2016 DS3 revealed - it's no longer a Citroen!

New DS3 revealed – it’s no longer a Citroen!

2016 DS3 revealed - it's no longer a Citroen!

Citroen’s now stand-alone offshoot DS Automobiles has revealed its new DS3 supermini at an event in Paris.

It’s an important car for the premium brand as, when sold by Citroen, the DS3 was by far its biggest seller – especially in the UK, where more were sold than in France or any other market.


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Since its launch in 2010, 390,000 DS3 hatch and cabrio models have been sold worldwide.

This new model is based on the same underpinnings as its predecessor, but has been blinged-up in a bid to take it further upmarket with the DS brand.

It now features the trademark DS grille (note the absence of any Citroen chevrons), along with ‘DS wings’ running around the grille and below the headlights.

The big news for hot hatch fans is the introduction of a new ‘Performance’ model, powered by a 208hp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, emitting 125g/km CO2. Performance figures are yet to be confirmed – but expect them to be similar to the previous limited edition DS3 Racing, which sported a £23,100 price tag and could hit 62mph in 6.5 seconds.

2016 DS3 revealed - it's no longer a Citroen!

The Performance trim will come with a six-speed manual gearbox, as well as a Torsen limited slip diff. It’s been lowered, too – by 15mm, and its front and rear tracks have been widened. Larger brakes are fitted as standard (with Brembo calipers) and it’s available in four colours – and with special Performance graphics.

Other engines have been carried over from the previous model – ranging from a 1.2-litre 81hp three-cylinder petrol, to a 120hp BlueHDi diesel. For the first time, buyers can opt for a 130hp three-cylinder petrol, emitting 105g/km CO2 and returning a combined MPG figure of 62.8.

Inside will be familiar to anyone who’s driven the outgoing DS3, but with a new infotainment system to appeal to a young target market. It comprises a seven-inch touchscreen (replacing 20 buttons from its previously cluttered dash), including Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink connectivity.

Prices for the new DS3 are yet to be confirmed, but expect a small increase over the outgoing model – which currently starts at £13,295. The new range will arrive in dealerships from February, when prices will also be announced.

What does Twitter say?

2016 Ford Focus RS: Running costs

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Subaru BRZ bags Guinness World Record for spinning in a really tiny space

Subaru BRZ bags Guinness World Record for spinning in a really tiny space

Subaru BRZ bags Guinness World Record for spinning in a really tiny space

If the ability to drift in a small amount of space is high on your new car wish list, take a trip to your local Subaru dealership.

The rear-wheel-drive BRZ broke the Guinness World Record for the ‘Tightest 360° spin’ at this weekend’s Autosport International Show.


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Stunt-driver Alastair Moffatt broke his own 2.5-metre Guinness World Record by flicking the BRZ into a 360° spin between two obstacles in Autosport International’s Live Action Arena.

Moffatt has previous experience setting daring Guinness World Records, including ‘Tightest Reverse Parallel Park’ and ‘Tightest Parallel Park’.

To be able to perform the manoeuvre, all the electronic systems such as traction control had to be disabled. Moffatt said: “[We] just ripped a load of fuses out of it and nothing works, apart from the steering wheel and the clutch and brake.”

Zero to gone in 10 months: 1,176hp Koenigsegg Agera RS sold out

Zero to gone in 10 months: 1,176hp Koenigsegg Agera RS sold out

Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg has announced that all 25 of its Agera RS models have sold, just 10 months after it was first revealed at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.

That’s a big deal for a car with a price tag of more than £1 million and the badge of a small-time manufacturer on the front.

Company boss Christian von Koenigsegg said: “I am extremely proud of the Agera RS program. The RS is a classic Koenigsegg, with all the core values and features that the Koenigsegg brand stands for. The performance, road feel and responsiveness are truly amazing and the level of technical sophistication is second to none. It is a true ‘pinnacle’ project that has been wholly embraced by our customers and friends.”

The 1,176hp Agera S sits between the Agera R and One:1 in Koenigsegg’s slightly deranged line-up, powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.0-litre V8 engine. It can hit 186mph in just 14 seconds – or 250mph in 20 seconds.

Koenigsegg says demand far outstripped supply, with cars sold in markets around the world – including the US, Canada, the UK, Japan, China and the UAE.

Production is continuing throughout 2016, with the final cars set to be delivered to customers next year.

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest inClassic cars appear to be the in thing. Celebrities such as Chris Evans and Harry Styles are well-known collectors and a new report suggests that owners of older cars may now be insuring their vehicles for far less than they are worth, due to the rapid increase in prices.

New tax regulations mean that more classic cars are now tax-free, too, so it got us thinking. What would be our pick of 25 cheap classic cars that could go up in value?

Choose carefully and you can buy an appreciating classic rather than simply scrap metal, so sit back and enjoy our list of 25 classic car gems. We’ve set a budget of £5,000; remember there’s no guarantee these cars will go up in value, and that the prices are for guidance purposes only.

Alfa Romeo Alfasud

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £1,500 – £3,500

A cast-iron classic car, it’s just a shame the Alfa Romeo Alfasud wasn’t built with such rock-solid foundations. When it was launched in 1972, the Alfasud revolutionised the small car sector and also delivered one of the best front-wheel-drive cars in history.

Rust has killed many of these little gems, and today there are fewer than 100 Alfasuds enjoying active service in Britain. Top Gear once heralded it as the best car of the 1970s. And as Alfa Romeo had effectively taught the world how to deliver a sweet-handling front-wheel-drive car, Top Gear probably had a point.

Audi TT

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £2,000 – £8,000

Two decades on from its debut as a concept car at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Audi TT still looks box-fresh. Many would argue – with huge justification – that it looks better than the current third generation TT. Three years after its debut as a concept car, it became a production reality, with only minimal design changes.

Its bold, Bauhaus-inspired exterior was matched by a delightfully individual interior and early cars were powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, either in 180hp or 225hp guise. A guaranteed future classic?

BMW E30 3 Series

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £5,000

For something a little more practical, how about the E30 3 Series, which offers rear-wheel-drive motoring at budget prices? Naturally, the wonderful E30 M3 won’t slot neatly into the ‘cheap’ category, so our money would be on the Touring, which was the result of a BMW employee’s desire to create a more practical version of the 3 Series saloon.

The engineer Max Reisböck needed something bigger to go on holiday with, so he bought a wrecked 3 Series and built an estate version in his home garage. His bosses at BMW were so impressed, they put the car into production with only minimal changes.

Citroen AX GT

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £750 – £3,000

James May once called the Citroen AX GT the best car in the world and although his tongue was firmly in his cheek, he may have had a point. They simply don’t make cars like the AX GT any more.

It was light – just 710kg – so its 1.4-litre carburettor engine was perfectly capable of giving the tiny French hero a mighty turn of pace. And with no power steering or other electrical nonsense to get in the way, it provided the kind of engaging drive that modern hatchbacks can only dream of.

Citroen GS

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £4,000

And then there’s the Citroen GS, which is doing a very good disappearing act in the UK. Seriously, Paul Daniels has got nothing on the GS.

The DS and SM might be out of reach these days, but the GS is still sensibly priced – for now. It brought hydro-pneumatic suspension and all-round disc brakes to the man on the street, plus an ability to drive on three wheel – a wonderful car.

Citroen XM

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £250 – £3,000

Putting the C6 to one side for a moment, the XM was the last truly eccentric Citroen. Highlights included a wonderfully-styled interior and super-comfy hydractive suspension. It was only appreciated by a minority of motorists and a reputation for unreliability and complexity didn’t help its cause.

But prices have bottomed out and a strong following with Citroen circles will ensure that good examples are highly sought after.

Fiat 126

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £2,500

The all-new Renault Twingo and Smart Fortwo prove that the old rear-engine and rear-wheel drive recipe is alive and kicking. Some would suggest this puts them in mind of the Porsche 911, but we’re looking at something a lot smaller – the Fiat 126.

This is an everyday miniature hero you can park anywhere. Surely a classic to invest in, especially when viewed alongside the values of the Fiat 500.

Ford Escort XR3/XR3i

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £4,500

Fast Fords will always hold their value and whilst the Escort XR3 and XR3i don’t have the RS badge to add kudos, they remain the epitome of 1980s cool. And don’t let the fact that the MK3 Escort did away with rear-wheel drive fool you, these cars will be appreciated.

Values are already on the rise. Early XR3s are thin on the ground, but there’s a good supply of the later fuel-injected XR3i, first introduced in 1983.

Ford Puma

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £2,000

One day, we’ll look back at the time when a Ford Puma could be bought for a few hundred quid. That day might be a long way off, so patience is definitely required. There are some 29,000 Pumas on the roads of Britain, but rust (check the wheelarches…) and high mileage will see many falling by the wayside in years to come.

Find a rust-free 1.7-litre Puma, ideally with the early ‘propellor’ alloy wheels, and revel in one of the greatest front-wheel drive cars ever built. Better still, stretch to the sublime Ford Racing Puma, because the prices won’t stay this side of £10,000 for very long.

Honda Accord Type-R

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £1,500 – £3,000

The arrival of the all-new Honda Civic Type-R will renew the market’s interest in the Type-R brand, so you can expect the prices of good ones to go up. The Integra Type-R already commands strong prices and there are few bargains to be had. So how about the super-crazy Accord Type-R?

It’s often forgotten, which means the prices have sunk to rock bottom. Ask anyone who has owned one, the Accord Type-R is a properly sorted performance saloon.

Mazda RX-7

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £4,000

In reality, all three generations of the Mazda RX-7 would make good investments, but our heart belongs to the original, also known as the SA22C. Besides, try finding a good third generation (FD) car for our budget. That’s if you can find an unmodified example at all.

With a purity of design and a free-revving rotary engine, the original RX-7 was a unique proposition in the sports car market. Seek out a specialist and the RX-7 should provide good long-term returns.

Peugeot 309 GTi

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £3,000

You’ll need to be quick on this one, because we’re already seeing signs that prices may be on the rise. In fact, we’ve seen one admittedly excellent 309 GTi Goodwood on sale for a price in excess of £10,000. Wow.

Here’s the thing. The Peugeot 309 GTi is essentially a 205 GTi in a different frock. Far too many were stripped for their mechanicals, including the 1.9-litre engine, which means there’s around 100 on UK roads. Fortunately, there are treble this amount listed as SORN (off the road).

Peugeot 405 Mi16

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £1,000 – £3,000

Good luck hunting one of these down, but if you do, you’ll be rewarded with one of the very best performance saloons of the 1980s and 1990s. Far too many have been lost to rust or for their engine to be extracted for use in a Peugeot 205.

The earlier cars are quicker and lighter and it’s also worth hunting down the four-wheel drive Mi16x4.

Peugeot 505

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £3,000

Don’t let the relative anonymity of the Peugeot 505’s styling put you off, this is one special car. Not only was it Peugeot’s last rear-wheel drive model, it was also rather good to lick down a back road in.

Numbers are dwindling fast, which is a shame, because the seven-seat estate is brilliantly practical and the super-rare 505 GTi is a convincing performance car that could give the Germans a run for their Deutschmark.

Porsche 924/924 S

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £5,000

The Porsche 924’s backstory is the stuff of legend. Originally designed to be a Volkswagen and powered by an engine sourced from Audi…blah, blah, blah.

But the 924’s stock has been rising for some time now, and with numbers decreasing and interest increasing, it’s only a matter of time before values head north. The pick of the bunch is the 2.5-litre-engined 924 S, which is essentially a 944 in a 924 body.

Renault Avantime

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £4,000

Talk about making an entrance. Over a decade on from the Renault Avantime making its debut, it still looks like a concept car that could so easily be unveiled in 2015.

It wasn’t particularly brilliant to drive (underneath you’ll find an Espace), but the Avantime is all about its bold, coupe-styling and brilliantly eccentric, four-seat interior. Naturally you’ll want the 3.0-litre V6 engine, but the Avantime is a guaranteed future classic.

Renault Fuego Turbo

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £300 – £2,500

The Renault Fuego was the French answer to the Ford Capri, famed for its ‘bubble’ tailgate and sleek styling. It wasn’t especially quick and it wasn’t the sharpest drive, but it was practical.

And – three years after the Fuego was introduced – Renault invited us to enter ‘the turbo zone’ with the new Fuego Turbo, complete with huge 1980s-style side decals. Very few remain today.

Rover 200 BRM

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £2,500

The Rover 200 BRM is unfairly dismissed in classic car circles, presumably because a) it’s a Rover 200, b) the interior is a bit, er…challenging and c) that orange grille. But hang on a minute, because it’s actually far better than you’d think.

The 200vi upon which it was based was a thoroughly decent car, it has a Torsen differential and that Brooklands Green paint gives it a timeless appeal. Yours for around a grand. Bargain.

Saab 9000 Turbo

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £250 – £5,000

The Saab 9000 Turbo is destined to follow in the footsteps of the super-desirable 900 Turbo by becoming highly collectable. The 9000 was built to Saab’s exacting standards and designed to cover long distances. The seats are amongst the comfiest you’ll find in any class.

The 2.3-litre 9000 Turbo is the one to have and prices are looking strong. Compare and contrast the survival rate to that of the Thema, 164 and Croma – three cars which shared the same platform.

Suzuki Cappuccino

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £750 – £3,750

Thanks to its cult status and neat packaging, the Suzuki Cappuccino is a car that will, at the very least, hold its value. Rarer than the majority of roadsters of the same era (just 1,110 cars were officially imported), the Cappuccino was built to Japanese Kei-car standards.

This means it’s incredibly small and – at 725kg – very light. Go on, you know you want to.

Vauxhall Carlton 3000 GSI

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £500 – £4,000

Right, we know what you’re thinking, but bear with us on this one. Without the Vauxhall Carlton 3000 GSI, there wouldn’t be a Lotus Carlton. And while you can’t afford the Lotus-badged version (not without selling a kidney), you can afford the 3000 GSI.

It’ll be hard to track down a good example, but with a top speed of 150mph and rear-wheel drive, the 3000 GSI makes for an interesting alternative to the cars more commonly spoken about.

Volkswagen Corrado

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £400 – £5,000

What we have here is not only one of the greatest cars Volkswagen has produced, but it’s also another of the best front-wheel drive performance cars of all time. Naturally, the pick of the crop is the properly quick VR6, but you shouldn’t rule out the supercharged G60 or the humble 16V.

The Corrado is a rare thing, in that it was a classic even before it went out of production. Amazingly, Volkswagen struggled to sell it, so a few tears were shed when the VR6 Storm signalled the end in 1995. Useable everyday and even now, as good as many brand-new performance cars.

Volkswagen Golf GTi MK2

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £700 – £4,500

The MK1 Golf GTi is already a bona fide classic and there are very few bargains to be found. But the MK2 Golf GTi is a different story. Yes, prices of the most desirable cars are very strong, but there are still affordable cars to be found.

For example, find a good value three-door 16V in Oak Green and there’s money to be made. The trick is to find a MK2 Golf GTi away from specialist dealers and club forums. You may have to be patient, but the MK2 Golf is a useable and highly rewarding daily classic.

Volvo 240 Estate

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £250 – £2,000

Have your green wellies and National Trust window sticker at the ready, because here is the venerable Volvo 240 Estate. For a generation of car enthusiasts, this is where it all began – being transported to school in the back of a 240 Estate.

So well engineered was the Volvo 240, you could still press one into daily service and it wouldn’t even flinch. Loved by the well-to-do and antique dealers, the 240 boasted a huge load area and rear-wheel drive. There are plenty to choose from, so prices are low. For now.

Volvo 480 Turbo

Top 25 cheap classic cars to invest in

Price guide: £350 – £2,000

The elegant P1800 is out of reach and the C30 is too new to be considered a classic. But somewhere in between you’ll find the 480. As the first front-wheel drive Volvo, it has secured a place in history, but it was never really universally accepted.

Which means values plummeted and it fell head first into bangerdom. But look, it has pop-up headlights, individual styling and – in Turbo guise at least – a bit of poke. One for the long-term future.

Goodwood House

Lord March attacked in £700,000 Goodwood raid

Goodwood HouseLord March was attacked and Lady March forced to open a safe containing antique jewellery in a violent robbery at Goodwood House that saw heirlooms worth £700,000 stolen.

During the theft on Wednesday morning, Lord March was struck over the head, reports the Guardian.

Both Lord and Lady March were also tied up during the robbery and only released when a member of staff turned up for work at 6.30am.

Among goods stolen was an antique ring Charles II gave to his mistress and a diamond tiara worth £400,000.

“The intruder broke in after scaling a ladder to an upstairs window,”DI Till Sanderson of Sussex police told the Guardian, “and his activity disturbed Lady March, who went to investigate.

“She disturbed the man, who was alone, and he pushed her and struck Lord March on the head, causing an injury to his ear.

“Lady March was then forced to open a safe and the man helped himself to jewellery. The couple were bound before the robber escaped with the items.”

Both Lord and Lady March are reportedly “devastated” at the loss of the irreplaceable jewellery. Police are appealing for information; a 26 year old man is said to already have been interviewed and bailed.

Peugeot 208

Peugeot 208: Two-Minute Road Test

Peugeot 208What is it?

The Peugeot 208 is a mainstream supermini with a dash of French style and a competitive price tag. We tested the 1.2 110 petrol five-door in well-equipped Allure spec with a manual gearbox. It costs £14,945 at the time of writing.

Ford FiestaWhat are its rivals?

The best-selling car in this class by some margin is the Ford Fiesta. In fact, it’s the UK’s best-selling car overall. Other rivals include the Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio and Toyota Yaris. Or, if you fancy something funkier, the MINI Hatch and DS 3.

Peugeot 208Which engines does it use?

The 208 range stretches from a 68hp 1.0-litre petrol to the 208hp 1.6 GTI. There’s also a 1.6 diesel, available in three power outputs. We tried the 110hp 1.2 petrol, which offers a good trade-off between performance and fuel economy.

Peugeot 208What’s it like to drive?

A go-kart-sized steering wheel makes the 208 feel nimble around town, but slightly twitchy on the motorway. Sadly, there’s little feedback about what the front tyres are doing; it’s all rather light and over-assisted. The suspension is firmer than you might expect, but not uncomfortable. And the 110hp engine feels lively (0-62mph takes a brisk 9.6 seconds), with a characterful three-cylinder soundtrack.

Peugeot 208Fuel economy and running costs

The 208 1.2 110 squeezes into the free-car-tax bracket, with CO2 emissions of 99g/km – impressive for a petrol engine. Official fuel economy is 65.7mpg, so reckon on at least 50mpg in everyday driving.

Peugeot 208Is it practical?

If you want out-and-out practicality, nothing beats the MPV-shaped Honda Jazz in this class. The 208 is on par with the Fiesta for passenger and luggage space, making it on the small side for a family car. As a plus point, it does come with a proper spare wheel – a real boon if you’re unlucky enough to have a puncture.

Peugeot 208What about safety?

Euro NCAP awarded the 208 a full five-stars for safety. All models come with a full complement of airbags and electronic stability control. Automatic emergency braking is a (very worthwhile) £250 option on Allure, GT Line and GTI versions.

Peugeot 208Which version should I go for?

Diesel 208s are very economical, but the extra upfront cost and inferior refinement means we’d opt for a petrol version. Money-no-object, the 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport is one of our favourite hot hatches. But in the real world the 110hp 1.2 we tested is a pleasant compromise. We’d avoid entry-level Access spec, which does without the touchscreen media system. Mid-range Allure offers all the equipment you really need.

Peugeot 208Should I buy one?

There’s little to choose between many of the superminis in this fiercely-competitive class. The 208 is a strong contender, but ultimately we still prefer the Fiesta for its engaging handling. Or indeed the Honda Jazz if you value practicality over performance. Nonetheless, it’s worth putting the 208 on your supermini shortlist, particularly if a tempting finance deal is offered.

Peugeot 208Pub fact

This formidable-looking 208 T16 holds the record for the famous Pike’s Peak hillclimb. Driven by rally ace Sébastien Loeb, it scaled the mountain in eight minutes and 13.9 seconds. Unsurprisingly, Peugeot won’t be transplanting its 887hp V6 into the common-or-garden 208 anytime soon…

 

Renault 5 GT Turbo Raider

Snapshot: when Renault Raiders meant something else

Renault 5 GT Turbo RaiderYesterday the French police were revealed as Renault raiders and that got us thinking back to another sort of Renault Raider.

The 5 GT Turbo was a mighty performance supermini of the 1980s that’s just been voted one of the top 10 greatest hot hatches of all time by PHers. And the ultimate hot 5? The GT Turbo Raider.

This was a special final edition marking the model’s runout in 1990. For five years, it had been whizzing, whistling and failing to cleanly start when hot; by the 90s, the new Renault Clio loomed and a 1.4-litre turbo was old news: the Clio 16v’s 1.8-litre non-turbo multivalver was in.

Raider spec meant beautiful blue paint and matching painted alloys, sleeker black and blue interior and instant collectability. It even got an alarm as standard – no bad thing in the car-nicking, joyriding mania of the early 90s.

We still love it, and watch with envy as prices slowly start to skyrocket, particularly for the few standard ones left that haven’t been slammed and tuned up to 200hp.

And that’s why seeing headlines of the Renault raiders meant something different to us.

Google patents GPS system to help you avoid potholes

It's National Pothole Day 2016!

Google patents GPS system to help you avoid potholesFriday January 15th is National Pothole Day in Britain, a curious tradition that’s no laughing matter if you’re among the thousands whose cars were damaged by hitting them in 2015.

Indeed, RAC data reveals it was called out to 24% more damaged wheels, broken shock absorbers and ruined suspension parts in 2015, breakages it says were likely caused by poor road surfaces.

That’s 25,487 people whose cars were hobbled by hitting a pothole or similar.

Damaged springs alone rocketed by over 40% last year, and there was an alarming 10% rise in damaged subframes – and they’re normally such rigid structures, bending them can only be caused by hitting severe potholes hard.

‘Losing battle’

Enough is enough, says the motoring organisation. “Some authorities are still losing the pothole-repair fight,” said its chief engineer David Bizley.

“We shall only win this battle once sufficient preventative road surface maintenance is undertaken to prevent potholes appearing when the first bad weather arrives.”

There’s possibly help on the horizon, but it may not be enough. “On to of the £6 billion already promised, the Chancellor made available further funds in the Autumn Statement.

“Whilst this is still not enough to meet the shortfall, it may hopefully mean we will see a decline in ‘pothole generated breakdowns’ this time next year.”

We shall see. In the meantime, try not to celebrate National Pothole Day with a bang today.

Potholes driving you potty? Let us know where the worst ones near you are – and if you think the situation’s getting better or worse where you live

Google patents GPS system to help you avoid potholes

It’s National Pothole Day 2016!

Google patents GPS system to help you avoid potholesFriday January 15th is National Pothole Day in Britain, a curious tradition that’s no laughing matter if you’re among the thousands whose cars were damaged by hitting them in 2015.

Indeed, RAC data reveals it was called out to 24% more damaged wheels, broken shock absorbers and ruined suspension parts in 2015, breakages it says were likely caused by poor road surfaces.

That’s 25,487 people whose cars were hobbled by hitting a pothole or similar.

Damaged springs alone rocketed by over 40% last year, and there was an alarming 10% rise in damaged subframes – and they’re normally such rigid structures, bending them can only be caused by hitting severe potholes hard.

‘Losing battle’

Enough is enough, says the motoring organisation. “Some authorities are still losing the pothole-repair fight,” said its chief engineer David Bizley.

“We shall only win this battle once sufficient preventative road surface maintenance is undertaken to prevent potholes appearing when the first bad weather arrives.”

There’s possibly help on the horizon, but it may not be enough. “On to of the £6 billion already promised, the Chancellor made available further funds in the Autumn Statement.

“Whilst this is still not enough to meet the shortfall, it may hopefully mean we will see a decline in ‘pothole generated breakdowns’ this time next year.”

We shall see. In the meantime, try not to celebrate National Pothole Day with a bang today.

Potholes driving you potty? Let us know where the worst ones near you are – and if you think the situation’s getting better or worse where you live