LINE OF DUTY STARS & THEIR CARS
Cars have always been a big part of the fast-paced excitement in the hit TV show 'Line of Duty'. From the BMW convoy in the current series' recent episode and fake plates on Steve's Volvo when Lindsey Denton was shot, to the infamous Range Rover, tearing through the bog - there's always a high-speed chase or dramatic scene when they're behind the wheel.
However, when it comes to their own vehicles, what do the cars of the stars in the show say about their characters? Steve drove his reliable S60 Volvo throughout the last series, but seems to have upgraded to... another reliable Volvo for the current series 6. However, with Kate's change to the faster paced Major Investigations Team, it seems her job role isn't the only thing she's upgraded. From her nippy Volkswagen Golf, Flemming has sped into more recent episodes in a brand-new Audi model.
MUSCLE CARS DON'T ALWAYS APPEAL TO MEN..
New research by a leading driving experience provider Trackdays.co.uk has turned some driver stereotypes on their head, including the surprise finding that American muscle cars are actually incredibly popular with middle-aged women.
Using data from YouGov's Topics research tool, TrackDays.co.uk was able to profile a selection of drivers on its most popular driving experiences, looking at what they would most like to drive and even some of their other preferences away from the track. And most surprisingly, it found that American muscle cars, specifically the iconic Ford Mustang, was incredibly popular with women aged 40 to 56 years.
The data indicated that more than half would love to test their driving skills taming this motoring beast, compared to a younger profile of male drivers where it is most popular with those aged 21 to 39 years. Dan Jones, operations manager at TrackDays.co.uk, said: "You should never judge a book by its cover, or driver by their car, as these findings show. Our research shows that it is women in their 40s and 50s who feel the strong pull of an American muscle car rather than the younger generation."
Meanwhile, the in-depth research of driver profiles conducted by using YouGov's Topics research tool also reinforced what many probably already believe about other motorists, in both their preference of car and lifestyle.
For instance, drivers of an Audi R8 are more likely to be men aged 40 to 56 and their favourite TV show is likely to be Ross Kemp on Gangs and their favourite TV personality is probably Countdown star Rachel Riley.
BMW M3 drivers are most likely to be women in the 40 to 56 years age bracket (apart from those driving a Ford Mustang!) and their TV programme of choice is Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. Dan added: "No matter how old you are, what your background is or what your interests are, we've got a unique driving day out that is sure to suit."
BREAKTHROUGH UNDERWAY FOR USED ELECTRIC VEHICLES
ELECTRIC CAR sales have reached their highest ever level in the used market, according to the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk.
After languishing for most of the year at around one in every hundred sales, December has seen EVs taking 15% of market share.
The surge in demand for EVs is believed to have been largely inspired by the recent announcement of a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel models from 2030.
Although motorists still have plenty of time to stick with their familiar existing petrol, diesel and hybrid models, consumer curiosity about all-electric cars has reached a historic tipping point. And while EVs still tend to be significantly more expensive than ICE (internal combustion engine) cars in the new market, those price premiums are less pronounced among second hand cars.
This means that the used market may be key to the future mass adoption of EVs by enabling more cost-conscious car buyers to take a tentative first step into zero tailpipe emission motoring.
Christofer Lloyd, editor of BuyaCar.co.uk, believes that early examples of the Nissan Leaf are increasingly being sought as an entry-level EV model of choice for families who want an inexpensive practical second car for local trips. With the Leaf now available for headline prices as low as £5,500 he suggests that many customers now see such examples as the perfect way to become accustomed to all-electric motoring without the outlay or risk they might feel going straight for electric as the main household vehicle.
"Searches have steadily increased over the past few weeks, to the point where more than one in 10 customers are arriving with an EV in mind as their initial choice. And now we are seeing EVs taking 15% of the market, it is clear that a breakthrough is under way.
"Although the breakthrough for EVs has been forecast many times in recent years we are now seeing hard evidence that it is happening and it will be interesting to see what the EV market share is by the end of 2021."
VOLVO HIGHLIGHTS KEY ISSUES WITH CHILD SAFETY
Volvo Car UK has released new research findings to highlight the importance of driving at a safe speed and underline some of the best ways to keep families safe on the road.
New research undertaken by Volvo in the UK has revealed that, of British parents who have primarily used a front-facing car seat for their child, a huge 94% first used this seat when their child was four years old or under - going against Volvo Cars' recommendations. What's more, a fifth (20%) of these said they used a front-facing seat before their child was six months old.
With years of safety testing experience to call on, Volvo strongly advises parents to use rear-facing seats up to the age of four - or for as long as possible - to significantly reduce the risk of injury to young children in road traffic accidents.
Dr Lotta Jakobsson, Senior Technical Specialist in Injury Prevention at Volvo Cars, explained: "Children up to four need to travel rearward-facing in cars, simply because their neck is too weak to support the head. You therefore need to protect them. We need to communicate this message to everybody so they understand the importance of having the children rearward-facing, because if they end up in a high-severity frontal impact, it's a question of life or death."
Volvo's safety advice doesn't stop at keeping young children safe. Volvo's new research revealed that 47% of parents worry about their teenager speeding, while 52% of parents would like to be able to control the speed of their teenager's car. Almost a fifth (19%) of parents of teenagers also agree that they would rather get a taxi than a lift from their teenager.
CITROEN HIGHLIGHT ROCKY ROADS
As people living in England have returned to work in increasing numbers after a summer spent enjoying the best of what the country has to offer, Citroen UK is shedding light on some of the best and the worst of England's roads. The Isle of Wight and the North East top the table of the best roads, compiled by the French car manufacturer, with as few as 1% of their local B and C roads in the boroughs requiring urgent maintenance.
It may have been a bumper year for staycations - with a reported 18 million journeys taken over the August Bank Holiday weekend alone - but it seems that on the whole it's been a rough ride across much of England's road network. Analysis by Citroen UK shows that overall, almost 1 in 20 B and C roads across the network in England are in need of some sort of maintenance.
Indeed, some of the UK's best-loved beauty spots are accessible via some of the most at-risk roads, including Devon's golden coastlines, Somerset's Chew Valley and the surrounding lakes, or York, the UK's most visited city outside of the Capital. The North East in comparison has some of the most well-maintained local roads in England, with five out of the 12 local counties boasting the best roads in the North East.
Last year, Citroen UK teamed up with Surrey County Council to smooth over 200 potholes in the county. The rationale behind the initiative was to give drivers of all vehicle types a taste of the comfort experienced up and down the UK by owners of Citroen C4 Cactus Hatch and C5 Aircross SUV.