Anita Kumar

Anita is our Trainee Reporter and Researcher who is starting her journalistic career here at Cars for Stars News after completing a degree in Journalism at Cardiff University. As well as reporting on her own stories, Anita also works as a researcher on the news site to assist the other reporters.

Sports car owners in US claim cars as farm vehicles to save on insurance

Recent research conducted by an independent company in US uncovered a number of sports car owners who had claimed their flashy cars were for farm use in order to save money on their annual motor insurance.

The investigation found that owners of state of the art sports cars such as Porsche, Audi and Ferrari models were registered for farm use so as to benefit from a discount of up to 20% on their motor insurance policies.

However it’s believed this practice is costing the insurance industry in America $150 million a year and so the insurance providers have decided enough is enough and have called in outside companies to start verifying the data of their policy holders.

Vehicles which are registered for use as farm vehicles qualify for a discount on their annual insurance premium as they are deemed less of a risk as they are statistically less likely to be stolen or involved in a road traffic accident compared to cars kept and used predominantly in urban areas.

The investigation carried out by an independent San Francisco based firm uncovered a number of potential fraudsters who’d falsely claimed their sports cars were farm vehicles. One policyholder highlighted in the report had told his insurance provider that his Audi A4 car was used for farm work, however the vehicle was registered to an address in the built up city area of Brooklyn in New York where less than 1% of the population is engaged in agriculture.


Footballer Balotelli hires chauffeur to avoid parking fines

Italian footballer Mario Balotelli has hired a £3,000-a-week chauffeur as he was fed with having to keep paying out for fines.

The 20-year-old Manchester City striker, who earns £100,000-a-week, was reported to have paid out £10,000 in parking fines alone last year. In addition, the sports man had to visit the car pound on 27 different occasions over the last 12 months to retrieve his vehicles after they were taken in by the authorities for different reasons.

As well as being hit with driving fines, the footballer’s much loved Maserati sports car has been the subject of attacks by vandals when parked outside of his home in the Deansgate area of Manchester.

The footie ace has had to shell out thousands of pounds on repair work on his car following the attacks and so made the decision to put his own vehicles into secure storage and to hire a chauffeur permanently to help him get about.

Following the catalogue of mishaps associated with car ownership which have befallen the soccer ace, the Manchester City player hopes his move to hire a chauffeur on a full-time basis will help him stay out of trouble this year.

The former Inter-Milan footballer is now being chauffeured around in a Mercedes limo provided by local private hire company, Elite Cars.


The cheapest airlines don’t always offer the cheapest car hire rates, tourists are warned

A new survey by found that the best deals on car hire are not to be found through budget airlines, but by going to a car hire provider independently to find the most cost effective deals.

Many tourists fall into the trap of booking car hire at the same time as booking their flights as many misguidedly believe they’ll receive a competitive deal by purchasing more than one service through the one provider. However the research by the comparison website found that airlines are not offering the most cost effective deals on car hire, in fact, the savings can be considerable if you opt to book through an independent provider.

In the most extreme cases, the cost of car hire can be three times more expensive when booking car rental during a peak summer period through an airline as opposed to an independent car hire operator.

While one airline offered a quote for car hire of £1,055 for a two week hire of a medium sized family car in Portugal in the middle of summer, when booked independently, the research found the same deal could be bought for just £429.

Although it may be extremely convenient to book car hire at the same time as booking a flight, the savings can be massive, as much as £676, if you avoid this pitfall and make your own car hire booking for your summer holiday this year.

New car hire site allows car owners to offer their vehicles for hire

A brand new car hire website has been launched which allows car owners to offer their vehicles for rent through a secure scheme.

The Getaround website allows car owners the opportunity to earn money through their vehicles by offering the cars for hire through their sophisticated system which asks for car owners and also potential customers to open an account on the site before they are authorised to rent a car, or offer their car for rent.

Each car owner is be provided with a car hire kit which includes a GPS box which sits of the car’s dashboard and lets the customer and the owner know exactly where the car is. The device also allows the car to be locked and unlocked using a secure system which is linked to an iPhone app for keyless entry to the car.

The website advises car owners of the cost of hire for a similar vehicle in their area, however the owner can choose to discount this information and simply set their own hourly, weekly or daily hire rates, or they can go with the recommended rates set by Getaround.

The Getaround system also has an insurance policy tied in so car owners can rest assured their car is covered should the vehicle be damaged or stolen during a hire. A full rundown of the insurance options are included on the website.

The new car hire scheme is still in the early stages, although the site does boast a growing number of members which proves there is a demand for the service.


Mercedes Benz unveil a luxury line in bicycles

Mercedes Benz have turned their attention to creating a number of new models with two wheels as opposed to four as the luxury car manufacturer has just unveiled a line in Benz bicycles.

The line of bicycles all bear the iconic Mercedes Benz logo helping to promote the brand amongst a new market of consumers. Mercedes have developed a mountain bike, called All Mountain, which features state of the art mechanisms such as SRAM 30 speed gearing, and also hydraulic disc brakes, while the Mercedes Benz fitness bike features a front suspension fork and comes in an eye catching bright white frame.

Mercedes have also developed a trekking bike which shares many similarities with the fitness bicycle however it has some extra features including a luggage rack and also a dynamo powered headlight.

A selection of junior bikes made especially for children aged 3-6years has also been created as part of the Mercedes Benz bicycle range.

Mercedes say that their Formula 1 drivers such as Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg use the bikes to train in between race seasons, adding further kudos to the new line of luxury bicycles.

However Mercedes are not the first car manufacturers to introduce a range of cycles, Audi BMW and also Maserati have all developed lines in bicycles most recently.

Only a small number of these bicycles will be available to buy, so if you want to ride a Benz bike, you’ll have to put your name on the waiting list now.


Car hire firm launches luxury chauffeur transport service in India

Car hire giant Avis has launched a brand new luxury chauffeur driven limo hire service for customers travelling in India.

A number of locations in the country will offer the premier limo service including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The new Avis chauffeur service will offer customers the chance to be chauffeur driven in a top quality Mercedes E Class limo so they can enjoy a relaxing and comfortable ride whether they’re visiting India for business or leisure purposes.

The chauffeur driven Mercedes E Class service is available in two different packages including half day and full day packages. Avis believe the chauffeur driven car hire service will be popular with those looking to enjoy sightseeing or city tours in India, airport transfers, or those needing top quality transport to a corporate or business event.

The car hire giant say the chauffeur driven service will also allow customers on short visits to India to manage their time better as clients can be collected directly from the airport and taken onto their meeting, event or hotel, making the most of their time in the country.

All of the chauffeurs employed by Avis are highly trained and reliable so as to ensure all customers receive a very high standard of customer care.

Avis has also introduced a number of special offers on its new service so customers can experience the luxurious chauffeur service at a very competitive rate.


Great savings to be had on pre paid car hire bookings

If you’re planning to hire a car during your summer getaway, you’d be well advised to book your car rental in advance in order to make the most of the superb savings many car hire providers are offering for online and advance car hire bookings.

International car hire operator Dollar and Thrifty offer value for money deals on car rental from its centre across the world, while Avis and Budget offer discounts on advance and online bookings regularly on American destinations as well as Hertz and Alamo. Sixt car hire also have a current deal on advance bookings for car hire in Spain.

The average saving on pre paid car hire is around 10%, while some companies offer as much as 15% and 20% discounts from their car rental rates for customers who book online before a specific date.

However the discounts are, more often than not, deducted from the hire rate itself, and don’t apply to added extras which you may take out with the car hire provider such as insurance, child booster seat hire and satellite navigation system hire.

So if you want to save money on your car hire for your upcoming holiday, make sure you check the special offers page on all major car hire providers to search out the very best pay in advance deal or online booking rate for holiday car hire.

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Cars for Stars urge wedding car hire companies in London to get in touch

Leading luxury transport hire operator, Cars for Stars, is urging all wedding car hire and vintage car hire providers in the London area to get in touch as the company is looking to recruit a number of new agents based in the capital ahead of the peak wedding season.

Since coming under new ownership last summer, the Cars for Stars brand has undergone a major overhaul with a new team of managers at the helm, the introduction of a news site, and a complete revamp of the company logo and websites. The brand makeover has succeeded in attracting the attention of the public, with the luxury transport provider now reporting its strongest ever sales figures.

In order to keep up with the constant stream of enquiries for limo and classic car hire for weddings, Cars for Stars is now looking to recruit a number of top limo hire providers in London and the surrounding areas. Cars for Stars are already fully booked for 80% of all peak wedding dates this summer, but with no hold up in enquiries for bookings, the leading brokerage is keen to get some new agents onboard to cope with the demand for vintage and modern wedding car hire in the London area.

Whether you have a fleet of classic Rolls Royce wedding cars at your disposal, or single Baby Bentley limo, or a range of different wedding cars for hire in the London area, Cars for Stars wants to hear from you. There’s no set-up fee to become an approved agent of Cars for Stars, and you only pay agency fees on the bookings you carry out, so if you don’t undertake a single booking for Cars for Stars one month, then there’s absolutely nothing to pay.

Get in touch with Cars for Stars now to learn about the exciting business opportunities available for London based wedding car hire and chauffeur driven vintage wedding car hire providers.


Royal chauffeurs to undergo extra training ahead of William and Kate wedding

Royal chauffeurs will undergo extra training ahead of the forthcoming wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th, it has been reported.

Following the incident which saw a royal car carrying Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall come under attack in London by a group of student protesters before Christmas, security surrounding front-line royals is expected to be stepped up so as to avoid a similar situation in the future.

With such a high profile event as the royal wedding, which is due to take place at Westminster Abbey in central London, there are concerns that protesters angry over recent government spending cuts could target the event for maximum exposure.

To safeguard against any potential problems, those employed as chauffeurs for leading members of the royal family are said to be undergoing intensive driving courses which will help them deal with any difficult situations should they arise.

It’s been reported that Scotland Yard had suggested the royal household start employing police drivers for security reasons, however the Queen is thought to have decided against this option, and instead instructed the current chauffeurs to undertake special security training.

As well as receiving expert training on how to avoid a hijack situation, the chauffeurs will also be coached on how to execute sharp U-turns and 3-point turns, manoeuvres which are particularly challenging to perform behind the wheel of a hefty Rolls Royce limo.

The intensive driving course for the royal chauffeurs is being run by the police. Previously, royal chauffeurs were trained by the SAS, however it is thought this method of training is no longer in practice.


David Beckham splashes out on a customised Chevrolet Camaro

Following his return to the States after a 3-month long stint in the UK training with London based football team Tottenham, David Beckham was back in America this week, and spotted driving a new Chevrolet Camaro performance car.

The former England skipper was photographed leaving a training session at LA Galaxy this week behind the wheel of the archetypal American car. The Camaro 2011 is the latest addition to the Chevrolet line-up, with Beckham’s customised version likely to have cost in the region of $55,000.

The profile of the new Chevrolet Camaro received a boost after it was featured in the popular Transformer movies. A number of Chevrolet models including the Volt, Stingray, Trax and Chevy Beat all appeared in the Transformer movies, however the Camaro vehicle, dubbed Bumblebee in the films, was the lead car in the series of movies.

The Chevrolet Camaro is available in two engines sizes namely the V6 which has a 3.6 litre engine and 312bhp, and the V8 engine which boasts a 6.2 litre engine and gives an output of 400bhp.

Beckham recently sold his Porsche on eBay for just shy of $150,000 so the new Chevrolet maybe a replacement for his old sports car.

As well as the new Camaro, Becks also has a $300,000 Rolls Royce on his driveway, plus a $40,000 customised Jeep Wrangler.