Gocompare.com News’ 2011 review – Part Three

Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

July

2011 saw a lot of heightened interest in telematics-based car insurance policies, which calculate the price you pay based on a system which monitors how and when you drive. Ahead of the curve as ever, Gocompare.com was the first insurance aggregator to feature them on its panel. We had all the answers to your questions right here….

Our editor had a chat with hardcore ‘comping’ enthusiasts – the ordinary people leading extraordinary lifestyles by entering stacks of competitions and promotional prizedraws.

The decidedly un-stealthy Kristian Dando showed you how to become a credit card ninja.

It was the turn of British Gas to announce hefty increases in the price of energy. Scottish and Southern Energy followed suit shortly afterwards. In fact, it was a particularly bad month for the already pretty dismal public perception of the energy industry – its’ doorstep sales forces were lambasted in Parliament, while Ofgem gave British Gas a £2.5m slap on the wrist for poor customer complaint handling.

Our very own ‘Camp’ David Jenkins  penned this guide to camping for the novice.

Old-school transaction fans across the country whooped with joy as the humble cheque was granted a stay of execution by the British Payments Council.

Beep beep! We rounded up our ten favourite songs about cars and driving, then a few weeks later did the very same thing with tracks about holidays.

August

Plenty of us were off on our holidays, so Rachel England delivered this rather useful guide to avoiding getting diddled whilst abroad.

The ‘big six’ energy companies were at it again – this time it was E.On who announced price increases for millions of its customers. A few weeks later Npower did the same. Meanwhile, Ofgem’s ongoing investigation into the big six’s behaviour rumbled on.

Our On The Road motoring section started to feature car reviews. In our first one, our editor ran the rule of the Honda Jazz Hybrid.

Speaking of cars, the new 61 registration plate arrived . We had a look at how you could get a bit of the brand new car action for less than you might think…

New drivers have enough to worry about, what with the increasingly prohibitive cost of getting insured. We attempted to take some of the sting out of buying a first car with this guide.

Maxine France Roper mulled over the pros and cons of getting on the property ladder with a chum.

Getting one over on the tax man doesn’t necessarily mean doing a ‘Lester Piggot’ or having an offshore account. Kristian Dando rounded up a few totally legitimate ways to stick it to HMRC.

Ruff! In the jungle, in the jungle, ruff! We rounded up our favourite songs about pets.

September

The nations pubs erupted into debate over the proposed raising of the national speed limit to 80mph. Where did you stand on the issue?

Building your own home isn’t as crazy an idea as you might think, learned Dave Jenkins.

Plans were afoot for measures which would prevent another taxpayer-funded bailout of those naughty banks.

Which? accused the payday loans industry of being “rife with poor practice.”

Why are the British so bad at complaining?” grumbled Jon Severs.

On the subject of complaining, EDF’s customers had plenty of cause to do so as the company became the final member of the big six energy companies to announce price rises. The energy secretary promised he was going to ‘get tough’ on them. When you’re ready, Chris.

We took the new Kia Picanto for a spin, and came to the conclusion that it was a rather good little car.

Kurt Jacobs took a closer look at business insurance. James Hind, editor at the very handy CarBuzz website, popped in to do a guest post for us on his five favourite unassuming performance cars.

Finally, we had a look back at ten ace driving games from the annals of history.

For more retrospective action, check out Part One and Part Two We'll be publishing the final part of our look back at 2011 next week.