Europe

Euros for Cars Group A: Meet the contenders

 

Euro 2016 cars for national teams

With Euro 2016 about to kick off, we’re launching the Euros for Cars. The idea is simple. You vote for your favourite cars when the two countries play each other in the football tournament. As in the real contest, the cars then get three points for winning the most votes, one point if it’s a draw and nothing for losing. The cars with the most points progress through into the knock-out stages.

Over the next few days we’ll be publishing the cars that are taking part. For each of the 24 countries in Euro 2016, we’ve selected a car that we think best represents that nation. Of course not every country has a car industry. For those that don’t we’ve chosen cars popular in that country, cars made in that country, or in some cases, cars that were once, or will be, built there.

In the run up to the first games of the tournament – France vs. Romania, Albania vs. Switzerland ‑ here are the four cars in Group A.

Albania

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Five brilliant European drives that will thrill you this summer

Brilliant European drives

You don’t have to do the Stelvio Pass in a classic car to appreciate the views

British drivers are being encouraged to embrace motoring abroad after Green Flag outlined five brilliant European drives. The campaign comes as research reveals that 32 per cent of Brits avoid driving abroad. The language barrier, local drivers, and reading road signs puts us off driving in foreign countries.

Nick Reid, head of transformation at Green Flag, said: “Europe is such a beautiful holiday destination, it is a shame to see how many of us are avoiding taking road trips on the Continent.” Have a look at what you might be missing with our five brilliant European drives.

Stelvio Pass, Italy

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French fuel crisis: Fill up your tank before your trip

French fuel crisis

Drivers are being urged to fill up on fuel before taking a trip to France

Strikes in France have led to massive fuel shortages. Breakdown service Green Flag is advising drivers to fill up in the UK before crossing the Channel.

It’s expected that 15 million of us will be hitting the roads at some point over the next three days; possibly making it the busiest our roads have been in the last three years.

And if your plan is to escape the British motorways by crossing the Channel, be sure you’re up to date with yet another problem that could bring your journey to a standstill; French fuel shortages.

Due to the ongoing industrial action in France, more than 40% of French fuel stations are currently being affected by fuel shortages, with motorists limited to around 20-litres.

As a result, Green Flag is expecting fuel-related breakdowns to be even higher than the average Bank Holiday weekend and is urging drivers to fill up in the UK before setting off.

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Hiring cars abroad: drivers urged to ‘know before they go’ as complaints surge

Hiring cars abroad

Drivers are being urged to plan their car hire carefully to avoid problems

The number of drivers grumbling about problems hiring cars abroad is on the up. Complaints against car hire companies in 2015 increased by almost 7 per cent compared with the previous year. The rise has been reported by the UK European Consumer Centre (UKECC), the UK-based consumer advice organisation that people complain to if they’ve had a bad experience with foreign based companies.

The increase comes despite the big five hire car companies ‑ Avis-Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt – pledging to conform more closely with legislation designed to protect consumers. However, the number of complaints has dropped compared to the year before. Andy Allen, UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) director, said: “Complaints about car hire the previous year (2014) rose by just over 23 per cent, so it’s good to see that the rate of increase of car hire complaints has started to drop but disappointing that the figure is still rising at all.”

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How to prepare your car for the February half-term skiing holiday

February half-term skiing

There’s plenty to think about before you even get to the slopes

February half-term skiing is a popular pursuit for many British families seeking more than a sun lounger and swimming pool from their holiday. France, Italy and Austria are popular winter sports destinations for Brits, and their relative proximity combined with the hassle of navigating airports while heavily laden with all the luggage a skiing holiday requires means driving to the slopes is becoming an increasingly popular option.

However, it’s not all plain sailing. In the run up to Christmas 2014, 15,000 cars were stranded in the Alps when a sudden heavy fall of snow caught local authorities and police napping. Those thinking about driving to their skiing or snowboarding holiday need to prepare in advance. That way they’ll have a greater chance of enjoying a trouble-free journey, in addition to time on the slopes. Continue reading