Van Drivers Risking Bad Backs

Bad backs ‘costing UK van drivers £21 BILLION a year’

Van Drivers Risking Bad Backs

A survey of British van drivers undertaken by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has uncovered a shocking cost to the economy from bad backs.

Incredibly, some 70% of the van drivers surveyed reported that they had been forced to take time off work due to back pain.

With some commercial vehicle drivers spending up to seven hours behind the wheel, a bad seating position could be contributing to the musculoskeletal epidemic.

Van Drivers Risking Bad BacksEnduring back pain for any length of time can be excruciating, but Volkswagen found that those affected ending up taking an average of three weeks of work as a result.

Given the growing number of van drivers across the country, the combined loss of earnings could push the potential hit to the economy towards a terrifying £21 billion.

Whilst ‘Builder’s Back’ can have a number of initial causes, Volkswagen is concerned that poor driving posture is making the problem worse.

Seven tips for good posture

Van Drivers Risking Bad BacksA recent sample of drivers at the Cordwallis Van Centre found that two-thirds were sitting incorrectly.

As a result, Volkswagen has partnered with the British Chiropractic Association to offer tips on how best to ensure drivers are protecting their backs when behind the wheel.

1. Seat Height: Your thighs should be as parallel to the floor as your seat will allow, and where possible, hips higher than your knees. Adjustable thigh support should ensure you have the maximum surface of your thighs touching the seat.

2. Pedals: You should be able to push the pedals to the floor with a bend in your knees

3. Seat Back: Bring your seat all the way up so it’s straight, and then reclince it until you are comfortable, whilst maintaining a 110 degree angle between your back and thighs.

4. Lumbar Support: The lumbar support should be adjusted so you can feel it support the hollow in your back, but so it’s not causing your spine to arch more than is normal for you.

5. Head Restraint: The height and angle of your head restraint should be adjusted so you can feel the centre of the support touch the middle of the back of your head.

6. Steering Wheel: Once in correct seating position, bring your arm up in front of you and position the centre of the steering wheel to be in line with the fold of your wrist.

7. Rear Mirror: Lift up your chest by five degrees and then adjust your mirrors to help stay in an upright position on long drives.

Van Drivers Risking Bad BacksThis news follows another recent study undertaken by Volkswagen, which found that more than half of all van drivers admitted to using their mobile phone whilst driving.

Other research by Vanarama in 2018 found that simply having a clean van could help win more business for tradespeople.

It means the message for the burgeoning number of UK drivers is to not use your phone whilst driving, make sure you wash your van, and always sit up straight!

National Lampoon Wagon Queen Family Trickster Auction

Live your National Lampoon movie dreams with the Family Truckster

National Lampoon Wagon Queen Family Trickster AuctionA replica of the car which starred in the 1983 cult comedy film National Lampoon’s Vacation is set to go across the Barrett-Jackson auction block next month.

It means this could be the chance to live out your dreams of playing Clark Griswold, and getting behind the wheel of the Wagon Queen Family Truckster.

Although it is not the original car from the film – with several other recreations having been built before – it still marks a rare opportunity for movie motoring fun.

“Dad, this is not the car you ordered!”

National Lampoon Wagon Queen Family Trickster AuctionBased upon a Ford LTD Station Wagon, the original Wagon Queen was intended to mock the outdated malaise-era woodie wagons.

With the birth of the minivan on the horizon, cars like the ‘79 LTD used to make the original Family Truckster were rapidly falling out of favour with American car buyers.

Whilst this replica uses a later Ford LTD body from 1981, it still packs all the details of the movie original.

Even the awkward hood-mounted gas cap, Lou Glutz Motors plates, and Wagon Queen dashboard badge are all present and correct.

“You think you hate it now, wait ‘til you drive it”

National Lampoon Wagon Queen Family Trickster AuctionAll 1981 Ford LTD wagons came with a standard 5.0-liter Windsor V-8 engine, but forget any ideas of big performance. Output was rated at only 130 horsepower and, when combined with a weight of 3,669lb (1,664kg) means leisurely cruising is more appropriate.

This particular car up for grabs retains the 5.0 engine, along with a four-speed automatic gearbox.

So just enjoy the ride, and relax in the sizeable beige velour seats combined with acres of woodgrain vinyl interior trim. Just in case there wasn’t enough of it on the outside already.

“It’s a long way down the holiday road”

National Lampoon Wagon Queen Family Trickster AuctionThe fact that this particular car is a replica of the film version potentially makes it more usable.

You can take it to your local car meet, or even set off on a trip across America to visit a theme park, safe in the knowledge you are not putting a famous movie prop at risk.

Although with any car of this age, there is obviously no satellite navigation fitted. It means you’ll have to rely on your own sense of direction to avoid taking the wrong exit in St Louis, Missouri, for instance.

“I’m from out of town. What’s the bill?”

National Lampoon Wagon Queen Family Trickster AuctionBuying this replica will certainly mark you out as a serious Chevy Chase fan, but there could be other options to tempt you at the 2019 Palm Beach sale.

The docket is packed with a wealth of exotic and intriguing vehicles. There is even an officially licensed tribute to the Eleanor Mustang, which starred in the Gone in 60 Seconds movie.

However, if your film nostalgia is firmly set on the Family Truckster, lot 375 will be crossing the auction block on Friday April 12 2019.

Spark of interest: used electric car price soars by 50%

Renault Zoe used car

A one-year-old Renault Zoe is worth almost 50 percent more than it was at the start of 2018, according to figures released by Cap HPI.

An eight percent rise in the month means that the popular EV is a rare example of a car appreciating in value, with Zoe values up by around £5,000. A short supply of used Zoes and an ever-increasing interest in electric cars are the primary contributors to the surprising stat.

Overall, the values of one-year-old electric cars were up 0.1 percent in March, in a market that was down 0.8 percent in the month. Only convertibles and coupe-cabriolets saw an increase, reflecting the seasonal nature of these vehicles.

The used market continued to soften in March with a fall of 0.9 percent at the three-year, 60,000-mile mark. The move follows drops in January and February and an overall decline of 2.1 percent over the first quarter of 2019, and a 3.3 percent negative swing compared to value movements in the same period a year ago.

Renault Zoe

Commenting on the data, Derren Martin, head of UK valuations at Cap HPI, said: “Despite current economic uncertainty over Brexit, price drops in the used car market cannot be apportioned to this.

“The market has seen prices going up over the last year to 18-months, and there is still a theme of a reluctance to pay high prices and squeeze retail margins. We continue to witness a gentle, downward pricing realignment.”

New or used?

New, Renault Zoe prices start from £18,420 after the government Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG), with mandatory battery hire kicking off from £69 per month. The purchase price includes a free domestic wall box fitted at your home address.

Taking a look on Auto Trader, we found a 2018 Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav with just 2,219 miles on the clock for £9,980, although £15,000 appears to be a more realistic price for a year-old Zoe.

UK energy company to build network of 100 ‘Electric Forecourts’

Electric Forecourt

Energy company Gridserve has announced plans to build a network of more than 100 ‘Electric Forecourts’ across the UK.

The £1 billion project will “make electric vehicle charging as easy as using petrol stations“, says the firm, with construction expected to start in 2019. 

Each ‘Electric Forecourt’ will offer rapid charging at speeds of up to 500kW for cars and light commercial vehicles, with the majority of vehicles charged within 30 minutes. Multi-MW charging points for buses and HGV will also be installed, says the firm.

Electric Forecourt image

The sites, designed and engineered in partnership with Arup, will also include a coffee shop, supermarket and an airport-style lounge with high-speed internet, along with what Gridserve is calling an “education centre and hub to explore a broad range of electric vehicle solutions”.

An opportunity to do a little research into electric cars capable of utilising the 500kw rapid-charger, perhaps. The 350kW Porsche Taycan might be the first EV on your shopping list… 

‘Electric vehicles are awesome’

Electric Forecourt network

Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve, said: “We plan to make charging electric vehicles as easy as using petrol stations. The latest generation of electric vehicles are awesome and ready for mainstream adoption, but drivers still worry about if or where they can charge, how long it will take, and what it will cost.

“We plan to eliminate any range or charging anxiety by building a UK-wide network of customer-focused, brand new Electric Forecourts that will make it easier and cheaper to use an electric vehicle than a petrol or diesel alternative.

“Within five years we plan to have more than 100 Electric Forecourts in use, with each supported by solar energy and battery storage. This infrastructure will accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, serve the grid, and help the UK meet climate and clean air targets.”

Electric Forecourt balcony

Gridserve says it has secured 80 sites on busy routes across the UK and, location permitting, will build new solar farms adjacent to the Electric Forecourts to supply their electricity directly.

The company hasn’t said how much it will cost to charge at one of its forecourts, only that the pricing will be “competitive”. It’s planning to introduce a queuing system to minimise waiting times, with customers able to reserve charging slots via a smartphone app.

Construction of the first two sites in York and Hull will begin later this year.

Has the car industry learned nothing from Dieselgate?

WLTP tests

Given the fallout from the Dieselgate scandal, you’d had thought that the car industry would be doing its utmost to present an image cleaner than a Hyundai Nexo’s tailpipe. But the latest news surrounding WLTP emissions testing suggests this might not be the case.

The European Commission was forced to tighten the test regime following reports that car manufacturers were pushing for higher CO2 emissions. As crazy as this might sound, the carmakers believed that by artificially inflating emissions, future targets would be reduced.

Lobby group Transport and Environment said that car manufacturers were switching off emissions-saving technology in the run-up to the introduction of WLTP testing in September 2018. By using Sport mode instead of Eco mode, and disengaging start-stop, the manufacturers were manipulating the figures.

JATO CO2 emissions

CO2 emissions rose following the switch from NEDC to WLTP, with Transport and Environment stating that the increase was between one and 81 percent, depending on the manufacturer. The stricter WLTP regime was introduced to deliver more accurate real-world fuel economy and emissions figures.

Now, car manufacturers might be forced to retest selected models to present more accurate figures to the increasingly bewildered car buyers of Europe. 

Closing the loopholes

“If carmakers want to sell them in 2020 when WLTP values for 2025 CO2 targets are measured, they either have to prove to their approval authority that they meet the new requirements, or re-homologate,” Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles and emobility manager at Transport and Europe, told Automotive News Europe.

“It remains to be seen whether or not the new WLTP amendments will have closed all the loopholes. It is something we will be watching closely in the course of this year,” Poliscanova said.

As car manufacturers struggle to meet more stringent CO2 reduction targets, will we see more evidence of clandestine misdemeanours? Watch this space… 

New car showroom

How higher new car prices are benefiting auto consumers

New car showroomTo most consumers, it would come as no surprise that new vehicle prices are at an all-time high. The average paid in the U.S. now sits just over $35,600, a $4,000 increase since 2013.

Unsurprisingly, loan amounts have climbed in lockstep with prices, and Americans are now borrowing money in record amounts. The average loan tops $30,000, with an average payment of $530, and an average term of six years.

“Almost every quarter it hits a new high,” says Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive financial solutions. “There’s a lot of discussion around affordability, but ultimately consumers haven’t changed what they’re buying.”

SUV shock

Consumers increasingly prefer more expensive vehicles like pickups, crossovers, and SUVs. Compared to their passenger car counterparts, the difference in price over the term of a loan can be shocking.

“Ten years ago, the number one segment was small economy cars,” says Zabritski. “Now it’s the CUV [compact utility vehicle].” One of the hottest market segments, the CUV accounted for nearly 40 percent of new vehicle purchases in 2018.

Even though consumers are not necessarily buying fancy CUVs, the average price is still higher than a comparable small car. According to Zabritski, the difference will add $5,000 or more to the cost of a loan. In order to manage the price hike, many buyers have turned to leasing.

Lease for less

Auto dealer finance department

Consumers are most often driven by the monthly payment amount rather than total purchase price. Leases average $100 per month less than a loan, and sometimes well over. This option has proven so popular in recent years that leasing now accounts for around a third of new car sales.

Leasing not only props up sales numbers, but lease returns also increase the volume of late-model used cars hitting the market. These lower cost options are also proving attractive to qualified buyers. Like leasing, payments for used cars are generally $100 per month lower than for new.

“If you went back and looked at 2008,” says Zabritski, “You might see prime consumers choosing used (cars) 45 percent of the time. Now you’ve got prime consumers buying used 55 percent of the time. That’s a pretty significant increase.”

Banks, credit unions, and manufacturer finance arms benefit from these lower payments as well as the consumer. According to Zabritski, the lower the monthly payment, the lower the risk of default. “If we can keep payments lower, you can keep the [loan] performance going,” she says.

Declining delinquency

Lexus interior

The consumer tactics seem to be working. Q3 2017-Q3 2018 data from the State of the Automotive Finance Market report shows 30-day delinquency rates dropping from 2.39 percent to 2.23 percent, and 60-day delinquency rates declining from 0.76 percent to 0.72 percent.

While delinquency rates fall, credit scores are increasing across the board, with the average now being 717 for new and 661 for used. More consumers are being shifted to higher credit tiers and are able to quality for lower interest rates, usually translating to lower payments and more manageable loans.

Subprime loan originations—those made to borrowers with a credit score between 501 and 600—have hit their lowest overall market share in 11 years, below 20 percent of loan balances. Deep subprime loans—made for scores between between 300 and 500—are shrinking.

Sticker shock is keeping consumer new vehicle demand flat, even though 2018 was a record year for automakers due to corporate, government, and rental fleet sales. Rising prices and rising interest rates continue to bring affordability into question.  “When you look at how much income you need to support that payment,” says Zabritski, “It certainly is higher than your average individual income.”

Americans seem to realize that, and are opting for financial responsibility, benefitting both themselves and the industry.

More automotive news from Motoring Research:

Future Jaguars and Land Rovers could prevent coughs and sneezes

Jaguar Land Rover sneeze

Future Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) models could stop the spread of colds and flu thanks to the use of ultraviolet light technology (UV-C).

UV-C is used within the medical industry for disinfecting water, filtering air and sterilising surfaces via wavelengths of light between 200-280 nanometers. Now, JLR believes that UV-C could be used within its air conditioning systems to stop bacteria and harmful viruses in their tracks.

Put simply, exposing the bugs to UV-C within the air-con breaks down the molecular structure of their DNA, neutralising them. Clean air is then released into the cabin.

According to JLR, the technology could even help in the fight against drug-resistant superbugs.

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover chief medical officer, said: “The average motorist spends as much as 300 hours per year behind the wheel. There is a clear opportunity to better utilise cars for administering preventative healthcare.”

“The implementation of individual wellbeing measures as part of our ‘tranquil sanctuary’ research promises to not only improve quality of life for our customers but in this case, offers clear advantages in reducing pathogen spread – protecting the overall population from the threat of disease; particularly as we move towards shared mobility solutions.”

Neutralising pathogens

Jaguar I-Pace

JLR is already actively seeking to neutralise pathogens in its latest air conditioning units, with the four-zone climate control and cabin air ionisation system using high voltage to create trillions of nano-sized negatively charged particles (ions) coated in water molecules.

These ions deactivate pathogens, forming larger particles that are removed from the air as they are brought back into the filter. As well as combating pathogens, the ions also act upon odour molecules and allergens in a similar way.

Dr Iley said: “In the colder months infections are spread more easily, it’s reassuring to know that in your car at least, you can be confident that harmful pathogens are being neutralised.”

The use of UV-C is just one part of JLR’s vision to create a so-called ‘tranquil sanctuary’ inside its vehicles. In the future, you can expect to emerge from your driverless car feeling energised, relaxed and free of bugs.

Porsches more likely to be clamped, reveals DVLA

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

Around 133,000 vehicles were clamped for being untaxed in the last financial year, including almost 350 prestige cars. “These figures show that it doesn’t matter what type of vehicle you own, whether it’s a sports car, motorhome or even a bus – if you don’t tax it, we’ll clamp it,” said Bethan Beasley of the DVLA. Here, we list the top 15 prestige brands clamped by the DVLA, with the results presented in reverse order.

15. McLaren – one clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

We should point out that the photos used throughout this gallery are for illustrative purposes – we’re not pointing our virtual fingers at a particular car or its owner. Imagine owning a McLaren and then ‘forgetting’ to tax it. Madness.

14. Lincoln – one clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

Let’s be honest, if you drive a Lincoln, you’re going to stand out on the streets of Britain. So it’s probably a good idea to tax it. “It’s never been easier to tax your car – it’s just a few clicks to do it online and you can do it 24 hours a day. Don’t take the risk – it just isn’t worth it,” said Bethan Beasley.

13. Hummer – one clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

We don’t know what’s more alarming: the fact that a Hummer owner forgot to renew the tax or the revelation that the DVLA has a clamp large enough for one of these bad boys. We’re talking about the Hummer – we’re sure the guys in this photo wouldn’t dream of getting up to no good. Cool press pic, Geoffrey.

12. TVR – three clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

More devious members of the motoring press might take a cheap swipe at TVR’s reliability record, saying something along the lines of the cars not being on the road long enough to warrant the tax. Not us, though. We believe that such jokes are as dated as end-of-the-pier entertainers.

11. Lotus – four clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

Four Lotus sports cars were clamped for being untaxed. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra topped the table, with the DVLA clamping 6,000 of each model. Curiously, 63 London taxis were clamped.

10. Ferrari – seven clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

The DVLA clamped seven Ferraris last year. In 2017, a Ferrari 456 hit the headlines after its owner left it untaxed on a street near Harrods. It was parked for two years before the DVLA clamped it.

9. Rolls-Royce – eight clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

In February, the DVLA launched a new ‘tax it or lose it’ advertising campaign targeted at the areas of the UK where tax dodging is highest. Last week, it was revealed that 9,000 vehicles have been clamped since the start of the campaign.

8. Aston Martin – eight clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

A whopping 27,605 vehicles were clamped in London in 2018, with a further 94,550 motorists receiving a fine or penalty. A total of eight Aston Martins were clamped. Poor show, Mr Bond.

7. Triumph – ten clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

The inclusion of Triumph is a useful reminder that even though historic vehicles are exempt from payment, you still need to apply for vehicle excise duty (VED)

6. Tesla – 10 clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

Since the changes to the rates of VED in 2017, new Teslas have been subject to the surcharge on premium vehicles. This is levied on cars that cost more than £40,000 and payable for five years from year two. The rate is rising from £310 to £320 in April 2019.

5. Cadillac – 19 clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

We’ve been looking for an excuse to use this photo of a Cadillac Seville STS parked alongside a helicopter for a while, and thanks to the 19 people who forget to renew their tax, the day has finally come.

4. Bentley – 20 clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

In February, Man City star Riyad Mahrez had his Bentley Bentayga clamped after traffic wardens spotted it wasn’t taxed. We wonder how many of the 20 Bentleys clamped by the DVLA were owned by Premier League footballers.

3. Maserati – 23 clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

The owner of this Maserati needs to be careful because the traffic warden behind looks armed and dangerous. In other news, hasn’t the Quattroporte aged beautifully?

2. Abarth – 28 clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

A total of 28 Abarths were clamped last year. Next, we reveal the most clamped prestige car of last year…

1. Porsche – 199 clamped

Top 15 prestige car brands clamped

It’s Porsche, with a huge 199 vehicles clamped by the DVLA. That’s more than Proton, Perodua and Reliant combined. Oops.

2019 Skoda Octavia SportLine UK

Skoda launches new Octavia SportLine crammed with extra kit

2019 Skoda Octavia SportLine UKSportLine, as the name suggests, adds sporting performance-inspired elements from the Octavia vRS, but without the powerful engine specifications.

Think of it as akin to Volkswagen’s R-Line cars, or Audi’s S line trim. It means all the show of the faster versions, but with less of the go – and a lower price tag.

Skoda has already applied the SportLine trim to the Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs, along with the voluminous Superb.

All lined up

2019 Skoda Octavia SportLine UKFor the Octavia, it means adding a gloss black chin spoiler, which juts from beneath the front bumper. The front grille also gets the blackout treatment, aping the style used on the latest vRS Challenge special edition.

Door mirrors, and a new rear diffuser with imitation exhaust pipes, also feature the gloss black design, whilst hatchback versions gain a subtle new spoiler atop the deck lid. Bad news, estate fans – you’ll have to go without.

A set of 18-inch ‘Vega’ alloy wheels complete the exterior trinketry, and mimic those used on Skoda’s other SportLine models.

Quick-ish, off the line

2019 Skoda Octavia SportLine UKEquipment levels are suitably strong compared to the rest of the already generous Octavia range. Full-LED headlights, featuring adaptive lighting and LED daytime running lights flank that new black front grille.

Inside is an 8-inch touchscreen, with Skoda’s Amundsen satellite navigation system and integrated Wi-Fi connectivity. Automatic lights and windscreen wipers are also part of the deal.

High-backed sports seats, similar to those fitted in the Octavia vRS, are present in the front of the SportLine. A black headlining adds to the sporty vibe, along with a three-spoke steering wheel trimmed in perforated leather.

Two engines are on offer, with choices of a 1.5-litre petrol turbo or 2.0-litre diesel, both of which produce 150hp. The diesel unit uses a seven-speed DSG gearbox, whilst petrol fans can pick between that or a six-speed manual.

Prices start from £23,870 for the petrol hatchback, topping out at £27,860 for the diesel estate. Orders can be made now, with the first deliveries expected next month.

Hero cars of the 1990s to buy now

1990s cars you should buy now

The 1990s were weird, weren’t they? They were shackled by the trappings of the 80s, minus some of the excess and frippery. Nevertheless, the promise of new technological frontiers and the looming 2000s was prominent. Never has a decade began as the last ended, and ended as the next began, quite as much as the 1990s.

The proto-digital age produced some epic cars, though. As the 2020s loom, we decided to pick a few of the coolest cars from the 90s that we’d buy if we could.

1990 Lotus Carlton

1990s cars you should buy now

The regular Vauxhall Carlton was never cool. But add twin-turbochargers to the 3.0-litre straight-six engine, creating a total of 377hp and 419lb ft of torque, and it gained instant credibility. Work by Lotus created this all-conquering super saloon, with a top speed in excess of 176mph.

Additional cool comes from the fact that the Lotus Carlton was mentioned in a House of Commons debate so concerned were MPs about a 170mph saloon being let loose on British roads. Get a clean one if you can.

1990 Lamborghini Diablo

1990s cars you should buy now

Arguably the most flamboyant Lamborghini built, before Audi ownership forced the Sant’Agata firm to be a little more sensible. Longer, wider and lower than the Countach it replaced, the Diablo was also the first Lamborghini to achieve a top speed in excess of 200mph.

Starting with a 485hp 5.7-litre V12, then ending the decade with a 575hp 6.0-litre unit, the Diablo remained an iconic supercar throughout the 1990s. The Diablo is sure to follow the climb the Countach took value-wise.

1992 Ferrari 456 GT

1990s cars you should buy now

Compare the 456 GT to the car that replaced it, the somewhat awkward 612 Scaglietti, and its inclusion here should make perfect sense. Pininfarina created a truly beautiful 2+2 grand tourer, featuring a 436hp 5.5-litre V12 engine and a luxurious leather-lined interior.

It was also the last Ferrari to be designed with pop-up headlights, which is almost reason alone for appearing on this list. You could get into one of the few true modern Ferrari beauties for under £100,000.

1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth

1990s cars you should buy now

As the almost untouchable dream for any Max Power reader during the 1990s, the Escort RS Cosworth blended rally homologation necessity with road-going excess. The fact that the performance from the 227hp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is hardly astounding by modern standards is irrelevant.

It might only just dip below six seconds to 60mph, but that giant whale-tail rear spoiler makes it far cooler than a new Golf R. Based on current auction values, Ford enthusiasts seem to think so, too. It’s a certifiable over-appreciated (if that’s possible?) modern classic.

1993 Renault Clio Williams

1990s cars you should buy now

Another Formula 1 connection, and one of greatest hot hatches ever built. Being painted Sports Blue, wearing gold Speedline alloys, and featuring the name of the then-dominant F1 constructor was a strong start for the Clio Williams. Adding a 145hp 2.0-litre engine to a lightweight supermini only helped matters, as did the wonderfully balanced handling and engaging steering.

Today, the original 3,800 limited-edition cars are the most sought-after, but even the later second and third phase cars are still highly desirable. They’re still just about attainable but they’re on the way up.

1993 Toyota Supra Turbo

1990s cars you should buy now

Try to ignore the fact that many A80 Supras have been butchered to create Fast & Furious replicas. Focus instead on this being a Japanese sports car with the genuine potential to worry Porsche 911 owners. Yes, there were naturally-aspirated versions, but the twin-turbocharged model is the one everyone loves.

With 320hp, it could hit 60mph in less than five seconds, and a potential 155mph top speed this was a seriously quick car. It along with other Japanese performance models is becoming a cult classic.

1994 Aston Martin DB7

1990s cars you should buy now

Ian Callum has designed many attractive cars since the DB7, but it’s hard to beat the faultless lines and curves of his 1994 creation while working for TWR. Born from an abandoned Jaguar project, the DB7 inherited its underpinnings from the ancient XJS. But it didn’t matter how old the platform was when the car looked this beautiful.

The later V12-powered Vantage versions were even better, adding more power and performance.

1994 Audi RS2 Avant

1990s cars you should buy now

An estate car faster than a McLaren F1? Yes, if we’re measuring them on a 0-30mph sprint. The McLaren took 1.8 seconds, while the Audi wagon needed just 1.5 seconds. After that point, not even the 311hp and 302lb ft of torque from the five-cylinder turbo engine, combined with a Quattro drivetrain, could compete with the F1.

When new, the RS2 Avant was the fastest estate car in the world, having been developed in partnership with Porsche. Hence the Porsche Cup 17-inch alloy wheels, Porsche Brembo brakes and Porsche-inspired front bumper design. Peak coolness comes when the RS2 Avant is painted in Nogaro Blue.

1996 Peugeot 106 GTi

1990s cars you should buy now

For those growing up with 1990s modified car culture, the Peugeot 106 GTi was an achievable dream. A 118hp 1.6-litre engine, combined with low weight, made for enthusiastic performance and the added bonus/risk of lift-off oversteer when cornering.

We could have included the mechanically-identical Citroen Saxo VTS, but the 106 GTi somehow exuded slightly more class when parked outside a McDonald’s drive-thru.

1996 Audi S8

As I write, we’re a week or so into our one-month stint with the Ronin star, we’re certifiably in love. Understated looks, Teutonic build quality and a 4.2-litre V8 with 335hp are a sweet mix and were seemingly perfect for an aggressive car chase.

It’s certainly been enough so far to have us searching the classifieds, and we’ve got three weeks left with it yet!