Young Drivers

Finance 1 Comment »

As many people do I have a member of the family that is currently learning to drive, my brother in law. Like many he has been taking lessons in fits and spats for over two years now and has and finally nailed down a string of lessons that will run up until his test. As well as financial constraints, his problem was that he never felt completely comfortable with. Now I am pleased to say, he has finally found one to complete his driving tuition with at Roadmaters, one of the available driving schools in exeter.

After many discussions about his tuition, I was surprised to learn of some of the changes to the test programme since I passed seven years ago. In a relatively short period of time there seems to have been a few major differences to the test. The first being a hazard awareness test that I never had to take. I also believe there is a change to the standard theory test as of September 2007 where the test is out of more questions and a higher percentage is required for a pass rate.

I gather that these changes are meant to be another way of ensuring that young drivers are responsible and have the skills needed when they are first are granted their licence. I realise that something like 1 in four accidents involves drivers under 25, but does this mean they are necessarily unsafe on the road and in need of further legislation?

“In 2006, 23% of drivers killed were aged between 18 and 25 years. And yet, this age group only represents 14% of Victorian licence holders.” > from

I know I have been in the car with older drivers that freely admit they would not pass today’s test, yet have never been in an accident in their life. I have also experienced plenty of incompetent drivers that are freely allowed to go about their daily driving lives.

Although I agree test standard improvements can only be good, my point is whether this is an easy course of blame for what are becoming increasingly dangerous roads, and such measures just another way to penalise young drivers. We are already paying through the roof for insurance and road tax.

“Drivers aged 65 years or over have a higher risk (per distance travelled) of being killed in a crash than any other age group.” >from

There are plenty of statistics that can be used to support a certain point of view. My aim is not to side with one or the other. But if creating safer roads by having safer drivers is the aim here, should we not implement a recap course to be taken at given periods by licence holders, (or something of the like), so that every driver on the road continues to learn how to be a safe and responsible driver?

Two Day Window

Finance 1 Comment »

Thanks to this post by Kazza back on 7th August today I caught the additional two bonus days where Orange are giving up to two pay as you go sim cards away for free for each reader. This Orange mobile offer is available between the 20th and 22nd of August.

Anyone interested should be quick!

Phone Line Connections

Authors Thoughts, Finance, Technology, The Interwebs 1 Comment »

I recently moved into a new flat and along with everything you would expect we discovered that although there was a telephone line within the premises, there was no connection to the main phone grid.

For domestic broadband purposes there was a need to get connected to the main telephone grid. Although there was a £120 connection fee for this service from BT what wasn’t made apparent upon time of order was the fact that as well as this installation fee, a 12 month line rental contract with BT was also required.

As mentioned in a previous post I have been in the process of comparing broadband packages that suited my domestic requirements. The draw back of the contract being tied in with the connection fee, apart from a 12 month financial commitment, was that any call package that was included within a monthly broadband fee was now worthless.

I found out from numerous conversations with customer services departments that even with inclusive calls within a monthly broadband fee, the BT contract meant a third party would not take over the line and thus your free calls could not be provided.

Needless to say that the broadband packages short listed looked very different without inclusive call packages. Some what feeling pushed into the decision; I decided to take on the BT broadband package with free wireless router and cordless phone as we now had a line rental contract with them too.

I did have the option of cancelling the phone connection which would have left no broadband or phone line which was not an option, so somewhat reluctantly we have been goaded into a BT broadband package. I was not impressed with the corner we had been backed into, but unfortunately large companies often have the ability to do so when another alternative cannot be sort.

In hindsight it got me thinking if there was any other local companies that would have been able to connect the phone line to the main grid, and whether anyone else had had a similar experience.

Fundraising Ideas

Finance 2 Comments »


Does anybody have any killer ideas on fundraising? Lately I have been racking my brains about ideas on how to raise extra funds for a local sports club. With grass roots sport becoming increasingly costly to participate in, local clubs have to find more and more money each year to keep going.

This year, if the sports club in question was to progress any further, additional developments would be required. This is to meet the minimum standard needed to act as a representative of that specific league.

There are of course the traditional fundraisers, bingo nights, meat draws and the like, but I am on the search for avenues the club hasn’t yet explored.

One avenue explored was the people at

I started using this website which allows you to raise funds when you shop online. Over 400 top retailers are participating in the scheme and all you have to do is use the retailer links provided on the easyfundraising site whenever you shop online, and at no extra cost any good cause you choose to nominate will benefit from all your online purchases.

This service does not cost you a penny extra to use, and if you select my cause when you register they will benefit. I support: Otterton Football Club

Imagine what a difference could be made if we all started using this site to raise funds for good causes when shopping online.

Broadband Packages

Authors Thoughts, Finance, Technology, The Interwebs No Comments »

After recently moving house I was presented with the task of finding an internet service provider to provide all my residential broadband needs. After looking at the usual broadband packages available, and refusing to consider a certain big name provider after a prior sour experience with them, I narrowed it down to a short list of three.

The requirements were a broadband connection, without the limitation of download limits, with a landline phone package included to provide free calls. Each of these boxes are fairly easy to tick with most packages on offer until I realised that not all packages include line rental inclusive of the package price.

Contract length was also a consideration, and with the short listed providers they allowed you to take you contract with you if you were to move for some reason within the minimum 12 month term.

Three of the favourites that I chose were Tiscali, Be unlimited and Orange. I had previously used the Orange Livebox broadband set up and it is very easy and I was impressed with the overall service. Be unlimited offered by far the best internet connection in relation to price and offered a short three month contract, and Tiscali with there range of packages were also favourable.

It turned out that due to there being no inclusive calls I scrapped Be unlimited as it worked out financially inefficient to get two separate contracts. Although my first choice, the Orange package unfortunately did not include line rental, whereas for the same price Tiscali did.

I decided on the Tiscali package for £19.99 a month, and have only just found out that a BT installation fee of £120 is required too :(

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