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."
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 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.
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.
The 2014 Kia Sorento (diesel manual) has been revealed as the UK's current fastest selling used car, taking just 24 days to sell at the moment. Data from AutoTrader's Fastest Selling Index, which live tracks the potential speed at which vehicles will sell based on live supply and demand in the market, showed that demand for SUVs is still holding strong. The Sorento was joined by six of its SUV stable mates on the top ten fastest selling list. These include last month's fastest selling car, the Mazda CX-5 (2016 diesel manual - taking 25 days to sell), Kia Sorento (2014 diesel automatic - 25 days), Peugeot 2008 (2014 diesel manual - 26 days), Mazda CX-5 (2016 diesel automatic, 28 days), Kia Sportage (2014 petrol manual - 29 days) and Mercedes-Benz GLA (2019 petrol manual - 30 days). Whilst SUVs continue to be the star of the show, the broader market for used cars continues to see a surge in demand increasing by 21.1% year-on-year in the week commencing 14th September. All body types are also currently experiencing an increase in demand. This level of demand has contributed to 20 weeks of consecutive price growth for used cars. In the week 14th - 20th September, our pricing data revealed average prices increased by 7.7% year-on-year. On a make/model level, the BMW 3 Series (petrol manual) saw the largest month-on-month price increase, with asking prices of 1-3 year old vehicles in Sport trim soaring by 23.3%. Petrol vehicles dominated the list of top ten month-on-month price increases, with the BMW 3 Series being joined by the Audi A3 S line (up to 1 year old petrol manual) increasing in price by 20%, whilst the Nissan Juke Tekna (up to one year old petrol manual) increased by 16.1%, Vauxhall Grandland Elite Nav (up to one year old petrol manual) increased by 16.1%, Renault Captur Iconic (up to one year old petrol manual) increased by 11.3%, Fiat Tipo Easy (up to 1-3 year old petrol manual) increased by 9.8%, and finally the Hyundai i10 Premium (up to one year old petrol manual) increased by 9% since last month.
The One Voice Report by CarGurus, now in its second year, looks at a host of topics relating to car dealerships. These include profitability, digital retailing trends, stock location, speed of sale and lead management. Addressing used car profitability, just over 50% of all dealers reported margins were down in 2019. However, franchised retailers outperformed their independent counterparts. 51.1% of independents reported a fall in margins last year compared to 44.2% of franchised businesses. At the other end of the spectrum, only 20% of independent retailers said margins were up on the previous year; for franchised operators, this figure was significantly better at 28.4%. Blame for the downward trend in 2019 was firmly directed at Brexit and political uncertainty with almost two-thirds of retailers reporting Brexit had a negative impact on the market.
With busier roads than ever, drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians are all vying for space. This has resulted in more than 2,000 cyclists being killed on roads in Europe each year. To improve communication between road users, Ford has developed the 'Emoji Jacket'. "Emojis have become a fundamental part of how we use language," says Emoji expert Dr. Neil Cohn PhD. "This jacket allows riders to express their feelings and creates an important emotional link between them and other road users" This prototype jacket was created by Ford in partnership with industrial design specialists Designworks as part of their ongoing 'Share the Road' campaign. The jacket allows the wearer to effectively communicate their emotions to other road users around them by using emoji icons. The Share the Road campaign underlines Ford's belief that enabling more people to cycle safely, especially for short journeys, benefits everyone. Believing that by fostering harmony between road users, raising awareness, and increasing conversations between them, our roads can become a better and more accepting environment for all.
Jaguar Land Rover is developing the seat of the future. The 'morphable' seat uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create constant micro-adjustments that make your brain think you're walking. The pioneering shape-shifting system being trialled by Jaguar Land Rover's Body Interiors Research division, is designed to improve customer wellbeing by tackling the health risks of sitting down for too long. By simulating the rhythm of walking, a movement known as pelvic oscillation, the technology can help mitigate against the health risks of sitting down for too long on extended journeys with UK drivers covering an average of 146 miles every week. Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Medical Officer, said: "The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects. We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe."