Biofuel

From September all pumps will have to state the biofuel and ethanol content of the fuel being sold, this is an EU directive but also being adopted here in the UK.

Last year the Department of Transport requested a study on if E10 petrol should be available in the UK , E10 petrol has been shown to reduce CO2 emissions by 2% compared to the E5 currently available , however not all cars will be compatible with the higher ethanol fuel.

In addition to this  it will be mandatory to show the biofuel content of diesel , diesel is made of 7% thus will be labelled as B7 .

Biofuels are generally made up of a mix of plant , oil or animal fat , with biodiesel being made up of oilseed rape , sugar been and wheat.

VW Carvell

Since 1954 VW have sold 12 million Carvells and now they have a new one , still very much like its ancestors it now comes with a bigger grille , new paint and wheel choices and upgraded LED lighting .

The new dashboard with the touchscreen now available in 9.2 inch and introducing speech control , which is becoming more of a box that needs to be ticked by drivers.

Power wise , mostly 2.0 turbo diesel , and there is a DSG model in the mix other features include crosswind assistance as standard , quite useful as this is essential a van , lane and parking assist as well as trailer assist , which allows the driver to steer backwards with a trailer using the control knob for the electric mirrors which has had great review.

Due for release late 2019

Citroen Ami

The concept Ami , is to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this year , this two-seater aimed at younger market and would allow in some countries allow younger drivers to use without a licence with a top speed of 28 miles per hour, so firmly aimed at city driving.

The car could be either be owned or part of a share scheme with locking mechanism working off smart phones and would have a scope of 60 miles on one charge.

The Ami is small at 2.5 m long but with a light airy feel thanks to the large windows and comes completed with the iconic canvas roof which provides to open top driving experience.

Self Drive and Amazon

The self driving technology began with Tesla, Uber and Google have now been joined by Amazon who have invested $530 million funding.

This money is going to the development of the Aurora , the development being led by Silicon Valley venture capital Sequoia, who started the research two years ago. Amazon have stated “We are always looking to invest in innovative , customer obsessed companies and Aurora is jus that.”

Aurora is developing the technology for autonomous vehicles , rather than the building of the actual cars and vans leaving that to current market.

Audi A3

The new Audi A3 will be revealed this summer, this fourth generation hatch will cross the wants of the market with an  improved e-tron , plug in hybrid to the RS model.

The A3 overall appearance is to be updated to fall in line with the Audi look , the cabin will sport the 10.1 inch central infotainment unit and virtual cockpit digital dash set up , mirroring the Audi Q3 SUV.

The three door is rumoured to not appearing due to a lack of appeal and the five door model being far more popular.

Added to this there are whispers of a cabriolet also being added to the family.

Nissan X Trail

Nissan decision not to make the X Trail in UK although being blamed on Brexit , is more of a business decision as the appetite for them is not that great in the UK , compared with the sales of the Juke and Qashqai , that is not the only issues that Nissan are facing with declining car sales in China with the added economic pressure from Europe.

Diesel has become the devil with drivers concerned about the environmental issues and no clear message from the government on the new cleaner diesel models coming through.

Car Theft

There is an increasing problem with keyless thefts , having been an issue for several years the number of keyless cars have increased thus making it a bigger pool for the thieves.

Many cars now designed with only the need for the key to be nearby to open , but devices have been developed allowing criminals to gain entry and drive away , albeit car theft is still much lower than in the 1990s with new cars providing more security less that 0.3% of cars are stolen , it is still a problem with technology designed to get past the security .

Whilst the manufacturers continue to strive to make cars as theft proof as possible , they are also calling for a crack down on the sale of the equipment that has no other purpose but to aid stealing cars.

Unfair Damage Charges

Green Motion , have been exposed for charging customers not only unfairly but over inflated damage prices.

This has come to light by an insider whistle-blower , who advised there were incentives for them the ethos being ” how much can we get out of this customer” , on top of this some damage was not repaired and then they would try to charge subsequent clients.

One customer being charge £1200 for a scratch that would have cost £150 to fix, Green Motion have since confirmed there were inconsistencies with different franchises and have now taken steps which have lowered damage charges and allowing customers to the following morning to report any pre-existing damage.

Skoda Kamiq

Skoda reveals it latest to the range their SUV model following the pattern of models starting with K and ending in Q , this is the new Kamiq, this is their first entry into the compact crossover market.

They will launch in March and as is the Skoda way the model will come with the latest safety and driver assistance systems.

How to Pass an MOT

From your car third birthday , you need to have an annual MOT test , dating back to 1960 this requirement still stands with its aim at ensuring that a car is road worthy and does not endanger the lives of both the driver but other road users and pedestrians. They have now added an emission test to the list together with a fault grading system minor , major and dangerous , the later two causing an automatic fail so the rules

Tyres

Any tyre must have at least 1.6mm tread across the middle three-quarters and cannot have major damage such as cuts , cracking or bulging.

Number Plates

They must show the correct number in standard format and be clean

Lights

All lights must work .

windscreen and Wipers

No chips larger that 10mm in front of the driver and the area that is in the wipers sweep, elsewhere the damage has to be no more than 40mm. Wipers must be in condition and do their job of cleaning the screen , they test this so it is wise to make sure the washer bottle is nice and full.

DPF – Diesel Particulate Filters

A major would be found if it emits any visible smoke during the checks and they cannot be tampered with and an MOT will be refused for a vehicle where this can be detected unless sufficient evidence is produce to provide acceptable reason for the canister being opened.