Tag Archives: Hot off the Press

Driving up the Costs: The Financial Burden of Car Ownership

Owning and running a car can put a huge strain on your personal finances. You’ve got so many expenses that will need to be covered. So, it’s important to understand the financial burden of car ownership so you can combat it.

Breakdown

Let’s get something straight, cars break down, it happens. There isn’t much you can do to avoid it short of treating your car with care and looking after it. But how many times have we heard about dream cars that are actually a total nightmare? Your car breaking down is going to cost you money, and not just for repairs. It’s also going to adversely affect your livelihood. So, don’t be afraid to spend a bit more buying a car that is known to be reliable.

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Petrol

Maybe the biggest expense for drivers these days is petrol. The price of fuel is on the rise and seems to be climbing year on year. It’s really important to factor in the fuel costs each month when you are budgeting. Try to switch to petrol that is less expensive, or a car that is more fuel-efficient. It’s estimated that British drivers spend around £2,500 a year on fuel and this number is only going to go up. Any methods you can come up with to save you money on fuel should be welcomed.

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Maintenance

Maintenance work and upkeep add to the cost of a vehicle as well. Many drivers who buy a car only account for the cost of the vehicle and the petrol. But, maintenance work is a huge expense for any driver, and it’s something you aren’t going to be able to get around. If you’re struggling to afford the repairs that are needed you have a number of options. You might consider trying to do them yourself if you have knowledge of cars. Or, you may look into bank loans or online evolution money loans. You might even want to borrow from family, or dip into savings. The problem with maintenance work on your car is it’s not a luxury. It’s something that is essential and needs to be sorted out as soon as possible.

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Modifications

Many of us are never perfectly happy with the cars we have. What are the odds that you’re going to choose a car you are perfectly happy with as it is? Probably very slim these days. That’s why so many people like to carry out modifications and customizations. In fact, many manufacturers just sell the basic vehicle, and then will charge for extras because they know people want them. So, there is going to be a pretty big cost involved in modifying your vehicle. Of course, you might wish to consider doing some parts of that yourself. But, you need to understand that certain vehicles will only take certain parts. You will need to budget carefully if you want to make your own modifications because it’s going to be expensive.

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Owning a car is really important because of how convenient it is. But, you need to pay close attention to the costs involved as well. You might actually underestimate how expensive it can be to own a car. If you want to ensure you don’t fall on tough times, then you need to think about the costs of your car. But its always worth it…

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Is Your Dream Car Actually…A Motorcycle?

On our little section of the web, we always like to think about dream cars. The vehicles we would love to own if we could just afford it. Or, if we could convince our partner to spend their life savings on the purchase. It would it be worth it, wouldn’t it? If you could wake up in the morning and drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini to work in the morning. But why just include vehicles with four wheels in this dream? What if your dream car is actually, a motorbike? There are plenty of ways a motorbike beats a car when thinking about the dream machine.

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Danger And Exhilaration

You might think that you’re tempting fate driving at ninety down the highway in a beautiful speedster. But you haven’t felt danger until you’re tilted at a thirty-degree angle over the road as you swerve between moving traffic. This is the lifestyle of the rider, and it’s one we greatly admire as well as crave. Just imagine speeding down the highway with the tarmac an inch away from your feet. Streamlining through the air,zig-zagging across the lanes. It sounds incredible, and that’s because it is. It’s common knowledge that motorcycles are more dangerous than cars, and that’s what makes them so exciting.

Budget Friendly

If we ignore running costs, motorcycles are budget friendly. You can pick up a Kawasaki ER 6N for just under four grand that’s one impressive machine. Just imagine being able to cruise from zero to sixty within second as you grip the handlebars. If you want to do that in a Porsche, you’ll be shelling out at least forty grand. As far as the dream goes, a motorcycle is far more obtainable than your average sports car. The only thing that’s stopping you buying one of these is fear, rather than finances.

Style And Glamour

Admit it, whenever you see someone riding a motorcycle past you on the road, you might mutter an expletive. Secretly, though, you’re thinking, boy do they look awesome. There’s something about riding the steel that just oozes appeal, and you know you want a taste. You want to know how it feels to see everyone stare when you dismount or pull up outside a bar. Forget an expensive sports car. A motorcycle offers the real deal when it comes to vehicle kerb appeal.

Offroad, On Road Or On The Track

It’s your choice how you want to ride your new motorcycle. You can get a dirt bike, spraying up mud offroad. Make the jump over a stream of water, skidding to the end of the track in a glorious finish. Or, use your bike every day on the road. Commuting to and from work will never be as fun as this. Say goodbye to the morning queues because you can whiz by on the far lane. You’re never gridlocked when you’re on a motorbike. Once you have some experience, you can take to the track. Try your luck against the professional riders in a display or daring bravery and skill.

As it turns out then, your dream vehicle could be a motorbike. We don’t know if you’re convinced you want one, but we’ve definitely convinced ourselves!

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Canada’s Top Car Shows And Why It’s Worth Taking A Trip

If you love to travel, and you also love cars, why not combine an adventure away with a trip to a top car festival too? We got to thinking that this kind of trip makes an ideal Christmas or anniversary gift for the one you love. If you’re not so into cars, you can use the trip to explore new terrain. And you’ll score bonus points by including tickets for the other half to do something they love too. Today we’re in Canada with our list of top car shows that you might just want to visit.

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International Auto Show

 

This is the largest auto show in Canada and it showcasing the latest design and technology in new cars over a week’s worth of events. It’s held in Toronto and features over 1000 new cars, luxury automobiles trucks, SUV’s and motorcycles. The 2017 event takes place from February 17th – February 26th. The show promises even more cars, sports cars and brands than ever before.  It’s a must visit for those interested in innovation, technology, speed and power. At the 2016 event, Tesla’s Model X had its world debut. The Model X is one of only a select few all-electric SUV’s available. 2016 also brought the Auto Exotica back. This included vehicles from the likes of Ferrari, Maserati and McLaren. If you want to see these cars up close and personal, a 2017 visit should be on the cards.

ImportFest

ImportFest in Toronto is Canada’s largest ‘modified’ car show. It celebrates the automotive culture with a jam-packed day filled with cars, DJ’s, events and even a bikini competition. It’s not only a car show but also a lifestyle event. It’s main focus is on supped up import cars, and it makes for a fun and informative day out. Combine this show with a multi-centre city break that takes in both Toronto and Vancouver and also an exhilarating trip to Niagara Falls. Don’t forget that to get into Canada you will also need to apply for an eTa visa which you can do at this link: https://official-canada-eta.com.

Sleepy Hollow Rod Run and Show ‘N Shine

The Sleepy Hollow Rod Run and Show ‘N Shine is run by the Coaster’s Car Club. It takes place on the Sunshine Coast in Sechelt, British Columbia annually. This three-day event hosts classic cars, hot rods and speciality vehicles. It’s a family event, and it features a 30km Rod Run with over 450 classic cars. The event sees 1,000 of spectators line the street. The houses along the route often hold parties and barbeques and even put their sofas outside to enjoy the cars as they wind on by. The Show ‘N Shine part of the event starts on the Saturday morning in downtown Sechelt, and visitors are welcome from 10 am. The competition is judged by expert car enthusiasts, and there is also a People’s and Mayor Award too. A dinner and dance takes place on the Saturday evening at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club and Sunday brings a drag racing event. It makes for a real fun family weekend!  

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How AMG Is Keeping Mercedes, The German Juggernaut, Exciting

Mercedes is considered to be one of the world’s premiere luxury car makers. Even their entry level cars, like the A-Class, are fitted with amazing tech and made to a high quality. But Mercedes isn’t just one big, homogenous company. It’s an ecosystem of boutique suppliers and niche service providers.

Perhaps the most famous and most important of these is AMG, the performance arm of the company. AMG is like a company within a company. It finds its ways into all sorts of Mercedes cars, making them more exciting and more powerful. Although the name itself doesn’t suggest much, AMG are they guys and girls putting the fun into the brand.

Right now, fun is what Mercedes needs. Take away the AMG element, and you’re left with an otherwise run-of-the-mill lineup. It’s been a while since we saw a non-AMG Mercedes receive general critical acclaim. Most accolades in the SUV department, for instance, didn’t go to Mercedes’ GLA, they went to rival BMW’s X3.

Fortunately, Mercedes has a joker up its sleeve in the form of AMG. AMG have been supercharging Mercedes cars for over 25 years. And they’re not showing any signs of stopping. In fact, you can find AMG branding plastered over almost every category of high-end Mercedes car today.

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AMG first proved their muscle with “The Red Pig” back in 1971. This wasn’t a road car – it was a racing car on the European scene. AMG turned the competition on its head that year, by producing a car that had a 6.3-litre engine and dominated smaller rivals, like Alfa Romeo. Since then AMG has gone from strength to strength producing some of the best cars out there right now. However, of the many branded AMG Mercedes, two stand out as excellent.

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AMG GT

The AMG GT started showing up at approved dealers, like Eastern Western Motor Group, last year. And it represents a true return to form for the Mercedes brand. Up until last year, Mercedes didn’t have anything that could take on the likes of the Porsche 911, or the BMW Z series. Sure, there were the SL55 and the SL65 AMG grand tourers. But these cars were more targeted at the luxury end of the market, rather than on pure racing performance. AMG saw that Mercedes needed a car that could match up to, and even exceed its rivals.

The AMG GT and the GT-S are unique in the history of Mercedes. Both were designed and produced entirely by AMG itself. And boy, does it show. When the time came to review the car, practically everyone in the automotive press fell in love with it. They loved the sleek lines and the aggressive styling. They loved the luxurious interior, decorated with all the high-tech gizmos for which Mercedes are famous. And, more than anything, they enjoyed the performance, which is impressive. Of course, the car didn’t come cheap. But in many ways, that doesn’t matter. What is important is that AMG has finally given Mercedes something we can all get a little bit excited about.

AMG’s new supercar will rocket drivers from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds flat. And it’ll keep going up to 193 mph on the German autobahn.

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The other car in Mercedes’ arsenal, all thanks to AMG, is the C63. Back in the 1990s, Mercedes made big inroads into the luxury saloon market with their E-Class cars. Now AMG has worked its magic on the C-Class. And, yet again, they’ve pulled it off. The C63 comes with a twin-turbocharged four-litre engine that roars when you put your foot down. And according to most who have driven the car, the engine is to die for.

 

That, of course, should come as no surprise. The engine used in the C63 is actually the same engine that is used in the GT. It’s got the same 503 bhp and the same 700 Nm of torque. And despite the fact that the C63 isn’t a thoroughbred racer, it’ll get to sixty in the same time – 4.0 seconds dead.

Mercedes-AMG has been very smart, however, with the styling on this beast. It’s reminiscent of the styling one might find on a luxury Jaguar or Audi. It is, in many ways, understated, relative to the performance it can produce. Under the hood, it’s a raging beast. And yet, no executive would look out of place driving it.

 

As a result, AMG has blown the market for high-end Mercedes wide open. There are options for petrol heads who just love powerful, pinup cars. And there are also choices for those who want AMG under the hood without having to shout about it.

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Should you really buy that second hand car?

Lots of people buy second hand cars. Some people are lucky enough to be able to afford brand new cars. Some finance theirs, as they like to be able to say they own a new vehicle, but can’t afford the big payment upfront. Some even lease a new car, getting a new model every few years or so. However, some people don’t like the idea of not owning their car. This is why purchasing a second hand car can be easier financially and make you feel more secure. This guide will help you to work out whether you should really buy that second hand car.

Knowing What You Need/Want

Knowing what you need in a car is essential before you start looking. This will make the process less stressful and help you find a car that fits in with both your lifestyle and budget. Knowing what you want can help to, but you may need to sacrifice if you want a car that is practical for you. Make a list of things that are important, and things you definitely don’t want. This will make the viewing process so much easier.

Is It A Scam?

When you feel you’ve found a vehicle you like, knowing whether or not it’s a scam is important. Usually, it won’t be a scam, but you need to know what to look for so you don’t get caught out. If something seems to good to be true, do as much research as you can before handing over any cash.

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Is It Worth It?

Is the car you’ve found worth the asking price? Many sellers will ask for more than the car is worth to pre-empt you haggling for it. If they are asking for much more than you think it’s worth, continue looking. Usually, if you buy from a dealer like Currie Motors, you can rest assured their prices are fair.

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Can You Haggle?

Having haggling skills will help you to get a better deal. Make sure you know how much the car you’re looking at is really worth. Not only that, you should know what to look for when seeing a car in person, so you can bring these things to the attention of the seller and see if you can get further money knocked off the price.

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Have You Viewed It In Person?

It’s always a good idea to check the car out in person before you commit to buying it. This is why looking at cars in an area you are familiar with is a good idea. You don’t want to have to travel too far to get a car, as this can present difficulties. Make sure you know what to look for in person. If you don’t, take a trusted car enthusiast with you to help you. You should at least act like you know what you’re looking for!

You’ll usually get a gut feeling when you’ve found the right car, or when you haven’t. Make sure you listen to it so you get a good deal and the perfect second hand car for you!

Prevention is Better Than Cure: Staying Safe on Britain’s Roads

It’s estimated that in the UK alone there are 45.5 million people who hold driving licences. This is over half the population, even if a lot of them rarely actually drive. It illustrates just how much we rely on cars in our day to day lives. But, it also means the roads can get very crowded, particularly when the weather hits the extremes.

This heightens the risk of accidents and injuries for many drivers. And it’s easy to think that it won’t happen to you, but there’s a very real chance it could. So, you need to take steps to make sure you are safe and secure when you’re on Britain’s roads. This is sometimes easier said than done because you can’t legislate for what other drivers are going to do. But, as long as you can do as much as possible to ensure you are safe you will reduce the likelihood of you getting into an accident.

Take More Lessons

Sometimes we can benefit from going back to basics. When it comes to improving safety on the roads you may wish to take extra lessons, or, even, take your test again! Driving laws are changing on a regular basis, and you need to keep up to date with these changes. The longer you’ve been driving, the more bad habits you will have picked up. You’ve probably gotten a bit rusty when it comes to observing and following safety procedures. You may not know this, but over 1,500 whiplash injury claims are made in the UK each year. You would like to avoid having to make a claim yourself where possible. So go back and brush up; your car and your insurance will thank you for it later

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Warm up the Car in Winter

A lot of people make the mistake of trying to start their car up on an icy winter’s morning and drive away. This is not a good idea, and can often lead to problems with the vehicle, breakdowns, or crashes. So, you need to make sure you do whatever it takes to get the car prepped for taking on the cold. This means warming the engine up for around 10 minutes before driving off. It also means getting ice off the windshield and making sure the vehicle is in a fit state to drive.

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Leave Early on Long Journeys

Have you ever noticed that when the weather is nice, the roads become gridlocked? Ever been on the M25 in the height of summer? There’s a reason it’s nicknamed The Car Park! A good way of keeping safer on our roads is to avoid heavy traffic. Especially when you are going on a long journey in good weather. The best thing to do is to leave early to embark on your trip. That way you miss a lot of the traffic and chaos that can sometimes occur. The later you leave it, the worse it’s going to get. So plan your journey the night before and make sure you leave early.

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Keep a Level Head When You Choose Your Car

Another important part of staying safe is keeping a level head when you choose your car. You might have your heart set on a dream car, but there are dream cars that are a total nightmare. So, you need to follow your head rather than your heart and make sure you choose a safe, practical and reliable vehicle.

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As you can see, there is quite a lot you can do to stay safe on the roads. It’s so much better to prevent accidents from happening than dealing with the fallout from them. So use these ideas to help you become a safer driver on the roads of Britain.

 

So, How Does The Brand New Volkswagen Polo Hold Up?

Volkswagen is all about making a change and coming up with fresh faces and new designs. Admittedly, the changes in the Polo aren’t quite as exciting as their plans for the Doubleback. Still, they’re aiming to come back by putting a strong foot forward after last year’s dubious headlines. The Tiguan, the Jetta, the Beetle. They’re all seeing significant changes. The Polo has always been a reliable choice for VW, making the features of the Golf more compact and affordable. How does this year’s hold up?

Out of the different engines you can go for, we suggest looking at the 1.2L TURBO MPFI four-cylinder. That’s if you want something with a reasonable bit of kick and real fuel efficiency. Your options can go down to 1.0L three-cylinder engines, but they lack the go that you need. On the other end of the spectrum, the 1.8L GTI adds plenty of power but messes up the economy of the vehicle in turn.

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The feel of the ride itself isn’t always the best. It gets off to a bumpy start. It’s not slow, going from 0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds. At your lower speeds, however, it can be a bit of a bumpy and jittery ride. Particularly in urban settings. With higher speeds, you’ll end up evening out a lot smoother. It’s not exactly a fun car. Steering includes quite a bit of body lean and isn’t the most responsive. However, it is a ‘good’ corner taker. It’s stable and very manoeuvrable, trading fun for real hands-on practicality. Meanwhile, it’s also an easy, calm drive, being a lot quieter inside than you imagine for this normally noisy class of car. The new Volkswagen Polo is for those who value reliability.

Comfort is something they’ve put a bit of thought into, too. Your adjustable steering wheel and seat make it easy to find your sweet spot. That said, it’s not the most immediately ergonomic experience. There’s no adjustable lumbar support, for one. While the solid surface of the seats does make up for that, they’re also stiff on first contact. For longer drives, however, they’re remarkably effective at keeping you in a comfortable position.

As far as tech goes, the most noteworthy feature of the new Polo is the fact they seem to have finally caught up with the infotainment game. You’re looking at a bigger, 6.5 inch screen for one. Even the base edition includes the impressive Composition Media Infotainment system. This system comes with a lot of versatility. However, not as many as some competitors. For one, sat nav rates alongside voice control as one of the more expensive features.

That said, the Polo clearly has its fans for a good reason. It’s an effective, efficient and easy drive. Even if it’s not the most fun. There are still some issues to clear up in terms of infotainment options but they’re off to a strong start by way of actually having some. It faces strong competition from the Honda Jazz and Vauxhall Corsa, but we think that it easily comes toe to toe with them. Still worth considering as a handy little drive.

(The MK1 Polo… A long way from the high standards of 2016, but advanced at the time!)

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Hit The Road! Why Now Is The Best Time To Learn To Drive

Learning to drive is one of the defining moments in our lives. It’s the moment that we suddenly have access to the world. No longer are we restricted by train schedules, bus services and convincing friends and family they do want to give us a lift. You can go wherever you want, with the ocean being the only borders you now know. (And even then, ferries are a thing.)

Yet for some people, it never quite happens. You may love cars, love the noise, the TV programmes, the aesthetics – but you can’t drive. Cost is usually a huge factor in this, and a swathe of the population have to go without knowing the freedom that driving can bring.

If you have decided now is the time to fix that, then your impatience is likely palpable. You’re already dreaming of long, winding roads and glorious track days. It’s time to get motoring. So if you’re in a rush, below, we explore a few ideas to get yourself on the road as quickly as possible.

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  1. Every journey is a chance to learn.

If you’re on a bus or being driven by someone else, no slacking off and reading your phone. Open your eyes and look at how the road works, think about the route you would take and how you would handle issues. Half of learning to drive is about managing the roads as much as it is the car, so give yourself a thorough grounding in it at every chance you get. You can even do it as a pedestrian. If you cross over at a crossing, ask yourself if it’s a pelican or a toucan. The whole road system is now your active learning system.

  1. Group together your lessons.

One of the quickest ways to forget something is to space it apart. We learn by repeating motions; think about the basics like tying your shoelaces. You’re not shown how to do it and then immediately get it; the more you repeat, the easier it becomes. One way to shortcut learning to drive is to leave as little time as possible between lessons. Keep it all fresh in your mind either by cluster-booking classes or going through an intensive driving school. With less time needed to refresh what’s already been learnt, you can keep progressing.

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  1. Begin studying the theory and engine management immediately.

Yes, immediately. Finish up this article (obviously) and then go and look at engine diagrams. Read the Highway Code and do practice tests online. This information is dense and unpleasant, and the more you revise the easier it will be. Not only will it help get you through your Theory Test as quickly as possible, but you can also applying it to the first two point as well.

On a final note, it’s worth saying that you may have to be patient. Some people take longer to learn to drive and you may be one of them. If, however, you are willing to put in the effort and keep your mind on the prize, you’ll be on the road before you know it.

Dream cars that are actually a total nightmare

We all have that one dream car. It’s the vehicle that was plastered across our bedroom walls when we were younger. In our twenties, we might have started to save up for it, but we were sidetracked. Having children and other expenses tend to get in the way of going after the dream machines… For us, it was always the Ford Escort RS Cosworth, an iconic Fast Ford and the dream car for a generation of petrolheads.

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For those of you who never quite managed to save up the pennies, we have good news. Those cars that you desperately desired? They were probably nightmares on wheels, and we’re about to show you why.

High Insurance Costs

This always happens. You save up the money to buy your dream car. You finally reach your target and head down to your nearest dealer to pick it up. It’s just as beautiful as you imagined. It handles perfectly, and you feel like a winner driving it around. Then, you start to look into the insurance and find in ten years; it will have cost as much as the car!

What wonderful machine is guilty of this minor flaw?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? The AMG range of Mercedes-Benz cars are high performance machines, some of which are capable of phenomenal performance thanks to their large displacement supercharged engines. For this reason, a high performance Benz really is a dream car. In a recent survey, the popular Mercedes-Benz CLS was found to be one of the most expensive to insure on the market…! That might put a dark cloud over your supercar daydream…

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More time behind the wheel… or on the hard shoulder

There are plenty of reliable cars on the market, but for some of us, reliable means boring! Sure, it might break down on every second journey, have a temperamental V12 and the electronics might have a mind of their own, but that’s all part and parcel of owning a hand made, hand crafter supercar. After all, if you want reliability, go and buy a Vauxhall Astra. Yawn.

However, it’s not just the extreme exotic cars that are known for poor reliability. Porsche’s stellar reliability record has taken a beating with the last few incarnations of the 911, scoring a 39% failure rate in a recent reliability survey. That’s quite high and slots quite low down in the list of reliable cars. You’ll be taking your Porsche to a car servicing garage at least once a year, by the sound of it – might be easier to go for the one below, instead… Much cheaper to maintain!

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Darling, the fuel light is on… Again

If you’ve saved the money for your dream car then the price of petrol might not be something that bothers you, but with the latest raft of hybrid cars getting faster and more performance oriented, will more enthusiastic drivers be lusting after hybrids in years to come? Well, most petrolheads don’t daydream about hybrids as their dream cars, but with the BMW i8 and Porsche’s rumoured hybrid beast coming in a year or so, all that could be about to change.

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When it comes to fuel efficiency, a general rule of thumb is ‘more fun, more fuel’. That’s certainly true for two of the most exotic cars available… The Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and the Ferrari F12. These supercars might be fun on the race track, but try to use your Italian exotica to pop to the shops and you’ll soon be emptying your wallet… Single-figure MPG, maintenance costs, tyres… It all adds up,  plus, you’ll have to deal with crowds of snap-happy people wanting to take selfies with your ride, and who’s got time for that?

Should you buy a BMW M5? Yes you should.

What has a 4.4 litre V8 engine, goes 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds, can carry four adults in comfort and even has space for luggage?

Well, a BMW M5. This incredible beast has to be seen to be believed. On the outside it’s relative inconspicuous, there’s only a few styling tweaks that give the game away, but underneath the bonnet there’s a fire breathing dragon.

Should you buy a BMW M5? Well, if you love the way a big V8 engine sounds, like a car that accelerates likes a scalded cat and don’t want to compromise, then yes.

If you’re scared of going fast, don’t like loud noises and find harsh acceleration unnerving, then it’s probably not the car for you.

Imperial Car Supermarkets have one for sale, and it’s beautiful. Check it out here.