Queens of the Road – Women Truckers

There are 300,000 truckers in the UK, of that group only 1,600 of them (0.5%) are women. Today Think are discussing the Queens of the Road, the affectionate name given to female HGV drivers.

Many industries that were once male dominated are slowly evening out, in the medical industry for example the ratio of male to female doctors is now 57 to 43 and for the past 4 decades 60% of students selected for medical studies have been female. Until the 1960s, only 10% of British doctors were female, now it is expected that by 2017 we will see more female doctors than male.

Horsepower

The trucking business doesn’t seem to be taking that step, but there are a small group of women working to change that. Late last year Horsepower, a new HGV training school, was set up by 2 female truck drivers hoping to attract more women into this 99.5% male sector.

It’s a great plan for the industry as a whole, because there is currently a shortage of drivers, meaning there is no better time for women to enter. Co-founders Nathalie Axon and Jan Carter believe its vital that the sector focus on this barely represented group of potential recruits.

Nathalie Axon has been working on the idea for 2 years, she told Commercial Motor, “Horsepower aims to provide a welcome pathway to bring people from outside the industry who had never considered driving as a profession and offer them a hand into becoming a driver.”

Horsepower are offering taster days that they hope will show female drivers what life on the open road is like, and spark a passion similar to Horsepower’s own.

Katie Gillard

Not all female truck drivers believe that the ratio will change, Katie Gillard, who began trucking when she was 19 after she decided working with children wasn’t for her, spoke to the Guardian for a piece about ‘Women Doing Men’s Work,’.

Here she said “From what I see, women are always going to be a minority in this industry. It’s always going to be seen as a man’s world.”

But this doesn’t damper her spirits about the sector. trucking is in her veins, and it was her dad who suggested she get her license.

“The first time I sat behind the wheel was terrifying, but I picked it up pretty quickly. I work with my father, Andrew, who owns a quarry. I’m used to people doing a double-take when I’m driving. I get it every day, particularly when I’m sitting in traffic. It doesn’t bother me too much. I really enjoy driving.”

Faye Davis

Whilst researching for this article, Think’s Anthony Nicholas introduced us to his wife to be, Faye Davis a proud Class 2 Driver who delivers steel and metal work. She took some time to answer some of our questions regarding the Queens of the road.

“I’ve always had an interest in lorries, being on the road and I love driving.

“I finally made my mind up about going for my licence when the place I worked for was taken over by a rival company, I started to hate my job. I was told that there was a shortage of drivers at the time, I thought it’s now or never so I saved up and went for my licence.

“I used a company called Easy as HGV, I paid a little extra than I would have if I had of booked things myself separately, but I was safe in the knowledge that they would sort everything out that I needed.”

Faye found that the sector was very supportive of her joining the ranks and her instructor was great, even if some male drivers were less than welcoming.

“When I was learning, my instructor was all for women truck drivers. He encouraged me so much and told me that I could do anything that he could do and not to let the industry bully me.

“As I learned and went through the different stages to get my licence, I came across surprised faces when I said I was going for my class2. I had one man laugh at me when we were learning our CPC, I took no notice and he then got his questions wrong when we were quizzed about what we had learned and I got mine correct – which was satisfying!”

Though happy in her job, Faye believes that the sector needs to do more to attract female truckers.

“I do not feel that the sector is actively encouraging women at all. There is still far too many men out there who believe that a woman is not cut out to be a lorry driver.

“Overall, I would encourage women to go for it. Yes it’s a male dominated job, but being a woman does not affect anything that I do. I can still do everything that any of the guys do where I work. All you have to do is believe in yourself and make that jump.”

Let’s hope that the hard work of Horsepower and their fellow women truckers pays off and that more women do start to enter the sector, see if they can help you to get your HGV license.

Here at Think we offer full time and part time HGV mechanics insurance, to see our other types of motor trade insurance please visit our site.

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Top Car Sales of 2014

Last year’s new car sales were the best in the UK for ten years as nearly 2.5 million cars were put on our roads. The top selling car of 2014 was the Ford Fiesta, with the Ford Focus following in 2nd and the Vauxhall Corsa in 3rd.

Exactly 2,476,435 new cars were bought in 2014, which makes for a 9.4% rise in sales against 2013, and shows a strong recovery after the recession. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, this is the best result for the UK car market since 2004, and also the the fourth best year of all time.

The best selling cars of 2014 were as follows:

1. Ford Fiesta, 131,254

2. Ford Focus, 85,140

3. Vauxhall Corsa, 81,783

4. Volkswagen Golf, 73,880

5. Vauxhall Astra, 59,689

6. Nissan Qashqai, 49,909

7. Volkswagen Polo, 48,004

8. Audi A3, 45,581

9. Fiat 500, 44,005

10. Nissan Juke, 39,263

The top 3 hasn’t changed at all since last year, as the top 3 cars sold in 2013 remain the exact same as 2014, with the Fiesta, Focus and Corsa all keeping their positions, albeit selling a lot more  cars.

The Ford Fiesta sold just shy of 50,000 more cars this year, while the Focus and Corsa both sold over 30,000 more each.

Sales over the past 3 years have consistently grown, but some financial experts are questioning on the PCP schemes and other financing gigs that lease vehicles rather than buy them outright, believing this could cause trouble for the future. About 75% of the car purchases last year were bought using finance instead of a full cash payment.

Car sales are set to slow down this year, but will still show a steady rise of about 1 or 2%. The UK is the 2nd largest market for new cars in Europe, with Germany being the largest, it is believed that economic confidence, fuel efficient car design and finance packages are the reason for the incredible growth.

86% of cars bought in the UK are imports, but of UK car production, 80% of the cars built are exported. Last year was also the highest amount of exported cars since 1972 with 1.5 million vehicles shipped globally.

Here at Think we are looking forward to another steady year of new cars being sold. We offer specific Motor Trade Insurance policies to car sellers and dealers, so if you are in need of insurance and are in the business, please get in touch with Think Insurance now.

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Valet-tines Day

What are the daily chores of a valet, and do they have time for love on that most romantic of days?

Valet insurance

Here at Think Insurance we want to celebrate the hard work and diligent effort of Valets by giving them their own special day on February 14th, Valet-tine’s Day.

We spoke to Mo, a valet from Liverpool, on a cold February morning to find out what he does day to day and to find out what he plans to do on Valentine’s Day and if he would prefer to celebrate Valet-tines day.

How long have you worked in the Valet Trade?

About 4 years, yes, 4 years this March.

How do you start your day?

I wake up at 6.30 and walk to work for 8.

What are your responsibilities at work?

We offer a few services at our car wash, from the mini valet, which just cleans the outside of the cars, to the full valet which cleans the inside and out.

What’s your favourite job at the Valet Service?

I prefer working on the jet wash, it is cold doing it in the winter, you cannot wear gloves as they will get wet, but it is still the most enjoyable job.

How long do you work a day?

It used to be 9 to 6 but the boss changed the hours and we work from 8 to sometimes past 6.30.

So you work pretty long hours here!

Yes, very long hours! When I go home, I get a shower, I go to bed.

Are you working on Valentine’s day this year?

Yes. Working all day.

Do you have a special someone to celebrate with?

I’ve been married to my wife, Ateekah, for 3 years.

Are you doing anything special in the evening?

No, I work too hard! I will be exhausted after a busy Saturday.

Nothing at all?

I will get her a card and some flowers, maybe we will do something on my day off.

What do you think about celebrating Valet-tines Day instead, a day that celebrates the hard work of Valets?

Haha! That’s funny! Yes, I think we deserve a day celebrating valets.

What would you want for Valet-tines day?

Hmm… Good food and good company!

You’re a good bloke, thanks Mo, hope you have a happy Valet-tines Day!

No problem, thank you.

Think Insurance offer many types of Full-Time and Part-Time Motor Trade Insurance, including Valet’s Insurance.

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Stranger Found Hidden in Boot After Visiting Car Wash

A family from California were very surprised this week to return home from the carwash and find a stranger hidden in the boot of their car.

stranger car

Sal Landeros, the owner of the vehicle, pulled up to his house in San Bernardino County along with his son Chris, and brother Eddie, to find that a stranger had hidden in the back of his vehicle.

Sal heard a knocking coming from the boot. The three men approached the noise and opened the boot slightly, only to find a pair of eyes staring back at them. Immediately they slammed it shut.

Rather than taking matters into their own hands or letting the man out straight away, they called the police. Chris Landeros filmed the following situation on his phone.

The law enforcers arrived and surrounded the car, tasers and guns at the ready. They then sheepishly opened the boot and pointed their weapons. Obviously slightly stunned by the light and ruckus, the stranger stares at the officers before climbing out of the boot.

The unidentified man was then handcuffed and taken into custody where it is still unclear why the man snuck into the Landeros’ boot, and it is unknown what charges he may face.

Sal explained to the press that he was scared to hear the noise and discover that a person had hidden in his car for around 10 minutes. Sal said that the stranger was apologising and that he may of been hiding from someone.

“He was saying sorry a lot and he was running away from someone that needed his money, because he didn’t pay up or something. He must have got in while they were washing it. He just closed the trunk on himself.”

Not your average day at the car wash! We’re very glad, as far as we know, that this hasn’t happened to any of our Valeter insurance customers!

Here at Think Insurance we offer motor trade insurance to Car Valeters. We create policies that are specific to the customer, so that they can get the best out of the product they buy. If you are looking for part time or full time Valeter Insurance, please take a look at our website for more information now.

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5 Ways Not to Sell Used Cars – The Worst Car Listings and Adverts Ever Made

Selling your car is never an easy task, unless you happen to be a very smart salesman or a gifted motor trader, but some people make selling a car much harder by doing the most ridiculous things.

Here at Think we have compiled some of the weirdest and the worst car listings we could find on the internet, so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes.

Here are our 5 ways Not to Sell a Used Car

Look After Your Car

This man sells cars for a living, the very thought terrifies us! But what he demonstrates very well, as he smashes the cars windows with a hammer, is your car’s depreciation in value should you not look after it properly.

Smashed windows, dents and scratches will bring your cars future sale price way down, so while you are driving your current car be sure to drive it safely and look after it. Otherwise you’ll be giving it away like this ridiculous man.

Don’t Put a Picture of Your Car Next to the Batmobile

Batmobile BMW

Although this might be a much more interesting photo than most, this car owner is not selling Batman’s Tumbler, they are selling the BMW to its left. The listing which put up the picture neglected to even mention the reason for the Batmobile’s presence in the photo.

The moral of this story is to not photograph your car with a cluttered background as it might distract viewers from the actual selling point, the car! To sell your car properly you want as little distraction in the picture as possible. A photo of the car outside your house or even a slightly more quiet carpark will do just fine.

Take a Picture with a Good Quality Camera and in the Sunlight

bad listing car

In theory this is a pretty good listing for a vehicle, the picture is of a high quality, the sun is shining and gives the customer a clear look at what they are looking to buy. The description of the vehicle sells the Ford F100 quite well too. Although it is quite obvious that the car happens to be upside down and in a ditch. Regardless, I’d still say this is one of the better listings of the 5!

Be honest & Don’t Lose Your Car in a Lake

lake car lsiting

Craigslist is full of fake listings but this one steals the biscuit, “Light Water Damage. Location: lake” If this listing for a Bugatti Veyron (of all cars to choose from!) happens to be true, you might imagine it’s taken on a little more water damage than light!

To sell your car always be up front and honest about the vehicle, otherwise you may surprise your buyers and they will more than certainly back out.

Maybe Don’t be too Honest!

Nigel Stewart-Stone selling his son’s banged and battered Renault Clio on eBay is one of the funniest reads on the internet, but perhaps not the best way to sell a car. The listing is called, rather appropriately, “Who would buy it?”.

In the listing, Nigel mentions every last problem with the car and the reason why it got there such as why the clutch is ruined, the seats don’t move and why there are ripples in the bonnet.

Our favourite line, “The rear of the car is in fact a large dustbin for discarded fruit, and McDonald’s, not for carrying passengers, but still he says he’s loving it!!! Anyway if you think this car may be suitable for your son, please go ahead and buy it, it’s after all in the perfect state for any teenager lad, and will save them all the time and effort that my son has put in to it, getting it this way.”

Nigel had received 41 bids when we last checked and got his auction up to £160.

But too Honest Might Actually Sell Your Car for Over £20,000

In fact honesty works so well that some eBay users have managed to make a profit on their resale by perhaps being a little too honest!

See Murdo Guy and Camilla Banks’ eBay sale of their Mercedes, complete with Camilla modelling on the bonnet. Murdo writes the glowing opening lines:

“If you are looking for an immaculate, well maintained example of a Mercedes e320 CDI…you have come to the wrong place. If however, you are low on self-esteem, with a strapped budget, but shooting for the stars, welcome to my auction.”

Murdo goes on to say, “I have owned this car for three years and up to then it had been lovingly cared for and maintained. Since owning the vehicle, it has been thrashed, raced, rallied and killed three deer”

Murdo and Camilla’s honest sales pitch did them well and they received offers upwards of £20,000 for the banger!

If you are in the Motor Trade selling used cars, be sure to go to Think Insurance for your Motor Trade Insurance, we offer great prices and build policies to fit you!

 

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