Peugeot 208 crowned Europe’s best-selling car

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Peugeot 208 GT review

The Peugeot 208 supermini has ended the Volkswagen Golf family hatchback’s 15-year reign as Europe’s most popular new car.

Against the backdrop of various challenges, including the global shortage of chips, soaring inflation and the energy crisis, overall car registrations in Europe declined by 4.1% to 11,309,310.

However, the Peugeot 208 achieved 208,816 registrations, while the VW Golf (177,203) dropped to fifth in the rankings, behind the Dacia Sandero in second (200,550 units), Volkswagen T-Roc (181,153) and Fiat 500 (179,863).

The strength of the overall Volkswagen model range ensured that it remained Europe’s best selling car brand, with 1.2 billion sales – a 6% decline on 2021.

It was followed by Toyota (down 8% at 766,227), Mercedes-Benz (down 1% at 647,880), BMW (down 5% at 646,526) and Peugeot (down 15% to 623,825)

According to the figures released by JATO Dynamics, Tesla’s market share soared from 1.43% in 2021 to 2.06% in 2022, outselling Seat, Mini, and Suzuki, and only trailing Nissan by 4,300 cars.

This growth was driven by the Model Y, Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle, with just over 138,000 registered units. The fully-electric SUV was Europe’s 13th most popular car overall in 2022, pipping the Model 3 (17th).

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Drivers ‘should make sure passengers belt up’

Gareth Herincx

4 days ago
Auto News

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More than two-thirds of motorists believe drivers should be responsible for ensuring all their passengers wear seatbelts, according to new RAC research.

The study coincides with the 40th anniversary of a UK law coming into force requiring drivers to wear seat belts.

Currently, drivers only have responsibility to make sure they and any children in their vehicles are buckled up properly – with the latter potentially needing to be in a child car seat or booster seat depending on their age or height.

The RAC’s research suggests this responsibility should be broadened to include all passengers, with a third of respondents (33%) also believing that drivers should be penalised in the event anyone they’re travelling with is caught not wearing a seatbelt and putting themselves at risk.

A quarter of motorists (24%) believe the current law – where a driver can be fined up to £500 for not buckling up – is too lenient, with a clear majority of these (69%) thinking that those who break the law should pay both a fine and receive at least three points on their licences.

This is something that may come to pass as the Government stated last Autumn it is considering the merits of introducing penalty points for those driving without seatbelts.

Four per cent of drivers – the equivalent of around 1.7m full driving licence holders in Great Britain – admit to driving without a seatbelt over the last 12 months, with around a fifth of these (22%) saying they don’t belt up at least half the time.

In contrast, 7% of respondents admitted to not wearing a seatbelt when travelling as passengers in other vehicles. The law states there are only very few exceptions for not buckling up, including when deemed medically exempt or when reversing a vehicle.

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Can you identify a tyre’s crucial ‘load rating’?

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

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Only 6% of motorists in the UK are able to correctly identify a tyre’s load rating, according to a survey commissioned by Apollo Tyres.

The load rating signifies the maximum weight of the vehicle that can safely use the tyre, so choosing a tyre with an unsuitable load rating can compromise the vehicle’s performance and efficiency, as well as its safety.

Modern electric vehicles (EVs) are typically much heavier than conventional combustion engine alternatives, making it even more important for consumers to select a compatible tyre.

The poll of 1,000 motorists also found that 11% of men were able to identify the load rating mark on a tyre, compared to just 3% of women.

Additionally, just 14% of motorists are aware that tyres fitted to an EV normally need to be inflated to higher pressures, to ensure safe and efficient operation.

That proportion falls to only 6% among motorists aged 55 to 64, and peaks at over half (52%) among 18 to 24-year-olds. Crucially, among EV drivers, the percentage is still low – just 38%.

Tyre inflation rates are specific to each vehicle and are essential for maintaining optimal levels of grip, traction and rolling resistance.

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“As Europe moves towards the mass adoption of EVs, it is becoming even more important for carmakers and the wider tyre industry – from manufacturers to retailers and fitters – to help consumers understand the crucial importance of load rating compatibility and the need to maintain correct inflation rates,” said Yves Pouliquen of Apollo Tyres.

“The need to educate extends beyond the point of purchase. EV owners understandably want to maximise driving range, but under-inflation can significantly increase rolling resistance and that equates to poor efficiency.”

Apollo Tyres offers a wide range of Vredestein passenger car tyres to suit internal-combustion-engine vehicles and EVs. In November 2022, Apollo Tyres launched its first dedicated EV tyre, the Vredestein Quatrac Pro EV. As well as being the first all-season EV tyre on the market, the new Quatrac Pro EV is the first EV tyre to be available with ‘High Load’ (HL) certification (255/40 R 20 variant), underlining its suitability for large all-electric cars and SUVs.

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Nissan Qashqai named ‘UK’s most reliable car’

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

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The big-selling Nissan Qashqai has topped an annual reliability survey conducted by respected consumer affairs organisation, Which?.

The British-built crossover achieved a rare five-star reliability rating with expert testers praising the car’s practicality, dependability and family appeal, and the result was based on feedback from 50,000 UK drivers.

“Reliability is often the number-one quality that people look for when purchasing any of our vehicles,” said Andrew Humberstone, managing director of Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd.

“To have endorsement in this area from an independent and rigorous organisation such as Which? – not to mention 50,000 consumers – is a welcome pat on the back for everyone at Nissan who works to ensure the dependability of every car we supply.”

The result of the survey is the cherry on the cake for Nissan because the Sunderland-built Qashqai was the best-selling new car in the UK in 2022.

Alan Johnson, Vice President of Manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland Plant, added: “We are proud to build the Qashqai and absolutely delighted to see its continuing success with customers.

“It’s hugely satisfying to know that we manufacture not just the UK’s favourite car, but also its most reliable.

“This award is a true testament to the hard work, dedication and expertise of our 6,000-strong team here in Sunderland, as well as our excellent supply chain partners.”

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Simple safety tips for the winter weather

Home / Auto News / Simple safety tips for the winter weather

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Peugeot-208-driving-n-the-snow

Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging motorists to take extra care, as more wintry weather hits the UK.

Road journeys are more difficult and treacherous when there is ice on roads, foggy conditions or a fall of snow, so GEM is encouraging drivers to plan ahead and be ready to postpone journeys if necessary.

For those who will need to travel, here are some simple safety tips to reduce the chance of risk, delay and difficulty – and to avoid putting additional strain on the emergency services and breakdown providers who are likely to be at full stretch in winter weather.

  • Don’t drive if you don’t really need to. The easiest way to avoid trouble from winter conditions is to postpone your journey.
  • If you do have to travel, ensure your car is properly equipped for the likely conditions. That’s because if you do experience a breakdown, you will most likely have to wait longer until help arrives. So get a winter check-up completed on your car – or at the very least ensure the battery is in the best possible shape.
  • Listen for weather updates, and plan your travel accordingly.
  • Ensure your windscreen and all other windows are completely clear of snow and ice before you set out. Give your lights and number plate a good wipe, too.
  • Prepare a set of essential items to take with you, including shovel, fully charged mobile phone, torch, ice scraper, food, water, jump leads, first aid kit, warm clothes and a supply of sand or gravel to assist with grip if your wheels are spinning.
  • In winter conditions, keep your speeds down, leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front, give room to snowploughs and gritter trucks, and be ready for sudden, rapid deteriorations in conditions.
  • Remember that driving in conditions like this is hard work. You are likely to become tired much more quickly than in less challenging conditions. So ensure you build in breaks on your journeys.

“It makes sense to have a plan in place that means you can postpone a journey, or switch to public transport. Agree to reschedule a meeting or a visit if it’s not vital,” said GEM chief executive Neil Worth.

“In that way, you’re avoiding a lot of potential trouble for yourself, and ensuring you won’t be putting additional strain on emergency and recovery crews, who are sure to be at full stretch in the coming days.”

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Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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