TOPS NEWS May 2016

From June 8th, the ‘paper counterpart’ of the driving licence will become invalid and will be replaced with an online system which holds the details of all licenced drivers.  Motorists with old-style paper driving licences from before the photocard’s introduction in 1998 will not be affected and may continue to use them.   


When a car is sold the unexpired tax automatically becomes void.  From the moment of purchase the new owner has to tax the car even if there appears to be a valid disc in the window.  Many motorists are being fined and having their cars towed away by the DVLA — at the rate of 8,000 per month.  There is no appeal possible despite many errors being made.



Chrysler is withdrawing from the UK market from March 2017.  Chrysler customers will be able to take their cars to Jeep dealers in the UK for warranty, service or repair work after that date.



The German GP for July 19th has been cancelled as both the Nurburgring and Hockenheim failed to finalise financial negotiations.  The last time Germany failed to hold a GP was in 1960.  Monza is also under threat for the same reason although an ‘insider’ tells us that it will not be cancelled.


Enfield Borough Council spends £8 million on its roads p.a. but has paid out over £14,000 for pothole damage to cars in the past three years compared with neighbouring  Haringey who paid out £37,000


23 million cars were sold in China in 2014, more than a quarter of the global total.


Aston Martin is due to build a car for women drivers, with somewhere to put their handbag and shoes. (?!)  Aston Martin car sales fell from 7,300 in 2007 to c 4,200 last year.


Ecclestone wants glamorous ladies on the F1 grid.  "This is not so much a sporting matter," Ecclestone added, "but a part of the show business of Formula One."


A KPMG report says the driverless (automonous) car industry will generate 320,000 new jobs in the  UK by 2030, while delivering major benefits to society and a £51 billion boost to UK economy.   However Dr Michael Sivak of Michigan University predicts that there will be a 27.8% rise in travel sickness in driverless cars.  


London's roads will soon carry a fleet of electric-powered black taxis with ultra low emissions, after Geely invested £250 million into a new manufacturing plant in Coventry.  Jaguar Land Rover (owned by India’s Tata Motors) is to invest £400 million in a new engine plant also in Coventry.


Legislation allowing closed-road events on mainland Britain has been approved by the government and has received Royal Assent. 


Local authorities in London collected £285 million from parking and traffic penalties using CCTV cameras within just five years.  A total of £312 million was raised by local authorities across the UK.  Camden was highest collecting £36,328,321.  


The use of CCTV "spy cars" to catch people who park illegally is to be banned.  Parking wardens will instead have to fix tickets directly to windscreens.    


A gang which targeted ‘expensive’ houses around London while the owners were away has been jailed for a total of 17 years after admitting 21 burglaries of jewellery, cash, Ferraris, Porsches and Mini Coopers.  



Dealers registered 492,774 new cars in March, an increase of 6%.  The most popular car was the Ford Fiesta then Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus. 

The UK motor industry has an annual turnover of £64 billion and represents 10% of total goods exported.


BMW has recalled 80,000 cars in China due to flawed wiring in the engines.


The French government, is to increase its stake in Renault by €1.23 billion to 19.7%.  Renault used to be entirely government owned.


A legal loophole is allowing foreign criminals to work as taxi drivers without disclosing their crimes because employers are prevented from checking them under Human Rights rules. 


Councils have been advised to have their traffic wardens allow drivers a 10-minute grace and give warnings not fines.  They have not officially agreed!


Production of the Defender Land Rover is to cease this year and Sir Paul Smith has been employed to design a bespoke version featuring 27 colours including a hand-painted bee on the roof.  



Shell is to sell 185 of its 735 service stations in the UK although they will continue to sell Shell fuel for 5 years.


Nat Rothschild has launched Maaxi, a Taxi-sharing service in London which allows users to book a seat with other passengers travelling the same route.


Apparently only 12% of British men wash their own car regularly.  In Germany people are not allowed to wash their cars at home, only at a registered car wash area.



Islington residents will have to pay an extra £96 to park a diesel vehicle.


Police statistics show that there were 12 accidents involving cyclists every day over the past 5 years.


Half of Scotland’s electric vehicle charging points did not charge a single vehicle in August last year say the RAC.


The speed limit for lorries on dual carriageways has been increased from 50 to 60 mph.



Road deaths rose in France in 2014 and a study concluded that 51% of French motorists are ignoring the highway code.

Abridged version of TOPS NEWS sent to members