Statistical Nonsense Credited For Drop In Accidents

Thursday, 18. August 2011

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Regular readers know that I’m rarely controversial but it really gets my back up when people take statistics and draw cow poo conclusions from them. Last year there was a huge drop in the number of miles that motorists drove, technology has meant that salesmen and engineers, those most commonly involved in road incidents, have been on the road much less and the escalating cost of fuel has caused motorists to drive more sensibly and drive fewer miles. Quite understandably road fatalities dropped massively also.

They fell from 2,222 in 2009 to 1,857 in 2010, the lowest level since records began in 1926. In fact it’s the first time the number has dropped below 2,000 which is fantastic news.

But what do the leading motoring groups say was the reason for this drop? Nope, not fuel costs or cost of keeping cars on the road. Nope, nor the other reasons that I mentioned or the recession, it was of course the Scrappage Scheme!

What???? I think someone has been at the Special Brew again! I love it when commentators say things on behalf of their organisations when the basis of their comment is pure guesswork.

An AA spokesman suggested that scrappage took out the 10 year old cars that would have become teen drivers’ cars, finally filtering out cars fitted with old technology and replacing with new. The RAC made similar comments. Well you dopey sods, had you actually been out and spoken to the teens that were in the market for their first car?

I can tell you that they wouldn’t want to shake the hand of Alistair Darling who introduced the scheme. First of all look at who swapped their old car for new ones.

It wasn’t teenage drivers it was relatively elderly and well off drivers who could afford a new car so even the most stupid people could work out that the majority of cars that were scrapped were actually in pretty good condition as they had been properly serviced and maintained.

Speak to a few main dealers and you would have that confirmed. Then you have the teenage drivers who had scraped together a thousand pounds to spend on their first car.

With the 400,000 scrapped cars no longer available supply dropped and lower end used cars increased in value so the teenager that would have managed to buy a 7 year old car with his £1,000 now had to drop to a 10 or 12 year old car.

The banger sellers now found themselves having to buy and repair 12 and 14 year old cars in order to satisfy the demand from yougsters, single parents and those losing their company cars through redundancy and needing a ‘set of wheels.’

No Mr AA the youngsters didn’t suddenly revert to new technology 5 year old cars that saved lives they had to drop down to bodged up 15 year old cars with dodgy MOT’s. The AA said that the new technology cars were now being snapped up by teenagers, the group that needs them most.

Whilst I agree that testosterone charged youngsters need these cars the scrappage scheme actually had the opposite effect as teenagers had to lower their sights to the older cars that they could then afford.

In future it would be nice if the motoring organisations carried out some investigations before making rather silly comments! By Graham Hill

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