19 July 2018

This weekend sees the peak of the summer getaway, with nearly nine million (8,500,000) drivers taking their car on holiday this summer. However, new research1 from Kwik Fit has found that just 11% of UK drivers carry out any checks on their car before setting off to their holiday destination. This is despite the fact that drivers who use their car on holiday will clock up an average 1,105 holiday miles as they head off on their travels.

The study for UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company found that 7.2 million drivers will be using their car to go on summer holiday in the UK, while 1.8 million will be taking their own vehicles overseas. Kwik Fit has found that the average driver’s holiday journeys will account for one seventh (13%) of their total annual mileage, with one in ten people driving more than 2,000 miles, and the company is highlighting the benefit of drivers making simple checks to avoid upset while away.

While all drivers will hope their holiday miles will be stress-free, statistics show that many will run into a sticky situation while on the road. 6.6 million drivers have suffered car problems in the last five years while using their own car to travel on holiday or before they even set off. Despite this experience, a substantial amount of drivers are still neglecting to carry out checks before taking to the roads.

Issues on the road can have a significant knock-on effect to holiday plans and even relationships. 25% of those who had car problems have missed a planned excursion, 17% had to abandon their holiday and come home early, 16% lost hotel reservations, while 19% had an argument with their partner which led to the breakdown of their relationship.

As well as neglecting to check the condition of their vehicle’s maintenance, drivers are not ensuring they have what they need to comply with overseas regulations. A third (31%) of drivers using their car to go on holiday have not checked what items they need to carry while driving abroad. Despite it being compulsory to carry a warning triangle in most European countries, half (50%) of drivers have never checked their boot to see if they have one.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said:
The findings of this study are quite alarming. Despite millions of drivers being left stranded by the road while on holiday each year, people are not completing basic checks on their vehicle before hitting the road. Checks such as tyre pressure, tread depth, coolant and oil levels are simple to carry out and can be done at home. We would encourage all drivers to get in the habit of carrying out basic checks on their car regularly, but most importantly do it before setting off on a long journey. It’s also important to ensure you are carrying any products deemed compulsory by the authorities in the country you will driving in – a fine could really dampen your holiday spirits.
Drivers can call into their nearest Kwik Fit centre if they have any concerns about how to carry out checks on their cars. There is also a full range of advice and tips on car maintenance at kwik-fit.com. For the latest news and updates from Kwik Fit, customers can also follow the company on Twitter at @kwik_fit.

Holiday Motorists Driving Off Without Checking

8 June 2018

Silverstone Auctions will hold a special memorabilia auction in support of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Motor Sport Charity at Silverstone Circuit, on Thursday 19th July, in the first of three days of auctions taking place as part of this year’s Silverstone Classic.

With a strong motorsport theme, the BRDC Motor Sport Charity Memorabilia Auction will see over 50 auction lots generously donated by BRDC members go under the hammer to raise funds for the charity’s work in supporting club members and people involved in the motor sport industry in times of need.

Highlight lots on offer include a signed Felipe Massa race suit worn in his very last Grand Prix, a pair of race boots used by Jenson Button MBE in the 2016 F1 season, an Ayrton Senna replica race helmet, lunch with Ross Brawn and a Classic Team Lotus experience day, as well as prints, photographs, books and personal items signed by motorsport legends including Sir Stirling Moss, Nigel Mansell CBE, Ayrton Senna, Sir Jackie Stewart and Damon Hill OBE.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the BRDC Motor Sport Charity.

David Richards, chairman of the BRDC Motor Sport Charity comments;
It’s very fitting that this auction should be held here at the home of British motor sport, Silverstone. All the funds we raise will support those members of the motor sport community who are far less fortunate than ourselves.
Nick Whale, managing director, Silverstone Auctions, said;

the work carried out by the BRDC Motor Sport Charity is absolutely outstanding and it is our privilege to be holding this fundraising sale. There are some very special and highly collectible items on offer in the auction and we invite all motorsport enthusiasts to come along and bid for this wonderful cause.
The auction will take place on Thursday 19th July with bidding available in person, by phone, by commission bid or via the online bidding platform, Proxibid.

For more information about the BRDC Motor Sport Charity Memorabilia Auction, visit http://www.silverstoneauctions.com/brdc-benevolent-memorabilia-auction.

Silverstone Auctions Supports British Racing Drivers’ Club Motor Sport Charity with Dedicated Auction

9 February 2018

Out of all of the offences a driver can commit on the road, driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the worst you can commit. Not only are you risking your own of life and that of others around you, but if caught then the legal penalties will be undeniably severe.

Firstly, the legal limit for drink driving is considered to be when a driver is breathalysed and found to have more than 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, although this does vary in some parts of the UK. The test to determine to whether a driver is in violation of this limit takes place immediately after being pulled over, and further tests on urine and blood samples may follow if deemed necessary to determine one’s potential guilt.

Should it turn out that the driver is only slightly over the limit, a measure of leeway is granted and the punishment is only typically a fine. However, the repercussions will certainly be more severe in the presence of ‘aggravating factors’.

These are factors which add a greater degree of criminality to the incident, and include things such as if the driver is already on bail for another offence, if anyone else is harmed or nearly harmed, or if their driving is so dangerous that further punishment is required. This is when driving bans may be enforced, the length of which depending on the unique circumstances of each case.

If your blood-alcohol level is far beyond the limit as well, than that is an immediate and decisive aggravating factor. This immediately puts you at risk of a jail sentence, gaining a criminal record, and losing your driving licence.

An automatic driving ban can be enforced due to any of the aforementioned violations, and the length of this varies depending once more on what exactly transpired that led to the ban, as well as whether the offender has a history of such incidences. A first time offender will be banned for at least a year, but a repeat offender within a decade of their first offence will be banned for at least 3 years.

It is worth mentioning that there are mitigating elements that can reduce the harshness of a possible sentence. If for instance you were unaware of having your drink spiked (and can prove it) or if it was an emergency that required you to drive without an alternative, then this will be taken into consideration.

However in the overwhelming majority of cases, the justice system will not be sympathetic towards anyone proved of driving under the influence. The damage alcohol does to your reflexes and perception of the world around you makes you massively unfit to get behind the wheel and kills nearly 1000 people a year. Don’t let yourself or those close to you become part of this statistic, and always make sure to have an alternate way to get home should you find yourself with a drink in hand.

What the Law says about Driving Under the Influence

25 January 2018

Cooper Tire Europe has developed a new premium summer tyre, the CS7™, designed for small to mid-size cars.

The new Cooper CS7 is a replacement for the popular CS2 passenger car tyre. This quieter, next generation tyre has been developed to incorporate technological features that make driving both enjoyable and economical.

The CS7 delivers improved fuel economy over its predecessor, thanks to an optimised tread gauge which distributes load evenly, thus lowering rolling resistance. In addition, the tyre has been designed with a more uniform footprint, resulting in improved tread wear.

The CS7 offers a quiet driving experience thanks to Cooper’s noise damping nodes in the tyre’s tread grooves, which reduce airborne noise from contact with the road and make this Cooper Europe’s quietest tyre with a 68dB, 1 bar rating across the range.

The CS7 features a high definition silica compound which delivers enhanced traction, as well as improved wet braking, lateral grip and steering response. The tyre has a B rating for wet grip; for a typical passenger car driving at 50mph (80km/h), this could mean a stopping distance six metres (or one and a half car lengths) shorter than an E rated product.

 Available in a total of 30 sizes, covering T and H speed rated fitments, the new Cooper CS7 is suitable for 14 to 16-inch rims:
  • 155/65R14 75T
  • 165/60R14 75T
  • 165/60R14 75H
  • 165/65R14 79T
  • 165/70R14 81T
  • 165/70R14 85T
  • 175/65R14 82T
  • 175/65R14 82H
  • 175/65R14 86T XL
  • 175/70R14 84T
  • 175/70R14 88T XL
  • 185/60R14 82H
  • 185/60R14 82H
  • 185/65R14 86T
  • 185/70R14 88T
  • 185/70R14 88H
  • 165/60R15 77H
  • 165/65R15 81T
  • 175/65R15 84T
  • 175/65R15 84H
  • 185/60R15 84H
  • 185/60R15 88H XL
  • 185/65R15 88T
  • 185/65R15 92T XL
  • 185/65R15 88H
  • 195/60R15 88H
  • 195/65R15 91T
  • 195/65R15 95T XL
  • 195/65R15 91H
  • 195/65R15 95H XL
For more information visit: www.coopertire.co.uk or find them on Facebook.

Cooper Introduces New CS7 Tyre for Small to Mid-Size Cars

17 November 2017

It's here at last! The stunning Kia Stinger, an elegant gran turismo based on the 2011 Kia GT Concept from the Frankfurt Motor Show, is now in full production and on sale in the UK priced from £31,995.

Stinger is the most adventurous model in Kia's history, the company's first classic grand tourer and the first rear-wheel-drive model it has introduced to Europe. In range-topping twin-turbo V6 guise, it is also the fastest-accelerating Kia ever, with a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds.

Six years in the making, it was designed in Europe at the Frankfurt studios under the watch of President of Design and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer and European Head of Design Gregory Guillaume. Prototypes have covered the equivalent of 27 trips around the Equator, taking in extreme climate testing in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North and South America, to perfect the car, and every development model has done at least 480 laps (10,000 kilometres) of the tortuous Nurburgring Nordschleife. The testing regime was headed by Kia's Head of Vehicle Test and High Performance Development, Albert Biermann.

Five versions are available in the UK, all with turbocharged direct-injection engines mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and featuring state-of-the-art electronic driver aids and connectivity systems. The GT-Line and GT-Line S offer the choice of a 2.0-litre 244bhp T-GDi petrol engine or a 2.2-litre 197bhp CRDi turbodiesel, while the range-topping GT S has exclusive use of a 3.3-litre 365bhp twin-turbo V6. The GT S, as the fastest and most powerful model in the range, also has adjustable electronic suspension damping and Brembo brakes.

Stinger is a classic grand tourer, not a hard-edged sports car. It harks back to an era when travelling was all about the joy of the journey and getting to the final destination could be an anti-climax.

Stinger exhibits classic gran turismo proportions – long bonnet, short front overhang, long wheelbase, cabin positioned towards the rear of the car, lengthy rear overhang beneath broad shoulders and a 'Coke-bottle' nip in the waist. It sets a template for Kia's bold and exciting future and is the final step in the company's transition from a manufacturer of purely rational, durable, value-centric cars to one able to compete with the world's best for desirability, design and technology.

This may be a new kind of Kia, but the design cues which have stood the company in good stead since Schreyer joined in 2006 are all in evidence. What Guillaume calls the "sleek and sharky" front end has a new interpretation of Kia's 'tiger-nose’ grille mounted between complex headlamp units. There is a castellated upper edge to the windscreen. And the flanks are simple and unadorned. Visual engagement also comes from the large lower grille and air intake, dark chrome highlights and bold rear diffuser with quad tailpipes on petrol models and twin tailpipes on diesels. There are 18-inch alloy wheels on GT-Line and GT-Line S versions and 19-inch wheels on GT S.

What exterior decoration does appear is there to aid aerodynamics and ensure the car remains stable at the high speeds it is capable of. There are air curtains at the front and finned gills behind the rear wheel arches to reduce wake as turbulent air passes around the large wheels and tyres. The final shape of Stinger called for intense collaboration between designers and aerodynamicists to make airflow around the car as clean as possible without diluting its stunning styling.

Stinger's luxurious interior is a blend of cocooning intimacy and space for five people and their luggage. Occupants slip down into their low-slung seats – leather in GT-Line and GT-Line S versions, and Nappa leather in GT S.

There is a horizontal sweep to the high-mounted, wing-shaped dashboard – also covered in leather – which is broken only by the 8.0-inch touchscreen for the navigation and infotainment system. Leather also adorns the door armrests, the D-shaped steering wheel and the gearshifter, which also has chrome sections.

The seats are snug and enveloping, and the two in front have eight-way power adjustment – with a memory function on the driver's side – and a two-way power cushion extender plus four-way power lumbar adjustment. The front seats and steering wheel are heated, and in GT-Line S and GT S they are also ventilated, while the outer rear seats are also heated.

 The luxurious ambience is enhanced by an aluminium-finish centre console, a chrome strip running all the way around the cabin, suede-like headlining, satin chrome interior door handles, alloy pedals, stainless steel door scuff plates and five aeronautically inspired spoked circular air vents.

To enhance comfort, dual automatic air conditioning is fitted to every model, while to aid the driver there is a 7.0-inch LCD Thin Film Transistor (TFT) supervision cluster and a customisable head-up display which allows key information – speed, navigation instructions and audio, cruise control and blind spot detection information – to be projected onto the windscreen. GT-Line S and GT S also have a 360-degree around-view monitor.

Every model has a DAB radio with MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming. In GT-Line there is a nine-speaker sound system with front under-seat subwoofer, while GT-Line S and GT S have a concert hall quality 15-speaker harman/kardon premium system with subwoofer, external amp and front centre speaker. It features Clari-Fi, which restores the sound often lost when digital music files are heavily compressed, and QuantumLogic Surround Sound, which redistributes signals from the original recording to deliver multi-dimensional playback.

Grand tourers should not only be beautiful, comfortable and luxurious – they must also be fast. The three turbocharged engines chosen for Stinger are ideally suited to its role as a long-distance gran turismo.

On the one hand the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 T-GDi is the fastest-accelerating Kia ever, with a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 168mph, while on the other the 2.2-litre CRDi's combined fuel consumption of 50.4mpg gives it a touring range of comfortably more than 600 miles. In between there is the 2.0-litre T-GDi offering much of the best of both: acceleration from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds with combined fuel economy of 35.8mpg, allowing it to cover more than 450 miles before the driver will need to stop for fuel.

The 2.0-litre T-GDI (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine develops 244bhp at 6,200rpm and 353Nm of torque all the way from 1,400 to 3,500rpm, ensuring outstanding driveability. The 3.3-litre T-GDi V6 can deliver 365bhp at 6,000rpm and a huge 510Nm of torque which is even more widespread – starting at 1,300rpm and continuing uninterrupted until 4,500rpm. The 2.2-litre CRDi delivers 197bhp at 3,800rpm and 440Nm of torque, also across a wide range – 1,750 to 2,750rpm.

All versions drive the rear wheels through an electronic eight-speed automatic gearbox. It was designed in-house and rewards drivers with immediate shifts and optimum fuel efficiency. Stinger’s transmission marks Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter more typically found in aviation and racing applications. CPA reduces torsional vibrations through the drivetrain.

 The transmission offers up to five different shift and throttle programmes, accessed through the car’s electronic Drive Mode Selector. Drivers can leave the car to shift for itself, or change gears with steering wheel-mounted paddles. A limited slip differential is fitted to all models so that torque is transferred to the rear wheel with most grip.

ISG, Kia's engine stop/start system to ensure no fuel is wasted and no emissions are released into the air when the car is stationary, is standard. The engine cuts out as soon as the driver brakes to a standstill and restarts when the brake pedal is released.

To ensure occupants can enjoy the refined sporting tones of the Stinger's turbocharged engines, the car is the first Kia to be fitted with an Active Sound System. This relays the engine note to the cabin through the car's audio system rather than the more conventional actuator. It was engineered in Europe and can be customised through the Drive Mode Selector according to which of the five programmable settings the driver has chosen.

A gran turismo must provide exceptional comfort for occupants on the long distances it is designed to cover, but it must also reward enthusiastic drivers. Stinger meets those demands. Right-hand-drive cars have undergone additional testing in the UK to meet the unique challenges of the country's roads.

Stinger may evoke memories of the golden age of gran turismos, but it is not a retro car. Its advanced driver aids take into account that roads are busier and there are more distractions than yesteryear, while its 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system acknowledges that drivers no longer use maps to find their way around but expect the car to guide them to their destination, and that they expect to remain fully connected throughout the journey.

All versions have Autonomous Emergency Braking, which automatically intervenes to stop the car if the driver fails to respond to a potential accident, and there is Lane Keep Assist to prevent a driver straying into an adjoining lane accidentally, and High Beam Assist to adjust the headlights according to other traffic and local lighting. Driver Attention Warning alerts a tired driver that it is time to take a break, and there is a Speed Limit Information system.

The extensive testing regime undertaken with Stinger means that it enjoys the same seven-year/100,000-mile warranty as any of the company's other models. This declaration of faith in the car's reliability and quality covers all labour and parts except those subject to normal wear and tear, and is transferable if the car is sold before the time/mileage limit expires.

Stinger's standard paint finish is Sunset Yellow, while Pearl White, Midnight Black, Ceramic Grey, HiChroma Red and Panthera Metal are chargeable options. Premium paint is a chargeable option at £645. Stinger comes with three interior colour options, Black leather, grey leather or red leather.

Kia Stinger Gran Turismo Arrives in the UK [PICTURES]

18 May 2017

There are different levels to car modification. Cars are considered modified if there have been any non-standard modifications made to the car, that were not originally part of the manufacturer’s specification. This includes cosmetic, functional and performance enhancements.

This can mean anything from tinted windows to turbo upgrades. For the most part, there’s nothing wrong at all with modified cars. Modifications can be a great way to personalise your car or improve its performance - it can also be a productive hobby! But car owners should be aware of the increased risks in doing so and how they affect your insurance premium. Insurance is based on risk, so even the most modest or inconspicuous mods that wouldn’t at all affect your ability to drive may actually pose risks that you might not have even given thought to before.

How do car modifications affect your insurance?

The impact to your insurance premium will depend on exactly what modifications have been made - and whether your particular insurer constitutes it as a modification or not. Insurers will calculate the added risks appropriately based on your disclosed modifications. Different mods carry different risks, and the majority of car owners aren’t aware of some of the less obvious ones. Something as seemingly harmless as decals (which many insurers consider to be a modification) may attract negative attention from car thieves or vandals; more so than standard cars.

The most obvious risks include things like the unforeseeable damage or potential injuries that may be caused in a crash, due to  enhancements not having been tested by the manufacturer. If the modification was a DIY project, it might even be dangerous to drive.

Of course, some car modifications will do the reverse, and actually save you money on your insurance. Things such as winter tyres, parking sensors or extra security features. This is because these types of modifications reduce the risk of accident or theft - but you should always consult your insurer before assuming.

Money Supermarket conducted an analysis of 2.3 million modified vehicles, to demonstrate how different types of mods can affect the price you pay for your insurance:

Performance & Aesthetic

Engine & Mechanics

  • Turbo / Supercharging: +132%
  • Transmission or Gearing Changes: +63%
  • Non Standard Engine Changes: +29%
  • Exhaust System  Changes: +26%
  • Air Filter: +25%


  • Bonnet Bulges, Flared Wings, Wheel Arches: +66%
  • Complete Bodykit & Panels: +57%
  • Spoilers, Skirts & Valances: +23%
  • Tinted Windows: +16%
  • Lights Additions or Changes: +12%


  • Roll Bars, Roll Cages, Removal of Seats: +41%
  • Replacement Seats, Sports Steering Wheel: +27%
  • Upholstery or Dashboard Changes: +16%
  • Brakes & Suspension
  • Uprated Brakes: +36%
  • Suspension: +25%


  • Specialised Paint Works: +36%
  • Stripes, Decals, Badges: +22%
  • Wheels
  • Wider Wheels or Tyres: +18%
  • Alloy Wheels: +8%


Fuel Economy

  • LPG Conversion: +15%
  • Car Climate
  • Sunroof: +17%
  • Air Conditioning: +13%

Driver Aids

  • Car Phone: +26%
  • Satellite Navigation System: +15%
  • Parking Sensors: -13%

Towing & Storage

  • Roof Rack: +8%
  • Tow Bar: -20%


  • Wheelchair Clamps / Straps / Lifts: +69%
  • Hand Controls: +57%
(Source dated March 2016)

Many car modifications are considered to be high-risk due to increased risk of theft or accident, and even the cost of replacement for expensive parts. Fitting a turbo engine is by far the most painfully expensive upgrade you could make to your car, in terms of insurance, as you increase the likelihood of a road accident at higher speeds. Whereas upgrades to your navigational or audio system can increase chances of theft by opportunistic criminals.

The most popular car modifications include adding alloy wheels, installing a tow bar, suspension work, exhaust system changes and adding tinted windows. Research has found that young male drivers are the most likely demographic to drive a modified car. Men generally are 620% more likely to upgrade their brakes, whereas women drivers are 51% more likely than men to install air conditioning in their car.

It is important when shopping for modified car insurance to declare any modifications beyond the manufacturer’s original factory specification, otherwise you face the risk of your policy being invalidated and your insurer has the right to refuse your claim. It may mean that you end up having to pay a higher premium, but having an invalid insurance policy is a complete waste of money as you wouldn’t be able to claim should anything actually happen.

If you are buying your first car secondhand, you might not be able to tell if the car has been modified. Make sure to ask the seller if any modifications have been made, to prevent any accidental insurance fraud.

Are Modified Cars More Expensive to Insure?

16 May 2017

Based on technology used by Daimler since 2012, Mercedes-Benz are set to deliver the first energy storage units to UK homeowners for residential use.

Developed to meet the rigorous demands of running a car, the Mercedes-Benz energy storage units are lithium-ion batteries and meet all safety and quality standards. The batteries are 2.5 kWh each, with up to eight modules being combined to form a capacity of 20 kWh with industrial applications having even greater scalability.

Households that have their own solar energy systems can use the storage units to store surplus power with virtually no loss. Combining the Mercedes battery storage unit with renewable energy sources means that households can increase their consumption of self-generated energy by as much as 65%.
There is tremendous interest in our energy storage units in the UK. We’re very pleased to be able to offer Mercedes-Benz Energy Storage Home to customers here
Said Marc Thomas, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Energy.

At present, Mercedes-Benz Energy is working in the UK with distributors such as Alternergy, Innasol and Wind & Sun, as well as with partners who offer a complete system installation, such as Solar Frontier.

Home retail price for home electricity generation is calculated based on a customised package of components. These generally consist of a photovoltaic (solar) system, a battery inverter, an energy management system and the Mercedes-Benz energy storage unit itself, plus the cost of installation.

A network of qualified partners and distributors makes planning and installation easy. The latter’s network of qualified installers can advise customers on-site, make offers on all components and manage all planning and installation. Stationary battery storage systems are generally installed together with solar panels.

UK sales is the latest step forward for Mercedes-Benz Energy, following the successful market introduction of energy storage products, the start of large-scale industrial projects in the primary reserve market, and the founding of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas.

Customers can find out more about having a Mercedes-Benz energy storage system in their home and find local installers at www.mercedes-benz-energy.com.

Mercedes-Benz Set to Deliver First Energy Storage Units to UK Residents

12 May 2017

For all the boons and benefits that city life affords, getting around can be a nightmare at the best of times. For instance, if public transport is your preferred method of travel, you are often at the mercy of late buses and cancelled trains.

Taking matters into your own hands doesn’t always work either, especially if you drive a car, with endless traffic jams and a lack of parking causing even more problems. 

Thankfully, scooters offer a viable alternative to both and are perfectly suited to meet the demands of living in a city. Here with more insight into the advantages is Piaggio scooter dealer Metropolis Motorcycles.

#1 Cheap running costs

Not only do scooters cost less than cars of a similar age, they are also much cheaper to run. This is because their smaller engines are more economical, with 125cc engine models only costing around 10p per mile to run.

You can also enjoy significantly cheaper insurance premiums, which are usually astronomical for cars due to the dangers of owning one in the city. The fact that scooters rely on simple technology means servicing, maintenance, and repairs won’t break the bank either.

#2 Better mobility

Thanks to a scooter’s small and svelte dimensions, you will find it incredibly easy to negotiate heavy traffic. During rush hour, there is no need to wait in line either as you can simply overtake or weave through stationary cars.

Even so, you should always obey road rules and the Highway Code at all times. This, along with common sense when negotiating jams or congestion, will help you to avoid accidents and injury.

#3 Excellent convenience

When driving a car in the city, you sometimes have to plan your journey ahead of time to avoid being late or even to organise a parking space. However, the same cannot be said for riding a scooter, which offers excellent convenience.

All you need to do is pop on your helmet and off you go. You are extremely unlikely to encounter problems along the way, while parking is always readily available and, more often than not, free.

#4 Save money

As well as affordable running costs, owning and riding a scooter can help you to save money in other ways. This is especially true in cities that charge road users a fee to enter the centre in order to reduce pollution levels.

Take London for example, where scooters do not have to pay the congestion charge. Plus, if you have concerns about your carbon footprint, scooters produce 72 per cent less CO2 than the average car anyway.

#5 Fun to ride

Last but not least, one of the biggest advantages to driving a scooter when living in a city is the fun and enjoyment it provides. As opposed to being cooped up in a car or on public transport, riding a scooter affords an unrivalled feeling of freedom.

What’s more, you will see the city in ways you never have before because your view is much less restricted.

5 Advantages of Driving a Scooter When Living in a City

4 January 2017

If you fall in love with the chic and compact Fiat 500 you’ll be in good company - well over 250,000 have found homes with UK car buyers since its launch in 2008. The combination of retro charm, personality, driver appeal and reasonable running costs have made it a firm favourite with demand being as strong as ever.

So why might you become smitten by the Italian maker’s diminutive city car?

#1 Personality plus

Fiat took a leaf out of MINI’s book by offering a retro take on an old classic. In MINI’s case it was of course the 1950s original Mini, in Fiat’s it was the original 500 that sold for several years between 1957 and 1975.

The chance to own a distinctive retro styled car bang up to date with modern car tech is a strong draw. Prices to buy new are competitive, while leasing deals, where you pay a set and agreed amount every month, are also proving popular.

#2 Fun and flair

The distinctive looks hint at fun, and that’s what the 500 offers on the road. With its light weight and a range of peppy engines, it makes brisk progress around town and on twisty country roads.

The 0.9 litre TwinAir is a highly recommended engine option over the entry level 1.2 litre version (yes, the smaller engine is the more powerful). For more performance the 1.4 litre 135bhp Abarth or even more powerful Competizione version turns the 500 into a genuine pocket rocket.

The weak point of the 500 used to be its handling and ride, but since 2010 things have improved with changes to the suspension and steering making the car more comfortable and much sharper to drive. A raft of detail changes and increased customisation options introduced in 2015 freshened the 500 up.

#3 Frugality as Standard

The 500 holds its value very well so if buying outright you’ll get a good chunk of your money back when you sell. Fuel economy is good with near 50 mpg in mixed use available from the 0.9 TwinAir, and this model also avoids road tax with emissions of just 95g/km of CO2.

Insurance costs are competitive with other city cars.

#4 Customisation in 500,000 Steps

With equipment and personalisation options there are over 500,000 different ways of specifying your 500 with a plethora of paintwork and colour contrast options and interior touches to choose from. That’s a bit different to the one engine and two seats-only specification of the 1950s original.

#5 Sunny Side Up

Fancy a convertible? The 500 can go topless with its folding soft top roof.

#6 Characterful interior

The car’s cheeky charm extends to the interior; a body colour dash, simple yet effective instrument cluster and switchgear and gear stick mounted high on the dash present a unique yet practical interior. The white steering wheel is a popular choice.

#7 Well built with advanced engineering

The 500 isn't just a pretty face; it’s a well built and carefully engineered car designed to not only put a smile on your face but be a practical owning proposition day to day.

The engine technology deserves a special mention; the TwinAir offers diesel-like power and torque while offering petrol engine levels of refinement.

The 500 is the sort of car that its owners fall in love with thanks to its distinctive and eye catching styling and classy interior. More and more people crave some individuality in the car they drive, and the little Fiat delivers it in spades.

7 Reasons To Love The Fiat 500

10 November 2016


One of the first, and arguably most important, decisions you'll make when buying a car is whether to go for new or used. It's a difficult decision, and there are a surprising amount of factors that go into making it. With pros and cons on each side, it can feel pretty intimidating, and it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, by considering a few simple options, there are ways to make the decision far simpler and easier. Here are some things to consider when deciding between a new or used car.


We get pretty attached to our cars. We set them aside from our other possessions because of what they represent to us. Freedom, independence and a whole host of other things. But the truth it, a car is an appliance just like a dishwasher. This means that the trade-off when buying a new car might not be as worth it as it seems. When buying new, you're setting yourself up to take the hit on significant depreciation in value. A new car can lose as much a 50 percent of its value in the first few years. That's half the value of your purchase that you've basically just thrown out the window. A used Nissan might be technically worth less than a new one, but it will be much more likely to maintain it's value.


When selling a new car, dealers will often include a few years free services. New vehicles will also have a longer period before you need to take it for it's MOT. A used car poses a severe contrast to that. It doesn't matter how well a car has been cared for, after a certain mileage, things will start to wear down. This means that repair and maintenance will have to happen more frequently and come with higher costs than if the car was new. Budgeting for the maintenance of a used car requires thought and discipline. You need to make sure that that is something that you're able to deal with.

Down payments

One of the biggest things that can affect the decision of whether to buy used or new is that of how much money you'd need to put down upfront. A used car will often need a far smaller down payment. When it comes to a new car, the smaller your down payment, the larger the interest charges can be. If you have the money to put down, then a new car may end up being the more cost effective option. But if you want a smaller up front payment or have nothing to put down at all then you may well be better off going for a used car.

The choice of whether to go for a new or used car is a very personal one. It's important to check your financial position, both immediately and long term, before making any decision. Whatever you choose, don't let sales people pressure you into making a decision that you're not comfortable with.

New Or Used? Important Things To Remember When Buying A Car

22 August 2016

The Mercedes-AMG GT S has been named by Jeremy Clarkson as one of his top 10 cars in The Sunday Times Driving.

The TV presenter, who will soon be fronting new Amazon Prime show, The Grand Tour, described the GT S as “extremely exciting” in his official road test in The Sunday Times.

Clarkson noted:
Behind all the racing paraphernalia and the Mercedes-Benz suede and silicone, this is a modern-day muscle car. You sense this when you drive it. It feels raw. Much more raw than any of the other cars you can buy for this sort of money. It feels — how can I put this? — extremely exciting.
The GT range launched a new generation of performance engine from Mercedes-AMG: a 4.0-litre V8 unit which produces at least 462 hp and can propel the vehicle to reach 62 mph from standstill in four seconds (510 hp/3.8 seconds for the GT S).

At the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mercedes-AMG unveiled a new, even more powerful version of the GT, the GT R, with an output of 585 hp and the ability to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds.

The Mercedes-AMG GT and GT S are on sale now priced from £98,195. To find your nearest retailer, visit www.mercedes-benz.co.uk.

Jeremy Clarkson Names MERCEDES-AMG GT S One of His Top 10 Cars

24 June 2016

At Goodwood Festival of Speed, Honda UK hosted the biggest motoring showdown since the heady F1 days of Senna vs Prost.

Mini-mes of Jeremy Clarkson and Chris Evans, two poster boys for the biggest rivalling motoring shows in the world, went head to head on Honda UK’s life size version of the iconic Fisher Price style garage.

Clarkson and Evans’ motoring battle reached new levels of silliness as the duo clashed in what has clearly become a tit for tat profile-raising battle between Top Gear and The Grand Tour.

In comical lip service to the pair’s childlike antics, the young lookalikes raced each other on the Fisher Price inspired garage, brawled and wrestled for control of Honda’s BTCC rally car, sabotaged each other’s vehicles and even caused carnage to unsuspecting members of the public viewing the latest Honda range.

As rivalry finally reached the boil, the sour looking Clarkson and entertainer Evans were spotted smirking at the level of destruction handed to the other.

Tots Gear: Clarkson & Evans Lookalikes Go Head to Head at Goodwood

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