The Dancing Man – DCT


Honda launched their first Dual Clutch Transmission motorcycle (the VFR12ooF) back in May of 2010, since then it’s popularity has grown with over 12,500 customers purchasing the technology in Europe alone.

In 2012 4 more models were released (the Integra*, NC700X, NC700S and Crosstourer) and in 2013 an additional 2 model (CTX700 and CTX700N) were added again.

So to show how much better 2 is compared to 1, Honda have released ‘The Dancing Man’ campaign to demonstration how much fun 2 can work together and how well they can perform.

The video is catchy so don’t worry if you watch it more then once, with some great gallery images and more info video’s connected to the ad, make sure you click through to find out more on this great technology and the models you can get it on.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)

How Old (And Dangerous) Are Your VW’s Tyres?

One of the biggest advantages to owning and driving an older model Volkswagen Beetle is its history. It’s easy to sit back in the driver’s seat and imagine all the dreams your car has fulfilled over the years, and imagine all the wonder and excitement it will bring you in the coming years.

Just because your Volkswagen is old, though, doesn’t mean its parts have to be. As a VW Beetle owner it is your responsibility to ensure every Beetle part is safe, reliable, and functioning correctly, so your VW can keep on running like it should, and you can relax knowing it is safe to drive.

While the proper function of a VW is dependent on many types of Beetle parts, it is especially important for you to consider its tyres. Ageing tyres not only affect the way your Beetle drives, but can also be extremely dangerous.

Tyres and Old Age

In the past, car owners have been taught to always look at the tread of a tyre to determine its safety and age. If the tread was worn down, the tyre was said to be balding and it shouldn’t be used. This way of thinking is incorrect. Over time, the compounds in a tyre begin to deteriorate. This deterioration is not always visible on the outside, so it cannot be judged by the condition of the tread. Beetle spare tyres and even new tyres that have never been used but have been around for years can be just as deadly as older tyres with worn tread.

As a tyre ages, the rubber it is made of begins to crack. Think of it like a rubber band. If you have a rubber band sitting in a desk drawer for a year and one day you decide to take it out and stretch it, little cracks will be present in the rubber. On a tyre, these cracks are not always seen, but are sometimes visible on the inside of the tyre or the surface. Over time, this cracking can result in a separation of the steel belts located in the tread and the rest of the tyre.

When this separation occurs, the result can be deadly, especially if the car is in motion when it occurs. A driver can easily lose control of the VW, potentially risking their life and the life of others on the road.

Replacing VW Beetle Parts: How Long do Tyres Last

In most cases, tyres can last anywhere from six to ten years from the date they are manufactured. Several factors come into play, however, when calculating the expiration date for these Beetle parts.

• Heat- Research has shown that in warmer climates tyres tend to age much more quickly, especially in locations where the tyre is subjected often to sunlight and warmer temperatures.

• Storage- Whether you’re storing a tyre in a shop or garage or storing spares for your personal VW, the location is key. Spare tyres that are mounted on the back of a Beetle are left exposed to sun, weather, and dirt. Those that are stored in the trunk are exposed to high temperatures, especially in warmer climates. Thinking of it like baking the tyre in a miniature oven. Even if the tyre is sitting on a shelf, has not been inflated, and isn’t mounted on a wheel will still age, but much more slowly.

• Use- How do you treat your Beetle tyres? How many times have you accidentally hit the curb when pulling up to the bank’s drive through window? Do you only drive the Beetle on the weekend? The way the car is used will affect its ageing process dramatically, either slowing it down or increasing it. Always make sure you maintain proper tyre pressure, have the tyres rotated often, and have them inspected regularly by a professional.

Don’t be fooled by the thread. Old tyres, even those with thread in good condition, can be extremely dangerous on the road.

Need parts for your Beetle? Come to Veewee for the right parts and tools to keep your tyres in good condition, like gauges, footpumps, and cleaners.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (1)

5 things you don’t want to hear from a mechanic

Going to the garage can be a bit nervy at the best of times, but here’s some of the post-check-up news you don’t want to be hearing…

A car is a complicated machine, albeit one that has very much become part of our daily lives. With over 28 million cars on the road in the UK, it’s the mode of transport for more than half of us adults.

After a small dip in 2010, it seems we’re back in love with the automobile but all that time spent behind the wheel can have some damaging effects. Given how much the technology and mechanics of modern cars have improved on the models of the 1950s, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s barely any work that needs to be done to keep them in shape.

Allianz Your Cover ( provides you with 5 nightmare mechanic responses to a ‘tickle’ in the engine which are usually the result of overlooking a basic maintenance task for your automobile.

1. Seized engine due to lack of oil
This is one of the nightmare situations. It means that your engine has fused and failed due to a lack of lubrication; the heat of the engine’s movements, combined with the lack of oil to smooth their journeys, causes them to melt together into a metal lump. You could be looking at up to £10,000 for a new or re-manufactured engine.

2. Hydrolocked engine
Also not news you’ll be desperate to hear: a hydrolocked engine is caused by water getting into the cylinders. This usually occurs when attempting to cross deep puddles in low-slung cars, or through flooding. It means that this expensive piece of machinery, which has the power to expel excess droplets and air molecules, cannot expel the load of water dumped into it. Again, you’re looking at several thousand pounds.

3. Broken timing belt
This one is embarrassing; you’ll notice that, if you read your guidance manual for the car, the timing belt is something that should be checked and changed around every 30,000 miles. If you have an interference engine (these are a modern invention: they allow the valves to open further and breathe into the oncoming piston), they rely on one of these to work. But the timing belt wears down and, if it isn’t replaced, you’re looking at £1,000 worth of damage to your valves and pistons.

4. Overheated engine
Sometimes a little smoke coming from the engine is fine, right? Be vigilant here. Catching an overheating engine early is fine but ignoring it, pretending it will go away, can lead to a blown head gasket, a cracked head or a cracked block. These three problems get respectively more expensive – heading up over the nasty side of £5,000.

5. Broken computer
Many cars these days have up to 20 computers inside them working away at once. Whilst we pay little heed to them, and some of the protective circuitry goes, it’s easy for one to blow the whole system and fry all its computer friends. If the problem is small, fine, maybe you can fix the one computer; otherwise you could be looking at getting a new car.

The takeaway:

If you conduct regular maintenance checks on your vehicle you will be able to avoid most of the issues mentioned above and spend your money on more enjoyable things such as taking your family on a road trip around France over the summer or getting the latest accessory for your car.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (1)

Think Before You Buy A New Car

After a while everyone gets a bit fed up with their existing car and the urge comes upon them that it is time for a change. Well, there’s an old motto that goes ‘buy in haste, repent at leisure’ and this could well have been written about the act of trading up to another vehicle. There are plenty of excellent used cars on the market so why do people select the first thing that the first internet search throws up? It’s surprising how often this happens.

The problem is that treating yourself to a new car should, not unreasonably, be an enjoyable experience and in all the excitement common sense can be overlooked. The trick is not to be talked into a rash purchase. It is all very well standing on a forecourt being impressed by big talk from a sales person but all may not be as it seems. It is a crucial part of buying a car that a decision is made with due care and attention.

For example, how many people, even today, buy a car without doing a ? It is one of the great truths that you can’t take people’s word for things. A data check costs peanuts and can be done on the spot if for no other reason than peace of mind. In the same vein, anyone who buys a car without checking and verifying the paperwork is simply asking to get duped.

The other aspects that potential buyers tend to overlook are the costs involved in running this or that car. Vehicle Excise Duty goes up every year – or so it seems – and it needs to be costed into the equation. Modern cars are good and reliable but sometimes the servicing costs can be surprisingly high and spare parts expensive. To many people ignore these figures and only find out later what it is going to cost them.

Key to ensuring the budget is equal to the spend is looking into the price of car insurance. It may not be quite so exciting as it is to buy a car spontaneously but checking with a reliable insurance company like 1st Central Insurance before setting your heart on a particular brand or model may well be the difference between enjoyment and disappointment. This is especially true of younger drivers for whom a competitive quote is vital.

Buying a quality used car is fun. No matter how modest the purchase may be the new owner will still be looking out the window at their new pride and joy sitting outside. There are right ways to buy a car and there are wrong ways. Don’t get carried away by rushing a purchase. Car insurance is an important part of this decision. It matters, so choose wisely.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)

The Gorgeous Ferrari FF Redefines The Hatchback

For the first time ever, it’s possible to use the words ‘Ferrari’ and ‘hatchback’ in the same sentence – the new Ferrari FF is a revolution on four wheels. It has the unmistakeable aura that you’ll recognise a mile off, bringing the essence of Ferrari together with a host of new features.

‘FF’ represents the theme of four throughout the model: the car seats up to four adults, runs in four-wheel drive, and offers a minimum of 450 litres of boot space. The two rear seats in the cabin aren’t just for show, and they fold down flat to make more room for luggage, shopping and sports equipment. As you’d expect from a luxury Ferrari, the full leather upholstery makes each drive that bit more relaxing. Drivers can also choose exclusive Ferrari upgrades and accessories to personalise their car.

There’s a breathtaking 6.3-litre V12 engine under the bonnet of the Ferrari FF, which produces both an envy-inspiring rumble and 615bhp. A dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox is fitted to match it, and both manual and automatic driving modes are available. The car reaches 60mph from a standstill in only 3.7 seconds, and has the potential to climb to 208mph.

Ferrari cars are legendary for their stunning looks and exceptional power – yet there’s an identical emphasis on passenger protection. By adding a range of reassuring security features, the manufacturer has tempered the model’s exciting appeal with safety befitting a road vehicle. The FF’s blistering performance is supported by advanced traction controls and anti-lock brakes. Should you be involved in a collision, the Ferrari deploys side impact airbags and seatbelt pretensioners to keep every passenger secure.

You can take the new Ferrari FF out for a spin from Helston Garages in Devon – give them a ring to experience this awe-inspiring car first hand. They’ll also provide full Ferrari FF specs, pictures and prices.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (3)

The Family-Friendly Ford KA Is a Streamlined Stunner

As part of the refresh of the Ford range, the manufacturer is using their ‘Kinetic Design’ to adapt the look and feel of several popular models – and one of the most stylishly functional is the new Ford KA.

Styled with smooth and dynamic lines, the car stands out on the road with a more confident, purposeful aura. The vast customisation options and accessories for the KA are typical of a Ford, with free and paid upgrades available inside and out. A rearranged cabin layout creates more space and puts all of the main controls in a more logical place. The driver enjoys increased legroom, and every passenger travels in relaxed comfort.

A wide range of petrol and diesel engines are offered with every new KA, and the selection also gives drivers more choice when looking for an approved used version. It’s got one of the best levels of fuel economy in its category, with all low-carbon engines that reduce CO2 emissions from the exhaust. Business drivers and families alike will also love that the KA is in a low bracket for Vehicle Excise Duty.

Safety is also a key consideration in the design of every Ford – it’s an area in which the car maker has won plenty of awards. The KA is built with an Intelligent Protection system, which can sense an impact and put safety measures into place. Bluetooth with voice control allows for safe hands-free calls, and the rear parking sensors make those tricky backwards manoeuvres feel effortless.

If you’re interested in buying a new or approved used Ford KA, or in heading out on a test drive before making your mind up, visit Gates Ford. They offer the new car in a range of colours and trim levels, with special offers that are really competitive on price. Contact them at your nearest dealership today to find out more.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)

Ford – The Market Leaders

Motorists today have never had it so good and there is a wealth of choice available to buyers of new cars and a thriving market for quality used cars. Competition is fierce and one company that consistently delivers the right car at the right time is Ford. Every since the day in 1903 when three Model A Fords were shipped to our shores from the USA, the name of Ford has been synonymous with the motor industry in Britain.
In recent years Ford have produced successive generations of cars that have maintained their popularity. This is because they have evolved over time to met the requirements of climate change legislation and high fuel costs, amongst other things. Notable in the company’s range has been the addition of EcoBoost engine technology.
EcoBoost encompasses a range of turbo-charged direct injection engines that produce the power and torque expected from engines with much bigger displacement yet still achieving far superior fuel economy and greatly reduced greenhouse gases. The star amongst these has got to be the one litre, three cylinder version that is beginning to appear across the vehicle range.
It is available in the evergreen Ford Focus. If ever a car online casino exemplified automotive success it’s this one. The first version released in 1998 was a revelation to drive and subsequent models have continued to improve the model. It remains a popular choice in the used car market where its reputation for reliability is a major selling point.
It is notable in recent years that customers are looking for frugal, smaller cars, these days referred to as superminis. This is a burgeoning market as drivers downsize, and the car that constantly appears at the top of the best seller list is the Ford Fiesta.
Now in its sixth generation the Fiesta is small, affordable, well equipped and cheap to run. Best of all it is great to drive – an attribute Ford seem to have been able to channel across the whole vehicle range. It makes for a great used car buy. With the 1L EcoBoost engine it produces a road tax busting 99g/km and will deliver over 60 miles per gallon.
The range of vehicles offered by Ford covers every need. From spacious family people carriers, SUVs and luxury saloons coupled with the above best sellers and the nimble Ka, they’ve pretty much got the market covered. There is a comprehensive range of dealers just a click away. Derbyshire buyers might like to try Matlock Ford for Ford used cars, for example. Car makers come from all corners of the world but it is the Ford name that is trusted by UK buyers.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)

Top cars driven by British prime ministers

We’re all used to seeing images of the prime minister pulling up to meetings and other events in a swish car. This isn’t a new phenomenon either; British PMs have been chauffeured around in some of the best home-manufactured vehicles since they first started being made.

As such, it’s a bit difficult to pick just three of the most notable PM cars, but I’ve done my best with the below:

1) Humber Pullman (Winston Churchill)
Now, Mr Churchill used quite a few cars worthy of inclusion in this list, even the humble Austin 10hp (which he had during the war and was only able to reach a maximum speed of 60 mph!). But the Humber Pullman was perhaps the stateliest of the lot. The luxury limousine began being manufactured before the outbreak of World War II, but sales were restricted to the government and military officials once the conflict started.

Mr Churchill wasted no time in making the car his own by having an extra large ashtray installed to accommodate the ashes from his undoubtedly marathon cigar-smoking sessions (something that seems to have been a trend among British PMs, as I’ll describe later on). Humber Pullmans are a bit of a rarity now, unfortunately, due to production ending in 1954, but one of the last models to have been made can be seen at the Louwman Museum in The Hague.

2) Jaguar XJ (David Cameron)
It stands to reason that the most modern of the PMs’ cars should be in a list of the best, if only for the mind-boggling array of high-tech features it has. Mr Cameron’s Jaguar XJ, which was acquired last year, raised a few eyebrows due to its extremely high cost (£200,000, apparently), but it’s reported to have pretty much everything you can think of and more to ensure the PM, his fellow passengers and the driver can be as safe as possible, as the threat of terrorist attacks remains potent.

I do like the sleek lines of the XJ a lot, but I can’t help but feel that Jaguar isn’t quite as British a brand as it used to be now it’s owned by an Asian company. However, with the PM still a firm fan of the marque and the manufacturer apparently remaining true to the design ethos of the company when it was in British hands, I’ll let that go this one time!

3) Rover P5B (Harold Wilson)
Harold Wilson followed the example set by Mr Churchill by having massive ashtrays fitted in his powerful Rover P5B, a car so well liked that the next PM, Margaret Thatcher, decided to keep it for a time, too. The Queen also has more than a few P5Bs in her own fleet, so I think I can safely say that this particular set of wheels is hard to beat as a top choice for Britain’s high-ranking officials!

What I like about the P5B is the fact it very definitely looks like a car fit for a prime minister, even if it does look dated now when compared with the likes of the Jaguar XJ. It was also a bit of a beast on the road, as the engine’s technology came from US powerhouse Buick, hence the ‘B’ tacked on to the original P5 name. This is certainly what PMs should be looking for when it comes to an official car, in my opinion – something that looks slightly imposing and can outpace pretty much anything else on the roads!

Are you a civil servant looking for a new set of wheels? Money-off deals for Prospect members are available through associations like CSMA Club.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)

What features does the BMW 3 Series offer?

If you’re keen to get a new set of wheels, I really think you can’t go wrong with buying a BMW. Whatever you’re looking for from your next car – be it something sexy and sporty or a model that’s a little more practical – I’m fairly certain you’ll be able to find a BMW that’s right for you, especially if you look at the models within its 3 Series.

In fact, this particular range has been popular among motorists ever since its emergence in the 1970s and millions of them have been sold across the world. While we all want different things from our cars, the sheer variety of models in the 3 Series, I think, offers something for everyone as there are saloon, convertible and coupe models to choose from. Keep on reading to find out more about these motors and their features.


Do you need to have a vehicle with plenty of room? If you do, you’ll probably be looking to get a saloon so you have lots of space to transport luggage and passengers in comfort.

In this case, I think you should check out what the saloons under the 3 Series banner have to offer. The 316d ES, for example, has a variety of storage compartments, including bottleholders that are integrated into the door trims. The diesel-run vehicle also has an incorrect fuelling protection system and a central locking switch for all doors and luggage compartment.

Attend a BMW car auction in the search for a 3 Series saloon and you could come across the 320d Modern. This stylish vehicle has 17-inch alloy wheels, a TwinPower Turbo engine and hillstart assist, among many other features, so it’s ideal for those who need something that is practical but also offers plenty of performance.


If, like me, you like the sensation of taking to the open road with the wind blowing through your hair then having a convertible is a must. Admittedly, the British weather is hardly the best for driving with the roof down, but on the occasions when it is nice outside you should make the most of it.

Choose a 3 Series convertible and I think you’ll easily be able to do this, with the 335i SE coming with a 24-valve turbo engine and high-precision direct injection technology. With a maximum speed of 155 mph and hydraulic power-assisted steering, you certainly won’t find this car to be lacking in the power stakes.

Of course, convertibles aren’t always the cheapest vehicles around, so if you want something that’s a little more budget-friendly you might want to give the 320i SE a shot. This entry-level model doesn’t quite offer the same level of performance as the 335i SE, but as it reaches a top speed of 142 mph it’s still a wonderful choice.


Fancy getting a coupe? There’s more than a dozen 3 Series cars to choose from if you do, so there’s plenty of scope to get something suitable for your needs. One model I think you should definitely check out is the 325d Sport Plus, which has chrome twin tailpipes and automatic air-conditioning. This car’s pretty nippy too – it can go from zero to 62 mph in just 6.9 seconds – with M Sport suspension and 19-inch double-spoke alloys among its other features.

Get the 330i M Sport, meanwhile, and you can make use of dynamic brake lighting and electric power steering in a car that comes with a stunning Dakota leather upholstered interior.

Are you looking to buy a 3 Series BMW? If so, please leave a comment and tell us what model you’re thinking of getting!

Posted in Car ReviewsComments (0)

Top 5 lease options for your company

There are numerous car leasing deals out there for all kinds of businesses, but if you really want your employees to make the right impression while they’re representing your firm, I think you should consider one of the following five models to offer as a company car.

BMW 5 Series Touring 520d SE

When What Car? reviewed the latest models in the BMW 5 Series range, they selected this vehicle as the best of them, describing it as “an extremely good car”. The 5 Series also got picked as the third-best executive motor of 2012 by Auto Express.

So, what makes the vehicle stand out? As you might expect from a BMW, it is engineered and finished to a high quality, so you are practically guaranteed a comfortable, smooth and stylish drive.

Audi A4 TDIe

Audi has been making a name for itself as a great business car for some time now and, although it isn’t right at the top, it’s certainly not far off. Business Car Manager commended the Audi A4 TDIe in the best executive car category at its 2012 awards, while it also received an honourable mention in the 2011 Carbuyer awards.

Business Car Manager highlighted the car’s economical credentials – something that’s bound to be important if you pay mileage for your employees. Carbuyer also praised its eco-friendly engine, as well as drawing attention to its “impressive build quality and carefully-designed interior”.

BMW 3 Series

The new range of motors in the BMW 3 Series have come out on top at numerous motoring awards in the executive car category this year – including What Car?, Business Car Manager and Carbuyer. Described as the best compact executive vehicle on the market, this is certainly one to consider if you’re looking for new autos for your firm’s fleet.

Even the basic model has more than enough mod-cons to keep the most discerning businessperson happy, including Bluetooth connectivity and a driver performance control system. Choose one of the models equipped with BMW’s EfficientDynamics technology and you’ve got a ride that is economical as well as comfortable.

Mercedes-Benz C Class

The Mercedes-Benz C Class is another vehicle that has picked up nods at several car awards ceremonies this year for its credentials as an executive motor. Its style, performance and range of features that come as standard have all been highlighted as reasons why it deserves to be at the top.

Choosing one of the models fitted with the firm’s BlueEfficiency technology also makes the drive that bit more economical. Among the features included with this setup are an ECO start/stop function, lower displacement engines and lighter alloy wheels, all designed to improve the car’s fuel consumption.

Of course, all of this also translates into reduced running costs and more environmentally-friendly cars, all without compromising on performance, according to the automaker.

Hyundai i40

Moving away from the top-end executive models, there are plenty of excellent, more everyday cars available for companies to hire that work well as company vehicles. Among them is the Hyundai i40, which was named as the second-best company car by Automotive blog in 2012.

The website pointed out that the auto comes with “some truly premium design features”, is affordable, has low CO2 emissions and is fuel efficient, delivering 62.8 miles per gallon.

If you’ve recently signed up for a new business car leasing contract, tell us what model you opted for and why.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)