Archive for February, 2008
11:00 am By now the office is in full flow as the calls come thick and fast. Equally as important at this time is the tea rota! I have been banned from this because apparently my teas resemble dyke water and taste like it to!
14:00 By this time we are in full swing as everyone comes back refreshed from their lunch. Except of course for minty who is still shoveling his food (and everyone else’s) down that hole he calls a mouth.
19:00 The day slowly grinds to a halt as the important business of which pub to go to after work takes over.
So there you have it, a minor insight into a usual day in the bikesure office.
Token shot of Tom our renewals man of the hour:
Feel free to give us a ring for a quote or just a general chat, just make sure you don’t get hammond, that bloke talks for ages!
0800 089 2000
Now you may have seen some “odd” looking pictures of me floating around this website. I want to assure you that in no way do I make a habit of dressing in womans clothing. I dont really want my chances of finding a girlfriend to be non existent and thats the way its going at the moment.
To reliterate this point I would like to draw your attention to the below:
As you can see I do enjoy the pretty girls, the fact that they get paid to have photo’s taken with anyone is besides the point!
Its not long before “that” picture of me will be issued in the monthly magazine and distributed all around Adrian Flux, so im just trying to back myself up before I get the p**s taken out of me from everyone.
Grant ” straight as they come” Varnham
The all new 2007 figures from the Department for Transport for Vehicle Excise Duty (aka Road Tax) evasion have just been released.
You can tell something is going to be different, when you see statements like this:
Substantial improvements in the way that the roadside survey data are collected mean that evasion estimates for 2007 are not directly comparable with those from previous years.
Analyses of this year’s survey data also suggest that misread registration marks do not have a neutral effect on estimates as previously thought and, instead, tend to inflate estimates of evasion.
This all sums up to a breathtaking conclusion – the evasion estimates reported last year for motorcycle were probably overestimated by staggering 300% (or thereabouts – effectively the stats were done in such a different way that it is impossible to do a direct comparison. Note also that the figures for cars were also overestimated by a similar percentage – but with less dramatic effect or tabloid outrage.)
Put another way, the headline 38% evasion figure reported last year, and repeated last month with some anti-biker vitriol by MP Edward Leigh, were roughly 4 times higher than they should have been.
In fact there are still some problems with the reported figure of 9.8% evasion for bikers.
First the sample size is still very small – that makes the error margin over 50%, so (even taking nothing else into account) the figures for bikers could be as low as 4.7%.
Second, the change to the survey methodology that had the biggest impact was the switch to using Automatic NumberPlate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. Using these they were able to check misread plates for the first time, and found they were incorrectly matching to vehicles removed from the roads much more often than they had expected.
BUT, for collecting the data on motorcycles they did not use ANPR, but instead relied on contractors stood by the side of the road with a clipboard. It seems inevitable that a guy with a clipboard by a motorway trying to jot the number of a moving bike travelling at 70mph (let’s assume bikers don’t ever break the speed limit) is going to write down the wrong number more often than an ANPR computer which takes a still photo of the same vehicle and then uses Optical Character Recognition software to match up the letters, for the simple reason that, the computer doesn’t have to deal with the effects of a high speed movement.
Someone might have picked up on this, had the DfT not glibly stated in the previous years report, that they had computed the effect as a ‘slight upward bias.’ The admission that they got this so badly wrong will be little comfor
The DfT also notes they made a number of other changes to the statistical methodology, in line with the Southampton university report into their previous methods and assumptions.
It is therefore my opinion that the figures for tax evasion by motorcyclists, although markedly reduced and only a quarter of what was previously being claimed, is still a considerable overestimate.
If next year they manage to use ANPR to record motorcycles as well as cars, and also collect some hard data about relative mileages traveled by taxed vs untaxed motorcycles (which currently they only have for trucks), my bet is that the numbers will dramatically fall again.
But in light of this publication, where are the apologies.
Miscalculations of this magnitude represent some serious bungling by the ‘top statisticians’ we pay our taxes to employ. I think, at the very least, bikers are owed some major apologies from Edward Leigh, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, the Department for Transport and National Statistics. The DVLA probably deserve an apology too – they were castigated for their poor performance in managing tax evasion, even though their own figures suggested they were collecting more tax than ever.
See also MCN’s story.
Jenny said: “After threats of legal action I wont include the picture of Grant sporting the very same outfit”
Well, frankly, I don’t care about legal threats from Grant – the public have a right to know! Plus, if Grant really wants to explain to a court what he was up to, so much the better.
I understand that no padding was required.
Rumours that Grant could be found running around the hotel corridors at 3am dressed in the outfit and whooping “Chase me!” in the manner of Duncan Norvelle remain unconfirmed.
A big hello to everyone we met there including some familiar friendly faces – same time next year??
January 20th – 22nd saw me, the boss; Dave (our affiliate rep) and three lovely ladies in Lycra attend the annual motorcycle expo show 2008 at the NEC. For all you unknowns the expo is the annual show only open to people in the motor trade i.e. dealers, companies and anything really to do with two wheels. The main emphasis being to showcase new products, chat to other businesses and generally nose on what everyone else is doing for 2008!
Also a special mention to the lovely Nicola and Charlie from our marketing department whose hard work made sure the stand looked fabulous, cant beat a woman’s touch!
The main aims of bikesure’s presence at the show was to reiterate our strong position in the insurance market and also to make sure our existing customers are looked after and attempt to sign new businesses/dealerships to our affiliate scheme.
For those not in the know, bikesure affiliate scheme is where we offer
£30 direct to the company/dealership for every single customer referred to ourselves who in turn take out an insurance policy.
As technology moves worryingly fast, (sounding like my Nan and I’m only 24!) we at Bikesure are always one step ahead and can also offer a banner to be placed on dealers website allowing the same £30 for every customer that is referred to our online quotation site and sets up a policy. We also assist the client by giving them an online stats page where they can keep a tab on how many clicks they have had on their website and how much money they have accumulated from referrals. Not bad really when you consider there is no charge or contract from us to set this up, you help us and we return the favor likewise.
Along with the wit and charm of myself and the stig of the dump look-alike we had in Rob, there also were a few goodies on the stand for the punters to ogle over and take home if they asked nicely (yep, you know where this is going, more comedy gold)… oh and not to mention the complimentary sweets, pens, calendars, notepads and mugs.
Needless to say we were rewarded with our hard work during the day by letting off steam in the Hilton hotel, which was the official base of the Expo show. I admit this may have gone to my head a little bit as on the first night I came down to the bar in my glad rags strutting around like I owned the place. If my mates would have seen me I’m sure that would have just thought Grant you t**t! But to be fair, when you stay in a hotel that automatically guides you to the toilet in the middle of the night like a runway (true), who cares!
Needless to say we made sure our “common” status was resumed when Laura and me decided to army crawl down the 3rd floor corridor after a night out in Birmingham, not everyone found it funny! (Sorry angry lady from second door down, he he).
But all fun aside it was an absolutely fantastic few days at the NEC and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say a big thank you to Mr. Balls for allowing us all to attend. (Right that’s the brown nosing over, I feel a pay rise in the air).
For another year we have shown the motorcycle trade that bikesure are an ever growing force in the motorcycle insurance market and not to forget specialists when it comes to areas such as Sports, Customs, Trikes, Quads, mopeds, multi bikes and Chinese imports to name a few.
If your interested in any of the above then feel free to contact us or ring us, well except for the girls where they can be found at http://www.fluxbabes.co.uk/, and yes, they really all do work for us……so have a look to see my motivation for going to work everyday!