Tag Archives: advice

The problem with ‘Modern Classics’

The Renault Avantime, according to Geoff Thompson on Facebook:

“It’ll be one of those cars that someone will buy, and when they come to sell it, everyone will say ‘that must be worth a fortune’, because they read the classic car press and classic car blogs…. but the seller will realise that the few people that would buy the car already own one (or two), so a ream of classic car press and blogs will be lauding it as a modern classic when they’re short on content to post on which to charge advertisers large sums of money, when in reality the car is worth 20p because no on actually wants to buy it… This means that buyers and sellers alike think the car is worth a fortune which means sellers can’t sell and buyers either don’t exist or don’t buy. Like SO many ‘modern classics’ right now. It’ll be the car that you’ll see on a dealer website very soon for £8995, it’ll sit on the eBay showroom for 3 months before he quietly sends it to a local auction where it’ll make £450.”

Cheers Geoff.

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Don’t Be That Guy! The Worst Things People Do At Car Shows

A great car show is one where you can have a look at some truly gorgeous models in your preferred niche, talk about them with like minded people, and maybe even buy or sell a vehicle or accessory. Bad ones, on the other hand, are characterised by jealousy, rivalry, and a drunken lack of manners. Here, I’ve listed some of the worst things people have been known to do at car shows. Don’t be that guy!

Let the Kids Run Wild

Okay, I completely get the want to bring your kids along to car shows. If it’s not because you couldn’t organise childcare, then you may just want to share your passion with your son or daughter. What isn’t so understandable is letting them run wild – climbing into strangers’ cars, spilling juice and soft drinks on fresh detailing, and often scratching the paint. If you’re a car enthusiast, and like your vehicles to be treated with respect, then letting your kids run wild at a car show is the definition of bad parenting! This is especially true with serious dealers around, who have invested a lot in work on the car, classic car transport and so on. The worst of the worst are those that let their kids loose, and then respond with the angry “don’t tell me how to raise my kid!” rant when someone points it out.

Bringing a Gun to a Knife Fight

This is either the honest mistake of an inexperienced newbie, or just another day for someone with no respect for their fellow car nuts. Car shows are all about showing a mutual appreciation and respect for everyone’s vehicles. If you turn up with something drastically more expensive, or much more rare than the other cars there, then you’re being “that guy”. The smaller the show or event, the worse this is! Let’s take an Alfa owner’s club, for instance. The attendees at one of these gatherings are probably very familiar with each other, and don’t want to do anything more than drink some coffee, eat some pastries, and exchange notes on where to source parts and the best places to get tuning done. If you turn up in a Corvette or a Jaguar, then you’re just going to be seen as rude and obnoxious.

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Rowan’s attendance at the Dubz and Speedz Freakz Facebook car meet was a bit of a shock

 

Incessant One-Upmanship

Okay, if you know the person and the both of you agree that it’s all in good fun, there’s no problem with a little one-upmanship when you’re talking about your cars. However, at every car show you go to, there’s sure to be at least one person who takes it too far. Any time someone goes to a show with a rare or interesting car, you can be sure there’s someone else who can’t wait to tell them all about the rarer, cooler, more interesting car that they’ve owned in the past. There’s a fair chance that they know more about the brand, too, and can’t wait to show off that knowledge. It’s all rooted in jealousy and pettiness. Don’t stoop to their level!

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After seeing Ultimate Dubz, Geoff decided to make his BMW 7 Series a little more STANCED

 

Are You a Road Hazard? Make Sure Your Car is Roadworthy!

So why is it so important that your car is roadworthy? I mean, you know, apart from the obvious safety issues. Two other potential problems come to mind. The first is the legality of your ride. If the police pull you over and discover that your car isn’t roadworthy, then you can get at the very least, ticketed.

The other problem may not seem as serious because the police aren’t involved, but the financial consequences could turn out to be even more dire. Let’s say you get into an accident. Afterwards, your car is deemed to have been unroadworthy at the time of the accident. At that point, even if the problems with your car didn’t cause the accident, the insurance company is within their right to turn around and say that they won’t be able to compensate you. Pre-existing conditions and all that.

From a legal standpoint, as well as an insurance standpoint, driving in a car that isn’t roadworthy is a form of recklessness. Reckless driving isn’t exactly looked upon with kind eyes – y’know, being a crime and all that. Of course, you may not actually be aware that your car isn’t roadworthy. It’s not always as obvious as it sounds.

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Looks good, but is it legal?

If you want to ensure that you avoid these sorts of sneaky problems, then you need to follow the steps in this guide.

Get your car checked by a professional. If you’re in the U.S., then every state has its own requirements set by various branches of the DMV. It’s best to go to a renowned garage and have them inspect the vehicle (and maybe give it some maintenance). In the U.K., it’s as simple as getting an MOT test. If your car fails, you’ll need repairs and another test. Thankfully, there are businesses out there that won’t charge you for that second test.

Check the identification. If you bought your car from anyone other than the manufacturer – and chances are you did – then you need to get this checked. There’s always a risk that the identification numbers in the car don’t add up. The engine and the chassis will both have identification numbers – and they need to match. If they don’t, the police may take it away temporarily.

Ensure the electrical system works perfectly. Electrical problems are the most common cause of “roadworthiness violations.” Giving this system a thorough check is pretty darn involved, especially when you consider just how much of your car depends on that system. The headlights, brake lights, dip lights, indicators, air conditioning, the window mechanisms, the battery… I could go on for a couple more paragraphs. I won’t, though. If there’s a single problem, get it fixed.

Inspect tread depth. So many people forget about the tyres. Sure, a lot of people remember to give it a firm kick or push to make sure it’s inflated properly. But not many people frequently get down and actually check the tread depth. It should be at least 1mm deep – if it isn’t, then some of the tyre has worn away, meaning your car won’t stop as effectively as it should. Undesirable, to say the least.

Traffic Jam Boredom: How to Occupy Yourself During Heavy Traffic

Tired of moving a couple of meters every few minutes? Annoyed that you’re going to be late for your friend’s birthday party or worried that your boss is going to fire you for being late again? Don’t worry, we’ve all been in those situations before. As drivers, we’re at mercy to two things: traffic and weather. It’s not our fault that everyone decided to get on the road at the same time as us. Sure, maybe you predicted there would be heavy traffic due to a holiday such as Christmas so you decided to get on the road a little earlier—too bad everyone else thought the same as you!

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Sadly, the only thing we can do to alleviate these frustrations is to occupy ourselves. As long as you keep road safety in mind, here are some fun ways to keep yourself entertained during these horrible traffic jams.

Mobile Phone Games

Video games don’t have to be high-action. They can be simple as well and require thinking as opposed to reaction speed. Some examples include puzzle games like Sudoku, board games like Chess or even a role-playing game. They’re simple to learn, easy to play and you can stop them at any time to continue driving. If you’re interested in something more grown-up, you could play card games such as Poker, or even participate in competitions like this Discomfort Zone campaign as long as you have internet access and an account on the website.

Listen to Music

Music can be soothing, uplifting or even empowering. Listening to some relaxing music can relieve the stress of a busy and slow traffic jam, and listening to something upbeat and fast can get you grooving to hide the boredom. Grab yourself a portable battery bank or an in-car charger to fill your device with juice as you play music. Buy an audio cable to connect it to your car’s built-in speakers for better sound quality—never use headphones as it could distract you and you won’t hear the cars or people around you.

Read Something

As long as you don’t get too engrossed in a good book and forget to drive, reading can be a relaxing way to pass the time while you’re in a busy traffic jam. Bring your favourite book into the car with you and keep it stored in the glove compartment for boring traffic situations. It doesn’t have to be a fictional book either, it could be a magazine, today’s newspaper or a factual book or biography that you can read for inspiration and enlightenment.

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Explore Your Mind

Have you ever taken a shower or gone to the toilet and had an epiphany or moment of clarity? When we’re in lonely situations, we often contemplate our lives and think about anything and everything. Traffic jams are good times to relax and think about things in our life. Stop thinking about how angry your boss is going to be when you arrive at work late or how disappointed your friend might be if you’re late to the party. Instead, reflect back on your life, think about problems that you’re having and explore your mind.

Can You Really Afford Your Dream Car?

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Many of us have a car that we’ve always wanted. That one car that you can’t help but admire anytime, you pass in on the street. Some of us will even take it out for multiple test-drives just to feel what it’s like to get behind the while. The sad thing is that for many of us, it seems like owning your dream car will only ever be a fantasy. After all, if something is your dream car then it usually has something pretty special about it. And there’s a pretty good chance that the price of the car is going to reflect that. But there are in fact ways to turn it into a reality. Your dream car doesn’t need to be so expensive that you can only ever afford it in your dreams. You just have to know these few simple tips.

Finance

The most obvious barrier that a lot of people have to finally get their hands on the car of their dreams is the idea of shelling out a massive sum of money in order to actually buy the thing. Fortunately, there is another way. Rather than emptying your bank balance all at once, getting a car on finance allows you to spread the cost of the vehicle across a longer period of time. Some car finance deals will even allow you to purchase the car without making a deposit. Be careful though and always check the interest rates on any finance deals. Otherwise, you could end up payment far more than you intended in the long run.

Part-exchange

Want your old banger to do something useful for a change? Well, a lot of dealerships are willing to part-exchange your dream car for your old one. Of course, this is hardly going to cover the entire price, but it will make a decent dent in it. The value and condition of your car will have a pretty big impact on exactly how much you get, but it’s always a good way to kill two birds with one stone: helping you your hands on your dream car and getting rid of the old one that you no longer need.

Negotiate

Most people are not especially good at haggling, and that’s pretty understandable. There aren’t many instances where you need to barter with a salesperson to bring the price down on something. But when you’re getting ready to drop a significant sum of money on a car, it’s pretty reasonable to try and get the best possible deal. The idea of haggling can be pretty scary for some people, but it’s important to remember one thing. The salesperson wants you to buy the car. They might act like they don’t care but that’s because they don’t want you to realize how much power you have. A lot of car dealerships work on commission and how much they get paid depends on how much they actually sell. That means that, within reason, a lot of salespeople are more than happy to meet you in the middle when it comes to the price of your car.

 

7 Reasons Why A Skoda Octavia Is A Great Buy

Once upon a time, Skoda was a car brand that most Brits turned their noses up at. Today, it is a growing and popular marque owned by Volkswagen. Since VW bought it in 2000, Skoda became a brand synonymous with prestigious motoring.

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Without a doubt, the Czech brand’s flagship model is the Octavia. Available in saloon and estate formats, the car is a familiar sight on the streets of Britain these days. If you’re not convinced that you should buy one for your next car, these reasons might change your mind!

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  1. It’s a refreshing alternative to the Audi A4

If you need a car for business use, your first thought might be to opt for an Audi A4. After all; why wouldn’t you want one? They are reliable motorway mile munchers. The thing is, the Skoda Octavia offers similar performance, fuel economy, and features. Perhaps the biggest difference is the price: the Octavia is significantly cheaper!

  1. You can still enjoy superior build quality

The last thing anyone wants when they buy a car is to have it constantly fall apart on them! Look beneath the surface of the Skoda Octavia, and you’ll notice most parts have VW branding on them. Indeed, the Skoda Octavia’s design is also based on a Volkswagen engineering platform.

  1. Depreciation doesn’t bite with a vengeance

I know what you’re thinking: the new Skoda Octavia won’t hold its value in the future. It might shock you to learn that the opposite is true! Even the first-generation models built in the late 90s have kept their value well. If you’re planning to buy a fully-featured saloon that is worth something in a few years, this car is for you!

  1. Fuel frugality or high-performance motoring: the choice is yours!

There are several engine options available for the Skoda Octavia. The most popular ones are the diesel power plants, especially for company car drivers. For people that have a heavy right foot, the 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine in the vRS is a firm favourite.

  1. Generous equipment as standard

You might think that a car brand like Skoda doesn’t have much in the way of standard options. In fact, the features that come with all models are plentiful! Examples include Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming, DAB digital radio, and 16-inch alloys. New owners can also enjoy features like traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.

  1. DSG transmissions make driving a breeze

Let’s face it; the days of manual transmissions are coming to an end. Today’s automatic gearboxes are intelligent, advanced, and help motorists use less fuel. The Skoda Octavia is available with the seven-speed DSG transmission found in VW cars.

  1. The car handles like a champ on the road

Last, but not least, it’s worth taking out a Skoda Octavia for a test drive. Only then will you realise how well it handles in both straight runs and corners at high speeds! There are also three driving modes motorists can select. They adjust the steering and throttle responses to the current driving conditions.

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Can you fit a surfboard in an MGF?

Yes.

is the short answer to the question, but there are provisos…

Although surf racks are available for the boot lid, it may not be possible with models such as the Trophy and Freestyle, which have a boot lid spoiler.

You can fit a surfboard in an MGF, but not a longboard

You can fit a surfboard in an MGF, but not a longboard

You can fit a surfboard up to around 6’2 in a small convertible, with the fins and tail as far into the footwell as possible and the nose pointing towards the rear of the car.

With boards over 6’2 you may need to remove the passenger seat headrest. In the MGF this causes zero problems with the roof going up and down, although with boards over 6’2 just be careful not to scrape the rear screen with the nose of the board when you’re putting the roof up or down.

The MGF complete with 6'2 surfboard enjoying the sunshine late in the season at Polzeath beach, UK

The MGF complete with 6’2 surfboard enjoying the sunshine late in the season at Polzeath beach, UK

Pictured is a 6’0 surfboard inside an MGF Freestlye without removing the headrest. There is enough space in the boot for your changing mat, towel and wetsuit, so there you have it, you can own a convertible and still go surfing!

You just won’t be able to take anyone else with you…

The MGF Freestyle on Polzeath Beach, complete with surfboard on the passenger seat

The MGF Freestyle on Polzeath Beach, complete with surfboard on the passenger seat