Thursday 24 January 2013

The Volvo V40, now the safest car, is it a good lease car?

Volvo, an early adopted of seat belts and pioneer of driving lights have continued their safety first message with the new V40.  As well as being a great drive, it was the aim of the design team at Volvo, now owned by the Chinese company, Greely, to take this car to new levels of safety as part of their target to have cars that nobody will die in by the year of 2020. 

Clearly, advances in technologies have helped the safety drive, with modern strong plastics protecting pedestrians like never before, and that is before the sub-bonnet airbag is deployed to protect them from the engine.  The V40 achieve an NCAP 5 star award with the highest score yet awarded, this for the protection of passengers. So we know you can get a great lease deal and drive a safe car.

Many aspects of the safety of this car are proactive like lane changing avoidance and auto city braking with pedestrian warning. All fantastic, but of little use if not driven safely.  The car has more airbags that has previously been used on a car, including whiplash protection and air curtains.

  Mechanically, the V40 has benefitted from input from the parent company, but basically it continues with Ford running gear starting at the 1.6 diesel and through to the 5 cylinderFord Focus STderived engine.  Inside, the Volvo V40 is fitted out really well, quality and design is great.  We looked at one with leather and the quality of the seating is great.   At,   we love the V40 , click here to get leasing figures.

Carlease UK Video Blog | Volvo V40 new model | Car Leasing Deals

Carlease UK Video Blog | Volvo V40 Cross Country | Car Leasing Deals

Carlease UK Video Blog | Peugeot 107 | Car Leasing Deals

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Carlease UK Video Blog|New VW Golf Bluemotion Tech|Car Leasing Deal

You and your lease car during these three days of snow

A recent AA survey found that two thirds of drivers use a scraper, but only 13% of people clear their cars of ice before they start to drive. It’s clear that young drivers are the worst, with up to 21% admitting that they will willingly drive with some windows frozen. Young drivers also make up the highest proportion of drivers who admit to using hot water. According to the BBC Weather we are in for some more snow and freezing conditions, so we have given some thought to how best to defrost your car, whether owned or leased, in a morning. 
    Hot water is a risky strategy on a frozen morning, a sudden change in temperature can easily crack glass, something which cannot be repaired . Also, the water will cool quickly and leave you with wipers frozen to the screen.

 Consider the following, use a scraper whilst your car is running, with the air recirculation and switch on the heated rear window and heated mirrors. Remove any snow to reduce cooling. Stay with your car when its running, the theft risk is more than just loosing your car,  it may even be that your insurance company will not pay out if your keys are in an unattended car.

Do not use your wipers until your blowers are warm and the ice on the windows has turned to water.

Warming an engine up seems like an obvious thing to do. But it is the period at which a car uses most fuel, runs worst and in deed it may be bad for your engine.    Petrol and diesel engines need to warm up differently, the engine block of a diesel is a much heavier unit than petrol and needs more warming, so it needs some throttle applied and ideally driving.

In conclusion, the most efficient and quickest of all seems to be a quality screen cover that you remove and put in your boot for later, allied to a soft brush for snow removal and a good scraper.   Scrape the windows, remove the cover, fire the engine and go.  Its more fuel efficient, its safer and you wont break any glass.

Driving in, and preparing for, snow and icy weather

Winter can bring driving challenges that occur only every few years in the UK. But, if you live in an area of the country where the snow is guaranteed, then the following list may just be useful.

Do not assume that you are going to get stuck in a place you don’t know, in fact most call outs to emergency services happen surprisingly close to home.  Take precautions immediately from moving off. 

Make sure your tyres have good tread and that your tyre pressures are correct. If you can, get some winter tyres, I will run a full blog on these in the next few days. (Yeti on snow tyres tested)

If you do lots of short journeys, your battery will likely have more power drawn from it during starting than you replace on your journey.  Try to do some longer journeys, ensuring that your engine gets to running temperature.   When starting your engine, as a matter of practice always depress your clutch to reduce the work that your battery has to do.

Ensure that your screen wash is kept topped up and use a winter additive to prevent freezing. Don’t waste it on windows covered in snow or thick ice. Clear your windows with a scraper and never use hot water.

Lubricate all door locks with WD40 to prevent freezing . In an emergency heat your key with a lighter. In your boot, it is worth having some sand/salt or cat litter, gloves, a hat and a shovel if you can.  Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone.

When you pull away, take account of the likelihood of black ice and snow taking away all control that you have. The secret without any doubt is your speed.  Start slowly, travel slowly and brake gently. Ideally, use your gears to slow you down. 

Lane discipline changes on a motorway during heavy snow.   The lane to be in, at all times, is the one which has least snow on it.

When you are going downhill, yes you guessed it, slow down, but even more.   Stopping distances downhill on ice can be enormous.  If it starts to snow, make sure your headlights are on and keep your wipers going.

If you do get stuck in snow, turning your steering wheel from side to side can dig down to the road surface to help traction. Ideally though, get out your new shovel and clear in front of your driving wheels, they are the ones with a pile of snow behind them.  Then put down some sand/salt or even cat litter to provide some traction and off you go again. 

If you do get stuck, put on your warm clothes that you have now packed in your boot. Run the engine intermittently to stay warm and occasionally check the exhaust is not blocked.  This will only happen rarely as a hot exhaust tends to melt snow and ice, but if it does happen the effects can be deadly.

Thursday 17 January 2013

New Audi A3 Sportback has won the What Car? Car of the year award

What Car? have described the A3 Sportback as having great refinement and probably the best quality cabin ever seen in a small family car.   At Carlease Uk, we have for many years championed the A3 and its predecessors as an ideal lease car or in private terms, a suitable private contract hire car.  Standard engine choice is wide enough to fit any bill. The one petrol is a 1.4 turbo, driven gently it drinks gently, spin the turbo and floor the accelerator and it goes very well.  Diesels are a 103bhp 1.6, 148 bhp 2.0 and an 181 bhp version of the 2.0 that goes really well.

The latest version A3 is a real mile eater.  Competent on any road surface, it instils confidence in the driver, backing that up with ABS, ESP, fantastic brakes and 5* ENCAP  safety rating.  Grip is always superb and is controlled via a sensitive, balanced steering. Stability control is of course standard, along with front and side airbags, the bonnet pops up to protect a pedestrian from injury, although Audi’s newly developed pre-sense system is an extra at this moment.  An alarm and deadlocks are fitted to the car as standard.  

Audi’s latest manual gearboxes have benefitted from VW r&d for the new Golf as well as the engineering prowess of recently aquired Porsche. The box is slick, positive and rarely makes any kind of complaining noise, something which most people will be familiar with in their own car.  The clutch feels more Japanese than Germanic, and for us having grown up with this product, it’s a touch unusual.  The brakes are fantastic and only add to the good feelling of driving this fantastically engineered machine.

Audi, along with VW, have introduced new lighter steels as well as aluminium into the production of the new A3. Aerodynamically the car is better than its predecessor and with more efficient engines and added start/stop, we expect  great fuel consumption figures  and ECO style benefit in kind figures from the reduced emissions.

Everyone that has sat in, looked in or driven our A3 has commented on the quality of the dashboard. Materials and fit are not what you would expect in this car. It is as good as any Mercedes Benz we have seen and I cant think of a better example in this area.   Inside, the new car is, in keeping with VW groups policy, slightly bigger. Wheelbase has increased by 40mm and has benefitted the rear legroom significantly. The boot is larger to and sports an adjustable floor level.  

Spec wise, the SE is our choice, with Bluetooth,  USB connectivity, voice control and air-conditioning. Choice of colours is good and interior colour is driven by the exterior colour.  We cant disagree with What Car?, the new A3 is superb.

Vauxhall's new engine and Skoda's new test scheme

Vauxhall are launching a new more efficient diesel

Vauxhall have been working hard on a range of new diesel engines.  They have targeted a minimum of 10% improved fuel consumption and also hope to have a quieter, smoother engine for the market by mid this year. With efficiency come emissions and Vauxhall expect to have among the first Euro 6 engines.  Early indications are a 1.6 litre producing 136 bhp and 236 lb ft torque. This is just one of 13 new engines targeted over the next three years.

Skoda announce a test drive scheme for the New Octavia

When its launched in March, Skoda is intending to double it penetration of the corporate sector. Last year, Skoda say they supplied around a third of their Octavia to fleet, but, going forward they intend supplying 60% to fleet, 19,000 cars, and intend getting to that number in three years.  Such is the confidence in the new car.  To be fair to Skoda, the car has been targeted at the fleet market feature like Bluetooth and cruise control being the first and second most requested extras by the fleet market.  Efficiency and therefore benefit in kind are superb, with the new 1.6 Green line version achieving 83 mpg and 89 g/km .  Leasing companies are now confident of the future values of the Skoda range as quality has  proven to be superb, our own Yeti (test drive)   is a joy to use and live with.  The new Octavia is already expected to have great resale values so making it a good value lease deal.

Monday 14 January 2013

Jaguar Land Rover as announce the creation of 800 new jobs

Worldwide demand for their product, already buoyant following the launch of the Evoque, has again grown following the launch of the latest model Range Rover.  The new jobs will nearly all be created at the manufacturing base at Solihull.

The plant is the production base for the Discovery and Defender models and Indian and Chinese demand has again shown year on year growth for both, as a group sales are up. In fact China is now a bigger market for Land Rover than the UK.

Land Rover is owned by Tata, an Indian based company that have worked world wide for decades and have made best use of this experience since buying Land Rover to take the product to new markets.  Land Rover actually exports to 177 countries, with Jaguar not far behind at 176. A recent report by the BBC, has highlighted the fantastic export success of Jaguar and Land Rover. 

The largest growth, unsurprisingly, occurred in China.  Last year, sales of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles rose by 80%, on the back of year on year growth.  It is intended to increase the number of dealerships in China by as much as 30% in the coming year.  Its not easy though.  The largest German manufacturers were first into China and Mercedes, BMW & Audi still account for the bulk of luxury cars.  As much as this market is growing, it is still incredibly competitive.

In November, Jaguar Land Rover agreed a deal with a Chinese company called Chery, this will enable the manufacture of JLR product in China and will overcome importing restrictions.  A second plant in Saudi Arabia is also under consideration.

It is intended to produce cars bespoke for the Chinese market at the Chinese factory, an unusual step for a European manufacturer.   

Additional fuelling of growth has come from the Russian, US and far east markets.  Production for these markets with be catered for in the UK. 

Wednesday 9 January 2013

At last, the new 2013 model VW Golf

VW have again redesigned the Golf and changed it sufficiently that it still obviously a Golf but in reality made significant changes. The car is lower at the front and the wheels have been moved towards the front to make the car look smaller.

It is built on the new MQB chassis platform that will be used in the VW group for the Audi A3, the Seat Leon and the VW Tiguan and Touran.  It has already been used for the Skoda Yeti (test drive) and the upcoming new Octavia (blog).

The new Golf is actually 6cm longer than the outgoing model, 1cm wider but 3cm lower. Its wheelbase has been increased by 6cm.  Impressively, VW have managed to make the new Golf 100 kg lighter than the previous one.  In addition to being lighter, VW have given it the newly developed engines that they have been working on in anticipation of new CO2 targets and changes to BIK taxes across Europe.  The new engines averagely produce 14% less CO2.

      Being lighter, more aerodynamic and new more efficient engines, it comes as no surprise that the new                     Golf is more economical, and aimed squarely at the car leasing companies and lease car deals.   Starting with 84bhp petrol that achieves 58mpg, twinned with 1.4 petrol at 138bhp that uses cylinder deactivation to achieve 59 mpg.    Diesels start with a 103bhp 1.6 that does 74 mpg and emits just 99 g/km CO2.  A Bluemotion version of this engine emits just 88 g/km CO2 and does 88mpg.  An all new 148 bhp diesel is said to average 69mpg.

2013 Volkswagen Golf Mk7-5

Inside, the cabin is larger and 1.5cm increase legroom in the rear is really obvious.  The boot has increased from 350 litres to 380 and is right up with the best in class. The dashboard is clear, high quality and logical, VW switchgear has for years been among the very best and is bettered by no-one.   Electronic parking brake is now standard across the new golf range, something which is you have a car on lease is really handy to have a facility that applies the brake automatically for you.

The 2013 Golf has a fantastic range of useful and sophisticated safety and luxury kit. Bluetooth is standard, is big believers in Bluetooth for lease vehicle,   for someone who leases and does high mileage, its absolutely essential.  Sat Nav is available on most models and even a hard drive to load CD’s onto.  VW have incorporated their new fatigue detection and lane keeping assists as well.  Traffic sign detection will feature on much of the range.

Friday 4 January 2013

Nissan Launch the Qashqai and Qashqai +2 360 Special Edition

Nissan Launch the Qashqai and Qashqai +2 360 Special Edition, a great addition to the already popular lease car. 

Nissan has launched the Qashquai and +2 360 special edition to replace the N-tec version, that being the present best selling model of the Qashqai. All engines will be available, but we still expect the 1.6 dCi to be the best seller.  In this category of car, a combined cycle of 62.8mpg is right up the most economical and the Nissan/Renault diesels are little gems, its suitable for a company car or a private lease by virtue of its great economy and low emissions for reduced benefit in kind. Rarely can a crossover vehicle be said to have Eco Credentials, but we think this one has. 
                                                   Nissan Qashqai at CarLease UK

Standard trim in the 360 with include a clever trick using a number of cameras, positioned instead of parking sensors.  This allows a 360 degree view of the perimeter of the car for the driver and is displayed on what Nissan are calling an AVM or Around View Monitor.  The effect is that the monitor can display a generated overhead view of the car using the cameras which is ideal for parking. In addition, roof rails in gloss black and 18-inch black alloys in black are added as well as privacy glass and a panoramic roof.   If you are a fan of pearlescent colours, then Nissan obliges with a Pearl white in addition to the standard colours.

Inside the fit and trim are typical Nissan,  tight fitting high quality plastics with good switchgear and a logical, organised dashboard. The door trims, arm rests and seats are part leather trimmed. If you are going to spend lots of miles in a lease car, then the Qashqai would be a great place to be, a superb company car choice. 

The Qashqai, like many other crossovers, like the Kia Sportage, XC Volvo range, VW Tiguan, Ford Kuga and the Skoda Yeti  (test drive),   are all available as 2wd and 4wd versions. We bring the very widest choice possible to you, so you can choose crossover lease deal that suits you.   This time of year, interest changes from the 2wd to leasing a 4wd .   At CarLease UK, we have lease deals on 4wd that put them within reach of the masses, either via a company car lease or personal leasing.    

Carlease Qashqai interior view Nissan Qashqai at CarLease UK

We supply all over the UK, but if you are local to us, we are between Liverpool, Manchester and Warrington,  then why not drop in and see us, you will always be welcome, including Saturdays.  If you want to find us, have a look at our Google + page for our map and some directions.

                                                      Qashqai camera image at Carlease UK

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