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Tag Archives: Cars

Sprucing up old plastic headlights

At ten years old, our cars’ plastic headlights were badly crazed. as I tweeted: A PoliCraft alloy, brass and copper polishing kit from @Halfords_uk worked a treat on tired plastic headlights pic.twitter.com/PEWOeUvvPQ — Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerMP) February 1, 2015 Available here. I strongly suggest you keep the polishing head moving: if you let it dwell in one place, expect damage.

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The Government’s plan to “decarbonise the transport fleet”

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Following a Transport Committee oral evidence session on Low Carbon Vehicles, I have received a letter from the Minister, Norman Baker MP (no relation). It’s not necessary to reproduce the lot, but I do wonder if car enthusiasts, or indeed drivers generally, realise that: … the Carbon Plan 2011 showed that we need to virtually decarbonise the car fleet by 2050 and new cars by 2040 to meet our 2050 80% GHG reduction target. To have a reasonable chance of […]

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Crony capitalism is so entrenched, we scarcely even spot it

The Transport Committee met today for an evidence session on low carbon vehicles. It illustrated that crony capitalism is now not merely entrenched and passed over, but borne out of the good intentions of a global regulatory elite. In the first session, we learned that “consumer demand is lagging policy”, which I translated as “people don’t want to buy these expensive vehicles” (I’ll link to the transcript later). We learned that electric vehicles are expensive and impractical: £30,000 for a […]

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Arbitrary and capricious power anyone?

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Successive governments have incentivised people to buy ‘greener’ cars which use less fuel. Apart from outrageously high fuel duty with 20% VAT on top, the other tool has been Vehicle Excise Duty graded to promote low CO2 cars. Having herded people down this road, apparently the Government now finds it cannot afford to lose the tax revenue. The Telegraph reports Drivers punished for going green: The Daily Telegraph has learnt that government officials have begun private discussions with the motoring industry […]

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Coping with heavy snow (or why I am a winter tyre bore)

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The Royal Air Force used to send me to Bardufoss in Arctic Norway, in winter. I learned there that, if you want to drive on snow, use winter tyres and, if you want to drive on ice, have studs in them. The point was hammered home when we went to Ørland near Trondheim, south of the Arctic Circle, for a month from mid-September. We drove there in British cars, using the ferry from Newcastle to Bergen, and of course they were […]

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Car tax

Having just paid £245 car tax for the year, I am reminded of my prior advocacy of the abolition of car tax. Needless to say, it has not encouraged me to buy a slower car: I’ll be running this one for at least another two years, whatever. In the meantime, I can’t help noticing that motoring is still predominantly a process of paying tax…

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The Mazda 3 diesel – surprisingly satisfactory

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The Saab is in for a service and Hughes, being also a Mazda dealer, loaned me this diesel Mazda 3. It’s really quite good. Mazda 3 courtesy car in the snow, originally uploaded by stevenjbaker. The 1.6 litre engine is astonishing. Matched to a six-speed gearbox, it can pull fourth on the motorway without seeming over stretched. Yet pop it into sixth at 50 mph and it pulls strongly, given full boot on the long travel throttle. All the controls […]

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