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Quiz: Brilliant and not-so brilliant British cars

Quiz: Brilliant and not-so brilliant British cars

Just how great is the British car industry? And what about the cars it produces? Britain, like any other nation, has enjoyed its fair share of ups and downs. There have been success stories, and then there have been British cars that have ruined their makers and reduced grown men to tears.

To test your knowledge of the landmark cars and places that have shaped the jigsaw of the British car industry over the years, we’ve devised a devilishly difficult quiz – well, difficult for those that can’t picture the difference between a Mini and a Maxi.

So without further delay, put on your thinking cap and see how much you know about Britain’s brilliant and not-so brilliant cars.

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Speeding drivers: new law will mean bigger fines for drivers who earn more

Speeding drivers

The more you earn, the more money you’ll hand over if you get caught speeding

Speeding drivers will soon face much higher fines and stricter penalties. On April 24 2017, new guidelines set by the Sentencing Council will come into effect in the UK. Those caught driving at more than 101mph in a 70mph speed limit could be disqualified for up to 56 days and get a fine of between 125 and 175 per cent of their relevant weekly income.

Although the motorway fines have taken the headlines, drivers are most likely to be affected by the new fines and penalties on slower roads. If you are caught at between 31 and 40mph in a 30mph zone you will get three penalty points and a fine of between 25 and 75 per cent of your weekly income. Currently many drivers get away without points and a fine by paying for a speed awareness course.

How big are the changes for speeding drivers?

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Drivers travelling to France require an emissions sticker to enter Paris, Lyon or Grenoble

Drivers travelling to France require an emissions sticker to enter Paris, Lyon or Grenoble

Air pollution means cars with high emissions could be prevented from entering Paris or Lyon

As millions of Britons make plans for their Easter or summer holidays, travellers driving to France must ensure that their car has an emissions sticker when visiting Paris or Lyon – the two largest cities in France.

The sticker system has been introduced to help tackle air pollution in city environments, and is active in Grenoble, as well. Other French cities are likely to join the scheme.

Called Crit’Air, it effectively bans old cars from city centres during weekdays and will allow authorities to restrict which cars are permitted to enter cities.

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2016 Quiz: How well do drivers know this year?

Few of us will forget 2016. It has been a momentous year, with all manner of change. Drivers have felt a few bumps in the road too. From the state of the nation’s roads, to the ups and downs of BBC Top Gear, the year has taken as many twists and turns as an Alpine pass.

The beginning of the year saw Volkswagen drivers in Britain confused by the company’s refusal to compensate drivers here, despite agreeing to settle with American buyers.

Then came warnings that the nation’s roads were in such a dire state, it would cost eye-watering sums of money to repair all the potholes.  Continue reading

TV car trivia quiz: How good are you?

TV car trivia quiz

If TV is your thing, and you know which private detective drove a Ferrari 308 GTS, or can tell a Ford Cortina from a Consul, then try tackling our tricky TV car trivia quiz on cars that have made their mark on the small screen.

Perhaps those hours spent staring at the box can earn you more than just kudos when it comes to pub trivia. If you can answer all these questions correctly, then why not challenge friends and family to have a go, and see how closely they were paying attention to the same TV shows?

So, without further ado, settle into a comfy armchair and cast your mind back to some of the best-loved TV shows, as we take you on a road trip down television’s memory lane.

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Prepare for carnage: Jeremy Clarkson fires up The Grand Tour Amazon TV show on 18 November

Prepare for carnage: Jeremy Clarkson fires up The Grand Tour Amazon TV show on 18 November

Whatever you do, don’t call it Top Gear. On Friday 18 November, petrolheads around the world will be tempted to take a cheeky sick day, as they get their first chance to watch Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond in action together on The Grand Tour.

The three troublemakers have been doing their best to avoid controversy since the BBC decided not to renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract, last March.

But now they’re back and the carnage can recommence, with an all-new car show that will continue to play on the relationship between the ‘three middle aged blokes’ as much as it will celebrate some of the most incredible things on four wheels.

The first episode will be made available through Amazon Prime on 18 November. The Grand Tour has agreed a deal with Amazon for three series over three years, with 12 episodes in each. Here’s what to expect…

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How to transport fireworks safely by car

Transport fireworks safely by car

It’s that time of year when children are getting excited and mums are warning dads not to get carried away buying industrial quantities of fireworks that resemble a bunker buster. But while plenty of guidance is given to help everyone have a safe fireworks display at home or in public, little thought is given on how to transport fireworks safely by car.

Fireworks are extremely dangerous. The Government’s last recorded figures on injuries caused by fireworks, from 2005, showed that 990 people were hurt during a four week period around November 5.

However, there are some sensible tips and several essential steps that drivers should take to ensure that carrying fireworks in a car doesn’t result in a serious accident.

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Hacked Tesla Model S highlights the difficult road ahead for self-driving cars, say experts

self-driving cars

Tesla has updated the software of its Model S to help resist hacking attempts (Picture © Tesla)

As an acknowledged leader in the field of electric self-driving cars, California-based Tesla is the golden boy of the Golden State. But over the last couple of weeks, dazzling-white smiles have been thin on the ground at the American car maker. Hackers have revealed they could take over a Tesla’s brakes, open the boot and unlock doors, operate the indicators and even move the electrically adjusted seats.

The cyber attack was carried out remotely by Chinese hackers. Tesla has confirmed that it was informed of the vulnerability in its software and systems several weeks ago, and has subsequently issued updated software as a free download to all affected customers.

The American electric car manufacturer worked with Keen Security Lab, which approached Tesla after discovering the weak areas that led to the hack. Keen Security Lab is part of Tencent, one of the giants of China’s booming technology and communications industry.

How was the Tesla Model S ‘hacked’?

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Disqualified drivers: 18 banned drivers stopped at the wheel every day

Disqualified drivers

Untaxed cars and drink driving are on the up while nearly 7000 banned drivers were found still at the wheel last year

New figures show some worrying trends on Britain’s roads: thousands of disqualified drivers have been caught at the wheel; the number of drink drivers is on the up; and there’s been a rise in the number of untaxed cars. Official statistics from the Ministry of Justice found 6592 disqualified drivers were stopped for driving in England and Wales in 2015. That’s the equivalent of 18 banned drivers being halted by the police every day.

The report, compiled by Churchill car insurance, also discovered that the average fine for being disqualified from driving was £247. And 44 per cent of drivers were fined £150 or less. That is despite putting other road users in potentially life-threatening situations. The maximum fine for not having a TV licence, meanwhile, is £1000. And the harshest financial penalty for fly tipping is £400.

Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill, said: “Disqualification from driving isn’t just a punishment for committing a very serious driving offence, or series of offences; it’s in the interests of all road users and their safety. With the average fine for driving while disqualified averaging a mere £247, Churchill believes the penalties should be considerably tougher to serve as real deterrents and ensure the public’s safety.”

Last year, 87 of the 6592 disqualified drivers prosecuted were aged 17 and under. Between 2005 and 2015, 3911 banned drivers who were stopped were 17 or younger. It means these drivers had picked up two driving bans, despite being too young to drive in the first place.

Driving while being disqualified is the fifth most popular way of losing your licence in the UK; drink driving is the reason most drivers lose their licence. Last year the number of drink drive accidents was up by two and a half per cent compared to 2014.

The second most frequent reason drivers lose their licence is by the points totting up process. However, last month we revealed that an increasing number of drivers are keeping their licence despite exceeding the 12-point limit.

There have also been reports of an increase in the number of untaxed cars since the paper tax disc was abolished in late 2014. Between October 2014 and March 2015, £2.7bn was paid in Vehicle Excise duty. In the six months prior to that, 3.2bn was collected.

Read all you need to know about taxing your car here

Drivers escaping bans: More car owners than ever keep motoring despite 12 or more points

Drivers escaping bans

Some drivers are keeping their licences despite breaking the law repeatedly

Drivers escaping bans despite reaching the 12-point limit are increasing. The threat has always been that if you accrued 12 points or more for driving misdemeanours you’d be banned for a period of time. But latest figures from the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) reveal that the number of drivers being allowed to continue driving despite having 12 or more points has grown by a quarter in the past year.

What does the law say?

Currently, if you accrue 12 points or more over a three-year period, you are banned from driving for six months. If you get a second disqualification within three years of that, you are banned for 12 months. Continue reading