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The Motorists' Guide

The Motorists Guide

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  1. Parking in a tight space takes top spot, followed by parallel parking YourParkingSpace.co.uk has called for industry standard larger parking spaces Almost one-in-seven motorists get nervous when parking The parking manoeuvres that make motorists most nervous have been revealed by online parking portal YourParkingSpace.co.uk Top of the list in its survey of British motorists is parking in a tight space, which arguably is becoming more-and-more frequent given the growing size of many family cars, SUVs and 4x4s. Coming in at second spot was the dreaded parallel parking, the cause of many a driving test failure! Rounding up the top three was parking in a multi-storey car park, despite recent parking innovations like automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) making life easier for motorists. Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said: “Only a few years ago I would have suspected that parallel parking would be at the number one spot but given the UK’s love of large cars it is perhaps no surprise that parking in a tight space is the most nerve racking. “YourParkingSpace.co.uk has previously advocated the introduction of a new parking industry standard designed to ensure that car parking spaces are large enough to accommodate modern motor vehicles. It would appear this is needed now more than ever.” The study of 500 Brits also found that parking next to an expensive vehicle made many motorists nervous. And surprisingly, modern technology designed to take the stress out of driving, such as rear parking cameras and sensors, actually did the exact opposite. Relying on this equipment for reversing and manoeuvring was in fifth spot. Further research also found that in general, almost one-in-seven motorists get nervous when parking a car, although the good news was that it meant the vast majority found it no problem whatsoever. Harrison added: “It’s somewhat alarming to find that a sizeable minority get nervous when parking, even with modern technology in many cars designed to make it less stressful.” For more information about YourParkingSpace.co.uk, which offers thousands of driveways and empty spaces across the UK to park on, visit www.yourparkingspace.co.uk
  2. The exciting new Lexus ES shatters preconceptions about executive saloons with a brave new approach to design, making it lower, wider and sleeker Lexus Owners Club has been fortunate enough to road test the all-new Lexus ES 300h, and in this instance, we were given the F Sport version to trial. This executive saloon is described as ‘combining a stunning coupé-like silhouette with the roominess and refinement of a flagship saloon, the ES delivers elegance and comfort in one exceptional vehicle’, first thoughts are that the ES definitely satisfies this statement. ENGINE/DRIVETRAIN As per most Lexus Hybrid powertrains, the motive power is provided by a smooth, if not a slightly ‘revvy’ engine, which delivers more than enough power to propel the ES to cruising speed with enough gusto to satisfy most drivers. Gearing is provided by an E-CVT Automatic Transmission which is seamless in distributing the power to the road and allows for a very smooth ride, even under hard acceleration in Sport+ mode. HOW IT WORKS - Electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) is an intelligent transmission which offers an infinite number of gears within a broad range of ratios, allowing for automatic gear changes. By constantly analysing vehicle speed, road conditions, engine power and driver input, it selects the optimal (most efficient) gear ratio for that precise moment. When that moment passes, it moves seamlessly to the next ratio. HOW IT WORKS - CVT works in harmony with the Lexus Self-Charging Hybrid technology, simultaneously handling inputs from both the petrol engine and the electric motor. Without the constraining effect of fixed gear ratios, the engine can be operated at its most efficient speed to either propel the car or charge the batteries. If the computer decides that the petrol motor is not needed for a time, it can be shut down and the E-CVT used to direct propulsion from the electric motors to the wheels instead The 4th generation Lexus Hybrid Drive is incredibly fuel efficient, with the power being distributed via either engine and/or electric motor. The driver information screen gives a diagrammatic display of the power distribution occurring, switching from engine to motor and also back to the battery on regeneration cycles. We managed an average of 35 mpg, mainly during Motorway driving with minimal energy regeneration occurring. This would have vastly improved if the car had been driven on town and extra-urban routes where the majority of the driving could have been on regenerated electric power and then the overall mpg would be a lot closer to the manufacturer's claimed economy figures. EXTERIOR The ES is quite a sizeable car with an overall length of 4975mm and a width of 1865mm which places it in the mid to full-size range. Its height of 1445mm and ground clearance of only 150mm gives a low ride height and stability at higher cruising speed. Combine this with the coupé silhouette body design, Lexus has produced a worthy competitor in the mid-range executive market, possibly competing with Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar for the coupé look 4 door cruiser. The F SPORT we road tested has a number of features inspired by the LC range including 19” alloy wheels and figure-hugging leather seats. This range also offers an Adaptive Variable Suspension system, similar to that found in the LC sports coupé which adds adjustable dampers at each wheel with 650 levels of damping force to provide ultimate control on any road surface. The F SPORT model also offers 2 exclusive colour choices including F Sport white and Azure Blue INTERIOR The general feeling when entering into the ES cabin is one of satisfaction that you have chosen a car with a quality finish and unrivalled comfort levels. Equally, it does provide an awareness of being quite low to the ground when nestled into the supportive F Sport leather seats. The usual Lexus refinement is evident throughout the interior, albeit the leather and stitching used on the seats and door cards through to the legroom and comfort levels within the interior space. Everything has been thought of when it comes to the positioning of controls, armrests, seat adjustment and good all-round visibility with minimised drivers' blindspot areas. The rear passenger area is equally as comfortable as the front seating area and ample legroom and head height for the majority of occupants. The dash panel is clearly laid out and convenient for both driver and passenger use with many functions being controlled through the numerous steering wheel buttons. The standard Lexus scroll pad works well but takes some getting used to if you are familiar with the previous trackball type. Vehicle information and entertainment are displayed through the widescreen multimedia panel located in a high but unobtrusive position in the centre of the dash panel. Our only criticism of the interior is that the seat runner mechanism is on display when the seat is in a mid-way to fully retracted position and it could also present an issue with clothing being drawn into a rotating screw thread. A lightweight plastic cover would go a long way to hiding this mechanism. LOAD SPACE The boot load space is incredibly voluminous and with a low entry point allows for plenty of suitcases and other large items you may wish to transport. A centre seat armrest allows access to the boot from inside and long loads can, therefore, be carried with ease. A space-saver spare wheel accompanied by a comprehensive tool kit under the load area carpet which is more than enough to get you out of trouble if it is only a flat tyre that needs changing. The only criticism within the boot area is the lack of cover on the hinge mechanism which looks somewhat unsightly but otherwise, it is perfectly functional. Some of the previous Lexus models don't have this mechanism on display and is something to possibly consider for future production models. SAFETY The ES is equipped with the latest 2nd generation Lexus Safety System+, comprising advanced technologies that help prevent three of the most common accident types: rear-end collisions, lane departures and collisions involving pedestrians and which is designed to support driver awareness, decision-making and vehicle operation over a wide range of speeds and conditions. The technology in the ES reacts to compliment the drivers senses helping prevent collisions before they happen. A pop-up bonnet, activated by sensors mounted in the front bumper ensure that in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, the impact raises the bonnet and by allowing more space between the hard components of the engine compartment and the pedestrian, the level of injury is reduced. To top it all, the ES has also been awarded a 5 star Euro NCAP rating for safety. TECHNICAL INFORMATION ENGINE: 2.5 litre (2487) 4 cylinder inline, 6-valve DOHC, with VVT-iW (Intake) & VVT-I (Exhaust) TRANSMISSION: E-CVT Automatic Transmission POWER: Hp (kW) 218 (160) TORQUE: Nm 221@3,600-5,200 rpm CO2 EMISSIONS: (g/Km) 100 (combined) MAX SPEED: (MPH) 112 0-62 MPH: (Secs) 8.9 COSTS & SPECIFICATIONS (effective from 1st February 2019) ES 300h from £35,150.00 ES 300h F SPORT from £38,150.00 ES 300h Takumi from £45,650.00 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS A special thanks to Snows Lexus Hedge End for the loan of our ES 300h featured in this review For more information about the ES 300h visit: https://www.snows.co.uk/lexus/new-vehicles/
  3. Living with a BMW Z3 - I can honestly say I am completely biased ...'I love the Z3' Having bought my Z3 around 6 years ago, for what I can say was not a lot of money, and it was intended to be a summer folly and maybe sell it on at the end of the summer for around the same amount or possibly slightly less. But to drive it on a daily basis for the whole of the summer in the UK, would this be a recipe for disaster or a wise decision? Six years later, and I have no intention of ever selling it. Why? well, it owes me nothing and never puts a foot (or should that be tyre) out of place. After a layup in the garage during the last winter and the distraction of a mk1 MX5 during the summer, it hadn't had a lot of use in that time. A quick check over and an MOT test (passed first time), she has gone on the road a bit earlier than expected with freezing temperatures but once more, she still refuses to play up and does exactly as it says on the tin! But why are Z3's such a reliable and well-built car? I think a lot of it has to be that BMW built cars extremely well in Bavaria during that period, but sadly, they seem to have lost their way with build quality over the years with global assembly plants and probably less rigid and strict quality controls. For a 19 year-old car, it is still as sturdy and tight as it was when it left the factory. 108,000 miles later and still with original major mechanical components still functioning as they should, it surely is a major testament to the BMW brand. Parts are plentiful, both new and used, and fitting the majority of serviceable components is a relatively easy task for most DIY owners. Modified parts are plentiful as well and you will probably never see two Z3's the same. Some faults are common on the engine ranges such as the Vanos seals failing on the 2.0 litre which results in lack of performance and economy along with an exhaust crackle which indicates the seals have hardened up and not allowing the oil pressure to build up in the valves as required. Replacement seals are relatively cheap and easy to fit, if not a little fiddly. Other common faults are brake light switch failure, suspension bushes wearing resulting in vague steering and questionable handling. Any of these faults are easy and cheap to rectify. The Z3M Coupe, however, is a completely different beast to the Z3 Roadster in so many ways. Stiffer chassis and a beast of an engine to complement the incredible and unique body styling. Bigger brakes, sporty interior and so much street cred it's the car to own for future investment and also as a useable daily driver.
  4. British motorists thinking of taking their cars across the Channel for holidays in Europe and the Republic of Ireland after March 29 2019 may feel they are driving into the unknown in the event of a no-deal Brexit And the issue does seem to be a long way from being resolved after Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was crushed in a Commons vote and she now has to renegotiate specific areas with Brussels. Now British motorists face the possibility of being demoted to “third-country nationals” status, showing they are neither from the country they are visiting nor from another EU member state. It will also mean that British drivers could be legally obliged to carry a Green Card to prove their insurance status on their overseas driving trip. Many motorists have have been asking: “How will Brexit affect travel from the UK to Europe?” Here, HIC’s insurance experts ponder the questions that need answering for anyone planning to head off for a continental driving holiday this summer. And in basic terms, motorists are advised to organise their Green Card insurance and other travel admin before they set out – because it’s better to be safe than sorry. Will I be able to use my British driving licence for driving abroad? After March 29 UK driving licences will lose their EU validity. That means that if you move to a European Union country, you will need to apply for a new licence. It is still not clear what the rules will be for British tourists driving in the EU but you may need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP), according to the Department for Transport (DfT). But that’s not as simple as it sounds. Confusingly, there are two kinds of IDP required by different EU countries. The permits are governed under different guidelines: The 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic: an international treaty designed to facilitate international road traffic and increase road safety by establishing standard traffic rules among affiliated countries. This will be required for travel to Ireland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus. The 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic: this treaty attempted to update the aims of the Geneva Convention and is recognised in most EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland. The DfT has warned that UK licence holders may be turned away at the border or face other enforcement action, such as on the spot fines, if they don’t have the correct IDP. You can get the IDP which is appropriate for your travels at the Post Offices and it costs £5.50 a year. It’s not a great deal of money, but it is another administrative hassle before your holiday or business trip. How will Brexit affect travel to Spain, France and other EU countries? Motoring organisations have warned there could be long delays at the borders as EU countries will revert to more vigorous passport control post Brexit. There will be other administrative checks too, such as Green Card authentication that will delay your passage further. In the worst case scenario, motorways this side of the Channel and autoroutes in France could be turned into lorry parks for vehicles queing for their passage. The Government already has a contingency plan to queue lorries in temporary parks on the M26 and the M20 in Kent. As well as the possible delays, if you plan to drive through France to holiday in Spain – a pretty typical journey for countless British families each year – both types of IDP will be needed. If you are driving to Europe, another document you will need is a Green Card which is explained later in this article. What will happen to expats living abroad but still driving on British licences? In the event of a no-deal Brexit, Brits living in other EU member states may have to take new driving tests in the country they are living in. To avoid that, they should exchange their UK licence for a European one before March 29 2019, the government has said. But it warned the closer Brexit draws the bigger the possibility of delays in processing exchange applications because of the increased demands. They advise expats to exchange licences now rather than leaving it until the last minute. When will Brexit affect travel to and from Europe and the Republic of Ireland by car? Britain is scheduled to withdraw from the EU at 11pm on Friday, March 29 2019. If you take your car across the Channel shortly before then it should be plain sailing – but when you come back after that date Europe will have a very different complexion. With no deal, it seems there will be more border checks, more red tape and more inconvenience for British travellers. Will my Green Card international travel document still be recognised? It is currently not obligatory to hold a Green Card when driving in Europe. But it may become so in the event of a no-deal Brexit on March 29, as it was before Britain joined the then European Economic Community in 1973. A no-deal Brexit would probably mean that access to the Green Card-free circulation area would end. That could mean UK motorists will be legally required to carry a Green Card as proof of third party motor insurance cover when driving in the EU, EEA, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland. The validity of UK Green Cards in these countries is subject to agreements that need to be reached between the UK’s Motor Insurers’ Bureau and the relevant National Insurers’ Bureau. These agreements ensure Green Cards are recognised and facilitate the settlement of claims for traffic accident victims. The Government has warned that motorists should expect documentation checks to be carried out when entering these countries. If you don’t have a valid Green Card you risk: being turned back at the border; or an on the spot fine; or being forced to buy expensive local insurance in the country you are visiting, also known as border insurance. The Green Card must be for 15 days or more from the date you travel, and it must be printed on green paper. If you are mailed your Green Card and you print it at home on white paper it will be invalid and you will have issues with border security personnel. I have heard I will need a separate Green Card for my caravan. Is that true? Some countries require hauliers to have separate trailer insurance to that of the towing vehicle, which means a separate Green Card. It is not yet clear if the same rules will apply to tourists towing caravans, but it is possible. What will happen to my British passport? British passports that expire after March 29 2019 will continue to be valid as UK travel documents, but they will no longer be “European Union” passports. That means you will lose the automatic right of free movement within the 27 countries that make up the EU. In legal terms, British travellers will become “third-country nationals”, and there are complex rules about passport validity in these circumstances. The Schengen Border Code – covering almost every EU nation – stipulates that third-country nationals must have at least three months’ validity remaining on their passports on the date of intended departure from the Schengen area; however the Government is advising British travellers to have at least six months validity remaining on the date of arrival. British passports issued after Brexit will not include the words “European Union” on their covers and by the end of the year all newly issued passports will revert to a dark blue rather than the EU’s burgundy. Will I need a visa to travel in Europe? The jury is still out on whether you will need a visa to travel in Europe. In its Brexit white paper, the Government proposed reciprocal visa-free travel for UK and EU citizens to continue. But Brussels has insisted that third-country nationals – such as British passport holders post-Brexit – will have to register with ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) prior to their trip. It’s not quite a visa, but it works in a similar way, making security, criminal, credit and other legal checks. And if you plan to take your pet with you, that will be the subject of documentation checks too. Currently dogs and cats can travel anywhere in the EU as long as they have a “pet passport”. Three weeks before travelling, owners must go to the vet to have their pet vaccinated against rabies and microchipped. But in the worst case no-deal Brexit, pet owners would have to visit a vet at least four months before visiting the EU. The animal would have to have a rabies vaccination followed by a blood test at least 30 days before travel, to prove the vaccination was successful. Pet owners would then have to get a health certificate from the vet no more than 10 days before departure. How will Brexit affect travel insurance? Even though your have insurance for your car and caravan on your European motoring holiday, for your own protection and peace of mind you should take out travel insurance. It is unlikely there will be a dramatic change in the way travel insurance works post Brexit, even without a deal. The Foreign Office has updated its foreign travel insurance advice with Brexit in mind. Will my EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) still be valid? In its Brexit white paper, the government said it wanted UK citizens to still be able to use the European Health Insurance Card to receive healthcare while on holiday in the European Economic Area. That would mean British holidaymakers in the EU would qualify for medical treatment on the same basis as the citizens of the country they are visiting – but that would depend on the stance taken by each independent EU country. What will happen with regards duty free shopping? The cloud over European travel post Brexit does have a silver lining. If you are taking your car abroad and you intend stocking up on duty free goods on the way back, chances are you will pay less than you have done in recent years though you probably won’t be able to bring back as much. After Brexit, Britain will have the same status as the rest of the world in terms of duty-free allowances, meaning cheaper spirits, tobacco, perfume, electronic goods and jewellery. Has the Government done enough to allay motorists’ fears about a no-deal Brexit? Andy Morton from insurance experts HIC thinks much more travel advice should be made available to those thinking about driving to Europe or Southern Ireland post Brexit. He thinks confusion about what may or may not be demanded of British drivers abroad could have a detrimental impact on the number of people taking their cars across the Channel this year. He said: “I think motorists will be less inclined to take their cars abroad this year because of the uncertainty – though much depends on the state of the pound against the euro. If the pound does well post Brexit, the slump might not materialise. “But motorists must remember they will need to get Green Card insurance prior to their visit, and if they are regular cross-Channel trippers they will have to get one for each trip, unless they do the sensible thing and take an annual Green Card. HIC are Green Card specialists having been issuing them for travel to European countries outside of the EU member states countries for years. Andy advised motorists planning trips to Europe or the Republic of Ireland after a no-deal Brexit to prepare for every eventuality: “Get your Green Cards early and take out good travel insurance to be safe rather than sorry.” He added: “There are many scary stories about what may or may not happen come March 29 2019. The Government should be doing much more to separate the fact from the fiction for motorists.” Original article BY FRAZER ANSELL - JANUARY 17, 2019
  5. Vehicle purchases over time have mainly been based on what is around at the time that falls into a budget. However, occasionally there is a checklist of 'must haves' to comply with, in order to make a well researched and sensible purchase The Honda CR-V, has been one of these checklist purchases and it seems Honda are well aware of this by giving the customer exactly what they want. The Mk3 or Third Generation CR-V is completely different in so many ways to its predecessors but the overall body style is carried through to current models (albeit moderately facelifted in 2010). The Engine. The i-CTDi engine is a reliable 2.2 four cylinder which has been used throughout the Honda range but has been complemented by fuel-efficient turbocharging to give a very flexible and economical power unit. The revised i-DTEC engine was brought into play to comply with Euro5 emissions standards. Honda also produced a 2.0 petrol engine for those who choose the alternative fuel option. This engine does however, feel very low on power output when needed so overtaking requires a gear change to a lower gear to encourage it to deliver. Transmission is courtesy of either 5 speed automatic or 6 speed manual. Four-wheel drive is provided for those sticky situations by using fluid pressure technology in the rear final drive unit to equalise the output to all driven wheels. The exterior seems robust enough to cope with everyday usage and apart from the wheels de-lacquering, the overall look is difficult to date with a private plate. There is a very large 'moonroof' with sliding internal cover (controlled electrically) which is good to let in natural light on a nice day but too hot in the heat of the summer. The high-spec leather option interior is both incredibly plush and comfortable on any distance journey. Other options include a SatNav and Audio system that is multi-functional with voice control, albeit incredibly fiddly to use. The voice control option continues through the vehicle, controlling functions such as the air conditioning/climate control, audio, telephone and a host of other systems. In reality, it is quite pointless as the majority of controls are within a distance of the driver or the front passenger to alter and the system is not too responsive to voice commands. The seats fold in many different ways and allow large items to be transported very easily in the capacious rear storage area. Nice ideas like the twin level shelf areas within the boot and sliding storage cover. Reliability is the keyword associated with Honda, and this car does not fail to live up to the well-earned reputation. There have been a couple of issues here and there but compared to most other make, they are a drop in the ocean. Watch out for steering geometry being out (vehicle pulls slightly to one side) and steering racks have also caused problems. Air Conditioning pumps have been prone to failure with the clutch pulley seizing and throwing the drivebelt. Also, keep an eye on shuddering from the rear when on full lock…the rear axle oil may need flushing and replacing. Otherwise, the CR-V is a first class vehicle to own and drive and would highly recommend one to anyone looking for a large capacity and luxurious Crossover
  6. If you're taking your dash cam on holiday with you this summer, make sure you're aware of the laws on using them wherever you're goingWhether you take your own car on holiday or opt for a rental, bringing your dash cam along can provide a valuable safety net in case of an accident or incident. It’s not quite that simple, though. Just as the rules of the road change from country to country throughout Europe, so do the rules on dash cams. Laws on recording in public, filming people without their permission and operating in-car electronics have no set EU regulation and are left instead to individual national governments. The UK happens to have some of the most relaxed rules in the world when it comes to regulations that may affect your dash cam, but all that can change once you arrive on the continent. Before you set off, read on to find out the rules for your holiday destination.Where is it totally legal to use a dash cam? First, the good news. You can both own and operate a dash cam throughout any of these European nations without any restrictions: Bosnia and Herzegovina Denmark Italy Malta Netherlands Serbia Spain Sweden However, things aren’t so straightforward everywhere. The following countries all have some sort of restriction on dash cam usage, ranging from the position of its installation to an outright ban: Austria Status: Banned Using a dash cam in Austria is illegal, full-stop. First-time offenders will be slapped with a whopping €10,000 fine, with repeat offenders fined €25,000. In fact, it’s not even legal to own a dash cam. Be sure to leave yours behind if you’re planning to head there on your trip. Belgium Status: Legal, with conditions Belgium is a lot more relaxed than Austria on the issue. You can both own and use one, but only for ‘private use’. What that means to drivers is that if you’re involved in an incident you’ll need to inform all other parties before submitting the footage as evidence. France Status: Legal, with conditions French dash cam laws are largely similar to those in the UK, in that there are rules on where dash cams can be placed within the vehicle: it cannot obstruct the driver’s view. Like its smaller neighbour Belgium, France also restricts dash cams to ‘private use’ – in this case, that means that you can’t upload the footage to the internet. If you record any evidence, make sure that it goes directly to the police. Germany Status: Legal, with conditions Germany may be famed for its delimited ‘autobahn’ that lets motorists largely speed at will, but it has still seen fit to place some restrictions on dash cam usage. Like France and the UK, it must be placed so as not to obstruct the driver’s view. In compliance with the country’s strict privacy laws, any footage shared publicly must have faces and number plates obscured (in fact, ideally they should not be recorded at all). Luxembourg Status: Banned Head south from Belgium, and the rules don’t change all that much. While at least owning a dash cam is allowed in Luxembourg, using one is still totally illegal. Make sure it stays in the glovebox for the duration of your time there. Norway Status: Legal, with conditions Norway is probably the mainland European nation with rules most similar to the UK’s. Its only regulation on dash cams is that it’s installed out of the way of the driver’s view. Portugal Status: Banned It may be totally legal to use a dash cam on your drive through Spain to get there, but once you arrive in Portugal it is neither legal to own nor use a dash cam, so leave yours at home if you’ll be driving there. Switzerland Status: Legal, but heavily conditional Saving the most complex for last, dash cam usage is a very muddy area in Switzerland. While they’re legal in theory, it’s all but impossible to get any use out of them while still obeying strict Swiss data protection laws. For a start, they can never just be used for entertainment or documenting a journey – there has to be a legal purpose to recording. Then they must conform to the Swiss ‘principal of transparency’: it needs to be obvious that those being recorded are being recorded. As dash cams are discreet by nature, and other drivers are usually only aware of their existence after an accident occurs, that’s a box likely to remain unticked. It must also adhere to the ‘principle of proportionality’. Given that dash cams record for the entirety of a journey, the ratio of important stuff being filmed to unimportant stuff being filmed will probably be extremely unfavourable. Hundreds of people, vehicles and buildings that have nothing to do with any incident (if, in fact, an incident even occurs) will end up being illicitly recorded. If you’ve read all that and are thinking to yourself that it doesn’t sound as if it’s possible to use a dash cam in Switzerland at all, you’d be just about right. Keeping the roads safe is viewed as the responsibility of the police, and it would be for the best if you kept your dash cam disconnected throughout your travels there. Original article source: which.co.uk Author: Callum Tennent . Published 1st August 2018Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/08/using-your-dash-cam-abroad-what-you-need-to-know-about-driving-in-europe/ - Which?
  7. And how will they affect you? So, you’re thinking about buying or leasing a new car in the next few months? You know that it’s going to take some time for the car to be assembled how you want, but it’s still only going to be a few weeks, right? What happens if you don’t need your car until May? Is Brexit going to make that much of a difference? In all likelihood, you will have read something about how Brexit is going to affect some areas of your life. Newspapers are full of articles warning of the potential negative effects that our withdrawal from the EU will have on people’s lives. There has been mention of the possibility that you might need a visa to take your summer holiday in Spain – something that would spell the end of a last-minute European city break. There has also been speculation that the recent removal of roaming charges when using your mobile phone abroad will be reinstated. More recently, mention has been made that you’ll be unable to use your UK Netflix or Spotify account when travelling. Of course, all the headlines are just speculation. At the moment, no one knows exactly what is going to happen, and this lack of knowledge means that businesses feel they have no choice but to prepare for what could be seen as a worst-case scenario. Brexit has dominated the news for over two years and with the deadline fast approaching plans still have to be made and a deal needs to be struck. One thing that has become apparent is that no matter what decisions are made and what the deal eventually negotiated actually looks like. Theresa May has warned that it’s incredibly likely the UK will leave the single market and customs union as a part of Brexit and all this will mean that the free movement of goods across European borders could end. As not all cars are built on UK shores this may also have an effect on how long it takes for your new car to travel from the factory to your driveway. Another thing that will affect the length of time it takes for goods, like your new car, to arrive in the country is the necessity for businesses to learn a new way of working. The introduction of new customs processes will impact on every industry that relies on import and export, especially the motor industry, which relies on thousands of deliveries per day to get your car assembled and off the production line. So how will Brexit affect me buying a new car? When Europe’s carmakers gathered in Paris at the beginning of October this year there was clear disquiet. The fact that Brexit is an unpopular subject and something that the industry is dreading is no secret. Companies like Nissan, Toyota and Honda have acknowledged they are nervous about the lack of progress being made in reaching a deal. Manufacturers warned of potentially detrimental effects on the future of the car industry in the UK following a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Car companies and other industries that rely on transport of products through Europe are understandably concerned about the implications of leaving Europe without a deal in hand. They are requesting that the government make sure the topic of free trade is part of the negotiations. Why this might affect you even if your car is assembled in the UK Even if your car is assembled in the UK it is likely that some of its parts will have been transported across the channel at some point during the manufacturing process. The graphic below shows you the journey that a single bumper used in the construction of the Bentley Bentayga takes before it’s added to the luxury vehicle in Crewe. Components such as engines, transmissions and even windscreen wipers require a great deal of warehouse space, and in order to reduce this, many car manufacturers operate a ‘just in time’ or ‘JIT’ delivery system. This system relies greatly on components being delivered to factories just before they’re needed. Every day over 1,100 trucks cross the Channel with deliveries intended for car and engine plants based in the UK. Just a few hours’ extra getting through Customs will be enough to cause damaging delays in the production line. If the UK government are unable to negotiate an acceptable deal for both sides before March 29th next year, then it’s likely anything being transported from the EU would, by World Trade Organization rules, incur a 10% tariff, which could see the price of that brand new car increasing by more than £1,000. The WTO tariff wouldn’t only affect car manufacturers; pharmaceutical companies and oil producers are among the other UK-based industries concerned with the additional costs they will potentially incur following our EU divorce. It’s important to note, however, that cars and car components are the UK’s second largest export to EU and non-EU countries (such as America, Canada and China), adding up to over £41 billion in value per year. They are also the third largest import after electrical and mechanical machinery, with a value of over £54 billion in 2017. The National Audit Office recently released a report warning that despite progress having been made in preparing for a no deal exit from the EU, businesses that rely upon borders running efficiently to conduct their business will experience issues for the first time after March 29th. Sir Aymas Morse, head of the NAO said, “The government has openly accepted the border will be sub-optimal if there is no deal with the EU on 29 March 2019. […] But what is clear is that businesses and individuals who are reliant on the border running smoothly will pay the price.” There would also be additional delays for the goods travelling into the country. This is what is giving car manufacturers who rely on a smooth border crossing of cars and components into and out of the UK on a daily basis a great deal of concern. A sudden change like this will have serious implications for British industry as a whole. One concern, post-Brexit, for companies that only trade with countries in the EU is the introduction of customs declaration forms. This new requirement will not only increase the amount of preparatory work a business needs to carry out prior to sending a shipment overseas, but it will also increase the volume of paperwork that HMRC has to process, potentially up to 260 million declarations in a year (a rise of over 200 million). This will further complicate and delay deliveries until an efficient system is in place, both at HMRC and the individual businesses. Even if you’ve placed an order before Brexit, if it hasn’t arrived in the country before March 29th there will be delays when crossing the border and there may even be an increase in costs for you as the customer. What are carmakers’ feelings about Brexit? At this year’s Paris Motor Show a number of carmakers were not shy in sharing their concerns on the state of Brexit negotiations. They also took the opportunity the motor show presented to announce any plans they have already made to prepare their UK-based factories for multiple possible exit scenarios. In some cases companies are looking to pre-empt potential delays with deliveries from the EU by either closing their UK factories temporarily or, where they have warehouse space available, stocking up on necessary car parts in order to ensure they aren’t 100% reliant on deliveries coming into the country that could be delayed at the border. Some UK manufacturers are also trying to encourage major suppliers of components to open plants in the country to minimise future risk to their supply chain. The UK is BMW’s fourth-largest market and annually they sell over 250,000 cars to British motorists, so the company is rightfully concerned about how they currently see the negotiations for Brexit progressing. The business acknowledges that they will need to carefully examine the impact of any changes introduced once a deal has been finalised and look at how the new rules and regulations will affect how they run their factories across the country. BMW aren’t the only carmaker finding the lack of information surrounding a potential Brexit deal to be unsettling. Japanese carmaker Nissan, who employ almost 7,000 workers at their Sunderland plant, are warning of serious implications to the car industry should Britain prove unable to forge a trade deal with the EU prior to March 29th. They are apprehensive, feeling that leaving the EU will see a loss of seamless trade. Their concern is valid, at the present time they only store enough components in Sunderland for half a day of work on the production line. The Honda plant based in Swindon use the JIT system to reduce the amount of warehouse space needed to store components for their cars. As the plant only maintains a stock of parts to hand that would keep their production line running for an hour they rely on the prompt arrival of 350 trucks a day from Europe to provide them with everything they need to assemble cars on site. They, like many other carmakers who operate the JIT method for their production line, know that a 2-minute problem at the border can cause hours of delays due to traffic build-up on both sides of the border. Toyota, who export over 90% of the cars made at their Derbyshire plant to Europe, joined their fellow carmakers in warning of uncertainty in the light of the current status of Brexit negotiations. Vauxhall: Change and Investment in the UK While Toyota, BMW and Nissan are talking about what they are planning for a post-Brexit car industry, PSA Group, who purchased Vauxhall-Opel in 2017, pre-empted any Brexit issues and axed 650 jobs at the Ellesmere-based plant at the beginning of the year. At the Geneva Motor Show in March this year, Carlos Tavares, the CEO of PSA Group acknowledged that the loss of freedom of movement would have an impact on production and affect the sustainability of their two manufacturing plants in the UK, in Luton and Ellesmere Port. He also said that PSA Group could not “invest in a world of uncertainty”. A month later, in April, Tavares visited their Luton plant where he announced PSA Group’s plans to increase output to 100,000 vehicles per year at their Luton plant, this announcement also included plans for the new Vivaro van to be built in the UK from 2019. Despite the positive announcement about investment in the UK from Tavares in April this year, at the Paris Motor Show, Maxime Picat, the European Operational Director of PSA Group said that there were limits to what they are able to do post-Brexit, fear over the additional cost implications that switching to the World Trade Organisation terms is a huge concern, “If we suddenly have to start manufacturing for the UK in the UK, and Europe in Europe, there will necessarily be an impact on production”. Carmakers like Toyota, Nissan and BMW that trade regularly with the EU and UK need free trade to stay in place. The introduction of the WTO 10% levy on goods would be devastating to some businesses and cause others to seriously consider their position within the UK. While, for the most part, the focus remains on issues that the UK will experience once we leave the EU, car manufacturers acknowledge that both sides of the negotiations will experience complications when shipping goods if the UK loses free trade. What plans are car manufacturers making for a post-Brexit market? In addition to voicing their concern about the lack of progress with the Brexit deal, BMW announced a change to their summer maintenance shutdown. Every summer the BMW MINI factory in Oxford, like many others around the world, is closed for several weeks to allow for essential maintenance to be carried out. Any closure has an effect on the availability of newly manufactured cars and BMW usually prepares well in advance for their annual shutdown. With the date for Brexit fast approaching, BMW decided that they will bring the 2019 maintenance closure forward and plan to shut down for at least a month immediately following March 29th in order to give themselves time to prepare for any new processes introduced in a post-Brexit UK. BMW also warned that they might also consider moving all manufacture of the quintessentially British MINI from the UK to The Netherlands if no deal is made, something they currently believe has a 50-50 chance of happening. The CEO of Toyota Europe, Johan Van Zyl, told attendees at the Paris Motor Show that their plant in Derbyshire will have to close temporarily following March 29th, and the future for the estimated 2,600 employees who work there is uncertain. Van Zyl’s concern is that the impact additional cost would have on their competitiveness: “In the longer term, if we were to change the logistics it would add more cost and impact on our competitiveness, and of course the future of our operation.” The possibility of being unable to sell their vehicles duty-free in the EU market would harm future plans for their UK sites. Why will this affect my new car? In 2017, over 2.5million cars were purchased in the UK, out of these, an estimated 360,000 (1 in 7) were also built here. As mentioned earlier in the article, many components of a car are transported here from somewhere in the EU, US or Asia. Even a car that is 100% British can contain small parts that were driven across the border in a lorry. Some cars arrive at the docks ready to be driven off the lot, having travelled thousands of miles by land and sea before reaching your driveway. The video below will give you an idea of the sort of journey many cars after they’ve been assembled. What’s being done to help car manufacturers prepare for Brexit? The UK government is still in negotiations with the EU to come to a deal which will benefit everyone involved. While it’s not an ideal situation to be in with the deadline for the UK’s exit moving ever closer, there is little which can be done, except for trying to pre-empt the decision yet to be made and prepare for every possible scenario. Carmakers are currently preparing for a hard Brexit (no deal), with temporary shutdowns and stock-piling components a large portion of their planning. But all the time no final deal has been made there is hope that Theresa May and her government will be able to arrange an exit package that includes free trade. In an effort to minimise any issues that a so-called hard Brexit would have on the large number of SMEs (small or medium enterprises) that form the backbone of the automotive industry in the UK, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have launched a Brexit Readiness Programme. This programme aims to help prepare the SMEs for possible changes in trade conditions between the UK and EU countries following our withdrawal from the European Union. What can I do to prepare for Brexit? With the path ahead still unclear, and deals still to be made, the recommendation is to order your car in enough time that it will be parked in your driveway, or at the dealership, before March 29th. Some carmakers have already announced they are preparing for a hard Brexit and they have already confirmed temporary shutdowns of their UK factories, which means production will come to a halt. Changes in border requirements are the most likely scenario, which means that delays in goods, including cars, arriving in the UK is inevitable. Original Author: Rachel Richardson Published on 1st November 2018
  8. Tell us about your driving experiences in the USA....Route 66 Road Trip, City Hopping or Transcontinental Journey?
  9. A chronograph is not a typical luxury watch - It comes with an array of features and mechanisms like an added timer, and buttons to start and stop the second hand The original purpose of this additional functionality dates back to the time of French monarch Louis XVIII, who wanted to be able to time the duration of the laps in the horse races he watched. It was an easy function to transition to auto racing. Car and motorcycle-inspired chronographs have long been used to keep track of lap times for auto enthusiasts. These watches come with pushable buttons to stop and start the timer. Most racing watches also feature a tachymeter, which is a theodolite for the rapid measurement of distances, so one can get an accurate measurement of an object’s speed. The worlds of watchmaking and racing have been intertwined for years. Since the days in which race car drivers wore heavy duty wrist straps to track their paces, the racing chronographs have evolved greatly. This is a list of some of the best watches for car enthusiasts, most of them chronographs designed to be functional racing timepieces that pay homage to various figures and moments in automotive culture. DUCATI CORSE EVOLUTION CHRONOGRAPH Though it’s not technically inspired by a car, the Ducati Corse Evolution Chronograph certainly has a racing heritage. Ducati states that their Corse quartz chronograph is dedicated to all racers who desire to constantly improve their performance. The black and red trimmed look invokes a classic racing appeal to match Ducati’s dynastic motorcycle racing history.LEARN MORE: $230 SEIKO X GIUGIARO DESIGN SCED057 Like the Ducati Corse Evolution, the Seiko x Giugiaro Design SCED057 is another watch made for motorcycle riders. This watch was designed with motorcycle riding specifically in mind. The face of the watch has been given a 5-degree lean toward the rider and a 15-degree slant to the dial so that one doesn’t have to fully turn their wrist or remove their hands from the handlebars while riding to see the time.PURCHASE: $280 FORD GT ENDURANCE CHRONOGRAPH The Ford GT is Ford’s supercar that was developed to compete with the European titans like Ferrari and Lamborghini. It has a storied racing history, beginning in the mid-1960s when it toppled Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Endurance Race in historic fashion, shutting out the reigning champ from finishing in the top three. This Chronograph is created to honor the first Ford GT40 to win Le Mans in 1966, driven by Bruce McLaren, and painted in that black-and-white striped livery, which was also revived for the 2016 edition Ford GT Heritage car.PURCHASE: $700 TAG HEUER FORMULA 1 GULF EDITION The blue and orange Gulf Livery is one of the most iconic paint jobs in all of European racing history. The Tag Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Edition is a fitting chronograph tribute to some of the greatest moments in Formula 1 racing history. Driven by TAG Heuer quartz movement, which the company declares to be “one of the most reliable and accurate made in Switzerland,” the Formula 1 Gulf Edition celebrates legendary cars like the blue and orange Ford MKII that raced in the 1966 Le Mans and the Porsche 917 driven by Steve McQueen in the 1971 movie Le Mans.PURCHASE: $1,600 REC-901 PORSCHE WATCH The REC-90 Porsche watch has the distinction of being the only chronograph on this list to be actually forged from the car to which it pays homage. The 901 is a mechanical timepiece, with a dial constructed from a piece of a salvaged, air-cooled Porsche 911. Each 901 watch is a one-of-a-kind timepiece. The “901” watch references the original intended title of the Porsche 911 when it was created in 1964. The watch’s movement is propelled by the Miyota caliber 9100 automatic movement. It comes with a Story Card that you can scan using your smartphone to learn the detailed history behind your watch.PURCHASE: $1,700 TONINO LAMBORGHINI CENTENARY ENGINE Created to honor the 100th birthday of Tonino Lamborghini’s father, Ferrucio Lamborghini, the founder of Lamborghini who was born in 1916. A glass with carbon fiber membrane protects the skeleton movement that drives the chronograph. The black cow leather strap is a fitting tribute to Lambo’s bovine ancestry.PURCHASE: $2,250 PORSCHE DESIGN 1919 DATETIMER 70Y LIMITED EDITION Porsche recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. In commemoration, they published a coffee table book, launched an awesome parade of legendary vehicles at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and released a tribute watch, in recognition of their seven decades of dominance. The sleek, black 1919 Datetimer 70Y Limited Edition is encased in titanium and coated in titanium carbide. It is inscribed with the number 1948, paying homage to Porsche’s DOB. The face also features the silhouette of a Porsche 356.PURCHASE: $3,500 BAUME AND MERCIER CLIFTON CLUB BERT MUNRO TRIBUTE Bert Munro is certainly a man worthy of a tribute (if not several). He has already been lionized in the feature film The World’s Fastest Indian starring Anthony Hopkins. Now, luxury watchmaker Baume and Mercier has created the Clifton Club watch to honor the man who set the world record for the fastest motorcycle on land. The beautiful watch comes with a vermilion calfskin strap, black tachymeter on the bezel, and a silver-colored dial on which a bright yellow “35” is emblazoned — for Munro’s lucky number. It took a lot of luck — and plenty of skill — for Munro to break the land speed record in 1967. Pay your respects with this nearly $4,000 timepiece.PURCHASE: $3,900 BREITLING BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT Breitling is one of the top luxury watch brands in the world. Few know that they have a longstanding relationship with luxury carmaker Bentley. The partnership between the Swiss watchmaker and British car manufacturer has produced innumerable high-end watches, most notably with the 2002 creation of the Bentley Continental watches to mark the release of Bentley’s fastest car ever, the Continental GT. Among those watches, the most vibrant and elegant is probably the “Dark Sapphire” Continental GT watch, a beautiful piece made from a cambered sapphire crystal that matches the Continental GT car model.PURCHASE: $4,000 NOMOS GLASHÜTTE AUTOBAHN The Nomos Glashütte watch is a beautiful model designed in the style of the German Bauhaus school, a design movement from the Weimar era in Germany that has remained timeless since its moment in the sun a century ago. The Autobahn ‘Neomatik Datum’ model is a sport chronometer that alludes to the legendary German highway for which it’s named. Like the highway, famous for its lack of a universal speed limit, the watch is designed to be high-octane and dynamic, with steep curves that create a motif of fast movement.PURCHASE: $4,800 OMEGA SPEEDMASTER RACING MASTER CHRONOGRAPH Omega has a rich history, a large part of which is inextricably tied to the history of racing. The Omega Speedmaster is a line of chronograph wristwatches that has been around since 1957. The Speedmaster’s most famous stint was on the wrist of Buzz Aldrin, as the astronaut walked on the moon in 1968. With a power reserve of 60 hours, the self-winding chronograph is the perfect watch for race car drivers participating in long distance endurance races.PURCHASE: $8,500 ICON 4×4 DUESEY WATCH ICON 4 x 4 takes classic overlanders and offroaders them and restores them to immaculate condition. Founder Jonathan Ward is motivated by a passion for vintage cars. But he’s also an avid collector of vintage watches, and he always wanted to design his own chronograph inspired by a classic car. That’s just what he’s done with the ICON 4×4 Duesey Watch, a chronograph modeled after a vintage Duesenberg SJ dashboard. With a case made from sandblasted titanium grade 2, water resistant up to 50 meters, and a bezel forged of titanium grade 5, the Duesey watch is built to endure over the years.PURCHASE: $11,500 ROLEX COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona was introduced in 1963. It was built to meet the rigorous demands of professional race car drivers who wanted to keep track of lap times and measure their average speeds in miles or kilometers per hour. Crafted from 18ct gold alloys along with silver, copper, platinum or palladium, the Daytona is a product of superior craftsmanship. The self-winding caliber 4130 movement is a simple mechanism, ensuring that the Cosmograph Daytona will always run smoothly.PURCHASE: $28,800 HUBLOT LAFERRARI APERTA The LaFerrari, also known as the as the Ferrari LaFerrari or Ferrari F70, is a hybrid sports car. Specifically, the Aperta model was created in 2016 and has been in production until this model year. The Hublot LaFerrari Aperta experienced a limited 210 unit run. To honor the limited-edition car, Hublot partnered with Ferrari to create a $300,000 MP-05 LaFerrari super watch. The watch, crafted from sapphire crystal, is designed to be reminiscent of the shape of the supercar. Incredibly complex, the 637 pieces is the most intricate construction that Hublot has ever produced.PURCHASE: $260,000 TOURBILLON MCLAREN F1 RM 50-03 The most expensive watch on the list, the Tourbillon McLaren F1 RM 50-03, also known as the Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight — McLaren F1 is designed in collaboration by the famed McLaren Formula 1 team and watchmaker Richard Mille. The result is the lightest split-seconds tourbillon chronograph ever made, weighing in at just 38 grams. The ultra-light composition is meant to match the dynamic, feathery speed of McLaren Formula 1 vehicles. The RM 50-03’s tripartite case is forged of Graphene, a nanomaterial that six times lighter than steel but 200 times stronger.PURCHASE: $1,300,00020 BE Original article source: High Consumption https://hiconsumption.com/2018/09/best-mens-watches-for-car-enthusiasts/
  10. Useful information relating to driving with a British Driving Licence https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/driving-uk-and-abroad
  11. Both are handsome but only one will turn heads For sheer breadth of product, few can outdo Ford Performance. We find out if the value king Fiesta ST and GT supercar share any family traits. The sheer elasticity of Ford Performance is a remarkable thing. Within the space of a year, the Blue Oval’s fast car division knocked out one of the most intoxicating supercars of its generation, then quickly followed it up with the best affordable performance car money can buy. In the same way that a coastline seems to get longer the more accurately you measure it, the gulf that divides the GT and the Fiesta ST becomes more and more preposterous the closer you look. Consider this: while the ST counts Toyotas, Vauxhalls, Volkswagens and Suzukis among its rivals, the GT costs about the same as a mid-range McLaren, plus a mid-range Ferrari. And if you were to take every penny you had set aside for a GT of your own and spend it instead on Fiesta STs, the 22 hatchbacks that you’d become the proud owner of would weigh the same as four fully grown African elephants. You get the picture. The Ford GT is a lot more expensive than the Fiesta ST, although at £420,000 it is also a lot more expensive than most other supercars. And it isn’t even as though Ford Performance is blagging its way through building two such disparate cars. No, it’s pulling it off in some style, neither one feeling like a leap too far or a token effort. Somehow, the GT and the ST both exist in the Ford Performance heartland. It was only a matter of weeks ago that we crowned the Fiesta ST the finest sub-£30,000 performance car of 2018. A fortnight before that, we awarded it a four-and-a-half-star road test rating, which rather makes the four stars we deemed the GT worthy of 12 months previously seem a touch humiliating. Is the GT really shown up by the ST? We’ll come to that. With the two cars parked alongside each other, the stark reality is that the GT is so otherworldly looking, so malevolent, that in its company the ST almost looks pathetic, like a parasitic remora fish clinging to the flank of a great white shark. Actually, it looks as though somebody has turned up to our photoshoot uninvited and parked right in the way. Of course, the other stark reality is that the supercar was designed and developed in North America while the hot hatch hails from Ford’s R&D centre at Lommel in Belgium, so it is very possible that the personnel overlap between the two projects was precisely none at all. But they are still siblings, or first cousins at the very least, and when you drive the two back-to-back, you do pick up on a number of similarities. Mostly, though, you notice the differences. In the Fiesta you sit upright and have good visibility all around you, but in the GT you are in repose and can only really see directly ahead of you through a narrow slit of windscreen. And while the ST feels dinky out on the road, the GT feels simply enormous. Everything about the GT screams motorsport, which is no surprise at all given it was designed to monster the opposition at Le Mans, and only then made vaguely civilised for road use. And it is motorsport, of course, that justifies this car’s existence at all, because if Ford hadn’t won the world’s greatest endurance race four times in a row half a century ago, the Blue Oval simply wouldn’t have the brand cachet to pull off such a fantastically expensive supercar. If in some parallel universe Ford had gone ahead and built the GT without having won at La Sarthe all those years ago, nobody with even a flicker of sense would have spent the better part of half a million nicker on the damn thing. So the GT isn’t just derived from motorsport, it owes its entire existence to racing. That’s why it seems so appropriate that while Ferrari and McLaren busy themselves with making their supercars more and more usable every day, Ford has charged off in the opposite direction and built something so raw and uncompromising, you’d have to be a masochist to use it daily. The way I see it, a supercar should be used occasionally and be so unlike your daily transport that you never forget how special that supercar is. When the GT slaps heavily over cats eyes, therefore, and when stones ping noisily into the wheel arches and when the boost from the V6 engine’s pair of turbochargers builds extravagantly and then is dumped with a loud hiss, I can’t help but add another layer to that hectic soundscape by whooping in delight. This stripped-back, immersive kind of driving experience has become far too rare. The big rear spoiler drops so quickly from view as you slow down to urban speeds, and with such a loud thwack, that you swear every time it has just fallen off. You sit so close to the centre of the car’s cabin that, with a passenger alongside you, your shoulders are in constant contact. You also have to remind yourself that over your other shoulder there is at least another foot of bodywork. The seat itself is fixed so you tug the pedal box towards you or kick it away with your feet, adjusting the steering column for reach to get your driving position just so. The floating upper section of the dashboard brilliantly mimics the exterior aero tunnels that are this car’s signature design feature, adding to the very real impression that air doesn’t flow over the top of this car or underneath it, but that it passes directly through it. The engine is industrial-sounding, all tuneless turbocharged blare, uncultured thrashing and assorted whistles and whooshes. It isn’t in the least bit musical, but you will not happen upon a more purposeful or to-the-point soundtrack away from a racing paddock. With 647bhp on tap and less than 1500kg to punt along, the GT does feel furiously quick, but it doesn’t deliver quite the panic-inducing, unrelenting acceleration of the admittedly more powerful McLaren 720S. The GT’s steering is detailed and incredibly direct, and there is so much body control even on a cresting, yumping road that it seems daft to mention it at all. Body control is to the Ford GT driver what sand is to the Bedouin. On top of that, the car has enormous grip and freakish agility, but while the springs are very firm and there’s only a modest amount of wheel travel, the quality of the damping in that very short stroke means the ride is actually mature and sophisticated. In fact, it is the Fiesta ST that feels busier when flung across our chosen stretch of Cambridgeshire B-road, boinging up and down in its trademark way where the GT is a little more settled. The ST’s 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbo motor is more or less half the engine the GT’s 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 is, but rated at 197bhp it delivers not even a third of the power. Aside from their industrial soundtracks, the two engines have very little in common – the ST’s three-pot feeling as though it’s done its best work by 5500rpm, whereas the GT’s V6 wants to keep on going. Both cars have frantically responsive steering, to the point where you have to calm your steering inputs to avoid making either car feel nervous or flighty. If there really is any shared DNA between them, however, it’s this: while both cars are enjoyable to drive at medium speeds, they really come together and start working as a cohesive whole rather than a series of interconnected components when you start pressing on. They both want to be flogged near enough to death, and in both cases the engineers have compromised some level of everyday agreeableness – a little in the case of the ST, a lot for the GT–to make it that way. What about those star ratings: is the ST really half a star better than the GT? Only in the vaguest, most meaningless sense, because while the ST is by some margin the best car in its class, the GT is much more expensive than a number of its rivals, it’s not necessarily more exciting to drive and it is actually less adept at the day-to-day stuff. So it’s all relative. The elasticity of Ford Performance is a unique thing and something to be celebrated. That is true for the time being, at least, because when Mercedes-AMG’s Project One hypercar finally comes on line, the title of stretchiest performance sub-division will transfer from Dearborn, Michigan, to Affalterbach, Baden-Württemberg. After all, alongside building £2 million hypercars with Formula 1 powerunits, AMG will also sell the recently announced A35 hatchback at something like £35,000. As the Ford GT drives away at the end of our photoshoot, I realise that in all likelihood I will never drive one again, let alone own one myself. At least in the Fiesta ST, there is a Ford Performance product that is also enormously good fun to drive, and rather more affordable too. Used fast Fords that won’t cost you £400k: ESCORT RS COSWORTH, 1992-1996, Pay £40,000: The RS Cosworth was so popular among car thieves that in certain parts of the country it became uninsurable. With four-wheel drive and a 224bhp four-pot, it had a level of performance we’d rarely seen in a hatchback before. MK1 FOCUS RS, 2002-2003, Pay £12,000: Arguably the original super-hatch, the first Focus RS was laden with go-faster hardware but some reckoned its pronounced torque steer made it a liability. Most agreed it was a real looker, though. GT, 2004-2006, Pay £250,000: What the previous Ford GT lacked in outright performance compared with the newer model, it made up for through sheer force of character. With a walloping V8 and a manual gearbox, it was rewarding to drive too. MK2 FOCUS ST, 2005-2008, Pay £4000: It may not have been universally adored but, with a characterful 225bhp five-cylinder turbo engine, the second-gen Focus ST did at least have a USP. The good news is that since going off sale, it has dropped into bargain basement territory. MK6 FIESTA ST, 2013-2017, Pay £9000: Like its successor, the Mk6-based Fiesta ST was one of the most cohesive performance cars you could buy at any price point. The engineering was reminiscent of a purpose-built sports car, but what mattered more was how much fun it was. View the full article - original article courtesy of Autocar
  12. Nextbase has launched the 512GW, the newest addition to their range of Dash Cams and features new and improved technology to further enhance the video clarity Other new features include Quad HD 1440p resolution, recording at 30 frames-per-second, via 140-degree wide angle, six-element sharp lenses made up of six layers of glass, covered with a special anti-glare polarising filter to reduce glare from the dashboard reflecting off the windscreen. This provides amazingly clear images, capturing the important information such as number plate and road sign detail. Combined with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) to capture more detail by taking multiple videos at different contrasts to provide the best image possible in all light conditions. The picture quality is better than ever with stronger colours and amazing clarity thanks to the upgraded Sony Exmor R Sensor.  This new sensor is exclusive to Nextbase Dash Cams and really helps to enhance the image at night and in bright conditions. The 512GW is equipped with a 3” LED screen with touch buttons for ease of access. In the event of an accident, the 512GW can be instantly accessed to capture all the evidence which could be vital in being used in the event of a claim. SOS Data Protection prevents any crucial events from being deleted, while the inbuilt GPS receiver provides essential data such as speed and accurate location, which may be required by Insurers or the Police in the event of an accident. Another new feature is the addition of built-in WiFi to review, download and share footage instantly to your mobile phone or tablet by using the Nextbase Cam Viewer app (available on IOS and Android). The app is your personal mobile storage for recorded footage that you may want to keep and share with friends and family and if required, to forward to an insurance company or even the Police. Using GPS receiver and G sensor to record location, speed and force data to help provide important vehicle impact information. One of the newest features include  Time Lapse  option for those on longer journeys and special drives, where one still image is taken every minute of the trip. Also, they have introduced  Auto Dimming  to darken the camera screen during times of low light and at night.  The powered ‘Click & Go’ screen mount is a great innovation which allows the camera to be permanently powered and easily removed if required. Utilising magnets and powered touch points, allowing the camera to be free from wires. The mount can be powered with either the supplied 12-volt, 4-metre power cable connected to an auxiliary power socket. Alternatively, the mount can be permanently hard-wired by using a Hardwire Kit (optional) specifically designed to be used with the comprehensive range of Nextbase Dash Cams. The user can choose from various options within the menu system, such as switching the Audio recording on/off, Video length (2, 3 or 5 minutes), Parking Mode, Resolution, Exposure and many other functions. Easy to use control buttons are flush to the screen and touch sensitive, with illumination for easy navigation in dark conditions. Road Test Summary When fitted in a Honda CR-V, the 512GW had to sit lower down on the screen with the suction mount due to the top middle section having a painted section. With the size of the Dash Cam and the lower position, it was found to be a bit too intrusive on the drivers’ visibility, but by using the self-adhesive mount provided it was able to be repositioned further up the screen behind the mirror. It’s worth bearing in mind that a Dash Cam should not be fitted in the swept area (Drivers’ windscreen wiper zone) to obstruct visibility. Overall, the 512GW performed incredibly well in all lighting conditions with easy to use controls and features. It really does seem to be a fit-and-forget driving aid, and hopefully, not one that will need to be used in anger. Features Updated Sony Exmor 2 sensor provides unbeatable image quality  1440p Quad HD recording at 30fps and 1080p recording at 60fps  Innovative polarising filter to remove windscreen glare  Wi-Fi to allow you to share your footage directly to your smartphone or tablet  140° ultra-wide viewing angle for greater road and pavement coverage  GPS location and speed data to pinpoint incidents on your journey  Click & Go Powered Magnetic GPS Car Mount  Intelligent Parking Mode automatically indicates motion for greater safety  High Dynamic Range improves the contrast in an image whilst maintaining clarity  Wide Dynamic Range image processing ensures clear recordings in bright and dark light  3” LCD screen 960 x 240  Time Lapse features for longer journeys  Auto Dimming for low light conditions                Technical Information Dimensions: 10.9 x 5 x 1.8 cm (W x H x D) (37mm incl. lens) Storage: Supports SDHC and SDXC Micro SD Cards up to 32GB (Class 10 recommended) to provide up to 4 hours of recorded footage before entering a new recording loop Battery Life: up to 30 minutes’ back-up in the event of an accident Recommended Retail Price: £149.00 Further related articles Hardwire Kit option   Read Review
  13. The City of London is plotting a congestion charge, zero emission zone and 15mph speed limit New transport strategy for London's business district plans to cut vehicle use by half, and introduce 15mph speed limit The City of London is aiming to reduce motor traffic by half within the next 25 years and make the capital's financial centre Britain’s first large-scale zero emission zone. The city and county, which is known as the Square Mile and contains the heart of London's business district, has developed its first long-term transport strategy as a plan for future investment following a public consultation process. Chris Hayward, the City’s planning and transportation chief, said that the plan would “future-proof this world-class, growing business and culture centre.” More than 500,000 people work in the area, and Hayward said that 93% commute in via public transport. The strategy therefore will put a priority on pedestrians, including the introduction of a City-wide 15mph speed limit, subject to the approval of the Department for Transport. The plan is also intended to substantially reduce motor traffic, with the target of cutting traffic by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2044. To do that, the City will introduce a range of measures, including a “congestion charge that’s fit for purpose”. The City's aim to develop Britain’s first large-scale zero emission zone will begin with smaller-scale zero emission zones covering the Eastern City Cluster, and Barbican and Golden Lane areas. No specifics on how either the congestion charge or the zero emission zone would work have been given yet. They would be separate from the current London Congestion Charge and Ultra-Low Emission Zone that are enforced by the London Assembly. There are also plans to reduce the number of delivery vehicles in the area, through the introduction of timed access and loading restrictions, and the introduction of off-site consolidation areas, where deliveries are grouped together so they can be made in fewer trips. Hayward said: “Once finalised, this Transport Strategy will be transformative in ensuring that the Square Mile remains a healthy, accessible and safe commercial and cultural centre and a great place to live, work, and visit in the years to come.” The Strategy is still being finalised before a last consultation process begins. It could be approaved in early 2019. The City of London is governed by the City of London Corporation, and the strategy will only apply within its 1.12 square mile area. It is one of the 33 districts that form Greater London, which is overseen by the Mayor of London and London Assembly. Read more Variable pay-per-mile charge for London under consideration Mayor of London: electric cars should get free or discounted parking Deputy London mayor: 'we are targetting diesel' London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone to be expanded View the full article
  14. Driving abroad is generally one of the best ways of experiencing all of what Europe has to offer and is generally completely stress-free because of empty roads, wonderful scenery, much less traffic and cheaper fuel costs On the slightly pessimistic but realistic side of the coin, there are several rules and regulations that are different to the UK and must be observed to avoid fines. We have listed some of the Laws, Hints and Tips you should know prior to setting off on your road trip. Fuel: Generally, fuel costs are cheaper in Europe than the UK and in some countries, it is considerably cheaper to fuel up your car. However, not all fuel stations work the same as the UK and one thing to note is that some won't accept UK Credit Cards, some will charge you a set amount (say 200 euros and then later on refund the unused balance), some you have to pay for before fuelling up. So in general, it is best to check out which payment methods are used prior to fuelling up. Tolls: France charges tolls for most of the major motorway routes, which is fair enough if you need to cover huge distances in a short time period but can mount up quite considerably in costs. Germany and Belguim do not charge for using their motorway systems and sometimes it is worth considering using them to drive your route to southern Europe and save some money. Austria uses a system called a 'Vignette' which is like a prepaid top-up system to use their motorways and this needs to be purchased before entering their roads. Large fines can be levied for failing to purchase a Vignette and displaying it in your car windscreen. Motoring Laws in European Countries: (National and Regional) If you're planning to drive abroad from the UK it's important to familiarise yourself with local rules for drivers before you go. This is just as important if you regularly drive abroad as it is if you're planning your first trip as rules and requirements do change. Touring tips include information about compulsory equipment requirements as well as covering local rules on drinking and driving, use of lights, speed limits, carrying children and so on. They also include more general advice on things like fuel availability and tolls. Disclaimer: This list is not exhaustive and may not be completely up to date and is only intended to be a general guide. Please ensure you aware of any new regulations that may come into force by checking the relevant country's government websites before departing on your journey. (Original information source: AA Motoring site - https://www.theaa.com/european-breakdown-cover/driving-in-europe/country-by-country) Download country-specific advice and information as a pdf document by selecting the country of interest from the list below A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A Andorra Austria B Belarus Belgium Bosnia Herzegovina Bulgaria C Croatia Republic of Cyprus Czech Republic D Denmark E Estonia F Finland France & Monaco G Germany Gibraltar Great Britain Greece H Hungary I Iceland Ireland Italy & San Marino L Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg M Macedonia Malta Montenegro N Netherlands Norway P Poland Portugal R Romania Russian Federation S Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland & Liechtenstein T Turkey U Ukraine Speed Limits: Very strict speed limits apply throughout Europe and heavy fines can be levied on those breaking the law. In extreme cases, the vehicle can be seized and driving licenses revoked for the duration of the journey which would require a passenger to continue the journey as the driver. In towns, the speed limit varies but is generally 30 to 50 kph. In extra-urban areas, the limit is usually around 70 kph and on motorways, it can be up to 130 kph but down to 110 kph when it is raining. UPDATE: French speed limits of 90kph have now been lowered in some areas to 80kph. It is therefore worthwhile taking notice of the signs or seeking guidance beforehand to know the speed limits in the country you are traveling through. Parking: This is in general, a pleasurable experience in so much as Parking costs are usually a lot cheaper, if not free in a lot of cases. Overnight parking and rest breaks would be best in the generally more secure Toll roads service stations as there are CCTV cameras covering the service stations, car parks and all vehicles are checked in and out of the Toll stations. Insurance & Breakdown Cover: It is worthwhile ensuring that your vehicle is adequately insured to drive in Europe and that the Breakdown cover also extends into Europe. There are numerous bolt-ons available from Insurance companies to further enhance the level of cover and excesses for driving abroad, so it may be worth contacting your Insurance company before setting off to check everything is in place. Breakdown cover can exclude vehicles of a certain age or size, so again it is worth checking with your Insurance company before setting off. Security: This is an important factor to consider if you wish your holiday to be as stress-free as possible. The 'Golden Rule' is do not leave the car in an area that could be considered as remote or not within coverage of CCTV or witnesses. Do not leave anything on display as this is an invitation to thieves to break into your car and quite often cause damage trying to enter the vehicle which can seriously dent your holiday budget. You would be best locking everything in the boot and out of sight. Permits: Driving in French Cities read article on Crit'Air permits here Vehicle Requirements: A motoring kit needs to be packed in the car before venturing abroad. Below is a list of the minimum required kit to take with you in order to comply with all the rules and regulations: The below items are linked for your convenience and for easier searching. First Aid Kit (comprehensive) Spare Bulb Kit (bulbs for all the lights on the car) Breathalysers (necessary in France) GB or Euro Sticker on the rear of the vehicle Headlamp Deflectors Warning Triangle (sometimes two, depending on country) Fluorescent Jackets (one per passenger and packed within the car so as accessible) Vehicle Documents (Insurance, MOT, Registration Documents) Driving Licence(s) Other items that you may wish to take with you: Spare Key, it's no good being left at home! Best to give to a passenger. Dash Cam (plenty of false claims occurring on the continent) Sat Nav (no speed camera location software to be used in France) Games and entertainment for the Kids Food and Drink, although the motorway services are of a high standard and are generally quite reasonable costs. Change (coins of the local currency) are needed for the Toilets in motorway services - HINT: some toilet turnstiles issue an entry ticket which can be redeemed at the shop checkout for the full amount paid USEFUL ADVICE TAKE THE STRESS AND RISK OUT OF YOUR EUROPEAN ROAD JOURNEYS ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has published advice for staying safe and secure on European road journeys this year. The advice takes the form of six top tips covering planning, equipment, safety, legal matters and security issues. Neil Worth, road safety officer at GEM Motoring Assist, said: “The European motorway network is excellent and extensive, but it’s important to ensure that you and your vehicle are safe and legal before you drive off the ferry for a family holiday or business trip. By using our tips as a starting point, you can go a long way to maximising your safety and minimising the risks you face while you’re travelling, as well as the inconvenience and expense of being unprepared if anything does go wrong.” 1. Check your documents before you go Is your driving licence valid? Are the passports for everyone in your party all in date? Do you have appropriate insurance? Are you covered for the country or countries you’re visiting? Do you have breakdown cover as well? Run through all the necessary paperwork in plenty of time, so that you have everything to hand on your journey. 2. Carry the right equipment Different countries have different rules. Most require that you carry high visibility reflective jackets, a first aid kit and a warning triangle. Some countries also insist on replacement bulbs and fuses, a fire extinguisher or spare pairs of spectacles for any drivers who need them. French rules require that you carry a disposable breathalyser, but under the current system, police are unable to enforce payment of the €11 fine. Make a point of checking the specific requirements for each country you plan to visit, so that you won’t risk a fine if you’re stopped. 3. Know the rules Make sure you understand the specific traffic rules and signs. Drink-drive limits across Europe are lower than in the UK, and police officers in most countries can issue and collect on-the-spot fines for traffic offences. If you’re in any doubt about local parking regulations, ask someone before leaving your vehicle. Remember, ignorance is no defence. 4. Budget for motorway tolls The European motorway network is excellent and extensive; you can cover long distances quite easily – but there is a price. For example, the 715-mile motorway journey from Calais to Fréjus on the Mediterranean coast will cost you a fraction under €100. Toll tags such as the French ‘Liber-t’ device can save time at tolls. Register your details online before you travel and you’ll receive your own tag which you place in the windscreen of your car. You can then drive through the toll plazas without needing to find coins or credit card, as you receive an invoice and pay shortly afterwards by direct debit. 5. Fill up off the motorway You can save significantly by leaving the motorway network to buy your fuel (and refreshments). For example, a litre of diesel costs around €1.37 (£1.16) at a French motorway service area, compared with €1.21 at a supermarket. Just be aware that the older automatic payment mechanisms at French fuel stations may still decline British credit cards (though the problem is much less significant than it used to be). It’s also worth noting that bigger supermarkets have toilets and very reasonably priced cafés – and are often no more than a couple of minutes’ drive off the autoroute. 6. Don’t drive for so long that you become dangerously fatigued Don’t ignore the early signs of fatigue when you’re at the wheel. Share the driving if possible, and take regular breaks. Fatigue-related crashes are most likely to happen between 2am and 6am, although there is also an increased risk during the afternoon, when our body clocks experience a natural dip in alertness. Don’t be tempted to press on when you’ve been at the wheel for several hours. Avoid heavy meals, as these can exacerbate the symptoms of fatigue, and certainly don’t drink alcohol during journey breaks. 7. Be vigilant at motorway service areas Don’t fall victim to crime when you’re enjoying a break on a long motorway journey. Huge numbers of people pass through service areas every day, making them hotbeds of criminal activity. Make sure you lock your car when you’re parking, and don’t leave high value items visible. Watch out for possibly bogus ‘officials’ who try to tell you that your tyres are illegal and that you’ll need to purchase a new set on the spot. Don’t let children out of your sight at any time, and in particular make sure you accompany them to the loo. 8. Disable any speed camera alerting systems from your satnav before you arrive in France. There are harsh penalties in France if you are found with any sort of speed camera detection system in your car, regardless of whether or not you are using it. So, make sure you disable the alerting mechanism before you drive anywhere in France. Check online if you are unsure of how to do this. If you have a built-in satnav, then be sure to check with the car manufacturer if you are in doubt as to how you switch off the speed camera alerts. FURTHER READING & INFORMATION Toll Roads and Driving Abroad Toll Tag site link - useful site for guidance on using Toll roads in various countries. Driving Licence information for driving abroad (official UK Government site links) Driving abroad View or share your driving licence information Taking a vehicle out of the UK
  15. So, what is a Faraday Cage? In simple terms, it shields electronic components from static electric fields by using a metal screen that conducts electricity, much like a force-field Historical & Scientific Background Michael Faraday, a 19th Century Scientist, who discovered that if you distribute a charge or radiation around the exterior of a cage, it will cancel out electric charges or radiation within the cage interior. A Faraday cage is a hollow conductor, in which the charge remains on the external surface of the cage. Some are as simple as chain-link fences and others use a fine metallic mesh. Regardless of their exact appearance, all Faraday cages take electrostatic charges, or even certain types of electromagnetic radiation, and distribute them around the exterior of the cage. Electromagnetic radiation is all around us. But sometimes, this radiation is undesirable and downright disruptive. That's where Faraday cages come in. Michael Faraday made the observation that namely, he realised that an electrical conductor (such as a metal cage) when charged, exhibited that charge only on its surface. It had no effect on the interior of the conductor. Typical applications and uses of a Faraday Cage Microwave Ovens to keep the radiation inside. You can see the cage in the glass door Shielded Rooms and Building, typically Military or Computer Server buildings to avoid interference or surveillance MRI Scanner and other Medical Imaging machines to prevent interference to the images of the patient Power utility workmen have suits that are a Faraday Cage to reduce the risk of electrocution Aircraft fuselage which prevents lightning strikes causing damage to onboard electronic systems and electrocution of the passengers Car bodies and panels act as a Faraday Cage to prevent electronic interference to the onboard electronics So how do I prevent my car from being stolen? Car thieves have been using many methods over time to steal cars, anything from a brick through the window and brute force to overcome the steering lock and hotwiring the ignition. Nowadays though, the thief is far more technically advanced and tend to use electronics to steal cars with no damage being caused to the vehicle. One such method is the known as the ‘Relay Hack’ which works on vehicles equipped with Keyless Entry systems. They accomplish this by boosting the signal between the car and the key over a distance. Using a booster to amplify the signal, the car assumes the key is within close proximity and therefore unlocks the vehicle and allows the thief to start it up and drive away…it’s as simple as that! To combat this modern-day method of stealing a car, you would have to place the key place the key in a Faraday Cage, Microwave or even a fridge to stop it from being scanned by radio signals. Any Cage would need to have small diameter holes, such as a mesh. Ideally, the Cage could include a lining such as Aluminium to further improve the protection. What products are available to protect my car from thieves? There are many different products available to give you added protection from the thieves that aren’t too expensive. Don’t forget to protect your spare keys as well. The Cage is always useful to store Credit Cards, especially those that are contactless and also double up for storage of your mobile phone to avoid radiation being emitted into the body (especially important for Pregnant Women). To test that any Cage works efficiently, approach the car (and if the wallet is completely closed) then the car should not be able to be opened. Walk up to the car and try the door handle with the key in the wallet, if it doesn’t open then it the Cage is working correctly. BUY YOUR FARADAY POUCH HERE - £5.95 each or £9.95 for two (Free Post & Packing to UK) Additional Reading In the UK 85,000 cars have been stolen in 2017 and 70 per cent of the owners of these vehicles still had the key on them Read more here CAR thieves managed to break into a brand-new £50,000 BMW in less than a minute using a special device bought online https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/866987/car-theft-hack-keyless-entry-video-BMW-stolen Relay Attacks on Passive Keyless Entry and Start Systems in Modern Cars Read more here
  16. UK licences may no longer be valid on their own when it comes to driving on the continent if no deal is reached with Brussels British drivers could face the "extra burden" of applying for a permit to drive in the European Union in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit, the government has warned. In the latest batch of papers outlining how a failure to reach a deal could impact on British life, ministers revealed UK driving licences may no longer be valid on their own for driving on the continent. This is because the EU might not agree to recognise UK licences, a development which would require drivers to apply for International Driving Permits (IDP). These cost £5.50 and motorists would be able to apply for them at 2,500 Post Office branches across the UK in the event they become a necessity. If they fail to obtain the permit, British drivers face being turned away at borders or being hit with enforcement action. In an extra layer of bureaucracy that could hit drivers, there are two different types of IDP. This is because different EU nations have recognised different conventions on road traffic. So some journeys would potentially require both permits, for example, if you wanted to drive into France and then Spain. AA president Edmund King said: "This will be an extra burden for UK drivers wanting to take a holiday abroad. "We envisage quite a rush on post offices next year for the £5.50 IDPs if no deal is reached. "Hopefully an agreement can be reached to prevent further red tape and expense for drivers." The Department for Transport said it thinks up to seven million permits could be requested in the first 12 months after a "no-deal" divorce. A total of 28 "no-deal" technical notices were published on the government website on Thursday, following the release of 24 last month. As well as driving licences, the latest batch covers topics like roaming charges for mobile phones and the potential impact on passport rules. The papers warn that UK citizens could be prevented from entering EU countries even if they have a valid passport. Britons currently do not need to have a minimum or maximum amount of time left on their passports to travel to the continent, but this could change if there is no deal. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has called on phone companies not to impose roaming charges on customers under "no-deal". Such charges were abolished in June 2017, but a failure to reach a deal would mean surcharge-free travel to the continent could no longer be guaranteed. However, the government has said it would introduce a cap on charges if there is no EU agreement. Ministers would set a £45 a month limit and force companies to send alerts to customers when 80% of that had been reached. Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, which cover more than 85% of the market, say they have no plans to change their approach to mobile roaming post-Brexit. But while the chances of British customers being stung by sky-high charges appears remote, those living near the Northern Ireland border could face higher bills. The government has warned consumers and businesses to be aware of the potential for "inadvertent" data roaming, where a stronger signal from the Republic kicks in.
  17. Whether it’s winter or summer, there are some key items you’ll need in your vehicle all year around to help you stay safe on the road. Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, provides the eight essentials that you should always keep in your vehicle Note: If you have friends and family who are unaware of advanced driving techniques, please share these tips with them to help them stay safe on the road. It’s always best to keep an ice-scraper and can of de-icer in your vehicle as the British weather is so unpredictable, and can be sunny one day and frosty the next. Carry an empty fuel can with you. Don’t carry a full or partially full one as this is a fire hazard and if it has recently had fuel in it, flammable vapour may still be present. You never know when you’ll need a first aid kit, so keeping one in the boot of your car is always handy for either yourself, or another road user if you’re first on scene at an accident. If you’ve broken down on the side of the road, the last thing you want is to be cold and unable to see your way around the dark. That’s why we advise drivers to always keep a torch and set of batteries in their vehicle, along with warm clothes, a blanket and a high visibility jacket. And don’t forget food and drink to stop your energy levels from dropping - bottled water is a must. The battery on your car can go flat at any time, whether you’re popping to your local fish and chip shop or picking your vehicle up from the airport carpark after a wonderful sunny holiday. Make sure you keep a set of jump leads in your car so you can start your engine with help from another driver’s vehicle. Keep a spare pair of sturdy shoes with a good grip in your car. You’ll need these to turn the wheel brace when changing a tyre, or to push your car if you’ve broken down, or even just to change shoes if there’s a sudden weather change. An item that’s often overlooked is the reflective warning triangle. This gives you extra security for a number of reasons such as breaking down in the dark. Put it out in accordance with the rule from the Highway code 274 which advises to “put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road, or use other permitted warning devices if you have them. Always take great care when placing or retrieving them, but never use them on motorways.” A lot of us use our satnavs to travel to unfamiliar places, but what if your battery dies and you can’t find the charger? Or what if it takes you the wrong way? The best thing to do is to refer back to your trusty road alas, so don’t forget to purchase an up-to-date copy every year and keep it in your car. A good rule of thumb is to take a look at your road map before you set off to get an idea of the direction you need to travel in. Find yourself a place to aim for or motorway signs to look out for. Last but not least your mobile phone. Switch it to silent and place it in the glove box to avoid any temptation to touch it, but it will be there ready to use when and if you need it. Richard says: “A journey can be a pleasant experience with the right planning. But it can turn into a nightmare if circumstances change and you do not have the right tools for the job with you. Getting stranded either in suddenly changing weather conditions, breakdowns or road closures will be made more bearable if you can let people know where you are, and survive in relative comfort and safety until you can get safely where you’re going.”
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