The importance of the motor vehicle… 

Torbay Weekly

Continuing my article from last week, it was of no surprise to find the role of the motor vehicle is even more necessary and important in France.

It is apparent by the number of large commercial vehicles even more goods are transported by road there which has been beneficial for all drivers.

Their motorways between major cities are well maintained and seem to be under a policy of continued improvement to cope with increasing traffic.

In crossing the country from west to east, I was pleasantly surprised at not only the standard of the motorways themselves but the standard of the driving.

The French are far better at letting their fellow road users know what their intentions are well in advance and are also more courteous in allowing other cars and commercial vehicles to overtake when traffic is heavy.

This is also essential for one very good reason.

In general, on the motorways, the French drive faster than we do.

Their limit is some 10 miles per hour higher than ours and therefore more concentration, anticipation and indication of movement is required.

They have also many by-passes around their major cities but expect road users to drive more slowly in built-up areas.

Unlike the UK, they have the space to provide wide roads and large car parks to ease the situation.

Their rail service is also fast and efficient but appears to handle passengers rather than goods.

If we are all going to continue to improve the level of emissions and improve the quality of the air, thus reducing global warming, this may well be a problem for them in the future.

Back here in the UK, we await the new vehicle September registration details which are expected to be well down on the same month in 2020 as a result of shortage of stocks.

Many dealers sold out of particular models and Britain’s best-selling car the Ford Fiesta is sold out until the launch of the new model, expected in dealer showrooms in January 2022.

Shortages continue to affect markets around the world but as stocks of used cars have grown from part-exchanges in September there will be increased availability and the feeling in the trade is that used car prices have peaked.

Certain models will be in short supply and difficult to source.

The growth in electric-powered vehicles continues at a steady rate but here is an interesting thought for those of you with classic cars and wish to continue to drive them with a greener solution.

There are now a number of specialist companies converting these cars to electric using second hand batteries and equipment from used Nissan Leafs and Teslas.

Currently costs are as high as £20,000 but are expected to come down to £5,000 in the future.

The owners of these cars fall into two camps – one who wish to drive their cars on a regular basis and are happy to live with the changes or those who are not prepared to lose the throaty roar of a combustion engine and would be prepared to contribute to global warming in other ways.

For example, using these cars on fewer occasions. No doubt the debate will develop.

Keep safe and keep smiling. I look forward to next week.