Tag Archive: car

Flat tyre leads to full on police raid on family home

Leave a Comment

A family from Hitchin have spoke out after a flat tyre on their car led to a full armed-police raid on their family home.

It all began after care service manager Mr Rayat’s Orange BMW experienced a puncture in Hitchin town centre. 

Mr Rayat said that he had been sitting in his car after arriving home, making a call to the car leasing company. He said the whole scenario that followed was “like something you’d see on TV.”

He was confronted in his drive by a dozen armed officers with dogs and pushed  against a wall before being handcuffed.

Fishponds Road and then a section of Bunyan Road was closed for over an hour around lunchtime while the police searched Mr Rayat’s home, which has been the family home since 1979.

His 17-year-old son Harkeert was also put against the wall and handcuffed. Recalling his ordeal he said that as he unlocked the door, an officer pointed his gun at him telling him to put his hands up. He states he was then grabbed thrown against the wall.

“They had me out there on the main road being searched in handcuffs,” said the distraught teen speaking to local press.

Mr Rayat 47, was made to wait in a police car while his family who are native to Hitchin having lived there all their lives apart from their mother. They were searched outside in full view of their neighbours and passers by.

He says that being very well known in the Sikh community here it was all “very embarrassing.”

The raid came following a call made to police about an apparent gunshot which was supposed to have come from Mr Rayat’s Orange car. These allegations then changed when Mr Rayat was wrongly accused of making gesticulations from the vehicle.

Mr Rayat he didn’t hear the alleged “pop” from the tyre himself, but assumes that this must have come from the puncture they noticed following a trip to the bank in the high street.

Mr Rayat says that despite heightened security in the country at the moment, he can’t believe that something as drastic as this happened just because someone reported a "pop".

Mr Rayat’s 20- year old daughter Manmeet Kaur who went to Hitchin Girl’s School said that the neighbours were laughing in the street, which caused a great deal of embarrassment for the family.

The family are particularly upset that officers ignored their plea to take their shoes off before entering a special room upstairs filled with religious Sikh items and texts, the officers left visible boot prints.

Mr Rayat explained how the treatment of their religious room was a ‘massive insult’ and ‘a direct attack on their religion’.

A police spokeswoman told the local press: “Officers have a duty to act on information received and any reports involving firearms are taken very seriously.

“Police responded to a call at 12.09pm today from a member of the public who stated they had seen two men inside a car in Bunyan Road holding what they believed to be a firearm.

“Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Armed Policing Unit, the BCH Dog Unit and North Herts Intervention attended the location.

“Armed officers detained a man and entered a property before carrying out a search to ensure there were no people inside the address with a firearm.

“A search of the car was also carried out. It was quickly established that there were no firearms present and everything was in order.

“We would like to stress that the occupants of the address searched have not committed any offences, nor were any arrests made.

“We apologise for any offence caused by the search. However, our main priority is to protect both the safety of the public and the safety of our officers, and detain any person or persons who are illegally in possession of a firearm.”

79-year-old rally driver becomes oldest to drive Renault Sport Formula One car

Leave a Comment

At 79 years old, Rosemary Smith is proving age is just a number as she fulfils her lifelong dream of driving a Renault Sport Formula One™ Team car.

As part of Renault Sport Formula One™ Team’s 40th Anniversary celebrations, the team at Renault UK saw an opportunity to make this dream come true for the rally-driver, arranging for her to get behind the wheel of one.

Rosemary initially trained as a seamstress and opened her own dress shop, which unexpectedly became her route into the world of motorsport when one of her clients invited her to navigate in a rally. However, it wasn’t long before the Dublin-born craver of excitement switched to driving and the silverware soon followed.

The Irish racer competed in some of the most iconic rallies around the world, taking home many trophies despite disqualifications and people looking to hold her back in the notoriously male-dominated sport.  A particularly poignant victory was the famous Tulip Rally, which she won in 1965, an achievement which made not only the motorsport world take notice but also Hollywood, with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton sending her a huge bouquet and congratulatory letter.

After years competing and winning at the highest level in world rallying, Rosemary set up her own driving school using Renault Clios and for the past two decades has campaigned for young driver education to be introduced in schools across the country.

Despite these achievements, Rosemary never got the chance to partake in arguably the greatest motorsport experience – driving a Renault Sport Formula One™ Team car – until now.

Speaking of the experience Rosemary said: “Driving an 800bhp car is something I, like many other racers, have always dreamt of but I didn’t think I’d ever have the opportunity to do it, so when the team at Renault UK contacted me I jumped at the chance.

“It was definitely very different to the rally cars I’m used to but was an amazing experience. I could feel myself getting more and more.

“After racing and facing the challenges of competing in a male-dominated sport together for many years I was so happy I was able to share this latest milestone and give me that extra boost. It just goes to show that anyone can fulfil their dreams at any age if they put their mind to it and always follow their passions.”

What’s lurking inside your car?

Leave a Comment


Microbiologists find faecal matter, bugs, germs and bacteria lurking on handbrakes and steering wheels

A study has revealed just how dirty the nation’s cars really are.  With the help of the The University of Nottingham’s Microbiology Investigation Centre, car interiors were swabbed and sent for analysis with some shocking results.

Amid the shards of fingernails, pet hairs and crisp packets, the cars of students, parents, office workers and van drivers were all found to be contaminated by an array of microorganisms. This included environmental bacteria, yeasts, moulds and potential E.coli (found in faecal matter or poo to me and you). Additionally, Staphylococcus bacteria, commonly found on the skin, were identified.

Shockingly, one in 14 (7%) drivers have even witnessed their pets having ‘toilet accidents’ in their motor vehicles during a journey. And it’s not just animals that seem to cause drivers problems, with one in ten (10%) Brits revealing that they have had a passenger vomit in their car.

However, whilst passengers can be the bane of many motorists lives, the findings reveal that nearly half of the people surveyed (49%) candidly state they’re responsible for the poor state of their car – citing the foot wells (32%) and boot (22%) as the dirtiest parts. However, others accuse their children (36%) and grubby friends (10%). Almost one in 10 (9%) say they’re reluctant to clean their cars on a regular basis, especially since their kids will mess it up again.


Worryingly, a quarter of motorists (25%) admitted to only cleaning their car interior once every three months, with a further 8% saying they never bother to at all! This is all the more surprising as half of Brits (51%) have dropped food in their car, whilst 35% recall drinks being spilled or muddy clothes being worn (32%).

Almost three in five people (58%) take full responsibility for cleaning their cars themselves, while others are lazier. They prefer to pay for a professional wash (32%) or pass the chore on to their partner (18%) or children (7%). One in eight (13%) blame the expense of visiting the car wash for their dirty ways.

It seems that despite the nation’s dirty habits when it comes to maintaining their own cars, many raise their standards when it comes to purchasing a new set of wheels. Understandably, one in five Brits (20%) would pay less for a car if it appeared unclean. And one in 20 (5%) even said they viewed a used car and was shocked at how dirty it was inside.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at says: “You normally hear stories of people taking real pride in their car, cleaning it every weekend and ensuring it’s immaculate at all times. It’s really worrying to see, then, just how dirty people are letting their cars get. We were expecting to find some bad stuff from the University of Nottingham’s testing but we didn’t expect to find bacteria relating to eColi.

“The fact that so many say they only clean the interiors of their car once every three months is quite disconcerting. By taking better care of their cars British drivers will help protect their precious cargo from any bacteria and illness but they will also go some way to helping keep the vehicle value when it comes to resale.”

‘Robo’ cars are a no-no

Leave a Comment

Over half of motorists oppose driverless vehicles over safety concerns

ROBO CAR: 62% of drivers said they would feel less safe on the roads alongside other vehicles with no human behind the wheel.

ROBO CAR: 62% of drivers said they would feel less safe on the roads alongside other vehicles with no human behind the wheel.

Motorists could be buying and driving robo cars as early as 2020 with the first trials on Britain's roads due to start next year

Half of motorists oppose driverless cars as Britain takes pole position in the development of self-driving vehicles, according to a new survey.

62 per cent of drivers said they would feel less safe on the roads alongside other vehicles with no human behind the wheel. Futhermore, almost three-quarters (72 per cent) said there would be added complications to resolving insurance disputes involving 'robo cars.'

The new findings - from a new survey of 1,000 motorists by vehicle CCTV specialists SmartWitness - were revealed as the Government made the development of 'autonomous vehicles' a key part of the Queen's Speech.

The Queen said measures in the Modern Transport Bill would 'ensure the UK is at the forefront of technology for new forms of transport, including autonomous and electric vehicles.'

Motorists could be buying and driving robo cars as early as 2020 with the first trials on Britain's roads due to start next year - starting on local roads and gradually extending to the motorway network.

There is still great uncertainty over the new technology with motorists calling for strong safeguards to ensure there is a 'level playing field' with insurance claims involving autonomous cars.

Nine out of ten (91 per cent) support the compulsory introduction of camera technology in all autonomous vehicles so there would be court admissible proof of exactly what had happened in the event of an accident.

The poll found that 52 per cent of motorists oppose the introduction of driverless cars - mainly over fears about road safety.

SmartWitness chief executive Paul Singh said: "It is incredibly exciting that Britain is taking the lead globally in the development of autonomous cars.

"But these new findings from the SmartWitness survey show that there are still real fears from ordinary motorists about what will happen if they are in a collision with an autonomous car.

"Around 40% of all motor insurance claims are disputed, but how do you resolve a dispute when you can only hear evidence from one of the drivers involved?

"The simplest way to eliminate the problem is to make camera technology compulsory in all autonomous vehicles. This will provide court admissible proof in the event of an accident and help to alleviate motorists' fears about the introduction of driverless cars.

Dashboard cameras are now used in more than half of Britain's fleets, according to the Road Haulage Association.

Increasing numbers of private motorists are also using them to guard against 'cash for crash' fraudsters and reduce insurance premiums.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that driverless cars 'might seem like something of science fiction, but the economic potential of the new technology is huge and I am determined the UK gets maximum benefit.'

Most iconic Japanese car ever

1 Comment

nissan-skyline-gtr- (800x450)

Playstation-generation famous Nissan Skyline wins title

The model made famous by the Playstation Generation has been named the ‘Most Iconic Japanese Car Ever’ by followers of Japfest, the biggest celebration of Japanese cars and culture in Europe.

The organisers of the show, which will be held for the first time this year at Silverstone, Northants, carried out a survey among its social media followers to see which performance car would be identified as the most iconic model in Japanese car culture.

The clear winner was the Nissan Skyline, a car that first came to prominence in the UK in 1997 as the star of the Gran Turismo console game.

COOL: Nissan’s Skyline named the most iconic model ever ahead of Europe’s biggest Japanese car celebration

COOL: Nissan’s Skyline named the most iconic model ever ahead of Europe’s biggest Japanese car celebration

Like the game, the Skyline was developed through multiple generations, each one faster and more advanced than its predecessor. The Skyline name has since become synonymous with Japanese performance tuning in the UK and beyond, and a bumper turnout of Skylines is expected at this year’s Japfest events.

Event Manager Katherine Chappell said: “The Nissan Skyline is one of the cars that really kicked off the Japanese tuning craze in the UK, so it’s no surprise to see that it’s been named as the most iconic Japanese performance car of all time.

“Japfest is a real celebration of the culture that it, in part, created, and we look forward to celebrating its success this year among the event’s festival atmosphere.”

The runner-up in the survey was the Toyota Supra, with the Subaru Impreza WRX in third position.

nissan skyline gtr 2 (800x500)

Aston Martin DB10 from ‘Spectre’ up for auction

Leave a Comment
Talking about the DB10 Daniel Craig, who plays Bond, says: “It’s unique and it feels right, and it looks like a James Bond car and it’s got a few secrets.”

Talking about the DB10 Daniel Craig, who plays Bond, says: “It’s unique and it feels right, and it looks like a James Bond car and it’s got a few secrets.”

One of the exclusively created and very special DB10 Bond cars built for the ‘Spectre’ film by Aston Martin will be auctioned off at the London auction house of Christie’s for charity.

The sale, in aid of Médecins Sans Frontières, will take place on 18th February and is expected to raise around £1m.

The auction celebrates the release of the 24th Bond film on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD with 24 special auction lots going under the hammer for charity, led by the Aston Martin DB10.

Production of the DB10 was limited to 10 examples, developed and hand-built by the designers, engineers and artisan craftspeople at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters in the UK for the latest Bond film, Spectre.

The DB10 features a 4.7-litre V8 petrol engine and six-speed manual gearbox. It has an estimated top speed of around 190 mph. The car features an all carbon fibre exterior, while the interior has been handmade using fine luxury leathers, carbon fibre and aluminium.

Until now, Aston Martin had said that they would keep all the cars. This charity auction is a step back from that stance, and a real opportunity for someone with a cool million pounds plus to spare.

aston martin DB10 spectre (800x600)

Dangerous driver behind bars

Leave a Comment
GUILTY: Omar Tariq has been sentenced to three years four months in prison and banned from driving for five years after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving

GUILTY: Omar Tariq has been sentenced to three years four months in prison and banned from driving for five years after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving

Victim would have survived if car was travelling at speed limit

A 31-year-old man from Stourbridge, whose reckless driving resulted in the death of an innocent civilian last year, has this week been sentenced to three years, four months in prison.

Omar Tariq pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at Wolverhampton Crown Court after his white Mercedes convertible car struck and killed 39-year-old Peter Price on 29th November 2015.

Tariq was travelling at 61mph in what was a 40mph speed zone when the collision took place, a black box fitted to the vehicle has revealed.

This information, combined with an analysis of the scene by specialist crash investigators from the Regional Collision Investigation Unit, showed that customer service agent, Tariq, would have been able to stop the car in time had he been travelling within the speed limit.

Despite the best efforts of passers-by, police officers and medics, Mr Price died at the scene as a result of his multiple serious injuries.

Tariq had not been permitted nor insured to drive the car which was a courtesy car loaned to his 23-year-old girlfriend, also from Stourbridge following an accident.

In addition to the jail term handed down by Wolverhampton Crown Court he was also disqualified from driving for five years. His ban will start at the end of his prison sentence.

TRAGIC: Peter Price was returning home from a night out when he was struck down by Tariq’s car

TRAGIC: Peter Price was returning home from a night out when he was struck down by Tariq’s car

His girlfriend, Parvinder Ubhi, 23, a health and safety officer of Jardine Close, was also prosecuted for permitting use of the vehicle without valid insurance and obstructing the police in their execution of their duty by falsely claiming she was driving.

Speaking after the hearing, Peter’s father Bob Harrison said the following on behalf of his family: “It has been a long and very difficult fifteen months. The loss of Peter has been devastating to all who knew and loved him.

“Pete was a fantastic guy and will always be sorely missed.

“We would like to thank all of the police and officials who have had contact with us through this time we have found their conduct to be exemplary.”

Sergeant Adam Green, from the Regional Collision Investigation Unit, added: “It is clear from the statement provided by his family that Peter was a much loved man who is greatly missed. Omar Tariq’s actions have meant that the rest of their lives will be spent without him.

“The simple fact is that speed kills. People who speed may think that this would never happen to them, but clearly, in Tariq’s case it did and the devastation caused is irreparable.”

Mazda MX-5 wins car of the year

Leave a Comment
CHEERFUL: Mazda MX-5 chief engineer Nobuhiro Yamamoto leads his designers, engineers and media team in celebrating the roadster’s car of the year victory

CHEERFUL: Mazda MX-5 chief engineer Nobuhiro Yamamoto leads his designers, engineers and media team in celebrating the roadster’s car of the year victory

Mazda MX-5 chief engineer Nobuhiro Yamamoto celebrating car of the year victory

In a close battle, Mazda’s MX-5 held onto its narrow lead to beat the fast-finishing Honda S660 mini-sports car to win the Car of the Year Japan award.

At an award ceremony held at the Tokyo International Exchange Center in Tokyo Bay, the MX-5 sports car tallied 442 votes, pipping the Honda S660 mini-coupe by 41 votes when the last of the sixty juror’s votes were read out. The BMW 2-Series, which finished in third place, totalled 177 votes to pick up the Import Car of the Year gong.

This win gives the Hiroshima based carmaker back-to-back car of the year trophies after it captured the major prize last year for the Mazda2.

Accepting the award, Mazda’s vice president in charge of product planning and head of the company’s Skyactiv technology R&D, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, said: “We went through some tough times during the financial crisis and 2011 earthquake, but we stuck to our founding principles and created a winning formula.

“We think the jurors’ response to our MX-5 shows that sports cars are making a strong comeback in Japan. This award means a lot to our development team.”

The Suzuki Alto picked up the Small Mobility award, while the Tesla Model S, entering the award process for the first time in Japan, won the Innovation award.

The Car of the Year Japan steering committee’s Special Award was presented to two companies this year. The first award went to Japan’s largest car importer Yanase, an acknowledgement of its 100th year in promoting import car culture nationwide. The second trophy was presented to the Toyota Mirai – which did not meet the criteria – to enter the main award, for its technological achievement in advancing the spread of hydrogen powered fuel-cell vehicles.

One to watch…

Leave a Comment

BAC Mono 2 (800x442)

Luxury British car maker heralds as one of the “best and fastest” growing businesses

Liverpool-based company, Briggs Automotive Company (BAC), has been picked out as one of ten companies destined for rapid expansion.
The luxury British car maker, which makes the highly acclaimed, luxury single-seater Mono, earned its place due to its recent expansion and was lauded for “selling brand Britain overseas”.

With a total staff of just 22, BAC is the smallest company on the list of ten rising stars, yet still enjoyed sales of more than £2.4m in the last year.

The company sold 21 Mono supercars around the world in 2015, and has attracted investment from international backers to help push this further in the next 12 months. Thanks to this investment, and several newly opened showrooms around the word, BAC has already more than doubled this year’s sales for 2016, and is on line to go even further.

The latest of these showrooms was launched in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Bay last month, with the new dealership selling eight of its annual allocation of 12 cars on the launch night alone.

The launch in Hong Kong is further proof of the company’s strong position in the Far East, following on from a successful introduction to Japan earlier in 2015.

BAC’s bespoke nature appeals strongly to customers in Far East Asia, who value the car’s bespoke driver fitment program, which offers a custom-made seat and steering wheel. There are also almost limitless options for personalisation in terms of trim and paint options.

Far East customers will get the 2016 Model Year Mono, which comes equipped with an all-new 305bhp 2.5-litre Mountune four-cylinder engine that is capable of a 0-60mph time of just 2.8sec. The ultra lightweight Mono weighs just 580kg, which means it boasts a staggering power-to-weight ratio of 526bhp per tonne.

BAC Founder Neil Briggs said: “We are delighted to be recognised by Fast Track and the Sunday Times for our recent success. We hope to continue this going into 2016, and are well-placed to do so with our new dealerships in Japan and Hong Kong. With strong sales in America, and our recently gained EU approval, we are well placed to take BAC onto the next stage of its exciting development.”

Stopping the clocking: Local student tackles false mileage claims

Leave a Comment
DRIVE: Ruhban Ahmed’s concept, to log mileage of cars on a database, has been shortlisted for the final of a national competition

DRIVE: Ruhban Ahmed’s concept, to log mileage of cars on a database, has been shortlisted for the final of a national competition

A Huddersfield student has made the final six, from thousands of entries, in the Autocar Next Generation Award, with his concept to stop illegal mileage adjustment potentially having a massive impact on the automotive industry.

21-year-old Ruhban Ahmed, originally from Deeplish in Rochdale, has thought of using the Internet of Things (IoT) in a way that imposes the car to upload the number of miles travelled at the end of each journey to a database.

According to vehicle history experts, Hire Purchase Investigation (HPI), nearly half-a-million cars on the road have false mileage, causing unknown dangers from worn cars and the change from analogue to digital odometers has only made the practice easier, explains Ruhban.

“The problems with ‘clocking’ mileage is rising again, after years of reported decline,” he said.

“One of the reasons behind the digital changeover was to prevent clocking, but the change to digital has allowed mileage correction companies to start up, which offer services to alter a car’s mileage all by simply plugging in the right kind of software, with virtually no manual work involved,” he said.

Now, in the second year of his BA (Hons) in Product Design, Ruhban believes the recession has had a big impact on the rise of illegal mileage correction.  

“The way people purchase cars has changed as many people lease their cars now,” he said.

“When leasing a car, in the contract you are often only allowed to do a certain number of miles, if you exceed the mileage you then have to pay extra – this can be seen as the main reason behind the problem.”

Ruhban originally submitted his idea through a 500-word submission in August 2015 and will now be presenting his proposal through a two-round judging process that will be carried out by senior industry officials on the 10th November.  

He will find out if he has won at the annual The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) dinner in London on 24th November.

Happy new gear

Leave a Comment

Toyota GT86

The Toyota GT86 isn’t a car for standing still, so it’s no surprise that it’s raced ahead with a refreshed line-up and style detail changes.

At heart it remains every inch the best driver’s car to be had for the money – and now for even less cash, thanks to a price reduction.

New wheels and new colours lead the features list, with the range-topping Aero model running on gloss black 18-inch rims and available with a hot GT86 Orange paint finish. In line with customer preference, Aero is now exclusively available with six-speed manual transmission. The larger alloys are also newly available as an option on the core GT86 model.

The Primo model, entry point to the range, moves on to 16-inch alloys and comes with a £300 lower price tag. An on-going customer offer is available, adding a further £505 saving to deliver an on-the-road price of £22,195. Pricing for other models in the range is unchanged.

What has not changed is the fundamentally brilliant GT86 dynamic package: its proven combination of a normally aspirated 2.0-litre boxer engine, low centre of gravity, rear-wheel drive and a beautifully balanced chassis continues to deliver the exhilarating and rewarding driving experience that earned it Top Gearmagazine’s Car of the Year title. The engine now complies with Euro 6 emissions standards, with no change to its fuel economy and CO2 performance.

This is not the end of the GT86 story for 2015: a new special edition model will be joining the range this summer, details to be announced soon.

The 2016 GT86 is available to order now with first deliveries to customers in mid-July.

The best or nothing…

Leave a Comment

Since 2004 Enzo Prestige has been a market leader in supplying premium quality hire cars to clients up and down the country and now, in its tenth year anniversary, the Dewsbury-based supplier insists the best is still yet to come.

With a fleet of luxury cars growing just as quick as their reputation, you can be guaranteed that there is a vehicle for just about every occasion on offer at Enzo Prestige.

Top-of-the-range car models such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Ranger Rover are all on show and available to drive away today, with clients safe in the knowledge that their wheels will certainly stand out in the crowd.

Enzo Prestige

Enzo Prestige

Competitive prices are available for every customer so whether you need a motor for just one day or a whole month, you will be sure to find something that matches your needs at Enzo Prestige.

Fancy something a little bit more special? Why not treat yourself, or someone else, to a supercar experience that will never be forgotten.

Amongst the growing fleet of cars available for hire are Audi R8, Bentley, Porsche and many more – all subject to availability, which not only ooze in luxury but also in style.

Enzo Prestige

Enzo Prestige

As well as providing cars for day-to-day use, the company is one of the leading and longest established prestige wedding fleet specialists in the UK, catering for all the travel arrangements on the big day whether it be Asian themed or English.

With a dedicated experienced team available by your side throughout the planning process, you can be assured that everything will go the way you want it to on your special day.

Rolls Royce Ghost and Phantom models, as well as Limousines and 4x4’s, can all be hired from very competitive rates.

Yasar Iqbal, director of Enzo Prestige explained why he set up the company a decade ago and how the name Enzo Prestige has become synonymous, not only with quality, but with customer satisfaction.

“I believe Enzo in essence is all about sharing our passion for cars with our clients,” he said.

“Each car is individually chosen so you can experience a special feeling time after time and we promise your expectations will not only be met but exceeded.

“Vehicles can be same from company to company – but the service cannot. We want you to explore the individuality of the whole Enzo brand. Any car you hire from us will be the best in its league as we believe, here at Enzo, that it’s either the best or nothing.”


Enzo Prestige

Enzo Prestige

Enzo Prestige
Garnett St, Dewsbury, WF13 4AT
Phone: 01924 403 887
Twitter: @enzoprestige