Famous Cars From Tv And Film

Here, we look at some of the most famous of all time and also examine the costs involved of getting your hands on one yourself.

Aston Martin DB 5 – James Bond

One of the most famous British cars of all time, the instantly recognisable Aston Martin DB5 was a car with the looks and sophistication to match its suave secret agent owner. Despite its iconic status, it was built for only two years from 1963-65 and a mere 1,023 were produced, making it well sought-after today.

It was built as a convertible, a two-door shooting brake and, the one most remembered, a 2+2 coupe. Its 4.0-litre made for a top speed of 143mph and 60mph in eight seconds. For James Bond, who has largely stuck with Astons to the present day, the car was, of course, heavily modified with weapons and gadgets.

It first appeared in Goldfinger in 1964, varying from the novel in updating the car from a DB 3. Two cars were used in the film and one was used again in Thunderball. The original cars have made cameo appearances in several films since, right up to Skyfall. One of the originals used in the film sold for £2.6 million at auction a few years ago.

And getting your hands on one isn’t cheap – you’ll need at least £500,000 and maybe twice that.

DeLorean DMC-12 – Back to the Future

Probably one of the most memorable movie cars of recent decades, the DeLorean DMC-12’s looks ideally suited a futuristic time machine, even if Marty McFly questioned Doc Brown’s logic in the movie when he exclaimed: “You built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?” Its brushed stainless steel bodywork and gullwing doors were ideal for the part and the car was modified to allow it to travel through time when it hit 88mph.

It saw further modifications when it was converted into a flying car when Doc and Marty travelled to 2015. And for that reason we couldn’t leave it off this list. As that year has now rolled around for real, it seems that the film was optimistic about mankind’s progress. The car itself has a colourful story attached, being as it was the only model ever produced by John DeLorean’s DeLorean Motor Company in Northern Ireland from 1981 to 1983. But only 9,000 were made before the company went bust.

The car’s real life performance wasn’t stunning, with its 2.9-litre V6 managing 140mph top speed and 60mph in nine seconds. But that stainless steel body did at least mean that the car was built to last and plenty survive now.

For that reason, they can be had for around £30,000.

Ford Consul – The Sweeney

No-nonsense Detective Inspector Jack Regan, played by John Thaw, and Detective Sergeant George Carter, portrayed by Dennis Waterman, were seen in a host of cars over the years, mostly Fords, but their primary steed was a Ford Consul GT. The name, which is more widely known for Ford’s cars of the 1960s and 1970s, was revived by the firm in 1972 to be the name for cheaper and lower spec versions of the Ford Granada, which was new at the time.

It was built in Dagenham, as well as in Germany, and Consuls could be distinguished from Granadas by their cross-mesh grille, rather than the horizontal grille fitted to the Granada. There was a Consul and Consul L alongside the GT model driven by Regan and Carter and there were two-door and four-door saloons, as well as a two-door coupe and a five-door estate. Power came from 1.6 and 2.0 engines, as well as a 2.5 V6 and, in the Consul GT, a 3.0 V6 producing 138hp. It was the choice of the daring detectives thanks to it being lighter than the Granada and therefore quicker. It managed 60mph in 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 113mph.

The Consul name disappeared a few years after it was brought back. The Consul GT is quite hard to come by, with one selling at auction recently for around £5,000.

The Granada from the period can be found more easily in the region of £3,000 to £7,000.

Mini – The Italian Job

The use of Minis in the Italian Job was inspired and meant the film went down in history as a classic British crime caper. The car itself was built for more than 40 years, from 1959 to 2000, and by the time the film came around it was 10 years old and well cemented as an icon of British 1960s culture. It was a hit due to its ingenious design, its space-saving front engine, front-wheel-drive layout meant that most of the car’s floorpan could be used for passengers and luggage. Millions were made over its lengthy life.

BMC, which made them at the time of the film, only provided a small number for production and the crew had to buy more at trade price. Several were destroyed during filming, notably during the famous sequence where the cars were driven through a sewer. But it was the cars’ agility and under-dog status in the film that elevated it yet further in the nation’s hearts.

Today, they command classic prices and you’ll do well to find one for much less than £3,000 – and you can pay many times that for classic models from earlier years.

Dodge Charger – The Dukes of Hazzard

One of the most famous TV cars from across the pond, the General Lee driven by Bo and Luke Duke in the series was a Dodge Charger. It was the car that they used on their adventures around Hazzard County as they evaded the county commissioner Boss Hogg. The Charger has been produced in many variants since 1964 and is back on sale today. The one in the show was a 1969 model, a rear-wheel-drive coupe.

It is estimated that more than 300 Chargers were used during the show’s run of 145 episodes from 1979 to 1985. Only a handful of those are still known to exist, although one sold at auction in 2008 for $230,000.

Examples from the 1960s and 1970s command decent money on today’s classic market, with £20,000 to £50,000 not uncommon.

Women and Cars: The Rise of the Female Petrolhead

A Hidden Involvement

From their advent, cars have provided greater mobility for both men and women. As one farmwoman in the 1920s said, when asked why her family had bought a car rather than installing indoor plumbing in their home, “You can’t go to town in a bathtub.” But, surely, the plumbing would have provided an advantage to the whole family, the vehicle only to the men? Cars do, after all, traditionally belong in the male domain.

If that’s what you believe, then you should know that you’re wrong. It’s not that a female contribution has not existed, but only that it’s been ignored. The earliest examples of the transformative qualities of cars were seen in towns and cities, where roads were more likely to be hard-topped, gasoline and spare parts were widely available, and a core group of interested and wealthy sponsors were present. Women, just as much as men, were a fundamental part of these circles.

Although they were a minority in the world of motoring, women had a big impact on driving. Men frequently attempted to limit or prohibit female drivers, and often ridiculed their driving ability, but that didn’t stop the emergence of a number of famous female motorists. Writers Emily Post and Edith Wharton were well-known figures and women made notable automobile contributions to World War I, as ambulance, tram and tractor drivers. This demonstrates to us that although we often believe that women and cars did not mix until much later, there was a core of urban and suburban women for whom driving was useful, necessary or just plain adventurous even in the early years of the twentieth century.

In families in the early twentieth century, women often enjoyed some access to the family motor vehicle. Although men considered that they should be granted priority as the wage-earners and head of the household, women were not solely passengers, dependent on their partner to chauffeur them around. However, cars were not considered a feminine pursuit. Women may drive them, but they were expected to show no interest in them. It would take a very long time for this belief that cars were a man’s domain to disappear (some might argue that it still pervades in some form today).

Perhaps in response to this historical bias, women tend not to show so great an interest in cars as men. They are perceived to choose functionality over form. Where, for many men, their car is a hobby as much as a mode of transport, for many women it is simply a necessity. Could it be that this is a subconscious decision to turn their backs on a world which has historically been so set on excluding them? Maybe this explains the lack of interest in anything which they do not need to know by necessity, and the appetite for cars which deliver them with the most practical technology, rather than those with which they are forced to engage on some level and acquire knowledge of. Classics must exemplify this discretionary world most of all, being that they are the very vehicles of their oppression.  

 

It would be unfair, exclusionary and just plain wrong, however, to say that all women are disinterested in cars, in the same way that it would be wrong to say that all men are passionate about them. It is true that some women don’t have any interest in cars beyond the most basic meeting of their needs (as is true of many men), but even so, the fact remains that women buy and drive cars. Cars today are, irrefutably, as much in the female domain as the male. If women want to see them as a hobby, they are just as well equipped to do so. Attitudes are changing, and now, even the CEO of General Motors is female, demonstrating a turn in the tide. Despite this, there’s still much to do. But still, it appears to be a step in the right direction.

What Women Want

One of the areas in which these attitudes are most stubbornly pervasive is the classic car scene. You can still guarantee that, if you visit a classic car show, you’ll find a lot of men between 45 and 75 milling around, beer in hand. This doesn’t mean that change is not occurring. Although predominantly male, classics car enthusiasts no longer belong to an exclusively masculine club. Women, particularly baby boomers, have been getting in on the classic car hobby in increasing numbers.

To say that women are supposed to have no opinion on cars, Hagerty Insurance recently published some statistics which show that they know exactly what they want. Here are the classics that ladies love…

Chevrolet Corvette

Everyone loves America’s longest-running sports car. The most popular are cars from the 1950s and 1960s, but the 1970’s Stingray has also seen a surge in popularity of late.

Ford Mustang

The Mustang and the Corvette seem to share a wide-spread popularity across genders and generations. With a dizzying palette of interior and exterior colours available, and an unrivalled degree of individuality, it’s no surprise, really, that there is a Mustang for everyone. 

Chevrolet Camaro

A new-found interest in vintage Camaros is probably attributable to their recent successful reintroduction, which has fostered a surge in popularity for the original. With an extensive array of colours and style options, as well as an impressive amount of power under the hood, it’s no surprise that Camaros enjoy a wide-ranging appeal.  

Volkswagen Beetle

The new Beetle has proved to be an overwhelming favourite amongst female buyers, and the classic version shares its feminine appeal. Beetles make a wonderful first car for collectors, as they’re inexpensive to maintain and a lot of fun to drive. The influx of females only just starting to enter the scene means a lot of first-time buyers, with could explain their run-away popularity amongst female classics enthusiasts. 

Ford Thunderbird         

One of the most long-standing trends amongst female classicists is the popularity of the Ford Thunderbird. Like most of the classics on this list, the Thunderbird is easy-to-maintain and dependable, making it ideal for those just entering the classics scene.

You might wonder why women are suddenly developing this newfound interest in motoring and classic cars. If so, ask yourself this instead: why not? Some of these cars might hail from an era when women were still considered second-class citizens, but today, if they want to add any one of those classics to their garage, they have just as much right to do so as any man – and perhaps that’s where the true appeal of classics lies. Women are developing an interest in classics because, finally, they can.

 

Buying Your First Classic Car: Everything You Need To Know

Buy wisely and you’ll have a companion for life but, buy poorly and you may be lumbered with something that will cost you the earth without giving you anything back. This guide aims to help you gear up for your first classic car purchase, showing you exactly what to avoid and what to embrace. Here’s everything you need to know:

Investing Wisely: Choosing a Car that Will Hold its Value

One of the main advantages of buying a classic car is the fact that, if you invest wisely, it will hold its value. If you fail to invest wisely, however, this ideal is all but a pipe dream, and maintenance costs alone will see you lose all of your return on the original investment. Of course, there are always those that ‘strike it lucky’, purchasing a car that’s value skyrockets. This is the exception rather than the norm, but it is possible nevertheless. Ideally, when searching for a car, you should look for one where you feel it will hold your investment as a minimum. If the value increases, well that’s just a bonus.

Focus on Practicality, Not Just Monetary Value

Although a classic car may be an investment it is also- above all else- a practical purchase. Much like purchasing vinyl records and keeping them in their sleeves, buying a classic car and not driving it seems as though it is a bit of a waste. You may feel as though your cars value and parts may deteriorate as you drive it but, if anything, the opposite is true, and your car is more likely to deteriorate stood still; especially as the parts start to rust. Although you’ll undoubtedly have to repair your car after driving it continuously, this is one of the chief joys of driving a classic. It may be a love-hate relationship as you make ongoing repairs, but it is worth it when you’re out on the open road.

Practicality Vs. Desirability: What Do You Really Want?

When you’re looking to buy a classic, following your heart is rarely the best choice. You need to think about what suits your driving needs the most. Due to the age of classic cars, they need copious amounts of servicing and maintenance and, as a result, the higher your annual mileage, the less likely it is that you’ll want an older, 1960s classic. Of course, if your annual mileage is low then the world is your oyster, but you’ll also have to consider practicality: who rides in it and when. This will largely inform your decision on what to buy and, if you don’t consider these factors, your dream of owning a classic may turn into a nightmare.

Maintenance, Upkeep and Extras

Also, it is vital to remember that the cost of your new vehicle will not be the only cost associated with it and, due to this; you have to consider your own knowledge, experience and financial situation to ensure that you can afford the vehicle in question. As we’ve already discussed, due to the age of the vehicle, things are likely to go wrong with your classic and, because of this, it is probably wise to enrol yourself on a basic car mechanics course so that you can complete most of the basic repair work yourself rather than paying an engineer for expensive labour costs.

Photo of classic cars

As well as this, have you considered where you will store your new vehicle? Most insurance companies now expect classics to be stored in garages and access to one is nigh on essential both for insurance purposes and as a place to carry out essential repair works. Council lockups are incredibly cheap to rent, so you could look for somewhere like this if you do not have access to your own lockup.

Finally, don’t rush. It can be incredibly tempting to dive straight into the used car market, especially if something catches your eye. However, if you let your heart rule your head then you’re much less likely to end up with something you’ll love for the rest of your life. To help find the perfect car, narrow your options and join a driving enthusiasts’ club. Their knowledge is invaluable in helping you through the first few months as a classic car owner and, they can help you narrow down your classic car search, showing you what is the best car for you.

To conclude, buying a classic car can be a little bit of a love-hate relationship, but it is one that will provide you with great joy, if you choose the correct car. But, if you follow our advice, you really can’t go far wrong. So, search our site and find your new dream companion.
 

 

Classic Car Insurance 101: Everything You Need to Know

However, insuring older vehicles can be a minefield. A lot of insurance companies view classic cars as posing a high risk because of their age and their value, and the riskier the vehicle is seen to be the harder it is to insure it. Seen as you can’t drive around without insurance, it’s really important to find someone who understands older cars and can offer the right policy for you and sufficient coverage for your vehicle. Here are a few tips to help you when you’re buying classic car insurance.  

Tip #1

Classic car owners should look for insurance policies that have Stated Value and Agreed Value replacement terms. Normal insurance will pay the car’s Actual Cash Value, which means that if your car is totalled, you receive the depreciated value. However, if you’re the owner of a classic car worth thousands of pounds, then you need more coverage. That’s where Stated Value and Agreed Value terms come in; if you wreck the vehicle, your settlement will be in line with your car’s real value, as the amount you set is a term of your insurance. You should be very wary when agreeing this amount. If there’s a claim and you’re found to have been dishonest regarding the condition of the car, the agreement will be null and void, and you will only get what the insurer believes the car to be worth, despite the value having been ‘agreed’.

Tip #2

To ensure that following the previous tip is worth your while, stay up-to-date with the value of your car, as classic cars, unlike other vehicles, appreciate in value. Review your insurance periodically to ensure that your car is not insured for less than it’s actually worth.

Tip #3

Valuable classic cars should be kept in a garage. Insurance companies are unwilling to insure valuable cars kept outside because they are at an increased risk of damage (due to being out in the elements day after day). If you have a carport you must check with your insurer whether or not this will suffice, as classic car insurers may also stipulate that the car is not only kept out of the worst of the weather, but also locked away. Over 50% of vehicle thefts occur overnight, so some insurers are only willing to cover cars which are securely locked away in a garage after dark.   

Tip #4

Don’t insure anyone younger than 25 on your classic car insurance policy. Classic cars tend to be worth a lot of money, so insurance companies are reluctant to cover younger drivers, who are seen as posing a higher accident risk.

Tip #5

Many classic car insurance policies will only cover you for 2,500 miles per year, so keep an eye on your mileage. If you know that you’ll be driving further afield, call your insurer to check that your vehicle will still be covered if you exceed your annual allowance.

Tip #6

If you don’t plan to drive your classic car every day, then consider ‘collector’ car insurance to save yourself some money.  Collector policies tend to impose conditions re mileage etc., so make sure that these don’t pose any problems before committing to a collector’s policy. 

Tip #7

Limit your mileage as far as possible. Most people don’t use their classic car as their day-to-day transport, and limited mileage policies could save you significant money on your premiums. If you drive your car 1,000 miles a year, don’t insure it for 3,000.   

Tip #8

Even if you only drive your car in the summer and it is garaged in the winter, make sure that it is still covered via an insurance policy. To save some money take out laid up cover, as this will protect your car in the event of a fire or theft but will cost less than comprehensive insurance.

Tip #9

Declare any and all modifications made to your classic car. Most used cars have been altered in some way, so insurers are generally sympathetic to any changes you’ve made. However, if you swap your 1972 MCB 1798cc engine for a 1950cc lump, or add twin carbs to your Triumph Herald, and forget to tell your insurer about it, your policy could be invalidated in the event of a claim.  

Tip #10

If you have to drop your classic car at a garage or repair shop, inform your insurer of this. Although short term stays for routine maintenance generally won’t be an issue, longer stays may be, as classic car insurance policies often stipulate that the vehicle remains in your care, control and custody.

Tip #11

Don’t use comparison sites. Although comparison websites are a great tool for saving money on insurance for modern cars, you’ll get much better deals on classic car insurance by getting in touch with a specialist broker, as they will have access to a far greater range of appropriate schemes. 

 

Brand A-Z of new releases (T-V edition)

TOYOTA

Toyota have launched a powerful version of its Yaris supermini, the potent GRMN hot hatch version. In other news, the Auris range has now been rationalised for an even greater focus on hybrid power. And there’s now a Plug-in version of the company’s popular Prius hybrid. Continuing to attract attention in Toyota showrooms is the brand’s striking C-HR compact Crossover. In addition, the brand has introduced an all-new Proace van in recent times and is offering it in people carrying MPV form as the ‘Proace Verso’.

ONE TO WATCH: The new Prius Plug-in is better to drive and sleeker than before.

VAUXHALL

Vauxhall, now owned by the French PSA Group, has just launched an SUV-orientated ‘Country Tourer’ variant of its Insignia Sports Tourer medium range estate. A hot Insignia GSi model will reach the showrooms later this year. Last Autumn, the brand launched its Grandland X mid-sized SUV, a model then joined by the little VIVA Rocks SUV-style citycar. In other Vauxhall news, the VXR8 super saloon bows out with a potent GTS-R model.

ONE TO WATCH: With its Crossland X and Grandland X SUVs, Vauxhall now has a properly credible crossover line-up.

VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen has had a busy year, introducing its new T-Roc mid-sized SUV and its 7-seat Tiguan Allspace. Plus dealers are just getting to grips with the all-new sixth generation version of the company’s Polo supermini. There’s a hot GTI version of the up! citycar too. And in the Summer, we’ll see a new generation version of the company’s Touareg luxury SUV.

ONE TO WATCH: The new Polo is smarter and cleverer, plus offers the option of efficient 1.5 TSI EVO power.

VOLVO

Volvo’s big news is the launch of its new mid-sized SUV, the XC40, aimed directly at rivals like the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3. It’s individually styled and sits on a brand-new platform that we’ll in future see on a whole range of other compact cars from the Swedish brand.

ONE TO WATCH: The new XC40 promises to make Volvo a much bigger player in the mid-sized SUV sector.

The Most Beautiful Cars in the World

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Aston Martin’s Vantage is a modern high-performance icon of unmistakable character, styled to seduce and engineered to thrill. In its day, it was always the most affordable supercar the British brand made, but many will tell you that it’s arguably also the very best Aston Martin of all. Modern versions may have the Mercedes-AMG-sourced V8 power beneath the bonnet, but the performance is still as sensational. For many people, it’s the best thing the company makes, the best to drive and the best looking. The Vantage is simply overflowing with that special feel you want in a sportscar, the one you’ve been dreaming of owning all your life.

Ferrari California

What can you say about this Italian brand and beautiful cars? After all, it has such a glittering heritage in looks and of course performance that for many, Ferrari are second to none. And with the California, Ferrari have a car that not only appeals to the huge American market, but across the world. The California has a front-mid-mounted engine, a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, a folding hard-top roof and optional rear seats, but is lighter and more powerful than before. Its beauty is not only found in its looks, but also in the feel of the drive.

Porsche 911

Most know the Porsche 911 as the world’s greatest sports car. It certainly has the history and now comes with a great range of choice – there’s the Cabriolet, Carrera, Carrera 4, GT3, Targa 4 and Turbo incarnations to salivate over and even more variations on those. All come with more power, sharper design and even broader everyday usability, as well as that classic 911 look. The model has kept pace with developments in the automotive industry to always be a desirable car. For many, this is still the performance sportscar to have.

Alfa Romeo Spider

If we’re honest, nearly everyone would jump at the chance of blasting through the Tuscan hills or cruising the Amalfi coast road in a red Italian sportscar. With its illustrious history, the Alfa Romeo Spider would fit the bill very nicely. The Italians seem to instinctively know how to design a great-looking sportscar. And, with its 2007 Spider, Alfa Romeo was intent on building a roadster that was truly captivating. It’s a comfortable cruiser with a decent cabin environment, a strong range of engines and a roof arrangement that’s hassle free. It’s also of course, available in red.

Cadillac Coupe de Ville

Cadillac is one of the oldest car brands in the world. It is renowned for producing cars that are synonymous with the world of luxury. The de Ville is a full-sized sedan, with a massively powerful engine that can cruise with the best of them. The company’s primary markets are the United States, Canada, and China, but you’ll find Cadillac-branded vehicles on the roads in many countries, including Europe. The last versions of the de Ville carried sportier looks than its predecessors whilst keeping the luxury inside just as everyone had come to expect.

Jaguar E-Type

 

The Jaguar E-Type was a car of its time that has stayed the course. With an aerodynamically focussed design by Malcolm Sayer, it gave the public a sight to savour that caused a sensation when it was unveiled. Affordable sports driving was what it gave the public back in the 1960s and with a performance that got better and better with each update and those quintessential sweeping bodywork looks that remained so British, many would rank it as the most beautiful car and certainly as the most beautiful British car ever made.

Chevrolet Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette doesn’t need a great deal of introduction. “America’s Sports Car” has been available in one guise or another since the fifties, but it was not until the launch of the C5 series in 1997 that the Corvette received the respect of European drivers. And, if the concept of crushing power, exotic good looks and robust mechanicals appeal to you, the Corvette is about as good as it gets.

Bentley Continental

Early Bentley models were sports cars. More recent ones have been luxury GTs. The Bentley Continental first made production in 1991 when the Continental R thundered into the pages of an enthusiast press. Constructed from the Turbo R platform, the Conti’s ‘official’ launch was at the 1991 Geneva Show where it wowed the crowds. Its third-generation design shares its lighter, stiffer chassis with the very latest second generation Porsche Panamera. That car also donates a quicker-reacting dual clutch gearbox and there’s a more sophisticated 4WD set-up too. The model seamlessly blends Bentley’s glittering heritage with the latest technology to create a highly desirable package.

Maserati GranTurismo

Stylish, luxurious and a potent performance weapon, the Maserati GranTurismo is on paper, part luxury Grand Tourer and part serious performance sportscar. On the road, it gives you everything you’d want from a historic automotive marque. Over the last few years, there’s been a subtle repositioning of the Maserati brand, with the famous Italian manufacturer coming out of the Ferrari shadow. The marque these days is focusing more acutely on luxury, comfort and the understated elegance that’s always been part of the Maserati package. Performance seekers need not despair, though. They’ll still get their fair share of brutal acceleration and finely-honed handling.

Mercedes-Benz SLK

The SLK was Mercedes’ compact roadster model that was first sold in 1996, where it re-invented the coupe-cabriolet concept for the modern age. Slick detailing, low running costs and distinctive styling are all part of its appeal. But so is the SLK concept of delivering a more affordable, more accessible version of the brand’s SL luxury convertible to the wider sportscar market. It was innovative in its first-generation form with a ‘Vario’ metal folding top that was quickly copied across the industry. For its MK3 mode, it became more finely attuned to its market, offering a level of engine efficiency and technology that makes many rivals from its era seem from a prior generation. A great car – but after all, it is a Mercedes!

MOT changes – what you need to know

New defect categories

Under the new test, defects and faults will be categorises as either Dangerous, Major or Minor.

Minor – faults or defects that aren’t severe enough for the vehicle to fail the test and do not affect the general running or safety of the vehicle but will still be marked on the MOT certificate.

Major – these issues require work and for the vehicle to be retested.

Dangerous – faults and defects that deem the vehicle non-road worthy and make the vehicle illegal to be driven in its current condition. The new categories have been put in place so that drivers are not encouraged to drive away from the garage in an unsafe vehicle and to have any issues dealt with at the time. The DVSA revealed that more that 25% of cars in the UK are overdue their MOT, meaning these cars are potentially unsafe for the roads.

Exhaust emission checks

As part of the new test, rigorous checks will be carried out on diesel cars fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that produce “visible smoke of any colour”. In the event that smoke is produced, the car will be given an automatic ‘Major’ fault and will fail the test. Testers will also check the DPF and whether it has been removed or tampered with. In these cases, the tester can refuse to test the car altogether, unless the owner provides a legitimate reason for it being removed or replaced.

Cars over 40 years old

In a controversial move which some deemed ‘unsafe’, cars which are older than 40 years old may not be required to undertake an annual road test. Which, by recent statistics, means that 1.5% of cars in the UK will not have a MOT certificate but will still be deemed road legal. In order to defend its decision, The Department of Transport argued that owners of older cars tended to keep their cars in good condition and don’t use the often enough to warrant an annual road test.

Additional components

In addition to the new categories, other components of the vehicle will be checked under the new test. Components such as steering (steering box leaking would be a Minor, but dripping badly would be upgraded to a Major), anti-theft devices, noise suppression systems, fog lamps and daytime running lamps will also be checked during the MOT.

By driving without a valid MOT would mean you could face a hefty £1,000 fine, so make sure you never forget your MOT due date by signing up to the DVSA reminder service.

Highlights from Geneva Motor Show

Volvo XC40 wins “Car of the Year 2018”

It was at the Geneva International Motor Show that the final vote took place to decide the winner of the “Car of the Year” Award. And for 2018, it is the Volvo XC40. The “Car of the Year” trophy is one of the most prestigious awards in the automotive world, where 60 journalists from 23 countries are members of the jury.

 

The Volvo XC40 was voted number one ahead of six other vehicles, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi A8, BMW 5 series, Citroën C3 Aircross, Kia Stinger and Seat Ibiza. Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo received the award from Frank Janssen, motoring journalist from the German magazine STERN and President of the Jury. “The XC40 really deserved this accolade,” he said. “To receive it in Geneva is all the more rewarding as this is my favourite motor show.” Volvo has been a finalist on several occasions, but this is the first time it has won this prestigious award, with 83 points separating it from its competitors. The criteria taken into consideration for the award are, in addition to the innovation and the security, the design and the value for money.

Jaguar’s New I-Pace

The Geneva Motor Show 2018 saw something that may have looked a little familiar – the new Jaguar I-Pace is virtually identical to the concept car the company first showed to the world in 2016, but it’s something that gives us a real glance into Jaguar’s future.

The Jaguar I-Pace is the first all-electric car to come from the British carmaker and it introduces a fresh, new cabin architecture and proportions. From the front, the I-Pace is recognisable as a Jaguar, with the LED headlights incorporating the brand’s distinctive ‘double J’ graphic. And the cut off rear end, which was developed to improve airflow and reduce aero drag, also incorporates Jaguar’s definitive long taillamps with a ‘drop down’ element below the very short decklid and slim backlight. The overall feel from the interior is one of open airiness, generous panoramic roof and open areas, such as the arch-like front of the centre console. Thanks to it being electric there’s no tunnel for the transmission and designers have been able to include a 10-litre stowage compartment in the front, and 890mm of rear legroom. “It’s a very practical car,” says Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum. He said how he “wanted to give the car a certain attitude that a Jaguar should have. A Jaguar should always be elegant,” he says. “It’s got attitude, it’s got stance, and it’s beautiful.”

McLaren Automotive Announces New ‘Hyper-GT’ Supercar

McLaren Automotive were pleased to announce at the Geneva motor show its forthcoming ‘Hyper-GT’, which will be capable of exceeding 243mph. That was the peak speed of their iconic McLaren F1.

The ‘Hyper-GT‘ is codenamed BP23, and as McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed at the motor show, there will be a public reveal of the car later this year. Only 106 will be produced and they are already sold at a cool £1.6million, plus taxes. The BP23 is the latest addition to the McLaren Ultimate Series. As well as being the fastest-ever McLaren, its designers have made sure that it will also be the most luxurious ever. It will have a three-seat cockpit design with a central driving position – the same layout as the F1 – and a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, to deliver the unparalleled blend of extreme performance and sporting luxury that befits its status as the ultimate road-going McLaren. The McLaren Special Operations division or MSO, is the department of McLaren Automotive that will personalise every vehicle to satisfy the taste of each individual owner, giving a real bespoke package. The BP23 will carry an as-yet unannounced name, rather than the alphanumerical nomenclatures used by the McLaren Sports Series and Super Series; this name, together with the maximum possible speed, will be disclosed nearer to the car’s reveal. Production is due to begin at the end of next year.

Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Concept

Hyundai’s Le Fil Rouge concept car is a massive statement of intent from the Korean manufacturer and a very well executed one at that. It is a concept that encapsulates a ‘sensuous and sportiness’ theme that you will find on all future Hyundai vehicles. “Le Fil Rouge is our design vision concept,” says Hyundai VP of Design Sangyup Lee. “Hyundai has always been a practical brand. We make good cars with the best value for our customers. This is not going to cut it in the future. We really want to add emotional value to the car to make Hyundai become beloved by our special customers.”

The exterior of Le Fil Rouge concept is overwhelmed with incredible detailing and unique design elements that blend technology with aesthetic appeal. The interior takes the design vision further with thought given to the different requirements of the driver and their passengers – comfort for passengers, driving experience and optimized ergonomics for the driver. To emphasize Hyundai’s newfound electric vehicle design mission, Lee says the overall design is defined by the harmony between four fundamental elements: proportion, architecture, design and technology. “Technology is very important,” says Lee. “We as designers always ask ourselves how to integrate technology into the design to tell a story to our customers.” Hyundai’s sensitivity to design, material use and technology is perfectly integrated into their concept car. And that’s why Le Fil Rouge was one of the stars of the show.

The New 2019 Audi A6

The luxury four-door Audi A6 that greeted the world at Geneva shares the technology found in its recently revealed sisters, the A8 and A7, along with some very welcomed fuel-saving features.

There are two engines to choose from for the A6. There’s a 3.0-litre turbocharged V-6 rated at 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and a turbodiesel. These will be mated with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic which will be standard in Europe for the new A6. For the first time, the A6 will feature four-wheel steering that can dial in up to 5 degrees of counter-steering at slow speeds for better manoeuvrability, or in concert with the front wheels at high speeds for better handling. Inside, the A6 is larger with more room for passengers and cargo, and interior lighting in up to 30 different shades. It features Audi’s newest MMI infotainment system with a 10.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment and an 8.6-inch touchscreen for climate controls. The A6 includes available safety features such as active lane control and adaptive cruise control, parking assist, vehicle-to-infrastructure hardware, and a raft of sensors and cameras that could help the A6 avoid crashes. Following cues from the A4 and A5, the styling of the A6 is evolutionary for the sedan, sharper than its predecessor with deeper creases and a bulging hood. Pricing information is yet to come, but the A6 is slated to reach showrooms later this year.

Peugeot 508’s Impressive Design

Many agreed that in the new 508, Peugeot has unveiled a design stunner. Whilst the current generation dates back to 2010 and that’s starting to show, this new one puts out a statement for its rivals to ponder. Underpinning the car is the flexible EMP2 platform from Peugeot parent company PSA Group. The interior looks are superbly classy with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.0-inch infotainment screen, and leather-trimmed steering wheel. There’s more details to come about the powertrain range that will be on offer and Peugeot will also offer the car with the latest electronic driver aids including a night vision system with object and pedestrian detection.

Preparing for longer car journeys

Stay hydrated

It may seem obvious, but one of the most important things in making long journeys both easier and safer is to ensure that you, and your car, stay hydrated. Recent research has shown that three out of four people on long road trips in Britain are likely to be de-hydrated – a major cause in behaviour changes, like irritability, bad temper and road rage.

It is particularly important for drivers to maintain fluid intakes if they are to face the congestion and arrive at their destination safe and sane. Even an hour’s drive across a city can result in the loss of as much as half a litre of water which needs to be replaced if drivers are to remain calm and comfortable.

Take a break

While caffeine-laden drinks are indispensable in giving drivers temporary relief from fatigue while travelling, the best option during a normal daytime family trip is plenty of stops to give everyone a break and a stretch as well as lots of water for passengers and driver. Soft drinks and tea and coffee can also contain ingredients that act as a diuretic: while they may initially quench the thirst, ultimately, they’ll lead to more toilet stops. De-hydration can also be responsible for lethargy, lack of concentration and alertness as well as headache – none of which makes for safe and happy drivers.

Avoid road rage

Longer journeys are often marked by disputes and ill temper due to the almost inevitable delays and frustration. By making some basic preparations, being mindful of driving style and keeping fluid levels up, then everyone can enjoy their outing.

Checklist for Happy Journeys

  • Ensure driver and car fluid levels are topped up, but while the car should be full of fuel, an overfull driver is likely to suffer from drowsiness. Both should be ready for the journey ahead, the driver refreshed and alert, the car serviced.
  • Begin the holiday as soon as the trip begins. This means wearing comfortable clothes and having plenty of snacks, drinks and treats for all the family in the car.
  • For kids it means making sure that they have got things to keep them entertained. Small, quiet toys are ideal while story CDs for older kids and sing-alongs for younger ones help to pass the time. Many kids these days are happy to play the latest games available on their mobile phones but be wary of travel sickness induced by constant concentration. Old favourites like ‘I Spy’ can also help to fend off travel sickness by encouraging the child to concentrate on items outside of the car.
  • Make sure that the car is well ventilated, if you have air-conditioning use it. A window blind can also help to deflect annoying sunlight.
  • Many children, and adults, find it relaxing to sleep in the car. Pillows and covers are a helpful aid to this although it is obviously vital that all passengers remain restrained by their seat belts.
  • Plan the route, and an alternative, and plan breaks into the schedule. A 20-minute break every two hours is the ideal if travelling with a young family. Think about the timing of your journey. Setting off late at night or in the early hours of the morning may mean avoiding the jams but it is also the peak time for fatigue related accidents.
  • If stuck in heavy traffic, keep plenty of distance between you and the car in front. This will help to keep pressure off the driver.

But most importantly enjoy the journey and your holiday!

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Dealing with travel sickness

We all remember the kids who used to sit by the bus windows on school trips, paper bag in hand looking greener by the minute. Back then it may not have been so common but the latest research shows that at least one in three people suffer from motion sickness and in the average family of five you can easily have two members suffering through long journeys.

Why is it that people suffer from travel sickness? Leading motion sickness expert Dr Michael Gresty explains: ‘We experience car sickness because a car’s cornering forces stimulate the balance organs in our inner ears to signal that we are being tilted but visibly, the car and view outside remain upright. Our brain becomes confused by these two apparently contradictory perceptions, and sends a message to the stomach to be sick. Vomiting is a warning that something strange is happening so as well as being sick, the body diverts blood to the muscles, so that the sufferer can move to get out of the situation.’

Tips for dealing with travel sickness

There are things that you can do to help yourself and your family from feeling ill in the car.

Avoid movement

Stay as still as possible, moving around and fidgeting will only make you uptight. Recline your seat if possible and close your eyes. If you need to keep your eyes open to spy on the kids, then make sure that you focus on the horizon, as reading or focussing on objects inside the car will only enhance the sickness.

Fresh air

Make sure that you keep a fresh supply of air flowing by opening a window, it doesn’t have to be all the way, just enough to feel a breeze. Fresh air can also help to reduce the pungent smells from food or air fresheners that create sickly aromas that are sure to make anyone feel travelsick. If you have to eat in the car make sure that the food is light and healthy.

Prepare

The best method to cure travel sickness is to be prepared. If you plan your route in advance you can allow for plenty of breaks. It is important that you allow for rests, especially on long journeys. If you are planning to have a meal during your break make sure that you eat something small and nutritious. Many people become travel sick after eating a large fatty meal consisting of dairy products, a food group that is notoriously difficult to digest.

If you follow all the handy hints then you should be able to ward off the symptoms of motion sickness but the secret of good preparation is to be prepared and have travel sickness tablets and paper bags with you at all times.

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