Monday 5 December 2016

Parking: why it can be a nightmare; Skoda 25 years with VW; Helping teens. Vans. Recalls.

Published 30/03/2016 | 02:30

Takata.
Takata.

I think most people dislike parking. I see from a recent piece of research that half the drivers interviewed said they'd be prepared to drive further from their destination to avoid having to park in a tight spot.

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Some said they just would not parallel park at all and would pay somewhere else.

I honestly don't know how I'd get in or out of some slots without a parking aid. The beep-beeps are nearly essential now for peace of mind, aren't they?

I feel sorry for those who don't have them as I watch them make four, five, six attempts to not just park but give themselves enough room to get out as well.

We often forget about how difficult that can be for some drivers or passengers.

I'm not exaggerating when I say four, five, six attempts. The study found it took an average of five tries. Apart from the old nerves, it can also be extremely hard on the clutch.

*

It is hard to believe a quarter of a century has passed since Volkswagen took over Skoda.

The latter went from being a poor relation to what Volkswagen must view as a prize asset now.

Indeed there are times I wonder if comparisons don't send a tickle of competitive unease up some Volkswagen execs' spine given the enormous strides the Czech Republic automaker has made.

I also think it was a stroke of genius by Skoda to make it clear just how much of their cars are Volkswagen based.

Some brands shy away from association with Big Daddy but Skoda made a virtue of it. Here's to another 25 years of reasonably priced cars.

* Nice to see a genuinely worthy cause being supported. Toyota Ireland's donation of €12,000 to Teen-Line Ireland is an excellent example of that.

This is a free phone and text service to help young people through difficult times. The helpline provides a confidential support service.

The non-profit organisation relies solely on charitable contributions. It is shocking that, like a lot of other services, it has to depend on contributions so Toyota are to be commended for their gesture.

* No doubt it is a sign of the burgeoning commercials market - and an indication of how well things are going economically - that SEAT are bringing in a new Ibiza van.

Prices start at €10,460 excluding VAT for the petrol with the diesel kicking off at €11,995 excluding VAT.

We get a lot of queries here about what to buy and lots of times we suggest a small car-van like this is the answer because people don't need a car and van.

* Volkswagen here are recalling 431 Touaregs built between 2011 and 2016 to check out a potentially faulty pedal mechanism.

A statement said: "A circlip could be loose on the bearing bracket for pedals." A number of Porsche Cayennes are also being recalled but I don't have exact figures.

And Renault is recalling just 21 ZOEs built before October 6, 2014 - to correct the 'small possibility' of the front wheel-arch liner potentially causing damage to the front flexible brake hose.

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