Title: The UK’s Best Selling Cars 2015

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Summary: The UK automotive industry is booming, seeing 38 consecutive months of growth with overall sales increasing year on year. Which makes and models are spearheading this success?

Meta Title: The UK’s Best Selling Cars 2015

Meta Description: With 38 consecutive months of growth, the UK's automotive industry is booming. Which models and manufacturers are leading the way in 2015?


Ford Fiesta

In 2014, Great Britain recorded its best year for new car sales in a decade, with 2,476,435 registrations recorded. In spite of such a challenging total, 2015 is already delivering favourable results and the automotive industry has now enjoyed 38 consecutive months of growth. But what makes and models are spearheading this success?

To find out, we’ve generated a list of the UK’s top 10 Best Selling Cars of 2015 so far, based on the most up to date figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Take a look at the top 8 best-sellers below, all available to view new and used on the Bristol Street Motors site right now.

  1. Ford Fiesta – 80,494 registrations

The undisputed king of UK car sales for quite some time, the Ford Fiesta’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Not only is the Fiesta the best selling car of 2015 so far, it’s also Britain’s best selling car of all time, clocking in at over 4,115,000 sales and counting since it launched in 1976.

Providing great value for money, superb practicality and consistent build quality we’ve come to expect from Ford, there’s a good reason that the Fiesta has become a stalwart of Britain’s roads.

  1. Vauxhall Corsa – 55,011 registrations

Vauxhall Nova

If any car stood a chance of challenging the Ford Fiesta, it could well be the latest Vauxhall Corsa, which has recorded strong sales since launching last year. Since 1983, the model – then under the Nova guise pictured above – has been a favourite amongst families and young drivers alike, with a popularity that spans across generations.

With a design not too different from the previous incarnation, the new Vauxhall Corsa arguably offers a more comfortable drive quality and better fuel economy than its predecessors.

  1. Ford Focus – 52,122 registrations

Yet another well-established and perhaps unsurprising mainstay, the Ford Focus manages to tempt buyers into a purchase with its efficient range of engines and practical yet sleek styling.

The Focus isn’t just popular amongst British motorists either. When attending official events, Pope Francis has been known to ditch the traditional “Popemobile” in preference for a spot in the back seat of a Ford Focus. With the range of great interiors the Focus now offers, we don’t blame him.

  1. Volkswagen Golf – 43,141 registrations

For over 40 years, the Volkswagen Golf has arguably been one of the most celebrated modern hatchbacks on the market, being voted both European car of the year and World car of the year twice.

Its desirability obviously remains today, and the latest model boasts a refined cabin as well as a range of punchy petrol and diesel engines to choose from.

  1. Nissan Qashqai – 38,290 registrations

Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai’s SUV styling and hatchback running costs have obviously resonated with motorists up and down Great Britain. Not only has the Nissan Qashqai and the new range of Nissan crossovers revolutionised how the nation views “big” cars, it’s popularity is also a testament to good old British manufacturing; since 2007, the model has been assembled in Sunderland.

Although the only car of its class on the list, top five popularity proves that crossovers could soon be ruling our roads in the years to come.

  1. Vauxhall Astra – 33,153 registrations

If we’ve learned anything from this list, it’s that predictability, affordability, and family friendly styling are all viewed in good stead by British motorists. The Vauxhall Astra is a devotee to those three tenets, being a frequent flier in best seller lists since its launch in 1979. Not only is it the 6th bestselling car of 2015 so far, it’s also the 4th bestselling car in the UK of all time, with around 2,845,357 sales.

As it stands, the Astra might also be one of the cheapest cars to both buy and run too, with excellent fuel economy, a low insurance band, and a highly affordable initial asking price.

  1. Volkswagen Polo – 32,600 registrations

Volkswagen Polo

It’s safe to say that this list is turning out to be pretty hatchback heavy. But with excellent refinement, an unmatched ride quality, and consistently well rounded looks, it’s not hard to see why the Polo has made it into the best-sellers list.

The Polo is a super-mini with style, offering upmarket leather interiors alongside affordability and sensible running costs. Although the Polo has traditionally struggled to crack the top 10 list, it looks like things might be about to change.

  1. Audi A3 – 29,496 registrations

The Audi A3 is built on the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf, something which perhaps explains some of its popularity amongst British drivers. However, it’s also the manufacturer’s willingness to innovate that has proved a winner, producing the A3 in a range of trims that must surely appeal to drivers of all ages and tastes.

As with all Audi cars, you know you’re purchasing comfort and excellent interior design when you invest in an A3. Although we don’t have new models in stock at Bristol Street Motors, we do have a selection of excellent and affordable used Audi A3 cars for sale, getting you a top car for a top price.

With several of these makes and models available new and used from Bristol Street Motors dealerships up and down the UK, you too could soon be driving one of the UK’s best selling cars in no time at all. Just take a look at the new and used cars we have online, give us a visit at a relevant dealership in your area, or just give us a call and let the team know what you’re looking for.

Author: Tom

Title: What is a Dash Cam?

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Summary: In recent years, a new type of technology has started to become increasingly popular with motorists not just in the UK, but around the world; the dash cam. But is a dash cam worth the money?

Meta Title: What is a Dash Cam?

Meta Description: Dash cams seem to be the motoring accessory of the moment. What is a dash cam, why are they so popular, and are they worth the money?


Dash Cams

Today’s digitally connected society has transformed the way world news and current affairs are reported. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are almost always on-hand to capture pictures and videos soon after an event has happened.

In recent years, a new type of technology has started to become increasingly popular with motorists not just in the UK, but around the world; the dash cam. If you see impromptu footage of natural disasters, aircraft crashes, or road traffic accidents on the news, there’s a good chance that it will have been filmed on a dash cam.

So, what exactly is a dash cam, why are they becoming so popular with motorists, and do they have a benefit outside of pure voyeurism?

What is a dash cam?

Dash cam is short for dashboard camera, a small device that continuously records the view through your vehicle’s windscreen and saves this footage to a memory card.

They can be attached on the top of your dashboard or to the interior windscreen near your rear-view mirror. The main purpose of a dash cam is to record road traffic accidents as they happen and collect video evidence, which can then by used by the police and insurance companies.

Dash cams first rose to prominence in Russia as a form of “sousveillance,” which refers to the recording of an activity by way of a small wearable device or portable personal technology. In addition to providing additional evidence for court cases, dash cams have also been used to guard against police corruption and insurance fraud in Russia.

Their popularity is increasing across Asia, Europe, Australia and the US. Currently, dash cams are forbidden in Austria and strongly discouraged against in Switzerland. Footage can only be used as evidence for exceptional cases in German courts, while recording on public roadways in Australia and Poland is only allowed as long as it does not infringe upon one’s personal privacy.

In UK however, dash cams are perfectly legal, but should always be installed in a way that does not obstruct the view of the driver.

Why are dash cams becoming so popular with motorists?

In the 12 months leading up to February 2015, dash cam sales increased by a whopping 918 per cent according to figures from market research company GFK. The main reason for this spike in sales is down to the increasing prevalence of car insurance scams on UK roads.

“Crash for cash” scams, which involve fraudsters staging accidents, providing false witness statements, disabling their own brake lights, or “flashing” other drivers to pull out of a junction before crashing into them, are costing motorists and the insurance industry an untold amount of money.

In November 2014, it was revealed that the level of organised fraud was 21 per cent higher than the whole of 2013, and that organised gangs were responsible for more than 50 per cent of false motor injury claims. The Metropolitan Police also noted that these scams are potentially adding an additional £50 to £100 to the annual premiums of everyday drivers.

What are the benefits of a dash cam?

Given the increased risk of becoming the end of an insurance fraud scam, the benefits of owning a dash cam should be fairly obvious. For many drivers, they provide an extra level of security. In the unfortunate event that you’re involved in an accident, you can have a visual record of the event to independently verify exactly what happened, and avoid any potential fraudulent claims.

What’s more, a number of insurance providers offer a reduction in your premium for having a dash cam installed in your car. You might need to buy from their approved list of manufacturers, but discounts of up to 15 per cent are available.

However, with any dash cam purchase, make sure it can record high quality footage in all conditions; otherwise any insurance claim might not be successful due to a lack of credible evidence.

In any case, if you’re looking to feel a little more secure in a new car you’ve purchased from Bristol Street Motors, a dash cam might be a good investment.

Author: Tom

Title: Top 5 Causes of Car Breakdown

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Summary: Car breakdown is one the things motorists dread the most, and statistically, it’ll happen to you at least once in your driving life. As prevention is better than the cure, take a look at the top 5 causes of car breakdown below.

Meta Title: Top 5 Causes of Car Breakdown

Meta Description: Get to know the top 5 car breakdown causes on the Bristol Street Blog, including engine overheating, tyre wear, and spark plug problems.


Car Breakdown - 1

Car breakdown is one the things motorists dread the most, and statistically, it will happen to you at least once in your driving life.

Contrary to popular opinion, breakdowns don’t just happen to older vehicles, also being common with new vehicles. There’s a good reason for this. Owners of older cars can be more motivated to take care of their car, anticipating potential trouble and getting any problem areas sorted out. However, if you’ve just bought a new car, it might take a while to get a proper “feel” for it. As such, it might be more difficult to notice or anticipate problems.

The fact of the matter is that breakdowns aren’t always due to age or lack of care of a vehicle, and could be due to environmental factors, or easy mistakes in day to day vehicle maintenance.

As prevention is better than the cure, take a look at the top 5 causes of car breakdown below.

Refuelling problems

One of the most common breakdown causes, fuel problems, is also one of the easiest to prevent

Thousands of people a year either forget to refuel completely, or only notice the little red light flashing until it’s too late. If this happens to you, you should try and pull safely into the roadside as soon as you can.

Another surprisingly common breakdown problem is also to do with refuelling; filling up with the wrong fuel. Around 150,000 people a year fill their petrol engines with diesel and vice-versa. Although an easy mistake to make, it’s one that can leave you kicking yourself, causing real damage to your car if not dealt with properly.

If you find yourself putting the wrong fuel in, avoid starting your vehicle, as this could seriously damage your engine. The fuel will need to be removed from your car, so get in touch with your roadside assistance provider and they should be able to do this for you. If you’re worried about making the same mistake again, special caps can be purchased to put over your filler neck to make it difficult insert a wrong fuel nozzle.

Wheel damage

Flat tyres and wheel damage are another top cause of breakdown. Whilst some flats might be caused by driving over sharp or harsh road surfaces, many cases are preventable. Lack of care, infrequent changing, and the wrong pressure are frequent sources of flat tyres and tyre damage, and all are easy to rectify and prevent.

The best way to make sure your tyres are in good nick is to head in for regular servicing. Whilst learning how to change a tyre isn’t too much hard work, checking for some expert opinion is advisable. Even if you’re sure your tyres are in good condition, getting a second opinion won’t hurt, and can help you figure out what the problem is if anything goes wrong in future.

Flat battery

The dreaded flat battery is another big reason for roadside call-outs and no-starts.

If you mainly use your car for short frequent trips you’ll be at a higher risk of this, as you might not be giving the battery enough time to recharge between journeys. For infrequent drivers, it’s a good idea to invest in an “intelligent charger” that can be connected to the battery for long periods, to ensure you’re fully charged.

Leaving headlights running is one of the most common causes of battery drain. If you’ve ever kicked yourself for forgetting to switch your headlights off overnight, don’t panic. The chances are that the battery won’t be completely drained, and if you have a mains car battery charger to hand, you might be able to recharge it.

Another good idea is to keep some jump cables in your vehicle. That way, if you find your battery giving up while you’re out and about, you’ll just need to find a Good Samaritan to help you recharge.

Car Breakdown - 2

Engine overheating

Overheating is common in summer, when high temperatures, the glare of the sun, and an increased reliance on air conditioning all combine to increase the likelihood of engines giving out.

Almost all vehicles have a temperature gauge, so if you’re driving and see this slipping into the red, it’s a good idea to pull over before you overheat completely. Then turn off the air conditioning and any other features that might be using energy, and turn on your car’s heaters. In the peak heat of the summer you might find this tip a little odd, but it does work; just remember to get out of the car first unless you’re wanting a sauna experience. The heating system works by taking heat away from the engine, which means that turning it on actually works to cool your vehicle down, and recover from overheating.

Another good idea is to take a look at your coolant levels, found in a small plastic container near your engine’s radiator. If this is low or empty, you might have a leak on your hands. Check underneath your car, and see if there’s any liquid present. If there is, you shouldn’t drive any further; call roadside assistance, and take your car into a dealership garage to be looked over. If you don’t spot any liquid, fill the coolant tank with more water and coolant for a temporary solution. However, if you find your car overheating frequently, you should still take it to a mechanic to be assessed for any serious faults.

Spark plug problems

Spark plugs can be one of the most neglected parts of a vehicle, and also one of the most problematic if they’re not well taken care of. Signs of a faulty or dirty spark plug can often be difficult to spot, but if your engine sounds like it’s vibrating roughly when you’re at a stop, you frequently struggle to start your car, and your engine misfires, they could be the cause.

Whilst a common cause of car trouble, luckily, spark plug problems are easy to rectify. If you’re unsure how to change one yourself, just take your car into a garage and a technician should be able to change them in no time.

So, if you’re neglecting your car, persisting on even though you know something’s not quite right, or just want to brush up on what might be the cause if the worst does happen, we hope our advice has helped. If you think you’re likely to suffer from any of the problems above, and want some tips on how to prevent car breakdown, the Bristol Street Motors team will be happy to help out. Who knows – it might even be time to invest in a new car.

Author: Tom