Confirmed or cancelled? Your guide to 2020’s motoring events

Best motoring events 2020

The 2020 motoring events calendar has been thrown up in the air due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. 

Organisers of events for car enthusiasts are already postponing events or announcing rescheduled dates.

Here, we aim to highlight some of the UK’s biggest and best car shows and motorsport events of the year, along with any revised dates as they are announced.

We’ll be updating the list as more news comes in, so be sure to bookmark this page. Get in touch if you’d like us to add a motoring event you’re organising, or revise the details listed.

LATEST UPDATE: Goodwood has announced the 2020 Festival of Speed AND the 2020 Goodwood Revival have been cancelled, due to social distancing measures. It is a decision the world-famous motorsport destination stresses has not taken lightly.

Indeed, as a measure of how serious things are, the Goodwood Supporters’ Association has been revived, more than 25 years after it succeded in its previous mission, to bring back motorsport to Goodwood. Now it wants to secure motorsport at Goodwood. 

Want to help preserve Goodwood during these unprecedented times? Check out the GSA here.  

CONFIRMED FOR 2020

British Grand Prix – new dates 2 August AND 9 August

British Grand Prix

The 2020 British Grand Prix at Silverstone has been confirmed by Formula 1 bosses – and it’s an unprecedented double-header, with two races run over two weekends: 31 July-2 August and 7-9 August. 

HOWEVER, in line with strict coronavirus crisis measures, both races will be held behind closed doors – the event is on, but fans will NOT be allowed in. 

This is disappointing, as Silverstone has long been rated one of the world’s most popular F1 events to attend. It does still mean that we’ll be able to watch this event from afar though, rather than seeing it cancelled, to the relief of many eager motorsport fans. 

BTCC, Donington – NEW DATES 1-2 August

BTCC

Organisers have “taken the decision to provisionally plan events from August onwards, however, the calendar will of course remain conditional upon receiving appropriate government directives”. To this end, rounds one, two and three are pencilled in for 1 and 2 August at Donington Park.

Gaydon Land Rover Show – NEW DATE 1-2 August

Hundreds of Land Rovers will be on display at the Gaydon Land Rover Show in August. It was due to take place in May. Owners can enter their vehicle for just £8, giving entry to display the Land Rover, as well as admitting the driver and one passenger to enter the show for the weekend. The event is held at the British Motor Museum, which is five minutes from junction 12 of the M40.

Classic & Performance Car Spectacular – NEW DATE 15-16 August

Classic and Performance Car Spectacular

Tatton Park, Cheshire, is the venue for the Classic & Performance Car Spectacular on 15 and 16 August. Around 2,000 cars will be on display, along with 250 stalls and 90+ clubs. If you miss this one, Tatton Park will also play host to a Classic American show in July and a ‘Passion for Power’ show in August.

London Concours – NEW DATE 19-20 August

London Concours

Billed as the ‘ultimate automotive summer garden party’ London Concours takes place at the Honourable Artillery Company, in the heart of the city. Around 130 high-end classics and supercars were on show last year, from the ‘Beast of Turin’ to the latest Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Tickets for the 2020 event, which has moved to August, are on sale now, priced from £40.

Concours of Elegance – 4-6 September

Concours of Elegance

The Concours of Elegance 2020 will take place at Hampton Court Palace in September, with 60 of the rarest cars ever built lining up in the Fountain Gardens. Many of the entrants will also take part in a two-day driving tour in the days running up to the main event.

Le Mans 24 Hours – NEW DATE 19-20 September

Le Mans 24 Hours

The 88th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours will now take place on 19 and 20 September. Le Mans is located less than three hours from the ferry terminals at Cherbourg, St-Malo and Le Havre. The exact schedule for the revised date is to be confirmed.

Salon Prive – NEW DATE 23-26 September

Salon Prive

Salon Prive is a motoring event for fans of superlatives. ‘The most luxurious of garden parties set against the backdrop of Britain’s greatest palace (Blenheim Palace). Presenting the finest collection of supercars, hypercars and classic cars, along with a luxury retail village and exquisite cuisine, it is a truly unique experience’. Tickets are priced accordingly…

Ford Fair – NEW DATE 25 October

Ford Fair

Ford Fair is Europe’s biggest Ford event, with around 4,000 cars and 18,000 guests expected to flood Silverstone. You can expect the usual mix of showroom-quality vehicles, sprint tests and track time, albeit at a new autumn date rather than its traditional August showing.

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – 1 November

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

This year’s London to Brighton run takes place on 1 November, with veteran cars arriving at London’s Hyde Park before sunrise. From there, they will set off for the 60-mile journey to Brighton. Any car registered before 1 January 1905 is eligible to do the run.

Classic Motor Show – 13-15 November

Classic Motor Show

If you’re looking for a reason to keep your classic on the road over winter, this could be it. The Classic Motor Show is held at the Birmingham NEC, where more than 3,000 classics are expected to go on display in an area the size of 18 football pitches. Fingers crossed it still goes ahead.

Please get in touch if you’d like to see your event included in our next update. Happy motoring.

CANCELLED FOR 2020

The following events have been cancelled for 2020

Goodwood Revival 2020 – CANCELLED

Goodwood Revival

Step back in time at the Goodwood Revival. Visitors are encouraged to dress in period clothing at this event celebrating the golden era of motorsport. Regrettably, the 2020 event is another victim of the coronavirus crisis, but it will be back for 2021, promises the Duke of Richmond. 

Goodwood Festival of Speed – CANCELLED

Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 1993, Lord March hosted a hillclimb in the grounds of Goodwood House in Sussex and created the Festival of Speed. It has grown to become one of the world’s biggest and most famous motoring events, but the hillclimb remains central to its appeal. This year’s Festival of Speed has been cancelled, but Goodwood insists it will be back next year.

CarFest North and SOUTH – CANCELLED

CarFest North

The organisers had originally planned to combine CarFest North and CarFest South to create one big event: CarFest United. It was to be held at Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire across the weekend of 28 to 30 August 2020. The organisers said it will be “like the Cup Final“. But plans have since been shelved: CarFest North and South will return in their familiar form, but in 2021, not 2020. 

Beaulieu International Autojumble – CANCELLED

Beaulieu

If rummaging for oily car parts is your idea of a dirty weekend, the International Autojumble is the event for you. Some 2,000 stands are expected to fill the grounds of the Beaulieu Motor Museum, making it the biggest outdoor sale of motoring items this side of the Atlantic. Alas, for 2020, it is sadly cancelled. 

2020 Wales Rally GB – CANCELLED

Wales Rally GB

The 12th round of the FIA World Rally Championship was due to drop into Wales in October and November. Sadly, Wales Rally GB has now been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis. 

Donington Historic Festival – CANCELLED

Donington Historic Festival

Originally, the Donington Historic Festival was been postponed to an alternative date later in the year. Unfortunately, organisers have now decided to cancel the 2020 event. It will, however, return for 2021. 

Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show – CANCELLED

Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show

The Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show brings together 1,000+ cars, 150+ car clubs and 250+ exhibitors and autojumblers. Highlights include the UK’s biggest ‘barn-find’ display, the Practical Classics Live Stage and the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership competition. It had been hoped to postpone it until August, but now organisers have said the 2020 event is cancelled. It returns on 26-28 March 2021. 

Fully Charged Live – CANCELLED

Fully Charged Live Farnborough 2020

Robert Llewellyn’s Fully Charged Live, Britain’s biggest electric car show, has outgrown its base at Silverstone. For 2020, the EV event was moving to Farnborough International, with the organisers planning to show every electric vehicle available in the UK. Sadly, after announcing a revised autumn date, organisers have now cancelled the 2020 event. It returns in June 2021

MG Live – CANCELLED

MG Live

Organised by the MG Car Club, MG Live is the world’s biggest event for MG owners. This year’s event has been has been cancelled, with the organisers working with Silverstone to find suitable dates to revive the event in 2021.

Land Rover Legends – CANCELLED

Land Rover Legends

The third edition of Land Rover Legends has been cancelled. All tickets will be valid for a rescheduled event in 2021, and ticketholders are advised to remain patient. 

Ultimate Street Car – CANCELLED

Ultimate Street Car

Ultimate Street Car (USC) at Santa Pod Raceway is the ‘largest, loudest, hottest and fastest modified car festival in Europe’. Expect drifting, stunt displays, drag racing, music and tyre smoke. Lots and lots of tyre smoke. But in 2021, not 2020. 

Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival – CANCELLED

Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival

Sunday 23 August was to be be when 1,000 classic vehicles of all ages, plus motorcycles, automobilia and market stalls, gather at Tewkesbury School, just minutes from J9 of the M5 motorway. But no longer. The celebrated marque this year was Alvis, and there was also going to bebe a Hawker Hurricane flypast, as part of the VE Day 75th anniversary celebrations. What a pity.  

Goodwood 78th Members’ Meeting – CANCELLED

Originally scheduled for 28-29 March, organisers of the 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting have announced the event is cancelled. It had been hoped to run it later in the year, but regrettably this has not been possible. 

Silverstone Classic – CANCELLED

Silverstone Classic

To some people, this is one of the highlights of the motoring calendar – a three-day, non-stop historic motoring racing extravaganza. However, the organisers have now announced “t is with a heavy heart that the organisers of the Silverstone Classic announce that this summer’s flagship three-day festival – originally scheduled for the weekend of 31 July to the 2 August – has sadly been cancelled”. 

June Scramble, Bicester Heritage – CANCELLED

April Scramble

The Bicester Heritage Sunday Scramble began as a ‘cars and coffee’ get-together but has grown to become one of the country’s biggest motoring events. You’ve missed the first Sunday Scramble of the year, and now the planned April event, originally rescheduled for 21 June, has been cancelled.

Japfest – CANCELLED

Japfest

Europe’s biggest Japanese car show has been cancelled, after originally being postponed. It will now return in 2021. 

Techno-Classica Essen – CANCELLED

Techno-Classica Essen

Techno-Classica Essen is a European classic car show with a global reputation, with around 1,250 exhibitors from 30 countries. In 2019, the event attracted 190,000 visitors from 46 different nations. Essen is a four- to five-hour drive from Calais, and has now become a summertime event.

Monaco Historic Grand Prix – CANCELLED

The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique (or Monaco Historic Grand Prix) takes place every other year. This year would have marked the 12th edition of the prestigious event, but it will return in 2022.

MotoFest Coventry – CANCELLED

MotoFest Coventry is ‘a unique blend of motorsport demonstrations, static displays, live music and anything else with a connection to Coventry and transport’. Brilliantly, Coventry’s ring road becomes a sprint circuit for the weekend, creating one of the best spectacles of the motoring calendar. Following its cancellation, MotoFest Coventry will now place take place on 4, 5 and 6 June 2021.

The Isle of Man TT– CANCELLED

The Isle of Man TT

The fastest road race on the planet was due to get underway on Saturday 6 June, with qualifying scheduled for Sunday 31 May. Sadly, the Island’s chief minister has now decladed the 2020 event to be cancelled: we won’t be seeing world’s bravest riders test their mettle on the formidable 37.73-mile course this year.

Bath Festival of Motoring – CANCELLED

ColinPeachey / Shutterstock.com

Last year’s Bath Festival of Motoring played host to 500 cars and around 6,000 visitors. This year’s event has been cancelled, with the next Bath Festival of Motoring taking place on the 19 and 20 June 2021.

Bromley Pageant – CANCELLED

The Bromley Pageant is one of the world’s largest one-day classic car shows, with more than 3,000 vehicles expected to be on display in Kent. The 2020 event has been cancelled, with the next Pageant taking place on 13 June 2021.

Yorkshire Motorsport Festival – CANCELLED

Julia Bradbury Yorkshire Motorsport Festival

The organisers of the Yorkshire Motorsport Festival say they hope to offer northern motorsport enthusiasts ‘something new and different’. Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, the Festival will now run on 25 to 27 June 2021. The event host was due to be former Top Gear presenter Julia Bradbury.

Auto Royale – CANCELLED

Auto Royale Althorp is “a true ‘festivalised’ event which will attract the very affluent and high net worth collectors along with ABC1 owners and enthusiasts of the automotive lifestyle”. Up to 150 cars from Britain and overseas were set to compete for a range of traditional class awards, special celebration awards and the coveted Best in Show. The event will now place in summer 2021.

Classics on the Common – CANCELLED

For one Wednesday every July, Harpenden is invaded by classic cars as it plays host to the UK’s largest weekday car show. Unfortunately, the event won’t take place in 2020, but it’s likely to return on 28 July 2021.

Festival of the Unexceptional – CANCELLED

Festival of the Unexceptional

This year’s Festival of the Unexceptional has been cancelled. Owners of unexceptional cars of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s are invited back in July 2021.

Events you’ve missed: save the date for next year 

Haynes Breakfast Club – 2 February

Haynes breakfast club

Car fans in the South and South West will be converging on the Haynes Motor Museum for the second Breakfast Club of the year. The museum, which is located just off the A303 in Somerset, is home to around 400 cars, while the cafe opens at 8.30am on Breakfast Club Sundays. These events are free to attend and held on the first Sunday of each month.

Retromobile – 5-9 February

Retromobile 2020

Retromobile is held in the largest and most prestigious hall at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre, Paris – a location befitting an event of this stature. This year, the show will celebrate Aston Martin, the Volkswagen Combi and the fabulous Automotoclub Storico Italiano Bertone collection.

Great Western Classic Car Show – 8-9 February

Great Western Classic Car Show

The Footman James Great Western Classic Car Show is the biggest event of its kind in the South West of England, with thousands of car enthusiasts converging on the Royal Bath & West Showground near Shepton Mallet.

Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show – 18-23 February

Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show

The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show is the largest showcase of motorhomes, campervans, caravans, caravan holidays and lodges in the UK. The latest 2020 touring caravans and motorhomes will be on display, along with a Camping Zone and a display of electric ride-ons. Head to Birmingham’s NEC if caravans are your thing.

London Classic Car Show – 20-23 February

London Classic Car Show

The London Classic Car Show is moving to a new venue at Olympia London. The four-day event will celebrate 40 years of the Audi Quattro, with five examples of the legendary car on display in the capital. The show will also introduce a new Car Stories feature, which celebrates six of the world’s most iconic vehicles. On display this year will be the Porsche 962C, Lotus 49 and Maserati 250F.

Race Retro – 21-23 February

Race Retro

At the end of February, all motorsport roads will lead to Stoneleigh Park for the Race Retro international historic motorsport show. Highlights include a live rally stage, ‘arrive and drive a classic car’, Pride of the Paddock and a Silverstone Auctions sale.

Drive It Day – 26 April

Drive It Day

On Sunday 26 April, thousands of classic cars will take to the road for the annual Drive It Day. First introduced by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs in 2005, the date is as close as possible to the anniversary of the 1,000 Mile Trial – an event that saw vintage motor cars drive from London to Edinburgh and back.

Car scrapyard

Electric car scrappage scheme ‘rejected’ by government

Car scrapyard

A new car scrappage scheme that would have given motorists up to £6,000 off the price of a new electric car has reportedly been ruled out by the government.

The car industry had been calling for support to give sales a boost after the fall-out from the coronavirus crisis.

Similar schemes have already been launched in France and Germany.

The Times reports it has seen a letter from Rachel Maclean, junior minister for transport and the environment, stating “the government has no plans at this stage to introduce a scrappage scheme”.

Ms Maclean instead outlined the government’s £2.5 billion investment in ultra-low emissions vehicle grants, and funding to increase electric car charging point provision at homes, workplaces, residential streets and the wider road network.

She admitted “a number of media articles have suggested that the government is considering a scrappage scheme” that could have given motorists £6,000 to swap older petrol and diesel cars for a pure electric car – on top of the existing £3,000 Plug-in Car Grant (which was cut by £500 in March).

The letter seen by The Times ruled this out – after the government did the same in 2018 when it stated a scrappage scheme was “difficult to deliver [and] potentially open to abuse”.

Academics, reports The Times, wrote to the Department for Transport in June, asking for clarity on the possible scrappage scheme.

Dr Steve Melia, a lecturer in transport and planning at the University of the West of England, led the approach. He described existing reforms to encourage zero-emissions vehicles as “clearly inadequate”.

Since launching a range of new car sales incentives including an electric car scrappage scheme, registrations in France have recovered almost to normal levels.

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Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

Land Rover Defender Hard Top van version revealed

Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

Land Rover has revived a name from the past for the commercial vehicle version of the new Defender: Hard Top.

Offered in both 90 and 110 guise, the new Defender Hard Top will go on sale later in 2020.

Land Rover suggests prices will begin from £35,500 + VAT.

Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

The Hard Top name was first used in 1950 when Series Land Rovers gained a removable hard top. The new version, adds the firm, is a fixed metal roof.

It is being developed by the firm’s Special Vehicle Operations division to deliver “unrivalled durability, practicality and toughness”.

Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

MD Michael van der Sande said: “We will maximise the functionality and usability of new Defender’s cargo area, with tough materials and clever storage solutions to ensure it surpasses the capability of any previous Defender Hard Top.”

A payload of up to 3,500kg will be available, with coil spring suspension as standard. Defender Hard Top 110s will offer optional air suspension.

Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

Inside, there are no second or third row seats but the Defender’s clever optional front-row ‘jump seat’ in the middle means it can seat up to three – just like a real van.

Unlike a back-to-basics van, Land Rover Pivi Pro infotainment will be available, complete with software-over-the-air updates. Good news for businesses, says Land Rover, as it will minimise downtime.

Full details of the new Defender Hard Top will follow later this year, adds the firm: ordering will open before 2020 is out.

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How Dacia Bi-Fuel LPG cars will save you money

Dacia Logan Bi-Fuel LPG gauge

How Dacia Bi-Fuel LPG cars will save you money

Dacia Duster Bi-Fuel

Dacia has become the only new car brand in the UK to sell cars able to run on LPG petroleum gas – and the firm claims its new Bi-Fuel range could save the average motorist more than £400 a year.

This is because LPG is so much cheaper than petrol – 62p a litre, at the time of writing, rather than an average 109p per litre.

Offered across the Dacia range of Sandero, Duster and Logan MCV, the 1.0 TCe Bi-Fuel cars are priced at £400 more than an equivalent 1.0 TCe petrol engine.

This means that if you drive 12,000 miles annually, the Bi-Fuel cars will pay for themselves within a year.

Head of Dacia UK, Luke Broad, says that even with today’s low petrol prices, a Bi-Fuel Dacia will save more than £1,000 over the average four-year PCP deal.

Once fuel prices begin to rise again, the savings will compound. When petrol prices return to around 120p a litre, Dacia Bi-Fuel models could save as much as £2,000 over four years.

What is Dacia Bi-Fuel LPG?

Dacia Sandero Bi-Fuel

LPG, or liquid petroleum gas, is sold at over 1,200 filling stations in the UK.

Most petrol cars can also run on LPG with some simple conversions – but Dacia designed its TCe petrol engine with LPG in mind, making the conversion easier still.

It is carried out on the production line in the factory, rather than once the car has been built. This is how Dacia can offer the same three-year warranty and impose the same service intervals as a normal petrol model.

An extra bonus is the 1.0 TCe LPG engine produces 10 percent more power than the regular car – 100hp instead of 90hp. 

The LPG fuel tank is located in the spare wheel well, so boot space is identical to normal models.

Dacia Sandero Bi-Fuel LPG and petrol filler

The LPG fuel filler is also located within the regular fuel filler flap, rather than an ugly plastic cut-out in the rear bumper.

How do Dacia Bi-Fuel models work?

Dacia Logan Bi-Fuel LPG gauge

Dacia Bi-Fuel models start off running on petrol, and automatically switch to LPG. There is also a controller on the dashboard, complete with LPG fuel gauge.

Because the petrol tank remains, Dacia Bi-Fuel cars have a much bigger range than regular cars – up to almost 750 miles when using both petrol and LPG, claims the firm.  

Overall, it costs around 30 percent less to run a Dacia on LPG than it does on petrol – and LPG also emits more than 10 percent less CO2 than a petrol car, plus fewer particulates.

Dacia Bi-Fuel new car range

Dacia Logan Bi-Fuel

Every Dacia model offers a Bi-Fuel version: that’s Sandero (and Sandero Stepway), Logan MCV (and Logan MCV Stepway), and Duster. 

The cheapest Dacia LPG model is the Sandero Essential 1.0 TCe 100 Bi-Fuel, which costs £9,145. A regular Sandero Essential 1.0 TCe 90 costs £8,795. 

The popular Duster is offered as an Essential 1.0 TCe 100 Bi-Fuel from £13,195. 

Because Dacia Bi-Fuel cars are classed as alternative fuel vehicles, they even benefit from a £10 saving on VED road fund licence. 

FordPass smartphone app

FordPass connected car smartphone app is now FREE

FordPass smartphone app

Charges for the FordPass smartphone app have been lifted meaning all new Ford owners will now be able to monitor and control their vehicle remotely free of charge.

Previously, FordPass connected vehicle services required owners to pay for a subscription.

Fees have now been waived which Ford says could potentially save users of the FordPass app hundreds of pounds.

The app, which works through the onboard modem fitted to all new Ford vehicles, works on both Apple and Android devices. It can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App and Google Play stores.

It allows owners to check fuel levels and remaining range remotely, and lock and unlock the vehicle.

The latter function is useful for owners who worry whether they locked their car – or those who need to give temporary access to someone who doesn’t have the car key.

Find your Ford

The app can show the precise location of the vehicle in a packed car park, and will send push notifications of items that need attention such as low tyre pressure.

For owners of electrified plug-in Fords such as the Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid, the app has some extra functionality.

It displays battery levels and EV driving range, allows owners to schedule charging to take advantage of off-peak electricity, and lets them cool or heat the cabin while the vehicle is plugged in.

FordPass director Richard Bunn said making the app free is “an important part of delivering on our promise to make smart vehicles for a smart world”.

Earlier this week, BMW and Apple announced the world’s first integration of a digital key into Apple iPhone and Apple Watch devices.

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Transport for London Congestion Charge

London Congestion Charge prices rise, hours extended

Transport for London Congestion Charge

Transport for London has announced an increase in the cost of the London Congestion Charge to £15 a day.

It previously cost £11.50.

The operating hours have also been extended to 10pm in the evening: previously, charges were lifted from 6pm.

The Congestion Charge still begins at 7am in the morning.

TfL has also confirmed the Congestion Charge will operate during the weekends, too. Until now, it has only operated during weekdays.

Christmas Day is now the only day on which charges are lifted. 

The changes are described as temporary and TfL says they could see car journeys fall by a third and pollutants reduced by up to 11 percent.

Although many people are still working from home, latest data suggests there are now as many cars within the Congestion Charge zone as before lockdown.

Without changes, TfL argues traffic levels in central London could double.

The residents’ discount will also be closed to new applications from 1 August, to act as a deterrent to car ownership in central London.

Only 1 in 4 central London residents actually owns a car.

“The temporary changes will be kept under review to ensure they remain effective in light of the transport challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic,” adds TfL.

TfL also reminds motorists they still need to pay the London ULEZ charge on top of the Congestion Charge, if their vehicle is not a September 2015-on diesel or 2005-on petrol. 

London Congestion Charge from 22 June 2020

  • Price increased from £11.50 to £15 (+30 percent)
  • Evening hours extended from 6pm to 10pm
  • Now operates during weekends
  • Residents’ discount closed to new applications on 1 August 2020

Congestion Charge reinbursements

An extension to the Congestion Charge reimbursement schemes has also been confirmed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. 

NHS staff are already eligible for reinbursements: these have now been extended to staff at NHS Trusts, ambulance staff and those who work in care homes located within the zone. 

The NHS patient reimbursement scheme has been extended to include patients vulnerable to coronavirus. 

Local authorities and charities within the zone who are providing coronavirus-related support services can apply to the reimbursement scheme too. 

Click here to pay the London Congestion Charge

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BMW iPhone Digital Key

BMW and Apple announce car keys on iPhones

BMW iPhone Digital Key

BMW is to become the world’s first carmaker to allow Apple iPhone users to use their smartphone as a car key.

The new BMW Digital Key will lock and unlock the car – and also start the vehicle.

Owners can even electronically share the car key with up to five people.

It will also be compatible with the Apple Watch.

The technology will roll out later this year and all BMWs built from 1 July 2020 will be compatible.

All iPhones from the iPhone XR and iPhone XS and newer will be compatible, as will the Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.

BMW Digital Car Key: how does it work?

BMW iPhone Digital Key

The BMW Digital Key is set up through BMW’s smartphone app. Once configured, owners can tap to lock and unlock.

To start the vehicle, owners place the iPhone into the smartphone tray, and press the ‘start’ button.

It can be accessed through Apple Wallet too.

Owners can share the car key with five others through iMessage. They can also deliver a pre-configured car key that restricts power, top speed, audio volume and others.

BMW has thought ahead in case an owner’s iPhone goes flat, too: the car key will still function for up to five hours after an iPhone with a flat battery shuts down.

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Lotus marks 20 years of Exige with £79,900 special edition

The Lotus Exige is 20 years old in 2020 and the Norfolk sports car firm is marking this with a special edition called Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary.

The cars are offered in three special colours originally offered on the 2000 Exige Series 1: Chrome Orange, Laser Blue and Calypso Red.

Lotus says another colour, Saffron Yellow, is reminiscent of the original Norfolk Mustard Yellow.

Lotsu Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary rear

All cars have a painted body-colour roof, side air intake pods and rear wing, just like on the original Exige.

There’s also a period-style shark fin stone chip protector ahead of the rear wheel.

Lotus has designed on a ‘20th Anniversary’ black silhouette logo of the original Series 1 Exige.

It has stuck this on the front wings and rear bumper, and added another ‘20’ logo on the rear wing end plates.

Inside, a range of Alcantara trim colours is available, and Lotus has given the seats panelled stitching, again, just like the original.

Lotsu Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary interior

The ‘20th Anniversary’ logo is stitched into the seat backs and embossed into the dashboard build plaque.

Although the list price is a heady £79,900, Lotus says this represents almost £5,500 of added value compared to the standard Sport 410.

Deliveries begin later in 2020.

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Nissan Motor UK Covid-secure car production

Car industry calls for support as 1 in 6 jobs at risk

Nissan Motor UK Covid-secure car production

Up to 1 in 6 people jobs in the UK automotive industry are at risk of redundancy if a dedicated support package is not forthcoming, the sector’s trade body has warned.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has called for cuts in VAT, unfettered access to emergency funding and a permanent part-time furlough scheme.

The organisation also wants policies that would boost consumer confidence – but has stopped short of specifying a new car scrappage scheme.

“UK automotive is fundamentally strong,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“However, the prolonged shutdown has squeezed liquidity and the pressures are becoming more acute.”

A third of the UK automotive industry is still on furlough, said Mr Hawes – “we want those staff coming back to work, not into redundancy”.

The organisation is asking for a government support package similar to that seen in other countries.

In its 2020 Summit held today, the SMMT will reveal that 6,000 automotive jobs have already been lost in June alone.

Brexit is back

UK Automotive Manufacturing Jobs by region

Brexit is another concern for the SMMT. The coronavirus crisis is dominating and “the industry has not the resource, the time nor the clarity to prepare for a further shock of a hard Brexit,” said Mr Hawes.

The organisation wants the government to “turbocharge the negotiations to secure a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU”.

A no-deal Brexit could see UK new car production falling to 850,000 vehicles a year by 2025 – a low not seen since 1953.

This would cost the economy £40 billion.

In contrast, securing a Free Trade Agreement would boost production back to 1.35 million vehicles by 2025 – taking it back to pre-crisis levels.

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Jaguar I-Pace 21MY exterior charging Portofino Blue

Jaguar I-Pace updated with new infotainment, faster charging

Jaguar I-Pace 21MY exterior charging Portofino Blue

The Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV has received a new infotainment system and faster onboard charging in a package of 2021 model year changes.

The new infotainment system, called Pivi Pro, has already been launched on the new Land Rover Defender.

The I-Pace becomes the first Jaguar to feature it.

Jaguar I-Pace 21MY interior

Said to be inspired by smartphones, the new system has a flat menu structure and is simpler to use.

It is also a lot faster than the old system – Jaguar promises fast start-up means the system “is ready to go by the time you’re in the driving seat”.

Pivi Pro can also receive updates via software-over-the-air functionality – and show owners which public charging stations are free, in real time.  

A 4G SIM with data plan is standard, Spotify is embedded, and standard Bluetooth can connect two phones at the same time.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available too. 

Faster charging

Jaguar I-Pace 21MY Indus Silver charging

Jaguar has fitted a more powerful 11kW onboard charger as standard to the 2021 I-Pace. Those with three-phase electricity can add 33 miles of range per hour – charging from flat to empty in 8.6 hours.

Those with 7kW wall boxes get 22 miles of charge per hour.

The Jaguar I-Pace is compatible with public fast chargers as well: a 50kW unit adds 39 miles in 15 minutes; a 100kW charger adds 78 miles in 15 minutes.

It keeps the same 90kWh battery, and driving range of up to 292 miles.

This was previously increased by 12.5 miles using learning from the Jaguar I-Pace e-Trophy racing series

Jaguar I-Pace 21MY Indus Silver

Other updates include an improved cabin air ionisation feature that can filter out ultra-fine PM2.5 particles and allergens.

Owners can pre-set a process to filter the cabin air before a journey.

There are new colours, new alloy wheel options and an eye-catching ‘Bright Pack’ exterior finish.

Jaguar I-Pace 21MY Portofino Blue

The Clearsight rear view mirror first seen in the Range Rover Evoque is now available in the I-Pace.  A powerful Meridian 3D surround sound system with 16 speakers and a subwoofer is also offered.

The 2021 model year Jaguar I-Pace is on sale now with prices from £65,195.

It is the latest update for a car that scored an unprecedented triple in the 2019 World Car Awards, including being voted overall World Car of the Year.

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