UK tax evasion hotspots revealed

Car clamp

The DVLA has named 11 areas of the UK where tax dodging is highest as it launches a new ‘tax it or lose it’ advertising campaign.

A whopping 27,605 vehicles were clamped in London in 2018, with a further 94,550 motorists receiving a fine or penalty. This makes London the country’s tax evasion capital, with the number of enforcement actions almost more than the total of the next two locations combined.

Of the other locations, more vehicles were clamped in Manchester than anywhere else in the country, while Northern Ireland topped the list of fines and penalties.

‘Never been easier to tax your car’

Untaxed vehicle warning

The advertising campaign will feature a giant clamp to ram home the message that the DVLA will take action on untaxed vehicles. Potential punishments include financial penalties, court action, clamping and the loss of a car.

DVLA’s head of enforcement Tim Burton said: “This campaign has a clear message for anyone who flouts the law in this way – tax it or lose it.

“It’s never been easier to tax your car, so there really is no excuse. We would rather not have to clamp or remove vehicles, but this campaign highlights the consequences of not taxing a vehicle.

“Having your vehicle clamped is expensive and inconvenient – and you could end up losing your car.”

The UK’s tax dodging hotspots

AreaClampedFines or penaltiesTotals
London27,60594,550122,155
Northern Ireland5,51667,94473,460
Birmingham5,07650,04555,121
Manchester7,57326,21433,787
Glasgow2,66629,70532,371
Sheffield3,98725,29129,278
Cardiff3,02124,59827,619
Nottingham3,50721,34624,853
Bristol3,49620,41223,908
Leicester3,34419,19622,540
Coventry1,25718,19319,450

Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2018

World’s best-selling cars 2018

A total of 86 million cars were sold across the world’s 54 top markets in 2018, as global sales fell by 0.5 percent. This is the first time registrations have fallen since 2009, with strong results in India, Brazil, Russia and South East Asia unable to offset stalling sales in Europe, China and the USA. Using data supplied by JATO, we can reveal the world’s best-selling cars of 2018, with the results presented in reverse order. These are the cars to avoid if you’re hoping to stand out from the crowd.

25. Mazda CX-5 – 456,712 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

“Last year could be considered as the beginning of a new era for the automotive industry,” said Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst. “The dip in the Chinese market had ramifications upon the rest of the global market in 2018. As China makes up nearly 30 percent of global vehicle sales, any change that happens there is felt across the rest of the world.” The Mazda CX-5 is a new entry at number 25, with registrations up 13 percent.

24. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 459,778 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

Once again, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class manages to creep into the top 25, although registrations are down seven percent. It’s the only premium car to make JATO’s top 25.

23. Volkswagen Lavida – 468,792 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

The only car named in honour of a Ricky Martin song secures 23rd place, the Chinese-market Volkswagen saloon seeing sales climb three percent. The Puerto Rican singer will be so proud.

22. Volkswagen Bora/Jetta/Sagitar/Vento – 470,309 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

The booted Volkswagen Golf wears a number of different badges across the world but is no longer offered for sale in the UK. Registrations are down 15 percent, which is hardly surprising given the car’s popularity in China and the USA.

21. Nissan Sylphy Classic/Almera – 496,141 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

Without wishing to state the obvious, the JATO data tells us that the world loves saloons and SUVs. The Nissan Sylphy is one of the most popular cars you’ve never heard of, with registrations up 18 percent – the highest percentage increase in the top 25.

20. Honda Accord – 499,594 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

In 2017, Honda shifted 500,687 units across the world, but this figure has fallen below half a million in 2018. “It’s the most impressive Honda yet.” Not our words, but the words of Honda USA.

19. Hyundai Tucson – 511,963 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

An 11 percent fall in registrations follows a four percent slump in 2017. Does this suggest the world is falling out of love with the Hyundai Tuscon? Not really, as 511,963 units is a healthy number in a depressed market.

18. Ford Escape/Kuga – 544,827 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

Ford will unveil a new Kuga in 2019, with the range expected to be bolstered by the arrival of a plug-in hybrid model and a likely ST variant. It can’t come soon enough, as global registrations are down 16 percent.

17. Wuling Hong Guang – 545,928 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

With sales of around four million, the Wuling Hong Guang is an incredibly successful nameplate. The Hong Guang S3 SUV arrived at the end of 2017, but this couldn’t prevent a nine percent slump in registrations.

16. Hyundai Avante/Elantra – 574,700 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

You might remember the Hyundai Elantra as a car driven by people with no interest in cars. JATO’s figures would suggest there are at least 574,700 non-car people in the world, although this is down from 611,000 registrations in 2017.

15. Nissan Qashqai/Rogue Sport – 586,940 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

The Nissan Qashqai – or Rogue Sport in America – remains incredibly popular, with this year’s 13 percent increase in registrations following an 18.9 percent jump in 2017. Ditching the Almera was a good move.

14. Volkswagen Polo – 598,500 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

As expected, the Volkswagen Polo has recorded an increase in registration as the new model enjoys its first full year on sale. This follows a slump in 2017.

13. Toyota Camry/Aurion – 622,316 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

Visit Toyota’s American website and you’ll be greeted by a detailed section outlining why the Camry beats the Honda Accord. It must be working because while the Accord has seen sales head south, Camry registrations are up seven percent. The Camry will return to the UK in hybrid form in 2019.

12. Volkswagen Tiguan – 622,467 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

From eighth place last year, the Volkswagen Tiguan has slipped to 12th, with the launch of the seven-seat Allspace failing to give the SUV the sales injection it required.

11. Ram pick-up – 638,194 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

From 14th last year, the Ram pick-up has used its formidable pulling power to haul it to the brink of a top 10 finish. Registrations are up four percent, as it closes in on its Chevrolet rival.

10. Honda HR-V/XR-V/Vezel – 646,144 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

Standing between the Ram and a big Chevy is this – the Honda HR-V. It’s a competent compact crossover, but we wouldn’t fancy its chances if it got caught in a death match between two American pick-ups.

9. Chevrolet Silverado – 650,654 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

Chevrolet has probably all but given up on chasing the all-conquering Ford F-Series, but it needs to look over its shoulder at a Ram appearing in its rear-view mirror. Silverado registrations are down one percent.

8. Volkswagen Passat/Magotan – 660,453 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

Volkswagen will unveil a new Passat at this year’s Geneva Motor Show as it aims to build on sales close to 30 million since the early 1970s. Last year, some 660,000 Passats were registered, making it the second most popular Volkswagen.

7. Volkswagen Golf – 731,561 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

And the most popular Volkswagen was – yes, you’ve guessed it – the Golf. Not that everything is rosy in the land of the Golf, as registrations are down 11 percent. The next-generation model is due soon, though.

6. Honda CR-V – 736,471 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

Spoiler alert: five out of the six cars in the top 10 are Japanese, kicking off with the Honda CR-V. Sales are down, but the launch of a new model should reverse things in 2019. That’s if anyone decides to buy a new car this year.

5. Nissan X-Trail/Rogue – 771,145 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

From fourth place last year, the Nissan X-Trail – known as the Rogue in the USA – falls one place to fifth. It’s the only car in the top five to record a loss. So we could say the Rogue has gone rogue. But we won’t.

4. Toyota RAV4 – 807,116 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

This is surprising because we’d have expected the Toyota RAV4 to see a slump in registrations as the market prepared itself for the launch of the new model. Instead, sales are up four percent as the RAV4 jumps from sixth to fourth.

3. Honda Civic – 812,767 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

We hope you’re sitting down because this is about to get exciting. Actually, scrub that, there’s little excitement to be found, so you might want to switch over to watch Grand Antiques Under the Hammer Roadshow. The Honda Civic has moved up from fifth to third.

2. Toyota Corolla – 934,348 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

Our man Tim Pitt has just returned from the launch of the Toyota Corolla and he told us on the quiet that he preferred it to the McLaren 600LT. The Corolla remains the second most popular car in the world. One of these sentences is untrue.

1. Ford F-Series – 1,076,153 registrations

World’s best-selling cars 2018

The Ford F-Series is the only vehicle to break the million mark – an amazing statistic when you consider that the USA accounted for 84 percent of its sales. Still, with Tim’s glowing review of the Corolla, we expect the Toyota to topple the Ford in 2019…

Ferrari Evoluto: is modifying a classic common sense or sacrilege?

Ferrari 348 by Evoluto

Evoluto Automobili aims to do for the Ferrari 348 what Singer does for the air-cooled Porsche 911. In its own words, it wants to ‘evolve a future classic’.

In our experience, you never know what to expect with modified classic cars. Quality can range from pricey perfection to something more shoddy. Happily, the Evoluto Ferrari 348 looks to be about as close as you can get to a ‘Singered’ 1990s Ferrari.

But it looks like a Ferrari F355!

Ferrari 348 by Evoluto

A Ferrari 348 serves as the basis for the car, but the aesthetic is very similar to its F355 successor – albeit on steroids. Wider wheels and tyres necessitate a broader stance, in order to put as much as 500hp to the ground.

The exhaust tip design replicates the sports systems seen on later Ferraris, including the 575M, 612 and F430. As per newer mid-engined Ferraris, a clear window to show off the engine is available.

Ferrari 348 by Evoluto

The aerodynamics are a touch more aggressive, with a serious diffuser out-back – similar in style to that used on the current 488. A front splitter joins the broadened F355-esque nose, and looks similar to the black item seen on the F12.

The side scoops are exaggerated, as is the lip spoiler at the back. The rear lights are crisp LED units that appear to be borrowed from the current GTC4Lusso and 812 models.

Overall everything that makes the F355 such a timeless design is applied and honed, but not beyond the boundaries of good taste. Very Singer…

What’s going on underneath?

Ferrari 348

Although the Evoluto is based on a 348, quite a lot is due to change. The body is completely new and all ‘next-generation’ carbon fibre. That will go some way to reaching an ambitious 1,000kg target weight.

Wider wheels and tyres will, we assume, be complemented by upgraded suspension components and a stiffer chassis.

Will it use a Ferrari engine?

Ferrari 348 by Evoluto

Evoluto actually canvassed its followers on what engine would best suit the car. What they’ve gone with is the 360 lump, extensively upgraded to a target of 500hp. That sounds like a lot given that the 360 Challenge Stradale was a leader in terms of horsepower per litre, with 420hp from its 3.6-litre V8. Race versions were allegedly capable of over 550hp when de-restricted, though, so there is room for improvement. 

In terms of transmissions, given Evoluto’s tagline involves ‘peak analogue’, expect this car to feature a six-speed gated manual front and centre – going some way to #MakeFerrariGreatAgain.

When can I buy one – and how much?

Ferrari 348

We don’t know yet, truth be told. Evoluto announced just today that it’s working on ‘Mule 1’, so you can’t buy one yet.

As for how much it will cost, when it comes to such labours of love, the sky is usually the limit. Singers can be well over £1 million, and with the new carbon bodywork and reworked 360 engine, we can’t imagine the Evoluto-fettled Ferrari 348 will be far behind. 

2019 Range Rover Evoque holds value like a Ferrari

Range Rover Evoque high residual value

Car valuation specialist CAP HPI has given the new Range Rover Evoque a glowing prediction in terms of its residual (resale) values.

Get into a new top-of-the-range Evoque and it’s predicted that, after three years, it will retain 67 percent of its list price. That puts it on par with a Ferrari 488.

That’s good news for consumers. The more money a car holds after a three-year PCP finance deal, for example, the less the manufacturer has to charge per month to cover the depreciation.

Good residuals = great deals

The new Range Rover Evoque starts from £31,600. In that form, it’s predicted to hold 63 percent of its value after three years or 36,000 miles. That means it can be offered for £245 per month

The headline 67 percent residual figure belongs to the high-spec D180 AWD S. It starts from £39,000 – or a competitive £371 per month.

Range Rover Evoque high residual value

Styling-wise, the new Evoque isn’t an enormous departure from its predecessor, and that’s no bad thing. Land Rover’s best-seller has evolved nicely, adopting certain features from the Velar, as well as the larger Range Rover models. Mild hybrid tech has also brought the Evoque bang up to date in terms of performance and emissions.

“The new Range Rover Evoque is an improvement on Land Rover’s biggest selling model in the UK every way,” said Jaguar Land Rover UK MD, Rawdon Glover.

“It’s more refined, with relevant and clever technology, features our cleanest petrol and diesel engines ever, and achieves lower running costs.

“All of that means that not only is it incredibly desirable, but it’s also a very logical choice for buyers too. With these class-leading residual values, new mild hybrid powertrains and excellent finance offers, buyers could be saving hundreds of pounds a month when compared with competitor models.”

Ranked: classic hot hatches that have rocketed in value

Hagerty Hot Hatches

Hagerty has insured one or two collectable cars in its time, so the company stands at the forefront of the recent surge in classic car values. Which is why we asked the insurance experts for a list of hot hatches that have skyrocketed in value. In other words, the automotive hooligans you wish you had bought when prices were still sensible. Some of the cars stretch the definition of a hot hatch, but when the classics are this good, who are we to argue? Valuations are sourced from the Hagerty Price Guide or Classic Cars magazine, with the percentage increase based on the average values in January 2014 and January 2019.

Ford Fiesta XR2 – 84 percent

Hagerty Hot Hatches

Fast Ford fans have a lot to thank the Special Vehicle Engineering department for. Having kept the Capri on life support by developing the 2.8 Injection, the team also created the Escort XR3 before distilling the magic into a fun-size package. The result was the Fiesta XR2 – the first properly hot Fiesta and the object of desire for countless young drivers passing their test in the early 80s. Nearly four decades on, the drivers might be older, but their love of the XR2 hasn’t gone away, which is why prices have risen from £3,363 in January 2014 to £6,175 in January 2019.

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “Entering the UK market in December 1981, the Fiesta XR2’s 1.6L Kent Crossflow engine, spoilers and alloy wheels made an immediate impression. With the lowest average current value in our list, the Ford Fiesta XR2 is still an attainable classic, but values are rising.”

Audi Quattro (WR) – 106% increase

Hagerty Hot Hatches

As much as we like the good people at Hagerty, we’re struggling with the definition of the Audi Quattro as a hot hatch. It’s a little like Mercedes calling an estate car a ‘shooting brake’ or a four-door SUV with a sloping roof a ‘coupe’. Five years ago, you’d have spent around £11,375, but today that figure stands at £23,425.

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “The first version of the Quattro mated the 2,144cc 10v engine with Audi’s permanent four-wheel drive, putting out 197bhp and propelling the car to legendary status. Does it qualify as a hatchback? As it has a hatch at the back, we think it does…”

Porsche 928 S – 119% increase

Hagerty Hot Hatches

Here we go again – another car that stretches the definition of a hot hatch, but at least the Porsche 928 has a glass tailgate. The 928’s stock has been rising for a while, with enthusiasts remembering it as a fine grand tourer as opposed to a sports car that failed to replace the 911. In 2014, you might have found a 928 S for a smidgen over £10,000. Today, you’d pay for £22,525 for the same car. As Cher once gargled, if we could turn back time…

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “The Porsche 928 S combines a 4.7-litre (later 5.0-litre) engine with an almost perfect weight distribution, a spacious cabin, useful hatchback and Porsche’s usual superb build quality. For years though, they were sneered at by purists who looked no further than the front-mounted, water-cooled engine. Things have changed; RM Sotheby’s have just sold a low-mileage, top-of-the-range 928 GTS for a shade over £121,000.”

Renault 5 GT Turbo – 130% increase

Hagerty Hot Hatches

In the 1980s, the Renault 5 GT Turbo flew out the showrooms, before flying into a hedge backwards when the driver ran out of talent. In fairness to the poor, unsuspecting driver, there was little you could do when the turbocharger decided to make an appearance mid-corner – it was a case of hanging on and waiting for your date with a hawthorn bush. Rarity has played a part in the 130 percent increase in values, up from £3,487 in 2014 to £8,025 today.

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “When Renault decided to create a hot hatch version of their ubiquitous Renault 5, they didn’t mess about. Not content with adding a Garrett T2 turbo to force 115bhp out of the 1.4L engine, the suspension and styling were also overhauled, smashing its main rivals in performance terms.”

Lancia Delta Integrale – 172% increase

Hagerty Hot Hatches

Hands up if you remember the days when you required the use of four digits to stick a price on the windscreen of a Lancia Delta Integrale. And hands up if you’ve kicked yourself in the shin so many times, you’re left with a permanent bruise. From £9,438 in January 2014, you’ll need to part with at least £25,000 to secure the same car today. Insert reference to two famous Johnny Hates Jazz songs – Shattered Dreams and Turn Back the Clock.

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “Always a great car, the Lancia Delta Integrale epitomises all that’s cool in the current classic car world: boxy styling, sharp handling and impressive speed. Automobili Amos’s 2018 Futurista restomod Integrale set a new benchmark for the model, and prices are rising.”

Alfa Romeo GTV6 – 193% increase

Hagerty Hot Hatches

The Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV first appeared in 2.0-litre form in 1976, with the six-cylinder GTV6 introduced in 1980. This was a good era for fans of useable everyday sports cars, with the GTV6 lining up against the likes of the Porsche 924, Mazda RX-7, Ford Capri 2.8 Injection and Lancia Beta HPE 2000. Episode seven of season three of The Grand Tour will see Clarkson at the wheel of a GTV6. Prices have gone mad: up from £5,750 in 2014 to £16,850 in 2019.

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “With the now legendary Busso V6 engine in 2,492cc form, the fastback Alfa GTV6 is still a head-turner, especially when close to the redline. Rust was always a problem but many of those that survived are now being properly restored. One to watch.”

Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1 – 194% increase

Hagerty Hot Hatches

There’s a 1979 Volkswagen Golf GTI on offer at the forthcoming Silverstone Auctions Race Retro sale. The one-owner, 53,000-mile example is expected to fetch between £17,000 and £22,000, which is more than the £14,575 guide price issued by Hagerty. It’s also significantly more than the £4,950 you’d have spent in 2014. Feel free to sob uncontrollably.

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in March 1975, it was four years until the Golf GTI hit British roads in right-hand drive form. Arguably the most famous hot hatch, unmolested, well-maintained cars are very hard to find now.”

Ford Escort XR3i – 249% increase

Hagerty Hot Hatches

We’re huge fans of the Ford Escort XR3i, but it was never the sharpest hot hatch on the market. But it did have many things on its side, most notably the superb styling, a proper hooligan attitude and running costs that were no more expensive than a regular hatchback. You may have spent the 90s and 00s justifying your love of the XR3i, but today it’s one of the most sought-after modern classics in the country. The price in 2014: £3,500. The price today: £12,225. Feel free to continue sobbing.

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “Ford’s answer to the Golf GTI first emerged as a carburettor-fed sports hatch, but in October 1982 the fuel-injected Escort XR3i was unleashed. With a 1,596cc OHC engine it had a top speed of 120mph and cool trim including black window surrounds, sports seats and a two-spoke steering wheel. Now they’re cool once more.”

Peugeot 205 GTI – 286% increase

Hagerty Hot Hatches

This will come as no surprise to anyone who has had half an eye on the classic car market, because the Peugeot 205 GTI is one of the hottest tickets in town. Values have shot up 286 percent, with Hagerty issuing a guide price of £16,150. Given everything that’s happening in 2019, the question is: can the classic car market sustain these inflated prices? Watch this space.

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “Nimble, quick and smart, the original French hot hatch is now legendary. A few years ago, these could be bought for peanuts, then, in 2017 prices started to rise, one 205 GTi even achieving £38,475 at Silverstone Auctions.”

MG Metro Turbo – 384% increase

Hagerty Hot Hatches

Well, would you ‘Adam and Eve’ it? Although the MG Metro Turbo isn’t the most valuable car here, the percentage increase is by far the highest, eclipsing the 205 and the Escort. Unveiled in October 1982, and facelifted two years later, the Metro Turbo spent a long time in the classic car wilderness, hamstrung by its iffy build quality and general apathy. But today, this British pocket rocket is worth just under £13,000 – an amazing figure considering it was valued at just £2,765 in January 2014.

Hagerty’s John Mayhead says: “Austin entered the hot hatch fray in 1983 with their Metro Turbo, controversially (for some) badged as an MG. Developing 93bhp from the 1,275cc A-Series engine blown with a Garrett T3 turbo, the car wasn’t the most powerful, but combined with the tiny dimensions of the car, it was quick. Prices have risen equally quickly in the last few years – the car is our list’s highest riser in percentage terms.”

Mazda3 hatchback in Soul Red

New 2019 Mazda 3 prices, specs and UK launch date revealed

Mazda3 hatchback in Soul RedPrices for the new 2019 Mazda 3 start from £20,595 and it arrives at UK dealers in May. The all-new car is open for ordering now, initially as a five-door hatchback, with a four-door saloon launched later in the year.

Mazda’s rival to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf is offered with a simple two-engine range at launch – one petrol, one diesel. An advanced Skyactiv-X motor also arrives later in the year: this revolutionary engine is world-first technology from Mazda.

The new Mazda 3 is available in five trim lines. All are well equipped: Mazda says very few people bought base-spec versions of the old car, so it has lifted equipment levels (and entry-level prices) to reflect this.

Mazda3 hatchback in Soul Red

Every new Mazda 3 is therefore equipped with a head-up display, LED headlights, radar-controlled active cruise control, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An improved 8.8-inch Mazda Connect infotainment display is also standard across the range.

Mazda3 hatchback in Soul Red

2019 Mazdas 3 variants open with SE-L and SE-L Lux, moving to Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech. Mazda expects Sport Lux and GT Sport to be the best-sellers (full prices are below).

Two engines

Mazda3 hatchback in Soul Red

Engine choice is a 122hp 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol or a 116hp 1.8-litre Skyactiv-D diesel. Barely more than 5 percent of buyers will choose the diesel which, like the petrol, is available as a manual or automatic across the range.

The diesel averages up to 56.5mpg via the new WLTP combined fuel economy test, and emits as little as 107g/km CO2. It takes 10.3 seconds to reach 62mph from rest, although the auto is a lot slower, doing it in 12.1 seconds.

Most buyers will pick the petrol. This comes, as standard, with a Mazda M 24V mild hybrid system. This converts brake energy into electricity, stored in a high-capacity lithium ion battery, to boost the engine under acceleration.

Mazda3 hatchback in Soul Red

The tech helps take the load off the petrol engine, improving fuel consumption. It also gives an electrical ‘boost’ at lower speeds, giving it more pulling power and better responses. 0-62mph takes 10.4 seconds and the 122mph top speed is almost identical to the diesel.

Petrol engine buyers also get cylinder deactivation as standard. When cruising, two cylinders are shut down, imperceptibly, to save fuel. The 2.0-litre motor averages up to 45.6mpg on the combined cycle and emits 117g/km CO2.

Sport focus

Mazda3 hatchback in Soul Red

Standard Mazda 3 come with 16-inch alloy wheels, while Sport Lux grades and up have 18-inch dark grey metallic wheels. The sporty versions are also marked out by rear privacy glass and piano black window trims.

The only option on the 2019 Mazda 3 range is paint colour; all other features come as standard as part of the five trim lines. Mazda is proud of its new Bose premium audio system, for example – this is standard on GT Sport models.

Mazda3 hatchback in Soul Red

As for the price difference between diesel and petrol, diesel versions carry a £1,800 premium, despite petrol coming as standard with the mild hybrid tech. Automatics cost £1,300 more than manual on petrol models, £1,340 on diesels.

2019 Mazda 3 prices

Mazda3 hatchback in Soul Red

2.0 Skyactiv-G M Hybrid petrol

  • SE-L: £20,595
  • SE-L Lux: £21,695
  • Sport Lux: £22,795
  • GT Sport: £24,595
  • GT Sport Tech: £25,495

1.8 Skyactiv-D diesel

  • SE-L: £22,395
  • SE-L Lux: £23,495
  • Sport Lux: £24,595
  • GT Sport: £26,395

Revealed: the most dangerous times of day to drive

The most dangerous time of day to drive

New research has revealed which times of day are most dangerous for driving, in terms of the risk of having an accident.

The actual time it’s most dangerous to drive is the first 10 minutes after 5pm. It’s when many road users are perilously determined to get home from work. Add to that the sheer volume of cars taking to the road, and the risks are self-evident.

Of course, rush hour is any time between four and six in the evening. Yet the figures show that one in six prangs during that two-hour period happen within this 10-minute window. That’s 16 percent of accidents within an 8.3 percent window of time. Leaving just 10 minutes later can, according to AX research, halve your chances of being involved in an incident.

School-run troubles

The most dangerous time of day to drive

The second most dangerous time to drive is during the school-run period, between 2pm and 4pm, when 16.04 percent of accidents happen. This compares with 17.47 percent for between 4pm and 6pm.

Between 3pm and 3:10 is the second most dangerous window. That’s unsurprising, with cars flooding the roads on the way to and from picking up young ones. No doubt, some of those young ones will be provide a significant distraction from the job of driving, too…

“It is little surprise to see the majority of accidents take place during the afternoon and evening hours when many of us are busy trying to get home or rushing to pick up our kids,” said Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of sales and operations at AX.

Treacherous conditions

The most dangerous time of day to drive

Of course, existing dangers are only exacerbated when things get dark and slippery. As such, accident rates are reported to rise around 7.4 percent during the winter months.

Rear-end collisions make up 34 percent of traffic incidents during winter. Keep a sensible gap between you and the car in front, as stopping distances increase markedly in cold conditions.

 

Aston Martin Project 003 hypercar: everything we know so far

Aston Martin Project 003 teaser

Aston Martin, or rather, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, has revealed more photos of Project 003, the third mid-engined hypercar from the British luxury brand. And all before the first example of ‘001′ – the Valkyrie – has arrived on its owner’s drive.

Still, Aston’s ambition in recent years has always been followed up with action. Thus we’re confident the company is well on its way to bringing a three-tier hypercar range to production.

What will its rivals be?

We say ‘hypercar’ because, in spite of being somewhat junior compared to the Valkyrie, Project 003 will still be contemporary with the upcoming McLaren P1 successor, Ferrari’s latest and greatest supercar – plus any other challengers not up to the God-like loft of the Valkyrie.

It won’t be a series production car either, with a 500-unit production run rumoured. 

A baby Valkyrie?

Aston Martin Project 003 teaser

As the teaser image shows, it takes a great deal of inspiration from ‘001’, with shrink-wrapped super-smooth bodywork, slim aggressive lights and a cockpit to make a fighter jet canopy look porky. Also evident is a serious, Valkyrie-inspired rear diffuser.

Project 003 will join the Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren 600LT twins in the exclusive upward-facing exhaust club. Two tailpipes are clearly visible above where the engine will be.

What engine will it have?

We can pretty much guarantee the Valkyrie’s Cosworth-developed 11,000rpm V12 will not be making its way into any other cars. As such, what will power Project 003 is a bit of a mystery, aside from the fact it’ll be turbocharged.

Both V6 and V8 powertrains have been speculated upon. A V12 related to the 5.2-litre unit found in the DB11 and DBS is unlikely for packaging reasons. They need to squeeze hybrid bits in there too, you know…

Will it be at the Geneva Motor Show?

It’s rumoured a prototype will make its way to Geneva. Indeed, Andy Palmer’s Tweet accompanying the teaser image opens with “the wait is nearly over”. A concrete date for the production car debut still isn’t certain.

As for a long-term timeline, we’d be surprised if customers weren’t taking delivery within two years.

No-deal Brexit: VW, Porsche, Skoda and Seat may raise prices by 10 percent

Brexit Volkswagen price increases

Volkswagen has announced its response to a hard Brexit and, unfortunately, customers will feel it first. For anyone who ordered for a new Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda or Porsche after 1 February, a 10 percent price increase could be on the cards.

Customers do, however, have the opportunity to terminate their order free of charge in response to the potential price hike.

No-deal car import tax

Brexit Volkswagen price increases

It’s all to do with delivery windows, the possibility (probability, now?) of a no-deal Brexit and tariffs on imported goods thereafter.

Volkswagen has therefore warned its customers that a 10 percent price increase could be levied on cars entering the UK after the split with the EU goes through.

This follows leaked news several days ago that Porsche would pass similar costs on to customers. We can now confirm the same also goes for fellow VW Group brands, Seat and Skoda.

As for Audi, a spokesperson has said that “Audi UK will price-protect all orders until further notice.”

“We strive to keep customers as informed as possible during the buying process,” said a Volkswagen UK representative.

Brexit Volkswagen price increases

“This includes being clear on any potential changes outside of our control that may affect the price of the car they’re interested in purchasing. So customers will be given the opportunity, free of charge, to cancel their order should prices increase as a result of import duty changes.

“It is important to remember in all this that transaction price, and indeed the sale (in a retail environment), are agreed between the dealer and customer. However, we have reminded our networks of the importance of being transparent with their customers on any of our price protection policies which may have an impact on their sale.”

Confirmed: UK pricing for 2019 Jeep Wrangler – and it’s not cheap

UK Pricing Announced for 2019 Jeep Wrangler 001

Jeep has confirmed updated UK pricing for the latest 2019 Jeep Wrangler 4×4.

While Jeep promises it will be the most capable version of the trusty Wrangler yet, prices are certainly more luxury than utilitarian in value.

Entry-level Sahara specification two-door Wranglers will cost £44,865, rising all the way to the range-topping four-door Rubicon model at £48,365. Curiously, pricing is the same regardless of which engine choice you plump for.

UK Pricing Announced for 2019 Jeep Wrangler 002

Hell yeah and Hellayella

Diesel fans will receive a 2.2-litre MultiJet II four-cylinder engine, producing 200hp and a respectable 332lb-ft of torque. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo unit is the petrol choice, with 272hp and 295lb-ft.

Both versions receive an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, connected to a full-time four-wheel-drive system. The pricier Rubicon version gains an uprated ‘Rock-Trac’ 4WD setup, in comparison to the Sahara and Overland-spec Wranglers.

All Wranglers come with an 8.4-inch multimedia touchscreen, featuring satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an eight-speaker Alpine audio system. A rear-view camera and parking sensors are also part of the deal.

There is also a choice of ten exterior colours, including the wonderfully named Hellayella and Punk’n Metallic options.

UK Pricing Announced for 2019 Jeep Wrangler 003

All new Wranglers come with Jeep’s 5-3-5 package. This offers a five-year vehicle warranty, three-year servicing programme, and five years of roadside assistance.

The new Wrangler is live on the UK configurator, giving plenty of opportunities to create the Jeep of your dreams. Even if cruising along the British seaside is not quite the same as living out fantasies of sun-drenched California highways…

There is still one piece of news we are waiting on though. Confirmation that the wonderful Jeep Gladiator pickup truck will come to the UK, and how much it will cost. We’re waiting, Jeep.