Category Archives: Motor Industry News

Title: Versa Welcomes Former Army Captain as General Manager

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Summary: Bristol Street Versa is proud to appoint our new General Manager, Cameron Baldry, who joined our team back in January.

Meta Title: Versa Welcomes Former Army Captain | Bristol Street Versa

Meta Description: Bristol Street Versa is proud to appoint our new General Manager, Cameron Baldry, who joined our team back in January.

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Bristol Street Versa - GM

Bristol Street Versa is proud to appoint our new General Manager, Cameron Baldry, who joined our team back in January.

Bristol Street Versa is keen to have Cam on-board to utilise the leadership and people skills he gained during his time in the Army, and as it marks an exciting new era in the business. The career move has not only provided Cam with a new challenge, but also afforded this family man the opportunity to spend time with his wife and one-year-old son.

“I was looking for a new challenge and the position at Bristol Street Versa seemed like the perfect opportunity. Vertu Motors has such a fantastic reputation for how it treats its customers and colleagues, and it is a pleasure to work for them. Bristol Street Versa has a unique customer base, no day is the same and we are making a real difference to people’s every-day lives. I find that really rewarding. I have a motivated team of colleagues behind me, so I am looking forward to passing on my knowledge, and I’m eager to learn a few things from them too.”

With over 25 years’ worth of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle conversion expertise, Bristol Street Versa are delighted to help make positive changes in the wheelchair user community with their enduring customer service, transforming vehicles to incredible transport solutions.

Author: Versa

Title: The History of Citroën

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Summary: Few French car manufacturers are more reputed or classic than Citroën. Read on to learn about the fascinating story of Andre Citroën, how Citroën grew from the smouldering ruins of post-war France into one of the largest, most influential automotive companies of all time.

Meta Title: The History of Citroen

Meta Description: Find out how Citroën emerged from the smouldering ruins of post-war France to become one of the most influential automotive companies of all time.

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Citroen 2CV

French cars have always reserved a special place in our affections, balancing superb mechanics with a chic, minimalist flair to become the first choice of every city-dweller seeking to add a joie de vivre to their drives.

Few French car manufacturers are more reputed or classic than Citroën. Read on to learn about the fascinating story of Andre Citroën, how Citroën grew from the smouldering ruins of post-war France into one of the largest, most influential automotive companies of all time.

A country in chaos                                                                                       

Ironically, Citroën’s roots are intrinsically tied to those of another French motoring powerhouse.

During World War I, factories of all types across Europe were commissioned to support the war effort. Prior to the outbreak, Andre Citroën was a highly respected mechanic and the director of Mors, a French car manufacturer that ranked as a market leader at the turn of the century. After the start of the war, however, Citroën became the overseer of a vast munitions factory of 35,000 workers, which was owned – of all people – by Renault!

After four years, and as the war began to wind down, Andre Citroën knew that the demand for munitions would soon be over. He, his factory and his staff required a new project. What did he come up with, you ask? Introducing….

Citroen Thing

The Citroën Type A

The vehicle that Andre et al devised was simply named the 10 HP Type A. This was an automotive with a water-cooled 1327 cc four-cylinder engine, outputting 18hp, enjoying maximum speeds of 40mph. Made first available for purchase in 1919, over time the car became adapted to several carriage options: there were three Torpedo models (a four-seater and three-seater tourer and a sport variants), a Conduite Intérieure (principally, a saloon) and a light truck!

Factory

Citroën’s passion for publicity

One thing that Andre seems to have loved as much as cars was marketing, displaying a long-lasting appetite for advertisement: he sponsored races, rallies and expeditions across countries throughout the globe; he turned the Citroën factory, on the bank of the Seine, into a tourist attraction; and, most notably of all, he converted the Eiffel Tower into a colossal, marketing lightshow, with 250,000 light bulbs and 600 kilometres of electric cable combining to display a luminous CITROEN down the side of the building. It’s unsurprising, then, that by the advent of the 1930s, Citroën were the fourth-biggest car manufacturer on the planet. On the way, Citroën returned to his roots and purchased his former company of Mors, joining Citroën’s vivid ranks.

Citroen Tower

Tragedy hits

Citroën were a visionary company, led by a suitably visionary entrepreneur. However, there was an Icarian aspect to their innovation; by the middle of the 1930s, the entire operation looked set to crumble into disarray.

Citroën over-invested in a prototype vehicle known as the Traction Avant – the front-wheel drive. It was a wholly revolutionary vehicle that looked set to pioneer an entirely new system of motion.

Citroën worked with such passion on the Traction Avant that they ultimately overspent. In 1934, they were officially declared bankrupt.

The lights come back on

You’ll be pleased to hear that the pioneering front-wheel drive didn’t lead purely to backward steps.

Citroën were bought out by Michelin, the tire manufacturer; sharing Citroën’s vision and eye for the future, they continued the Traction Avant’s development. By the end of the 1930s, it ranked as one of France’s most successful vehicles; in France, it’s still known today as “Reine de la Route”, or, to us, “the Queen of the Road”.

Though Andre Citroën died in 1935 of stomach cancer, he did so with his company’s fortunes truly back on the rise; his funeral was an enormous Parisian ceremony, as the people of France bid their last goodbyes to one of the nation’s most well-loved, iconic automotive pioneers.

Author: Fusion

Title: Geneva Motor Show Round-up

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Summary: Few events in the motoring calendar generate more hype than the Geneva Motor Show, where developers across the world come to showcase and debut their latest, most exciting developments.

Meta Title: Geneva Motor Show Round-up

Meta Description: Read our round up of this year's Geneva Motor Show, featuring some of the most exciting new vehicles that 2017 has to offer.

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Renault Alpine

Few events in the motoring calendar generate more hype than the Geneva Motor Show, where developers across the world come to showcase and debut their latest, most exciting developments. Taking place each year in Palexpo, a colossal convention centre close to Geneva’s airport, the event is coordinated by the reputed Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles, who manage many of the most acclaimed, hotly anticipated automotive events on the planet.

Though the show opened to the public on the 9th March, Monday the 7th and Tuesday the 8th served as press days, where select members of the press were able to get a sneak-peak of the cars before anybody else.

We’ve collated a round-up of five of the cars we’ve seen so far that excite us the most, noting what about it is about them that we think is sure to excite you, too!

Renault Alpine A110

Fifty-five years after an A110 first graced the roads, Renault have revived the classic vehicle, belonging to their sub-brand Alpine, in the form of a two-seater sports car, boasting a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine that’s capable of producing up to 320Nm of torque and 249bhp. Though its mechanics are entirely in line with the latest, contemporary motoring trends, the car fields a holistically retro exterior; it’s a blocky white colourway matched with a flowing, vintage frame. With an interior combined from carbon, aluminium and leather seats, expect Renault’s Alpine offering to provide a sleek and luxurious drive.

Audi

Audi Q8 Sport

We love the look of Audi’s newest SUV, a sporting take on the popular Q8 model, boasting a buoyant, orange pallet and stylistic changes to the grill and trim that render this a dazzling variation on an already formidable line. Audi have said that the engine is an electronically supercharged hybrid 3.0-litre V-6 and although you don’t see this mode of induction much in production cars, it’s not the first time that Audi have turned to electronics for supercharged power. It packs 476 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque; not bad at all!

Dacia Logan

Dacia Logan MCV Stepway

Though the new Wolverine movie Logan may be currently dominating the headlines, quietly there’s another Logan in town: Dacia’s all new Locan MCV Stepway. Principally, this is a mightily overclocked estate, leaning more to the proportions of a typical SUV. Dacia’s cars are renowned for their kindness to our wallets, alongside their excellent quality furnishings. This is definitely one to keep an eye on, if you’re in the market for great performance at a great price.

Ferrari

Ferrari 812

Retro looks to be firmly in fashion, with Ferrari introducing its fastest-ever naturally aspirated sports car in a striking red sheen and a chassis reminiscent of the Daytona of yore, so immensely popular throughout the 80s. The 812 rides at a phenomenal 789bhp, with a roaring 6.5-litre V12 engine. As with all Ferraris, this is a stunning piece of automotoring; expect its price to match the degree of razzmatazz.

Honda Civic

Honda Civic Type R

The Civic Type R made a striking impression on everyone at last year’s Paris Motor Show and it’s continued to dazzle in Geneva. This is a radically remodelled take on the classic Civic range, boosting an aesthetic with more bite than what we’re used to. There’s bold, potent colours, spoilers and side brackets, along with the latest in in-car infotainment. Look out for this one in showrooms later in 2017; we expect it to be hard to miss!

Author: Fusion

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

fiat-500

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: Bristol Street Versa Gives to Charity

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Summary: Throughout 2016 at Bristol Street Versa we've been celebrating our anniversary, marking 25 years of helping our customers gain mobile independence. As a thank you to our customers, and to show our appreciation to all those who have helped Bristol Street Versa grow and expand, throughout this year with every wheelchair accessible delivered, Bristol Street Versa has donated £10 to specialist disability charities.

Meta Title: Bristol Street Versa Gives to Charity | Bristol Street Versa

Meta Description: Throughout 2016 we donated £10 to charity with every new wheelchair accessible vehicle we've delivered. Find out more about our charity donations here.

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versa-charity-blog

Throughout 2016 at Bristol Street Versa we’ve been celebrating our anniversary, marking 25 years of helping our customers gain mobile independence.

We’ve come a long way since 1991, and over a quarter of a century the business has expanded from an initial tender of just 15 vehicles, to supplying around 450 WAVs to wheelchair users up and down the country. As of this year, we’ve also expanded our services beyond the UK and now export specialist transport solutions across the globe to New Zealand, where adapted vehicles can be hard to come by.

As a thank you to our customers, and to show our appreciation to all those who have helped Bristol Street Versa grow and expand, throughout 2016 we’ve been giving something back to the wider community.

Throughout this year with every wheelchair accessible delivered, Bristol Street Versa has donated £10 to specialist disability charities, to help them continue with their incredibly valuable work.

To shed some more light on the charities we’ve chosen to support – Leonard Cheshire Disability, Whizz Kidz, and the 3H Fund – we’ve put together a short biography of each below.

For over 65 years, Leonard Cheshire Disability has worked in the UK and around the world to help people living with disabilities lead the lives they want to live, without barriers. The charity was founded in 1948 by Leonard Cheshire, an RAF pilot who set up a home for people needing urgent care. Soon, one care home became many, and throughout the 50s, 60s the charity set up a network of homes in the UK and across the world. The 1970’s saw the trail of an innovative new home care service, which Leonard Cheshire Disability still offers today. Today, charity helps to support people with disabilities live and work independently, doing so through a wide network of support programmes, and by challenging ignorance, unfairness, and misconceptions in society.

Whizz Kidz are the leading provider of mobility equipment outside of the NHS, and make it their focus to help the thousands of disabled children living in the UK have a bright and happy future. Founded in 1990, the charity helps to provide children and young people with disabilities the means to lead a fulfilled life, whether that’s a wheelchair, vital mobility equipment, or life journey and skills training. Whizz Kidz makes it their mission to ensure that children with disabilities can access the same opportunities as any other kid, and have the same chances to fulfill their potential.

The 3H Fund – Helping Hands for Holidays – makes it possible for people living with disabilities to have affordable and enjoyable holidays. For carers and the physically disabled holidays are often off the cards, as finding the right transport, accommodation, and care can be incredibly difficult. Through arranging subsidies, specialist care, medical facilities and transport, the 3H Fund gives disabled people the chance to go on fulfilling holidays that meet their needs, whilst carers can relax and have a break of their own.

For the remainder of 2016, we’ll be donating £10 to the charities above with every delivery of a wheelchair accessible vehicle we make, with every purchase made by a customer helping them to continue their valuable work. Thanks to our customers for all their support over the years, here’s to a bright and eventful 2017!

Author: Fusion

Title: The Most Popular Cars of the 2010s

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Summary: With the imminent arrival of 2017, we’ll very soon be entering the decade’s final quarter. Let’s take a look in the rear-view mirror and reflect on five of the cars we’ve loved to drive over the past seven years.

Meta Title: Most Popular Cars In The UK

Meta Description: With the imminent arrival of 2017, we've decided to take a look at the most popular cars of the decade so far. Click through to find out which cars have made the cut.

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With the imminent arrival of 2017, we’ll very soon be entering the decade’s final quarter. It’s been quite a year for plot-twists, with relegation-favourites Leicester City capturing the Premier League title and the national imagination. Let’s take a look in the rear-view mirror and reflect on five of the cars we’ve loved to drive over the past seven years and see whether the courses they’ve taken have been anything like as unpredictable!

5) The Nissan Qashqai

nissan-qashqai

With the Qashqai, Nissan continue to combine exceptional handling and a sturdy build. Balancing quiet engines with smooth movement and enjoying superb fuel economy, the Qashqai has consistently proven a dependable and durable companion on every long journey. It’s a favourite for families and great for holidaying: while you’ll be able to hear the plaintive cries of “Are we there yet?” in the highest definition, the generous storage provisions and spaciousness that Nissan provide will keep all other complaints to a minimum.

4) Volkswagen Polo

vw-polo

As early as in the 1990s, the Volkswagen Polo enjoyed an iconic status in pop culture. Beginning the decade by winning the “World Car of the Year” award in 2010, the Polo continues to show no signs of slowing down. With the fifth generation debuting in 2009, the Polo’s most recent iterations enjoy a compact size and excellent handling. They’re a superb choice for any journey: their size makes them adept at manoeuvring through the city’s rushes, while their resilience means that you’ll still enjoy a leisurely drive on harsher surfaces. As the decade draws to a close, it’s safe to say that the Polo remains a fashionable choice today.

3) Ford Focus

ford-focus

There are few words that relate more to high-quality car manufacturing than Ford, whose Focus range continues to be incredibly popular. Coupling the beautifully fluid handling for which Ford are world renowned with its robust frame, the Focus deftly handles the challenge of any awkward inner-city corner and equally excels on rougher countryside terrain. In 2012, the Focus pipped the Toyota Corolla to the plaudit of the world’s bestselling automobile. So, the Focus certainly takes the people’s vote!

2) Vauxhall Corsa

vauxhall-corsa

Though Ford’s reign as the decade’s leading car manufacturer remains intact, one vehicle that continues to challenge their ascendancy is the Vauxhall Corsa. With few competitors being able to match the quality of its design, the Corsa is a reliable and relaxing vehicle to drive, with excellent movement and spaciousness for passengers and driver alike. Newer models feature a “City” mode that enhances the sensitivity of the car’s steering and brings its manoeuvrability in urban areas to an even higher level.

1) Ford Fiesta

ford-fiesta

We did say that Ford retained the top spot, and nothing to date has crashed the party that the Ford Fiesta continues to enjoy. One of the nation’s most cherished cars since its 1970s debut, the Fiesta’s exceptional design and visual pallet make it one of the most responsive and comfortable vehicles the roads have seen, creating experiences in the spirit of its name everywhere it goes. Check out our timeline of the Ford Fiesta’s history to see when the party started, and how it grew into the vehicle we love to drive today!

Author: Fusion

Title: Bristol Street Versa to deliver mobility solutions to New Zealand in new Partnership

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Summary: Bristol Street Versa has forged a new international partnership, in a move that will see the specialist wheelchair accessible vehicle retailer export vehicles to New Zealand.

Meta Title: Bristol Street Versa Ship to New Zealand | Bristol Street Versa

Meta Description: Bristol Street Versa have entered into a new partnership, in a move that will see specialist mobility vehicles shipped around the world to New Zealand.

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19729 (1)Bristol Street Versa has forged a new international partnership, in a move that will see the specialist wheelchair accessible vehicle retailer export vehicles to New Zealand.

Bristol Street Versa has joined forces with Auckland-based transport company Auto Brokers and Consultants Ltd, to help provide mobility solutions manufactured to a high quality European standard to the population of New Zealand.

The move towards the partnership began when Noel Fleet of Auto Brokers contacted Joanne Ellison, general manager of Bristol Street Versa, with the hope of finding a company to help fill the gap for high quality mobility solutions and vehicles in New Zealand.

Speaking about the move, Noel said: ““It was clear that the New Zealand market needed a more qualified vehicle. Before we began working with Bristol Street Versa, the market was dominated by vehicles which weren’t subjected to as many quality and safety checks as those sold in Europe. One of the main appeals of working with Bristol Street Versa is the high standard of vehicle that they supply.”

“Since we are one of the first companies in New Zealand to import wheelchair accessible vehicles from Europe, we have had to work closely with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), part of the New Zealand government, that deals with the country’s universal no-fault accidental injury scheme, to bring the approval processes up to European standards.”

Alongside providing a ready stock of vehicles to supply to the public sector, Auto Brokers is hoping that the partnership with will allow it to grow its presence in New Zealand’s private mobility vehicle market.

Since the partnership began in 2015, Bristol Street Versa has already successfully delivered four vehicles to Auto Brokers, and intends to deliver many more throughout 2016.

Bristol Street Versa’s general manager Joanne Ellison said: “At Bristol Street Versa, we pride ourselves on delivering an outstanding customer service to mobility customers. As a specialist retailer, we work closely with our customers to find out the best solution for them, ensuring every customer drives away happy.”

“We are thrilled to now be working internationally with Auto Brokers and delivering our products and services to customers in New Zealand. Our products make a huge difference to the lives of all our customers and it is a pleasure to make such an impact on an international level.”

Author: Fusion Unlimited

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: Everything You Need To Know About Geneva 2016

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Summary: The International Geneva Motor Show is one of the world’s most popular and respected automotive shows, and every year manufacturers compete to steal the limelight with their dazzling new prototypes. To save you the effort of trawling through the legions of this year's gleaming concept cars and alternate trim styles, we've sifted out the very best from this year's Geneva Motor Show.

Meta Title: Geneva 2016 | Geneva Motor Show Highlights | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Bristol Street Motors brings you the very best 2016 Geneva Motor Show highlights

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The International Geneva Motor Show is one of the world’s most popular and respected automotive shows, and every year manufacturers compete to steal the limelight with their dazzling new prototypes. Past cars to first come strutting out of production and onto on the automotive catwalk of Geneva Motor Show include the Jaguar E-Type, the Ford Capri, and the Audi Quattro. To save you the effort of trawling through the legions of this year’s gleaming concept cars and alternate trim styles, we’ve sifted out the very best from this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

And yes, don’t worry. We’ve included the Bugatti.

  1. Audi Q2

Audi wades into SUV territory with the Q2, a sporty crossover to rival the Mercedes GLA and the upcoming BMW X2. Since its initial concept went on show in 2012, the car has developed from a 2 door coupe in to a 5 door, and weighs a light (well, for a massive SUV) 1205kg. The Q2’s design brief was to attract a younger audience to the manufacturer, and with its sloping roof, broad dimensions and slick stylings, it looks set to do just that.

  1. Maserati Levante

The Levante debuted at Geneva, although UK buyers will be left pacing and twiddling their thumbs until it goes on sale in December 2016. The car will start from £55,000, which puts in the same price range as the Porsche Cayenne and the Range Rover Sport. Maserati’s SUV is a thing to behold, with a dipped, curving bonnet, and a futuristic, aerodynamic lines. It certainly looks the part. Maserati hope it will propel global sales upwards of 70,000 by 2018.

  1. Honda Civic

The mighty Civic is due to be replaced next year, with a fresh faced, more stylish version. The updated car will feature a low roofline, and a steep rear. The bonnet has been lengthened, and a more aggressive front bumper has been added. The concept shown at Geneva boasts twin rear exhausts, as well as new taillights. Although the car that prowled into the public eye at Geneva was a prototype, Honda has said that the release version should be practically indistinguishable.

  1. Renault Scenic

Bucking the trend of storming onto the scene with a flash new supercar, Renault instead unveiled their newest MPV at Geneva. MPV sales have been slowing as drivers opt instead for crossovers and SUVs, but with the new Scenic, Renault is attempting to turn the tide. Still one of the safest cars on the market, the car features such tech as Active Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Land Keeping Assist, and the impressive/spooky Tiredness Detection.

  1. Volvo V90

The V90 estate threw back the curtains and sashayed its way onto the catwalk at Geneva, following its reveal several weeks earlier. The V90 starts at £34,555, slightly cheaper than its competitor, the BMW 520d Touring. Heated seats, LED lamps, and Drive Pilot assist come as standard, and in the pricier Inscription trim you can expect Nappa leather seating, and 18 inch alloy wheels. The D4 diesel promises 187bhp, with a 0-62 of 8.5 seconds.

  1. Aston Martin DB11

Starting at a cool £155,000, the DB11 updates the still-stunning-but-aging DB9 model with a more powerful engine and a roomier cabin, always a good thing. With 600 horses charging about under the bonnet, the twin-turbo V12 engine packs a hell of a punch, making the DB11 the “most dynamically gifted” DB in Aston history. While retaining all the features that make the brand unique, Aston Martin have strived to begin to take the car in a new direction, after years of similar stylings. Buyers can personalise practically everything, right down to the colour of the roof panels.

  1. Bugatti Chiron

Okay, time for the big one. The unstoppable Veyron, snapped up by rappers and music moguls the world over, was, for a time, the fastest car in existence. Not anymore. If you’ve got a spare £1.9 million knocking about, you can get your hands on the all new hypercar, the Chiron. Described by the ever-humble Bugatti as the “world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car”, the car features an 8.0-litre, quad-turbo W16 engine, kicking out the power of 1,479 furious horses and a top speed of 261mph.

Bugatti has already released a list of customisation options, and a staggering variety of colour and texture options are on offer. You can bet your life that some Hollywood a-lister will be papped skidding through a slew of red lights in a chrome plated Chiron in the near future.  Only 500 hundred will be built, and 166 or so have already been ordered by the super-rich. Best get your order in quickly!

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: Is The Knowledge Under Threat?

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Summary: They’re an iconic and much loved mode of transport with a rich history, but recently it seems like London's black cabs could be under threat. With competition from rideshare and private hire firms on the up, and a declaration from a high court judge that black cabs are “devoid of inherent distinctive character” paving the way for a new generation of eco cabs, the future of the black cab seems rocky.

Meta Title: Is The Knowledge Under Threat

Meta Description: With the landscape of the UK taxi industry changing, it looks like the iconic knowledge could be under threat. But what is the knowledge, and what could replace it?

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Black Cabs

They’re an iconic and much loved mode of transport with a rich history, but recently it seems like London’s black cabs could be under threat. With competition from rideshare and private hire firms on the up, and a declaration from a high court judge that black cabs are “devoid of inherent distinctive character” paving the way for a new generation of eco cabs, the future of the black cab seems rocky.

It’s not just the exterior of black cabs that might be about to change forever either, but the brains behind the wheel too. Late last year, the Greater London Authority Conservatives criticised “the knowledge” – a rigorous test that all the capital’s black cab drivers must pass – calling it “archaic” and “a major barrier to recruitment” in the face of modern technology like GPS navigation.

On top of this, one of London’s most respected “knowledge schools” has recently and narrowly avoided closure, supposedly prompted by a rise in rideshare companies and rising rents in the capital. With this in mind, could the knowledge really be nearing extinction?

 What is the knowledge?

London’s cabbies have traditionally been required to be able to determine the best route to any destination in the city almost immediately. That means no checking maps, no asking for directions, and certainly no robotic voiced Sat Nav systems. No, in order to get from A to B by the most logical route possible, cab drivers in London have to pass the knowledge, a geographical test that it can take years of practice and research to pass.

The knowledge was first introduced in 1865, and hasn’t changed too much since then. In order to obtain a black cab license, prospective drivers must pass at least twelve oral “appearances”, testing their memory of 320 set routes, 25000  roads, and features like hospitals, tourist attractions, theatres, courts, railway buildings, parks, cemeteries, embassies, and pretty much any landmark you could think of.

Part of the training involves driving a moped around the city and memorising set routes, and usually lasts around 34 months. The whole learning process is so intense that studies have shown that the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for spatial memory – is significantly larger in taxi drivers than the general population. It’s no wonder that the knowledge has been called one of the most demanding occupational training courses in the world.

Why is the knowledge under threat?

There isn’t one simple reason for the potential threat posed to the knowledge, but the most obvious one is the competition posed by rideshare apps. Uber in particular is often singled out as being the cause of the potential decline of the capital’s black cab trade, and not entirely without justification either. Since the launch of the app in 2012, knowledge schools have reported the number of students undertaking the test has declined. Knowledge Point, an Islington based knowledge school recently saved from closure, reported a decrease of 150 students over the space of a year, with around 200 students enrolled in training in 2015 compared to 350 in 2014.

Although it’s easy to single Uber and its competitors out as the source of all the black cab industry’s woes, it’s important to consider why drivers might choose to work for the rideshare app over getting a black cab or minicab license. It could simply be that in a world where Sat Nav and Google maps are de rigueur, the prospect of memorising the each and every way around an entire city by heart is simply too daunting. Before Sat Nav, the only realistic way to get around will have been to memorise routes off by heart (unless you were up for fiddling around with a huge map every time you picked up a fare). However, easier alternatives do now exist, and who’s to blame taxi drivers for turning to them?

When put this way, it almost sounds like the knowledge itself is a threat to the black cab trade; something that in 2016, new drivers just don’t have the time, patience, or even money for; after all, the training process is almost a full time job in itself.

What’s the big deal?

Whilst the easy GPS navigation and less strenuous licensing process offered by rideshare companies might seem like a plus to new drivers, some believe that they could be acting as negatives for customers. Research released by Addison Lee shows that in 2015, a 56% increase in new taxi vehicles took place on the streets of London, which coincided with a 10% rise in journey times, and thus increased fares for customers. Addisson Lee have suggested that these stats are largely the result of an influx of new rideshare drivers taking to the streets, who perhaps rely too heavily on GPS navigation. Commenting on the statistics, Addison Lee’s chief executive Andy Boland said “Our drivers and passengers have been telling us that London congestion has been getting worse and that journeys are taking longer. Now we have the evidence. At busy times, some parts of the capital are literally grinding to a halt.”

With this in mind, it’s perhaps not the difficulty of the knowledge that’s the issue, but the ease of becoming a rideshare driver. Whilst it’s certainly true that ex-private hire and even black cab drivers have chosen to work under the Uber name, if drivers who are entirely new to the industry choose the quickest way to getting a license, then it’s reasonable to suggest that the service they offer won’t match up. In these kinds of cases, the availability of Uber drivers might seem like a convenience for customers, but the reliance on Sat Nav and lack of knowledge of the best routes to take could be a detriment.

In summary, the potential decline of the knowledge seems to just be a case of the old and the new clashing. Whilst it’s hard to deny the appeal that really knowing a city and it’s streets has, it seems as though the next generation of London’s cabbies are likely to find their knowledge in a Sat Nav.

Whether it’s you or your Sat Nav that’s in the knowledge, why not take a look at our range of taxis for sale today.

Author: Tom