• Cars

    UK car sales in free-fall as figures show 14% decline in second-hand purchases and 8% drop in finance packages

    Car dealers across the UK are coming under pressure from a significant drop in activity, new figures released today suggest.Following reports that new car registrations were down 10 per cent in July compared to the same month in 2016, new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders have showed there's been an even bigger drop-off in second-hand purchases - a 13.5 decent decline.This downturn in vehicle sales has been backed-up by stats showing that the volume of finance packages taken out on new models has fallen 8 per cent in a year, with showrooms starting to feel ...

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  • Cars

    Enough room for 007's groceries: Aston Martin's new Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is a 600bhp big-booted estate car

    James Bond can stock up on all the gin, vermouth and lemons he needs to make a martini at home with Aston Martin's new limited edition estate.It's called the Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake and it's a two-seat sports car quick enough to chase down an enemy spy and then store his body in a capacious boot that's also ideal for picking up your weekly shop - including the ingredients for your favourite cocktail.Aston Martin gave the world a sneak preview of its first ever production estate car, alongside another new model called the Vanquish Zagato Speedster - both of which ...

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  • Cars

    BMW launches its own scrappage scheme to offer 2,000 off a new car when you trade in a dirty diesel - and VW will have one too

    While Britain's diesel car owners wait to see if the Government will bring in a scrappage scheme, BMW has taken matters into its own handsThe German car gaint has launched a new 'Lower Emissions Allowance' incentive in the UK, offering a 2,000 discount on its greenest cars when you trade in a dirty diesel. And a similar incentive is due to be launched by VW UK 'shortly', according to reports. Diesel discount: BMW is offering a 2,000 saving on a range of almost 60 existing models if you trade in your old dirty diesel car before December 31Owners of Euro ...

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  • Cars

    Small car shootout: Can Ford's new Fiesta retain its crown as Briton's best supermini, or is a Seat Ibiza or Skoda Fabia a better choice?

    The supermini sector is of crucial importance in the UK and, pretty much since it was launched way back in 2008, the Ford Fiesta has led the way. Britons responded to its all-round excellence by buying it in consistently huge numbers. In fact, more than a million have been sold here since its launch.For 2017, there is an all-new Fiesta at last. We drove it at the official launch, but now it's time to pitch it against rivals. The latest Skoda Fabia has actually been the one to beat for many since its launch in 2014 and now, for 2017, ...

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  • Cars

    The electric sportscar with 1940s Grand Prix looks: Infiniti reveals Prototype 9 concept car that blends a racer of the past with the power of the future

    Concept cars usually give us an indication of what vehicles could look like in the future. But this one has given us a glimpse into the past.It's called the Prototype 9 and is the brainchild of employees at Nissan's premium brand, Infiniti, who have been working on the car as part of an after-hours project.Revealed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance at the weekend, it showcases what an electrified Grand Prix car could have looked like in the late 1940s - about 45 years before the Infiniti brand was even invented. New-age power; authentic '40s looks: The Infiniti Prototype 9 ...

    9029
  • Cars

    A lesson in racing up a steep hill as fast as you can: We visit the world's oldest motorsport venue Shelsley Walsh to learn how to drive a hillclimb

    Pull up to the start line, take the handbrake off, let the car roll back onto the chocks. When the green light comes on, go, take a straight line through the first corner, then turn in for the first left-hander and remember the apexes on the corners are blind. Welcome to hillclimb school.I m sitting on the start line of Shelsley Walsh, in my Peugeot 205 GTI, ready to drive my beloved car up a steep, narrow and winding hill, as fast as possible. At the start line of Shelsley Walsh it's time to take the handbrake off, roll ...

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  • Cars

    What happened to these British car brands - and could iconic makers like Austin, Morris and Jensen return?

    Back in the day, it seemed as if there were almost as many car marques as there were cars. The vast majority of these hopeful car companies went bust, and rightly so in some cases, but plenty of others deserved a better fate.Romance has encouraged many attempts at reviving some of these worthier dead marques. Few have succeeded, but the power of heritage continues to exert a strong pull on investors bored by the white-goods image of more modern car companies.Let s have a look at some of the more interesting brands that came and went. Could they come again?VANDEN ...

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  • Cars

    The race cars with registration plates: The new Ford GT is just one road car that had to be built so it could win on the track - here are nine more of the best

    When Ford designed the new GT car it was created for a single purpose: win the Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro class. In 2016 it did just that at the first attempt.In order to compete in that class, Ford had to follow strict rules demanding it built a road-going version, which is why a lucky few will get to own a 647bhp race-bred supercar with registration plates - granted they can stump up the 420,000 price tag. But may will have to wait, with just 25 a year being made for UK customers. In fact, it was almost 12 ...

    9029
  • Cars

    It's a nifty Swifty: Suzuki's smart little hatchback is both easy on the eye and the bank balance, says RAY MASSEY

    Be quick if you fancy a Swift from Japanese car-maker Suzuki. Before the 67 plate comes out next month, you might even save some cash.It's not the flashiest of cars; the styling is sober, rather than pretty. But its smart presence caught my eye when unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in spring.Cheap both to buy and run, I was keen to try it out. It didn't disappoint.It's the third generation of the Swift since 2005 and has sold 130,000 in the UK and 5.4 million worldwide. About 12,500 a year are predicted for the new model. Understated: If you ...

    9029
  • Cars

    The best used small executive saloons for bargain prices: Ten cars with a touch of luxury that can be bought for under 10,000

    We may not all be executives, and many of us wouldn t want to be. But many would also quite like the cars they drive. They re usually quite luxurious while neatly balancing decent power and performance with economy. Add in a fair bit of space, lots of kit and often a premium badge, and you have a desirable car that is usually out of reach.A notch under the full-sized executive saloon comes a more affordable option, often called the junior executive class. Brand new, these cars can still cost a pretty penny (and lose plenty in depreciation). But pick ...

    9029
  • Cars

    Pothole damage to cars has risen by almost a third in 12 months - and roads are set to deteriorate dramatically when temperatures drop

    Car breakdowns caused by potholes soared by almost a third between April and June, new figures from the RAC have shown.The roadside assistance provider said it attended 3,565 reported call outs during the second quarter of 2017, reaching motorists with cars suffering broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels after driving through potholes.That compares to just 2,275 pothole-related calls for help in the same period in 2016, meaning there's been a 31 per cent spike in damage caused by dilapidated tarmac. Pothole problems pile up: The RAC says it has had to respond to a 31% increase in ...

    9029
  • Cars

    From fluffy dice on your rear-view mirror to driving in flip-flops: The 10 simple mistakes motorists make that can invalidate insurance

    British drivers are costing themselves 114million by making simple - and in some cases downright stupid - mistakes that invalidates their insurance.This is according to new research by uSwitch, which uncovered that two thirds of drivers are putting their payout at risk by a lack of awareness about actions that could make their policy worthless.It listed the top 10 misdemeanors made by motorists, which includes simple car maintenance, locking the doors and avoiding footwear that is regarded as dangerous. Rolling the dice on insurance payouts: Many motorists are unaware that items hanging from their windscreen or rear-view mirror that obstruct ...

    9029
  • Cars

    What are 'Cat D' cars? The surprising truth about cheap crash-damaged models and how to buy one safely

    We ve all seen ads for cars that seem incredibly cheap, only to see the dreaded phrase Category D tucked away at the bottom of the spiel.Immediately, most of us will suspect the worst and move on to the next ad but is that necessarily a good idea? Might you be missing out on a bargain?Here's what you need to know about buying a second-hand car listed with crash damage. Does Cat D means avoid? We give a breakdown of what the difference categories of accident damage mean and five you a step-by-step guide to buying one of these vehicles ...

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  • Cars

    New Fiesta is frugal but fun: RAY MASSEY tests the seventh generation of Ford's small hatchback

    New Ford Fiesta Titanium 5-door 1.0-litre EcoBoost. Price as driven: 18,950How easy it is to take the Fiesta for granted. It's almost part of the fabric of our roads.More than 4.5 million of us have bought one in the 41 years since its launch in 1976, with a million sold since 2008.And it has been the nation's bestselling car annually for the past eight years.In the ultra-competitive world of small hatchbacks, if you snooze, you loose. But believe me, you won't feel like having a siesta with this new model . . . Seventh-generation: More than 4.5 million of us ...

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  • Cars

    New car sales down nearly 10% in a bad month for Ford and Vauxhall as motor industry boss blames it all on Brexit

    New car sales were down heavily in July as demand declines from both individuals and businesses, according to figures from the industry body.They show that 161,997 new cars were registered last month, down 9.3 per cent on July last year and the fourth consecutive monthly fall this year.The steep fall has been put down to Brexit by Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, rather than other factors such as the crackdown on diesel. Sales collapse: New car sales were down nearly 10% in July compared to last year - while Vauxhall saw a ...

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quotes

Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999