Category Archives: Car Advice

Title: Best New Cars of 2016

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Summary: With the year drawing to a close and 2017 loudly readying its engines, now is the perfect time to review the most impressive cars to debut on the UK’s roads in 2016. Take a look at our top 10 new cars of 2016 here.

Meta Title: Best New Cars of 2016 | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: With the year drawing to a close and 2017 loudly readying its engines now is the perfect time to review the top 10 new cars of 2016.

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With the year drawing to a close and 2017 loudly readying its engines, now is the perfect time to review the most impressive cars to debut on the UK’s roads in 2016. Take a look at our top 10 new cars of 2016 below.

Ford KA+                        ford-kaEnjoying excellent handling whilst balancing ample storage provisions with a compact build that renders it a perfect choice for city drives, the Ford Ka+ is a superb car for a range of settings. It’s also a notably quiet drive, with ample suppression of noise from the engine and the wind alike.

 

Skoda Octavia

With the Octavia, Skoda have produced an excellently priced car that’s equipped with furnishings and an interior belonging to cars from several tiers above. It’s almost unbeatable when it comes to storage, so if you’re looking for a car to take on long distance drives with passengers, the Skoda Octavia really is the car for you.

Vauxhall Astra

vauxhall-astra

Picked for the mantle of 2016 European Car of the Year, 2016 has been a great year for Vauxhall’s classic Astra range. Available as an estate or as a hatchback, the Vauxhall Astra enjoys roominess and comfort for driver and passengers while boasting excellent fuel economy and safety; it took home all five stars on the European NCAP test.

Volvo XC90

In the XC90, Volvo have delivered one of the most formidable SUVs the roads have ever seen. Though it’s equipped with both a diesel engine and petrol engine under the bonnet, the XC90 also has a T8 hybrid connection, meaning that fuel economy over short distances is great. With a stylish décor, high standard noise suppression and equally high calibre mechanical design, the XC90 brings to its driver the stellar all-round experience that Volvo are famous for.

Hyundai i10

hyundai-i10

One of our favourite cars of the year, the Hyundai i10 is a perfect mode of transport for city living. It’s a small car that can expertly negotiate every tight space, with high-quality suspension that will stand tall against the most formidable pothole or damaged surface. The i10’s storage provisions are also incredibly generous, so it’s perfect for longer excursions or driving around with a lot of cargo.

Dacia Sandero

You’ll be hard pushed to find a car that enjoys anything like the quality that Dacia’s Sandero enjoys at the price range it’s in. The Sandero is a sturdy and well-built vehicle and what it lacks in infotainment and smart technology it makes up for with minimalist flair and stylish charm.

Fiat 500

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The timeless Fiat 500 combines a sleek retro aesthetic with sophisticated design in terms of décor and mechanics. For leisurely city living, it’s a stylish car that delivers the highest standard of travel.

Nissan Qashqai

Ranking supreme among all family SUVs, Nissan’s Qashqai is a package of exceptional comfort and engineering, supported by muted engines and wind defence. Nissan are renowned for producing sturdy and resilient builds; with the Qashqai, they continue to build on this reputation more and more.

Mazda 2

mazda-2

With the Mazda 2, Mazda deliver an experience fully deserving of the super mini title. For a smartly built car boasting the latest advancements in car design that’s equally entertaining to drive, there are few cars that can be considered more of a must have.

Author: Fusion

Title: Five Things to Consider When Buying a New Car

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Summary: Today’s new cars come with a variety of financing options, from contract purchase, to leasing, to hire purchase, all of which allow you to split the cost of a car into affordable chunks. That means you’ve been thinking you can’t afford a brand new car, you might very well be wrong.

Meta Title: Buying a New Car | New Car Guide | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Thinking of buying a new car but not sure where to start? Take a look at our top 5 things to consider when buying a new car here.

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Is there any better feeling than driving home in a brand new car?

The beauty of buying new is the huge potential for customisation that’s available to you. As well as choosing the make and manufacturer, you have the opportunity to choose the colour, trim and which features you’d like added – everything from the finish to the on board tech.

As well as allowing you to choose a make and model that fits your exact needs, buying a new car can be more affordable than you might think too. Today’s new cars come with a variety of financing options, from contract purchase, to leasing, to hire purchase, all of which allow you to split the cost of a car into affordable chunks. That means that if you’ve been thinking you can’t afford a brand new car, you might very well be wrong.

With all that in mind, we’ve put together a few points it’s good to have a think about if you’re looking for a new car.

  1. What will you be using the car for?

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It may seem a silly question, but the car you need will depend entirely on your lifestyle, and your driving habits. Do you spend hours a day commuting to work down the motorway? Do you spend your mornings taking the kids to school? Do you navigate traffic packed city streets on a daily basis? The type of use the car will be getting can dictate everything you need, from the engine capacity to whether it’s a manual or automatic, to insurance and finance costs.

Luckily, buying new means having a huge range of vehicles to choose from, with options almost tailored to your exact needs. At Bristol Street Motors, we have a wide selection of new cars from 15 manufacturers each selling models to suit a range of lifestyle and needs, whether you’re a new buyer searching for low insurance and the latest tech, or a family wanting to upgrade to a roomier model.

Once you’ve decided your needs, you can begin to get an idea of the class of car you’ll be looking at. Which brings us to our next point…

  1. How much space do you need?

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Depending on your situation, you may need a car offering more of less space. A businessperson may be perfectly happy with a two seater roadster, however this car may not be the best choice for the school run. Similarly, if you are a constantly heading out of weekends away, a generous boot space should be high up your list of priorities.

Roof racks and folding seats can have a big impact on a car’s storage capabilities, too. Some cars may seem small at a glance, but a genius seating arrangement can mean that they appear much larger on the inside.

Manufacturers today recognise the range of space requirements that different customers are looking for, and accommodate for this in new models and trims. That’s why when looking at new cars on sale today, you’ll find a wider selection of space options on display than ever before.

  1. Are you comfortable in the car?

Comfort is crucial, especially if you regularly drive long distances, and a large contributor to this is how well the car suits your driving style.

Even if you love the car’s exterior, it’s important to make sure that you’re happy with how your new feels to drive. This is especially true if you’re thinking of buying a class or manufacturer you’ve not previously driven, so when choosing a new car we’d recommend heading out for a test drive before making any final decisions. That way, you can make sure that you’re not just happy with how your new car looks, you’re happy with how it feels too.

  1. Do you need the latest tech?

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One of the main advantages of buying a new car is the host of innovative in car tech you’ll receive. A huge number of cars on the market today come with built in infotainment systems, Sat-Nav, and more, with tech designed to make the driving experience easier, more comfortable, safer, or just more interesting!

When looking for a new car, it’s worth getting to grips with new technology you might not be familiar with, and deciding exactly what kind of tech you need in your car. It’s likely that this will be dependent mostly on your personal driving tastes, but budget is also a factor to consider, as some models with the latest technology may come at a slightly higher price points.

Perhaps you prefer driving simplistic and stripped back, or maybe you’d rather enjoy the convenience of gadgets such as reversing cameras, power folding mirrors, and autonomous emergency braking systems. Some in-car tech can add a dash of luxury, too, such as heated steering wheels and memory seats, so think about what tech is important to you.

  1. Does the car suit your style?

After spending so much time considering the practicalities of your new dream car, it’s worth remembering that you may be driving around in it for the next few years. With that in mind, it quickly becomes clear how important it is to purchase a car that you love the look of. The finish, the colour, the bodywork, the alloys and wheel arches: every car is different, and everyone has differing tastes.

You will be spending a large amount of time in your car once purchased, and therefore it’s well worth taking the extra time to find a car that has you brimming with pride when you see it. Whether that means looking for exec style leather interiors, hunting a model with the latest ’66 plates, or picking a colour that reflects your personality is up to you.

For the latest offers, and to start your search for new car that suits you today, check out the manufacturers and models we have on offer here.

Author: Fusion

Title: The 10 Best Selling Cars in the Universe Ever

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Summary: With a (very) rough estimate of 1.2 billion cars on the road today, we’re probably justified in saying the humble automobile has caught on quite well over the past century or so. But, of all the hundreds of manufacturers jostling for poll position, which car maker comes up trumps when it comes to selling cars?

Meta Title: Top Selling Cars of all Time | Best Selling Cars | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Ever wondered which is the world's most popular car? Bristol Street Motors rank the top selling cars of all time.

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With a (very) rough estimate of 1.2 billion cars on the road today, we’re probably justified in saying the humble automobile has caught on quite well over the past century or so. But, of all the hundreds of manufacturers jostling for poll position, which car maker comes up trumps when it comes to selling cars?

We’ve dug around a bit, and we’ve assembled a list of the top ten best selling cars ever in the history of the universe. The answers may surprise you; they certainly surprised us. Without further ado, let’s dive head first into the depths of car sales figures.

  1. Chevrolet Impala

Cars sold: 14 million

The iconic Chevy Impala has been cruising the roads of the world non-stop since its birth back in 1958. In recent years, the Impala’s design revamp has seen it meander its way back once again to the top of the large sedan charts.

  1. Volkswagen Passat

Cars sold: 15.5 million

Over seven generations and 15.5 million sales, the robust family car has brought reasonably priced luxury to families all over the planet. These days, the sedan market is incredibly competitive, although the Passat still rides happy up at the front of the pack.

  1. Ford Model T

Cars sold: 16.5 million

Exactly how many Model T’s Henry Ford sold is put into perspective by this fact: despite going out of production 87 years ago, it still remains the 8th best-selling automobile of all time. Between its first production in 1908 and its discontinuation 20 years later, Ford produced enough Model T’s for the equivalent of every person in Holland.

  1. Honda Accord

Cars sold: 17.5 million

Renowned for its reliability, the Accord spent the first years of its life as a compact, however it eventually metamorphosed into the sedan we know and love today. After small beginnings in 1976, the Accord is today loved by motorists everywhere, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

  1. Honda Civic

Cars sold: 18.5 million

Prior to the Civic’s birth in 1972, Honda was actually considering giving up the car game, after a difficult few years. Everyone loves an underdog story, and they don’t come much better than the struggling little Japanese manufacturer that went on to sell 18.5 million cars.

  1. Ford Escort

Cars sold: 20 million

America has had the Escort since 1981, and Europe’s roads have been graced with the car since 1986. The humble Escort has appealed to generations of drivers with its simple charm, easy handling, and affordable price tag.

  1. Volkswagen Beetle

Cars sold: 23.5 million

Designed in 1938, the Beetle has ridden a wave of popularity ever since, being picked up by the counter cultural 60’s movement thanks to its affordable price tag and its upbeat, funky styling. Today, generations of Beetles still roam the country’s roads, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down.

  1. Volkswagen Golf

Cars sold: 27.5 million

Either dubbed the Golf or the Rabbit, depending which country you’re driving around, the sporty hatchback is Volkswagen’s flagship car, selling 27.5 million since 1974, over many different iterations. Since its triumphant return to the production line in 2010, the Golf has gone from strength to strength.

  1. Ford F Series

Cars sold: 35 million

Initially sold as the Ford Bonus Built in 1948, Ford’s truck has increased in quality and style over the decades, with the manufacturer paying close attention to the requests of its customers. Having sold 35 million cars over the past six decades, the F Series tops the bill of Ford’s cars, and sales are far from slowing, with the manufacturer recently expanding their production plants.

  1. Toyota Corolla

Cars sold: 40 million

Notable births in the year 1966 include Mike Tyson, David Cameron, Helena Bonham Carter, and the Toyota Corolla. Since taking its first Bambi-like steps off the production line, the Corolla has found its feet as the world’s automotive sweetheart, with over 40 million sold to date, and a further 300,000 expected to sell this year alone, and we are proud to dub it the undisputed Most Popular Car in the Universe Ever.

The Corolla is so loved for its reliability, strong engine, and superb build quality, and in every new iteration, Toyota refine and tweak their flagship car, keeping it at the front of the pack and fending off any usurpers to its automotive throne. With the 11th generation Corolla released last year to rapturous acclaim, it looks as though this trend will continue for many years to come.

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: Which WAVs can I get through Motability?

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Summary: If you’re new to Motability, it’s normal to have a few questions about the scheme. Figuring out whether you’re eligible, what the average Motability car prices are, and what adaptations you’ll need are all important areas that you’ll need to consider.

Meta Title: Motability Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Meta Description: Here at Bristol Street Versa, we have a wide range of wheelchair accessible vehicles available to be leased through the Motability scheme. Click through to find out more about our Motability wheelchair accessible vehicles.

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Which WAVs Can I Get on Motability

 

If you’re new to Motability, it’s normal to have a few questions about the scheme. Figuring out whether you’re eligible, what the average Motability car prices are, and what adaptations you’ll need are all important areas that you’ll need to consider. You’ll also need to consider things like upfront cost, the number of seats you’ll need, and whether the wheelchair user will be driving the vehicle when considering which Motability wheelchair accessible vehicle is right for you.

To help you choose the Motability wheelchair accessible vehicle that’s right for you, we’ve put together a quick guide below.

What vehicles are available through Motability?

When considering a Motability lease, many people think they might be more restricted in the options available to them.

However, the Motability scheme allows for a huge choice of vehicles, and in particular wheelchair accessible vehicles.  All major manufacturers have vehicles available on the scheme, and at Bristol Street Versa you’ll find wheelchair accessible options from big names like Ford, Fiat, Volkswagen, and Renault on show.

How much does a WAV cost through Motability?

All vehicles on the Motability scheme are leased, meaning you pay to use the car over a set period, usually 3 or 5 years. However, you’re free to use the vehicle as you wish during this time, and treat it as you would a vehicle you own.

At Bristol Street Versa, we have a selection of wheelchair accessible vehicles available with an Advance Payment starting from around £1595. After this initial advance payment, the vehicle will be financed for the remainder of its lease period using your allocated allowance. This initial payment and the resulting allowance payments cover the costs of servicing, insurance, tax, and warranty, meaning that you won’t have to worry about these.

Bristol Street Versa: Motability Cars List

We have a variety of wheelchair accessible vehicles available on the Motability scheme through Bristol Street Versa, in different sizes and specifications to suit whatever needs you might have. We’ve chosen to run through just three below, but for a wider selection of the wheelchair accessible vehicles available from Bristol Street Versa head over to our Motability section.

Versa Doblo 1.4

WAVS  - Fiat DobloThe Versa Doblo 1.4 is our own accessible version of the Fiat Doblo, and lies at the smaller end of the wheelchair accessible vehicles we have in stock. With two seats as standard alongside room for a wheelchair passenger, the Versa Doblo is a good option if you don’t require lots of room for extra passengers. However, the Versa Doblo can also be fitted with an option for one or two seats in the rear, allowing for more space. Like all the wheelchair accessible vehicles we have in stock, the Versa Doblo is customisable with a range of vehicle adaptations. The Versa Doblo is one of the most affordable Motability vehicles we have in stock, and is available to lease from just £1595.

Versa Connect Long

WAVS - Versa Connect LongThe Versa Connect Long is a modified version of popular Ford Grand Tourneo Connect, and is an ideal wheelchair accessible vehicle for families who might require a little extra passenger room. The Versa Connect wheelchair accessible vehicle can accommodate a wheelchair user plus 5 additional passengers, or a maximum of 7 passengers without the wheelchair user. Wheelchair users can access the vehicle via a simple ramp, which if upgraded can fold away into the vehicle to create a large storage area. The Versa Connect Long comes with Ford’s Stop and Start technology, which alongside its 65mpg makes it an economical wheelchair accessible vehicle that is affordable to run. At Bristol Street Versa we have both automatic and manual versions of the Versa Connect Long, with the manual version available on Motability with an advance payment of only £4295.

Versa Master LWB

WAVS - Renault Master

The Versa Master is a converted Renault Master van, and one of the roomiest wheelchair accessible vehicles we have available to lease through the Motability scheme. With a longer wheel base, the Versa Master LWB can accommodate the wheelchair user, driver, and up to 7 other passengers. If required, the Versa Master wheelchair accessible vehicle can also be modified to be able to carry a total of 4 wheelchair passengers. The Master LWB is available on Motability from £10,245 advance payment for the manual version, which includes rear heating and air conditioning as standard.

All the vehicles listed are able to receive specialist attachments and alterations, so if you’re interested in a custom wheelchair accessible vehicle, or would like to enquire about the cost of adaptations on the Motability scheme, then we would love to hear from you. Just make an enquiry online, or get in touch with our friendly customer services team. We can’t show you all the vehicles available on Motability, so why not take a look at the full range we have online.

 

 

 

 

Author: Tom

Title: Am I Eligible For Motability?

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Summary: Since being launched in 1977, the Motability scheme has helped thousands of people improve their quality of life by giving them low cost access to vehicles. Funded by charities and the government, with Motability disabled people can receive a car with modifications that allow for ease of access.

Meta Title: Am I Eligible For Motability

Meta Description: Wondering if you are eligible to access a car through the Motability scheme? Take a look at our Motability FAQs list, and find out all you need to know about Motability and Motabiity cars.

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Am I Eligible for Motability

Since being launched in 1977, the Motability scheme has helped thousands of people improve their quality of life by giving them low cost access to vehicles. Funded by charities and the government, with Motability disabled people can receive a car with modifications that allow for ease of access. This way, people who may not have previously been able to drive, let alone get in a vehicle, can have the same freedoms as the general public.

If you think that the scheme could help you, but are not sure whether you’re eligible for Motability, we’ve put a guide together to help. With the information below, you can figure out your eligibility for Motability, and how to get a Motability car.

What allowances do I need to receive?

Eligibility for Motability is primarily assessed based on allowances supplied by the Government. If you receive one or more types of the following four Government allowances, you could be eligible to receive a car on the scheme.

  1. Disability Living Allowance

You’re eligible for Motability if you’re in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility band of Disability Living Allowance, provided by the Department of Work and Pensions. Currently, this allowance is £57.45 a week, which can then be used to fund a Motability vehicle. However, in order to receive a vehicle on the scheme, you’ll need to prove that you still have a years’ worth of the allowance remaining to be paid to you.

  1. Personal Independence Payment

Whilst the Disability Living Allowance is still in effect, it is set to be gradually phased out and replaced with something called Personal Independence Payment. Currently this replacement is not in full effect. However, those who are receiving PIP, and are getting the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component – currently £57.45 – will be eligible to lease a vehicle on the Motability scheme.

  1. War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement

Veterans UK provide supplements to those in receipt of pension who were medically discharged from service. If you’re currently receiving a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement of £64.15 per week, you’ll be eligible for Motability.

  1. Armed Forces Independence Payment

Those injured as a result of active service in the armed forced are eligible to receive Armed Forces Independence Payment, and a mobility payment. The Mobility component of AFIP is £57.45, and if you’re receiving this, you’ll be eligible for Motability.

How long should I have received this allowance?                                                   

When applying for Motability, there is no time limit on how long you’ve received an allowance. Whether you’ve received a mobility allowance for 5 years or 5 months, you may still be eligible for Motability.

However, how long you’ll be receiving the allowance will be taken into account. In order to get a Motability car lease, you’ll need to be receiving any of the above allowances for a minimum of 12 months into the future. If you do not have at least 12 months remaining, you won’t be eligible for Motability.

Is there an age limit on Motability?

Those above the age of 3 and in receipt of any of the above allowances could be eligible to lease a car on Motability. Whilst there is a minimum age required, there is no upper age limit. However, in certain cases individual circumstances may need to be assessed.

I’m unable to drive – am I still eligible?

If you don’t hold a valid UK license, you can still be eligible for Motability. The same applies to those who hold a license, but are no longer able to drive themselves.

To account for those who are unable to drive, when taking out a Motability lease, you’ll be given the option of naming up to 2 drivers; neither of which has to be yourself. A named driver could be member of family, a friend, or a carer.

However, in order to be named as a nominated driver, a person must meet certain requirements.

  • Named Motability drivers must hold a valid driving license. If the license is valid but not UK issued, the driver will need to undergo additional checks to decide eligibility.
  • Motability drivers must not have any previous convictions or disqualifications to legally drive a leased car.
  • Ideally, any nominated drivers should live within 5 miles of the Motability scheme customer’s place of abode. However, this is flexible and suitability can be assessed individually.
  • If naming more than one driver, only one driver can be under 21. This should ideally be someone who lives with the Motability customer. If drivers are under 25, there are restrictions on the type of vehicles able to be leased.

Will my disability influence whether I’m eligible?

When working out the eligibility of scheme members, individual disabilities are not taken into account. All that’s required is that scheme members are receiving one of the stated allowances.

However, if your application has been successful, and you’re eligible for Motability, we can take your individual circumstances into account when helping you choose a vehicle. We have vehicles available to suit a wide range of individual circumstances, and so we’ll be able to help you choose a vehicle that will truly be best for you.

We hope this guide has given you some idea of whether you’re eligible for Motability. If you’re still thinking “can I get a Motability car?”, and would like some professional advice, you can always get in touch with the team at Bristol Street Versa. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be able to help you decide whether Motability is right for you, and even let you know which wheelchair accessible vehicles we have available that would suit your needs best.

Author: Tom

Title: A Guide to Vehicle Adaptations

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Summary: To help make you aware of the types of car adaptations for disabled drivers that are available when choosing a vehicle, we’ve put together a brief guide with all the introductory information about vehicle adaptations you’ll need.

Meta Title: A Guide to Vehicle Adaptations

Meta Description: Here at Bristol Street Versa, we offer a wide range of car adaptations for disabled drivers. Click through to read a quick guide to just a few of the wheelchair vehicle adaptations we can provide.

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Motability adaptations

Here at Bristol Street Versa we are able to provide and fit a wide range of mobility enhancing vehicle adaptations and accessories into your car or wheelchair accessible vehicle. Whatever your specific needs are, it’s likely that there will be a vehicle adaptation designed to make your life easier. To help make you aware of the types of car adaptations for disabled drivers that are available when choosing a vehicle, we’ve put together a brief guide with all the introductory information about vehicle adaptations you’ll need.

What is a vehicle adaptation?

A vehicle adaptation is a change made to improve the accessibility or functionality of a vehicle for a disabled person. Adaptations can generally be broken down into three areas:

  1. Access adaptations – Adaptations designed to make it easier for a person to get in and out of a vehicle.
  2. Stowage adaptations – Adaptations that alter and improve a vehicle’s storage facilities, to allow for wheelchair and scooter stowage.
  3. Driving adaptations – Fittings installed to make it possible or easier for a person to drive.

What type of vehicle adaptations are there? 

Vehicle adaptations come in a number of different types to suit. Below, we’ve broken down vehicle adaptions into the access, stowage, and driving areas, and included specific fixtures within these.

Access

Swivel seats

  • Swivel seats allow for easy access to the vehicle for wheelchair users, scooter users, and for those with limited mobility. A swivel seat is a seat that is able to be turned to face out from the vehicle, making it easier to get in and out. Swivel seats can either be manually powered or motor powered, and can be designed so the base of the seat allows for a wheelchair to be inserted.

 Electric Hoist

  • Electric hoists are fittings that physically lift a person into a vehicle. Generally, these consist of a permanent but discrete fitting added to the door of a vehicle, and a separate frame attachment. When a person with limited mobility needs to get into the vehicle, the frame will be attached to the permanent door fixture alongside a hoist, and the person will be lifted into the seat.

Wheelchair and Scooter Stowage

Car boot hoist

  • A car boot hoist is a type of wheelchair lift that allows a scooter or wheelchair to be easily lifted and stowed in a car boot. Depending on the size of your car, and the size of your wheelchair/scooter, you may need to choose a certain type of hoist. Mini, Midi, and Maxi hoists allows for chairs and scooters from 40kg to over 100kg to be lifted into the car boot via a permanent hoist and removable frame. A platform hoist on the other hand, allows for a scooter or wheelchair to be driven onto a permanent platform, and lifted onto a boot; however, this is only suitable for larger vehicles.

Rooftop stowage

  • This is a hoist that allows for a wheelchair to be lifted onto and stored in a rooftop stowage compartment. Rooftop stowage is a useful alternative to a car boot hoist if you have a smaller vehicle, or if you simply need boot space for other things.

Driving

Left Foot Accelerators

  • Left foot accelerator pedals are used by those who have limited use of their right leg, and who thus may find it difficult to use a standard accelerator. Left hand accelerators don’t have to be permanent, and can be easily placed in by a mobility driver if needed. This allows for the traditional accelerator set up to still be used; useful if a vehicle has more than one nominated driver.

Hand Controls

  • Hand controls for cars are ideal for those who find traditional brake and acceleration controls difficult. The most common hand control is a push/pull device. This adaptation is typically installed as a lever connected to the brake and accelerator, allowing a user to drive with their hand of choice.

Electronic Accelerators

  • Electronic accelerator systems are designed for those who find both traditional and hand operated accelerators difficult to use. Installed as either a ring over the steering wheel or as a finger operated trigger, they require minimal effort and power to be used.

Pedal Extension

  • Ideal for those who have difficulty reaching the pedals in a vehicle. A pedal extension is a fixture that can be simply fitted over existing pedals, bringing them closer to a driver.

Steering Aid

  • For Motability customers that find it difficult to keep hold of a steering wheel, a steering wheel aid could help. The most common steering aid is a steering ball. This is a simple ball attached to the wheel that allows for easier grip.

Remote Controls

  • If you find it difficult to reach or use the horn, windscreen wipers, lights, or more when driving, a remote control device could help. This is a steering wheel mounted control, making all the necessary features accessible from one place.

How do I find out which vehicle adaptations are right for me?

There’s bound to be a vehicle adaptation that will suit you, whatever your needs might be.  When you get in touch with Bristol Street Versa to enquire about a new wheelchair accessible vehicle, you should ensure that you let a member of the team know about any specific requirements you might have. We can also help with enquiries about Motability, so if you think you’re eligible to receive adaptations through the Motability scheme then let us know.

We hope this guide has given you a good introduction to the range of different vehicle adaptations available. If you’d like to know more about vehicle adaptations, why not get in touch with Bristol Street Versa today.

Author: Tom

Title: Car Cultures Around The World: Germany’s Autobahn

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Summary: With such car manufacturing giants as BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche all based there, Germany sets the world standard for automotive quality and power. With a country so car-barmy, you would expect a road system to match - and you'd be right. The Autobahn is Germany's famous road system, where speed limits just aren't a thing, apparently.

Meta Title: Car Culture | Driving in Germany

Meta Description: Bristol Street Motors pop over to Germany to bring you the facts about the world famous Autobahn. Click through to find out more.

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Autobahn

What on Earth is an Autobahn?

There are a lot of aspects of German culture that never really caught on in the rest of Europe. English skate parks remain mercifully free of lederhosen clad youths, and you’ll rarely find a first date couple wolfing down a pair of steaming currywursts.

When it comes to cars, however, Germany sets the world standard for quality and power. With such car manufacturing behemoths as BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche all based there, it’s no wonder that Germany has been referred to as Die Autofahrernation – the nation of motorists. With a country so car-barmy, you would expect a road system to match.

A bit of background

Germany’s Autobahn is renowned the world over, and has been a source of national pride since its beginnings almost a hundred years ago. Construction of the motorway was begun in the early 1920’s and the road network grew exponentially over the next couple of decades. Progress slowed in the 1940’s, when sections of the Autobahn were used during the Second World War as makeshift runways for aircraft, with many stretches damaged beyond repair during the fighting. After the war, work began anew to finish the vast project, and today the Autobahn is over 8,000 miles of immaculately maintained German engineering.

Are there really no speed limits?

Now that we’re all nicely clued up on what the Autobahn is, it’s time for the burning question: how fast can you go?

The Straßenverkehrsordnung (good old Germany and their massive words) is the law relating to road traffic, and Germans love it for one simple reason: it states there is no upper speed limit for the Autobahn. This isn’t true of all sections, or for all vehicles, and there is a government advisory speed limit of 80mph, but this isn’t enforceable. Basically, when you see a sign marked “Ende aller Streckenverbote” (“the limits no longer apply”), you’re free to put your foot down. Roughly 50% of the Autobahn has no speed limit.

Good lord! Is it safe?!

While in any other country the ability to blast down the motorway at warp speed would likely lead to chaos, in Germany, would-be drivers have to pass a rigorous set of theory lessons, first aid tests, and courses in high speed driving, due to the radically different way cars handle at speeds above 90mph. Consequently, Germans are well prepared to handle their motorways, and their sky high tax rate means their beloved Autobahn is extremely well maintained.

The only real restriction to your speed on the limit-less sections of the motorway is your own car. Many German cars have a built in speed limiter, restricting you to a maximum of a rather generous 155mph. It’s possible to remove this limit, but it can play havoc with your insurance.

But how do they keep law and order?!

In order to maintain law and order on the Autobahn, unmarked police cars patrol the roads constantly. Drivers can be pulled over for tailgating, speeding in restricted speed areas, or being a hated ‘Linksschleicher’ (roughly translates to ‘left sneaker’) – someone who drives too slowly in the fast lane.

In Germany, it is also an offence to run out of fuel on the motorway. Petrol stations are placed every 30 miles or so, and so it’s considered entirely avoidable that you should have to stop on the Autobahn. Enter the motorway with the knowledge that your engine is running on fumes and you could have your license suspended for six months. If your car gently wheezes to a halt in the fast lane, you can expect to be efficiently slapped in irons and bundled into a Polizeiauto for endangering the public.

As you may have guessed, Germans are quite fond of their cars.  Losing your license, therefore, is like slamming the car door on your hand: painful and embarrassing. To make matters worse, Germans who have had their licenses lopped in half and who want a new one have to pass a psychological examination to prove they are sane and road-worthy, an exam which is colloquially known as the ‘idiot test’.

Should I visit?

So, if your Ferrari is gathering dust under a sheet in the garage and you’re looking for somewhere to really open it up, the Autobahn is the place. Just make sure you’re not drunk. Or going too slow. Or in the wrong lane. Or tailgating. Or running low on petrol. Or driving too fast in the limited zones. Beyond that, burn rubber!

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: Car Cultures Around The World: Cuba

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Summary: With almost no new vehicles gracing their shores in over 50 years, the Cubans have had to get creative, both with their driving habits and their car maintenance. There’s a little more to driving in Cuba than getting your head around navigating on the wrong side of the road.

Meta Title: Car Cultures Around The World: Cuba

Meta Description: Bristol Street Motor's take a trip to the Caribbean to take a look at what makes Cuban car culture so unique. Click through to find out more.

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shutterstock_93173311

When you step off the plane in Cuba, don’t forget to set your watch back to adjust for the time difference. About 55 years should do it. Cuba is a nation with the brakes on, where progress has halted its march and had a little half-century rest.

Perhaps the main cause of this time warp is the infamous US trade embargo that has cut Cuba off from the rest of the world since the early 60’s, when Kennedy and Castro had a bit of a falling out.

So, the all-important question:  how has all this affected driving in Cuba?

With almost no new vehicles gracing their shores in over 50 years, the Cubans have had to get creative, both with their driving habits and their car maintenance. There’s a little more to driving in Cuba than getting your head around navigating on the wrong side of the road.

First of all, there’s the cars themselves. Like everything else in the country, they’re trapped in time. On Cuban roads you’ll find a parade of cars straight out of Grease: ’55 Fords, Cadillacs, ’57 Chevys, and everything in between (including some ugly old Soviet Union contraptions, but the less said about those, the better). Gorgeous looks aside, the clunky old American cars handle as you would expect, like trying to steer a rhino on rollerblades.

How safe are the old cars?

Over the decades, wear and tear has meant that suspension no longer seems to be a thing in Cuba. Given that the lack of suspension means even the slightest knock will rattle your whole chassis, you might expect that the Cuban roads would be designed to reduce this as much as possible. Well, no. Cuban motorways are a minefield – and that’s barely a metaphor.

Initially, you may find the highways in Cuba are eerily quiet, with hours passing before another car rumbles past you. This is because there are under 180,000 cars in the whole country – compared to Britain’s 35 million. What the motorways are busy with, however, is pot holes, stray dogs, rogue cows, rickshaws, cyclists, street stalls, and just about anything else you can imagine. Take your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds to fiddle with the radio, and you are likely to glance back up to find your Chevrolet is now careening elegantly into a herd of bewildered goats. It’s probably advisable to check you still have all four tyres after every journey, too.

So, as you may have already considered, if you’re going to drive in Cuba you definitely need a seatbelt. Which is unfortunate, as there aren’t any. Seatbelts weren’t compulsory when the embargo began, meaning that the life-saving belts we take for granted never really reached Cuba. Not that the Cubans seem too fazed, sweeping lazily between lanes, oncoming traffic be damned. A little useful Spanish if you’re planning to take a ride in a Cuban taxi: “Más despacio, por favor” means “Slow down, please”.

How are they still functioning?!

Despite the peculiarities of Cuban driving, it’s impossible not to be impressed. Cuba is a nation of mechanics unparalleled anywhere else in the world. It is thanks to a practical can-do attitude and resourcefulness that the average Cuban can keep a 1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner functioning as a taxi after 60 years, travelling hundreds of miles along treacherous motorway every single day. Under the bonnet you’ll find an engine to make Frankenstein jealous, with a mess of old parts from the US, Soviet Union, and China. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Somehow.

With the USA currently in talks with Cuba to begin trading once more, the iconic cars of Cuba look likely to begin disappearing from their chaotic roads in the near future, snapped up by collectors around the world and replaced by more modern vehicles. If you want to experience the thrill of driving in Cuba, there’s never been a better time to go. In the meantime, check out our website to see the latest generation of Fords, whose great grandfathers are still chugging around Havana to this day.

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: Top Apps for Drivers

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Summary: These days, your phone is way more than just a phone. It can help you to avoid traffic, get you to your destination on time and find you the cheapest fuel prices. It can even find you a parking space. We've done the hard work for you and come up with a list of the top apps for drivers in 2015

Meta Title: Top Apps for Drivers | Best Driving Apps | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Take a look at our run through of the 9 most helpful, simple to use, and overall best apps for drivers right now.

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These days, your phone is way more than just a phone. It can help you to avoid traffic, get you to your destination on time and find you the cheapest fuel prices. It can even find you a parking space.

Of course, you might already know this.

But do you know of the best apps to achieve these feats? Didn’t think so. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and come up with a list of the top apps for drivers in 2015.

  1. Waze (iPhone, Android)

Waze

If you hate traffic (who doesn’t!?) then you’ll love Waze. Waze is a community-based traffic alert and navigation app. It offers real-time traffic data and road information to help motorists save time and ease congestion, and you can add your very own experiences to help other motorists out. Waze combines this class-leading traffic information system with a visually appealing turn-by-turn navigation feature that’s perfect for daily drivers.

  1. CoPilot Premium Europe HD (iPhone, Android)

If you don’t want to fork out for a dedicated sat-nav, then CoPilot Premium Europe HD is the next best thing. CoPilot is a satellite navigation app that works both online and offline – just download maps when you’re connected to Wi-Fi and you don’t have to worry about losing your mobile signal on the move. The app costs £25.99, and for an additional £7.99 you can get traffic alert features. This is a great app that’s highly recommended.

  1. WhatGas Petrol Prices (iPhone, Android)

It’s often a lottery as to who’ll have the cheapest fuel prices on any given day. The Esso down the road might be 2p a litre cheaper than the Shell up the road on Monday, but vice versa on Tuesday. WhatGas Petrol Prices solves this problem by detailing the cheapest fuel prices according to your GPS location. It’s a community-based app that works well (read: no fakery) and it’s free to download and use, and you could save a lot of money on fuel.

  1. JustPark (iPhone, Android)

Going somewhere you’re not familiar with? Download JustPark and avoid the frustration of driving round endlessly to find a parking space. Unlike some similar apps, JustPark isn’t London only – it supports most cities and towns in the UK – and you can choose from over 150,000 spaces in real-time. Some locations will even allow you to pre-book your parking space through the app, a lifesaver if you’re short of time (or just patience). Even better, the app is free to download too.

  1. Appy Parking (iPhone, Android)

Appy Park

Appy Parking is an alternative to JustPark. It’s on-par with the latter in terms of features, but it doesn’t support locations outside of London (at the moment). But if you live in London, this app may be better. It lets you see every Controlled Parking Zone in London and clearly displays available parking spaces, along with any time limits and prices. It also lets you see all available Green Zones and Red Zones. As such, it’s perhaps one of the ideal apps for drivers living in London.

  1. The Highway Code UK (iPhone, Android)

With The Highway Code UK app, you can read and listen to the latest version of the Highway Code. It’s an easy to use app with accurate information and it’s a great way to review your own driving style and the driving style of others. However, it’s perhaps one of the best apps for learner drivers, giving a quick an easy learning resource that can be read on the go (but not behind the wheel!). The app is free but you have to pay £0.99 to access all content. But this is still cheaper than the official Highway Code app (£3.99). Just remember to update the app regularly so you have up to date information.

  1. GloveBox (iPhone, Android)

GloveBox

GloveBox helps you to track your car’s fuel economy and expenses, so you can see exactly how much it’s costing you to run and maintain your car. It boasts support for multiple users per car and partial and full-tank entries, and you can view fuel units in litres, US gallons and imperial gallons – making it ideal for any country. All statistics are stored in the cloud on a GloveBox account, so if you lose your phone you don’t lose your data.

  1. Find My Car (iPhone, Android)

Ever forgotten where you’ve parked your car? If so, we recommend you download the Find My Car app. With this app, you can store the GPS location of your car when you park up and when the time comes to return to your car, you simply open the app and view your position and your car’s position on the map at street level. This makes finding your car a breeze and you’ll have no excuses for losing your car ever again!

  1. MileTracker (iPhone)

If you lease your car, if it is on a PCP, or if you drive a lot for work, then knowing your mileage is handy. If you lease, going over a mileage allowance can mean you’ll incur an extra cost, which is where MileTracker comes in use. This app – which is available only on iPhone at the moment – is an extremely easy to use mileage calculator, also keeping track of fuel and expenses. It uses GPS to log your movement, and as far as we can tell is pretty accurate.

So there we have it, 9 apps for drivers that can make day to day travelling easier. However, what use is a driving app if you’ve got nothing to use it in? If you’re itching to test one of these apps in a new motor, take a look at the new and used cars for sale at Bristol Street Motors.

Author: Tom

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?

Article:

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