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Townshend and Hamilton need it, and so do you

08 December 2008

A few weeks back, Pete Townshend and Lewis Hamilton, two British celebrities who have each made a mark in their individual careers let the nation in on their new choice of transport.

Fresh from winning this year's Formula One Championship in a nail-biting finale in Brazil that had the entire nation on tenterhooks, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Hamilton stepped behind the wheel of another Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, his preferred vehicle off the F1 track.

While the model may not be the fuel-guzzling, attention-grabbing, whiplash-causing - for those trackside on an F1 race - model that landed him a well deserved title at just 23, his new set of wheels is just as impressive.

"At the track I always drive on the limit, but on public roads I like to relax, kick back and cruise," said Hamilton of his Mercedes powered by a refined three-litre V6 common-rail diesel engine. "It's just about the most comfortable road car I've driven."

The mastermind of The Who, Pete Townshend, on the other hand may have had a more difficult decision on his hands - he swapped his classic camper van for a stylish, new Volkswagen Transporter Sportline.

"I was really sad to say goodbye to our camper van," said the multi-talented British rocker who doesn't just sing, but also plays the guitar and composes his own songs. "My partner Rachel and I had good times in it."

However, he went on to praise his new set of wheels saying that what he had settled for "is much better to drive, modern and much faster".

While his decision to part with the old banger may have been difficult to make, maybe the fact that the new owners had bigger plans, and maybe a budget to give it a luxurious life, made the decision easier.

For the old camper van is now owned by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, which will be giving it the star treatment by displaying it at a variety of shows and events.

The thread that ties us all

While both Townshend and Hamilton's choices may have been driven by different tastes and reasons, the next step they had to take may have been the same – get the proper car insurance for their respective newly beloved.

This is the all-important thread that ties every sensible motorist to all other motorists. However, despite the importance of having car insurance, you might be shocked to hear that some people shun it like vampires avoid sunlight.

Vampires may have practical reasons for staying out of sunlight – their life depends on it. On the other hand, motorists have no reason to shun car insurance; on the contrary, it can be argued that they need it just as much as vampires need to stay out of sunlight.

According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) research published in the latest edition of Advanced Driving, young male drivers are the most likely to be uninsured and unlicensed and they account for up to a staggering 3.7 million hours a month of driving.

This technically means those not afraid of light may have been exposed to this group while on the road. And if you do your driving in urban areas then chances are you may have come into contact with them a lot.

"We don't want to demonise young drivers, but research shows that uninsured drivers are typically young males living in urban areas," according to Neil Greig, IAM Motoring Trust director. "60 per cent of those convicted of uninsured driving are under 25, and half are under 20."

Uninsured motorists are not the only reason that makes car insurance important for motorists. Even the safest of all drivers still gets exposed to various other hazards on the road, such as reckless drivers.

And this is not just a single group - reckless driving comes under so many categories ranging from speeding, driving under the influence, bullies on the road, to inexperienced drivers attempting what may be beyond their driving capability, such as power sliding or drifting.

All these actions may be committed by other motorists and should they go awry, can end up affecting innocent law-abiding motorists. In such an instance, car insurance can kick in, be it for repairs or medical purposes, if there are any injuries.

There may be some solace though as the government recently announced measures to tackle the menace of reckless driving, whose action has the potential to impact the car insurance history of other motorists, if they get entangled.

Announcing the new road safety consultation, safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick stated that the UK "has one of the best road safety records in the world" but people were still getting hurt because of reckless drivers.

"To tackle this we must crack down on the most dangerous drivers - the selfish minority whose reckless behaviour can have a catastrophic impact on innocent victims and their families," he said.

Like a raindrop in a pond

It only takes a single drop of water in a pond to leave ripples spreading.

Just like a raindrop, a small group of road users avoid insurance but their actions have potentially devastating effects on the rest of the sensible law-abiding users, which only underscores the importance of having the relevant car insurance.

For both Pete Townshend and Lewis Hamilton, having car insurance is vital for ensuring their new found loves, the Volkswagen Transporter Sportline and the
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, are covered for any eventuality.

Should any misfortune bring them into contact with these small groups of motorists, they can always take confidence in the fact that there is something to fall back on.

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