Title: The World’s Rarest Cars

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Summary: With the news that only 10 models of the new Aston Martin DB10 will be made, we've decided to take a look at 10 more cars that you’ll be lucky to even get a glimpse of, let alone think about buying.

Meta Title: The World's Rarest Cars

Meta Description: Take a look at our top 10 rarest cars in the world - just try not to wince too hard at any of the price-tags.

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Regardless of whether you are a fan of Britain’s most high-profile secret agent or not, the latest James Bond film looks like it will be a massive success at the cinema.

However, it’s not the gadgets, fight scenes, or even the plot that we’re too bothered about. What we’re looking forward to the most is the guarantee of high-octane driving scenes, featuring the kind of super-cars we can only dream about owning. This is especially true with the Aston Martin DB10, which makes its screen debut in Spectre and was announced last December as “the first cast member” in the film.

With only 10 models being made, and Aston Martin firm on the fact that no more will be created, the DB10 is surely set to become one of the world’s rarest cars. With this in mind, we’ve decided to take a look at 10 more cars that you’ll be lucky to even get a glimpse of, let alone think about buying.

  1. Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe

Bugatti

This beast of a luxury car, which is roughly 20 per cent longer and 25 per cent heavier than a modern-day Rolls-Royce Phantom, was in production from 1927 to 1933. However, only six were ever made and to this day it remains one of the rarest and most expensive cars in the world. In 1987, one example fetched $9.7 million at the Albert Hall in an auction conducted by Christie’s.

  1. Ferrari 250GT Spyder

Ferrari GT Spyder

Once driven by Hollywood actor James Coburn, the Ferrari 250GT Spyder remains an incredibly uncommon car, with just 36 ever rolling off the production line. The Spyder is frequently voted as one of the best looking cars of all time, and in 2008 it became one of the most expensive cars of all time too, going under the hammer for $10.9 million.

  1. Phantom Corsair

Phantom Corsair

(Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Some have dismissed the Phantom Corsair as a failure for never entering mass production, but with its unique styling and futuristic features, this six-passenger 2-door coupé should be celebrated rather than criticised. The one and only model of the Phantom Corsair was built in 1938 for a figure of $24,000, with an expected sale price of $12,500. That’s around $405,012 and $210,944 in today’s money, although we expect that if the Corsair were released from its display in the National Automobile Museum in Nevada, it’d go for far more.

  1. Oldsmobile F-88

Oldsmobile F-88

Despite the fact many consider this to be the car that changed the style of future vehicles for the new era, only four were ever made. The 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 was a “dream car” based on the Chevrolet Corvette and a surviving model recently went for $3.5 million at auction.

  1. Jaguar XKSS

Jaguar

Faced with the prospect of losing money from a number of partially complete D-Type racing cars, in 1957 Jaguar decided to make some road-going versions to tap into the lucrative American market for high-performance European vehicles. However, after a fire at Jaguar’s Coventry production plant destroyed nine of the 25 completed cars, production ceased. In 2014, the XKSS formed one of the highlights of the James Hull collection, a collection of classic cars that sold for over £100,000,000 collectively.

  1. Porsche 916

Porsche 916(Source: Wikipedia Commons)

The Porsche 916 was planned to follow on from the success of the 914, with a release date set for 1972. 43 years later, we’re still waiting for the 916 to be released; after 11 prototypes were created, production was halted for unknown reasons. Whilst most models are housed in museums dotted around the world, one of the 11 is out there in the wild.

  1. Talbot Lago Grand Sport T26

Talbot Lago

With its long sweeping lines and an engine that produced 195bhp, the 12 Talbot Lago Grand Sport T26 entered production for two reasons – luxury and speed. The T26 was capable of reaching a max speed of 124mph, which may as well have been light speed for a road vehicle in 1948. However, despite being one of the most powerful vehicles available on the market at the time, only 12 were ever made and sold; perhaps proof that it really is quality, not quantity, that matters.

  1. Ferrari F50 GT

Ferrari F50 GT

 

Based on the Ferrari F50, this snarling angular lined sports car was put into production for the sole reason of competing in the BPR Global GT Series. However, intentions to race against GT1 competitors from McLaren and Porsche were scuppered, when the series folded before it even began. Afterwards, Ferrari had no reason to make any more of the F50 GT, and decided to sell the three F50 GT’s it had produced to members of the public.

  1. Packard Panther

Packard Panther

In 1954, the Panther was produced with the sole intention of showcasing radical ideas in vehicle design and manufacturing to Packard’s potential customers. However, these ideas were perhaps too radical, as only 4 Panthers were ever made, and Packard folded in 1958.

But consumers didn’t exactly share the same opinion, as only four Panthers were ever made in 1954 and Packard folded completely just four years later. Only two remain, one of which sold for $825,000 in 2013.

  1. Aston Martin Bulldog

Aston MArtin BUlldog

 

(Source: Wikipedia Commons)

What better way to finish off our list than with an Aston Martin. This one-off test bed vehicle managed to achieve a verified top speed of 191 mph in 1979, but It’s vision of the future styling and equipment, which included digital instrumentation and a rear view camera, was clearly too advanced for some. The Bulldog was placed on the market in 1980, selling for £130,000, but is worth thousands (if not millions) more today.

Author: Tom

Title: A Guide to Gett

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Summary: Founded in Israel, taxi app Gett has quietly expanded its operations to around 25 cities up and down the UK, including London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Bath, Bradford, Nottingham, and Newcastle.

Meta Title: A Guide to Gett

Meta Description: With rideshare apps like Gett looking to expand to offer more services, The Taxi Centre takes a wider look at the way the taxi industry could be heading.

Article:

GettThe way that the taxi industry operates has been shaken up somewhat recently, with new regulations, apps, ridesharing, and even the services that the humble taxi offers to customers undergoing change.

Much of this has been brought on by technology, with many local private hire businesses now having another mode of contact as well as the traditional land-line; the mobile app.

This use of mobile tech hasn’t just allowed existing local businesses to make it easier and more efficient for customers to get in touch, but for new companies to make their way into the UK’s thriving taxi trade. By now you’re surely heard of Uber – if not, just read our earlier blog post on the company – but it turns out that they’re not the only mobile focused newcomers operating on these shores.

Indeed, it’s not just Uber who’ve gained a foothold across a number of UK cities. Founded in Israel, taxi app Gett has quietly expanded its operations to around 25 cities up and down the UK, including London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Bath, Bradford, Nottingham, and Newcastle.

It also might not seem like it, but Gett isn’t exactly the newcomer that many might think it to be either. In fact, the company has operated in the UK for around 4 years now, originally launching in London under the name “Get Taxi”.

Compared to their rivals, Gett operate on slightly different terms. The general premise of the Gett app appears similar to most taxi apps; connect to GPS, view drivers in real time on a map, and book the nearest driver to your location. So far, not much different to what your tech savvy local private hire company has been doing for a while.

However, Gett only allows licensed black cab drivers to register with them. It’s for this reason that Gett has avoided the scrutiny that many rideshare apps have come under by both the media and existing taxi trade. For the Taxi industry – particular black cab drivers – Gett is often seen to be working with the trade, rather than against it. For customers, the impression is that Gett is safer than other apps, even though drivers of rideshare apps in the UK must be licensed in order to operate legally.

Regardless, the introduction of a range of newcomer apps has meant that Gett has had to innovate and offer a wider service in order to try and stay ahead of the competition. This has seen the introduction of Gett Kiosks to select locations in the country, which allow customers to book a taxi without directly using their mobile phone.

Alongside this, Gett have also made moves to expand their core operations. This includes the proposal to offer transportation of a wide set of goods to customers, including food and shopping, in the same way that takeaway and online supermarket delivery drivers do.

If this seems like quite a big step away from being a taxi service, their next suggestion is a giant leap. Alongside Gett Pizza and Gett Groceries, the company has also hinted at partnering with local businesses and trade providers, to bring services like Gett Plumber to customers. Whilst full details of this haven’t yet been disclosed, this would presumably be a service that operates like their current taxi app, but instead of identifying a taxi driver in your area, you’d be identifying a local tradesman. Whether they’d get to you in a taxi is their decision, presumably.

Whilst this might seem far-fetched, when put into consideration it’s not too different to the steps that the taxi industry has made in the past couple of years. A decade ago, tracking your taxi on a portable screen would have been unthinkable, but now it’s an established practice. As we’ve seen previously, change is something that’s perhaps inevitable in industry, and is essential to ensure that the industry in question survives. Apps like Gett are perhaps simply filling a gap in the taxi market that with the rise of technology, would have been filled in anyway.

Author: Tom

Title: Top 6 Most Amazing Roads

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Summary: If you’re itching to get back to the heart of driving, and take a trip that’s truly exhilarating, we've put together a list of some of the best roads in the world. However, we’re not expecting you to walk them, so we've accompanied each road with a car that completes the journey.

Meta Title: Top 6 Most Amazing Roads | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Get inspired with our top 6 most amazing roads in the world, and the cars to drive to complete the journey.

Article:

Trollstigen

As well as getting you from A to B, now and again driving should be an exhilarating experience.

However, it’s not just the car that’s responsible for this experience, but the place you’re driving it. It’s all well and good owning a Ferrari, but if you only ever use it to crawl along on the school run, then it’s probably easy to feel like you’re missing out on something.

If you’re itching to get back to the heart of driving, and take a trip that’s truly exhilarating, we’ve put together a list of some of the best roads in the world. However, we’re not expecting you to walk them, so we’ve accompanied each road with a car that completes the journey.

If you’re up for an adventure, here’s some of the world’s most amazing roads, and what to drive on them.

  1. Trollstigen, Norway

Trollstigen, which translates as Trolls’ Path, is one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the world in terms of its backdrop and scenery. It’s also one of the most adrenaline-inducing roads on the planet, thanks to its seemingly endless number of tight hairpin turns and loads of enormous and smooth straights.

To make this a truly Scandinavian adventure, we could only choose the Volvo XC90. Bold, yet with a calm and collected Nordic understatement, the XC90 is perfect for taking on the Troll’s Path.

  1. The Stelvio Pass, Italy

Stelvio Pass

The Stelvio Pass in Italy gives Trollstigen a run for its money, with an equally rugged backdrop, but surprisingly well maintained tarmac road. At a whopping 15-miles long with an average speed of 28mph, it’ll take you a good 45 minutes to get to the end, or even longer if you slow down and admire the ridiculously beautiful views.

With its large city car reputation, the Fiat Panda might seem an odd fit for the Stelvio Pass. However, with its use by the Italian Army and Forest Services as a climbing car, the Panda is a slightly unusual but ultimately obvious choice.

  1. Highway 1, California

Highway 1

If heights aren’t your thing, drive the Highway 1 in California. This roads runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U.S state of California and you will take in some stunning ocean views along the way. Running for approximately 656 miles, the first section was opened in the 1930s and various sections have been added since then. In fact, this road wasn’t even called Highway 1 until 1964.

We can’t think of a better way to take in the sights and sounds of the U.S.A than the Ford Mustang. Ostentatious, brash, but surprisingly welcoming, the Mustang is the embodiment of the American dream in automotive form.

  1. The North Pennines, England

North Pennines

This drive from Hexham to Penrith is frequently voted one of the “Greatest Drives in Britain”, and it’s not hard to see why. Much of the route takes place in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, meaning there are plenty of steep climbs, slow descents, and of course, stark but breathtaking views.

For this drive, it’d seem rude to not recommend the Nissan Juke. After all, this capable crossover is manufactured in relatively local Sunderland, just under 50 miles to the east of our start point in Hexham. However, regional pride isn’t the only reason we’ve picked the Juke; big (but not bulky) looks, excellent handling, and all round dependability make it the perfect car for taking on the rugged and changeable North Pennine terrain.

  1. Tianmen Mountain Road, China

Tianmen

If the Guoliang Tunnel looks a thrill, check out the beautiful (and just a little frightening) Tianmen Road in Hunan, China. This road runs through and up the Tianmen Mountain National Park. The highest gradient on this road is 37-degrees, so be sure to select a low gear, and with a whopping 99 bends, be sure to take your driving A-game along too.

With an improved suspension and lighter build to previous models, the Jeep Wrangler is the right match to take on such a driving feat. Not only that, it looks to part too, which in such breathtaking surroundings is perhaps equally as important as performance.

  1. Furka Pass, Switzerland

Furka Pass

This Swiss road is high in the Alps, and like Trollstigen in Norway and The Stelvio Pass in Italy, it offers up some of the most stunning views imaginable. So stunning, in fact, that this road was host to the chase scene in Goldfinger. As a result, millions of Bond mad tourists hitch a ride up this road every year.

Of course, the James Bond connection means there could be only one car to take – the Ford Fiesta. Wait a minute, hear us out. In the film, henchman Oddjob is seen driving a Ford Popular, a name which in its early days the Ford Fiesta was occasionally called, alongside the Escort.

Whilst we’re not a tour operator, we can help you get hold of all the cars we’ve mentioned in this article. Luckily, they’re just as great driving on slightly less thrilling roads of Britain as they are in exotic locations. Whether you’re looking to feel like you’re cruising down a U.S highway, or just want to imagine you’re a bond henchman, Bristol Street Motors have everything you need.

Author: Tom

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.

Article:

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: What Are The New Taxi Law Proposals?

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Summary: New regulations outlined in leaked documents from Transport for London could directly affect how the taxi and private hire industry operates. We've taken a look at a few of the proposals, to see what they could mean for drivers and customers alike.

Meta Title: What Are The New Taxi Law Proposals?

Meta Description: New regulations outlined in leaked documents from Transport for London could directly affect how the taxi and private hire industry operates.

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In the past few years, it seems that the taxi and private hire industry as we know it has been in a state of flux, with the sense that once again change is coming to this centuries old industry.

It’s not just technology that’s introducing change, and a number of factors could all potentially alter the way the industry will move in the future. Perhaps one of the most important of these is the recent suggestion of new regulations, rules, and laws that would directly affect how drivers operate. We’ve outlined some of the proposed new taxi regulations below.

Drivers to only work for one operator

In September a number of leaked consultation documents from Transport for London came into the public eye, outlining potential regulations that could be enforced within the city.

Perhaps one of the most striking of these is the suggestion that drivers would only legally be allowed to work for one operator at a time. It’s thought that the reasoning behind this is to crack down on rideshare operators, who have repeatedly come under pressure from black cab and private hire drivers in the city for a number of reasons.

Currently, it’s estimated that a large number of drivers working on behalf of rideshare companies do so only on a part-time basis, with many also working full time for minicab and private hire firms. If the law was to come into place, it would mean that those “moonlighting” for rideshare companies would have to choose between doing so full time, or simply driving for private hire firms.

Whereas this law is at the moment just a proposal that would affect drivers in London, previous consultation documents have outlined a willingness to roll out any initially London based regulations across the country.

Passenger waiting time

Another proposal within the leaked documents stipulates changes to the amount of time that passengers must wait before entering a pre-booked vehicle.

At the time of writing, there is no blanket minimum time that pre-booked vehicles – whether rideshare or minicab – must wait before allowing a passenger to enter. In contrast, the proposals suggest an introduction of a minimum 5 minute waiting time for pre-booked vehicles.

As the average waiting time for an Uber vehicle is around 3 minutes, this proposed regulation has been viewed as a direct action to restrict how rideshare firms operate. However, if introduced the regulations would affect any pre-booked vehicle, meaning that minicab and private hire firms would also feel the impact. Some also fear that customers forced to endure artificial pre-booking times could be placed at risk or in vulnerable situations when waiting for a vehicle to arrive.

Mandatory fare estimates

A further suggestion states that private hire operators would need to be able to provide a fixed and accurate fare estimate to potential passengers.

Whilst providing this is something that many firms are already happy to do, the proposals suggest that this estimate must be accurate, not simply a ballpark figure, and must be provided upfront when booking a vehicle. As such, this proposal has again been seen as primarily targeting taxi firms who operate through apps, where the nature of the app means that a fare estimate might not be a possibility. Whereas some of the newer rideshare apps do have a facility to check a fare before booking a ride, this is optional, and the figure isn’t a fixed number.

Subcontracting within private hire firms

Last year, a vote in the House of Commons approved a proposed “Deregulation Bill”, designed to lower the level of bureaucracy across a number of industries, including the private hire industry.

After much discussion and scrutiny, a number of proposals within the bill were eventually dropped, including allowing private hire drivers to let family or friends use their taxi when of duty. However, the bill did result in two significant changes that affect how operators and drivers work. One of these is that private hire operators can now subcontract work out to other firms, which can be located anywhere in the country.

This means that a customer ordering a taxi from one firm may receive a driver and vehicle from another firm. It’s argued that some customers may feel that if firm they are familiar with starts to use drivers from firms they are less aware of, a level of trust may be lost. However, others argue that the measures are simply a way to reduce red tape within the industry, and that the ability to subcontract will allow private hire companies to offer a more consistent and efficient service.

Although the majority of these proposals are London based, there is a history of new regulations being trialled in the capital and then rolled out across the country. It’s also unlikely that any new laws will be introduced quickly or without proper consideration, so whether you’re a minicab driver, the owner of a private hire firm, someone who gets a bit of extra cash from rideshare apps or a frequent taxi customer, don’t expect any huge changes any time soon.

Author: Tom

Title: A to Z of Wheelchair Rugby

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Summary: Wheelchair rugby has fast become one of the most exciting spectator sports around, with its crashes, tackles and enigmatic athletes pulling big crowds up and down the UK. If you’ve never watched wheelchair rugby, or just want to get to grips with the sport, we’ve put a beginner’s guide to wheelchair rugby together. Our A to Z of wheelchair rugby takes a look at the basics and clears up a few important questions about the sport.

Meta Title: A to Z of Wheelchair Rugby

Meta Description: Want to find out more about wheelchair rugby? Take a look at Bristol Street Versa's A-Z of Wheelchair Rugby guide.

Article:

With the final stages of the Rugby World Cup drawing near, October 2015 is set to provide a feast of tries and tackles for Rugby fans around the world.

However, the Rugby World Cup isn’t the only big sport event taking place, and between the 12th and 16th of October 2015 the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge takes place in London. Following on from their stellar performance at the London 2012 Paralympics, the Great Britain squad will return to Olympic Park to take on 7 other giants of the sport.

Wheelchair rugby has fast become one of the most exciting spectator sports around, with its crashes, tackles and enigmatic athletes pulling big crowds up and down the UK. For many people it might seem like wheelchair rugby has come out of nowhere, but the popularity of the sport hasn’t just emerged overnight. For over 30 years, quadriplegic athletes have been drawn to the intense nature of wheelchair rugby, which stands out amongst other disability sports for the fact that it is full contact.

If you’ve never watched wheelchair rugby, or just want to get to grips with the sport, we’ve put a beginner’s guide to wheelchair rugby together. Our A to Z of wheelchair rugby takes a look at the basics and clears up a few important questions about the sport; take a look at it below.

BSV - Wheelchair Rugby - 2

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

Title: What is a Dash Cam?

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

Meta Title: What is a Dash Cam?

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

Article:

Dash Cams

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

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

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

What is a dash cam?

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

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

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

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

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

Why are dash cams becoming so popular with motorists?

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

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

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

What are the benefits of a dash cam?

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

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

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

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

Author: Tom

Title: Top 5 Causes of Car Breakdown

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

Meta Title: Top 5 Causes of Car Breakdown

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

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Car Breakdown - 1

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

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

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

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

Refuelling problems

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

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

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

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

Wheel damage

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

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

Flat battery

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

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

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

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

Car Breakdown - 2

Engine overheating

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

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

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

Spark plug problems

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

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

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

Author: Tom

Title: Best Cars for Young Drivers

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Summary: Low initial purchase, fuel efficiency, and insurance costs are the key priorities for young drivers looking into the car market. But, with so many different cars to choose from - along with fuel types, insurance groups, and tax bands – picking the right one for you might not always seem easy.

Meta Title: Best Cars for Young Drivers

Meta Description: Looking for some of the best cars for young drivers? Take a look at our selection of low cost, affordable to run cars here.

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Young Driver

Low initial purchase, fuel efficiency, and insurance costs are the key priorities for young drivers looking into the car market. But, with so many different cars to choose from – along with fuel types, insurance groups, and tax bands – picking the right one for you might not always seem easy.

So, we’ve put together a handy guide for young drivers. If you’re unsure of what you should be looking out for to guarantee you a great deal on a new car, take a look below.

Insurance groups

A car’s insurance group is an important consideration for young drivers. It can often be the case that young drivers set their heart on a specific car, only to find that their car insurance quote is above and beyond what they can realistically afford. To save yourself any hassle, you should look for cars that are in a low insurance group, to keep costs as low as possible.

Car insurance groups are rated from 1 – 50 with 1 being the cheapest and 50 the most expensive. In general, a car’s insurance group is determined by the price of the vehicle, engine size, fuel type, age, and desirability. For example, cars that sit in insurance group 1 include the Seat Mii S 1.0, Skoda Citigo SE 1.0 GreenTech, and Hyundai i10 1.0 S, three city cars with small engines, a low spec, and low cost.

At the other end of the scale are cars that sit in insurance group 50, such as the Jaguar F-Type, with larger engines and a “performance” focus. Though attractive, these will be difficult to insure within your first few years on the road. Don’t worry about insurance groups cramping your style though – there are plenty of fantastic cars for young drivers in low insurance groups.

Car tax

Car tax is another important consideration when looking for the best car for young drivers. Vehicles registered after the 1st March 2001 are taxed based on their CO2 emissions, whilst vehicles registered prior to the 21st March 2001 are taxed based on engine size only. Unless you want an older car, it is recommended that you pursue the purchase of a car which was registered after the 1st March if you’re a young driver, because it was at this stage in time when efficiency started to play a pivotal role in car manufacturing. In other words, you can expect a like-for-like car registered after the 1st March 2001 to be more fuel efficient.

Cars with CO2 emissions lower than 100 g/km are exempt from annual car tax in tax band A. Cars in tax band B cost £20 annually whilst cars in tax band C cost £30 annually.

Fuel type

It’s also important to consider fuel type in your search for a new car. Modern petrol engines and modern diesel engines are both super efficient and offer a smooth drive, but each fuel type is better suited to different needs.

Diesel-powered cars are the better choice for high mileage drivers. If you commute or work away from home and spend considerable time on the motorway, then a diesel car is going to be better suited to your needs, as diesel cars are more fuel efficient on longer journeys. Petrol engines, meanwhile, are fine for any young driver who is going to cover less than 15,000 miles per year.

Best cars for young drivers

Here’s a list of the best cars for young drivers. We’ve attempted to include a good mix of vehicles here, so chances are there will be a car that stands out for your needs.

SEAT Mii 1.0 i Tech 3dr

The Seat Mii 1.0 i Tech 3dr sits in insurance group 3E and emits 105 g/km of CO2, which translates to annual road tax of £20. Sportier to drive than the S and SE model, the Seat Mii Tech looks great and has plenty of equipment as standard, including air conditioning, electric heated mirrors, alloy wheels, front fog lights, and satellite navigation.

The potential economy of 62.8 miles per gallon combined further sweetens the deal.

Ford Fiesta 1.0 Zetec S 125

If you want a bit of performance to go with your economy, then the Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec S 125 might be the ideal car for you. This car will return 65.7 miles per gallon on a combined cycle with start/stop technology with a 99 g/km CO2 rating, which translates to £0 annual car tax. Zetec trim includes air con, electric heated mirrors, Bluetooth, and alloy wheels as standard.

Because it’s turbocharged, this Fiesta is spritely to drive and it also has great handling.

Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Sting 3dr

When it comes to cars for young drivers, the Vauxhall Corsa is a time tested favourite. It’s not hard to see why either, as with the 1.2 Sting model you’ll get an annual road tax of just £110. Alongside a decent fuel economy of 53.3 mpg, a 2E insurance group rating, and low Co2 emissions, the Corsa has pretty much all the features that young drivers should be looking for in a vehicle.

The Corsa 1.2 Sting doesn’t just excel when it comes to figures too, as the sleek looks and sporty colorways mean that it stands out on the aesthetic front too.

Renault Clio 1.5 Dci 90 Expression + Energy

This Clio is amongst the best diesel superminis you can buy, with the potential to return 83.1 miles per gallon with a super-low CO2 rating of 90 g/km, which means £0 annual car tax. It sits in insurance group 12E, which puts it just within the reach of young drivers, but you get a lot of equipment including cruise control, air conditioning, heated electric mirrors, and Bluetooth.

This car is recommend for young drivers who spend lots of time on the motorway.

Whether you’re looking for your first car, or just a great car that is affordable to purchase and run, we hope this guide has given you an idea of what to look for. If you’d like more information on the best cars for young drivers, feel free to get in touch with a Bristol Street Motors dealership in your area.

*Disclaimer: MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing, in accordance with 2004/3/EC and intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results.

Author: Tom