The day you 'think about' buying; best to hold value; import splurge; icy VW
Shortcuts with Eddie...
Last week I reported that a sizeable number of people were 'considering' buying a new car this year.
This week comes new data which suggest most of us will really start to think about doing so (buying new or used) on January 21 - a sort of collective mindset if you like.
Anyway that's what Carzone are saying.
Its experts are claiming that those of us who do plan to buy will opt for a car under two years.
And, based on data from previous years, they say Monday next is the big 'think-about it' day for many.
They also report that the Volkswagen Golf was the most searched for car on the website last year.
But there was lots of interest too in the different categories of cars - such as the Ford Fiesta, Mercedes E-Class, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Passat, Audi A6 Avant, BMW X5, Toyota Yaris hybrid and Nissan Leaf.
Another report, this time from Done Deal, concludes that the number of used cars sold was down 3.6pc last year.
Still, 640,326 changed hands (compared with 664,253 for the corresponding period in 2017).
Volkswagen was the most popular make (87,992 changed hands - that's 13.8pc of the market), followed by Toyota (73,834), Ford (71,882), Nissan (49,938) and Audi (37,714).
Interesting that it claims the car to maintain its value best since 2015 is the Skoda Octavia.
It had an average depreciation of 22pc. Impressive. It is followed by the Volkswagen Golf (27pc) and Ford Focus (36pc).
There were more than 2 million electric car searches on the site over the year, reflecting the rising interest in the genre - it compares with just under 950,0000 for the corresponding period in 2017.
* A couple of years back I would have been filling two pages with reports from the Detroit Motor show.
It is a sign of how things are changing that it now merits a few paragraphs in Shortcuts.
Is it an omen for other shows?
Anyway the star attraction, according to the experts, is Toyota's new two-seater Supra sports car (see P5).
As you probably know it was developed alongside the latest BMW Z4. It will have a 3-litre 6cyl engine developing around 340bhp.
Ford has the supercharged 5.2-litre V8 (700bhp) Mustang Shelby GT500 on show.
And Subaru debuts its WRX STI S209 performance motor.
Lexus meanwhile, unveils the performance-focused RC F Track Edition.
And a convertible version of the LC Coupé is on display. It is expected to enter production in 2020.
* Not alone did we buy record numbers of used UK imports last year, we 'pushed the boat out' when it came to spec levels, a new study has found.
We spent 59pc more on imports and splashed an extra €5,478 (34pc) on average on each vehicle, according to analysis by Fexco Corporate Payments.
* Volkswagen has revealed a special 'Arctic Circle' version of the Amarok. No, it won't be coming here. There is only the one. It is designed for life in the Arctic Circle with raised ride height, massive all-terrain tyres - and a cappuccino maker would you believe?
It is currently working in Iceland as a support vehicle for winter driving experiences, leading customers out onto the snow and ice.
It is 25mm taller than the conventional motor, has 315/70R17 all-terrain tyres and so on.
On board is a portable generator and that cappuccino machine