How Tech Enhances Todays Driving Experience

Apple head honcho Tim Cook, meanwhile, has confirmed his company is also working on autonomous vehicles (AVs). Not one to be outdone, Elon Musk expects his first fully hands-free Tesla by 2018.

Mainstream carmakers are hot on their heels. Audi plans to introduce a self-driving car by 2020, while Ford wants an AV mobility services fleet operational by 2021.

Volkswagen aims to have its first self-driving cars on the market by 2019 and General Motors’ and Toyota’s models will be in action by 2020.

Next? Well, BMW is to launch the autonomous iNext in 2021.

Thankfully, for those of us who really do enjoy the driving part, there is technology that incorporates the best bits of autonomous driving yet still focuses on drivers and our driving experience.

Safety functions are foremost, which means we can concentrate on enjoying the drive with an extra level of tech helping to keep us safe.

The 2017 Mercedes E-Class, for example, forges ahead with its Blind Spot Assist, a system that emits a warning sound if we try to change lanes in a dangerous situation.

Several Audi models, meanwhile, come with night vision, a feature that uses thermal imaging to show if a person, animal or alien is nearby by displaying them on the dashboard – a much better way to avoid a close encounter on UK’s dark winter nights.

One feature we’ve already grown used to is automatic emergency braking, which red alerts an imminent collision. No response? The car automatically hits the brakes for us, thank you very much.

This year, as well, we’re seeing this system fitted in many more German and Japanese models as standard, making safer driving more widely available.

Driving a car not quite fun enough? Let’s pretend we’re fighter pilots with a next-generation heads-up display. With information directly in our line of vision, there’s no need to glance away from the skies, sorry the road, ahead.

BMW is leading the way here for 2017 with the market’s most comprehensive displays available across its model range.

The Bavarian’s best boffins are also developing an Augmented Reality system, showing not only info but also navigation signals ‘painted’ directly onto the road in front of the car.

It’s a sign of things to come – and could well be pointing the way to a future of drivers’ cars with all the best driverless functions.

Discover a range of models that put you in control with driver-focused cars on s1cars / Exchange and Mart.

Choosing A Car Dealership

We’ve listed some of the key things you need to look out for when buying a new car.

  • Seek out independent reviews, ratings and comments from previous customers – do this by going online and of course visit the dealership itself.

  • Dealer expertise, when it’s a car you’re buying you’re going to prefer a well-established car dealer with experience in the business, one you hope will be around in the near future.

  • Shop around, before you come to an agreement with a car dealer make sure you check competitors to compare prices as well as the service they’re offering.

  • Educate yourself about the car you want to buy in order to have better knowledge during the negotiation process. Think price, mileage and extras they could throw in.

  • Consider assistance, customer service, warranties and post-sale service, buying a car normally isn’t a one-off transaction, you’ll likely need some sort of service from your dealer in the future. So check what kind of service, warranties and support the dealer can offer.

If you are not yet sure about your next car, take a look at the great vehicles and offers available at s1carsExchange and Mart.

Top Electric Cars Available To Buy Today

Since the turn of the decade, we’ve seen car manufacturers increase their focus on producing electric or alternative fuel cars, such as the Toyota Prius or the Honda Clarity. We’re also seeing manufacturers pushing the limits of electric cars and trying to maximise their potential against petrol powered cars. In recent years we’ve seen increase in interest from the public towards electric cars because of competitions such as the Formula E Championships and the bi-annual World Solar Challenge in Australia.

Here at Exchange and Mart/s1cars, we’re really excited about what the future lies in store for electric cars and we’ve listed our top 5 electric cars below that you should consider buying.

1)      Nissan Leaf
If you want to have an everyday family car that will become the workhorse of the family but also looking for a car that is kind to the environment then the Nissan Leaf is for you. Since its launch back in 2010, Nissan’selectric car has taken the world by storm, as the Leaf gives you plenty of room and comfort inside just like their petrol powered rivals. The Leaf is leading the way on how we view electric cars and is one of the bestselling electric cars in the world.


 

2)      BMW i3
The BMW i3 is one of the more futuristic looking electric cars on the market today and one of the most environmentally friendly as they claim to say that up to 95% of the car is recyclable. The car has one of the best interiors and also comes with now-standard iDrive system – ideal for navigation or checking on the status of your battery life. If you are worried that the range of 125 miles is not enough, BMW gives you an option to buy a petrol range extender which takes it to 206 miles – essentially you are buying a small petrol engine that powers the battery.


 

3)      Volkswagen e-up!
The Volkswagen e-up! is basically a VW up! with an electric motor but gives you more room for you and 3 passengers and more boot space as there is no petrol tank. The e-up! takes some notes from its petrol cousins by providing great handling and surprisingly good amount of power. The car has 3 driving modes, each has their own power saving function should you want to maximise the range of the car. However should you want to get a bigger, more spacious Volkswagen electric car then you’re in luck as VW also makes the e-Golf.


 

4)      Renault Zoe
The Zoe is Renault’s take on the electric car, it’s very stylish and can easily fit 4 people inside. The Zoe also very clever in how it uses the electricity, put your foot down and you get instant acceleration, although the magic happens when you decelerate since the unused power will be given back to the car – this is the same technology that is used in Formula E cars. Should you decide to get the Zoe, you are getting a car built by a company that has put a lot of effort in Formula E and using the technological advances learnt in Formula E to give you a great electric car.


 

5)      Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S completely revolutionised the electric car industry by proving to everyone that it is possible to create a luxurious sports car running on only electric power. The Model S allows you to select acceleration modes from the standard sport to insane and more recently ludicrous, either way, you are guaranteed to drive in one of the best luxury cars in the world – and it’s electric!

If you do decide to buy yourself an electric car, the UK government will contribute up to £4,500 for each new electric or plug-in hybrid car sold. If the car you want to buy is worth more than £60,000, you will unfortunately will not receive the government grant.

Have we convinced you to get an electric car? Then check out all the great cars available today from Exchange and Mart/s1cars.

Holiday Accessories Five Of The Best

As well as the suncream and sunglasses, when driving to our dream destination there are must-have accessories that can turn a simple vacation into something really special.

And we’ve five of the best to share with you.

1. Dog-friendly drives

For those planning a driving holiday with Fido, and even his special friend Fifi, Nissan has created the ultimate dog-friendly crossover concept. The X-Trail 4Dogs features a 445-litre boot bristling with features designed for furry friends.

Highlights include a two-way dog cam to make sure Fido and Fifi are behaving, a 360° pull-out shower, warm air blow dryer and access ramp.

There’s even a luxurious bed, no-spill water bowl and treat dispenser.

It may be a concept but you can find your very own dog-friendly vehicle by browing our range of Nissans. 

2. Branded luggage

Do you really want to turn up at a five-star hotel with that fragrant gym hold-all?

Then why not go for the best? No one’s going to know the branded luggage at your feet in the foyer doesn’t match the family runaround in the car park.

And we can’t do better than the Metropolitan, a lightweight, two-wheel XL travel bag from Porsche.

Much like their cars, from the Cayman to the Cayenne, the luggage created by Porsche is not only elegant but includes high levels of functionality – such as a main compartment with front pocket, divided into three sections. All yours for £330.

 

3. Room on the roof

What with the branded luggage, furry friends and human passengers, often there’s no room left for the snorkels, mask and mankini. That’s where the Exodus 470L Roof Box in gloss black offers an open and shut case.

With its aerodynamic design reducing wind resistance and noise, it’s built to be robust and scratch resistant. Its 470-litre lockable storage space also has a load capacity of 60kg. It’s available for £249.

 

4. Bike rack

More of us than ever are taking our trusty two-wheelers on holiday, which means fixing a cycle rack to the car. The MaxxRaxx rack’s ratchet strap design means up to four bikes can be held differing widths apart, making the rack completely customisable. Loading and unloading is easy and the rack tilts for easy boot access. Prices start at around £270.

 

5. Car top tent

Eager for a MINI adventure but stuck for accommodation? Don’t worry. This AirTop tent has been designed to mount perfectly onto the roof rails of a MINI Countryman. Closed it looks like a roof box. But raised, using four gas pressure springs, it becomes a holiday home with high-density mattress, two doors, two windows with zips, mosquito nets and battery-operated LED interior light. Access is via an aluminium ladder. It costs around £2,400. Don’t have a Countryman yet? Take a look our range on site today.

Should I Buy A New Or Used Car

New cars

The big advantages of buying a new car are quite obvious: the car is completely new and no one has owned or driven it before so there’s no history to worry about.  You can, of course, choose the specifications that you want (colour, engine size, equipment etc.).  They’re entirely up to you and your budget! And the third advantage is that manufacturers always offer good finance deals and a full warranty package.

The other consideration is buying a new car is more expensive than buying the same model as a used car especially after the new car tax that started last 1st of April, and it always takes at least a month to take  delivery of your new car.

Used cars

Starting with the advantages, buying a used car is cheaper so your pocket will be glad if you choose this option. Another pro is that you avoid the depreciation issue.  Every new car loses its value as soon as it leaves the showroom and at the end of the first year the value is a third less.  Buying a used car also has the advantage that you have more cars to choose from as the range of second-hand cars is bigger compared to new ones.

On the other hand, there’re cons if you decide to buy a used car. First it’s the uncertainty about the history, you have to check the car’s history and of course you need to check the condition and test it before you decide to buy. Here’s our checklist for buying a used car on s1cars and Exchange and Mart

If you buy a second-hand car, you can’t choose your specifications although you can always include some improvements, and another inconvenience is that a used car will probably be outside its warranty.

If you can’t decide yet, you can take a look at the used cars and new cars for sale available on s1cars & Exchange and Mart.

Top 5 Cars For New Drivers

There are other factors you need to take into consideration such as insurance bands, MPG and road tax to name a few, but today we are going to show you what we think are the best first cars you can buy today:

1) Toyota Aygo

The Toyota Aygo, along with the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 108, are very cheap cars to buy and cheap to run. Economical, spacious and surprisingly practical, the car itself also comes with some perks including ABS and 4 airbags for safety and also a CD player that has an aux plug so you can connect your phone or MP3 player and play your own music instead. Toyota have been lauded with their design of the car and has won some awards including the iF Product Design Award in 2006.

 

2) Volkswagen Up!

The Volkswagen Up! we feel here at Exchange and Mart / S1 Cars to be the true successor to one of their best selling cars of yesteryear – the Lupo. The Up! is cheap to run, comes with excellent fuel economy and is excellent to drive whether in the city or on the motorway. The car also takes some cues from the Lupo such as small but spacious, foldable back seats so you can have a bigger boot, and a simplistic DAB /CD/MP3 player so you can listen to Radio 1 or even use the aux port to listen to your tunes on Spotify whilst driving!

One more thing, the Volkswagen Up! is the same car as the Skoda Citigo and the SEAT Mii, the only difference is the styling of the body and the badges they wear.

 

3) Hyundai i10

The Hyundai i10 (the ones built since 2013) has definitely seen a massive improvement over its predecessor but also a potential first car candidate against their supermini and city car rivals. Here at Exchange and Mart / S1Cars, we feel that the i10 is excellent when it comes to price, engines and the style of the car. The car is very economical and the quality of the interior, from the seats to steering wheel to the boot, is excellent for a great little car.

4) Renault Twingo

The Renault Twingo is a great car to drive, packing a lot of oomph in style and is extremely fun to drive, you are guaranteed to have a big wide smile at any corner you throw at this car. The unique thing about this city car unlike others is that this is a rear wheel drive car and the front wheels turns to almost 90 degrees, which will be extremely handy in tight situations and perfect for city life. The interior of the Twingo isn’t that bad too – simple, effective, full of character!

 

5) Fiat 500

If you are looking for a car that is very chic and economical then the Fiat 500 is for you. Ever since the relaunch of this car, Fiat has sold over 1.5m cars and has consistently been one of the best cars you can buy today. There are lots of customisation you can do to the car, both interior and exterior, plenty of colours to choose from and options to play with so that no one Fiat 500 will be the same. The 500 has also a great selection of economical engines starting off on its revolutionary TwinAir engine.

If these cars are not to your taste then check out the great selection of cars available to buy today from Exchange and Mart / S1 Cars

Top 5 Things To Consider When Buying A Used Car

1.       Exterior: have a good look around the car and boot to see if there is any damage, scratches, dents or rust. You should also check the condition and tread depths of the tyres (remember the minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm).

2.       Inside: start with the seats for any damage or tears, make sure the fan and heating is working (including the air con if the car has this), check if you are able to adjust the mirrors and make sure the odometer matches the paperwork that goes with the car.

3.       Before driving: make sure everything works from seat belts, seat adjustments, steering wheel and all  equipment  – central locking, stereo, interior lights  – and don’t forget the exterior lights too, including the indicators and brakes.

4.       While driving: check the brakes work by pressing down to decelerate, or if there’s trepidation, make sure that the mechanical direction is working too and pay close attention to any unusual noises.

5.       Car’s records: make sure the car comes with 2 keys and the appropriate documentation such as the V5C logbook and car service history, but also check out the history of the car by going to sites such as HPI Check. Ask the seller as many relevant questions as you can, the more you know the better judgement you can make.

With these top 5 great tips in mind let’s get started by looking at the range of used cars right now on s1cars.com and exchangeandmart.co.uk

Classic Car Auctions A Beginners Guide

Do a dry run

If you’ve never been before, the best way to get a feel for an auction is by going to a few – without buying anything. Go along, get an idea of the setup, what goes on and when, where you need to go on the day to register, if you don’t do it before, and so on. But remember it’s just a dry run – don’t get sucked into buying something you don’t want.

Research your prices and fees

Once you’ve been along to a couple of auctions to get a feel for how they work, you should feel ready to go to one ‘for real’. Most auction houses publish catalogues – in print and online – well in advance of sales, so it’s easy to see what’s on offer. Many sales are specific to a certain type of vehicle, too, so you can target one that suits you.

If you are looking for a specific car then research its value ahead of the day. Prices rise and fall quickly, so make sure that you’re up to date.

Auctions are undoubtedly a place to bag a bargain, but make sure that you check the fees involved as well – such as buyers’ fees, consignment fees and VAT – as they can all add a fair whack to the final price. Also check out what documents and identification you might need and whether you need to register in advance to buy.

On the day

If it’s your first auction then get there early to make sure you’ve got plenty of time to seek out the car, or cars, that you’ve got your eye on to inspect in detail. 

There won’t normally be a chance to test drive, but you will have an opportunity to carry out your own pre-sale inspection and most auctions will offer their own inspections. In any event, make sure you have a very good look at your potential purchase both inside and out.

Make sure you start it as well, listening out for any strange noises and, as you would when buying any car, check for white or blue smoke from the exhaust – always a bad sign. Again, as you would when buying any car, check bodywork for rust, dents, bad welds and the like.

Get it checked – this is something you can do beforehand if you have the vehicle’s details – using a company like HPI. Each car will have a description – check this carefully for any caveats or extra terms and conditions, as well as anything else that might be a cause for concern, such as the car being classified as a write-off, for example.

Time to bid

When it’s time to get down to business, each car will be driven into the auction room in the order of the auction catalogue or list. This is your final chance to listen to your potential purchase’s engine note – or your first if you haven’t had a chance before the sale.

When the bidding starts you’ll need to be 100 per cent switched on. Bids start low, usually, but can rise quickly. All that’s needed to bid is a clear and decisive raise of the hand – eye contact with the auctioneer is good, too.

As is usual at all auctions, the gavel will fall when the highest price is reached. If there are a lot of cars to get through this can happen very quickly – so stay alert. If you’re the top bidder then you’ll need to pay a deposit – usually around 20 per cent or at least £500 – straight away, so make sure you’ve got cash or cleared funds in your bank account.

And full payment, including the auctioneer’s fee, will need to be made before you can take your newly acquired classic away, so make sure you’ve got this in place.

Plan ahead for if you come out on top

You’ve done the hard work and that classic is now yours, but did you plan ahead to make sure it’s road-ready to drive away? This is the stuff that you’d need to do in any car-buying situation – how will you get it home?

If you’re driving it away, it’ll need to be taxed, have an MOT and be insured for you to drive it.

Where to start?

To get yourself going, try these auctioneers:

Classic Car auctions

SWVA

Barons

Silverstone Auctions

H&H

Historics at Brooklands

British Car Auctions

And don’t forget to check out our cars for sale section as well.

The 5 Most Desirable Muscle Cars

#5 – 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1

When Buick entered the muscle car market, it was amongst the most luxurious and powerful of the brands. Featuring a rear spoiler and body striping, it officially delivered a phenomenal 360 horsepower to the rear wheels, although many have suggested that this power figure is actually underrated. Available in yellow or white, only 678 of these iconic vehicles were ever produced.  

#4 – 1965 Pontiac GTO

Purists who choose not to trace the era of muscle cars back to the iconic 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 generally see the Pontiac GTO as the founding father of the muscle car phenomenon. Skirting a General Motors ban against putting big engines in small cars, the response to the illicit vehicle was so overwhelming that it won over GM execs, and paved the way for the stable of Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick and Pontiac muscle cars that were rolled out beside it. Affectionately known as ‘The Goat’, today it can fetch up to $200,000.

#3 – 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

Fewer than 1,400 Boss 429s were produced, making this muscle car a very reclusive beast indeed. The hulking vehicle was the resultant love child of a car maker who merged his idea with NASCAR regulations. The engine was known for its long-haul racing abilities, but it caused some serious problems for the manufacturer. The Boss 429 had to essentially be hand-built at Michigan-based Kar Kraft because the engine wouldn’t fit in a standard Mustang without extensive modifications. The result of this labour of love was a car which could do 0 to 60mph in an estimated 7.1 seconds. Today the car can retail for around $480,000.

#2 – 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

With fewer than 70 ever built, the Camaro ZL1 is the rarest production car Chevrolet ever made. For decades, the car retained its accolade of having the most powerful Chevrolet engine ever offered to the public. With a jaw-dropping 500 horsepower roaring under its hood, the ZL1 could go from 0-60 in a little over 5 seconds, making it a fantastic drag racing car. Its top speed was 125 miles per hour. Today, the 69 models made are valued at around $91,000.   

 #1 – 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454

1970 is revered by many as the pinnacle of the muscle car era, and the Chevelle SS 454 is a weighty piece of evidence in favour of that argument. The LS6 version generated 450 horsepower, and featured a Holley four-barrel carburettor. No other muscle car could equal its power. Not only could it blow its competitors out of the water, but it also looked good doing it. Featuring a swept-back roof line, it provided the illusion of speed even when idle, and its bulging hood implied that something very special was happening under the bonnet. With its outrageous power and stylish design, the Chevelle SS 454 represented the glorious culmination of the muscle-car power wars.      

 

Licensed To Thrill: Bonds Greatest Classic Cars

No.5: Die Another Day: Aston Martin V12 Vanquish

Granted, all Aston Martin’s are beautiful, but the V12 Vanquish in Die Another Day is especially stunning. Having said that, the Bond creators did their best to hide the looks of this beautiful machine, with Q installing an adaptive camouflage device that made it invisible. Despite that, the V12 Vanquish really was the perfect car for any bond girl.

Picture of Lotus Esprit in sea

 

Lotus Esprit defined a generation. The Lotus Esprit had everything that you could possibly need from a supercar and, what’s more, it even doubled as a submarine in sticky situations. Perfect for avoiding machine gun bullets on the hills and sublime at navigating through the ocean, the Lotus Esprit really was the perfect all-rounder.

No.3: Goldfinger and Thunderball: Aston Martin DB5

In 2010, one of the DB5s made for these films sold for $4.1 million at auction, while the other was stolen from its owner in Florida. The DB5 is arguably the most famous of all the Bond cars, and it certainly gets the blood flowing even today. Back then, a hidden in-car phone was the height of technology, but don’t belittle it; as the driver can always press the red knob on the top of the gear stick and throw you out of the ejector seat. Recently voted in the top 10 most recognisable motors in the world, the Aston Martin DB5 is a true classic for the ages.

No:2 Tomorrow Never Dies: BMW 750iL

Many will be shocked by the choice of the BMW 750iL because of its somewhat bland appearance, but its unassuming nature is what makes it the perfect Bond vehicle. It may not look like much, but the Q gadgets installed make it many people’s favourite; the entire car could be controlled remotely via mobile phone. With this feature, a smoke bomb and his famed agility Bond was able to steward the car to safety from a German car park, all from the comfort of the back seat. Talk about a back seat driver, eh?

James Bond's Aston Martin DBS

No.1: Casino Royale: Aston Martin DBS V12

Number one on the list simply had to be an Aston Martin, and is there a more worthy winner than the DBS V12? One for the modern Bond fans, the Aston Martin had already saved Bond’s life due to its handily fitted defibrillator when it became one of Britain’s most loved wreckages. The car flipping scene (currently a Guinness world record) is one of Bond’s most iconic moments and, even after all that, the car still looks beautiful.

There we have it, Bond’s 5 greatest classics. We may all agree on the order, but we’d all love to have any of them in the garage.