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An independent financial adviser is offering readers a 24-page guide to Venture Capital Trusts, providing information and recommendations on all the 11 VCTs currently on offer, together with an updated end of year tax planning guide with added pension planning strategies. Both are available free to readers applying by March 18. Write to David Aaron Partnership, Shelton House, High Street, Woburn Sands, Milton Keynes.

Barclays Bank is keeping open until March 16 applications from savings acount holders to defer interest due in March until after the start of the new tax year, when the tax rate will drop from 25 per cent to 20 per cent for basic rate taxpayers.

The stockbroker Foster & Braithwaite has launched a pension fund investing mainly in zero coupon shares offering a tax-free yield of 7.9 per cent to redemption. It can be used to provide an income by selling a proportion of the holdings each year.

The Bristol-based Insurance Service is offering discounts of 10 per cent on comprehensive motor policy premiums to drivers of cars over five years old rising to over 20 per cent on cars 10 years old. Managing director Syd Pennington says: "In our experience people who have older cars are less likely to make claims."

Most motor insurance companies have singled out mature and retired motorists as the targets for lower premiums, says the motor insurance specialist Hill House Hammond. Young drivers have missed out because they are all tarred with the irresponsible boy racer brush. HHH has now introduced a Lifestyle rating which takes into account the occupation, professional qualifications, marital status and driving record of individual young drivers, which can cut their motor insurance costs by 50 per cent or more, it claims.

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