Automotive News

FORD BRAIN RESEARCH - WHY DRIVERS DROP OFF AT THE WHEEL
- 14 October 2021
FORD BRAIN RESEARCH - WHY DRIVERS DROP OFF AT THE WHEEL
Ford is pioneering new brain research that could ultimately lead to a faster and more accurate way to detect when the driver is starting to switch off behind wheel. Alerting drivers who are tired or distracted far earlier could help keep drivers, passengers and other road users safe, with driver fatigue cited as a contributing factor in up to 25 per cent of fatal and serious road incidents. A survey shows that 40 per cent of drivers in Europe do not follow the recommended practice of taking a break every two hours on long journeys. "The brain processes huge amounts of information when we are driving, but that may change as driver assistance technologies do some of the driving for us. Drivers also get tired and their minds can wander. Identifying more quickly when this happens could be of critical importance," said Stefan Wolter, research engineer, Research and Advanced Engineering, Ford of Europe. Working with neuroscientists, Ford is hoping that by identifying the brain responses that reveal lapses in concentration, it may then be possible to match the scans to their physical manifestations - such as changes in heart rate or breathing. Should a loss in concentration become apparent, for example if a change in heartbeat variability was detected via wearable technology, the vehicle could then alert the driver. As driver assistance technologies offer increasing levels of support to those behind the wheel, it remains crucial drivers stay alert and do not become overly reliant on assistance technologies. Ford is conducting this research on mapping brain patterns to driver's reactions with Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, in Germany. The testing involves participants completing a driving simulation while their brain activity is scanned by an MRI machine. A specially positioned mirror enables the participants to see the simulation on the screen. The scenario, designed using gaming technology, involves a three-lane motorway at night where a vehicle in the middle lane brakes suddenly and the participant has to take over and move the car to the left or right, using a handheld device. The participants are also prompted by engine sounds to indicate which lane it is safe to move to. The MRI machine scans the brain before and during these actions, while the researchers measure how quickly the participant reacts and if they make the right decision, and monitor changes to heart rate, breathing rate and other physiological measures.
CHECK YOUR OIL!
- 14 October 2021
CHECK YOUR OIL!
A new nationwide survey has found that just 24% of UK car owners say their car's engine oil level is checked once per month, which lubricants experts at Castrol recommend is necessary to optimise fuel efficiency, minimise carbon emissions and extend the life of the engine. Castrol's survey found that some cars on UK roads go for extended periods without any check of the engine's oil level, with 30% of owners saying they leave it to mechanics to do as part of the vehicle's annual service. 32% of respondents stated that they did not know the frequency with which oil checks should ideally take place. 19% of car owners polled said that they would check the oil themselves, but only if the car were to alert them with a warning light. However, according to Castrol, the oil warning light on most cars illuminates only when the oil reserve is at or below the minimum, and at this point the engine can already be at serious risk of damage. A minority of UK car owners (32%) have never topped up the engine oil on their current car or any previous car, and 12% say they wouldn't know how to perform a check on their current vehicle. Many stated that they are not confident in doing an oil check themselves, with almost a third (32%) agreeing with the statement "I would prefer a technician / mechanic to check as they would do a more effective job." Only 45% say they typically check the oil level themselves, with the remainder instead asking for it to be done by a partner, spouse, neighbour, relative or work colleague. Castrol estimates that 21% of vehicles on European roads are currently low on oil, and 8% are at immediate risk of damage because the oil level is at or below the minimum recommended level.
ENERGY COMPANIES SEEK TO IDENTIFY TOMORROW'S EV BUYERS
- 14 October 2021
ENERGY COMPANIES SEEK TO IDENTIFY TOMORROWS EV BUYERS
Behind the scenes discussions reveal that home energy providers are gearing up to drive faster electric vehicle adoption as part of their strategic push toward 'net zero' carbon for Britain. That's the view of leading advertising and car buying demand generation platform, Autovia, which has revealed that it is in talks with four of Britain's leading home energy providers to connect them with EV buyers. Autovia believes that by focusing attention mostly around EV charging infrastructure on roads, popular media commentary often misses the bigger picture. But, as the company's discussions with major home energy players are revealing, EV adoption is a major strategic plank in winning the domestic electric tariffs competition and ultimately creating battery-powered homes. Autovia says that the day is fast approaching when electric cars and home energy provision will become a bundled package as familiar to consumers as a smartphone and data plan is today. Data from across Autovia's content platforms and CDP reveal massive building momentum for EV adoption. Andy Oldham, Chief Executive of Autovia, said: "No one should underestimate the pace of change in our EV market and not just in terms of how many vehicles are being sold. What is now underway is a transformation of the market with some of the biggest names - never previously associated with cars - seeing an opportunity to win customers who will help them achieve a more sustainable business model. "Only this week the SMMT revealed that September's EV sales were the only bright spot in the worst new car month since 1998 and every one of those 32,721 EV buyers has a home that energy companies want to supply. "For them, identifying tomorrow's EV buyers is now a key strategic plank in their future business model, especially since the recent gas price disruptions that saw a number of smaller energy providers go to the wall."
CAR INSURANCE COSTS FALL
- 14 October 2021
CAR INSURANCE COSTS FALL
The cheapest average premiums quoted have tumbled over the summer to just £533 - a £60 drop year-on-year. This is the lowest quarterly average for cheapest premiums available since summer 2015. The fall in the cheapest average premiums has driven up savings available to motorists. Drivers can save an average of £98 on their car insurance by switching to the cheapest deal when their policy expires. The average annual car insurance premium declined by £71 year-on-year across the summer months (June - August), according to the latest Premium Drivers research from comparethemarket.com. The average premium now stands at £631, compared with an average of £702 for the same three-month period in 2020. In each lockdown since March 2020, the cost of car insurance had fallen due to fewer cars being on the road and a subsequent drop in claims. Insurers had used savings from fewer claims to offer lower premiums to customers. However, the average motor insurance premium has also declined in recent months, from £644 in June 21 to £617 in August 21. The fall in premiums over the past three months is surprising, as more Covid-19 travel curbs were relaxed and road traffic increased in this time. In fact, road traffic has reverted to pre-pandemic levels with car use returning to 98% of its February 2020 level, on average in August 2021, according to figures from the Department of Transport1. This more recent fall in premiums suggests insurers may be competing more aggressively to attract new customers. Young motorists can benefit from the greatest savings by switching car insurance. The average premium for drivers aged under 25 has decreased to £1,085, falling from £1,134 in the same three months (June - August) in 2020. If young drivers shop around for the cheapest deal on average when their policies come up for renewal, they could typically save £201 on their car insurance.
ADVICE TO KEEP TYRES IN GOOD CONDITION
- 14 October 2021
ADVICE TO KEEP TYRES IN GOOD CONDITION
Car Insurance Expert at Confused.com Alex Kindred has some advice on how to keep our tyres in good condition: "As we head towards winter, the roads will be getting wetter and more slippery. It's so important to remember to check our tyres are in good condition before heading out to avoid accidents and keep all road users safe. "The laws around tyre maintenance are strict. You need to ensure that the tyres are the right type and size for your car, they should have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, but try not to let them fall below about 3mm to be safe, and all tyres should be inflated to their recommended pressure. "If your tyres are found to be illegal, you could be hit with a fine of £2,500 per tyre and get three points on your licence. Unroadworthy tyres could also risk your safety, the safety of others and any car insurance claim you need to make being invalidated. "Regular maintenance could save you trouble down the line. Take a good look around each of the tyres and make sure that there aren't any cuts, tears or bulges. The easiest way to measure tread depth is with a 20p; place a 20p coin in the grooves of the tyre and if the rim of the coin disappears, your tyres should have enough tread depth. And you'll need a gauge to check the tyre pressure, but if you're not sure how to use it and want to make sure your tyres are in good nick before your trip, our top tips for tyre maintenance will make things clearer."
BAD HABITS OF BRITISH DRIVERS
- 14 October 2021
BAD HABITS OF BRITISH DRIVERS
New research published this week has exposed the bad habits of British drivers, showing just how many people behave badly behind the wheel. From irritable to illegal, the stats prove that Brits aren't always the polite, reserved nation we are famed to be. Speed is a recurrent issue coming up in the study, commissioned and executed by used car buying and finance service, Choose My Car. Over half of British drivers believe the speed limit on motorways is too low, while over 20 per cent believe it should be raised to as high as 100 mph. Shockingly, 97% of drivers admit to going over the speed limit, with 23% of UK males driving over 100 mph and nearly 10 per cent of males reaching speeds of 120 mph or more! And it's not just the motorways that see irresponsible speeding. More than a third of all UK drivers admitted to speeding in residential areas, despite the risk to pedestrians. Worryingly, nearly 20 per cent of UK drivers admit to driving over the drink driving limit, despite large scale campaigns against this illegal habit. And another 13 per cent confess to using their phone to read or send messages while driving. Both of these fall under the dangerous driving bracket and can lead to a prison sentence if an accident is caused. But it's not just the illegal habits we can't break. The research showed that: Nearly 10 per cent of drivers have parked in a designated parent and child parking space (despite not having a child). Nearly 20 per cent have stuck the V sign up to another driver that annoyed them. Half of all UK drivers have honked their horns at another driver. 12 per cent have jumped a red light A fifth of all male drivers have admitted using their car as a place to have sex. Half (51%) of drivers support a speed limit increase to 80mph 29% of drivers support speed limit increase to 90mph 21% of drivers support speed limit increase to 100mph
USE YOUR FORD FOR PARCEL DROP-OFF
- 07 October 2021
USE YOUR FORD FOR PARCEL DROP-OFF
As many return to the workplace, the likelihood of missing crucial deliveries increases. Even those at home may prefer not to interrupt a conference call or other activity to answer the door. With the boom in online shopping, and the resulting challenge for logistics companies to create more efficient and safe deliveries, Ford and Hermes UK have come up with a solution. Why not have parcels delivered to your car, where they will be safe, dry and can be picked up when convenient? Launched in selected areas of the UK this month, the Secure Delivery to Vehicle pilot will enable parcels to be delivered directly to vehicles located at the owner's home address. The project also speeds up deliveries by saving drivers from having to knock on doors, climb stairs or find a neighbour to take the parcel when you're not home. The delivery-to-vehicle option is offered to customers with FordPass, expanding the range of connected services already available via the app. The option comes at no extra cost and ensures social distancing requirements are adhered to. As the pilot expands, Ford and Hermes UK hope to increase the number of participants and broaden the project's scope, such as by offering "returns" from the vehicle and enabling vehicle deliveries at other locations, for example at the customer's work address. How it works When shopping with selected retailers, those taking part in the pilot will have "delivery-to-vehicle" as the standard option for delivery and provide details of its location. Customers will also be able to have a home delivery, if preferred. Once the delivery driver is within 300 metres of their destination, the exact location of the customer's vehicle is displayed on the Hermes app. Within 50 metres, the driver scans the barcode on the customer's parcel to create a one-time unlock token for the vehicle. This enables the driver to unlock the boot and deposit the package. For added security, if the delivery driver fails to lock the vehicle after making the delivery, the vehicle locks automatically within a set time period. Locating the vehicle and remote unlocking/locking is enabled through permissions granted by the recipient via the FordPass app. If the vehicle is not within 300 metres of the selected delivery-to-vehicle address, the parcel is delivered to the recipient's home address. This also applies to parcels that are too large to fit in the vehicle.
BOND FEVER BOOSTS ASTON MARTIN
- 07 October 2021
BOND FEVER BOOSTS ASTON MARTIN
A few things come to mind when you think of James Bond: martini's, suave suits and of course his iconic Aston Martin. New data from Chill Insurance has revealed that demand for Aston Martin's has increased by 110% in the UK in the past month, as the world enjoys the new James Bond flick 'No Time to Die', Daniel Craig's last assignment as James Bond. Using Google search data, Chill identified a huge spike in demand for the luxury car brand, famously driven by 007 throughout the franchises' 26 films. James Bond movie memorabilia can be notoriously expensive, with lifelong fans eager to get hold of a piece of film history. These are the most expensive James Bond Aston Martin's ever sold: - Aston Martin DB5 (appeared in Golden Finger & Thunderball) Sold at Pebble Beach in 2019 - Sold for £4.6 million - Aston Martin DB5 (appeared in 1995 Golden Eye) Sold at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018 - Sold for £1.9million - Aston Martin DB10 (appeared in Spectre) Sold at Christie's, London in 2016 - Sold for £2.4 million
EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE - BEST UK AREAS TO CHARGE UP
- 07 October 2021
EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE - BEST UK AREAS TO CHARGE UP
New research from comparethemarket reveals the areas in the UK which have the best electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in place, and which destinations have been unable to keep up with the increasing transition to EVs. The study shows that while the number of registered EVs has been growing in recent years, some areas in the UK have been unable to provide the proportionate amount of EV charging stations for this surge. Councils rely on government grants to install public charging points, which can partially explain the infrastructure gap, but in some cases, it may also be that the increase in demand for EVs has been so rapid that the local authority has been unable to match demand. The tiny Isles of Scilly has no public EV chargers although there are only 42 registered EVs on the islands. However, a plan to install 28 charging points has been announced, with EV motorists on the islands having to rely on their home chargers for now. In mainland Britain, Stockport and Swindon have the second and third largest EV infrastructure gaps, respectively. Whilst some areas in the UK are struggling to keep up with the increasing demand for EV charging infrastructure, other places are excelling. With more than 1,000 registered EVs and 456 public charging devices, Coventry is the best equipped for the move towards EVs, with 40.86 chargers per 100 EVs - which works out at two chargers for every five vehicles. Coventry is aiming to become the country's first 'all-electric' city and has benefited from generous government funding and as well as hosting the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, with planning under way to build an electric car battery 'gigafactory' in the city. In total, there are 24,219 public charging points in the UK that can be used to charge 475,800 registered electric vehicles. This equates to almost 20 EVs for every public charging point.
EV SALES RISE
- 07 October 2021
EV SALES RISE
The move towards greener motoring shows no sign of slowing down according to new Department for Transport research. The government figures show new registrations of three main green fuel types - Hybrid Electric, Plug-in Hybrid Electric and Battery Electric - more than tripled in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. By comparison, there were falls of 27% and 60% for petrol and diesel vehicles respectively over the same period. Petrol vehicles are still the most popular type of vehicle registrations - 269,000 vehicles - and they account for 56% of all new Q2 registrations in Great Britain. Diesel car registrations have been especially badly hit in recent years. From a 2016 peak of 311,000, registrations fell by 80% to just 62,000 new diesel registrations in Q2 2021. Ultra-low emission vehicles ULEVs increased by over 300% during Q2 2021 compared to the same period two years before . They make up just under 12% of all new registrations in Great Britain - 76,000 vehicles. Hybrid electric followed with an increase of more than 200% in Q2 2021 compared to Q2 2019. During the height of lockdown in April 2020, vehicle registrations fell by 94% compared to April 2019, before rallying with a 1,486% rise in April this year. A total of 637,000 vehicles were registered for the first time in Great Britain during the second quarter of 2021, 12% lower than during 2019 Q2. At the end of June 2021, there were 39.2 million vehicles on the road in Great Britain. The Prime Minister announced in November that wholly powered petrol and diesel cars will no longer be sold in the UK from 2030 as part of the 'green industrial revolution' to tackle climate change. He says the government plans to "invest more than £2.8 billion in electric vehicles, lacing the land with charging points". Efforts have been made to expediate this plan by encouraging all Londoners to get rid of diesel cars as soon as possible now the world's first 24 hour Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London has been implemented.
AN ANSWER TO AQUAPLANING
- 07 October 2021
AN ANSWER TO AQUAPLANING
Coventry University researchers are hoping to save lives through a new device they've developed to prevent vehicles from aquaplaning and losing traction control due to adverse road conditions. The prototype product aims to prevent aquaplaning and loss of traction in a variety of road conditions. Aquaplaning, also referred to as hydroplaning, happens when a layer of surface water builds up between a vehicle's tyres and the road surface, leading to a complete loss of grip. This can occur with as little as 2-3mm of standing water on the road surface when vehicles are travelling at a variety of speeds and is a leading cause of road traffic accidents. The RDTS presents a novel potential solution to aquaplaning and the loss of traction by preventing water and other contaminants from reaching the tyre. The device works by firing a jet of compressed gas close to the front of the wheel, removing surface water in front of the tyre to ensure the vehicle has a dry patch of road ahead. This effectively ensures grip is not compromised by road contaminants such as water, sand and gravel. Professor Mike Blundell, Professor of Vehicle Dynamics and Impact at Coventry University, said: "Our tests demonstrate that RDTS has the potential to make a huge impact on vehicle safety in a whole host of conditions. The prospect of producing something that could even save lives on the road is extremely exciting and after some initial success with testing, we're now eager to look into manufacturing potential and further research to take this concept to the next level. "A device like this really could be the difference between life and death if it can help vehicles to stop safely within certain distances and that's why we're so keen to continue developing this concept."
DOUBT ABOUT DRIVER-LESS CARS
- 07 October 2021
DOUBT ABOUT DRIVER-LESS CARS
A study by Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS) has revealed that 46% of British motorists think they'd be a better driver than driverless cars powered by Artificial Intelligence. Regionally, it's Scottish people who are Britain's most confident drivers with 54% of Scots answering that they'd trust their own driving skills over driverless vehicles. People living in northern England are the second most likely group to back their motoring prowess over driverless cars (48%), followed by people in the South East (47%) and respondents in the Midlands (46%). However, just four in ten people (40%) in Wales and the South West feel they'd be better drivers than driverless cars. Generationally, 18-24 year olds believe in their driving abilities most (52%) whereas just 39% of over 75s think they'd be a better driver than a driverless car. The Department for Transport announced earlier this year that self-driving vehicles could be allowed on UK roads by the end of 2021, with automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS) the first type of hands-free driving legalised. The government says the market in the UK could be worth as much as £42 billion by 2035, capturing around 6% of the £650 billion global market, and creating approximately 38,000 new jobs. The research from Volkswagen Financial Services UK also found that almost a quarter of Brits (24%) think the first fully driverless car will be available to consumers in five to ten years, whilst 8% think they'll never hit the mass market. Just 4% of respondents felt that a fully driverless car will be available to consumers within the next 12 months. And many consumers are not completely convinced by the idea of a driverless car, with only one in five people (21%) saying they're likely to buy a driverless car if and when they become available. However, men are significantly more likely than women to answer that they would be likely to purchase a driverless car (29% versus 13%). As expected, younger people also indicate a greater likelihood to purchase a driverless car. Respondents aged between 25 and 34 years old are ten times as likely to buy a driverless car than people aged 55 to 64 years old (50% versus 5%). Most people who are interested in driverless cars say they would expect to spend their time listening to music (44%) whilst behind the wheel, but 22% of people would still be focusing on the road. Other popular activities envisaged by this group included watching TV or a film (25%), reading (25%), sleeping (20%) and checking emails (17%). The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said automated driving systems could prevent 47,000 serious accidents and save 3,900 lives over the next decade through their ability to reduce the single largest cause of road accidents - human error.
WHICH COUNTRIES ARE HARDEST & EASIEST TO LEARN TO DRIVE IN?
- 27 September 2021
WHICH COUNTRIES ARE HARDEST & EASIEST TO LEARN TO DRIVE IN?
A new report from Zutobi has revealed the hardest countries in the world to pass your driving test - with the UK ranking in 16th place! The research analyses the cost of a driving test, the minimum hours needed to take your test, along with various requirements such as theory exams and eye tests to reveal the hardest places to pass your test. The report revealed that the U.K. is the 16th most difficult country to learn to drive in. With an £85 practical test, making it the 27th most expensive. Along with the requirements of a theory test and an eye test before you can legally drive. The 10 most difficult countries to take your driving test: 1. Croatia 2. Brazil 3. Hungary 4. Bahrain 5. Montenegro 6. Kuwait 7. Chile 8. Belgium 9. Israel 10. Lithuania The 10 easiest countries to take your driving test: 1. Mexico 2. Qatar 3. Latvia 4. United States 5. Canada 6. Estonia 7. Barbados 8. Indonesia 9. Philippines 10. France Further findings highlighted: Croatia was found to be the most expensive country to learn to drive, costing a huge £930 per test. Pakistan was revealed to be the cheapest country to take your driving test, costing only 89p. They are the only country to have their driving test cost less than a pound. You can be as young as 14 in Qatar and legally drive, making Qatar the country with the youngest legal driving age. The UK is the 10th hardest European country to pass your driving test in. In 53 countries you don't need any lessons before your test.
SURVEY REVEALS EV FEARS
- 27 September 2021
SURVEY REVEALS EV FEARS
Over half of UK drivers say electric cars cost too much and charging points are too scarce. The Opinium survey of 2,000 UK drivers, commissioned by InsuretheGap, asked drivers what they thought of electric cars. Cost is the biggest concern for most drivers, with 56% saying electric cars cost too much (58% men and 54% women), rising to 65% of 55 and overs, followed by 54% saying electric charging points are too scarce. Only a fifth (22%) of drivers are aware that the running costs of an electric car are significantly lower. One in five (20%) drivers say they find the issues around electric cars too daunting to make them buy one (17% men and 24% women), and almost a quarter (23%) say the technology is not advanced enough (22% men and 25% women). Over a third (37%) are planning to wait a few years before buying an electric car (36% men and 38% women). Fundamentally, four out of ten (40%) drivers say they have no way of charging an electric car at home (36% men and 45% women). Hanging around in public places, while a car is charging, is a concern for 41% of drivers (37% men and 44% women); and 37% say charging takes too long. Another 44% say electric cars do not travel far enough on a single charge (46% men and 42% women). When asked about their next car purchase, only 8% said they intended to buy an electric car (10% men and 6% women). In summary, the survey found the most common concerns UK drivers have about electric cars: 1. 56% say electric cars cost too much (58% men and 54% women), rising to 65% of 55 and overs; 2. 54% say electric charging points are too scarce; 3. 44% say the government needs to sort out the charging infrastructure before they'll buy an electric car; 4. 44% say electric cars do not travel far enough on a single charge (46% men and 42% women); 5. 41% don't want to wait around in public places, like motorway service stations, while an electric car charges (37% men and 44% women); 6. 40% have no way of charging an electric car at home (36% men and 45% women); 7. 37% say the charging takes too long; 8. 23% don't feel the technology of electric cars is advanced enough (22% men and 25% women); 9. 20% find the issues around electric cars too daunting to make me buy one (17% men and 24% women).
LEXUS AIDS MINDFULNESS
- 27 September 2021
LEXUS AIDS MINDFULNESS
Lexus has produced a range of music tracks to aid mindfulness practice while in or out of the car. Instead of using musical instruments, the tracks consist entirely of carefully crafted sounds from a variety of Lexus cars that were recorded in a studio and then mixed. Seatbelt clicks, tailgate warning bells and adjustable seat motors are among the sounds that take the place of drums, cymbals, percussion and keyboards to make up the tracks, which can be streamed for free on Spotify: Lexus Mindfulness Tracks Christoph Spiessens is a certified mindfulness teacher and a learning and development professional and coach who has been helping people cultivate calm and confidence with meditation and workshops for more than 15 years. He has been working with Lexus on projects for several years and provided guidance on how the soundtracks can help promote mindfulness. He explains: "Music has the power to stimulate emotions, affect blood pressure and heart rate and improve mental alertness. Mindfulness practice helps us become aware of our immediate reactions and judgements, and this increased awareness creates a helpful pause; a space from which we can choose to respond instead of react. The Lexus mindfulness tracks, through a huge array of interesting sound effects and melodies, provide the opportunity to notice our initial reactivity to these intriguing soundscapes as well as the tendency of our mind to label these sounds or be carried away by the music. "These extraordinary compositions offer a refreshing way to befriend our minds and thus enhance our wellbeing. They can be used while driving, to practise 'mindful listening,' but of course they should not be used for mindfulness meditation when at the wheel."
CLASSIC CARS OFTEN FAIL THEIR MOT
- 27 September 2021
CLASSIC CARS OFTEN FAIL THEIR MOT
Exclusive new data from the DVSA has revealed 18.4 per cent of classic cars aged over 40 years old failed MOT tests, despite there being no legal obligation for owners to have one carried out. Obtained via a Freedom of Information request by bookmygarage.com, the data showed 121,204 classic cars aged over 40 years old voluntarily had an MOT test between January 2019 and June 2021. Since May 2018, cars aged over 40 years old (classed by the DVLA as 'historic' vehicles) have been exempt from MOT tests and road tax, though owners are still responsible for keeping their vehicles in roadworthy condition. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points. The reasons behind voluntary MOT tests being carried out likely stems from owners or perspective buyers of classic cars seeking reassurance that the vehicle is in a safe condition. In addition, any cars which have been 'substantially modified' in the last 30 years, will also still legally require an MOT test. Of the cars tested, Dodge had the highest failure rate with over half (55.2 per cent) failing, followed by BMC (Austin-Morris) at 39.3 per cent and Volkswagen at 31.9 per cent. However, numerous renowned manufacturers also had clean sheet records with zero recorded failures, including Bentley, Wolseley, Saab, Peugeot, Opel, Toyota and TVR. The DVSA data showed newer classic cars were more likely to fail than their older counterparts, as 1970s cars are three times as likely to fail than those from the 1950s. In 2020, just 41,000 historic vehicles were tested, down 32 per cent on 2019, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHICH CAR MAKERS HAVE STOOD THE TEST OF TIME?
- 27 September 2021
WHICH CAR MAKERS HAVE STOOD THE TEST OF TIME?
Today, there are around 33 million registered cars in the UK, but which manufacturers have stood the test of time? A brand new study by confused.com reveals the manufacturers people still love today, with Mercedes-Benz taking the top spot. Using data from The Parking, and taking over 1,600 cars manufactured during 1930, 1940, 1950 and 1960, Confused.com unveiled the brands and cars that have stood the test of time, and are still being purchased frequently by motorists around the world in 2021. The Mercedes automobile was first founded in 1926, the name a combination of Mercedes Jellinek and Karl Benz. One of the highest performing large luxury brands on the road today, winning the votes of Brits over rivals Audi, Jaguar and Porsche. Some of the world's oldest manufacturers also made the ranking, Ford being one of the eldest, first built in 190, selling upwards of 5 million cars per year and has recently turned its iconic Mustang into an electric vehicle for the modern era. Ford still boasts 562 cars manufactured from 1930, 1940, 1950 and 1960 for sale on used car sites, making up almost a third of the cars from those years currently sold on The Parking. However, there are concerns about more used cars on the roads. Sales of second-hand cars have soared by 6.6% due to a shortage of new vehicles and Confused.com revealed that these second-hand cars on the roads will emit 9.8% more CO2 emissions than newer ones. Alex Kindred, car insurance expert from Confused.com, explains why motor brand loyalty or holding onto a car for too long could be hurting the planet and our pocket. "Climate concerns are a top reason to consider reducing the length of time you keep hold of the same car. As emission-free electric vehicles become more popular and affordable and as drivers become more conscious of their carbon footprint, we will see more motorists making the switch from petrol pump to the electric plug. "As cars age, their emissions grow considerably which could also lead you to higher prices for things like Vehicle Tax, fees for entering Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) and even charges on your MOT - to ensure your car continues to meet the minimum standards. "Many newer cars qualify for free Vehicle Tax based on their lower emissions, yet for gas-guzzling cars, the price per year can reach up to £2,245 after the first year of ownership."
RUSH HOUR - A THING OF THE PAST?
- 27 September 2021
RUSH HOUR - A THING OF THE PAST?
Rush hour could be a thing of the past as commuters turn their backs on traditional working patterns in favour of more flexible and hybrid alternatives, according to the findings of a new study. The poll conducted on behalf of vehicle subscription specialist Wagonex revealed most working age Brits want to work more flexibly in future, splitting their time between the office and working remotely. This comes on the day the government reveals plans in its Good Work Plan for all employees to be able to request flexible working from the moment they start a new job. And it follows hot-on-the-heels of an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey that found 85% of those currently homeworking would seek a hybrid of home and office working in future. But mass flexible working comes with a downside.predicting how, when and where commuters will travel will become more difficult than ever before. This could lead to an end to the UK's well established rush hours (6am-9am and 4pm to 6.30pm), with traffic congestion on roads and passenger surges on rail and bus services happening unexpectedly at different times of the day and on different times of the week. Toby Kernon, founder and CEO of Wagonex said: "There are huge benefits to hybrid working. Individuals will be able to achieve a better work/life balance and businesses will have happier, more productive staff. With fewer people traveling to offices there could also be an environmental benefit and improvements in air quality.
YOUR EMPTY DRIVEWAY OFFERS INFLATION RELIEF
- 20 September 2021
YOUR EMPTY DRIVEWAY OFFERS INFLATION RELIEF
Panicked homeowners with an empty driveway could be offered a financial lifeline as inflation surges to a nine year high of 3.2 per cent following the biggest annual monthly jump since records began. Indeed, the sharp inflation shock, which climbed 1.2 per cent from July to August, has left a hole in the pocket of many Brits; with food, transport, furniture, and restaurant prices all soaring. And now, online parking portal, YourParkingSpace.co.uk predict a rush of listings on its website as worried households feeling the financial squeeze turn to savvy ways to balance the books. In fact, according to research from YourParkingSpace, residents in more than 25 towns and cities stretching from Aberdeen to Belfast to Bournemouth, are already breaking the £1,000 average per year threshold as motorists look for alternative places to park their cars. Harrison Woods, CEO at YourParkingSpace, said: "While inflation leaves a hole in the pocket of many Brits, householders from all over the country will welcome the chance to earn an extra income stream with YourParkingSpace." Meanwhile, it's also not all doom and gloom for motorists looking for places to park. As commuters, travellers and event-goers flock back to the nation's roads, cheaper alternatives to traditional pay-on-the-day car parking options will be needed amid the inflation shock. "The demand for pre-booked rented empty driveways in town and city centres, especially near train stations and office spaces is expected to rise as inflation rates increase," added Harrison.
2022 - THE YEAR OF 'LITTLE ADVENTURES'
- 20 September 2021
2022 - THE YEAR OF LITTLE ADVENTURES
The coming year will be the year of "little adventures" according to the Lexus NX report The Art of Feeling More, as our approach to exploration has changed, with a much stronger focus on hyper-local day-tripping. This, coupled with our desire to be surrounded by nature, means that we've found plenty of off-the-beaten-path, secret spots right on our doorsteps. Award-winning French photographer Floriane de Lassee has discovered how much her local area offers, especially for her creativity: "Being at home over the last 18 months, I discovered the wonders of the surrounding forest. I've lived in the same place for 40 years and hardly knew it. The forest is not a direct source of inspiration, but a way that allows the brain to disconnect and find peace, so that deep thinking can take place." A survey conducted by Destination Analysis in 2020 gave further confirmation of the 'little adventures' trend, as 57 per cent of those asked said they planned to avoid crowded places for their next trip, and 40 per cent said they'd consider camping, renting a motorhome and heading for more remote destinations. Floriane believes that a distinction needs to be made between a break and travel: "People often confuse taking a vacation and travel. I always take my vacation in France. I think taking your vacation locally will be a big trend. The car will become a symbol of freedom for this kind of local or European trip."
CONSUMER SPENDING RISES IN THE LEASING MARKET
- 20 September 2021
CONSUMER SPENDING RISES IN THE LEASING MARKET
More expensive vehicles, including the Range Rover Sport and Volvo XC40, made a comeback in the new car leasing market after a year of consumers watching the pennies, according to new data from Leasing.com. While 'affordable' leased vehicles (priced between £100-£300 per month) saw a 38% increase in enquiries compared to August last year, this figure is 59% for high-end vehicles (priced between £400-£800 per month). The trend suggests 'return to normal' spending habits amongst a growing number of consumers and a good sign that the UK continues to emerge out of the pandemic. The British economy grew for five consecutive months up to June 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics, and Britain's economic rebound is reflected in consumer behaviour, which is seeing motorists increasingly move towards upper end vehicles. Leasing.com's top 10 models by sales enquiry volume for August 2021 include the Range Rover Sport, Volvo XC40 and the BMW 1 Series - which topped the August Leasing.com league table. While the Vauxhall Golf, the Audi A3 and the Vauxhall Corsa continue to perform strongly, as they have all year, it is interesting to see the emergence of high-end vehicles which are beginning to rub shoulders with their more cost-effective counterparts.
BOND FEVER DRIVES ASTON SEARCHES
- 20 September 2021
BOND FEVER DRIVES ASTON SEARCHES
Growing James Bond fever is driving up demand for some of the franchise's most iconic cars - including the Aston Martin DB5 and V8 saloon - according to data from PrestigeDriverApp. Searches for Aston Martin DB5s have increased by 45 per cent in the past 30 days, with collectors, car buffs and superfans clamouring to own a piece of Bond history as the new release reignites interest in the super sleuth's iconic car collection. The Aston Martin DB5 is the most iconic Bond car and to date has featured in eight films, including Goldfinger, Thunderball, Goldeneye, Casino Royale and new release No Time To Die. Searches for Aston Martin V8 saloon - another iconic Bond supercar which is also set to feature in the new release - have increased by 29 per cent; whilst searches for the Lotus Esprit (the submarine car made famous by Roger Moore in the Spy Who Loved Me) and the BMW Z8 (driven by Pierce Brosnan in the World is Not Enough) have also risen. Reuben Smith of PrestigeDriverApp said: "James Bond is synonymous with driving some of the world's most exclusive supercars and it is no surprise that as excitement grows for the new release collectors are once again switched on to some of the film's most iconic cars. Although in the original Ian Fleming books, Bond's car of choice was a Bentley, Aston Martin is probably the car maker most associated with the films and there have been numerous models featured in the franchise over the years - including the DB5, V8, V12 Vanquish and made-to-order DB10. "We have seen searches for Bond's favoured car brands (including Aston Martin, Lotus, BMW and even Bentleys) increase across the board over the past 30 days as excitement surrounding the long-awaited film starts to build. And buyers could be on to something - the classic car market is booming and if purchased at the right time and kept in good condition, the returns on prestige cars (especially those associated with the James Bond franchise) could outperform property, art or gold."
CALLS FOR A DECICATED EV CAR ENERGY TARIFF
- 20 September 2021
CALLS FOR A DECICATED EV CAR ENERGY TARIFF
Electric vehicle (EV) drivers could save £92 million a year by switching to a dedicated EV energy tariff, reveals new research from Love my EV. Almost a fifth of EV drivers surveyed weren't aware of EV-friendly energy tariffs that could save them each on average £351 a year on their energy bills. Even amongst those EV drivers who had heard about these tariffs, the majority are not signed up to one, with drivers saying that they either didn't know enough about these tariffs (24%) or how to compare them to find their best options (20%). The two motivators driving sales of Evs are fuel cost savings (39%) and ecological reasons (reducing their carbon footprint 32%), but people need to shop around for energy if they are to maximise their cost savings and carbon impact. A third of EV drivers haven't changed energy provider or tariff since purchasing their vehicle, which could see them paying far more than they need to for their power. More Evs were registered than diesel cars for the second month in a row in July in 2021, according to industry figures2, with one in 10 cars sold in the UK now battery powered3. With more Evs on the road than ever, there is an urgent need for increased uptake of EV specific tariff.
LONDON'S THE SLOWEST CITY TO TRAVEL TO BY CAR
- 20 September 2021
LONDONS THE SLOWEST CITY TO TRAVEL TO BY CAR
New research by Moneybarn has revealed the slowest cities to travel by car, with London unsurprisingly topping the list. By producing a ranking of several different factors including average speed, roads requiring maintenance, average daily traffic flow, and hours lost in congestion, the research produced an overall score out of 10 for each city in the UK, as well as countries around the world. London was the UK's slowest city, due to low average speeds of a miserable 18mph, and a loss of 69 hours in traffic every year. Ranking second was Derby, mostly due to a high percentage of roads requiring maintenance (15%) - the city had by far the biggest percentage, with roadworks causing havoc in the area. Bristol placed third, with the second-highest amount of hours lost to congestion (37 hours) and an average speed of 18.3 - 0.3mph faster than London. At the other end of the spectrum, the fastest cities to travel by car are Peterborough, Darlington and Bedford, with less than 2% of roads needing maintenance in all three cities, and less than 20 hours lost to traffic each year. The research applied the same metrics globally, to reveal that Peru is the slowest country in the world to travel by car, with a journey taking 42% longer on average than it should. Colombia and the Philippines were in second and third place, with the highest levels of 53% extra time stuck in traffic.
MACH-E ATTRACTS POLICE ATTENTION
- 14 September 2021
MACH-E ATTRACTS POLICE ATTENTION
The new Ford Mach-E has already caught the imagination of thousands of customers and fans, but a new client has also shown considerable interest - the UK's police force. Such has been the enthusiasm of the British police for Ford's stunning new all-electric SUV that already seven forces have either tested the new vehicle or requested a full evaluation of a specially-built concept car. The test car was built following many enquiries from UK police forces looking for greener solutions to the current products currently available to them. The Metropolitan Police Force has already appraised the standard Mustang Mach-E and has now requested a full evaluation of the marked concept. Also waiting for an opportunity to try the new 999 vehicle are the Sussex, Surrey, South Wales, Dyfed Powys, Devon & Cornwall and Police Scotland forces. The initial concept is a demonstrator Mustang Mach-E Standard Range AWD (all-wheel drive). Subject to testing of this model, Ford is planning to offer Extended Range version of its RWD (rear-wheel drive) and AWD versions. The extended battery types would give the police even greater range, and therefore versatility and capability, for police operations. The issue of where the power to operate the concept car's blue lights, sirens and other high-tech equipment would come from, has been addressed by Ford technicians. "The vehicle range is uncompromised as the blue light equipment is being drawn from the vehicle's 12V battery and not the drive battery," says Terry Adams, Blue Light Direct Sales Manager, Ford of Britain and Ireland. "In future developments we will look to increase this battery capacity to allow for additional equipment to be fitted."
BOND LEFT FAST & FURIOUS IN FILM FRANCHISE DRIVING BATTLE
- 14 September 2021
BOND LEFT FAST & FURIOUS IN FILM FRANCHISE DRIVING BATTLE
Villains, exotic locations, and gadgets are synonymous with James Bond, but it's often the cars that steal the show in one of the most iconic movie franchises of all time. So as the premiere of the latest instalment of James Bond, No Time To Die, draws ever closer, Trackdays.co.uk has decided to point the goldfinger at the cars of Mister Bond and the racers of Fast and Furious, to see which of their movie car experiences is the biggest hit with fans. Fast and Furious faces stiff competition. Fans seemingly never say never to Trackdays.co.uk's Aston martin Thrill experience, which includes six miles in the V8 Vantage, as seen in Pierce Bronsan's Die Another Day. Dan Jones, operations manager at TrackDays.co.uk, commented: "Clearly our Aston Martin Thrill Experience has an unbreakable bond with fans of agent 007, as it attracted 15% of all bookings in the three months to the end of August." And yet, Fast and Furious is the first to see the chequered flag in the battle of the film franchises, leaving 007 to the fate of the furious. TrackDays.co.uk's Triple Fast & Furious Blast With High-Speed passenger Ride accounted for approximately 22% of all their bookings in the same period. With this package, fans have the chance to drive a range of vehicles, including the Nissan Skyline GTR R34, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Dodge 'Dom's' Charger R/T and Toyota Supra 2JZ. Dan added: "It's unsurprising that fans have flocked to our Fast and Furious offering. The series is full of iconic vehicles, many of which are the centre point of some of the most memorable scenes from the movies, including Paul Walker's emotional final scene in the seventh iteration, and the Toyota Supra, the vehicle which sealed the bond between Brian and Dom at the conclusion of the original film."
IS 20 REALLY PLENTY?
- 14 September 2021
IS 20 REALLY PLENTY?
IAM RoadSmart's recent research has discovered that almost half of drivers are now in favour of reducing the speed limits on all urban roads from 30mph to 20mph. The survey of 1,000 motorists looked to gauge public opinion on normalising a speed limit of 20mph on all residential streets, in the hope of making cities, towns and villages around the country better places to be. The campaign has already gained significant traction in Wales, with the First Minister, Mark Drakeford putting the wheels in motion for a blanket 20mph speed limit to be implemented in 2023. This could result in mounting pressure on legislators across the border to follow suit, but some followers on the IAM RoadSmart Facebook page were keen to put the brakes on the idea, citing other issues such as enforcement, education, congestion, and location. Here are some of the highlights from the comments section: Enforcement - "You can reduce it to whatever you want. Enforcement is lacking and so it's irrelevant really." Regulation - "The biggest problem with road safety today is regulation. A posted speed limit sign will not improve road safety if no one is there to enforce it. Self-entitled drivers will continue to dispense their own interpretation of the limit. Most will exceed the more usual 30 mph." Education - "More driver education. The standard of driving these days is abysmal. Educate drivers about lane discipline and about dangers of using mobile phones at the wheel. Bring in mandatory tests every 10 years. And something similar to cpc which lorry & bus drivers have to do. Speed isn't a killer. Inappropriate speed is." Common Sense - "No, but 20 mph is fine on a housing estate, don't need telling though as most people use their common sense when they see kids and animals around."
THREE-QUARTERS OF CARS IN UK BOUGHT FROM CAR SHOWROOMS
- 14 September 2021
THREE-QUARTERS OF CARS IN UK BOUGHT FROM CAR SHOWROOMS
The majority of car owners (76%) buy their car from a car showroom, rising to 86% of over 66s, compared to just 58% of under 34s. The survey of 2,000 UK drivers, commissioned by InsuretheGap.com, finds that drivers, who prefer to buy from showrooms, do so because: 1. 34% wish to part-exchange their vehicle; 2. 33% want a showroom warranty - this is particularly important for over 66s (41%), compared to under 34s (25%); 3. 21% like a showroom's after-sales service; 4. and 11% want to be able to access finance options. In contrast, almost one in ten (9%) prefer to buy a car online or privately so they don't have to deal with car salespeople (10% men and 8% women) and 12% say they can get a better deal not buying through a showroom. The remaining buyers purchase cars from a private seller (9%), car supermarkets (4%), online retailers (3%) and gifts from family members (3%). One in twenty (5%) drivers are happy to buy a car online without even seeing it (8% men and 3% women), rising to one in ten (11%) under 34s, compared to 4% of over 55s. 9% would also buy a car without a test drive (11% men and 6% women). Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Office of InsuretheGap.com said: "Car showrooms continue to be the Goliath of the car industry, and remain the go-to place for most car purchases. Drivers clearly feel confident in the quality of vehicles offered and the overall service. What I do find surprising is how many people are happy to either buy a car they haven't seen or one that they haven't even test driven!"
CARS CREATING THE MOST ONLINE BUZZ
- 14 September 2021
CARS CREATING THE MOST ONLINE BUZZ
Car fans love to show off their favourite vehicles on social media and chat and debate with other petrol heads, whether it's the latest supercar that they can only dream of owning or their very first car of their own after finally passing their driving test. But which are the cars that get discussed and posted about the most online? Social media is a vital way of gaining exposure for brands of all kinds and it's no different for cars, so we've taken a look at which vehicles generate the most discussion online, taking into account three factors: mentions on Twitter, mentions on Instagram, and a number of posts on Reddit. Taking the top spot is Nissan's legendary GT-R supercar, which as well as being the most mentioned car on Twitter, was also the second-most popular car on Reddit. The GT-R is the successor to the Skyline GT-R and has been one of the most popular supercars for 13 years now and is popular amongst petrol heads for being one of the more affordable supercars on the market. In second is another iconic model, the Ford Mustang, which is by far the most talked-about car on Instagram, with over 14 million posts mentioning it. It dates all the way back to 1964 and essentially started the "pony car" trend in the US, inspiring similar models such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Its latest evolution is the all-electric Mach-E model which launched in 2020. The Honda Civic has a loyal fan base thanks to its long-standing history and family-friendly targeting. The compact car was initially known for being a reliable, fuel-efficient runaround, but later models such as the Type R, VTi, GTi, and Si have shown a sportier, higher-performance side to the Civic.
USING 'E10' PETROL COULD BE LIKE GIVING YOUR CAR A DRINK OF VODKA
- 14 September 2021
USING E10 PETROL COULD BE LIKE GIVING YOUR CAR A DRINK OF VODKA
Filling up with 'eco-friendly' E10 petrol could be like giving your car a drink of vodka, causing potential damage and hitting motorists in the pocket, reckon bosses at greentech company SulNOx Group. E10 is being rolled out as the new standard petrol grade in the UK, replacing the current E5 grade. And while Dr. Dan Clarke, Global Head of Science and Technology at SulNOx Group sees this as a positive step towards decarbonisation, he warned that it was not without issues. "E10 contains more bio-ethanol, a kind of alcohol manufactured from plants, and it is this that could create a permanent hangover", said Dr Clarke. "For many motorists, E10 is a positive move towards decarbonisation, but its implementation may also lead to increased costs and reduced performance in some cars and cause more serious issues for a significant number of older, yet still serviceable, vehicles." Issues have been found following a rollout of E10 in France and current RAC Foundation estimates suggest more than 634,000 cars on UK roads are incompatible with E10 - 150,000 of those built from the year 2000 onwards. Dr Clarke explains: "The main problem is that the additional bio-ethanol content in E10 prefers to mix with water as opposed to petrol and where there is sufficient of both, it leaves the petrol and combines with the water to form a separate layer at the bottom of the fuel tank. The fuel line then draws from this watery alcohol mixture which is pumped directly into the engine, increasing the risk of damage and breakdowns, so I would expect to see more cars going into 'limp home mode' as a result." SulNOx Group Plc, which specialises in providing responsible solutions towards decarbonisation of liquid hydrocarbon fuels, has developed the SulNOxEco Petrol Conditioner - a sustainable, biodegradable fuel additive that mitigates the issues from separation by lifting the water from the bottom of the tank and re-dispersing it throughout the fuel.