Revealed: the UK’s most common driving offences

Where you're most likely to be caught speeding

Since 2011, the number of speeding offences has increased by an average of five percent every year. This is according to new analysis of motoring offences.

Breaking the speed limit tops the list of the most common driving offences in England and Wales. In total, drivers have racked up an astonishing 15.9 million speeding offences since 2011.

It’s getting worse. In the past year, there was a driving offence for one in every 10 motorists in England and Wales. This is compared to one in 11 drivers in 2011.

A total of 13 police forces saw an increase in the speed of the fastest drivers caught during the lockdown. This is despite an overall decrease in the number of people caught speeding.

Traffic was down two-thirds as a result of people being urged to stay at home.

Hotspots for speeding in the UK

This new research, conducted by True Solicitors, reveals a wide ranging list of motoring offences in England and Wales. These offences were analysed where there were findings of guilt at all courts, fixed penalty notices and written warnings.

The research can be summarised as follows:

  • Speed limit offences: 15,904,000 (since 2011)
    • Speed limit offences.
  • Miscellaneous offences: 2,998,000
    • Neglecting road regulations (not speeding), failing to supply information.
  • Licence, insurance and record keeping offences: 2,666,000
    • Driving while disqualified, uninsured vehicles, false statements of insurance, fraud and forgery.
  • Dangerous, careless or drunk driving: 1,587,000
    • Dangerous driving, including drugs and alcohol, disqualified driving, using a mobile phone, etc.
  • Vehicle test and condition offences: 626,000
    • Defective vehicle parts and vehicle test offences.
  • Unauthorised taking or theft of motor vehicle: 55,000
    • Aggravated vehicle taking, including causing injury and damage, theft of a motor vehicle, etc.
  • Accident offences: 40,000
    • Failing to stop after an accident, failing to report and accident, etc.

How to stay safe on the roads

Hotspots for speeding in the UK

Although UK roads are among the safest in Europe, there are a number of things you can do to stay safe.

Here are some of the things to consider, according to True Solicitors:

  • Do not drive when tired. Rest and stay hydrated – especially on long journeys
  • Plan ahead. Arrange a lift or take public transport if you’re going to consume alcohol
  • Always keep a safe distance. Leave a gap to the car in front – extend the distance when it is raining
  • Remember to check for vehicles in your blind spot
  • Rest before a long trip. Take refreshments and include breaks in a long journey

Click here for more motoring advice.

The UK has the second safest roads in Europe

The United Kingdom has the second safest roads in Europe. That’s according to figures released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

When based on the number of road fatalities per million inhabitants, the UK is ranked second with a figure of 28. Only Sweden’s roads are safer, with 25 road deaths per million people.

Road traffic deaths have been falling in the EU for the past two decades. In 2001, there were 54,900 fatalities. By 2017, this had fallen to 25,300. 

It means that the EU has the safest roads in the world. However, data from CARE (EU Road Accidents Database) shows that 70 people die every day on the roads of Europe.

ACEA road deaths

The majority of road incidents are linked to human error, with 10-30 percent of them caused by distraction. It is for this reason that a number driver assistance systems will become mandatory over the coming years.

Driver drowsiness and distraction warnings, intelligent speed assistance, reversing sensors or cameras, lane-keeping assistance and advanced emergency braking are just some of the systems that will become mandatory from 2022.

‘We can and must act’

Car crash in Latvia

Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, responsible for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error.

“We can and must act to change this. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when the safety belts were first introduced.

“Many of the new features already exist, in particular in high–end vehicles. Now we raise the safety level across the board, and pave the way for connected and automated mobility of the future.”

Road fatalities are at their highest in the eastern regions of Europe. Romania has the worst record, with 99 fatalities per million inhabitants. Things are little better in Bulgaria (96 fatalities per million inhabitants), Croatia (80), Poland (75) and Latvia (70).

There are many reasons for this, including the poor condition of the road network and the reliance on older, less safe vehicles.

Top 10 safest roads in Europe

  1. Sweden: 25 (deaths per million inhabitants)
  2. UK: 28
  3. Denmark: 30
  4. Netherlands: 31
  5. Ireland: 33
  6. Estonia: 36
  7. Spain: 39
  8. Malta: 41
  9. Luxembourg: 42
  10. Finland: 43
Yamaha XC115S scooters

Scooter sales boom as commuters avoid public transport

Yamaha XC115S scooters

A boom in scooter sales helped the UK motorcycle market return to growth in June 2020 – in contrast to the new car market which is still down 35 percent.

Over 13,000 motorcycles were registered in June 2020, a rise of 14.8 percent over 2019.

More significantly, sales of scooters were up 43.1 percent as commuters look for alternatives to public transport.

Trade body the MCIA says scooters are now the second most popular type of new motorcycle in the UK, ahead of more powerful superbikes and adventure sport machines.   

Growth is particularly strong amongst those for whom walking and cycling are not viable.

The organisation says this is proof of the role motorcycles and scooters can play in transport planning and is now calling on the government to fully endorse them.

Ministers such as transport secretary Grant Shapps, it says, have for months been promoting alternatives to public transport – but have ignored motorcycles and scooters.

The MCIA says they “are a clean and efficient transport mode that require little road space for travel or parking and which can meet the needs of a variety of commuters, while at the same time fulfilling their social distancing and environmental obligations”.

More than a million British motorists already hold a motorcycle licence, adds the MCIA.

“The Government’s message to not use public transport is clearly benefitting scooters and motorcycles sales”, said Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association.

“Scooter and motorcycle retailers are optimistic that they are in a good position to benefit from the gradual return to work as lockdown measures continue to ease.”

The best-selling motorcycle in June 2020 was the Honda PCX125 scooter.

Honda was the best-selling brand too, ahead of Yamaha and Triumph.

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British Gas places UK’s largest electric van order with Vauxhall

British Gas Vivaro-e

British Gas has ordered 1,000 all-electric Vivaro-e vans from Vauxhall. It’s the largest electric vehicle order for a commercial fleet in the UK.

The electric vans will be used across the country by British Gas engineers. Centrica, owner of British Gas, said it’s committed to electrifying its entire fleet of 12,000 vehicles by 2030. 

The Vauxhall Vivaro-e is the sister van to the all-electric Citroen e-Dispatch and Peugeot e-Expert. It was due to be unveiled at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, but with the event cancelled due to the coronavirus, the electric van was, fittingly, given a digital launch.

British Gas says it could order a fleet of the smaller Vauxhall Combo-e when it arrives in the summer of 2021.

British Gas Vauxhall Vivaro-e

For now, the Vivaro-e offers the equivalent of 136hp, a payload of up to 1,226kg, and a top speed of 81mph. It’s also the first electric van with the ability to tow a trailer.

The electric range varies depending on the battery size. The 50kWh version should be good for 143 miles, while the 75kWh provides an impressive 205 miles.

Recharging to 80 percent capacity takes 30 minutes in the 50kWh version and 45 minutes in the 75kWh van, both using a 100kW public charger.

Although prices haven’t been announced, a Vivaro-e with a 50kWh battery is expected to cost around £30,000.

‘Build back greener’

Vauxhall Vivaro-e British Gas

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “Today’s announcement marks another milestone as we continue on the road to a green transport recovery.

“This is a huge step for such an iconic British company, who are showing leadership in making the switch to zero emission vehicles as we to strive to meet net zero emissions by 2050.

“We’re determined to build back greener – to deliver better air quality and lower our carbon footprint, which is why we’re investing more than ever in zero emission grants and infrastructure.”

Stephen Norman, managing director of Vauxhall, added: “I am delighted that British Gas has confirmed the UK’s largest order of battery electric vehicles with the Vauxhall Vivaro-e. 

“As with all businesses up and down the country, tradespeople rely on their van as an essential tool of their work and our 300-strong retailer network is crucial in continuing to provide support to carry British business.

“The strength of the quantity of orders for our all-electric van demonstrates that the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, the first step in the electrification of our entire van range, can contribute towards the transition towards low emissions vehicles whilst improving air quality.”

For more electric vehicle news, visit our sister site Motoring Electric.

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Helping someone learn to drive: the rules you must know

Learning to drive

Stand-in driving instructors are urged to check the rules before helping a learner driver. The advice comes amid the easing of lockdown measures, with new drivers now free to take lessons again.

Practical driving tests will recommence on 22 July.

An estimated 370,000 new drivers were forced to put their plans on hold during the coronavirus lockdown. This, combined with a four-month backlog , could make finding a driving instructor for lessons extremely difficult. According to the Department for Transport, there are around 39,500 qualified driving instructors in the UK.

This creates a problem for learner drivers, who face a shortage of instructors and a potential reluctance to step outside their ‘bubble’. The result: friends and family members stepping in to give driving lessons.

Rules for stand-in driving instructors

Young drivers

There are strict rules concerning driving lessons and learning to drive. For a stand-in instructor, these can be summarised as follows:

  • The instructor must be over the age of 21.
  • They must be qualified to drive the type of vehicle being driven by the learner driver.
  • They must have held a full driving licence for three years. This licence must be from the UK, the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
  • They must have valid insurance. This could be as a named driver/instructor on the learner driver policy, or separate insurance can be arranged.
  • The person giving the lessons cannot be paid for the tuition.
  • Although it’s legal to carry passengers, it’s best to avoid distractions.

The learner driver could be fined up to £1,000 and receive up to six penalty points on their provisional licence if they drive without the right supervision.

Rules for learner drivers

Stand-in driver instructor

Anyone taking lessons must adhere to the following rules:

  • They must hold a provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland. Although they can apply for a licence when they are 15 years and nine months old, they can only start driving a car when they turn 17.
  • The car must display ‘L’ plates on the front and rear. ‘D’ plates are valid in Wales.
  • Motorway driving is restricted to England, Scotland and Wales, but only with an approved driving instructor in a car fitted with dual controls.
  • In Northern Ireland, there is a blanket 45mph speed limit for learner drivers.

‘Open to huge claims costs’

Driving instruction

Anyone thinking of applying for a provisional licence or arranging driving lessons should visit the dedicated section on the government website.

Lee Griffin, CEO of GoCompare, said, “We think there could be as many as 370,000 potential new drivers keen to start learning, many of whom could find it difficult to book lessons as instructors deal with the backlog.  In many cases, family and friends may well offer to step up to get them started.

“However, as well as having good driving skills and patience they also need to be aware of the rules for supervising new drivers and the insurance implications for both them and the learner. Failure to adhere to both could lead to fines for traffic violations or unknowingly invalidating their insurance, leaving them open to huge claims costs if they have an accident and even a criminal record for insurance fraud.

“The good news is that some insurers offer reasonable premiums to insure new drivers in their own cars whilst learning and being supervised. Savings of several hundred pounds are not uncommon and will be welcomed by new drivers as the costs of getting on the road can quickly mount up.”

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MG ZS SUV updated for 2020, including new smartphone tech

MG ZS 2020

The MG ZS SUV has been updated for 2020. This comes amid news that MG is celebrating its best ever June – despite the issues facing the new car market.

MG sold 2,025 cars last month, achieving a record market share of 1.4 percent. The company has 110 dealers in the UK and offers a range of value-driven cars, including the ZS EV electric car. Indeed, the ZS EV is currently the UK’s third highest selling electric car.

The standard ZS SUV is MG’s biggest seller in the UK. Power is sourced from a 1.0-litre turbocharged engine mated to a manual gearbox. An automatic transmission will be available later this year.

There are just two trim levels: Excite and Exclusive. Monthly PCP deals start from £179 for the Excite and £199 for the Exclusive.

MG ZS 2020 interior

For 2020, MG has tweaked the exterior styling, improved the interior quality and design, and added a front armrest. Both trim levels get LED headlights, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and electric folding mirrors as standard.

The Exclusive model boasts blind-spot monitoring, a rear-view camera, electrically adjustable driver’s seat and even a fully digital instrument panel. Excellent spec, especially when you consider the price and the seven-year warranty. 

Opt for the Excite model and you’ll pay just £15,495, which is roughly the same price as an entry-level Ford Fiesta.

MG ZS ‘to the next level’

New MG ZS 2020

Daniel Gregorious, head of sales and marketing at MG Motor said: “New MG ZS is a fantastic evolution of our most successful car to date. With an exciting new look, great new technology and a quality new interior, new MG ZS takes our B-SUV to the next level.

“The fact that we’ve managed to do all this and still enhance the value proposition is staggering, and I would like to pay tribute to everyone within our business who worked so hard to make it possible. We know that existing MG customers will want to visit our showrooms to find out more, and new customers will be attracted by this great new package.”

The refreshed MG ZS is on sale now with a zero percent finance deal

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New car sales still down 35% in June 2020

A Covid-friendly Renault new car dealer

UK new car registrations continued their year-on-year decline in June with 34.9 percent fewer cars leaving retailer showrooms, according to latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Demand was hampered by the delayed reopening of car dealers in Wales and Scotland.

The June figures continue a depressing trend for new car sales in 2020, due to the coronavirus crisis.

March 2020 new car registrations were down 44 percent, April’s were down a shocking 97% (to a level not seen since 1946) and even May new car registrations were still down 89%. 

“While it’s welcome to see demand rise above the rock-bottom levels we saw during lockdown, this is not a recovery and barely a restart,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“Many of June’s registrations could be attributed to customers finally being able to collect their pre-pandemic orders, and appetite for significant spending remains questionable.”

The SMMT has called for specific sector support, including a potential scrappage scheme to bolster new car demand. 

Scrappage, however, appears to have been rejected by the government, despite Germany, France and now Italy running similar schemes. 

Diesel down, electric up

Private new car sales were actually only down 19.2 percent: it’s company car sales that declined the most, with fleet sales down 45.2 percent and sales to businesses falling 52.6 percent.

Diesel performed much worse than petrol, with a near-60 percent fall in registrations. Diesel market share is now just 15.8 percent, compared to petrol on more than 60 percent.

Electric cars scored a 6.1 percent market share, a massive 260 percent increase on 2019, where pure electric vehicles took a tiny 1.1 percent market share.

Overall, new car registrations have fallen 48.5 percent so far in 2020. The SMMT says this is a level not seen since 1971. 

The government has actually lost out as a result, adds the SMMT, with VAT receipts from new car registrations plummeting by £1.1 billion. 

“The government must boost the economy, help customers feel safer in their jobs and in their spending and give businesses the confidence to invest in their fleets,” said Mr Hawes.

“Otherwise it runs the risk of losing billions more in revenue from this critical sector at a time when the public purse needs it more than ever.”

Best selling cars in June

In the most popular cars rankings, big news at the top of the table is the new Vauxhall Corsa beating the Ford Fiesta to the title of Britain’s best-selling car. 

The Corsa is the AUTOBEST Best Buy Car of Europe 2020

The Toyota Yaris was a surprise third, perhaps helped by some run-out special offers in advance of the new Yaris coming soon

The Tesla Model 3 also continued to be a UK favourite, with the electric car placing eighth, ahead of the British-built Nissan Qashqai. 

Top 10 best-selling cars: June 2020

1: Vauxhall Corsa

2: Ford Fiesta

3: Toyota Yaris

4: Ford Focus

5: Mini

6: Volkswagen Golf

7: Mercedes-Benz A-Class

8: Nissan Qashqai

9: Tesla Model 3

10: Volkswagen Tiguan

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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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