Automotive News

WHAT CAR READERS LIKE SUZUKIS
- 19 January 2022
WHAT CAR READERS LIKE SUZUKIS
Suzuki is celebrating some very good news from the results of the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey in which readers report on their car ownership experience from six up to 15 years old. Of the 27 car brands measured, Suzuki is at the top of the brand league table with a score of 97.0 per cent. What Car? received over 16,300 owner responses across all manufacturers and measured 139 different used models across the industry. Owners praised Suzuki for having very few faults to report in their ownership as well as being inexpensive to repair. The Vitara recorded 100 per cent reliability with no faults at all reported from owners and was one of only three cars measured to score 100 per cent in the survey. The good news continued for the popular Swift too as owners reported 97.8 per cent reliability and no repair bill exceeding £100 of the small faults reported. Swift was 13 per cent up on the average small car class rating in the survey. Editor of What Car? magazine Steve Huntingford comments: "There are plenty of good reasons to buy a Vitara but the most compelling has to be its faultless reliability record. According to owners, it's the best small SUV in our survey with not a single Vitara causing its owner any trouble over the last 12 months. A used Swift is another good bet if you are looking for a small car that won't let you down"
SURVEY REVEALS INTERESTING INSIGHTS INTO DEALER SERVICE
- 19 January 2022
SURVEY REVEALS INTERESTING INSIGHTS INTO DEALER SERVICE
Expectations among car buyers are almost always satisfied by dealers, but customers remain less happy with the quality of dealer staff, new research has revealed. Every aspect of the buying experience is examined in Autovia's 'Driver Power' research - which is drawn from the reports of up to 60,000 participants a year - and dealer staff appear to be the weakest link in an otherwise almost universally satisfying process. Dealer efforts to overcome the challenges of the pandemic have been especially successful, with the quality of virtual tours to demonstrate a vehicle and contactless handover of the car consistently beating expectations. Investment in the quality and comfort of showrooms has also paid off, with customers typically rating their dealer's premises as better than expected. But, among the thousands of customers who bought a car from a traditional dealer over the past two years, criticisms of staff accounted for three out of four areas in which expectations were not met. Despite the overall strong performance of dealers in overall customer satisfaction, they are failing to attain top marks in the four areas to which buyers attach most importance. Customers remain wary of trusting sales staff and are more likely to find fault with transparency, honesty and communications than almost any other aspect of the purchase experience. The other area in which dealer performance falls below customer demands is vehicle condition on delivery or collection. Driver Power's Shopper Survey invites car buyers to rank the most important aspects of the buying process and then report on whether or not the dealer meets those expectations. A surprise finding was that, despite the reputation of finance being a confusing area for many people, customers rate dealer staff knowledge of finance options and their ability to tailor finance products to their specific needs lowest of all in terms of importance. Despite dealers apparently failing to meet customers' highest priority demands, a majority of buyers also told Driver Power that they will go back to the same dealer for their next car.
FORD GT40 ANTHOLOGY BOOK LAUNCHES
- 19 January 2022
FORD GT40 ANTHOLOGY BOOK LAUNCHES
A new and unique compilation of stories about the iconic GT40, all accompanied by a host of old and new photographs. While not a traditional history of the GT40, each individual story will give the reader new insights into the car's design and development, as well as some fascinating racing tales and previously well-kept secrets divulged. Chapters include an explanation of the mysteries of Appendix J and its impact on the design of the Mirage and MkIV GT40; a detailed scrutineering report on GT40P/1075 at Le Mans; some untold truths behind the 2005 name controversy; and the unrecorded engine swap which enabled a GT40 to race - and finish - at the Le Mans 24 hours. The book contains information which at last shows that Ford did really install the Indy 4-cam engine in a development of the GT40. It explains in detail how GT40-builder JWAE was structured, and what its accounts looked like: the fascinating facts concerning the financial aspects of the GT40-building business are revealed. These two highly knowledgeable and experienced authors have collaborated to bring you this great collection of GT40 stories, some of which had previously been published in magazines many years ago, but have now been reworked, and many of which are totally new. A must have for any GT40 enthusiast to keep at their bedside or on the coffee table to dip in and out of as they please.
WHERE TO GET RARE MODEL CARS
- 19 January 2022
WHERE TO GET RARE MODEL CARS
Globally renowned for its original specification classic wiper and mirror products, British Motor Heritage (BMH) subsidiary Tex Automotive is now offering an ever-increasing range of enthusiast car parts and accessories, plus a mouth-watering selection of rare or, in some cases, unique 'mint and boxed' model cars. A collectors' goldmine, the selection has been amassed over many years by BMH in its role as global licensee for the Austin, Austin-Healey, MG, Morris, Rover, Triumph and Wolseley brands. It comprises everything from one-off prototypes to limited edition runs, all boxed and in mint condition. A selection of the offerings can be found at www.texautomotive.com. However, it is only a fraction of the total stock, with more examples being added to the website all the time, so collectors are advised to make regular visits to the site in order not to miss out on this exciting opportunity. Currently viewable are such gems as the Kyosho 1/18th scale 1959 Le Mans Triumph TR3S (£41.25 plus VAT) and highly-detailed Sun Star 1/36th scale RAC Austin Minivan (£55.00 plus VAT). Also recently uploaded are a splendid selection of the Corgi 1/76th scale Trackside miniatures that are compatible and therefore the perfect complement to '00' gauge model railway layouts. Now rarely obtainable from other sources, these highly collectable items range from individual cars and vans priced at just £3.50 plus VAT to three-piece sets for a mere £8.50 plus VAT. The classic car parts and accessories also available at www.texautomotive.com include no end of useful items from EBC replacement brake parts to Samco silicone hoses and fuel caps to Renovo car care products, not to mention such ideal and eminently affordable all year round gifts as leather driving gloves and branded key fobs.
POLL SHOWS EV OWNER SATISFACTION
- 19 January 2022
POLL SHOWS EV OWNER SATISFACTION
Zap-Map, the UK's No.1 electric vehicle (EV) charging app, has released the results of a new survey of EV drivers across the country. The results are strong evidence of a continuing shift in consumer attitudes towards electric vehicles. Not only do they show that those who plump for electric in the New Year won't regret it, but they also suggest that EV drivers are increasingly confident about driving long distances. Indeed, the Zap-Map poll has revealed that more than 90% of drivers are extremely happy with their EV and would not want to replace it with a petrol or diesel car. The data highlights the positive impact of EVs on drivers who have benefited from a great driving experience, low running costs and low emissions. Less than 1% wanted a return to a petrol or diesel vehicle. Tellingly, the results are remarkably similar to those of last year's Zap-Map survey, indicating that this year's influx of new EV drivers are as pleased with their decision to make the switch to electric as their 2020 counterparts. Many of the respondents to the survey were indeed first-time EV drivers. More than 48% of respondents said that their current vehicle was their first EV, with 28% making the purchase in 2020. In parallel, driver satisfaction was notably higher for both battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, with EV drivers reporting a satisfaction score of 91 out of 100 (battery-electric 92, plug-in hybrid 84), compared with only 74 for petrol or diesel vehicle ownership.
REVEALING INSIGHTS INTO NEW AND USED BUYERS
- 19 January 2022
REVEALING INSIGHTS INTO NEW AND USED BUYERS
Myths about 'miserly Scots' and financially cautious retired people have been squashed by revelations in one of the biggest surveys of car buying behaviour ever conducted. According to Autovia, Scottish drivers and retired people are more likely to buy their car new than anyone else. More than 7,000 new car buyers and nearly 9,000 used car owners who all bought their car in the past two years took part in the research, by Autovia's Driver Power, Britain's most comprehensive survey into car ownership experiences and attitudes. The latest Driver Power insights also reveal that Welsh drivers buy a higher proportion of used cars than anywhere else and that women aged 56 and over form the biggest individual segment of new car customers. Autovia's Driver Power research is statistically rigorous and carefully weighted to provide automotive professionals with essential insights to help planning and decision making in a market currently disrupted by the twin problems of the pandemic and a related shortage of essential electronic components. Another surprising finding in the latest research is that online buyers are more likely to recommend their car supplier to someone else than those who buy from a traditional dealer. And more than one in ten online car buyers see no need to speak to a real person at any point in the purchasing process. British drivers' love of cars is also revealed by the fact that more than one in ten customers over the past two years were buying an additional vehicle rather than simply replacing their existing car.
EV SALES FOR 2022 SET TO RISE
- 10 January 2022
EV SALES FOR 2022 SET TO RISE
At least 330,000 new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will be registered in the UK in 2022, according to figures from DriveElectric. This figure is based on DriveElectric's own forecasts, and it represents a significant increase from 183,000 - the number of battery electric vehicles (cars and light vans) expected to have been registered in the UK in 2021. The figure of 330,000 - which is around 16% of all new sales (up from 10% in 2021) - does not include plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). DriveElectric uses its own model built from its intelligence of the UK market to forecast registrations of battery electric cars and vans. Background issues behind the forecast include: - Vehicle shortages, primarily due to semiconductor supply issues, are expected to remain until around mid-2022 - demand continues to outstrip supply until then - EV production from a large number of manufacturers' new factories will start in 2022, for example two new Tesla factories will treble the volume for a brand that was the UK market leader in December 2021 - Many new models, including the Tesla Model Y, will arrive in the UK - There will be accelerated expansion of the public charging network, including rapid chargers, with ongoing improved reliability - The home charger grant ends in March 2022 - this won't affect EV sales, but fewer people are likely to get chargers, and non-smart chargers will get used - UK businesses will move to reduce their corporate carbon footprint - leading to potential impact on sales of vehicles such as high-CO2 petrol SUVs. Looking further ahead, DriveElectric sees particularly high numbers of EV sales from 2025 onwards (around 50% of registrations). Registrations of petrol and diesel vehicles will decline naturally ahead of the 2030 ban, as people will stop buying them due to poor residual values, which means higher lease costs, and as EV prices become competitive with prices of ICE vehicles.
LAST LOTUS MODELS LEAVE THE LINE
- 10 January 2022
LAST LOTUS MODELS LEAVE THE LINE
Lotus is commemorating the end of production of its Elise, Exige and Evora sports cars. Between these three model lines and over the course of 26 years, a total of 51,738 cars came off the production line. Combined, they represent almost half of the total production of Lotus in its 73-year history. In addition, 9,715 sports cars were built for Lotus' third-party clients, including GM and Tesla. From 1996 to 2000, the first-generation Elise and Exige sports cars were built in a small assembly hall at Hethel alongside the Lotus Esprit. The current assembly lines, which were installed in 2000, will be dismantled and replaced with all-new state-of-the-art facilities in support of the all-new Emira factory. Full Emira production begins in the spring, after the prototype and test phases currently underway are completed, taking Lotus sports car production into an exciting, high-tech and semi-automated era, and increasing capacity up to 5,000 units per year on a single shift pattern. The last examples of the Elise, Exige and Evora models are reserved for Lotus' growing heritage collection. Joining the collection will be the last Elise, a Sport 240 Final Edition finished in Yellow and the last of 35,124 cars; the last Exige, a Cup 430 Final Edition in Heritage Racing Green - number 10,497; and the last Evora - a GT430 Sport finished in Dark Metallic Grey - the last of a production run of 6,117. The Elise and Exige sports cars are built around the Lotus 'small car platform'. On the same platform, and also manufactured by Lotus at Hethel were the Opel Speedster / Vauxhall VX220 (7,200 cars built between 2000 and 2005) and the Tesla Roadster (2,515 cars built between 2007 and 2012). Therefore, including the Lotus 340R, Europa, 2-Eleven and 3-Eleven cars, this brings the total Lotus small car platform production volumes to 56,618 cars.
WHEN IS A WRITE-OFF NOT A WRITE-OFF?
- 10 January 2022
WHEN IS A WRITE-OFF NOT A WRITE-OFF?
Around 700,000 vehicles are known to be written off by insurance companies each year, and the true figure could be even higher. However, according to leading price comparison site Quotezone.co.uk, many drivers are unaware that some cars are written off not because they aren't roadworthy, but because the cost of repairing them might be more than the vehicle is worth. In fact, a car that is classed as a 'Category N write-off' may have only sustained minor cosmetic damage such as scratched paintwork, while a 'Category S write-off' might have sustained some structural damage that could be easily repaired, such as a dent in the car door panel. Greg Wilson of Quotezone explains: "It comes as a surprise to many drivers to be told their car is a write-off as, far from being a tangled wreck, the damage may sometimes be very superficial. While each insurer has different guidelines, they will generally class the vehicle as a write-off if the cost of repairing the damage is more than the car is worth. "So even if the damage is purely cosmetic - for example if the bodywork is dented or the paintwork is scratched - if it is costly to put right, the vehicle may be written off. If your car has a low value, even very minor repairs like this may not be considered worthwhile. "Provided you have fully-comprehensive insurance, you should be covered up to the current market value of the vehicle, but if it's written off you might not be able to find a comparable car for the same price so could lose out financially or end up with an inferior vehicle - particularly if you have customised it to suit your needs or it is an older model that you love and that would be hard to replace."
NEW CAR AND EV OWNERS KEY TO RETAINING BRAND LOYALTY SUGGESTS SURVEY
- 10 January 2022
NEW CAR AND EV OWNERS KEY TO RETAINING BRAND LOYALTY SUGGESTS SURVEY
Women and electric car owners are more likely to stick to their guns on initial model choices than any other segment of car-buying customers. The finding comes from Driver Power, Britain's biggest survey of car buying behaviour. Driver Power dives into the hearts and minds of up to 60,000 car buyers annually to understand which factors shape their decisions and choices. It also reveals that men are more likely than women to consider a wider range of models when shopping for a car. According to a snapshot of 1,245 people questioned who bought their current car within the past two years, 19% settled on the model they were initially interested in and did not consider any others. But in the case of women this figure rises to 26%, with a similar proportion for those who currently own an EV. In general, car buyers are most likely to work from a shortlist of three or four models - the figure reported by 50% of the sample. The third most common response, reported by 14% of buyers, was to have considered just one other model before buying their existing car. But potentially most significant for manufacturers and dealers is that those people who bought new or chose an electric vehicle consistently picked from fewer competing choices. This suggests that in the growing practice of ongoing customer contact and relationship building, concentrating on previous new car buyers, EV owners and women may deliver better returns on loyalty.
BLISTERING SALES GROWTH FOR EVS
- 10 January 2022
BLISTERING SALES GROWTH FOR EVS
December's car sales list capped off an astonishing year for electric cars. With 9,612 Tesla Model 3s leaving showrooms before Christmas, the hyper-popular American EV outsold the second-place Mini by almost 5000 units, making it the best-selling car of the month for the third time last year. It's a far cry from the start of the electric car revolution. Back in 2011 the best-selling electric car in the UK was the Nissan Leaf, which sold just 635 units in the entire year. In contrast, nearly 191,000 pure electric cars were sold in the UK in 2021, giving the segment nearly 12% of the market vs. just 8% for Diesel. Some analysts are concerned that the growth of rapid charging infrastructure is struggling to keep pace. According to data from ZapMap, the UKs most-used recharging app, charging infrastructure grew by nearly a third last year while sales of EVs were up 70%. In June, energy firm Gridserve bought the ageing Electric Highway network from Ecotricity and began an extensive replacement and expansion project, with chargers capable of filling some EVs to 80% in as little as 18 minutes. It's hoped that hub of chargers like these will become commonplace in the next few years, and new "electric forecourts" are currently under construction in Norwich and at Gatwick airport.
WEATHER WARNINGS MAKE TYRE CHECKS ESSENTIAL
- 10 January 2022
WEATHER WARNINGS MAKE TYRE CHECKS ESSENTIAL
With the Met Office issuing warnings for ice and snow, and the threat of flooding from the Environment Agency this week, 2022 has started with challenging driving conditions across the country. With millions of us making New Year's resolutions, TyreSafe is urging motorists to pledge to check their tyres regularly to reduce the risk of an incident while out on the road. Adequate tread depth is essential, especially when there is significant standing water. Tread clears water from between the road surface and the tyre - as much as a bucket full every seven seconds on a new tyre. The lower the tread, the less water it can clear, thereby increasing the chances of 'aquaplaning'. Also known as 'hydroplaning', aquaplaning is caused when a layer of water builds up between a vehicle's tyres and the surface of the road. When this happens, tyres are not effectively in contact with the road, making any attempts by the driver to steer, brake or accelerate ineffective - in other words, they're out of control. To help avoid aquaplaning, motorists should also adjust their driving style to suit road conditions. If there is lots of standing water, drivers should lower their speed and leave more distance between their vehicle and the one in front. Should they find themselves aquaplaning, drivers should gently lift their foot from the accelerator and allow the vehicle's speed to naturally reduce. This will allow the tyres to regain grip on the road. Winter tyres and All Season tyres have special tread patterns which help to provide extra grip in snow and ice, and have a different compound to allow them to perform in low temperatures, offering better grip at this time of year. However, it is essential all tyres have adequate tread depth of at least the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm. You can check your tyres' tread depth with a 20p piece if you do not have a tread depth gauge. The outer rim of the 20p is approximately 2.6mm, so drivers can insert the coin into the tyre's tread and gauge how much of the border remains exposed. If the border is completely hidden, tread depth is likely to be above the legal limit; if any more than the slightest amount of the coin's rim is visible, the tread needs to be checked by a professional. For optimum performance and safety, drivers should also check their tyres are correctly inflated. The correct tyre pressures are shown on a sticker in your car's door shut, filler cap or in the owner's manual. Use an accurate pressure gauge to ensure they are right for the load as part of your pre-journey planning. Finally, motorists should check the condition of their tyres so signs of anything out of the ordinary and potential defects. Bulges, cracks, cuts and embedded objects are cause for concern and need to be checked by a professional. If stones or other objects caught between grooves in the tread can be removed without damaging the tyre, drivers are advised to do so.
NEW PEUGEOT VAN GETS HYDROGEN POWER
- 05 January 2022
NEW PEUGEOT VAN GETS HYDROGEN POWER
The very first production hydrogen vehicle from Peugeot left the production line on December 13th 2021 - with the Michelin group the first customer of the revolutionary new Peugeot e-Expert Hydrogen. With the e-Expert Hydrogen, Peugeot has become one of the very first manufacturers to offer, in addition to its combustion and battery electric variants, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in the commercial vehicle segment. The Peugeot e-Expert Hydrogen van integrates a new hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain in the engine compartment and underbody - resulting in no compromise in terms of load volume compared to the diesel variants of the Expert, and a low centre of gravity - improving vehicle stability and safety. The e-Expert Hydrogen is the latest development of Peugeot's "Extended power of choice" strategy, enabling customers to choose from a wide range of powertrains that best meets their needs. Peugeot's e-Expert Hydrogen model comes just 15 months after the launch of the battery-powered e-Expert, which was named International Van of the Year in early 2021 and is the sixth Peugeot vehicle to win this prestigious award since 1992. The new Peugeot e-Expert Hydrogen features a hydrogen fuel cell system combined with a 10.5kWh battery that helps power the electric motor. A full refuel with compressed hydrogen takes just three minutes, resulting in 249 miles (WLTP) of electric range, and a maximum speed of 80mph.
MANY MOTORISTS STILL AT RISK OF DRINK DRIVING
- 05 January 2022
MANY MOTORISTS STILL AT RISK OF DRINK DRIVING
A survey commissioned by the UK's leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has revealed that the majority of motorists are unaware of the amount of alcohol that will tip them over the limit, while half admit they are prepared to drive the morning after late night drinks. Indeed, of over 1,000 motorists surveyed, 50% confessed they were likely to get behind the wheel the next morning following festive drinks, even though it takes many hours before large amounts of alcohol leave the blood stream. Perhaps even more worryingly, when respondents were asked how many micrograms of alcohol are permitted in 100 millilitres of breath before they would fail a police breathalyser, on average, the answer was 52. This is despite the fact the actual threshold is only 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath. Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented: "Drinking and driving simply does not mix and every driver should plan to leave the keys at home rather than face a fine, lengthy ban or time in a police cell. "Worryingly, the research also highlights that there is still real ignorance regarding how much alcohol is enough before it is illegal to drive. Although motorists may well think they know how many drinks will typically tip them over the limit, individual characteristics such as body weight, food consumption, gender and metabolism will also determine the reading. The charity has also reiterated its plea to the government to roll out a smarter package of longer-term measures to help drive down the number of drink drivers on Britain's roads into the new year. This includes a lower drink-drive limit to reinforce good behaviour, fast-track of evidential roadside testing machines to release police resources and tailored approaches to help drivers with alcohol problems.
ICONIC WILLIAMS FW07 04 FORMULA 1 RACING CAR RESTORED
- 05 January 2022
ICONIC WILLIAMS FW07 04 FORMULA 1 RACING CAR RESTORED
Prestige car builders and restoration firm Fifteen Eleven Design created history last month as they were chosen to fully recommission the 1980 Williams FW07/04 Formula 1 car that Alan Jones used in his World Championship title-winning season. From their premises in Bakewell, Derbyshire, Fifteen Eleven extensively restored the iconic racer with a ground-up re-build after dismantling and shipping the machine from its Saudi Arabian home. After a painstaking eight-week restoration, the legendary car was then returned to Jeddah where it was the first Formula 1 car to sample the all-new race circuit used as the penultimate round of the 2021 F1 World Championship. It was then driven by a host of F1 legends such as David Coulthard, Emerson Fittipaldi and Damon Hill and featured in a Sky Sports documentary. The raucous Williams FW07/04 was first used by Australian F1 star Alan Jones in 1979 and would be the car that propelled him to the prestigious Drivers title and Williams to the Constructors title in 1980. Jones would pilot "04" in the Argentinian Grand Prix in January of 1980, taking pole position and subsequent the race win, laying the foundations for a stellar season in the World Championship.
NISSAN CELEBRATES SUNDERLAND MILESTONE
- 05 January 2022
NISSAN CELEBRATES SUNDERLAND MILESTONE
Celebrating 35 years of production at the Sunderland plant, Nissan has commissioned a very special conversion of the Nissan Bluebird - the first car off the factory's production line in 1986. Called 'Newbird', the one-off project car is powered by the 100% electric drivetrain of a Nissan LEAF, the pioneering mass-market EV that kick-started the global trend towards electrification of mobility. The 'Newbird' connects 35 years of manufacturing heritage at Sunderland, as Nissan accelerates towards an electrified future through Ambition 2030, the company's long-term plan to empower mobility and beyond. Alan Johnson, Vice President, Manufacturing, at Nissan Sunderland Plant, said; "The 'Newbird' represents all that is great about our plant - past present and future - as we celebrate 35 years of manufacturing in Sunderland. "We have a rich heritage of building great cars, right from the original Bluebird model, and our fantastic team is now leading the way as we drive towards an exciting electrified, carbon neutral, future." Andrew Humberstone, Managing Director, Nissan Motor GB Ltd., added; "There's a huge pride in our dealer network that so many of the cars we sell have started life right here in the UK. Nissan's Sunderland plant has produced 'home-grown heroes' for millions of UK customers with models like the Juke, Qashqai and LEAF amongst the country's best-sellers. This 'Newbird' project is a wonderful tribute to the enduring presence of high quality manufacturing that Nissan has enjoyed in the UK for more than three decades."
CHECK YOUR WARRANTY!
- 05 January 2022
CHECK YOUR WARRANTY!
Warrantywise, a leading UK provider of aftermarket vehicle warranties, warns that many UK motorists are not covered by a valid warranty, and could be facing big bills in 2022 amidst the increase in demand for second-hand vehicles. As new car production delays continue and consumer decision making over internal combustion versus hybrid or pure electric wavers, the rise in used car demand continues to grow. As such, UK car owners could be facing large repair bills in 2022 and beyond, as research suggests Britons are keeping cars for longer - a recent study showed that a fifth of all cars on the road in Britain are over 13 years old. However, 85 per cent of used car owners are estimated to be driving without an extended warranty* once their OEM cover runs out (average cover is five years). Data published by the SMMT in November 2021 shows that the used car market is up 16.4 per cent on 2020 levels. Warrantywise believes there are multiple factors that influence why people are keeping cars for longer. The company's data shows a larger number of motorists are taking lease extensions due to lack of new car availability while they wait for up to 12 months for a replacement. Added to this is the impending ban of combustion engines by 2030 in the UK, which has led to consumer uncertainty about the next type of vehicle to purchase. Warrantywise urges motorists to check they are protected against potential large bills in the future, and if they are out of warranty, to consider an aftermarket warranty option for their cars.
EMPTY DRIVEWAY REVENUE HOTSPOTS
- 05 January 2022
EMPTY DRIVEWAY REVENUE HOTSPOTS
A new league table released by an online parking portal has revealed the regions where shrewd homeowners are making the most money by renting out their empty driveways as parking spaces. Indeed, booking data from YourParkingSpace.co.uk has shown that householders in London topped the money-making chart as pre-paid bookings on the portal soared past the one-million-pound mark to a massive £1,110,428 in November alone. The UK's capital was followed by the Northwest and Southeast of England, where residents made a whopping combined total of £225,143 and £216,523 respectively also in November this year. However, the regions where homeowners enjoy the fastest rates of growth were the East Midlands, Wales and the Northeast of England, which benefitted from a surge in takings of 106%, 84% and 59% respectively in November, when compared to pre-pandemic figures in February 2020. Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk, commented: "Our booking data shows that renting out an empty driveway, garage or secure parking space can be a serious money spinner. "What's more, it's very encouraging to see that the top earning regions are spread across the UK, offering money making opportunities to countless homeowners who have an empty driveway or parking space." This news comes as the cost of living surged 5.1% in the 12 months to November, the highest level since September 2011. Indeed, many householders troubled by financial worries are looking for creative ways to offset the rising cost of living.
SEASONAL MOTORING TIPS TO SAVE YOU MONEY
- 20 December 2021
SEASONAL MOTORING TIPS TO SAVE YOU MONEY
A leading insurance comparison firm is revealing the top winter driving tips that could help motorists avoid higher premiums and retain those all-important No Claims Bonuses. Quotezone.co.uk says many motorists overlook the winter conditions and can make unnecessary mistakes that will hit them hard in the pocket. The firm says even minor adjustments in behaviour could save hundreds of pounds. Here they lay out some of the pitfalls motorists can find themselves in this winter: Defrosting - It is tempting to leave the engine running while the windscreen unfreezes, and the car warms up. However, if an opportunistic thief takes the vehicle, many insurance companies will not cover the loss. Leaving engines running is also an offence under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Doing this is known as 'idling',and is bad for the environment as it increases the amount of dangerous gases emitted into the air from the car's exhaust. Don't use boiling water on windscreens - Glass can crack when it experiences a sudden change in temperature, and windscreen damage isn't always covered by a standard car insurance policy. Simply using a frost guard, a defogger or even homemade de-icer - lukewarm water mixed with rubbing alcohol. Clear your windscreen before you set-off - Windscreens with inhibited views can land owners with a £1,000 fine and three points on a driving licence. So any leaves, snow, ice, mud or even condensation, needs to be fully cleared before setting out. Check tyres - Motorists can be fined an eye-watering £2,500 for each faulty tyre and receive three points on their driving licence. If the police see another tyre falling short, it doubles to £5,000 and six points. Four faulty tyres could even see the maximum 12 points - resulting in the loss of a driving licence. Commercial vehicle drivers, where the car or van is owned by their employer - could land firms with penalties of up to £20,000. Numberplate - Excess mud and grit on the roads this time of year can make your car dirty very quickly, and if the numberplate isn't clearly visible, drivers could face a fine of £1,000. Floods - Some car insurance policies include clauses advising policyholders not to drive through flooded roads, and may specifically exclude cover for any water damage to the car if the motorist goes against this advice. Avoid puddles - Soaking pedestrians by deliberately driving through large puddles can results in a £100 fine and three penalty points.
BRADFORD FOUND TO OFFER THE SMOKIEST COMMUTE
- 20 December 2021
BRADFORD FOUND TO OFFER THE SMOKIEST COMMUTE
New research from Moneybarn has revealed that Bradford was found to be the city producing the most Co2 emissions in the UK from an average commute, whilst Northampton was found to be producing the least! By analysing data from Numbeo's Traffic Index on the average commute time, and vehicle global emissions, Moneybarn compiled a report revealing and ranking every area in the U.K. according to the amount of Co2 emissions created from a single average journey. With an estimate of 5,001 grams of CO2 per journey, 1st place Bradford is the only town or city to produce over 5,000 grams of CO2 per commute. Even though Southend-on-Sea was found to have the longest average journey in the UK (47.50 minutes), they were found to produce the 5th highest amount of CO2, being beaten by only Bradford, Peterborough, Bournemouth, and Swindon. With the 3rd longest average commute (43.72 minutes), London still finds itself as the 3rd best city for CO2 emissions, producing the 3rd least amount - only 935 grams per journey. This is mostly due to the high percentage of commuters relying on public transport, and likely the Low Emission Zones within the area.
TESLA SUPERCHARGING NETWORK TOPS EV CHARGING SURVEY
- 20 December 2021
TESLA SUPERCHARGING NETWORK TOPS EV CHARGING SURVEY
Tesla's supercharger network has been named the UK's best public EV chargepoint provider by Driver Power, the country's leading car ownership survey. Autovia's Driver Power insights are pooled from a real-time survey contributed to by some 60,000 motorists each year. The results help the automotive industry understand drivers' ownership experiences, intentions and priorities. Chargers from some of the country's biggest operators were ranked in the survey, following responses from thousands of electric-car drivers. Electric car users were asked to rate chargers in ten categories, including price, charging speed and reliability. Tesla's chargers topped the poll in all but one category on the way to achieving a table-topping score of 83 per cent. Shell Recharge was ranked the best operator open to drivers of any electric vehicle, with an overall score of 79 per cent. Owners said that no other provider offered a better range of locations for chargers, and the firm took a further six top-three category finishes. With a 77 per cent score, Instavolt was ranked third, just ahead of GeniePoint and Pod Point. But echoing many EV drivers' sentiments about the patchy nature of the UK public charging infrastructure, the primary provider of universally-available chargepoints finished at the foot of the table for the second year in succession. Ecotricity was purchased by Gridserve earlier this year, and drivers will be hoping to see an improvement following major planned investment. This year's Driver Power chargepoint survey was expanded to include a number of new categories, including questions focusing on lighting and security at charging stations, ease of use, locations, number and condition of chargers, customer service and the quality of the networks' apps.
MOST HATED CHRISTMAS DRIVING SONGS
- 20 December 2021
MOST HATED CHRISTMAS DRIVING SONGS
Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine may be a Christmas favourite, but not, it seems with Britain's motorists. In a poll conducted for Leasing.com by YouGov, Cliff's famous tune was voted the most hated song of all time to have in the car at Christmas, taking 10% of the total vote. The poll included some of the most well-known songs compiled from lists of the most streamed songs as well as the UK's most favourite Christmas tunes, to find out which drivers detested the most when behind the wheel. Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas' received 6% of the vote with Ariana Grande's 'Santa Tell Me' and the iconic 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl receiving 5%. Ironically, Chris Rea's Driving home for Christmas didn't fare especially well amongst motorists set to be driving to see family and friends at Christmas. The 12 Most Hated Driving Songs of Christmas 1. Mistletoe and Wine - Cliff Richard 2. All I want for Christmas - Mariah Carey 3. Do They Know it's Christmas - Band Aid 4. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl 5. Santa Tell Me - Ariana Grande 6. It's beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Michael Buble 7. Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rea 8. Merry Christmas Everyone - Slade 9. I wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard 10. Last Christmas - Wham! 11. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Jackson 5 12. Step Into Christmas - Elton John The vote does see a dramatic shift within the age groups as well, with Slade's classic 'Merry Christmas Everyone' being despised the most by 35-44 years olds (14%) and over 55s (12%), and Ariana Grande's hit being loathed by 18-24-year-olds (8%). Both of which being the generations it was first released to.
SURVEY REVEALS DESIRABLE DRIVING HABITS FOR BRITS
- 20 December 2021
SURVEY REVEALS DESIRABLE DRIVING HABITS FOR BRITS
A new survey by Moneybarn has revealed the most desirable driving habits for Brits, with parallel parking championing as the most attractive manoeuvre a partner can perform in their vehicle, and having a clean car triumphing above driving fast as the sexiest habit. Audi drivers were also named as the most attractive in the study, and Skoda drivers the least. The survey, of 2000 Brits, lifted the lid on the driving manoeuvres, habits and car brands that we find most attractive. The key findings of the survey were: 60% of Brits rated parallel parking as the most impressive manoeuvre, followed by a three-point turn (19%) and reverse parking with the arm on the passenger seat (15%). The survey found that one in six believe that Audis were the most attractive car brand, whilst, unfortunately, Skoda drivers were the least attractive. 45-54 year olds found parallel parking more impressive, meanwhile, younger people preferred reversing with their arm on the passenger seat and overtaking other cars. Both men and women agreed that parallel parking was most attractive. Almost half of Brits rated having a clean car as the most attractive driving habit. Being considerate to safety was a close second, with 37% of respondents answering driving cautiously. Driving fast fell into third place with just 7% rating it as most attractive. Driving cautiously was more attractive to the older generation. Both male and female respondents agreed that having a clean car was most attractive.
DRIVING TEST MYTHS
- 20 December 2021
DRIVING TEST MYTHS
A new piece of research by Zutobi has finally debunked those driving test myths that we all hear about on the run-up to our test. Driving examiners have a pass quota MYTH - Whilst there are whispers that examiners must pass or fail a certain number of candidates each day, this isn't true. Whether you succeed is purely down to how you drive. You should drive slower to prove that you're careful MYTH - Driving too slow would actually have the opposite effect, as you're likely to delay traffic behind you and cause frustration to other drivers. Plus, driving slow makes you look hesitant and nervous to your examiner. Stalling, taking a wrong turn or crossing your hands at the wheel causes an instant fail MYTH - For stalling or taking a wrong turn, this is not an instant fail. Instead, it's all about keeping calm and how you react. Crossing your hands at the wheel comes down to control of the vehicle, but you can steer however you like. You should study the route before your test MYTH - There isn't one set route that your test centre takes, so it's better to just have good local knowledge instead.
COUNTRIES WHERE IT'S MOST & LEAST STRESSFUL TO LEARN TO DRIVE
- 13 December 2021
COUNTRIES WHERE ITS MOST & LEAST STRESSFUL TO LEARN TO DRIVE
The United Kingdom is the 12th easiest country in the world to learn to drive, according to new research by Zutobi. By analysing all of the factors that induce the most pressure and anxiety when learning to drive, such as congestion, collisions and road quality, Zutobi revealed the countries where it's the most (and least) stressful to lose the L plates. Singapore was found to be the calmest country in the world to learn to drive - with only 2 deaths and 16,419 cars per 100,000 people it is no surprise to see them at the top! The Netherlands, in second place, were also revealed to be the best country in Europe to learn how to drive With a road quality and score of 64.4 and an overall score of 7.14, the United Kingdom finds itself in the top 20 for the easiest countries to learn how to drive - coming in 12th place. Singapore and the Netherlands were the only two countries to have a road quality score over 90 (90.9 and 90.5 respectively). 7 of the easiest countries in the world to learn how to drive are in Europe.
CHEAPEST COUNTRIES TO BUY AN EV
- 13 December 2021
CHEAPEST COUNTRIES TO BUY AN EV
With 10 million electric vehicles being driven around the world, a new study has looked at the most expensive places around the world to buy an EV, with Singapore the most costly at £104,530, and Spain the cheapest at just £17,733. The UK is the 22nd cheapest, with an EV costing over £70k less here, than it does in Singapore, but £8,000 more than Spain. comparethemarket.com looked at the price of buying the cheapest currently available model of the Nissan Leaf (one of the most widely available electric vehicles) across 53 countries, to identify how the cost of buying an electric car stacks up across the globe. You can view the research in full here: Further findings highlighted: The top three cheapest countries to buy an EV are all in Europe (Spain, Malta, and Norway). Spain is currently the cheapest place to buy an EV, at £17,733, due to a Government subsidy scheme to encourage sales. Similarly, the second cheapest place, Malta, also has a Government grant in place. Buying a Nissan Leaf in Singapore costs an astonishing £104,530, whilst buying an EV in the second most expensive country, Argentina, is over half the price. A new Nissan Leaf purchased in the UK costs £25,995, £78,535 less than Singapore, the most expensive country.
WINTER WEATHER DRIVE TIPS
- 13 December 2021
WINTER WEATHER DRIVE TIPS
UK, breakdown cover provider, Green Flag, has released winter weather driving tips to help drivers stay safe on the road. Green Flag's Tips for Driving in the Unpredictable UK Weather: 1. The three-second rule: Keep a three-second gap to the car in front. When that car passes a landmark, count slowly to three. If you pass the same landmark before you get to three, you're too close. Slowing down a vehicle on icy roads can take three or four times longer than you might expect. 2. Plan ahead: Plan your route and check for disruption that would cause you issues, such as road closures or delays. 3. Stick to gentle movements: The trick to keeping control on a slippery surface is to be gentle with your actions when accelerating or breaking. The more sudden the action, the more likely your car is to break traction. 4. When not to break: If you feel your car starting to slide, avoid touching the brake. Try to steer in the direction you're sliding to prevent the car spinning. 5. Be constantly aware: You need to make sure you are expecting the expected, winds can cause movements on the roads and therefore, staying alert will save you and others. If driving in wintery conditions isn't avoidable, Green Flag has shared its top five supplies drivers should carry, in case their vehicle breaks down this winter: Reflective jacket 1. Phone and charger 2. Boots and a warm coat 3. Waterproof trousers 4. Blankets, food and water
FERRARI TRACK DAYS PROVE POPULAR
- 13 December 2021
FERRARI TRACK DAYS PROVE POPULAR
With the home stretch to 2022 just around the corner, a leading driving experience provider has revealed which supercar package has been their most sought after this year, with the prancing horse that is Ferrari galloping to victory. Indeed, TrackDays.co.uk's booking data shows that the Italian thoroughbreds were a favourite among Brits, selling twice as many as the second most popular package, the Ariel Atom Blast. TrackDays.co.uk's Ultimate Ferrari History Driving Experience hands Ferrari fans the keys to race not one, but four models - the 348, 360, 458 Italia and California for three miles each. Dan Jones, operations manager at TrackDays.co.uk, commented: "The Ferrari history package provides the opportunity to zoom through the timeline of the Italian manufacturer by experiencing some of its most iconic models in order of their birth." "Driving these cars sequentially may well feel like time travel, with drivers starting their experience by being teleported to the late eighties in the 348 and finishing their grand tour with a flash return to the 21st century to drive the scorching California model, which hit the streets in 2008." What's more, drivers needn't break the bank to drive this quartet of fast and fashionable Ferraris, with the package currently priced at just £139. Dan added: "For most, owning a Ferrari remains a distant dream. However, TrackDays.co.uk grants admirers the chance, albeit for a few hours, to drive these speedsters, meaning customers don't need to burn a hole in their pocket or win the lottery to get a taste of the high life!"
CALL TO PRIORITISE OLDER DRIVERS
- 13 December 2021
CALL TO PRIORITISE OLDER DRIVERS
GEM Motoring Assist says new measures are needed urgently to help keep older drivers safe on their journeys. The call follows a warning that car driver deaths in the 70 to 79 age group are expected to rise by 40 per cent over the next 20 years. GEM is also keen to remind older motorists of the need to reflect on their own driving, to understand where they may be experiencing difficulty, and to know where to get practical advice. Speaking up for older drivers has long been central to GEM's long-term road safety commitment. The organisation's 'Still Safe to Drive' resource (stillsafetodrive.org.uk) offers a line-up of informative videos, presented by Valerie Singleton OBE. GEM's safety tips for senior drivers Get fit and stay fit. If possible, do some exercise for 15 to 20 minutes each day. Get a regular eye test. This allows early detection of possible problems. Make sure the car you drive best suits your current needs. Adapt your driving to avoid journeys that cause you stress or discomfort. Reflect on your driving, learn from your mistakes and near misses. Don't pretend they're not happening. Plan your journeys to avoid using the roads at really busy times and build in plenty of breaks on longer journeys.
EVS FAVOURED FOR CHEAPER RUNNING COSTS
- 13 December 2021
EVS FAVOURED FOR CHEAPER RUNNING COSTS
Cheaper running costs rather than benefits to the environment topped the list of reasons for motorists considering an electric vehicle over the past two years, according to new research. Autovia's comprehensive 'Driver Power Shopper' study, drawn from the opinions and behaviour of up to 60,000 participants a year, gets under the skin of why drivers chose the cars they bought over the past two years. Despite environmental benefits being typically touted by the government as the best reason to go electric, Autovia's Driver Power Shopper research confirms that running costs is ranked as the top reason to buy an EV by most people. But economic considerations also top the reasons for holding back on buying an EV, with 'too expensive to buy' cited by most car buyers who bought a different type of car over the past two years. However, 'range anxiety' remains a tough challenge for the industry. Although purchase cost was a factor mentioned by more people who didn't choose an EV than any other issue, 'distance/range limitations' was listed as the biggest worry overall. And in a sign that diehard internal combustion engine fans may be especially hard to convert, 25% of people admit that they still have an "emotional attachment" to petrol and diesel engines. The research also underlines the need to maximise publicity around the rapid growth in Britain's charging point network because 17% of people who chose not to go electric for their current car cited too few charge points as their main reason. Only this week Driver Power revealed Britain's best EV charging point networks, as rated by thousands of drivers. Autovia's flagship title Auto Express concluded from the research that "some of the biggest and more well-known charging networks will be disappointed to see that their operations need work". Auto Express also noted that the primary provider of universally-available charge points was ranked last by users among a total of nine networks.