How Secure Are The Apps That Control Your Car When Sold On?

Thursday, 25. August 2016

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.

Years ago Ford had a reputation for announcing new models long before they were in a position to launch. As a result pressure was on them to get the car into the marketplace whilst interest was at its highest. Subsequently, anyone who bought the brand new model with lots of new features became Ford’s own testers.

My ex wife became one of them when they brought out a brand new shape Fiesta. It looked great and the Ghia had loads of brand new features. Unfortunately the car spent more time in the local dealers during its first 6 months than in the hands of my ex.

But as newer cars rolled off the production line all of the faults were fixed and eventually my ex ended up with a car without rattles, windows that worked, no oil leaks and a rear window that didn’t drip water onto her shopping every time she operated the rear wash/wipe. Whilst it was irritating there were no health and safety or security issues just minor irritation that got sorted. Scoot forward a few years and you find Apple uses the same principle whenever they have a new iPhone to launch.

Remember the bendy big phone and the phone with the aerial built around the phone that lost the signal if you held it? So it should come as no surprise that when the recent head of steam started to build up around the desirability to have ‘Connected Cars’ that stuff would be released before being fully considered and fully tested. What us cost accountants would refer to as the ‘what if’ considerations. Many manufacturers have rushed to release apps that can be downloaded onto your phone that will remotely connect to your car.

The app will remotely monitor and control the car, locate it and even lock and unlock it. Yes I did just say that. The trouble is that not enough ‘what if’s’ were considered before the products launched leaving the new owner and the car vulnerable when sold. Fleet operator Ogilvie found that they still had access via their apps to a Tesla, BMW i3 and a Nissan Leaf after the cars had been sold although they pointed out that the Nissan could not be stopped or started via the app.

As more manufacturers join Jaguar Land Rover with their inControl, Tesla with MyTesla, Volvo OnCall, Vauxhall’s OnStar and Nissan Connect less attention could be given to security if it meant that the technology could be launched in no time flat. Some manufactures say they will delete the old account once the car is sold and one amazingly said that if they are called by the customer or fleet manager they can disable the App. Really? That sounds pretty secure – not! Tesla said that it is up to the old owner or new owner (or thief) to advise the change of ownership.

To prove the point Fleet News reported one ex Tesla owner able to access his MyTesla account a year after the car was sold. It is only now that leasing companies are discussing the end of lease procedures and a resolution that would see the disabling of apps. As part of the handover process. But what about private owners? Who will instruct those with Connected cars how to protect their privacy and new owners make sure that the previous owner no longer has access to their car. What a mess! By Graham Hill

Should You Now Be Considering Driving An Electric Vehicle More Seriously?

Tuesday, 13. October 2015

With so much in the press of late regarding emissions, thanks to the VW group of crooks, oops I mean vehicle manufacturers, there seems to be a new tidal wave of opinionated experts who say that we should either all walk, ride bikes or at worst drive electric cars.

Thinking of a change but unsure as to the best way to finance your car? Then you need a copy of my car finance book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide by Graham Hill. Click on the link below to buy the best car finance book on the market, available as a Kindle Book and Paper Back.

And we recently had a great deal on the BMW i3 that didn’t reflect its massive £30,000 + price ticket, it was remarkably cheap to lease. But before you join the queue of tree huggers outside your local BMW dealership you should be aware of some of the facts that you might like to consider.

You can get yourself a subsidy to install a charger at home, which is fine unless you are restricted to on-street parking, the local authorities won’t allow you to run electric cables along pavements unfortunately. A home charger operating from a standard 13a supply, I’m told, can take up to 8 hours to re-charge the car.

An installed fast charger can re-charge in a couple of hours whilst the industrial sized roadside fast-chargers can recharge the car in 20 minutes. Still a tad longer than sticking a petrol or diesel nozzle into your tank. But let’s not be negative, London, like other cities are planning on installing hundreds of fast chargers throughout their centres but if someone leaves their car charging for a couple of hours how do you get their car out of the way to allow you to get your car onto the charger?

There are also three different connectors that fit either the BMW i3, the Nissan Leaf/Mitsubishi Outlander or the Renault Zoe/Teslar S etc. depending on whether the cars are all electric or hybrids. Brilliant, they couldn’t even get some form of standardisation there – where is the EU when you need it?

Easy payments, even cameras that identify your car registration as you pull up and ready the charger before you even get out of your car speed up that part of the operation but the real sticking points are the time it takes to charge and the range. Until such times as these problems are overcome I feel that electric cars will remain last choice for most of us. By Graham Hill

Graham Hill Disagrees With Vehicle Pundit Over Electric Cars

Sunday, 15. June 2014

Oh dear, I once again find myself disagreeing with the self promoted ‘Motoring’s most outspoken and opinionated colomnist’ Mike Rutherford. This time over electric cars. He has described 100% electric cars as ‘stillborn’.

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He has written a rather amusing article in which he goes head to head with Richard Bruce who is the head of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) over the reasons why we should persevere with electric vehicles(EV’s). Quite naturally Mr Bruce is heavily in favour of EV’s as without them his job pretty much becomes meaningless so of course he is in favour.

Mr Rutherford’s point is that they are expensive and you can’t cover more than 100 miles in one charge, both of which are reasonably true – at the moment. But not everyone needs a car to cover more than 100 miles in a single trip and for those that do there will come a time when cars will be able to cover over 1,000 miles with a single charge.

Look, I’m not a huge fan of electric cars but I’m not going to suggest for one minute that after spending £millions if not £billions in research that we should simply throw out the idea and revert to fossil fuel vehicles or mixtures of fossil fuel engines and battery power packs. That Mr Rutherford is simply dopey!

And don’t forget this is electricity we are talking about – just think back to the days of Thomas Edison, it only takes one experiment to solve the problem even though it may have taken hundreds of experiments previously. With what I have read and reported upon we are rapidly moving closer to the point where cars can cover several hundred miles on one charge, chargers can charge very rapidly and as volumes grow prices will tumble as a result.

Even now we can provide a Nissan Leaf, after allowing for the Government grant for less than £200 + VAT per month on a car that costs over £21,000. My money is on Mr Bruce and whilst he is very protective about EV’s I believe he has a good point and for many drivers EV’s represent the future so go off and have a whinge about something else Mr Rutherford. Don’t you just hate these people that can only moan and groan about things! By Graham Hill

Company Electric Cars Dealt A Blow By The Chancellor

Tuesday, 8. April 2014

I remember years ago whilst training as an accountant an economics professor saying never assess what the Chancellor is saying at the dispatch box when announcing the budget because the devil is in the detail and the detail is in the small print. And so itr was with the latest budget.

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Whilst company car drivers seemed to have been left alone whilst benefitting from fuel duty freeze in the small print was the ‘leaving alone’ of a previous announcement that benefit in kind (BIK) bands that kick in 12 months from now will continue to 2017 and 2018 tax years. This is the increase of 2 percentage points for each tax band per annum.

So by 2018 the BIK tax applied to cars with a CO2 emission of 76-94g/km will be 19% of the car’s P11D value. So much for looking after the motorist. In 2018 this will raise £240 million for the treasury with a further £480 million in 2019. Those that drive low emission cars will suffer the most as we will see cars under 51g/km dropping into the 13% band with 51-74g/km up to 16% by 2018.

And all this came after the Chancellor announced at the dispatch box that he is ‘increasing the discount for low-emission vehicle.’ I think it is about time for a re-think because this will take anyone currently considering an electric vehicle from a benefit in kind threshold of zero to 13% in 4 years. But it gets worse!

Because if you look at the cost of an electric vehicle compared with the equivalent petrol vehicle the BIK tax is horrendous. Take for example the Nissan Leaf, the Tekna version has an on the road figure, according to What Car of £30,490 before the Government subsidy is applied (and therefore the figure that BIK will be based upon).

Compare this with a Nissan Juke 1.6 petrol Juke, this costs £16,295, the Leaf is nearly twice the price. I seriously think that the government needs to think again about zero emission cars and the disincentive that this brings. By Graham Hill

Nissan Leaf at Tokyo Motor Show (RHD).

Nissan Leaf at Tokyo Motor Show (RHD). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Renault Joins The Electric Car Race

Saturday, 5. November 2011

English: Renault Fluence Z.E. at AutoRAI Amste...

Image via Wikipedia

Renault have now launched details of their new electric car, the Fluence Z.E. It will be sold for £22,850 down to £17,850 after the £5,000 government incentive. However, the difference between the Nissan Leaf and the Renault is the fact that when you buy the Leaf you also buy the batteries, with the Renault you buy the car and lease the batteries. Read more

Graham Hill Reveals The Actual Cost Of EV Battery Packs

Friday, 26. August 2011

Nissan Leaf at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show (LHD).

Image via Wikipedia

We know that the cost of the battery pack that will be fitted to the new electric vehicles will be more than a pack of 12 Duracell AA’s but up until now we have all been speculating as to the true cost. £1,000, £5,000 or even £10,000? If Read more

Graham Hill Reveals The UK’s No.1 Car Manufacturer

Friday, 12. August 2011

Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Ltd in Sunderlan...

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Who is the biggest UK car manufacturer? Nope not Vauxhall or Ford, it’s Nissan! Yep, their Sunderland plant has broken all production records in the UK and produced over 400,000 cars in 2010. Considering the current economic climate that is absolutely amazing but, in my opinion, not surprising. We have seen some aggressive marketing of the Read more

Chevrolet Volt Leads Electric Car Innovation

Thursday, 7. July 2011

2011 Chevrolet Volt exhibited at the 2010 Wash...

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You know when you see something and it’s so damned obvious you wonder why no-one has thought of it before like the suitcase handle with built in scales. Well I was reading about the latest electric car technology and a new entrant into the market, the General Motors owned Chevrolet with their impressively named Volt, get it, electric car, volt? Bloody Read more

New Electric Cars To Come Loaded With Apps

Thursday, 5. May 2011

Nissan Leaf at Tokyo Motor Show (RHD).

Image via Wikipedia

Whilst the debate continues as to whether the future for the car is electric or hydrogen Toyota have announced that their new family sized electric car to challenge the Nissan Leaf will make full use of many of the apps that are available via Microsoft as a result of a joint venture. The idea is to make the new cars ‘information terminals’ with new apps that Read more

The Real Costs And Dangers Of Electric Cars

Friday, 11. March 2011

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 28:  An electric Smart...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Even though we know the Government is hell bent on converting us to electric cars I’m still not convinced. When it was announced that the Government was going to put £5,000 across the bonnet of electric cars to encourage drivers to buy them and Boris was going to put a free electric charging point in every parking bay making it the world’s leading Read more