Fancy buying a used car? How does £1.6million sound?

Thinking about saving money by buying a second hand car instead of a brand new one? Well, you definitely won’t be making any savings if you choose the world’s oldest running car! The 127-year-old steam-powered vehicle is expected to sell for a huge £1.6 million.

The 1884 De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout, nicknamed ‘La Marquise’, is set to be auctioned off in early October and was manufactured twelve years before Henry Ford assembled his first car.

As well as being problematic to find a car insurance quote for, the vehicle could prove to be impractical for long journeys with a forty-five minute wait for it to generate enough steam to get going (yes – it’s steam powered) and a maximum speed of 38 miles per hour.

Finding a fuel top-up mid-journey is likely to be tricky too as the vehicle is powered with paper, wood, and coal.

It’s fascinating to see how much cars have progressed over the years, we really are spoilt for choice today with so many different brands, colours and sizes to choose from.

The long life of La Marquise is certainly impressive, but here at duck2water we will be spending our money on more recent models of cars.

Photo © futureshape via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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Been abducted by aliens while driving? Don’t tell your car insurer

We at duck2water have often wondered what a close encounter with the third kind would do for a person’s chances of receiving a cheap car insurance quote.

If a driver reported such an encounter would it mean he or she was suffering from potentially dangerous and distracting hallucinations and should be banned from driving?

Would it mean that he or she was actually being stalked by aliens and could therefore be considered to represent a significant car accident risk?

Or would it simply mean that the driver in question had had by freak, random chance an unusual and unexplainable encounter?

Perhaps one Australian car insurance company will now have to be answering this question after reports of a man in the Northern Territory “freaking out” after being “followed” by a “UFO”.

The man was driving in the outback when at about 3:30 in the morning he looked in his side mirror and noticed a light behind him. At first he thought it must be another car.

He explained, "I thought 'geez, they must be driving fast' as I was doing 120km/h.

He added, "When I looked again after a few minutes the light was really bright but it was in the bloody sky."

"I put the foot down a bit more," he said. "Then I looked back again and this time the light was huge and the most brightest light I had ever seen.

"But the strange thing is that the light had like an orange colour to it, but was white at the same time.

"It was about the size of a large car and stayed with me for about 20 or 30 minutes.”

He then became worried that he was going to be abducted, "I said to myself: 'no, no, no, not me, go and take someone else, I am not interested.”

That’s not a question you see on any motor insurance application forms: “Any history of alien abduction or close encounters of the third kind while driving?”

Perhaps it’s a question that needs including…

Photo © tm-tm via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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Striker scores car insurance own goal

Last week Newcastle United forward Nile Ranger was pulled over by police and arrested on suspicion of drink driving – he has been bailed pending the results of a blood test.

There he was, as a young driver and a footballer in a £120,000 modified “bling” car and therefore already considered a high-risk candidate for car insurance when he goes and gets himself arrested.

But his tale of self-inflicted woe doesn’t end there – no, far from it. Because while he was being arrested, Ranger then had his vehicle stolen by a couple of opportunistic thieves – all with the police there in attendance!

A police spokesperson commented, "At 4:53am on Sunday, officers stopped a Range Rover on Clayton Street in Newcastle. The driver of the vehicle, a 20-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of driving a motor vehicle while over the limit," said a spokesman for Northumbria Police.

"While officers were speaking to the man outside of the vehicle, the Range Rover drove off. Officers stopped the vehicle nearby and two men, 18 and 21, were arrested for being carried by a motor vehicle taken without the owner’s consent.

"The 18-year-old has been released and a 21-year-old man has been charged with driving the vehicle when above the limit and driving with no insurance."

It looks like its expensive car insurance quotes for all concerned, and that’s a best-case scenario, with prison sentence also a distinct possibility.

Image © nyaa_birdies_perch via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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Goodbye red lights and fuel-inefficiency

Want to drive in a more fuel-efficient way? Hate sitting at red lights?

Well, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may have a way of avoiding red lights and being more fuel-efficient at the same time.

They have come up with an application for smart-phones, called SignalGuru, which, using GPS technology, will help motorists time their approach towards red lights so that they change to green before the driver needs to slow their vehicle to a stop.

This will mean that on top of not having to wait around at traffic lights so often, it will reduce the amount of time the car engine is idling and, as a result, save fuel.

Unfortunately this clever app has only been tested on smart-phones in Massachusetts and Singapore, but the researchers want to make the system commercially available to all drivers in the near future.

Image © http://snow.ipernity.com via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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