Best Of British Top 50 Cars Revealed!

Need a bit of help deciding what car to buy next? If so, you’re going to love this top 50 rundown of the best British cars ever, as decided upon by expert judges like the team from Auto Express magazine, CEO of McLaren Mike Flewitt, president of the AA Edmund King, CEO of Aston Martin Andy Palmer and director of BMW Ian Robertson, among others.

Auto Express decided to put the list together to find out the best British-built car of all time, accounting for unbeatable performance, ground-breaking design and account sales success. And what do you think claimed the number one spot?

Well, we can tell you that the Mini has pipped the rest of the bunch to the post, with praise heaped upon it for being an “icon of British innovation, a fashion accessory and a motorsport hero that also brought affordable motoring to the masses”.

The Mini itself was first launched in 1959 after designer Alec Issigonis was tasked by the bosses at BMC to make a car smaller than three metres that could fit a family of four inside. The result was the Mini, with ten inch wheels used to make more room inside, the gearbox positioned in the engine’s sump and the powerplant mounted in such a way that the cylinders could be lined up sideways across the vehicle.

Apparently, however, Brits weren’t as enamoured with the car at first as they certainly are now and it wasn’t until racing drivers and celebrities started gadding about in them that it started becoming really popular. From there, the Mini Cooper was born, thanks to racing driver John Cooper who saw its potential in the motorsport arena.

Edmund King of the AA said: “There’s only one choice for the top spot: the Mini. It’s one of the most influential cars ever built and lasted for decades with the design barely changed.”

The rest of the vehicles that make up the top ten were the Lotus Elise, the Ford Escort MK1, the Caterham/Lotus Seven, the Ford GT40, the Range Rover Mk1, the McLaren F1, the Aston Martin DB5, the Land Rover Series/Defender and the Jaguar E-Type.

However, while the Mini might well have come top of this particular list – and no doubt it’s a well-deserved honour – it seems as though where actual drivers are concerned, there’s another brand that’s currying favour at the moment.

New research from The Hatchbag Company has just revealed that Ford is the most popular make of car in the UK, with nearly 4.5 million vehicles out there at the moment, which is just over 14 per cent of the market. Other hugely popular cars include Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Peugeot, so if you are in the market for a new vehicle why don’t you see just why these cars are so well liked?

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Cumbria Classic Car Event In June

If you’ve got an eye for classic car alloys then keep a look out for an exciting car event coming to the Lake District this summer.

Arriving in Cumbria On Sunday 18th June, the popular Lakes Charity Classic Vehicle Show is back. Set up and organised by a group of volunteers from Windermere and Ambleside Lions Club, the show finds its home at Grasmere Sports Field.

Over 300 of the best classic cars from all over the UK will attend the event and you’ll get to chance to see some real beauties up close. You can find a full list of all the cars booked in to make an appearance at the show on their website here – is your favourite registered?

Over the years, the charities who arrange the car show have raised thousands of pounds for local charities – and, at last year’s show, they managed to raise over £7,000. This year, they’ll be raising money for Blood Bikes Cumbria and Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue.

The show also usually features a car pull race – however, unfortunately it didn’t happen in 2016 because of bad weather, so fingers crossed for a dry one this June.

You can find all the details of this show over at lakesclassiccarshow.org.uk – tickets to attend are priced at £5 per person and £12 for the whole family (and it really looks like a great family day out!) They’ll also be variety of food, live music and a variety of competitions to take part in.

 

How To Change A Car Tyre Yourself

Being as practical and hands-on as you can as a car driver is certainly a good idea. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and time if you’re able to do certain jobs, like changing the tyres on your vehicle, yourself.

However, with the removal of spare tyres in new cars it’s possible that this particular skill could soon die out among the general population. And that’s not all – apparently, not having a spare in the boot of the car is also driving up callouts to emergency services like the AA.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, executive chairman of the organisation Bob Mackenzie explained that wheels are getting bigger and heavier, so they’ve been removed to reduce weight and increase space… but this has helped to see callouts increase by five per cent last year. Because there is no tyre, drivers are unable to change them in the event of a puncture or similar – so they have no choice but to call out roadside assistance.

Despite this, it’s still a good idea to know how to change a tyre yourself. For your own safety, do not try to do this by the side of the road or on the hard shoulder of the motorway. You should always pull over as far from traffic as possible. Also avoid changing the tyre on uneven or soft ground, or with people still in the car.

In order to change the tyre successfully, you’ll need your spare, a jack, your handbook (which will show you where to put the jack), a wrench with an extension bar and locking wheel nut adaptor, something to kneel on, gloves, a torch and a wheel chock to stop your car from rolling when on the jack.

Turn the engine off but leave the hazard lights on. Put your handbrake on and leave the car in first gear, then put the chock under the wheel that’s diagonally opposite whichever one you’re trying to change. Put the spare on the ground somewhere convenient for you to reach, then remove the wheel trim.

Put the jack in the lifting point closest to the wheel and make sure the head engages properly. Extend until the vehicle starts to lift on its springs. Loosen your wheel nuts anti-clockwise. Raise the jack again until the wheel is just off the ground, then remove the wheel nuts, leaving the top one until last so you can take the wheel off the hub easily. Then put the spare tyre back on in its place – and remember to put the old wheel back in your car before driving off again.

Always check to see if your spare tyre is a temporary one as well, since you shouldn’t drive over 50mph on one of these – and it needs to be replaced with a proper tyre as soon as possible.

Looking for new DRC wheels? Check out our website today.

New Speeding Laws Explained

If you’ve got a motor of which you’re really proud, it can sometimes be tempting – when you’ve got room to let your horsepower loose – to really let your alloy wheels fly on the road. However, with speeding laws changing in just over a month’s time, you really need to think twice before putting your foot down.

Currently, if you’re caught speeding, you’ll find yourself with a fine ranging from £100 to £1000 and 3 points on your licence – not to be sniffed at, but the stakes could soon be much higher. From April 24th, speeding motorists could potentially be charged up to 175 per cent of their weekly salary, depending on the severity of the offence.

According to The Daily Express, the new system is separated into three bands. Band A is for an offence between one and 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, B is 11 to 21 miles per hour over the limit and band C is 21 miles per hour over the limit or above.

At present, it’s thought that band A offences will range from around 25 per cent to 75 per cent of a weekly wage, band B 100 per cent of a weekly salary and C up to 175 per cent.

The system is far more complex than the current one, which has a fixed penalty no matter the offence, so why change it? Well there are several ideas behind the reform of charging speeding motorists.

The new rules add levels of severity to speeding offences – whereas before you’d be fined the same.

For example, doing 38 miles per hour in a 30 zone compared to doing 60 miles per hour in a 30 zone – the latter is a much more antisocial and dangerous offence than the former and the government believes it should be fined as such.

The way in which the fines have been increased also looks to not caste band A as minor offences – as these can carry the same fines as the current charges. Rather, they have created a hierarchy upwards to make the worst offences punished as such.

One reason you might think to set a fee depending on weekly salary is to penalise big earners to whom a £1,000 fine is relatively insignificant – after all, those people are much more likely to drive fast cars, so potentially more likely to hit band C offences. However, the change in law has been criticised for affected rich drivers less than poorer ones.

That’s because these fines still have a limit – for band A offences that sits at £1,000 – the current maximum – while for maximum band C fines, the limit is £2,500.

Much like the well publicised enforcement of the new rules to do with using a mobile behind the wheel, these changes are sure to make headline news after the changes are brought into affect on the 24th April. Make sure you’re not one of the first to be on the receiving end and save your pennies for a brand new set of alloy wheels for you prized car instead.

6 Of The Best UK Classic Car Shows

There’s nowhere better than the UK for classic car enthusiasts, don’t you agree? There are always different events and shows going on throughout the year that your calendars are always jam-packed – and it can be very tricky trying to make time to go to them all! Here are just a few of our very favourites if you’re looking for a few events to go to this year.

The Chiltern Hills Rally

This Vintage Vehicle Rally is run by The Game Club, raising money for lots of local charities, and is one of the most established events of its kind here in the UK. It takes place each year, with classic car owners coming together in the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside to share their passion with one another. It takes place on the third Sunday of May, between 10:00 and 17:00.


Goodwood Festival of Speed

This is one of the most famous of all car events and certainly not one to be missed. It’s taking place this year between June 29th and July 2nd, so you’ve got plenty of time to get yourself organised and to make sure your car is in tip-top condition. Fans come from all over the country to spectate and participate, with supercars, bikes, Formula 1 cars and heritage vehicles all taking on the 1.16-mile Hillclimb – which has proven challenging for even the greatest of drivers the world has ever seen.

Silverstone Classic

For a fantastic weekend of historic motor racing, make your way to the Silverstone Classic Event, taking place between July 28th and 30th. The circuit is world famous so a must if you’ve never been before and there are all sorts of events going on, from displays from car clubs to interactive driving activities, a vintage fun fair, air displays, live music and a shopping village. You’ll have a wonderful time!

Goodwood Revival

Later on in the year, taking place between September 8th and 10th, we have the Goodwood Revival event. Each year, the golden era of the Goodwood Motor Circuit (between 1948 and 1966) is recreated beautifully, with legendary drivers and riders coming to the event, as well as some of the biggest cars and motorcycles ever to have been made. Priceless cars from the Revival era take to the track for a few days of historic racing – making it an absolute must-see.

Brighton Beach Classic Show

Who doesn’t want to go to the beach in summer? And on June 4th you can combine a trip to the Brighton seaside with an exciting motor show where hundreds of vintage and classic cars will be on display on the promenade. Even better is that it’s free entry and not ticketed, so should be a relatively cheap day out!

Gloucestershire Vintage & Country Extravangza

And then there’s this event taking place on August 4th-6th. Attractions include a live arena with demonstrations covering everything from dancing tractors to steam, a fun fair and an animal section. It includes vintage displays of more than 600 classic cars and bikes, steam engines, military vehicles, a vintage tea room and lots more.

Looking for classic car alloys? Check out the Tyre Save website today.

Government Announces Funds To Fight Congestion

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a new wave of spending to help cities and towns across the UK fight congestion.

In total, the government will release £800 million to help deal with traffic hotspots on the UK’s road network, the Express reported.

Of this money, £90 million will be awarded to councils in the north of England to help them tackle serious pinch points on roads, while the Midlands will receive £23 million.

In addition, a competition fund worth £690 million will be set up, giving councils across England the chance to access additional cash to help them make improvements to local road systems. However, the mechanism for applying for these funds has yet to be revealed.

AA president Edward King OBE welcomed the government’s commitment to further infrastructure projects. He commented that the urban congestion competition “should help”, adding: “The government needs to work faster in tackling congestion without compromising safety.”

However, there was no clarity on potential tax changes for diesel cars, with the chancellor simply stating that more detail on this area of policy will be provided in the Autumn Statement later this year.

David Bizley, RAC chief engineer, described the omission as “a warning shot to diesel drivers”, and said that the continuing uncertainty surrounding diesel cars will be a worry for both private motorists and business drivers.

One positive for motorists is that Mr Hammond left the freeze on fuel duty in place for the seventh successive year.

If you’re planning to buy van alloy wheels for your vehicle, check out the selection we have available.

Peugeot 3008 Named Car Of The Year 2017

The Peugeot 3008 model has been named as Car of the Year 2017 by a jury of experts at the Geneva Motor Show this week.

In total, 58 journalists from 22 European countries made up the jury, which whittled down the options to seven finalists for the title.

The other cars in the running were the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Citroen C3, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Nissan Micra, Toyota C-HR and Volvo S90/V90.

However, it was the Peugeot that emerged the winner, with the jury looking at value for money, innovation, security and design when making their decision.

Hakan Matson, president of the jury, commented: “The jury recognises that the market share of SUVs and crossover cars has been steadily increasing. The Peugeot is a worth winner.”

This is the first time that an SUV has been awarded the coveted Car of the Year prize at the motor show.

Peugeot launched the new 3008 model at the beginning of 2017 and it has picked up numerous awards since then. Among its features are the state-of-the-art Peugeot i-Cockpit interior layout, which the company claims provides a “more intuitive and engaging driving experience”.

Within this i-Cockpit are a multi-function steering wheel, a 12.3” head up digital instrument display and an 8.0” capacitive touchscreen.

A recent review of the model in the Guardian described the SUV as “refined, resourceful and alluring”.

You could always make your Peugeot 3008 look even more special by investing in alloy wheels for the car once you’ve picked it up from the forecourt.

 

Are Automatic Car Washes Bad For Your Vehicle?

These days, it’s all about saving time wherever you can and automatic car washes will always be a popular option for drivers who simply don’t have enough hours in the day to wash their vehicles themselves. But would you continue going to this kind of car wash if you knew you could actually damage your vehicle in the process?

According to the Greenock Telegraph, a motorist has claimed that his sports car was actually damaged by this kind of car wash, saying that his Mazda 6 was scratched after he visited a local petrol station to use the car wash last month (February).

Peter Beaton, 47, is claiming that there are now scratches on the door and roof, which will cost him around £300 to repair. He explained to the news source that he took his car to a body repair specialist and they told him immediately after seeing the scratches that they’d been caused by a car wash.

“They told me that you can tell that the scratches are from the bristles of the big brushes as they are all equal distance apart and are not just random scratches,” Mr Beaton said.

It is bad luck if an automatic car wash scratches your car or damages it in another way, but you can check before you use it to see if it’s likely to cause any problems. For example, check that the car wash doesn’t use abrasive brushes instead of cloth (which some older washes may well still do). Perhaps try and see if there’s a touchless car wash in your local area, which will eliminate this problem entirely.

You’d also be very wise to give your car a once over after you’ve left the car wash but before you drive off so that if there are any issues you can alert management immediately and ask them to take care of the situation.

Also take care when opting for an after-wash wipe down. Always check to see the condition of the cloths that the employees are using. If you notice that they’re old or rough, speak up and ask them to use a fresh new cloth so you know your car won’t be damaged. Or you can skip this step – remember that simply driving your car home will allow it to dry naturally after being washed.

If you’re worried, it might be a good idea to try and find time to clean it yourself so you know it won’t get damaged. Alternatively, avoid the automation altogether and find a car wash that does it all manually. The added benefit of this option is that you can get the interior of your vehicle cleaned at the same time, which won’t add too much to the price and it’ll feel like a new car straight away.

Are you in the market for new 16” van alloys? Get in touch with us at Tyre Save today.

Tips To Stay Safe On Icy Roads

With the UK braced to experience a cold snap as we move into March, now is the ideal time to make sure you know how to drive safely in icy and snowy conditions.

Firstly, you need to make sure your vehicle is in good condition before you set off. Top up the screenwash, check your tyre pressures and check that all your lights are working.

Once you set off, you need to remember that when the roads are icy, the grip of your tyres is significantly reduced, and therefore your braking distance will be considerably longer. Make sure you leave a larger gap than normal between your vehicle and the one in front to stay safe.

Keeping your driving smooth – so that’s in terms of acceleration, braking and gear changes – will help avoid any skids, and don’t worry about driving in a higher gear than usual if this helps you improve your car’s grip on packed ice.

Of course, in the UK wintry weather also often means windy weather and that brings its own challenges.

The RAC recently offered some top tips if you’re setting out on a drive in very windy conditions, which include making sure you have supplies in case your journey takes longer than expected, and to carefully plan your journey.

Other top tips include driving more slowly than usual and to be aware of the effect strong winds can have on the handling of your car. Remember that winds gust, so be prepared for sudden blasts of wind, rather than a consistent wind that you can easily anticipate.

If you’re thinking of adding alloy wheels to your car, contact us to find out what we offer.

Potholes – The Scourge Of British Drivers Everywhere

Driving can be a really pleasurable experience and something that many people absolutely love to do. But the state of the roads in the UK can often make it more like a nightmare than anything else, as the last thing you want to do is cause damage to your car as you bob along.

Potholes can be found absolutely everywhere and they can cause untold damage to a vehicle, whether it’s to the tyres, wheels, the steering wheel centring, the tracking or something else. Hitting a pothole at higher speed can cause serious problems and you could even lose control of the car and have an accident if you’re really unlucky – so if you do see a pothole, do all you can to avoid it or drive over it as slowly as you can.

Last year’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance survey revealed that the total amount spent in England and Wales in 2015 on filling potholes across each region was estimated to be just over £118 million. This compares to the £144 million spent filling them in the year before – which suggests that pothole problems are only going to increase for drivers in the future.

So what do you do if your car is damaged by a pothole? Your first call to action should be to report it, so that it can be logged officially and your local council has an obligation to get it fixed. Warranty Direct recently set up a dedicated site to help with this (potholes.co.uk), or you could go with fillthathole.org.uk – either one will help you get the ball rolling. Alternatively, you could just get in touch with your local council directly.

However, bear in mind that if you do drive over a pothole and your car sustains serious damage, you could have a claim against the authority that’s responsible for keeping the roads in good condition.

While the pothole problem in the UK doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, there may well be a change in the air. According to the Daily Telegraph, the Court of Appeal has just ruled that councils should be forced to fix potholes immediately after jogger Lee Crawley tripped on a deep pothole while out running and was unable to bear weight on his ankle for ten days.

Barnsley Council argued that it wasn’t to blame because it took all reasonable care in the circumstances to make sure the highway in question wasn’t dangerous. But Mr Crawley claimed that the authority’s breach of duty and negligence directly caused his injury.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this pans out and whether councils around the UK do start to fix potholes in a more timely manner. We’ll be keeping an eye on this story for any developments and let you know what goes on!

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