Automotive News

PASSENGERS FEEL UNSAFE IN TAXIS
- 26 July 2021
PASSENGERS FEEL UNSAFE IN TAXIS
New research from technology firm Alfi reveals that more than two out of five passengers have felt unsafe while travelling in unlicensed taxis or private hire vehicles. Other key findings include the fact that passengers' biggest cause for concern while travelling in unlicensed taxis was fearing that the car was dangerous. Around 41% who have felt unsafe in unlicensed taxis and private hire vehicles said it was because they were not roadworthy, while 31% said it was because they were concerned about the drivers' skills. But the behaviour of drivers was also a cause for concern - 27% of those who have felt unsafe in an unlicensed taxi said the driver flirted with them or made an unwelcome pass while 24% said the driver seemed very tired and 22% worried the driver was drunk and aggressive. Around 20% said the driver didn't seem to know where they were going. The research found around one in 10 adults (11%) - the equivalent of 5.8 million people across the UK - have used unlicensed taxis in the past five years. The main reason for people using them is convenience and desperation to get to their destination. Around a third of people (31%) who've travelled in unlicensed taxis say they did so because it was very convenient, while 30% say they needed to get to their destination. Around 16% say unlicensed taxis were cheaper while 12% couldn't book a licensed taxi. Around 11% admit it was because they were drunk and couldn't get a licensed taxi.
TWO-THIRDS OF CAR HIRERS WANT VEHICLE DEEP-CLEANED
- 26 July 2021
TWO-THIRDS OF CAR HIRERS WANT VEHICLE DEEP-CLEANED
Car hirers are demanding that car hire companies go above and beyond when it comes to cleaning vehicles, according to a new Opinium survey of hire car drivers by iCarhireinsurance.com. Of those who have hired in the past, two-thirds (67%) want to know a vehicle has been deep cleaned before hiring, rising to 73% of over 55s, and 62% would choose one company over another if they knew they were more thoroughly cleaned (men 59% and women 66%). In addition to this, 69% like the idea of a breakable tamper seal reassuring them the car has not been used since it was last cleaned, rising to 73% of over 55s. This level of cleaning is expected as standard though, and 78% would not expect to pay more for a car to be deep cleaned, rising to 86% of over 55s. Almost half (49%) feel confident that a hire car will have been cleaned to a high standard, however 48% ,who have hired a car abroad, are more likely to hire from a trusted brand as they believe hygiene standards will be better. However, over half (53%) of car hirers will still wipe down the car with their own cleaning products (50% men and 55% women). Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: "Cleaning hire cars to a high standard is absolutely essential in the current market. As travel starts up again, car hire will be an increasingly important form of transport as people look to avoid public transport so car hire companies need to be proactively reassuring potential customers that their cleaning procedures ensure their cars are absolutely safe to drive."
EVS GAIN HUGE RUNNING COST ADVANTAGES OVER ENGINES
- 26 July 2021
EVS GAIN HUGE RUNNING COST ADVANTAGES OVER ENGINES
Over a seven-year period of owning a car, electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, VW ID3 and the MG ZS EV are more cost effective than internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalents, due to lower annual running costs, according to LV insurance. The company's analysis examined the purchase (outright ownership), financing (lease and PCP) and running costs (fuel/charging, maintenance, insurance, tax) for nine popular electric car models and their petrol or diesel equivalents, to demonstrate the true cost of being an EV driver. Three of the nine electric cars - Nissan Leaf, VW ID3 and MG ZS EV - work out cheaper whether bought outright, leased or via (PCP), while the MG ZS EV offers the biggest long-term savings - £13,316 on outright purchase over seven years, £5,772 via a standard lease agreement over four years and £2,320 via a standard PCP arrangement over three years. The savings on electric cars are heavily driven by lower average annual running costs - £1,304 compared to £2,610 for a petrol or diesel car. This means that electric car drivers save an average of £109 a month. Within seven years of purchase, electric cars owners who buy their vehicle will save money compared with those who purchased a petrol or diesel car, due to the regular saving that comes with lower running costs. Additionally, with electric cars traditionally having a longer life span and requiring less maintenance, the savings can be even bigger.
MICROCHIP SHORTAGES HIT US CAR PRODUCTION
- 26 July 2021
MICROCHIP SHORTAGES HIT US CAR PRODUCTION
Carmakers across the globe have been struggling to meet customer demand for new cars as the shortage of critical microchips led to plant closures and left dealers with a shrinking inventory. Unfortunately, the US automakers seem to be the worst hit by this situation. According to data presented by BuyShares.co.uk, the US car brands Ford and Chevrolet have taken the worst hit by the global microchip shortage, with almost 370,000 vehicles taken out of the production as of May. When car factories in the US and across the globe closed in the early days of the COVID-19 last spring, many carmakers made what has turned out to be a critical error. They cancelled orders for the microchips essential to the manufacture and operation of new cars. Although demand for new cars has returned, the microchips, vital for everything from a vehicle's onboard computer to safety features and infotainment system, have been in short supply around the world for months, and the problem could take a couple of years to resolve. The fire at an automotive chip plant in Japan, tighter supply chains after the Ever Given grounding in the Suez Canal, and the lack of oil for the plastic used in chips all came as a new shock after the pandemic, causing carmakers huge problems with sourcing the microchips. An AutoForecast Solutions report showed Ford had been the hardest hit by the global microchip shortage, taking over 230,000 vehicles out of production. Chevrolet took the second-hardest hit among the US carmakers, with its production cut down by 140,800 cars. Jeep follows with around 138,700, respectively. When it comes to the worst impacted models, the Ford F-Series pickup comes first, with its production reduced by 109,710 units due to the microchip shortage. Statistics show 98,584 fewer Jeep Cherokees are planned, while Chevrolet Equinox production will fall by 81,833, ranking as the third worst impacted model.
INSURANCE PREMIUMS RISE WITH CLAIMS
- 26 July 2021
INSURANCE PREMIUMS RISE WITH CLAIMS
Claiming on your car insurance could cause your annual premium to leap by an average of £184, according to new research by comparethemarket.com. The new figures show the cost of submitting an insurance claim if your vehicle is stolen or in an accident. The research found that the annual cost of insurance soars to an average of £844 if a driver has made an insurance claim in the past year. This is substantially more than the typical £660 premium for a driver who has made no claims in the past five years. However, the cost of insurance will typically fall each year if a motorist does not submit any new claims after their initial incident. The average premium for a driver that made a claim between one and two years ago is £705. More drivers could soon be forced to pay higher premiums due to an increase in insurance claims. There has been a rise in claims submitted in recent months as more people are making regular car journeys following the lifting of the Covid-19 travel curbs. Enquiry data from comparethemarket.com suggests there was a 39% increase in insurance claims in the spring (March 21-May 21), compared with the most recent winter (December 20-February 21). There may be a further rise in claims in the coming weeks after the Covid restrictions ended on July 19. The impact of making a claim on the cost of a driver's annual premium varies significantly depending on whether they were at fault for the incident. The typical premium for a driver who was at fault for an incident in the past five years is £742. If another driver was to blame for the incident, then the average premium is £640 - £102 cheaper. If both parties are at fault for the incident, then the typical premium will cost £778. As expected, the most serious incidents raise premiums the most. The average premium for a driver who has written off their car in an incident in the past five years is £748. This is £88 more than the average premium for a driver with no claims in this timeframe. The average premium for a driver who had their car stolen in the past five years is £836 - £175 higher than the average for a driver with no claims.
COMFORT THE KEY TO ROAD RAGE
- 26 July 2021
COMFORT THE KEY TO ROAD RAGE
A new study by Citroen UK has revealed that 40% of UK drivers believe that comfort is key to avoiding road rage while driving. In the study of 2,000 UK motorists, a staggering 62% admit to having experienced road rage themselves, and 47% say they have been a victim of another drivers' road rage. The research found that being cut off on the road by other drivers is the main cause of road rage for almost 50% of drivers, while other traits which were found to commonly cause anger included being over-taken inappropriately (39%) and drivers failing to indicate (37%). The research comes as virtually all lockdown restrictions have been removed in England from today, with further lifting in Scotland as well as other planned easing in Wales and Northern Ireland in the coming weeks. With this in mind, Citroen aims to provide passengers with the means to travel freely, whether that be to visit friends and family, or to take trips around the UK, with the Citroen Advanced Comfort programme providing drivers that added calm and serenity on much busier, (post lockdown) roads. City and town centres are the environment that drivers struggle to keep their cool in most, with 37% saying this was the setting that they found road rage occurred most commonly, whilst tackling roundabouts (29%) and driving on motorways (25%) were also noted as regular hot spots for anger. For those looking to vent their anger, beeping the horn is the way over half of drivers (55%) commonly express their irritation, while 51% admit to regularly turning to cursing or swearing at fellow drivers while experiencing road rage.
YOUNGER DRIVERS PAY AS MUCH FOR THEIR CAR AS FOR THEIR HOUSE
- 19 July 2021
YOUNGER DRIVERS PAY AS MUCH FOR THEIR CAR AS FOR THEIR HOUSE
Nearly half (47%) UK drivers aged 18-34 years who bought their car on finance spend the same amount or more on car finance payments as their rent or mortgage. Compared to a quarter (24%) of 35 - 54s and one in six (16%) over 55s, with an overall average of 27%. Men (33%) are nearly twice as likely as women (18%) to be in this situation. According to a new Opinium survey of 2,000 UK drivers, commissioned by InsuretheGap.com, over half of drivers (56%), who used finance to buy their car, say they did not worry about the total cost of the car as they prefer paying for it on a monthly basis, knowing they can upgrade the vehicle when their finance contract runs out. This is especially the case for 18 - 34s (71%), compared to the over 55s (48%). Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Officer, InsuretheGap.com said: "Buying a car using finance is the only option for many young people. However, what a lot of drivers don't realise is that if a car is written off or stolen the insurance will only pay out what the car is worth at the time, not the amount paid for it. A new car loses value as soon as it's driven off the forecourt meaning drivers could end up with no car, but still paying finance on it. A GAP insurance policy from a specialist insurance provider can protect drivers from this."
BMW RULES TIKTOK
- 19 July 2021
BMW RULES TIKTOK
BMW is the most popular vehicle brand on TikTok, according to new research from Uswitch.com. The research analysed the number of views on TikTok videos using hashtags mentioning each vehicle make and model, to reveal the most popular cars on the app. BMW recorded an incredible 17.6 billion views on the app. Taking second place is Mercedes-Benz, but with just half as many views as its German rival BMW, at 9.1 billion. Italian luxury sports car maker Lamborghini is in third place with over 8.3 billion views. Lambo was the first supercar brand to arrive on TikTok, with the brand also being frequently mentioned in popular songs on the platform, such as Rockstar by DaBaby and Roddy Ricch. Looking at the specific models which have received the most views on TikTok, the iconic Ford Mustang was a clear winner, with 3.9 billion views. The longest-serving car in Ford's line-up, the Mustang has been a mainstay since 1964 and is clearly still as popular today as it ever was, proving to be a hit on social media. The Nissan GT-R and the Toyota Supra tied for second place, both sitting on 2.8 billion views. Both cars are a staple of Japanese sports car culture and have proved hugely popular on social media.
FORD FIESTA IS CAR OF CHOICE FOR GEN Z
- 19 July 2021
FORD FIESTA IS CAR OF CHOICE FOR GEN Z
MoneySuperMarket has revealed the nation's most popular cars for young drivers, with the Ford Fiesta claiming the top spot, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and the Volkswagen Polo. But the research also finds that it's the Fiat 500 Lounge that is the cheapest to insure. The website analysed over 1 million quotes made by its customers between 9 June 2020 and 9 June 2021 to identify the most popular car with first-time drivers aged 17-19, and the typical cost of insuring these vehicles. Though the Ford Fiesta is the most popular car for Gen Z Brits aged 17-19, at an average of £711 for fully comprehensive cover, it costs £294 more than the average fully comprehensive premium nationwide (£417). Those aged 20 and over pay an average of 51% less to insure the same vehicle, at £347. The Fiat 500 Lounge (£519) is the cheapest car to insure for those aged 17-19 - nearly £200 (£192) cheaper than the Ford Fiesta. It is followed by the Ford Ka (£543) and the Fiat 500 (£560). First-time drivers who own the second most popular first car, the Vauxhall Corsa, pay an average of £689 for their insurance, £170 more than what a young driver of a Fiat 500 Lounge pays (£519).
DON'T LEAVE DOGS IN HOT CARS
- 19 July 2021
DONT LEAVE DOGS IN HOT CARS
GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging pet owners to ensure their animals are safe and comfortable on car journeys this week. The call comes as forecasters predict sunny and warmer weather for later in the week, with temperatures rising into the high 20s by the weekend. GEM chief executive Neil Worth warns that it's both dangerous and illegal to leave an animal in a hot vehicle. "If the dog becomes ill or dies, you are likely to face a charge of animal cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2006," he warns. "This offence can bring a prison sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to £20,000." GEM has compiled a short checklist designed to ensure dogs stay safe and comfortable on car journeys: Leave your dog at home on warmer days. If you do need to transport your dog, bring plenty of fresh drinking water, and a bowl. Ensure your dog is able to stay cool on a journey. Don't let your dog travel unrestrained. Instead, use a proper travel basket or crate to create a safer space. Dog seatbelts and travel harnesses are also available. Make plenty of stops on long journeys give your dog a good drink of water. Animals are unable to sweat in the way that humans can. Dogs cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paws, so it only take a a few minutes for dogs left in cars on hot days to begin experiencing the distressing symptoms of heatstroke. If you suspect your dog is developing heatstroke on a journey, stop somewhere safe and find somewhere cool and shady. However, if signs of heat exhaustion become apparent (for example excessive thirst, heavy panting, rapid pulse, fever, vomiting, glazed eyes, dizziness), you should go straight to a veterinary surgeon. If you see a pet in a vehicle on a hot day, take immediate action. For example, if you're in a supermarket, roadside service area or garden centre car park, note the car make, model, colour and registration number, then go inside and ask for an announcement to be made. If this doesn't bring the owner out, or you're in a location where finding the owner is impossible, then dial 999 and ask for the police.
GET YOUR FOOTWEAR RIGHT FOR DRIVING
- 19 July 2021
GET YOUR FOOTWEAR RIGHT FOR DRIVING
A recent online YouGov study commissioned by The Motor Ombudsman has revealed that the nation's drivers prefer footwear that keeps their heels, soles and toes cool when getting behind the wheel. When asked about what kind of shoes they have previously turned to, the majority (54%) of respondents stated they have opted for sandals, flip-flops, or even bare feet, in some cases. The findings from the latest poll of 1,496 UK car users have been published in conjunction with the Ombudsman's latest "Have the right atyre" social media campaign to emphasise the importance of a car's "footwear", namely tyres, being in a safe and legal condition prior to holidaymakers embarking on their summer staycation. The research saw sandals come out top when individuals were asked to pick from a list of the more unconventional types of shoes they have previously donned when at the pedals, with 42% of survey participants saying that they had put on these summer favourites. In fact, sandals also emerged as a popular choice for 60% of women. Similarly, flip-flops, synonymous with going to the beach or lounging by the pool, were called out by 20% of car users as footwear they have worn, whilst the research equally showed that just over a fifth of participants (21%) have done away completely with any form of foot covering. Despite not being illegal according to the Highway Code, solely having bare feet on the pedals is discouraged by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), due to individuals being unable to apply the same level of pressure on the brakes compared to when wearing shoes. In fact, those aged between 25 and 34 would be the most inclined to ditch any type of footwear when using a car, with 36% of respondents in this group saying that they have done this, with over a quarter of people (27%) in London and Wales taking the same decision to leave their shoes behind. When asked about what else they have previously furnished their feet with when driving, just under a third of survey respondents (31%) stated that they have picked hiking boots, which also turned out to be the most common choice amongst male respondents (37%). Furthermore, poll participants confirmed that they had driven in slippers (17%), wellington boots (14%), stilettos (14%) and crocs (9%). Trainers, espadrilles, plimsoles and horse riding boots have also made the grade for some drivers when questioned about what else they have previously reached for when getting in the car. The wide-ranging footwear preferences of drivers echoes another key statistic from the poll, which is that just over half of UK car users (54%) grab whatever shoes they have to hand before getting behind the wheel. Around a quarter (26%) said that they select them based on the length of the journey ahead, with less than a fifth (15%) saying that they have specific driving shoes that are comfortable and safe to use.
MAKE 20MPH THE NEW 30MPH
- 19 July 2021
MAKE 20MPH THE NEW 30MPH
New research by IAM RoadSmart reveals that support for reducing the speed limit on all urban roads from 30mph to 20mph has increased in recent years with almost half of drivers now in favour. Overall, 44% of drivers surveyed agree all current 30mph limits should be replaced with a 20mph limit, a 13% increase from the same representative sample surveyed in 2014. Crucially, areas outside schools were seen as the highest priority for reducing speed limits to 20mph, receiving support from an overwhelming 89% of respondents. The main reasons put forward by supporters of a blanket reduction in the speed limit are to 'make the roads safer' (49%) and 'reduce accidents / saving lives' (24%). Meanwhile, those against argue that 20mph is too slow and that individual roads or areas should be considered rather than a blanket ban. Significantly, just over half of drivers, 54%, would like the road outside their home to have a 20mph limit, much higher than 44% when the survey was last conducted seven years ago, possibly indicating that lockdown may have made people more aware of their immediate environment. Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research, said: "Improving road safety is key but a blanket ban on reducing 30mph speed limits to 20mph speed limits isn't necessarily the best route. Each situation needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis, with local considerations and consultation playing an important role." Further findings from the study found strong support for a 'soft touch' for drivers caught speeding up to 30mph in a 20mph zone, with 64% of respondents favouring a tailored driver education course rather than a fine for offenders.
REVEALED: OUR WORRIES BEHIND THE WHEEL
- 12 July 2021
REVEALED: OUR WORRIES BEHIND THE WHEEL
The Young Driver organisation has welcomed government plans to introduce more varied experiences as part of learning to drive - as the nation's motorists admit there are many aspects of driving which they're still afraid of years after passing their test. Young Driver, which is the UK's largest pre-17 driving school, conducted research with 1,000 motorists in the UK to find out about their worries behind the wheel and their experiences of learning to drive. Many drivers admitted there were aspects of driving which still made them nervous or which they felt they'd never properly learnt how to handle. The research found that one in six drivers (16 per cent) said they felt they had no experience of driving on different types of roads or at different times of the day when they first passed their best. One in five (19 per cent) had no experience of driving in bad weather or in the dark. Now one in two (46 per cent) say they are fearful of driving in the snow or ice, one in four (25 per cent) are nervous of driving at night and one in five (21 per cent) dislike driving in the rain. Women were more likely to dislike driving on motorways, with one third (36 per cent) admitting it was something they would prefer to avoid. Men, on the other hand, were most likely to feel nervous about driving in towns and cities with one in four (25 per cent) stating it was something they disliked doing. Sixteen per cent of motorists were nervous about driving on rural roads - a lower figure for both sexes than other locations - despite the death rate on rural roads being higher than on any other road type. The Government is considering a 'logbook' showing learners have driven, for example, in rain and on rural roads, as announced by Baroness Vere in October. The new system will be trialed from January, with various modules, including driving in adverse conditions, driving after dark, driving at high speed and facing distractions whilst driving, reported to be part of the plans. Young Driver has delivered over 900,000 driving lessons to 10 to 17-year olds across the UK. Lessons are given in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsa SE Premiums with a fully qualified instructor. Youngsters learn how to steer, change gear, reverse and park on a specially created road system including roundabouts, junctions and traffic lights. The focus of lessons is on learning how to be a safe driver in a fun and engaging way.
DRIVEWAY RENTALS ON THE RISE
- 12 July 2021
DRIVEWAY RENTALS ON THE RISE
UK homeowners made £21 million in 2020 simply by renting out their vacant driveways to motorists needing somewhere to park, new research by YourParkingSpace.co.uk reveals. Indeed, despite various lockdown restrictions the online parking portal is actually reporting strong growth this year in the demand for rented driveways near workplaces as a result of COVID19 because many workers are choosing to drive rather than take public transport. Recent booking data shows that town and city centre bookings, many located near to offices, have increased by 19 per cent compared to pre-lockdown towards the start of the year, compensating for a shift away from traditional driveway parking hotspots such as those near stadiums, airports and train stations. Furthermore, the £21 million made from driveway rental in 2020 with YourParkingSpace.co.uk is, in fact, higher than in some recent years such as 2018 and 2017 when £15 million and £12 million was made respectively. Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said: "Rented driveway demand has remained strong in 2020, not least because empty driveways near workplaces have provided an attractive alternative to motorists who are avoiding public transport and need somewhere cheap and convenient to park their vehicle."
CARS BECAME A QUIET PLACE TO WORK IN LOCKDOWN
- 12 July 2021
CARS BECAME A QUIET PLACE TO WORK IN LOCKDOWN
Four out of 10 households in the UK used their car as an additional space to work, place to relax or even to catch up on TV shows during the pandemic, according to new research by Peugeot. The study of 2,000 drivers found 41% of households with four or more people said they had started to use their car for other purposes than driving during Covid-19 lockdowns. With home schooling and remote working now the new normal for many, cars have taken up a new purpose, ranging from providing a relaxing refuge to acting as a remote office space. When asked which activities drivers had turned to in their cars, more than half said finding a quiet place to relax away from others, while for 47% their car became a place to catch up on TV shows, and 43% used their cars as a place to read books. A third of respondents said they have used their car as a remote office for work. With 58% of respondents struggling to find time for themselves during lockdown, the car has become a place of peace and quiet, according to the research. Peugeot also found 37% of households said they would be more likely to use their car in this way if they owned a zero emissions-capable vehicle, that did not emit fumes when turned on, allowing them to keep warm or stay cool without idling an engine.
HIGWAY CODE TO BE UPDATED FOR MOTORWAYS
- 12 July 2021
HIGWAY CODE TO BE UPDATED FOR MOTORWAYS
GEM Motoring Assist has welcomed the announcement that the Highway Code is to be updated later this year to give road users a better understanding of how motorways operate. GEM chief executive Neil Worth said the additional advice was long overdue. "Traffic management procedures - including use of the hard shoulder for traffic - have been in use since 2006. GEM is keen for drivers to understand where the risks can be particularly high on motorways: Time and space A serious danger is when there is insufficient time and space between vehicles travelling at high speed. Distracted drivers Anyone using a mobile phone or device, re-setting the satnav or attempting to eat and drink at the wheel poses a risk to themselves and those around them. Lane discipline Poor lane discipline brings risks - for example, driving in the middle lane when the left hand lane is empty, or changing lanes without proper observations or signalling. This also applies around junctions when drivers are leaving or joining the motorway. Too late Sometimes drivers make last-minute decisions, either deliberately or unintentionally, and end up cutting across lanes of traffic to get off the motorway or into the correct lane if the carriageway is about to split. Busy urban stretches of motorway are particularly risky, as there are often several junctions and intersections across short distances. Drifting off There are risks when traffic is light. In these situations there is little or nothing to engage the attention of a driver on a long journey. As a result, alertness can drop and concentration can dip, making it easy to miss a developing hazard. Neil Worth concluded: "By acknowledging these risks, you are taking a big step toward making a motorway journey safer."
OVER 50 SUPERCARS AT THE BRITISH MOTOR SHOW
- 12 July 2021
OVER 50 SUPERCARS AT THE BRITISH MOTOR SHOW
There are cars - and then there are supercars! For fans of the latter, The British Motor Show is an experience not to be missed, with over 50 supercars per day playing a starring role at the show in not one, but two Supercar paddocks. For the 2021 British Motor Show, performance and supercar specialist Premier GT will be attending in full force with a host of iconic supercars on display in the Premier GT Supercar Paddock. Over the four days there will be an impressive display of over 200 supercars and race cars from the world's most sought-after marques. Some of the rarest cars on display will also form a supercar parade in the Live Arena each day, so not only will you be able to see these cars in motion, but you'll hear their incredible noises, too. On Sunday the 22nd August, Four Marks Supercar Club will also be bringing down the best vehicles that their members have to offer to display in the Premier GT paddock. And if you are looking for the very latest supercars then prestige and supercar dealer HR Owen will be adding to the roster of ultra-desirable metal with the latest models from Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce, on display in the HR Owen Paddock, while Mclaren will be displaying some of the latest cars they have to offer, along with one of the first public displays in the UK of the hybrid Artura. If that's not enough, a handful of supercars will also form part of the Sporting Bears 'Dream Rides' feature, where for a small donation the classic, performance and sports car club will take you out for a 10-mile/20-minute ride in your dream car, with all proceeds going to children's charities.
FERRARIS OFFER STRESS RELIEF
- 12 July 2021
FERRARIS OFFER STRESS RELIEF
Ferraris are providing welcome stress relief for UK motorists who are facing higher traffic levels. Indeed, as traffic levels top pre-pandemic levels, figures from leading driving experience provider TrackDays.co.uk, indicates that more and more Brits are turning to race tracks and high speed models to let off steam - with the Italian thoroughbreds of the supercar world being, by far, the model of choice. Dan Jones, operations manager at the company, said: "While it is great to see life returning to normal, such as with traffic levels increasing to pre-pandemic levels, it does mean that previous frustrations are resurfacing. As a result, beleaguered motorists facing traffic jams are increasingly letting loose in supercars, with Ferraris currently leading the pack." In fact, the latest booking data from the driving experience provider shows that Ferrari driving experiences have been the individual bestseller for supercar marques since the turn of the year, selling twice as many as the next individual supercar package in an Aston Martin. And it's the 348, 360, California and 458 Italia which are the Italian thoroughbreds that Brits want to indulge their supercar dreams. Dan added: "The popularity of Ferraris among the British public has never been in doubt, as indicated by our research which shows that they are the supercar of choice for 2021 so far. The fact that bookings for Ferraris are more than double the second most popular supercar experience is testament to their enduring styling and handling. Viva Italia, Viva Ferrari!"
PENSIONERS WITH POINTS
- 05 July 2021
PENSIONERS WITH POINTS
There are more than 304,000 pensioners (over 65s) currently driving on UK roads with penalty points on their licence, nearly 25 times the number of young teenage drivers - of which there are just over 12,000 with penalty points. The findings, which came from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the DVLA by the UK's largest independent road safety charity - IAM RoadSmart - also revealed that the oldest person driving with points on their licence was 102 while there are more than 3,000 over the age of 90 currently driving with penalty points. Overall, there are more drivers in their 30s with penalty points than any other age range (575,029), closely followed by those in their 40s (572,238) and then by those in their 50s (568,511). The highest single age with the greatest number of people with points was 49 (63,248). Additional findings from the FOI discovered that there is up to 8,800 people still driving with more than 12 points - the amount at which you are disqualified - while the highest number of penalty points currently held by one individual is 68. Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research, said: "The findings from our Freedom of Information request are surprising. Speeding and other motoring misdemeanours are often associated with younger drivers but the findings clearly show there is a large number of older drivers also flouting the rules. "Regardless of age, the message we need to get through is that road safety is paramount and we urge drivers of all ages to stick to the speed limits and ensure their vehicles are in a roadworthy condition. "We also urge government to urgently revisit the issue of drivers with more than 12 points who still have not had their licences revoked. IAM RoadSmart has been raising this issue for almost a decade now and the problem still persists. It's not by chance that certain drivers amass 12 or more points and they need to be removed from the public roads. By letting them keep their licence it undermines the simple "four strikes and you're out" message and this urgently needs to be addressed."
WHAT REALLY MAKES US BUY CARS
- 05 July 2021
WHAT REALLY MAKES US BUY CARS
Sexy images of revving cars hugging tight bends at speed impact the viewer's mind less than seeing relevant people talking about the vehicle. That's the surprise research finding by Autovia. The research used a unique patented technology called Steady State Topography which measures second by second brain responses quantifying which moments of audio and visual content are encoded into long term memory. Readers of the popular Autovia title, evo were invited to browse articles and videos as they usually would while Neuro-Insight researchers measured the electrical activity in different regions of their brains. They could then see which moments impacted viewers most positively - and what was most likely to be instantly 'encoded' into memory. Around 80 evo readers were wired up and invited to read four articles about cars, in the way they usually would, without being told what the researchers were looking for. The surprising finding was that while dramatic external images of a performance road car naturally excited the viewers, what stuck in their minds and felt most relevant was when presenters were talking directly to the viewer about the cars, making them feel more involved.
FEARS REMAIN ABOUT AUTONOMOUS DRIVING
- 05 July 2021
FEARS REMAIN ABOUT AUTONOMOUS DRIVING
The UK public is still yet to be convinced of the prospect of fully autonomous vehicles, a recent CarGurus survey has revealed. While having a car drive itself is still out of many driver's comfort zones, automated technologies such as automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, that assist a driver in getting from A to B safely, are of significant interest to car buyers. Respondents were evenly spilt when it came to their overall opinion about the development of self-driving cars, with 30% considering themselves excited, 35% neutral and 36% concerned. This divide was echoed in the near fifty-fifty split in participants who felt the technology was still too new to place their faith in. The public's mixed feelings toward automotive autonomy were decidedly less pronounced when the subject was broached in a more granular way, however. Despite just 22% of those surveyed saying they would appreciate a car that does the driving for them, participants claimed to be very or extremely interested in cars with automated driving assistance features such as automatic emergency braking (43%), lane keeping assist (36%) and automatic parking (48%). The safety benefits of such technology were also viewed with varying degrees of significance, depending on how the topic was approached. Just 29% of people reported being excited by self-driving cars making travel safer, compared to 68% of the same cohort who agreed that automated driver assistance features make travel by car safer. The reasons for this dissonance seemed to mirror recent media trends. News coverage of high-profile crashes (30%) was cited as a key reason that buyers do not trust self-driving capabilities, while longstanding debates around culpability in the event of an incident involving an AV were also shown to have permeated the public consciousness - 44% of participants said they would be concerned about who was responsible if something went wrong. When it came to how owners would use an autonomous vehicle if they had one, 49% of respondents said they would use an AV to take them home if they had been drinking or were too tired to drive, while 34% would allow their AV to handle the chore of parking. Just 26% said they would use an AV to carry out time-consuming tasks such as collecting groceries and packages, while only 21% said they would take advantage of the extra time freed up by not having to drive to increase their productivity.
BRITISH LAND SPEED HERO GETS ROLLS-ROYCE RECOGNITION
- 05 July 2021
BRITISH LAND SPEED HERO GETS ROLLS-ROYCE RECOGNITION
Rolls-Royce has been associated with world speed records on both land and water for more than a century. But while the exploits of Sir Malcolm Campbell are well documented and widely known, another British hero who set three land-speed records using Rolls-Royce engines has been largely overlooked by history. Now, after more than 80 years, Rolls-Royce recalls this hero's inspiring exploits. With the new Wraith and Dawn Black Badge Landspeed Collection, the marque uncovers and retells the remarkable story of the redoubtable Captain George Eyston, and his extraordinary car, Thunderbolt. Born in 1897, George Eyston was fascinated with motorsport from childhood, racing both cars and (under an assumed name) motorcycles while still at school. His degree in engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, was interrupted by the Great War, in which he served with distinction, rising to the rank of captain and winning the Military Cross. He spent the 1920s and 30s developing and driving racing cars; a talented inventor, he also held a number of patents, particularly in the field of supercharging. In 1935, Eyston was among the first British racers to travel to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, where he set new 24-hour and 48-hour endurance speed records. He subsequently received the Segrave Trophy, awarded to 'the British national who demonstrates Outstanding Skill, Courage and Initiative on Land, Water and in the Air'. In 1937, he returned to the Flats and went on to set three world land-speed records with Thunderbolt. This extraordinary machine had three axles, eight wheels and weighed seven tonnes, earning it monikers such as 'behemoth' and 'leviathan' in contemporary reports. The body was made from aluminium and, in its original form, had a blunt, heavyset profile topped with a large triangular tailfin.
CALLS TO STOP THE 'TOTTERS'
- 05 July 2021
CALLS TO STOP THE TOTTERS
Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging courts across the country to get tough on 'totters'. A consistent and strong message is needed for drivers and riders who accumulate 12 penalty points on their licences, says GEM. The call comes as figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) reveal there are 46 people who have been allowed to continue driving on the UK's roads, even though they have collected more than 30 penalty points on their licence. These drivers would have claimed in court that a disqualification would have caused them 'exceptional hardship' and been allowed to remain on the road. A recent example has emerged of a driver who successfully invoked the 'exceptional hardship' excuse and managed to persuade magistrates that he should be allowed to continue driving. The man drove at 58mph on the M27 between junctions 9-8 at Swanwick in January 2020. The limit in the temporary zone is 50mph. He pleaded guilty when he appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates Court. There was no totting disqualification, the court decided, because Harris would lose his job with an impact on his family as he is a main breadwinner. DVLA figures show there are 8,237 drivers in England on or over the 12-point threshold, with men (6,837) far outnumbering women (1,400). In Wales, the overall figure is 512 - with 413 male and 99 female motorists - while Scotland has a lower total figure of 225, split into 192 men and 33 women. The Sentencing Council ruled last year that loss of employment caused by a disqualification from driving is no longer sufficient alone to demonstrate exceptional hardship. Incurring 12 or more penalty points within a three-year period means a minimum period of six months' disqualification must be imposed.
TRAFFIC VOLUMES RISE & RISE
- 05 July 2021
TRAFFIC VOLUMES RISE & RISE
While car traffic volumes on weekdays remain lower than pre-pandemic levels, official figures show that in June, the number of weekend journeys outstripped the pre-Covid figures, and new research for Kwik Fit reveals the factors behind the weekend boom. In June, despite the country not yet facing full freedoms, average weekend car journey volumes were at 105% of the Saturday and Sunday levels in the equivalent pre pandemic week. In comparison, with many people still working from home, traffic on weekdays was on average 6% lower. Almost 7.4 million drivers say they are driving less at the weekend than before the pandemic, but these are outstripped by those making more leisure trips. Over 5.1 million drivers say they are spending more on weekend trips as they don't think they will be having a big summer holiday this year. Being unable to see friends and family for so long is a driving factor for almost as many drivers (5.1 million), who are making up for lost time with weekend trips to loved ones. 4.3 million drivers say the risk of catching Covid on public transport is leading them to opt for the car at weekends more often than they did previously. The research found that the months of restrictions have led to 4 million drivers travelling further away from home for weekend leisure trips by car as they want to make the most of their free time. Those previous restrictions have left their mark on many drivers - 3.8 million are wary that Covid measures may return and say that they want to get out and about while they can. Among the other reasons given for driving more at the weekend is the actual experience of being behind the wheel. 3.4 million drivers say they enjoy driving and as they are doing less of it during the week they want to take advantage of the weekends. The reopening of shops has also helped increase weekend car journeys, with 2.8 million drivers saying they have made more shopping trips than they did during pre-pandemic weekends.
CLUNK CLICK ON EVERY TRIP
- 28 June 2021
CLUNK CLICK ON EVERY TRIP
Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is calling on the UK Government to honour the commitment made in its most recent road safety action plan and increase the penalty for drivers and passengers who do not wear a seatbelt on road journeys. In the plan, launched in July 2019, the Government said it would make seatbelt offences endorsable in, meaning people caught not wearing a seatbelt would face penalty points on their licence as well as a fine. The offence has long been endorsable in Northern Ireland, where drivers who fail to ensure a child in a front or rear seat is not wearing a seatbelt also face points on their licence. However, these tougher sanctions do not apply in England, Scotland or Wales. GEM chief executive Neil Worth commented: "Official figures show that despite compliance rates of 98.6 per cent among car drivers, 27% of those killed in cars were not wearing a seat belt - amounting to more than 200 deaths. "Seatbelts reduce the risk of death by 45 per cent for drivers and front seat occupants. They also reduce the risk of serious injury by 50 per cent. Research shows time and again that seatbelt laws increase seatbelt use, and therefore reduce deaths and serious injuries. "We have seen mobile phone penalties for drivers rise in recent years, and if seatbelt offences were dealt with in a similar way, we believe would see a significant and immediate reduction in the number of drivers and vehicle occupants killed and seriously injured on our roads."
FLYING CAR TAKES OFF
- 28 June 2021
FLYING CAR TAKES OFF
In the summer of 2019 entrepreneur Matthew Pearson stated his ambition to create the world's first racing series for electric flying cars. His mission was informed by the role racing historically played in accelerating the development of both ground and air mobility. Recently, Pearson and his team realised their dream, proudly echoing the legacies of automotive and aviation pioneers like Enzo Ferrari, Karl Benz, John Alcock and Arthur Brown in making history through the first flights of a full-scale electric flying racing car, the remotely-piloted Alauda Mk3. These historic first flights took place at undisclosed test locations in the deserts of South Australia under the observation of Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). The successful execution of these flights means that uncrewed electric flying car Grand Prixs will take place in 2021 at three soon-to-be-revealed international locations. By creating the world's first racing series for electric flying cars, Alauda Aeronautics takes a leadership position in this generation's defining mobility revolution. It does this by providing a place and a space to rapidly accelerate the development of the key safety, performance and dynamics technologies that will underpin the growth of eVTOL transportation.
THE COST OF SHATTERED MIRRORS
- 28 June 2021
THE COST OF SHATTERED MIRRORS
Almost two-thirds of van drivers have had their wing mirrors clipped when driving along narrow streets or while parked, according to recent research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Broken or damaged wing mirrors can lead to expensive repairs and vehicle downtime. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has calculated that damage to wing mirrors has cost UK van drivers £655 million in repair costs in their lifetime with additional losses racked up due to vehicle downtime. According to the research, a total of 62 per cent of van drivers have had their wing mirrors damaged with over a third admitting it has happened multiple times. The figures also reveal the most common cause of wing mirror damage is driving down a narrow street (62%), followed by on-street parking (21%), and public car parks (15%). Replacement wing mirrors are the single most common repair that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles technicians handle each year, with glass and mirrors accounting for 10 times more repairs than any other part. James Allitt, Head of Aftersales for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: "As one of the most common repair jobs, we know that a broken wing mirror is all too common for van drivers and leads to frustrating downtime."
PETROLHEADS GET THE DRIFT
- 28 June 2021
PETROLHEADS GET THE DRIFT
New research reveals that petrolhead mad Brits would prefer to drift than experience the raw speed of a supercar. The surprise finding is from leading driving experience provider TrackDays.co.uk, whose latest booking data reveals that its bestselling Drifting experience is taking twice as many bookings as its best-selling Supercar experience. Indeed, the company 'Learn to drift' half day package has been by far its most popular driving experience with adults across April and May, accounting for around a quarter of all bookings in that time. Dan Jones, operations manager at TrackDays.co.uk, said: "Our latest booking data shows there has been a big shift to drift. "Supercars, while always a perennial favourite, are currently losing pace against our drifting experiences as Brits look to let off steam by burning rubber, attempting circular slides and perfecting doughnuts." Indeed, the current popularity of drifting is supported by further data which shows that, overall, drifting experiences have accounted for just over a third of all new bookings over the previous two months despite having a vast array of other driving experiences to enjoy. Dan added: "Drifting tests drivers in a completely different way to other driving experiences, not least because you're looking out the passenger window half the time as you slide round the corners!"
SURVEY REVEALS THE UK'S MOST HATRED DRIVERS
- 28 June 2021
SURVEY REVEALS THE UKS MOST HATRED DRIVERS
We're all guilty of having preconceptions about our fellow road users. And whether it's flashy sports car drivers or the notorious 'White Van Man', some drivers on our roads certainly get a worse rep than others. In a recent Moneybarn survey of over 4,000 people, 39% of Brits voted those behind the wheel of a BMW as the worst drivers. 'Beemer' drivers have accumulated quite the reputation; a quick internet search for the term "why are BMW drivers." sees Google suggest results such as "so hated", "so arrogant" and "idiots". While Audi drivers have a significantly smaller margin of disdain, 14% still voted them as their most hated driver. Notorious for tailgating, Audi drivers find themself as our second least favourite drivers. Taking third place was the 'White Van Man'. Famed as some of the least considerate drivers on the roads by the British public, many tradespeople including builders, plumbers, and locksmiths have been branded with the 'White Van Man' moniker over the years. It's hard to miss Range Rovers on the roads thanks to their size, which may be why 4.6% of those surveyed don't appreciate them as fellow drivers, securing their status as the fourth most disliked driver. While Ford is the most popular brand for us Brits, it appears we don't appreciate who is behind them! 4.2% of people said that they found Ford drivers to be the worst on the roads crowning them the fifth hated.
ROAD DEATHS FALL BUT WORRYING TRENDS REMAIN
- 28 June 2021
ROAD DEATHS FALL BUT WORRYING TRENDS REMAIN
Recent figures have revealed a drop in annual road deaths for the first time in eight years. In 2020, there were 1,472 reported road deaths, compared to 1,748 in 2019. This is drop of 16% which, while positive, sits against the background of the global pandemic and four months of a national lockdown (April to June and November) which reduced traffic levels by 25%. It means that on average four people are still dying on UK roads every day, compared to five people a day in 2019. A quick overview of the stats revealed: an estimated 1,472 reported road deaths in 2020 which includes a total of 4 months of national lockdown (April to June and November) - a 16% fall an estimated 23,486 killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties in 2020, a decrease of 22% compared to the same period in 2019 the reduction in road traffic followed a similar trend in the same period and decreased by 21% pedal cyclist casualty rates saw the greatest percentage decrease (34%) compared to all other road user types (because many more people cycled). actual numbers of cyclists killed went up by 40 and by 40 % (100 were killed in 2019 and 140 in 2020) children (aged 0 to 16 years) and older people (60 years and older) had the greatest percentage decrease of 84% and 74% respectively, compared to 3-year average for 2017 to 2019. A similar pattern was observed during the second national lockdown where child casualties and older casualties decreased by 37% and 41% respectively, over the same period. The rise in cycling injuries is worrying and shows the government must do more to protect them by building higher quality segregated cycling facilities. White paint and temporary bollards are clearly not enough to protect cyclists from motorised traffic.