Motor Trade Insurance

What You Need to Know About Tyres

Information about the components that make up a tyre and when to alter tyre pressure.

Tyre Fitter

There’s so much more to tyres than just rubber and air, in fact they are a remarkably intricate part of the car. So here at Think we’ve written an article that details those key components that make tyres such an important part of every vehicle.

What is a tyre made from?

 Tyres are made from a lot more than you might think. You will find these key elements in most motor vehicle tyres:


The tread is made from a rubber compound which can vary in shape, thickness and size depending on the conditions that you plan to drive your car in. The rubber grooves in the tread disperse water, meaning that the rubber will have a stronger contact with the road and better grip. The legal minimum tread depth on a car driven in the UK is 1.6mm.

Steel Belt

Steel belts give the tyre its rigidity while also allowing it to remain flexible. The belts are a layer of closely spaced steel cords wrapped in rubber. They give the tyre strength, resistance from dents and help maintain good contact with the road.


The sidewalls offer tyres protection from the environment and have high abrasion resistance. They are non-reinforced and combine with the tyre’s air pressure to help carry the car’s weight. This helps them retain their shape when cornering. It is in the sidewalls where you will find the tyre’s specification markings moulded in raised rubber characters.


These wires are made from ultra-strong steel that help attach the tyre to the wheel. They are inflexible, inelastic, and they do not stretch or bend. The wires hold the tyre to the rim of the wheel even at high speeds or while cornering.

Maintaining the Correct Tyre Pressure

How to Maintain Tyre Pressure

Keeping your car’s tyre pressure at the correct level will improve your fuel economy, reduce CO2 emissions and make your tyres last longer.

You should check your tyre pressure regularly (every two weeks) to make sure they are filled to the right level.

To find the correct tyre pressure for your car check your handbook, or alternatively, it might be printed on a sticker on one of your doors.

If there’s too little air in your tyres, it will affect your fuel economy and cause gradual damage to the edges of the tyres.

Too much air in the tyres can make your car’s handling unpredictable and add to the wearing down of your treads.

Heavy Loads

If you are carrying a heavier load than normal you should increase the air pressure in your tyres to make up for the extra weight. You can find information on what level your tyre pressure should be for heavy loads in your car handbook. Don’t forget to change them back once you have removed the heavy load.

Run Flat Tyres

Run flat tyres are innovative tyres that are becoming more widespread – they actually allow for your car to be driven for another 50 miles should you have a puncture.

You can drive at a speed of up to 50 mph allowing for the tyres to safely make it back to a garage before being changed.


• Do not mix run flat tyres with standard tyres, this will affect your ability to handle the vehicle.

• Only use them with a pressure monitoring system that can relay the information of a puncture or deflation to you.

• Do not tow with a run flat tyre after a puncture as they are only designed to take the weight of the vehicle.

If you are a Tyre Fitter, Think Insurance can offer you a great deal on Motor Trade or Tyre Fitter Insurance. We have over thirty years’ experience creating bespoke insurance for the motor trade, so why not see if we can help you now.


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Norwegian Transport Minister Calls for Tighter Winter Driving Laws for HGV Drivers

The Norwegian Transport Minister has called for Foreign HGV drivers going through Norway to take mandatory training to prepare them for dangerous roads.

Road closed sign

The Minister for the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications has voiced his concerns about foreign Heavy Goods Vehicle Drivers being too inexperienced to drive through Norway’s challenging Winter weather climate. This came to the Vice President Siim Kallas in the form of a letter which outlined the minister’s issues.

The letter reads “During the winter period we experience some serious challenges concerning the ability for heavy motor vehicles to navigate on Norwegian roads. The cold and changing climate

combined with our topography and geography, makes driving in the winter period particularly challenging.“

Locals Take Extensive Tests

Heavy Duty Drivers native to Norway have to take extensive driving tests, which involve driving on winter roads and more dangerous conditions than many other EU drivers have to face. It seems fair that foreign drivers should be able to meet this standard if they are regularly driving through Norway.

“Heavy goods vehicles that are not sufficiently equipped for our roads, or drivers that are unexperienced with winter driving conditions, represent a serious risk to road safety and a major irnpairernent to the traffic flow.”

There are a high amount of vehicles foreign to Norway that get stuck or slip on the icy winter roads, statistics show that foreign drivers are clearly overrepresented and something needs to be done. The minister believes that “a lack of competence to drive under difficult weather conditions is a major contributing factor” to the high statistics of foreign HGV accidents.

Foreign Drivers to Get Qualification

In order to solve the problem the minister is suggesting foreign drivers take a course, which will catch them up to speed with the regulations that are expected of them and establish proportionate levels of driver competence. It will explain when to use chains on tyres or winter tyres and give drivers the skills necessary to navigate some of Norway’s more treacherous Winter roads.

If the law is passed, Norway might see roads closed during heavy Winter weather and only HGVs with the correct license and technical equipment may pass through. By creating the qualifications, the minister aims to reduce road and transport fatalities.

If you are a HGV mechanic look no further than Think to get your HGV Mechanic’s insurance. Here at Think we can offer either full time or part-time motor trade insurance.

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20 million Drivers Taking Unnecessary Risks Making More Work for Vehicle Recovery Businesses

According to the AA and the Environmental Agency, 20 million drivers would take unnecessary risks driving through flood water, meaning Vehicle Recovery Drivers could be in for another busy winter.

The AA and the Environmental Agency are pleading with drivers to be #floodaware after a survey they created has informed them that 2/3 of men and 1/2 of women would risk driving through flood water.

1 Foot of Water Can Carry Your Car

It is very dangerous to drive through flood water, just 1 feet of it can set a car afloat. Despite the knowledge of last winters record wet weather and devastating floods more than 60% of all drivers would unnecessarily risk driving through flood water.

The biggest UK hotspots for vehicle rescues have also been named with Rufford Lane in Newark, Nottinghamshire being at the top with 96 flood related recoveries in 5 years. Other high scorers are Water gate lane in Leicester, the ford in Bucklebury, Berkshire and Slash lane in Loughborough, Leicestershire. All the flood recovery spots on the top 20 lists are situated in England with 12 at fords

The AA have rescued 21,687 in the past 5 years. More people are taking unnecessary risks while flood warnings are going around, and last year the vehicle rescue hit an all time record day, when on Christmas Eve 642 cars were recovered. 450 flood warnings had been issued by the Environmental Agency that same day.

19,000 Took the Survey

19,000 members of the AA took the survey carried out by Populus. It found that only 2/5 people would choose a different route if flood warnings were issued and that people in the East Midlands were the most likely to ignore them. 

“Too many drivers end up putting themselves in danger – and potentially those who come to their rescue – by taking unnecessary risks during flooding. It can be hard to tell what hazards lie beneath flood water, but more often than not there’s a lot of misery and a much longer delay than a well planned detour. We need drivers to check the flood risk for their entire route before they travel. Our flood warning information on GOV.UK is updated every 15 minutes and can help anyone plan a safe journey.” John Curtin, director of incident management and resilience at the Environment Agency.

It is not safe to drive through flood water and drivers must understand how a very shallow amount of flood water can carry away their car, else they’ll put themselves in danger and give vehicle recovery drivers a very busy winter.

If you are in the motor trade industry and need insurance for your vehicle recovery business, take a look at Think’s Vehicle Recovery Insurance. We can offer full time and part time motor trade insurance, come and see. 

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The Institute of the Motor industry wants the Government to start licensing the automotive retail sector

New research done by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has found that over 70% of motorists believe a licensing system for motor traders exists. With that in mind, it is the IMI’s belief that the Government should start putting licences in place. The study, performed on 2,600 British driving licence holders, showed there is a great amount of confusion for them surrounding qualifications of the people that work on their vehicles.


There is currently no regulations on individuals who work in the motor industry, yet 71% of drivers thought that motor traders would need a qualification to work in the industry.

There is an unwitting ignorance amongst motorists, 59% of whom said they would not let someone work on their car if they didn’t know what they were doing, though only 10% actually knew how to find a technician’s qualifications.

It is obvious that people are not aware of the facts, they could be putting their trust in a motor trader without knowing if they are capable of delivering the service. In 2011 there were over 3,000 crashes which were caused by vehicle defects as a result of inadequate maintenance.

With new technologies being put into cars, such as hybrid engines and driving assist systems, motor traders require even more skills to maintain these vehicles. If there isn’t the correct training in place, motorists could be put in danger.

IMI Want to Work With the Government

IMI says that their Accreditation and Professional Register would serve as a template for the Government to use. They already have thousands of motor traders signed up to their register and accreditation but there are 148,000 mechanics who they cannot speak for.

90% of the motor trade are in favour of a licensing system, so the IMI has stepped their plan into gear and have began seeking meetings with leaders of the political parties before the general elections next year.

If you would like some more information on Motor Trade Insurance or Part Time Motor Trade Insurance please visit Think now.

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The Future of the Car Jockey: Zirx – The Parking Valet App

The latest startup to send a buzz around the motor trade is Zirx, a parking valet app, which promises to pick up your car in next to no time and store it in an insured and secure location.

zirx parking

Zirx started in San Francisco 6 months ago, and began parking there 3 months ago. They are now taking to Seattle to grow the business. The area covered in Seattle is the current offices of the tech workers, though the Zirx say they are going to expand this soon.

For $15 (£9.42) a day, which includes tips and tax, a ‘Zirx Agent’ will collect your car and park it at a nearby secure garage and be returned as and when you need it. From the moment they are alerted, they can pick you up in 5-7minutes. For the service they are offering, the price is very competitive. A brief look at parking prices in Seattle says $2 an hour for on-street parking, and that still leaves you driving around looking for a space like a chump.

The four founders of Zirx came from a video advertising startup called Adap.TV, it was sold to AOL last year. They raised $6.2 million dollars (£3.89 million) of investment and now have 15 employees, their plan is to go global.

zirx parking appTo begin with the Seattle base will operate a weekday only service, catching the tech commuters in the South Lake Union area. Plans to expand the area and the time are already in place, and will most likely start in under 30 days.


They have $2 million dollar insurance cover to protect your vehicle and the cars will be kept in a secure parking garage. The company is very proud of how secure they keep everything, even to the people that drive your car. Every ‘Zirx Agent’, the car park jockeys that come to collect your car, is interviewed by the CEO of the company and is fully screened before being allowed to work for them.

The app currently works on Apple and Google devices, and who knows, maybe it’ll make it to the UK soon, the apps founders certainly think it will.

For information from information about Think’s car park jockey insurance, please visit our internal site.

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