Nissan Qashqai named ‘UK’s most reliable car’

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Gold-wrapped Nissan Qashqai

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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Pothole-related breakdowns are accelerating

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Road pothole - RAC

RAC patrols attended nearly a quarter more breakdowns where potholes were likely to blame in the last three months of 2022 compared to the previous three months, according to new RAC figures.

Released to mark today’s National Pothole Day show, the data show’s the motoring services company’s roadside staff went out to an average of 20 breakdowns a day between October and the end of the year – a total of more than 1,800. Faults included damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels.

This was up from 16 a day over the previous three months (1,462 in total) and was the highest number of pothole-related breakdowns seen in the fourth quarter of the year since 2019.

The threat of a plethora of potholes appearing over the next few months is now very real indeed given how much rain there has been either side of December’s sub-zero temperatures. These are the perfect conditions for creating potholes, as water makes its way into cracks which then expand when it freezes, causing the road surface to crumble.

Research for the RAC’s latest Report on Motoring found that an enormous 86% of drivers have had to deliberately steer to avoid potholes over the past year, a figure that rises to 90% of those in rural areas but only falls to 81% of those in urban locations. Most drivers (55%) also rated pothole repairs in their local areas as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

“We fear that by the Spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads which makes journeys uncomfortable and frustrating or, worse still, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills – the last thing anyone wants in a cost-of-living crisis,” said RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes.

“It’s also important to remember that potholes are so much more than just an annoyance, they are a true road safety danger, especially for those on two wheels as they represent a huge risk to their personal safety.”

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Revealed: The soaring cost of rapid charging an electric car

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Electric car charging bay

The cost of rapid charging an electric car up has shot up by a staggering 50% in eight months, according to new data from RAC Charge Watch.

It now costs an average of 70.32p per kilowatt hour to rapid charge on a pay-as-you-go basis – up from 44.55p (58%) last May and from 63.29p (11%) last September.

The rises, driven by further increases in the wholesale cost of electricity, mean that drivers now pay £36 to charge a typical family-sized electric car with a 64kWh battery to its 80% rapid or ultra-rapid limit – enough to cover around 188 miles.

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This is more than twice the cost of charging the same car at home, something which many EV drivers are unable to do, with the price of such a charge coming in at just £17.87 – despite the record high domestic energy prices.

The price of using the fastest ultra-rapid chargers, which have power outputs of over 100kW and can charge many cars in a matter of minutes, now stands at 74.79p per kilowatt hour, up from 50.97p in May 2022 (47%) and 63.94p in September.

Drivers relying on these chargers pay £38.29 today for an 80% charge, a huge £20.42 more than those fortunate enough to do all their charging at home.

In other words, drivers who use the rapid public charging network – typically because they need to recharge on a longer journey or are trying to charge up time-efficiently as they can’t do so at home or work – currently pay a huge premium over those using slower chargers.

Filling up with petrol

Indeed, it can be more expensive for an EV driver to recharge quickly on a longer journey than it is for a petrol and diesel drivers to refuel.

Drivers using rapid chargers now pay 20p per mile for their electricity, only a penny less than those using less common ultra-rapid chargers who pay 21p per mile.

These costs are higher than the equivalent per-mile rate for a petrol car that achieves an economy of 40 miles to the gallon (17p per mile) and are on a par with a diesel car achieving the same economy (20p per mile).

“For drivers to switch to electric cars en masse, it’s vital that the numbers stack up. In time, the list price of new electric models will come down but charging quickly has also got to be as affordable as possible,” said RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams.

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Top 10 most scrapped cars in the UK

Gareth Herincx

12 hours ago
Auto News

Ford-Focus-Mk-2

The Ford Focus was the most scrapped car model in 2022, according to new data from the Scrap Car Comparison service.

The Vauxhall Corsa was revealed as the second most scrapped model, with its larger sibling – the Astra – following in third.

It’s no surprise that the Focus topped the chart for the sixth year running. Go back 14 years (the average age of scrapped vehicles) and it was a time when the family hatchback was flying out of new car showrooms.

New additions to the 2022 list of most scrapped cars include the executive BMW 3 Series (more than the 1 Series, 5 Series and X5s combined), the Ford Transit van and MINI hatch.

Top 10 most scrapped car models in 2022

  1. Ford Focus
  2. Vauxhall Corsa
  3. Vauxhall Astra
  4. Ford Fiesta
  5. Volkswagen Golf
  6. BMW 3 Series
  7. Ford Transit
  8. Mini Hatch (Cooper/One)
  9. Vauxhall Zafira
  10. Renault Clio

Ford was also the most scrapped car manufacturer of 2022, followed by Vauxhall and Volkswagen.

New entry car manufacturers to the Top 10 included German brands BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

Top 10 most scrapped car makes in 2022

  1. Ford
  2. Vauxhall
  3. Volkswagen
  4. Peugeot
  5. Renault
  6. BMW
  7. Citroen
  8. Audi
  9. Toyota
  10. Mercedes

“This is the sixth year running where we’ve seen the Ford Focus come out on top as the most scrapped car, and we expect to see it featuring highly in our most scrapped lists for many years to come,” said said Dan Gick, Managing Director of Scrap Car Comparison.

“Popularity will always have a bearing on which cars are scrapped, and 2022’s results help to spotlight the enduring popularity of the Focus model, even if many do eventually meet the scrap heap.”

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