Driving you through the latest car trends, technology, road tests and experiences

18th Mar 2024

Thinking of going electric in 2024...

Bells Motor Group outline the five things you need to know when buying your first electric car. With the electric car revolution in full swing and only set to get bigger in 2024, the number of people swapping their petrol or diesel car for an electric vehicle is increasing rapidly. Yet, despite predictions that electric vehicles will account for 25% of all new passenger car sales in the UK in 2024*, many people still have some niggling uncertainties around purchasing an electric car. To answer these questions, Bells Motor Group is providing their top tips to debunk the myths and help drivers figure out exactly what they need to charge ahead with their first EV. Clive Bell, Managing Director from Bells Motor Group said: “Drivers are welcome to drop in and speak with our expert team about purchasing their first electric car at any time, but for those too busy..

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12th Sep 2021

Opening up the Audi A5

ADAM TUDOR-LANE takes to the open road and open air in the Audi A5 Cabrio  Like many, the thought of trying to arrange foreign travel right now seems far more effort than it’s worth. Plus, there are so many incredible places in our own country to explore, to that extent, I always try and get away once in the UK every year. This time I was heading to York at the end of June via Lincolnshire, so what better way to travel than in a convertible. There are few drop-tops on the market right now, as with fast hatchbacks, that class of car seems to go through fits and starts. It needed to be something stylish, semi-sporty and a good long-distance cruiser. Audi’s A5 ticked all those boxes. Prices start at £43,000, but this model in range-topping ‘Vorsprung’ trim is a heady £56k; it does come with nearly every option..

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20th Aug 2021

The i3 is simply electric

ADAM TUDOR-LANE outlines the positives of owning the BMW i3 EV I’m now three months into owning an EV, and I can safely say that I don’t think I’d ever buy an internal combustion engine car ever again. After travelling 1,300 miles in the little BMW i3, it’s cost me £58 in electricity. Compare that to the car it replaced, at £60 per 300-mile tank, well, it’s pretty much four times cheaper to drive the equivalent distance. Now because this is my first EV, I didn’t quite bite the bullet fully. I occasionally need to drive 110 miles in one go to visit family, and while the i3 can do that (133 miles to a full charge), that does depend on the weather. If it was freezing cold in the depths of winter, you could shave 20, maybe 30 miles off that number, which would potentially leave me a little..

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12th Jul 2021

Leading the charge

ADAM TUDOR-LANE answers how you can home-charge an electric vehicle  One of the biggest questions of EV ownership is ‘How do I charge it?’ Yes, there are thousands of chargers out in the wild, but day to day, you’ll want to plug in at home. This brings up the next question, ‘How do I get a charger installed?’. It’s far easier and less costly than you may expect.  Currently, home charging will only work if you have a driveway; you need your car close to your property. So terrace house dwellers are currently out of luck, lamp post chargers are available, but it’s something the council needs to address… which will likely take years. For those with off-street parking, there are a plethora of home chargers to choose from. If you buy a brand new EV, the manufacturer will likely provide their own charger and installation in with the cost..

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15th Jun 2021

Switching to Electric? Adam Tudor-Lane makes the case for electric vehicles...

At the end of 2020, there were roughly 150,000 pure electric vehicles on our roads; the total number of cars in the UK stands at 32 million. Granted, electric vehicles won’t be for everyone; in fact, they’d probably suit 90% of car owners. The National Travel Survey from 2019 shows the average trip length is 8.4 miles. Round that up to 10, and you have a 20-mile round trip. 42% of journeys were defined as ‘Medium Length Trips’ in another study, these varied from 5 – 25 miles. Take that upper figure and double it, 50 miles.  What about commuting? Well, the average commuter trip across England and Wales is roughly 10 miles. Put all those figures together, and the average motorist needs a vehicle that can take them between 20 and 50 miles. And this is where switching to an EV could save you a small fortune. Now before..

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24th Apr 2021

All you need is the air that you breathe

ADAM TUDOR-LANE test drives the Qooder Oxygen.  Did you know that EV sales jumped by a whopping 185.9% last year compared to 2019? While the world is thrown into turmoil, it seems people are thinking about the way they use their cars. Now it’s time for two wheels to make the battery only leap. Motorbikes and scooters produce very little in the way of emissions compared to their four-wheeled brethren, but with many cities across the globe looking to ban all combustion-engine vehicles at some point or another, it’s only a matter of time before the humble motorcycle becomes an electric-only machine. With that in mind, I braved the winter weather on a Qooder Oxygen to tell you all about it. The Oxygen is a zero-emission scooter designed explicitly for built-up urban environments where congestion makes driving a car painful. There’s a choice of a 2.65 or 3 KW version;..

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14th Feb 2021

To The Power of 3

ADAM TUDOR-LANE test drives the Mazda 3  If there’s one genuinely underrated car brand on the market today, it’s Mazda. A small seller in the UK I often wonder how they’re still here, but they should be doing a damn sight better and the latest Mazda 3 enforces that belief. Without doubt, this incarnation of the 3 is the prettiest hatchback on the market. Looking like a shooting brake with its long swooping rear, the clear lines create something incredibly modern and sleek. A large C pillar rear end is the only part some may have an issue with, it’s incredibly deep, and the smaller rear passenger window adds to the chunky effect.  It’s a clean design, compare it to the likes of the old fashioned looking Focus, or the dreary Golf, and you can see how modern this 3 is.  All Mazda’s drive well, they feel sporty, agile, light..

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11th Jan 2021

Award winning MK car bodywork repair company rebrands to VCR

In celebration of 10 years in business, and in highlight of the company's development, vehicle body repair specialists formerly known as Scuff N Scratch Solutions, have rebranded to ‘VCR - Vehicle Crash Repairs’. Located in Denbigh Hall Industrial Estate, Bletchley, VCR - Vehicle Crash Repairs has built an exceptional reputation as an insurance approved accident repair body-shop, trusted by big name car brands, as well as hundreds of local car owners for many years. Established in 2011, Owner, Rob Clark set ambitious goals for his automotive repair company which started as a mobile service. Carrying out small repair work at people’s homes, Rob’s reputation as a trusted repairer quickly grew and he moved into a workshop in Milton Keynes. Employing a team of experienced and qualified technicians, within a year the business outgrew the first premises and moved into the current workshop where Rob and his team of specialists repair vehicles under insurance, or privately – all of which is under full warranty. Investing in the correct equipment and training to carry out insurance crash repairs, VCR is recognised by the..

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17th Dec 2020

E-scooters save time, money & the environment

A departure from the norm of car reviews this month, and a quick history lesson to start. You see those things that run parallel to the majority of carriageways in Milton Keynes, they’re called Redways. It was the grand plan to make MK a hub of cycling, a little bit of Holland in the heart of the United Kingdom, ideal for leisure and a way for people to travel to work without the use of the car. Fast forward to 2020 and Milton Keynes is invariably the ‘town of the car’. Anywhere you can think of is 10 minutes away by car, even travelling from one side of the town to the other; but walking, even on Redways is just that bit too far, cycling cuts that time in less than half, but seldom few actually cycle. Childs Way and numerous other roads become backed up in traffic from one..

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12th May 2020

EV drivers in Milton Keynes invited to take part in trial of innovative new charging technologies

Electric vehicle drivers in Milton Keynes can now apply to trial domestic smart chargers, vehicle to grid (V2G) chargers and home battery storage, with the option to keep the equipment at the end of the project. The project is investigating ways to balance the peaks of electricity use associated with charging electric vehicles at home. CrowdCharge is delivering the trial on behalf of Milton Keynes Council, with Flexitricity as the energy demand response partner. The Domestic Energy Balancing EV Charging project aims to trial a range of charging technologies, using CrowdCharge’s digital charger and battery energy management platform. The ultimate aim is for these technologies to be available for EV owners to save money and reduce demand on electricity networks through balancing the load on the grid. Trial participants will receive an incentive reward from the value of £10 per month, assuming minimum participation parameters are met, such as charging their..

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23rd Jan 2019

intu Milton Keynes’ car charging points now live...

Twelve new electric car charging points have gone live this week at intu Milton Keynes’ newly refurbished multi-storey car park. Shoppers with electric vehicles can now shop to their hearts’ content knowing their car is safely charging in one of the 12 super-wide bays on Level 2 of the well-lit car park.  intu Milton Keynes is committed to encouraging the use of electric vehicles, and has appointed POLAR to manage and operate its charging stations. As the UK’s largest provider of charging points, electric vehicle owners will know that they pay a £7.85/month fee to use any of POLAR’s 6,500+ locations. Shelley Peppard, General Manager of intu Milton Keynes, said: “We are delighted to announce that our electric charging points are now live. intu Milton Keynes is committed to furthering the use of electric vehicles and to doing what we can to help reduce emissions in Milton Keynes. We look..

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27th Feb 2017

Transport for sustainable mobility solutions at new Milton Keynes branch

Mark Lancaster MP for Milton Keynes North and Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South support Europcar UK's launch at Milton Keynes Central Station with low cost electric vehicle hire for the local community. Europcar UK, a subsidiary of Europcar Group, the European leader in vehicle rental service and a major player in mobility markets, is demonstrating its commitment to sustainable mobility solutions with the opening of a new branch at Milton Keynes Central railway station.  Making all forms of vehicle rental – from hybrid and electric vehicles to hourly hire and long term rental – available from the heart of the railway station, the new location sets the benchmark for connected mobility.  Marking the launch, Europcar UK is offering Milton Keynes residents and businesses the opportunity to rent its range of electric vehicles at discounted rates for the month of March. Gary Smith, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group welcomed..

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06th Feb 2017

Safety Training Courses for Motorcyclists

Council aims to reduce the number of casualties through education Places cost just £20 and are available to any post-test motorcyclist in MK Following the success of the scheme in 2016, the Council’s Road Safety Team will be holding more motorcycle safety training days this year. The assessment days are specifically designed to offer post-test training to all ages of motorcyclist to make them more confident and safer on the road and promote better riding techniques. Extra education for motorcyclists is being offered in response to the high number of biker casualties that have occurred over the last 24 months. In this period alone, 41 motorcyclists have been killed or seriously injured on Milton Keynes roads. The Council is subsidising the cost for the 1-day training course so it only costs £20 and is open to post-test motorcyclists in Milton Keynes. Available course dates are as follows: Saturday 18 March    ..

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29th Dec 2016

A review of The Rolls Royce Dawn by Adam Tudor-Lane

Never have I been sat in a parked car and a total strange has called me Sir, other things maybe…but not Sir, and never the phrase ‘That’s a very nice car Sir!’. I could only be sitting in Rolls-Royces latest motor car, the Dawn. Starting at £220,000 (without local taxes), it currently sits at the entry point for RR ownership, with the Wraith a mere £7,000 more. This Dawn came in at a £268,130 with options - mind you a Riva Iseo speedboat comes in at around £230k, so it’s not bad for the equivalent road going companion. Rolls claim the Dawn to be the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built. They wanted a car that looked as good with the roof up, as when the roof was down. Building two cars in one. Side on, with the roof up it looks low and poised, ready to pounce on the tarmac ahead..

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15th Dec 2016

Push button starts are characteristic of older cars but they are increasingly making a come back

The latest Peugeot 108 city car incorporates one, together with keyless entry. This means that as long as the key is in the driver’s pocket, they can open the car and drive off (after putting their foot on the clutch and pushing start). One wet Wednesday morning when I take eldest daughter Harriett to school there is, all of a sudden, a frighteningly loud beep, which repeats for a few minutes. I don’t want to be late so I ignore it. We arrive some 10 minutes later in one piece with no punctures. Perplexed, I forget all about it until I return and push the start button. Only to find that a stop sign appears in capital letters on the dashboard. We are not going anywhere. Resisting the urge to phone the AA, I reach for the glovebox and delve into the user manual. Remaining calm I push the buttons..

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