BOND FEVER DRIVES ASTON SEARCHES
Growing James Bond fever is driving up demand for some of the franchise's most iconic cars - including the Aston Martin DB5 and V8 saloon - according to data from PrestigeDriverApp. Searches for Aston Martin DB5s have increased by 45 per cent in the past 30 days, with collectors, car buffs and superfans clamouring to own a piece of Bond history as the new release reignites interest in the super sleuth's iconic car collection.
The Aston Martin DB5 is the most iconic Bond car and to date has featured in eight films, including Goldfinger, Thunderball, Goldeneye, Casino Royale and new release No Time To Die. Searches for Aston Martin V8 saloon - another iconic Bond supercar which is also set to feature in the new release - have increased by 29 per cent; whilst searches for the Lotus Esprit (the submarine car made famous by Roger Moore in the Spy Who Loved Me) and the BMW Z8 (driven by Pierce Brosnan in the World is Not Enough) have also risen.
Reuben Smith of PrestigeDriverApp said: "James Bond is synonymous with driving some of the world's most exclusive supercars and it is no surprise that as excitement grows for the new release collectors are once again switched on to some of the film's most iconic cars. Although in the original Ian Fleming books, Bond's car of choice was a Bentley, Aston Martin is probably the car maker most associated with the films and there have been numerous models featured in the franchise over the years - including the DB5, V8, V12 Vanquish and made-to-order DB10.
"We have seen searches for Bond's favoured car brands (including Aston Martin, Lotus, BMW and even Bentleys) increase across the board over the past 30 days as excitement surrounding the long-awaited film starts to build. And buyers could be on to something - the classic car market is booming and if purchased at the right time and kept in good condition, the returns on prestige cars (especially those associated with the James Bond franchise) could outperform property, art or gold."
THREE-QUARTERS OF CARS IN UK BOUGHT FROM CAR SHOWROOMS
The majority of car owners (76%) buy their car from a car showroom, rising to 86% of over 66s, compared to just 58% of under 34s. The survey of 2,000 UK drivers, commissioned by InsuretheGap.com, finds that drivers, who prefer to buy from showrooms, do so because:
1. 34% wish to part-exchange their vehicle;
2. 33% want a showroom warranty - this is particularly important for over 66s (41%), compared to under 34s (25%);
3. 21% like a showroom's after-sales service;
4. and 11% want to be able to access finance options.
In contrast, almost one in ten (9%) prefer to buy a car online or privately so they don't have to deal with car salespeople (10% men and 8% women) and 12% say they can get a better deal not buying through a showroom. The remaining buyers purchase cars from a private seller (9%), car supermarkets (4%), online retailers (3%) and gifts from family members (3%).
One in twenty (5%) drivers are happy to buy a car online without even seeing it (8% men and 3% women), rising to one in ten (11%) under 34s, compared to 4% of over 55s. 9% would also buy a car without a test drive (11% men and 6% women).
Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Office of InsuretheGap.com said: "Car showrooms continue to be the Goliath of the car industry, and remain the go-to place for most car purchases. Drivers clearly feel confident in the quality of vehicles offered and the overall service. What I do find surprising is how many people are happy to either buy a car they haven't seen or one that they haven't even test driven!"
CARS CREATING THE MOST ONLINE BUZZ
Car fans love to show off their favourite vehicles on social media and chat and debate with other petrol heads, whether it's the latest supercar that they can only dream of owning or their very first car of their own after finally passing their driving test.
But which are the cars that get discussed and posted about the most online? Social media is a vital way of gaining exposure for brands of all kinds and it's no different for cars, so we've taken a look at which vehicles generate the most discussion online, taking into account three factors: mentions on Twitter, mentions on Instagram, and a number of posts on Reddit.
Taking the top spot is Nissan's legendary GT-R supercar, which as well as being the most mentioned car on Twitter, was also the second-most popular car on Reddit. The GT-R is the successor to the Skyline GT-R and has been one of the most popular supercars for 13 years now and is popular amongst petrol heads for being one of the more affordable supercars on the market.
In second is another iconic model, the Ford Mustang, which is by far the most talked-about car on Instagram, with over 14 million posts mentioning it. It dates all the way back to 1964 and essentially started the "pony car" trend in the US, inspiring similar models such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Its latest evolution is the all-electric Mach-E model which launched in 2020.
The Honda Civic has a loyal fan base thanks to its long-standing history and family-friendly targeting. The compact car was initially known for being a reliable, fuel-efficient runaround, but later models such as the Type R, VTi, GTi, and Si have shown a sportier, higher-performance side to the Civic.
KIA SORENTO THE UK'S FASTEST SELLING USED CAR
According to the latest data from Auto Trader, the 2015 Kia Sorento (diesel automatic) is the UK's fastest selling used car taking an average of just 18 days to leave forecourts. It means the popular Korean SUV is selling over a week faster than the current 26-day average for a used car to sell.
The speed at which SUVs are currently leaving forecourts reflects the huge levels of consumer demand in the market. Based on searches and advert views they are the most in demand body type on Auto Trader, and by some margin, with levels increasing over 14% year-on-year (YoY) this month. In second place is hatchbacks (+11%), followed by coupes (+7%), saloons (+3%), estates (+1%), convertibles (0%), and MPVs (-10%), the only body type to see levels of demand contract this month.
Whilst the consumer appetite for 4x4s and crossovers continue to accelerate, the level of supply into the market is comparatively more conservative, albeit a still robust 7% YoY. This slight imbalance of supply and demand has not only given SUVs a solid market health, a 7% YoY increase, but also helped drive used prices up significantly. Last week, the average price of a used SUV was £22,859, which marks a huge year-on-year increase of 16%; ahead of the current total market average of 15.2%.
RISING INTEREST IN HYBRID CARS
Over half (52%) of Brits believe their next car is likely to be a hybrid vehicle but despite this strong intention to go greener, 68% of petrol and diesel drivers feel like they do not know enough to buy one.
New research from Honda indicates that this knowledge gap is one of the contributing factors to Brits taking over a year (13 months) on average to purchase a hybrid vehicle - highlighting a gap between people's green goals and car purchases.
When it comes to technology, the research revealed that hybrid drivers consider themselves to be early adopters. A third (33%) say that they are likely to try new technology before friends and family, in comparison to 18% of fossil fuel drivers.
This attitude also influences whether they update other items of personal tech, with only 15% of diesel and petrol drivers likely to upgrade their mobile phones before others, in comparison to 27% of hybrid drivers. This contrast is consistent when it comes to vehicles too. Petrol and diesel drivers tend to favour the familiar, with 57% agreeing that purchasing a hybrid would be a "leap in the dark".
It is perhaps understandable then that those looking for a little more tech in their lives prefer hybrid cars. Hybrids offer a great combination of petrol and electric virtues, enabling quiet, zero-emission running at lower city speeds with the power of a petrol engine available at higher speeds, along with quick, conventional refuelling for longer journeys. Some combine this innovation under the bonnet with the latest in-car gadgets too; the all-new Honda Jazz e:HEV offers WiFi hotspot capability, an AI-powered personal assistant and a My Honda+ app to keep owners connected to their car remotely.