior-design

Most people are unsure what kind of seating they require, after all. They might be confused as to what twin leather is. (It’s a combo of both leather and artificial fabric). Twin leather is marketed by saying, “people cannot tell the difference,” but you be the judge. The advantages over cotton fabric is its premium feel and being much easier to clean. These options are not uncommon with German cars but the Audi is especially known for its stylish interior.

On the Bright Side:

The German car does hold its value. The sort of person who buys a BMW or a Merc is the type of person who will buy a new one every couple years, so it is not impossible to obtain an affordable German automobile second hand. This could be due to the high performance and the dependability of these models. Still, the price of the oil change is the same on a car you bought used as it was on the one you bought new.

There is a market out there, but it might not be the family market or the practical commuter vehicle.

Trump’s War on Clean Cars?

Op-Ed by Paul W

At this point where this is far less traffic on the road, it is good time to revisit what Trump said on electric cars.

You might think of some states as “truck-friendly” and some like California as “truck-unfriendly.”

During Obama’s presidency certain standards involving fuel efficiency were greatly increased. In economic terms this hits America where it hurts. Despite Trump’s protest, no state has supported a revocation.

The idea of the Clean Cars 4 All program was to replace a old polluting car and replace it with one with zero emissions or close to it. It was previously known as the Enhanced Flat Modernisation Plus-Up Program which is not exactly catchy. It worked with similar programs to reduce greenhouse gases.

One of these proposed plans was to replace a polluting car with an electric bike though presumably with a financial incentive. While this might fly in California where the weather is agreeable it’s not likely to work on a national level. It’s just possible that they were commuting from home and a bike was a suitable replacement, but it might just lead you to wonder if they missed the car after a few weeks.

Although it seems that California is creating ambitious and unreachable standards to remove carbon dioxide from the air but it’s not a new thing as far as the state is concerned. Is President Trump really at war with these new standards?

As to the question of President Trumps lobbying over fuel economy, there are two possible motives:
1) Either he is protecting Big Business (as some people contend). Or…
2) He’s allowing the buyers to decide for themselves what type of car they want to buy.

If the first is true, then why is big auto battling for higher fuel economy standards?

You would have thought the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers who represent the interests of General Motors, Toyota, Ford and others in America would have taken a stand on this but they might just be seeing where the winds are blowing.

Maybe the car companies did want the rules to relax so that cars do not keep becoming fuel efficient every few years, but they’ve been pretty disapproving of Trump’s concession to keep the standard at 29 miles per gallon until 2015, that seems to go too far even for automakers.

A recession, if it happens, will complicate things. American car makers will start fighting for a fuel economy standard they can produce without losing their dominance on trucks and larger cars—like they did in the 11970s. The consumer may show more interest in fuel efficient cars even if it means being cramped in their small accommodations. It’s hard to tell if that would swing the popularity of the standards one way or the other.

What was known as the final action was released last November which was a compromise between Trump’s proposals and Obama’s laws. It may be difficult to keep everyone happy. They still aren’t about zero emissions but about slowing down the rate that cars pollute. It won’t make the city air clear overnight though, but any change is a good thing.

If the market is left to decide, one could argue that a tax incentive simply a way to level the playing field—since E-Cars are more expensive to produce in the short term. On the other hand, do we really have a bead on what the market wants when we spend tax dollars trying to sway their decisions.

It may essentially come down to whether the general public wish to pay the extra for these type of vehicles. And as said above, people are a bit edgy about travelling in general right now.

Regardless of President Trump’s motives should he lose the election things could change. It would be up to the new President to put their plans in place. Could they follow Obama era thinking or will they continue to let citizens decide the type of vehicle they want to buy and roll the dice with the environment?

This may be academic though because there may not even be an election this year.

What do you call Car Fans?

Op-Ed from the UK Desk

There is no real name for fans of cars, apart from simply drivers, fans of trucks are known as truckers, and fans of motorcycles are bikers. But there’s no overall name for fans of cars.

A chauffeur for one doesn’t sit quite right. It was one of the first names for a driver, derived from the French for “heater-up.” It was used as a term for those who stoked the engine in a train or on a ship.

Probably a better term might be motorhead, but due to the heavy metal group with the similar name it doesn’t sound quite right. Those with a need for speed might be known a speed freak. If you constantly rev up your engine but don’t necessarily go fast you might call yourself a “revhead.” But that might get confused with a Vicar with a penchant for cars? Who can say?

In the UK, a slang term for the fast, teenage speeder is a “boy racer” (there doesn’t seem to be that many girl racers). The dictionary points to “hoon” as an alternative, which is short for hooligan. But these are not names young speeders give themselves as much as derogatory names given to them by the older member of society (who may need to think twice before throwing stones as they have their own driving problems.)

Someone with a lack of consideration for other road users might be known as a “road hog”. Those who drive at you, “taking their half out of the middle,” might be called “line hogs”. Or you might look elsewhere in the Animal Kingdom and call them “Mr. Toad”, the character from the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows? If they cut you off you might just call them a rude word?

Apart from driving style we have what you like about cars:
… those who like to look under the hood–a “gear head”
…those who look for car parts online or junk yards–a “piston head”
…those who tinker with their cars– a grease monkey

No doubt they can also be called “greaseballs” or “greasers”; it depends on the amount of grease involved. Maybe tinkerer is better? Originally it meant someone who sold pots and pans but now it means someone who might not be that competent, but has a go, especially in the area of car repair.

Perhaps we should look to the noises and motions that mechanics make and call them tutters or head-shakers? Maybe “bangers” to describe the mystery sounds they make under your car when it should be ready now. There must be something to call someone with a strange sensation to see underneath – a dipper? A diver? Someone who runs amok with your beloved car?

What about fans of individual cars? Again, there’s no specific name. Fans of 4×4 might be known as “fourbys” and fans of Minis might name themselves after the recent film “Minions” (they could take refuge in an early film franchise and call themselves “Herbies.” Women who like vans could possibly call themselves “vanettes” and female lovers of BMW could be “Beemettes” but it’s not clear what the male version could be. Still it all comes down to your imagination, really.

In the end it’s all in fun. If you have a suggestion on what to call fans of cars leave a comment on this post.