May 5 2009 Steve Hughes
BUY BRITISHMINI is urging buyers considering taking advantage of the scrappage subsidy scheme to invest their money in British-built vehicles and show support for car manufacturing operations based in the UK.
Andy Hearn, MINI UK general manager, says: 'Many owners of older cars will be delighted that a brand new MINI will be available soon at a more attractive price than they might have imagined.
'With close to 150 dealers plus manufacturing bases in various parts of the UK, I am certain that British people will recognise the importance of MINI to the UK economy, particularly because this year we are celebrating half a century of MINI in Britain.'
NASTY NIFFSONE in ten motorists say they are suffering from a nasty whiff inside their car that they can not locate. Research from Kwik-Fit reveals that the mystery pong is usually the air conditioning.
The research found that only 11 per cent of motorists have ever had their air conditioning unit cleaned, despite most manufacturers recommending that they are cleaned and serviced every two years. Many motorists appear unaware that over the years their air conditioning units build up and harbour all manner of moulds and bacteria that eventually start to make the vehicle smell.
David White, customer services director at Kwik-Fit, says: 'You might find that nasty smells are more prevalent at the start of spring as air conditioning units are often left untouched during the damper winter months, allowing more bacteria and mould to build up.'
ALFA FINANCEALFA Romeo has introduced new finance offers on selected Alfa 159, Brera and Spider models.
The Alfa 159 1.9 JTDM Lusso saloon becomes available from £259 per month with leather upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors plus hands-free Bluetooth with voice recognition and media player.
The Alfa 159 Sportwagon is available from £295 per month and the Brera 2.2-litre JTS model with metallic paint and leather upholstery costs £315 per month whilst the Spider 2.2JTS is £359 to include metallic paint, leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels and Bluetooth.
SOARING SCRAPIN the first week of the scrappage announcement, enquiries at Hyundai dealerships rose by 400 per cent.
It is the i10 and i20 models that are attracting the most attention from buyers. An entry-level i10 with air conditioning and the new 77bhp 1.2-litre engine costs £4,995 with the scrappage allowance. An i20 three-door is £5,995.
The Korean company has drawn on its experiences in the German market, where a scrappage scheme has been in place since January and Hyundai sales have increased by 140 percent.
FRIENDLY FIATSFIAT-eco plus+ is the name of Fiat's scrappage scheme that will result in a new price structure for certain models.
It means that the Fiat Panda 1.1 Active ECO is £4995 in comparison to the normal list price of £7,095.
The Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Active is £6,995, a Qubo 1.4 Active becomes £7755 and the Fiat Bravo 1.4 Active is £9,995.
Many of the cars included in the scrappage scheme also come with the option of four-year finance deals including the Panda 1.1 Active ECO for £90 a month and the Grande Punto 1.4 Active 3-door at £120 a month.
JOBSWORTHA third of consumers say that only job security would persuade them to buy a car this year.
This is according to a survey by information organisation HPI.
More than three quarters of those questioned regard lower prices as the most likely influence on their buying decisions and two thirds said the credit crunch means they are more likely to buy used instead of new.
When asked how they will fund the purchase of their next car almost half said they would use savings, followed by a bank loan and just a fifth choosing dealer finance.
Only five per cent said they will choose a 'green' model but 88 per cent said that they would research their purchase online even if they did not go on to buy online.
SEX DRIVEGoodwood Motor Circuit aims to find out whether men or women are better drivers by staging a battle of the sexes on Bank Holiday Monday, May 25.
A male/female team of husband and wife, partners or friends will be able to put their driving skills to the test on the circuit.
Using their own vehicles, a male/female pairing can drive around the circuit for a special one-off track day. The women get to drive around the circuit in the morning and after lunch it is the turn of the men. A team of instructors of both sexes will be on hand to provide advice and tuition whilst on the track.
The cost per couple for the day, including breakfast, lunch and tea is £360. Participants will also receive a preferable rate on bed & breakfast for the Sunday evening at the Goodwood Hotel. E-mail bookings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECOVERY SCHEMEA new vehicle recovery scheme aims to enable motor finance companies to reclaim vehicles they own that have been driven illegally by their customers and seized by police.
The scheme is a partnership between the Finance & Leasing Association, which represents the motor finance industry, and regional police authorities. According to the Association of Chief Police Officers the number of illegal vehicles on Britain's roads is increasing.
Last year police seized 170,000 uninsured vehicles out of an estimated two million in use. Paul Harrison, head of motor finance at the FLA, says: ``We estimate that our partnership with the police could lead to more than 20,000 illegal vehicles being taken off the road. This scheme will make the roads safer for law-abiding drivers.''