UK’s top five motoring myths

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Motoring myths - SEAT Cars

Spanish car brand SEAT has identified the top five most common driving myths.

According to a survey of 2,000 UK motorists, top of the table sits not being allowed to drive barefoot, with more than half of drivers believing this to be true.

1. You are not allowed to drive barefoot – 52%
Whilst it’s not illegal to drive barefoot, it is the responsibility of the driver to always ensure that they’re in full control of the vehicle. Driving barefoot does not afford the same braking response as driving in a sturdy shoe, and other factors, such as if the driver’s feet are wet, may jeopardise the driver’s control of the vehicle. It is therefore strongly recommended drivers always drive in suitable footwear.

2. You are not allowed to drive in flip flops or Wellington boots – 49%
As above, it’s not illegal to drive in flip flops or Wellingtons, but it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that they’re always in full control of the vehicle.

3. The only time you can enter an active bus lane is to let an emergency vehicle pass – 47%
Drivers can still receive a fine for entering a bus lane to let an emergency vehicle pass. In fact, there’s a good chance this vehicle will use the bus lane to avoid traffic, so it can be unhelpful if drivers move into it. Should you find yourself in a bus lane, you should always endeavour to exit as soon as possible if it is safe to do so.

4. Children under the age of 12 must sit in the backseat – 38%
In fact, children under the age of 12 can sit in either the front or back of the car. However, if they are in the front of a car in a rearward facing child car seat, then the passenger airbag must be deactivated. It is illegal if the airbag is active. It is also imperative to use the correct child seat for under 12s or those under 1.35m in height. Despite the law allowing it, it is strongly recommended that children always sit in the back seat of a car in the appropriate child restraint.

5. It is illegal to drive at night with the interior light on – 37%
Perhaps the quirkiest on the list, there is no law to say that driving at night with the interior light on is illegal, despite it often being cited as such. Whilst legal, it may be that if a driver is pulled over and the interior lights are determined to have impaired the driver’s vision, then they could be charged with careless driving.

Motoring myths - SEAT Cars

With roadgoing misconceptions in mind, SEAT also asked motorists when they last read the Highway Code, discovering that the majority had either not read it in the last five years or never read it at all.

Nearly half of drivers (48%) also didn’t know the ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’ system introduced in 2022.

The hierarchy system was added to the Highway Code in January 2022 and places road users that are most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the ‘scale’.

Data from the Department for Transport shows a large number of pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities still occur on British roads each year.

In the year ending June 2022, there were 35,551 cyclist and pedestrian casualties, and 514 fatalities.


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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UK million milestone for SEAT cars

Gareth Herincx

4 days ago
Auto News


SEAT has reached a new landmark in the UK – the sale of one million vehicles.

The milestone car was Leon e-HYBRID (plug-in hybrid) registered by Pulman SEAT (based in Southwick, Sunderland) and sold to a private customer.

The UK is SEAT’s third largest market, after Spain and Germany, and it has exported cars here since September 1985.

The first models were the first-generation Ibiza and the Malaga saloon, with both models initially achieving a combined first year sales total of 405.

By comparison, SEAT sold 68,800 vehicles in 2019, a new UK record for the brand, and was one of the fastest growing major automotive manufacturers in the country.

To date in 2021, SEAT sales have already passed 40,000, close to surpassing the full-year 2020 COVID-effected figures.

“The UK is one of SEAT’s largest and most significant international markets,” said Richard Harrison, Managing Director of SEAT UK.

“This is a tremendous milestone and comes at a time when SEAT offers its most diverse range of vehicles yet.

“Our SUV family – Arona, Ateca and Tarraco – have sold extremely well within the UK, while legacy models – Ibiza and Leon – continue their longstanding popularity.

“It’s fitting that the one millionth car is a Leon e-HYBRID as it symbolises SEAT’s journey towards electrified powertrains.”

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Seat Leon e-Hybrid review


We’re already big fans of the fourth generation Seat Leon. In our 2020 review, we concluded that it’s “one of the most accomplished family hatchbacks on the market, offering affordability, economy, tech, refinement, space and driving pleasure”.

Fast forward to 2021 and the petrol and diesel models have been joined by a plug-in hybrid, delivering a potential 235mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 27g/km.

Using pretty much the same tried and tested system also seen in the Audi A3 40 TFSIe, Volkswagen Golf GTE and Skoda Octavia iV, a 1.4-litre petrol turbo engine is mated to a 12.8kWh battery and 85kW e-motor, giving a useful combined output of 201bhp, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds and a 137mph top speed.


Most importantly of all for some (especially if you use your car locally or have a modest daily commute), it can run electric-only for up to 36 miles.

In other words, as with all PHEVs, the Leon e-Hybrid offers an introduction to EV driving, without the range anxiety – the perfect stepping stone between the internal combustion engine and going 100% electric.

Apart from the extra fuel flap (for plugging into a charger) and modest badging, externally it looks much the same as a regular Leon – which is no bad thing, because it’s a stylish car.


Open the hatch, and there’s more hybrid evidence. The Leon e-Hybrid has a supermini luggage capacity of 270 litres (down 110 litres on the standard petrol or diesel), because the hybrid battery pack takes up extra space. On the plus side, there’s a useful 1,191 litres when the rear seats are folded.

The cabin in unaffected, which means there’s room in the back seats for adults to sit comfortably. It’s generally well designed, and quality is good, but not outstanding. There are some soft-touch surfaces high up in the cabin, but – as you’d expect at the more affordable end of the market – there’s a lot of scratchy hard plastic lower down.

At launch there are five trim levels (FR, FR First Edition, FR Sport, Xcellence, Xcellence Lux) with price points between £31,835-£35,060. While this is competitive in its sector, it would be great if all manufacturers could start bringing the start price of PHEVs down closer to £25,000.


That said, it’s generously equipped with 17-inch alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, a wireless phone charger, drive modes and safety features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) all standard.

Goodies further up the range include adaptive cruise control, heated front seats and steering wheel, keyless entry and start, a digital driver’s display and tinted rear windows.

All models also get a flash 10-inch infotainment system, which gives the dashboard a more minimalist look, but the touchscreen contains a little too much basic functionality for our liking – even the temperature controls are integrated.


The e-Hybrid starts up in electric mode and stays that way until the battery pack is flat. However, the engine will kick in if you floor the accelerator or you switch to hybrid mode, which combines petrol and electric power for better economy and battery life.

Like all PHEVs, it can also recharge via regenerative braking, which slows the car down and collects energy to charge up the battery and increase the vehicle range. That said, the most effective way is to plug it in at home overnight or use a public charger (both 4-5 hours).

With electricity costing around a third of petrol per mile, that’s cheap motoring. Add tax savings for business drivers and other perks such as lower Road Tax (VED) and exemption from the London Congestion Charge, running a plug-in hybrid makes sense.


In the real world your fuel consumption will depend on a number of factors, such as whether you start your journey with a full battery charge, the temperature, your driving style, and the types of roads your encounter.

Seat quotes potential fuel economy of 235mpg, but the reality is that once you’ve used up the battery charge, you can end up with fuel economy comparable to a diesel (50-60mpg) – lower on long journeys.


On the road, the e-Hybrid accelerates briskly and the switch from electric to engine power and vice versa is seamless.

Naturally, it’s almost silent when running in pure electric mode, while the 1.4-litre petrol engine is generally refined, but becomes a little more vocal when pushed.


The ride is on the firm side, but not uncomfortably so, allowing it to stay composed and relatively flat in faster corners. It’s no hot hatch, but more spirited drivers can select Sport mode for a little extra fun.

It feels light and agile on the road, there’s plenty of grip and the steering is sharp. The six-speed DSG automatic gearbox fitted to our test car is one of the best, though not quite as punchy through the gears as we’d like.

It’s safe too – the e-Hybrid received a maximum five-star safety evaluation rating from Euro NCAP, just like its regular petrol and diesel stablemates, with AEB standard across the range and other driver assistance aids including Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist available.

Verdict: Stylish, safe, economical, easy to drive and well equipped, the all-new Seat Leon e-Hybrid is a welcome addition to the plug-in hybrid family hatchback scene.

Seat UK