Motor Mouth articles 2005

This category contains 28 posts

A dim view of the no-lights brigade

ON a busy morning recently, I had to do a 50-mile drive, during the course of which I encountered numerous patches of fog, sudden and dense enough to make motorists hit their brakes. I couldn’t estimate the number of vehicles coming from the opposite direction, but I reckon, out of every ten, five were on … Continue reading

A ‘voom’ with a clue

TO say that the Renault Clio’s election as Car of the Year 2006 is a convincing testimony to the influence and impact of advertising would be to detract from the many qualities of a thoroughly honest little car. Nevertheless, the victory – against some pretty formidable opposition, it must be said – is a triumph … Continue reading

Driving a hard bargain

CALLING all women drivers: thinking of changing your car? Take a tip and take your husband or boyfriend with you. It may sound distinctly chauvinistic advice in these days of sexual equality and all that, but it is a sad fact that women are charged an average of £534 more than men to buy the … Continue reading

Punto power defies the blizzards

I HAVE just driven a middle-aged Fiat Punto 2,220 kilometres from central Italy to Dorset, UK. The reasons for this odyssey need not concern you but my random observations may provide a brief diversion.   A late November date was chosen so as to be safely back in Blighty long before the onset of winter. … Continue reading

It’s a sticky wicket

  I WONDER what it is that makes otherwise sane people slap sticky labels and daft slogans all over the few transparent bits of their cars. It is a fad I have never quite understood. There are few enough see-through bits as it is without plastering stickers all over them, but it seems to be … Continue reading

Bang goes the neighbourhood!

BEATEN-up old bangers can be far more than just an eyesore – they’re also a major negative factor when it comes to property values. A clapped-out old heap outside your house or in your drive can knock up to eight per cent off the price you could get for your home – and that could … Continue reading

Mobile menace is worse than ever

CAST your mind back not all that far and you may recall that it was made illegal in this country to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving. People sat up and took notice, too – for about a fortnight. Now, it is as if no legislation was ever passed. In fact, there seem to … Continue reading

The beauty contest losers

THE Ssangyong Rodius has been voted the ugliest car on Britain’s roads. Even allowing for the fact that good looks are very much a matter of personal taste, it is awfully hard to argue with the verdict. The Korean MPV may have many excellent traits – spaciousness, value for money, versatility – but a handsome … Continue reading

First learn the lingo

ONCE we could just go out and buy a car, providing we had the wherewithal, of course. Now we need to swot up on our acronyms and familiarise ourselves with the full lexicon of automotive jargon before we even dare catch the glinting eye of a salesperson. When they ask what sort of vehicle Sir … Continue reading

So much to learn, so little time

I ONCE knew a middle-aged motorist of the female persuasion who took enormous pride in the fact that she ‘serviced’ her own car. She could have it all done and dusted in a morning, she would boast. Under cross-examination, however, her idea of a ‘service’ was to lift the bonnet, check the oil, radiator and … Continue reading