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National Numbers Articles

Authorities seize rare super car from learner driver

May 20, 2013
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

A rare Lamborghini supercar has been seized after being illegal driven by a learner driver.

The £157,000 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder was seen speeding by local authorities in Richmond. An insurance check found that the driver held a provisional license only.

As the insurance on the vehicle only covered full driving licenses the rare vehicle was taken in by Richmond’s Safer Transport Team.

There are only 5 units of the sports car in the UK, with only 50 originally leaving the factory.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “The driver of the high performance sports car will be appearing in court for the driving offences and potentially receiving a driving ban, penalty points and a large fine as a result of his actions.”

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a recall of the Gallardo in September last year after a potential fire risk was discovered.

In October an American teenager died after a crash caused the car to catch fire.

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McLaren F1 Careful Owner

April 16, 2013
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

An undriven McLaren F1 has been found for sale in Japan.

The classified ad details the car’s odometer as showing “0”, meaning the owner has never got behind the wheel despite owning it for 17 years.

The rare supercar has never even been registered since being bought in 1996, and would come with original documentation upon purchase.

The owner, described as a car collector, has reportedly kept the vehicle perfectly maintained while it has been stored in a climate-controlled unit.

Only 106 of the famous sport cars were manufactured between 1992 and 1998, making it one of the most sought-after motors in the world.

While no price has been specified, other McLaren F1s have been sold through auction at upwards of £5million. It is speculated that the unused, mint-condition, “as-new” car will be able to fetch much more.

Private number plate, F 1, could be the perfect match for the supercar.

However, the owner F 1 has reportedly turned down offers of £5million previously, making it potentially the most expensive number plate in the world and perhaps even more expensive than the McLaren F1 itself.

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A Cold Night: Stranded motorists forced to sleep in cars

March 13, 2013
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

Drivers left in the cold by continuing snow storms had no option but to sleep in their cars.

The freezing conditions left public transport in disarray, with many routes being delayed or cancelled.

Major roads, including the M23, A23 and A27, were rendered undrivable by four inches of snow.

Stranded drivers braced temperatures falling to –3C (27F) for up to 15 hours overnight until they were able to move again.

Even gritters and snowploughs were caught in backed-up traffic with queues up to 40 miles long.

The 60mph winds also left one 27-year-old male with serious injuries after a telegraph pole was brought down onto him.

Sussex Police and British Red Cross worked hard to help vulnerable motorists as well as more than 300 reported incidents elsewhere in the area.

Meanwhile, the AA responded to 7,500 breakdown callouts.

Failure to keep roads clear despite snow warnings has left many drivers frustrated and angry.

The chaos continues in the aftermath with continued delays to public transport, including air and rail journeys. Numerous schools across the country have also been closed.

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Car smoking ban proposed by health minister

March 8, 2013
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

Cars with child passengers should be a smoke-free zone, says public health minister Anna Soubry.

The Broxtowe MP justified this on the grounds of “child welfare”.

The idea had previously been put forward by several health groups, including the British Medical Association and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, but was rejected by the government.

David Cameron is said to be “nervous” about calling for a car smoking ban, despite supporting bans in pubs and clubs.

Anna Soubry, the acting Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Health, said: “I would ban smoking in cars where children are present.

“I think it is something we should at least consider as government.”

Ms. Soubry has made it clear that these opinions are her own and not that of the current government.

A former smoker herself, Soubry is often characterised for being very outspoken.

While there does not seem to be any plans to implement this law the government has encouraged people not to smoke around children in the past.

More than one in five smokers are likely to light-up in front of children, according to a Department of Health survey last year.

Children are more vulnerable to second-hand smoke due to less developed lungs, airways and immune system, as well as a higher breathing rate.

Asthma, respiratory illness and meningitis have been attributed to second-hand smoke in the past.

Martin Dockrell of the campaign group Action on Smoking and Health said: “The minister can count on our support.

“A ban on smoking in cars is the right thing to do.”

Similar bans have been implemented around the world, including Canada, USA, Australia and South Africa.

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Audi Named Car of the Year

January 10, 2013
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

What Car? Magazine has named the Audi A3 Sportback as Britain’s Car of the Year.

“The Audi A3 Sportback mixes excellent refinement and an accomplished driving experience,” said Chas Hallett, editor-in-chief of What Cars? “It sets a new benchmark and it is keenly priced, a combination that makes it a worthy Car of the Year.”

The German-made vehicle was announced as the winner at the publications 36th annual awards. It was also given recognition as the best Small Family Car of the Year.

Ford was also a big winner at the ceremony held at the Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane, including the Supermini of the Year (Ford Fiesta), Best Hot Hatch (Ford Focus ST-1), Best Family Car (Ford Mondeo) and Best Estate Care (Ford Mondeo Estate).

“Ford really is building great cars,” said Chas Hallett.  ”Its cars look good, are great to drive, reliable and make great buys.”

What Car? readers voted the Alfa Romeo 4C as the most exciting car coming in 2013.

Other major awards included Sports Car of the Year (Porsche Boxster 2.7), Luxury Car of the Year (Range Rover) and Executive Car of the Year (BMW 320 ED).

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Auto Trader links up with Yahoo! Cars

January 3, 2013
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

UK used car site, Auto Trader, has announced a partnership with popular motoring site, Yahoo! Cars.

The partnership allows Yahoo users to search Auto Trader classifieds, increasing outreach to up to 90% of online consumers in the UK and Ireland.

“We are very excited to welcome Yahoo! Into our partner portfolio,” said Auto Trader’s Nathan Coe.

“The Yahoo! Cars channel has long been a favourite destination for many car enthusiasts and we are proud to provide our market-leading search to Yahoo!’s audience.”

Yahoo visitors can browse Auto Trader’s entire selection, and perform searches without leaving the Yahoo search engine. They can then click through to Auto Trader to see full adverts.

Auto Trader is the UK’s largest used car marketplace, seeing 11 million unique visitors to their website as well as 2.7 million mobile users. This gives them a market share of 49%, they claim.

At the same time Yahoo! Cars is one of the most active motoring sites around, even beating out rival Google’s equivalent.

Author: Daniel Walker

Car insurance premiums continue to fall

November 5, 2012
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

Insurance premiums obtained through price comparison sites see biggest fall in years.

An average decline of 5.1% during the third quarter (July to September) reported by the Car Insurance Price Index is the largest since 2007.

This figure contributes to a yearly reduction now at 10.3% over the last 12 months.

The average premium in the UK is currently at £757 compared to £844 last year, a total reduction of £87.

Third party, fire and theft cover has also decreased in 12 months, falling by £24 on average (2.1%).

Duncan Anderson of Towers Watson, one of the companies involved in compiling the report, said: “Despite this being the fifth successive quarter of flat or falling rates for comprehensive cover, I think the current scale of the annual and quarterly decreases will cause some pause for thought in the insurance industry.”

Younger drivers are one of the main groups that have benefitted from reductions; younger female drivers especially.

Between 17 and 20 year old drivers, rates have fallen by 13.6% in the last year on average, but counting females alone the figure is 17.3%.

“Price decreases of this order signify jostling for position amongst insurers ahead of the implementation of the European Court of Justice ban on the use of gender in pricing from 21 December,” added Mr Anderson.

“Having won more younger driver business, they will seek to retain profitable segments by substituting other factors for gender and minimising the impact of the future price rises that are reasonably anticipated to affect many women in 2013.”

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Driving Test or Circuit Training?

November 1, 2012
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

A teenager from Hull becomes the first person to take and pass a driving test in an electric car.

18-year old Navdeep Singh Pandher was very excited to finally begin driving as passing his test first time round.

“I’ll be using my mum’s car to drive her around and get to university”, the computer science student said. “One of the main reasons I started driving was to help my mum.”

Navdeep’s mother suffers from heart problems, asthma and diabetes. While she is still able to drive it may not be too long before she is relying on her son to get her from A to B.

The monumental driving test was taken in the Vauxhall Ampera, the first long-distance electric car in the UK.

Anthony Fuller, the Red Driving School instructor who oversaw Navdeep’s test, said: “An electric car feels a lot different to an unleaded or diesel car.

“It is very smooth and very quiet – the biggest thing people notice is the lack of noise, the engine is totally silent.”

Despite being very nervous when the test began, Navdeep passed with just two minor faults.

“He is extremely mature for his years and drives like it,” Anthony continued.

“When I teach people to drive, especially young men, they tend to have an issue with speed.

“Navdeep doesn’t have that kind of personality about him – he sees problems and takes them on board.

“He is a very careful driver.”

Car wash ban proposed by petrol chief

October 3, 2012
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

Petrol boss, Brian Madderson, has asked for a countrywide ban on car washing in the street.

Madderson, who is Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), says that unregulated ‘pop-up’ companies that wash cars by hand are a danger to the environment.

“Our car washes have to be inspected by the Environment Agency and we have to have a method of catching the oil, grease and dirty water so it doesn’t go into the main drainage system,” Madderson told the Daily Telegraph.

He has even written a letter to Prime Minister, David Cameron, regarding the issue. Which he believes are a risk to the independent car washes he represents.

Germany and parts of the United States have adopted similar laws that make it illegal for drivers to wash their own cars at home in order to prevent cleaning materials leaking into the water supply.

It is estimated by the AA that 60% of British drivers wash their cars themselves.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “It doesn’t exactly win the hearts and minds of drivers when petrol retailers tell them they can’t wash their cars in the street,”

“We would take a very strong view if it was banned,” King added.

Madderson, who is also a member of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI), is under no illusions of the popularity of his suggestion.

“We accept that this would be a difficult policy to sell to voters,” he said. “My members are already under threat because of falling profits they make on selling fuel and now struggling because their car wash businesses, which were a good earner, are being decimated.”

Cheap gadget aids car thieves

September 28, 2012
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

A cheap hacking tool will lead to increased car thefts, UK police are warned.

The Chinese device allows would-be hackers to bypass and disable a car’s security settings in the space of three minutes.

Australia and Europe have already seen a spike in vehicle theft this year due to the cheap gadget, which costs only $30 and is very easy to use.

BMWs are amongst the most targeted, but the German motoring giant assures drivers that newer models are not affected and that old models can be upgraded.

“Certain criminal threats simply do not exist when cars are designed and developed. This does not mean the car companies have done anything wrong, neither are they legally obliged to take any action,” a BMW spokesperson said.

“However, as a responsible manufacturer we are looking at ways of mitigating against this new kind of attack.”

Hacking is done by manipulating On-board Diagnostics (OBD) into accepting a ‘blank key’, which is done by intercepting the transmission signal between the car and the key fob.

“Crooks only need to monitor a person using the key or interrogate the key fob to get enough information to decipher the key,” explained London’s City University professor David Stupples.