Monday, 14 August 2017

REVIEW – Ford Fiesta ST200

Many cars have been called the ‘king’ of hot hatches over the years, the most common of which is the Golf GTi. But I would argue that the king of the hot hatch in recent times the has been the Fiesta ST. Granted, I could be seen as biased – we own one – but it’s not just me who has spoken so highly of it. The Fiesta has kept the classic recipe: huge bucket seats, plenty of power, manual gearbox, but above all the ability to embarrass much more expensive cars on a country road. And it certainly works: there’s a fair few Fiesta ST’s on the road now. So what if you want to have the Fiesta ST, but still stand out from the crowd? Well, there is this: the ST200. I got hold of one to see if it could really stand head and shoulders above the standard car.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Could you be part of the classic car revolution?

Owning a classic car may have been a dream of yours ever since you were a little boy and saw your dad driving his Bentley around the estate after his second round of golf on a Saturday morning. If your family wasn’t one to mingle with the landed gentry, then perhaps you have fond memories of your dad squeezing into his Ford Capri on a Sunday morning and giving it a run as your mum began cooking a Sunday roast. Cars are evocative. They make us remember the good times in our lives, and before we know it, we can begin to ache to recapture a feeling.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Simple tweaks that could make your car safer in seconds

There are lots of ways to make your car safer, and most people don’t know about them. It’s not uncommon for people to simply climb into their cars and start driving without a second’s thought. But if you want to make sure that you are a safe as you can be, and your vehicle is not going to experience any problems, there are some things that you should be sure to do.

Monday, 31 July 2017

REVIEW – Volvo S90 Inscription

I  have always sung the praises of Volvo. And it would appear that over the last year or so, people are starting to realise why. They offer innovative technology, and are at the forefront of automotive safety. But where they have previously struggled is in making desirable cars. People still have it in their head that a Volvo is a big, boxy estate car; and that couldn’t be much further than the truth. If you read my review of the XC90 a few months ago, you’ll see what I mean. Continuing with the ‘90s’ I grabbed an S90 for a week. This is Volvo’s executive saloon, rival to the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. So can the Swede defeat the Germans in the battle of the businessman? Time to find out…

Saturday, 29 July 2017

COLUMN – July 2017

Here is another chance to catch my column from the July editions of The Local Herald and The Clitheroe Local. I reviewed two cars, both hot hatches (of sorts). The first is the Fiesta ST200, a limited edition of a car I loved so much I actually bought one. But would the limited model be worth the extra? And then I finish up with the Audi S5 Sportback. Not the usual hot hatch, for sure, but one that promises all the same thrills in a sensible-looking package. Could it really be the hot hatch for suits? Time to find out. As always full write ups can be found via the Reviews page.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Tips for new drivers

So, you’ve passed your test and technically, that means you’re on your own. You have the ability to get in your car and drive to your hearts content. But, that doesn’t mean you should. Studies have shown that a huge percentage of new drivers are still unprepared for what they could encounter on the roads. The reason that new driver insurance can be so high is because new drivers are far more likely to be in a road traffic accident than experienced drivers. So, what can you do to make sure you’re safe on the road?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Flashy cars without the price tag

Living a life of luxury takes its toll on your bank account. Most people can’t afford that kind of lifestyle, but you can get pretty close with the right car. You aren’t going to be driving around in an Aston Martin anytime soon but luxury cars don’t always come with such a hefty price tag. There are plenty of more reasonably priced ones on the market that are a bit more realistic. Driving around in one of these will give you the chance to live a life of luxury, if only for a few hours a day. If you’re fed up of your boring old car, why not consider one of these?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Staying safe on the road is about more than just your driving

When a lot of drivers think about staying safe when they're out on the road, the first thing that comes to find is their driving. This is, of course, a very good thing. There are a lot of things on the road that you don't have control over, but your driving is certainly not one of them. If you make sure that you're driving as carefully as possible, then you're doing a great deal to make sure that you're safe when you're behind the wheel. Having said that, your driving isn't the only thing that can have an impact on the how safe you are. In fact, your vehicle itself can make a big difference in that regard. With that in mind, here are a few things other than your own driving that you should pay attention to in order to make sure that you're always safe when you're on the road.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Make it work for you: how to earn money with your car

Buying, keeping and maintaining a car is an expensive affair, besides from paying for insurance, repair costs, and even parking costs if you live in the city. When you spend a lot of time in your car, you’d want it to run as smoothly as possible - so we tend to invest even more money into it. At the end of the day, it’s all worth it; you need it to transport yourself around, and the sound of a well-treated motor takes all those money worries away. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to see a bit of that money return to you somehow? Make your car work for you with these brilliant money-saving ideas, and enjoy the time you spend on it even more.

Cars to avoid in 2017

If you’re in the market for a new car, you don’t just want to know about the cars worth buying. You should also know about the cars to avoid. There are many cars on the market today that are unsuitable for most drivers. The price or the way the car looks may attract you, but you really need to do your research on how well they drive, how easy they are to fix, and common problems that you may face while you own the car. To help you out, here’s a list of cars that you should avoid in 2017:

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The ultimate guide to buying a used Bentley

Have you always dreamt of owning your very own Bentley? It is one of the most popular classic cars and is associated with the rich and famous. However, that big reputation means that Bentley cars often come with very high price tags. For most people, they are simply out of reach.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Luxury small cars: the main players

The world of cars can often feel quite overwhelming. There are just so many different cars out there available to you that you don’t always know which one is the one for you. But, don’t let your mind get boggled by all of the choices. Instead, you should stick to your roots. If you love luxury cars, but you prefer to drive a small car, don’t be put off. Yes, the luxury market is most known for its show-stopping executive and sports cars, but they also do small cars that will wow too. If you’re not sure which to get, here are four of the hottest models to consider from Audi, MINI, BMW and Mercedes - four of the best in the luxury consumer car market.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Better car knowledge makes you a better car owner

Most car owners tend to refer to the value of their car as an indication of their abilities in the field of car ownership. There’s indeed the common belief that how much you spend on your car reflects on the kind of owner you are. However, regardless of the value of your vehicle, a good car owner is someone you can recognise by their car knowledge. There is no denying that the one who understands how a car works and who can fix faults before they before serious issues is the kind of person you’d trust with any car. In other words, understanding your car, having the right tools for basic and more complex repairs, maintaining your vehicle and developing a sense of confidence about car mechanics and driving are the signs of a great car owner.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Which cars are the safest?

When most people buy a new car, they want to make sure that they are purchasing a safe vehicle. Not only should it be easy to drive and handle - making it a lot easier to control - but it should also feature as many safety features as possible. All of these features should help protect you and any passengers if you are ever caught up in a car accident.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Car auctions explained

When it comes to selling a car, most people head down the usual routes: part exchange on a new vehicle, private sale on AutoTrader or eBay, or the likes of webuyanycar(for a fair bit less than it's worth).com. You could even try Motorway, which pulls together a comparison from several sources. But there is another option: car auctions. These aren't just for traders to pick up stock; many auctions allow Joe Public to come and bid for cars too. Now if this is all new to you, it may well seem like a daunting experience, but it needn't be. In this post we will take a look at the ins and outs of car auctions...

Friday, 7 July 2017

Clueless about cars? Who should you ask for advice?

Put your hand up if you know nothing about cars? You’re not alone. Cars and mechanics are a complex thing that unless you’ve been forced to find out, it’s your job or you’re just really interested in cars. Fear of the unknown makes it embarrassing to ask questions or get advice, but there’ll always be someone to help you not. Fear no more and get the answers you need about cars from the right people.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Why do old cars cost more to maintain?

There’s common knowledge that old cars can be very expensive in the long run. There is naturally some truth in this idea, especially as most old cars were not built to be fuel efficient, at least if you are aiming to buy the kind of car that your grandparents would have driven through the country. If you are looking for an old car that isn’t too greedy in fuel, you’ll need to be looking for cars built in the 2000s. However, given that the new millennium started 17 years ago, you can bet that these cars are old too. They might come at a lower price than a brand new model – or so you hope – but they are said to cost an arm in maintenance. If you are in the process of looking for a second-hand car, or if you already own an old car, it might be time to ask yourself whether the bad rep that old cars have on maintenance costs is really justified. You’d be surprised to find out that, while it’s normal to have to invest more in your car – as pieces need to be replaced as part of the natural aging process of the car –, there’s no reason why the overall maintenance process has to be expensive.

Monday, 3 July 2017

REVIEW – Jaguar XF R-Sport

In my recent review of the F-Pace, I explained that Jaguar has been refreshing its model line-up, and that the newest cars were some of the best in its history. So now, as I sit here to write about my time with the XF, I can echo those sentiments once more. This is a car that was definitely due a bit of cosmetic surgery. First unveiled in 2007, it had a facelift in 2011. But after that long, it was time for an overhaul. What you are looking at here is the second generation XF. And I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. If the XE and F-Pace were anything to go by, this would be a great week. So let’s get on with it…

Friday, 30 June 2017

REVIEW – Hyundai Tucson Premium SE

The Hyundai Tucson is one of the more recent models to show its face in the model line-up. It is a crossover, available with a host of engines and either 2WD or 4WD configuration. As with other models the Tucson aims to offer premium quality at an affordable price; to create the perfect package for your next family car. It shares quite a bit- from specification to engines- with the Kia Sportage, a car that has been well received in the market (and here at Simply Motor). So I gratefully took the opportunity to grab a Tucson for a week. Could it really offer a premium drive at a reasonable price?

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Being a supportive parent to a learner driver

Prejudice is an ugly, ugly thing. We strive to combat it wherever we see it, and are quick to condemn it when it rears its monstrous head. But, unfortunately there’s still one group of people that fewer leap to defend. A group of people that society still seems to see as fair game when it comes to snide jokes, put downs and downright rudeness. A group for whom unfair stereotypes are an unspoken status quo. And as soon as your child dons the L plates, they join their ranks.