S Cars: Lancashire Police takes delivery of more than 120 new Skodas

Home / Auto News / S Cars: Lancashire Police takes delivery of more than 120 new Skodas

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Lancashire Police takes delivery of more than 120 new Skoda cars

Lancashire Constabulary is expanding its fleet with the delivery of more than 120 new Skoda models that will take on a variety of roles, from day-to-day policing duties to roads policing and driver training.

More than 90 Skoda Scala hatchbacks will be used as standard response ‘beat’ cars – the workhorse of the force. They are fitted with full police livery and integrated emergency warning systems.

A total of 21 Skoda Superb Hatches will join the Roads Policing Unit and they are equipped with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), CCTV, lighting and warning equipment, a message board in the rear window and a kit carrier in the boot.

Additionally, five Karoq 4x4s will undertake rural duties and four Kamiq compact SUVs will be used as training vehicles.

The significant order follows excellent feedback from the force on Skoda’s reliability and suitability for a range of duties.

Lancashire Police takes delivery of more than 120 new Skoda cars

“We already have an excellent track record with Skoda cars on our current fleet – so much so our officers have bought their own,” said Tony Deus, Head of Fleet at Lancashire Police.

“Expanding our fleet with this significant order of cars means we can complete our duties knowing we have reliable, dependable cars that fit the bill perfectly.

“There’s an excellent pedigree that comes with Skoda police vehicles. They’re safe for our officers and we know there’s the back-up of Skoda’s comprehensive service.”

Skoda’s range of cars can be specified by emergency service fleets for Ambulance, Police and Fire and Rescue teams across the UK via Skoda’s bespoke emergency service converters.

This includes full integration of the emergency services’ communications platform within the existing infotainment touchscreen and 360-degree lighting. Individual customer conversion requirements can also be catered for with Skoda’s approved specialist converters.

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Gareth Herincx

2 weeks ago
Auto News

Skoda Fabia - parking

A study by Škoda UK has revealed how stressful paying for parking is for drivers, with 40% finding it as stress-inducing as being late for work.

With so many different parking payment methods used across the UK – from ticket machines to apps – 20% of drivers compared it to having an argument, 16% said it was stressful as opening a bill and 9% as bad as going to the dentist.

Almost half (47%) of motorists have given up paying for parking altogether because the process was too difficult, while 18% have said they’d spent more than 10 minutes trying to pay for a space. In addition, 33% have failed to pay for parking at least once, and later received a fine as a result.

The British public’s least favourite payment method is an automated phone call (38%), followed by a parking app (26%) and then a ticket machine (18%), according to the research.

Škoda is aiming to make the public’s parking woes less troublesome, as it trials a new and innovative service to ease parking pain. Pay to Park enables cashless payments for parking directly via the Škoda infotainment system.

The Pay to Park service automatically identifies the car park or parking zone you’ve entered using the car’s navigation and handles payments automatically. This leaves the driver without the trip-to-the-dentist-rivalling anxiety levels, while sessions can be extended using the MyŠkoda app.

Pay to Park is currently being trialled in Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, and will soon be available in the Czech Republic, Spain, France, Netherlands, Slovenia, Hungary, with plans for the system to be trialled in the UK in the future.

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Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

Skoda supporting dogs

Skoda UK has partnered with dog behaviourist Anna Webb to share top tips on keeping pet pooches cool in the car.

When it’s warm outside, cars can act like a greenhouse and trap the sun’s heat — so if it’s 23ºC outside, in-car temperatures can reach a whopping 47ºC in under 10 minutes. That’s hotter than the aptly-named Furnace Creek, Death Valley; a Californian spot known as the hottest place on Earth.

What’s more, a dog’s body temperature is consistently two degrees warmer than a human’s. Anna warns that when a dog’s temperature hits 40ºC, they are at risk of life-threatening heatstroke.

Dog behaviourist Anna Webb

Drawing on over 20 years of experience, Anna’s top tips for the nation’s dog-owning drivers include ice cubes on dogs’ gums, meaty mocktails and a cooling vest or mat to chill underbellies.

Skoda has a long-standing commitment to the care of canines, shown most recently by its sponsorship of Crufts 2023. Earlier this year, the Czech brand drew on Anna’s expertise to create a mindfulness playlist to calm anxious dogs in the car — and this remains just as relevant heading into the summer months.

A dog’s mental health has a big impact on its body temperature. According to Anna, if a hound is relaxed in the car, it’ll be less likely to feel hot, as raised cortisol levels increase body temperature and thirst.

Tasty treats combined with short acclimatising sessions in the car, along with the Skoda ‘Happy Hounds’ playlist – calming selection of songs curated especially for dogs – can prepare pooches for the stress and heat of a long journey.

“It can take under an hour for a dog to be pushed to the brink by extreme heat, and that time comes around so much faster when they are in a warm car,” said Anna. “Pet owners need to be aware of the dangers so they can help protect their pups.”

Anna Webb’s top tips on keeping dogs safe in a car during warmer weather:

  • A dog’s body temperature is always two degrees Celsius hotter than ours, with normal levels between 38.3 – 39.2 degrees Celsius. Small dogs tend to run hotter as they have faster metabolisms than larger dogs. Never leave your dog in a stationary car, even with the windows open, or in the shade, as the car turns into a greenhouse. When it’s 22ºC outside in a stationary vehicle, without air conditioning, temperatures ‘in car’ can reach 47ºC in fewer than 10 minutes.
  • De-sensitise your dog to travelling in the car before any long journey, but especially when it’s hot. Signs that your dog is feeling the heat (or going Hyperthermic) will be excessive panting, drooling and restlessness. A dog that’s relaxed in the car will be less likely to feel hot. Raised cortisol levels increase a dog’s body temperature and thirst.
  • Cooling vests and mats work to keep your dog’s underbelly nice and chilled. Make sure your dog is ‘carrier-trained’ for maximum comfort. Carriers should be well-ventilated and spacious enough for your pooch to turn around.
  • Use tasty treats to help train your dog to enjoy their cooling accessories in their carrier (or seat belt) indoors first! Make the acclimatising sessions very short and always finish on a positive note. Your dog could get stressed or bored in the car and chew the cooling mat and/or the vest — becoming more stressed and even hotter.
  • Cooling vests should be soaked in cold water before you put them on your pet. The simple process of      evaporation from the heat of the dog dries the vest, cooling them down.  They do need to be re-dampened — maybe combine this with a comfort break for the dog (or for you) at the services. Combine these indoor travel sessions with the Skoda ‘Happy Hounds’ playlist. Association with positive experiences indoors, like this calming playlist, will help your dog relax. When you’re confident your dog is  calm in their pet carrier with their cooling ‘kit’ and the playlist, transfer them to the car. Gradually extend  the time with the engine off and the engine on. At the first sign of any stress, including panting or drooling, stop! Try again tomorrow…
  • Before setting off, check that your air-conditioning is reaching the back seat. If not, or if your dog travels in the boot, securely attach some portable fans to encourage air circulation and cooling.
  • Take regular comfort breaks in the shade so your dog keeps cool. Avoid tarmac and concrete paths — both absorb heat and can burn bare paw-pads. Be mindful to park your car in a shady spot and think of windscreen sun shades to help keep your car cool.
  • In summer months, travel in the cooler times of the day – early morning or evening. Make sure your car is roadworthy to minimise concerns of breaking down in the heat.
  • Be prepared – take your dog’s drinking bowl or a portable bowl, but check your dog will drink from it before you set off! Take a cool bag with plenty of fresh bottled water and a flask of ice cubes. Simply melting an ice cube on your dog’s gums cools them very quickly, or just offering an ice cube to lick and crunch is fun on your comfort break. Keep a wet towel in your  cool bag. If your dog overheats, wrap them in the cool towel and keep dampening it with cold water. Do this in the shade or in a cool room. Pouring water directly on your dog is ineffective as it simply runs off and evaporates.
  • Frequently, an overheated dog will refuse to drink. This is their instinct kicking in as they associate drinking with peeing, which means they would lose body fluids.  I recommend packing an isotonic hydration drink especially for dogs, or some pre-packed broth, in your cool bag.  Both contain electrolytes and minerals, along with a meaty flavour, which will get your dog drinking and hydrate them quickly.
  • When ‘staycationing’ always take familiar toys, chews and blankets with you to make your dog feel at home!

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Gareth Herincx

6 hours ago
Auto News

Dog in a Skoda Karoq

New research has revealed that Britain’s dog lovers spend more than £4,000 per year on their pet, but just half safely secure their dog on every car journey.

To mark International Dog Day on August 26, Skoda – in partnership with BorrowMyDoggy (a national organisation that connects dog owners with trusted local people to help take care of their dogs) – is highlighting how simple solutions can help keep dogs safe on the move.

Of the estimated 9.6 million dog owners in the UK, the Skoda study revealed more than seven million travel with their dog in the car at least once a week.

However, just 51% said they always correctly secured their dog while driving, with 14% only doing it some of the time and 9% admitting that they have never secured their dog safely in the car.

Dog in a safety harness - Skoda Karoq

The yearly average bill of £4,087.20 is made up of food, pet insurance and edible treats, but owners are risking doubling this cost for not securing pets safely when on the move. Nearly half (44%) are unaware of current laws around travelling with a dog in the car which can lead to a fine of up to £5,000 and invalid insurance.

According to the Highway Code, dogs need to be suitably secured so they avoid distracting the driver and to prevent injury in the case of a sudden stop.

The research found 12% of owners let their dogs sit on their lap or even on the dash (9%) while driving, while some let their dogs move freely around the car. This figure was even more pronounced among younger drivers (18-24 years old), with over a quarter (27%) letting their dog sit on their lap while driving.

In total, 68% of drivers said they drove more carefully with their dog in the car, though nearly a quarter (24%) said they found themselves to be more stressed.

When thinking about their car, dog owners said that the most important aspects were firstly that it should be easy for the dog to get in and out (60%), followed by good boot size (51%), interior space (44%) and durable materials (43%).

Top tips for travelling with dogs in the car*

  • Keep dogs on a lead when getting in and out of a car
  • Securely fasten your dog in the car with a harness or in-car carrier
  • Keep toys, food and water on-hand, for example in the glovebox
  • In-car dog accessories make travelling much more secure and comfortable, such as the Skoda rear-seat dog hammock
  • Extras like blankets and dog beds can help to keep a dog calm and relaxed
  • Take regular breaks for fresh air and to allow your dog to stretch their legs (and yourself)
  • Never leave your dog in the car on a warm day, even if you have parked in the shade

*Advice courtesy of Skoda and BorrowMyDoggy

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Skoda Fabia

We road test the all-new Skoda Fabia hatchback – a impressive car that’s shaking up the supermini sector…

The latest Skoda Fabia is quite simply one of the best small hatchbacks on the market. An alternative to the ubiquitous Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, it’s a fantastic all-round package.

Of course, no car is perfect, and the fourth-generation Fabia is no exception. For instance, it’s a petrol-only range, with no hybrid choice. In this day and age, it seems odd to be coasting and braking and NOT harvesting energy otherwise lost.

Skoda Fabia

However, not everyone is ready to go hybrid or fully electric, and many can’t afford the extra upfront cost or fit a home charger, so for now conventional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars are still the most popular new car option.

Only offered as a five-door hatchback (there’s no estate version this time round), it comes in cool colours (Phoenix Orange and Race Blue especially) and there’s a sporty Monte Carlo version topping the range.

The Fabia is longer than its predecessor, and the boot (up by 50 litres to 380 litres) is claimed to be the largest of any supermini on sale today.

Skoda Fabia

Its more grown-up, aerodynamic design brings it more closely into line with other newer Skodas, including the Octavia and Scala,

Priced from £17,800, there’s a choice of either a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a choice of three outputs (64, 94 or 108bhp), or a 1.5-litre four-cylinder (148bhp) unit available in the flagship Monte Carlo.

The two entry-level 1.0-litres get a five-speed manual gearbox, while the more powerful version gets a six-speed, though a seven-speed DSG automatic can also be specified.

Skoda Fabia

We tested the 1.0-litre with the biggest output paired with the twin-clutch auto gearbox. Capable of up to 50.7mpg, CO2 emissions are as low as 126g/km, while 0-62mph takes 9.8 seconds and top speed is 126mph.

Inside, it’s attractive, well-built and offers lots of space. Up front there’s a large central floating touchscreen (there are three sizes, depending on how much you spend) with clear graphics. It’s well equipped too, though again, you get what you pay for.

It’s also packed with safety and driver assistance systems, helping it earn a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests (there are three separate ISOFIX mounting points in the rear, plus the option for top and bottom mountings for the front passenger seat).

Skoda Fabia

It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, and while there is extra room in the back, taller passengers might still struggle for legroom. However, overall, it’s excellently packaged. with plenty of smaller storage spaces too.

As we’ve already mentioned, the boot is huge for a car of this size. In fact, it’s comparable to some vehicles in the Ford Focus class above.

On the road it’s a surprisingly refined experience, and it’s clearly been designed more for comfort than performance.

Skoda Fabia

That said, it’s a punchy little engine and feels quicker than the official figures suggest. Spirited drivers can still have some fun in the Fabia because it handles well with ample front-end grip, while body roll is kept well in check.

The steering is light and it’s a doddle to drive in town, but it’s also a fine cruiser. The DSG works well enough, but it can be a little hesitant to change through the gears if you’re in a hurry. Skoda expects most buyers to opt for the six-speed manual anyway.

We achieved the magic 50mpg on a long run with mixed roads, so driven sensibly, the Fabia will reward you with lower running costs.

Skoda Fabia

Add Skoda’s hard-won reputation for reliability and the new Fabia is right up there with the best of them, even if there isn’t a hint of electrification.

Verdict: The all-new Skoda Fabia is a cracking little car. Attractive, affordable and delivering plenty of space, comfort and on-board technology, it’s pleasant, easy to drive and well worth a test drive.

Skoda UK

Skoda Fabia