• The Benefits of Leasing

    When you are in the market for a new car, you have a variety of options available to you. You can buy a car outright with cash and there is also the possibility of getting a car on a finance agreement. Financing will cost you more but it could be your only option. In both cases you could be shocked by the depreciation that occurs the second you drive your new car out of the showroom.

    There is a third option that is growing massively in popularity; and that is car leasing. If you are looking to lease cars instead of purchase them, there are a variety of benefits.

    No Depreciation

    When purchasing a new car either outright with cash or on finance, an important consideration is what will happen when they come to sell it. This is why depreciation is such an issue for people purchasing a new car. A standard car can depreciate by 50-60% over three years, for example, a Ford Focus is worth just 36% of its original price after 3 years.

    When leasing a car, depreciation is not a concern as you hand the car back to the leasing company rather than having to sell it or keep it. If owning the car is not a major priority for you, then leasing is a great way of avoiding the cost of depreciation.

    Lower monthly costs

    When getting a car on finance, you obviously have to pay a monthly amount in order to own the car. The same goes for leasing a car, however the monthly costs are usually cheaper for leasing than they are on finance. Car leasing monthly payments are usually 30-60% lower than the normal finance options payments. Again, using the Ford Focus as an example. The average monthly payment on finance is £384.98, however, on a leasing agreement, that monthly payment can drop down to £225.60.

    A major benefit of car leasing is that it is cheaper month on month compared with purchasing a car on finance. This actually allows you to spread your budget further, so you afford to lease a better quality car. The top three brands for car leasing are Mercedes, BMW and Audi.

    Cheap car leasing deals are always available on the majority of cars on the market. It doesn’t matter if you have excellent credit or poor credit, you will be considered. Car leasing could offer you a simpler and better value way of obtaining a car than an outright purchase.

    The Benefits Of Leasing

    The Benefits Of Leasing

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  • Raikkonen to continue with Ferrari in 2017

    Ferrari have confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen will continue to drive for the team in 2017.

    There was speculation that the Finn and 2007 world champion could lose his seat, a threat that had loomed in 2014 and 2015 but with a smaller driver market the Scuderia opted to leave their lineup unchanged.

    Ferrari were thought to be looking into hiring Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen or Carlos Sainz but all three were recently confirmed in their seats.

    A statement issued on behalf of team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said: “Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen.”

    “The driver line-up for the 2017 racing season will still consist of the Finnish driver and Sebastian Vettel.”

    Raikkonen rejoined the team in 2014 following a three-year stint between 2007 and 2009 during which he won the world championship in his first season with the team. He has taken four of the team’s nine podium finish so far this year and is tied with Vettel on 96 points.

    Sunday’s race will be Raikkonen’s 100th as a Ferrari driver. His most recent victory for them was at Spa-Francorchamps in 2009.

  • FIA confirm 2017 engine regulations

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    The FIA has announced details of a new agreement to reduce the cost of F1 power units. It also intends to harmonise performance levels between the different engines and increase the noise they produce.

    The deal will bring the price of customer power unit supplies down next year and again in 2018.

    It will also require manufacturers to supply a power unit in the event a team finds itself without a supplier. However a statement from the FIA did not indicate whether these would have to be current-specification models.

    In order to reduce the performance gap between the engines, restrictions on engine development are to be relaxed. Further changes are also been considered to increase the noise volume produced by the engines.

    The new deal has been “approved by all levels of the F1 governance structure, including the World Motor Sport Council, and will now be included as Technical and Sporting regulations for the 2017 and 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship”, said the FIA.

    The FIA also vowed to ensure the power unit regulations remain stable until at least 2020.

    “As part of the power unit agreement, adherence to the measures outlined below will see the FIA commit to supporting power unit regulations stability and the maintaining of the current Formula One governance structure for the 2017-2020 period,” it added.

  • The Start Of The Zombie Apocalypse

    Hollywood has an incredible imagination when it comes to the end of the world. From asteroids to earthquakes, floods to solar flares, you can always trust the wild minds of LA LA Land’s script writers to find new and interesting ways of decimating the world’s population.

    Viral diseases are the big one though. They’ve been through a bit of a renaissance in recent years, triggering a surge of fascination in the Zombie Apocalypse that’s spread like the very same plague into TV, book and videogames.

    Zombie Horde By Joakim Olofsson

    This is what you get for putting car park tickets in your mouth!

    When it only takes a little scratch or nibble to turn even the most dedicated vegan into a sausage-munching undead monster, there’s plenty of scope for Hollywood to get carried away, the virus spreading from host to host like wildfire. But I think I’ve spotted an untapped delivery method, a device yet to be written into a Hollywood blockbuster – car park barrier tickets.

    You know the credit card sized pieces of plastic that you slip into the machine to raise the barrier? When you jump in your car where do you put it? Hold it in your hand while fumbling for your seatbelt? No, too fiddly. Pop it onto the dash where it could slide away and disappear beneath a pile of old CDs? Not likely. Do you pop it in your mouth? Hmmm, tasty.

    So just think for a minute what’s happened to that sliver of plastic before you clamped it between your teeth. Cue flashback graphics as we wind the clock back a few hours.

    Jim, the bus driver, has had a bit of a bad tummy, and just before he handed the card over to you he’d had to make an emergency dash to the toilet. Trouble is, his hygiene isn’t great so he forgot to wash his hands before he rushed back onto the bus. He might not be licking the ticket, but by God, you don’t want to know what he’s added to it’s shiny surface.

    Car Park Barrier Ticket

    Just think where this has been before you clamp it between your teeth!

    Now we go further back in time to see the previous user of the ticket. We’ll call him Bob. He’s a large, sweaty bloke, who keeps everything in his trouser pockets. That includes the car park ticket, which sat nestled against his moist gentleman’s area for several hours before he popped it into his own mouth during his dash for the barrier.

    Uh-oh, flashback again, and there’s Barbara. The day before Bob had the ticket she’d chucked it into the bottom of her handbag, where it mixed with manky old chocolates and other unmentionables that haven’t seen the light of day for years. Oh, and there she goes, gripping the card with her teeth and drooling a little as she struggles to fasten up her seatbelt.

    Flashback to an attractive blonde who still manages to look glamorous even when she has a plastic card poking out from between her pouting, red lips. Further back, through old lady, stressed businessman, mum with screaming kids. All so desperate to get out of the car park as quickly as possible that they didn’t think twice about what they were putting in their mouths.

    Somewhere at the start of all this is Patient X. He’s a part-time laboratory assistant who accidentally mixed two strange formulas into one petri-dish, before spilling some on a familiar piece of white rectangular plastic that he’d chucked onto his workbench. The rest, as they might say if they hadn’t all been turned into mindless zombies, is history. Wind the clock forward to the present day and Bob, Barbara and the others are now all flesh-eating undead, having transferred the vile virus to one another by licking contaminated saliva from that one piece of plastic.

    So what’s the best way to stop this zombie plague from spreading? Simple. Don’t put the damned tickets IN YOUR MOUTH. It’s a disgusting habit anyway.

    Picture credit – Zombie Horde by Joakim Olofsson

    The Start Of The Zombie Apocalypse is a post by Chris Auty and was published on Driving Spirit.

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  • Tesla Model S – Driven

    It’s fair to say our first drive of the Tesla Model S is not entirely going to plan. Fellow scribe Phil Huff is peering through the rear window with a slightly quizzical expression. “You’ve broken it,” he jokes.

    Tesla Model S85

    Tesla Model S85

    It later transpires this assessment might not be so far from the truth. Right now, however, we’re locked outside what could well be the future of motoring, stranded at our photo location just above the Milbrook Hill Route (famously the road on which 007 totalled his Aston Martin in Casino Royale). There are worse places to be marooned, admittedly, and it provides a good opportunity to reflect on what we have gleaned about the car so far.

    The Model S has been around for a couple of years now, but recent months have seen a growing number taking to our roads. It’s a discretely handsome sports saloon with a generous luggage capacity and enough room to seat five adults. There’s even the option of two additional rear-facing seats in the boot, should you need them. Outwardly, there are almost no clues to the fact that this is an all-electric vehicle, but as such it’s exempt from road tax and the Congestion Charge. Perhaps more importantly, it also falls into the lowest bracket for company car tax.

    Things are a little more radical on the inside. The massive 17-inch touch screen display is not only the largest, but also the cleverest that we’ve encountered, controlling everything from the sat nav to the sunroof. It’s like sitting inside Google.

    Tesla Model S85 Interior

    Tesla Model S85 Interior

    The dashboard itself is a strikingly simple design, clad – in the case of our test car – in Alcantara and carbon fibre. The quality of the materials is first rate and they lend the cabin a bespoke feel that distinguishes the Tesla from its more mainstream competitors.

    But enough of the pleasantries, what’s it like to drive? Really rather good, in short. You can feel the mass when pressing on – it weighs a not-inconsiderably 2.1 tons – but the combination of prodigious thrust and near-total silence from the electric powertrain is quite surreal.

    Right now the internet is awash with videos of this car’s twin-engined evil twin, the P85D, demolishing supercars from a standing start. Our test car is ‘only’ the single-engined rear-wheel drive S85 model, but even this comparatively mild example of the breed feels good for its claimed 5.4 second nought-to-sixty time.

    Where the Model S really scores, though, is response. With 440 Nm of torque available instantly, right from a standing start, overtaking urge is never more than a twitch of the toe away. There’s no shortage of grip either, with decent chassis balance and chunky, if somewhat lifeless, steering.

    A small confession here: in the brief time we had with the car, I didn’t think to check which of the two braking modes had been selected. As sampled, lifting off the accelerator resulted in something not unlike conventional engine braking, while the middle pedal had a pleasingly natural feel. It certainly wasn’t the alien experience you might expect from a regenerative braking system.

    Tesla Model S85

    All of this, of course, means little if you can’t get in to drive it. Having soaked up the Bedfordshire sunshine for 20 minutes a support car is dispatched to recover us and the stricken Tesla. The central locking issue is eventually traced to a slightly unlikely culprit, in the form of the dictaphone I’d brought along to record my notes. Apparently this had interfered with the keyless entry fob lying next to it in the centre cupholder. We’ll let you decide whether that constitutes a teething issue or (as one of Tesla’s European representatives insisted) user error.

    But the fact is, the fundamentals of this car are superb. The Model S is reassuringly conventional when you want it to be and yet a genuine game-changer in other respects. It’s more than capable of competing with its internal combustion powered competitors in terms of comfort and performance, with anecdotal evidence suggesting there’s enough real-world range to get you from, say, London to Birmingham.

    Throw in ultra-low running costs, plus more pioneering technology than you can shake a stick at, and it also starts to look like good value, starting at £59,380 on the road. This not a car reserved for hair shirt environmentalists, nor is it a low-volume concept like Volkswagen’s plug-in hybrid XL1. The electric car, it seems, is very much a reality.

    2015 Model S 85

    Performance & Economy 2015 Tesla Model S 85
    Engine 85 kWh Battery
    Transmission Automatic gearbox, rear electric-powered motor, all-wheel drive
    Power (PS / bhp) 366 / 362
    Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 440 / 324
    0 – 60 mph (seconds) 5.4
    Top Speed (mph) 140
    CO2 Emissions (g/km) 0
    VED Band A
    Combined Economy (mpg) n/a (310 mile range)
    Price (OTR) £54,000

     

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