Geraldine Herbert: 'How Norse code can fuel green city revolution'
Within minutes of meeting the Transport Mayor of Oslo, Europe's Green Capital, it is clear Arild Hermstad is a man who believes that Oslo can make a real difference internationally.
Within minutes of meeting the Transport Mayor of Oslo, Europe's Green Capital, it is clear Arild Hermstad is a man who believes that Oslo can make a real difference internationally.
As the long school year is coming to a close, the Skoda Rapid's end-of-term report would probably say "a hard-working student, capable but not exceptional".
Opel's first all-electric model, the Corsa-e, was officially unveiled in Frankfurt this week. Due here in March 2020 prices are expected to start from...
1 Tesla's most affordable model, the Model 3 can now be ordered via their online portal. Prices start from €48,900 for the entry-level model and from €60,700 for the Performance.
In the first five months of the year, there was a 7.6pc decrease in new cars sold in comparison with the same period last year.
Around the same time car makers realised that appealing to women could increase sales, the market for small luxury crossovers became the new battleground for premium manufacturers. Today it is the fastest-growing segment of the car market.
1 Hatchback, estate, saloon, people carrier or SUV? For small families, hatchbacks are ideal and there is a huge choice of both new and used models on the market. Estates and saloons are a good option if you need that extra boot and cabin space. Nothing beats the versatility of MPVs and while not as popular on the road as they once were, there are great bargains to be had buying second-hand. Generally SUVs offer a high riding position, good space and often come with some off-road capability, but the boot space is often not that generous.
One of the most dynamic duos of the 80s was Tom Selleck and his red Ferrari 308 in the long-running TV show Magnum PI.
As temperatures fall, it's time to think about staying safe in the driving seat...
In a year of driving more than 100 cars, many stand out for all sorts of reasons: some are not nearly as good as you had hoped, others are just disappointing, while many forgettable. And then there were those that, for a variety of factors, left an indelible mark.
Since the vote by the UK to leave the EU in June 2016, used car imports have been steadily rising and have doubled in two years, up to almost 100,000 from 48,000 in 2015. New car...
Your current car?
Hot on the heels of Jaguar's I-Pace, Audi's first pure electric car, the e-tron SUV has been eagerly awaited since the covers first came off the concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2015. The all-wheel-drive SUV claims a 391km range with a maximum towing capacity of 1,800kg and a new generation of the Quattro drive system.
With more than 30pc of new cars sold on Personal Contract Plans (PCPs), the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) are advising consumers to be prudent when choosing the best finance option.
Walk into most car dealerships and you'll be greeted by the same picture - a showroom made up predominantly of men. Is it any wonder that despite the inroads being made by women in the motoring industry, the public perception is that the business of motoring is a man's world?
Carbon emissions could be reduced by introducing a congestion charge according to an ESRI report published this week, which looked at the impact of increasing carbon tax. The aim of a congestion charge is to reduce the number of private vehicles entering a city or town centre and in turn raise revenue that can be used to support public transport and cycling infrastructures.
It seems small is the new big and Lexus is the latest car brand to offer a scaled down and less expensive version of their larger SUV. Joining the family of Lexus "X" vehicles, including the RX and NX, is the even smaller UX or Urban Explorer.
As the doors opened to the most important Motor Show of the year in Geneva this week, it was clear that in responding to looming new and tougher emission regulations due in next year, car makers are placing all their chips on green. If they don't drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by their cars, they face steep fines.
Small hatchbacks appeal to new drivers, older drivers and everyone in between so it's little wonder that it is such a competitive market, writes Geraldine Herbert.
PCPs are a form of car finance based on a hire purchase (HP) agreement.
From small and economical to large and luxurious, these are the notable new cars of the year
The damage you do to your car essentially depends on the type of engine you have and how much of the wrong fuel you have put in.
"Our 1971 1300 VW Beetle has been in the family since my father and I rescued it from along the banks of the Royal Canal," says Colm Jennings. "And from the very first journey on Halloween day, 1997 - towing it back to our house - I have been obsessed with Beetles."
New car sales figures released last week confirm that electric cars are on the rise, with sales up 102pc on last year. To date, more than 1,078 new electric vehicles (EVs) have been sold and 458 imported, compared with fewer than 1,000 new and imported for the entire of 2017. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models continue to attract buyers and more than 7,350 hybrids have been bought this year alone.
A hit-and-run driver who knocked down and killed a jogger had been banned from getting behind the wheel, an inquest heard last week. The young man, Karl Robertson (28), was fatally struck in Artane, Dublin, on March 8, 2017. The driver, Patrick Morgan, had three driving bans and numerous convictions for road traffic offences.
Some cars should come with a health warning sticker, and the Lexus LC 500h is one.
From Irkutsk we drive to Listvyanka, a small town on the shores of Lake Baikal. The 60 kilometre road runs through a white forest frozen under thick snow and was laid in just two months in preparation for what should have been a landmark state visit to Russia by the US President Dwight D Eisenhower in 1960. Constructed at the height of the Cold War, the 'Eisenhower Road' as it became known is our first introduction to Siberia and, like the American president, our destination is Lake Baikal - the world's oldest, deepest and biggest lake, famed for its unique and complex ecosystem.
Ireland was basking in heatwave temperatures, Mel Gibson was striking a blow for Scottish independence in the box office and one of the biggest rivalries the music world has ever seen was taking place in the charts as Blur and Oasis battled for the coveted number one spot. It was the summer of '95 and when I passed my driving test.
What's the best executive/family car for you? Our complete guide will help you to make the right choice
Sales of new diesel cars fell by 20pc in the first three months of the year. However, the declining sales could be to blame for an increase in average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for cars bought in Ireland.
Eleven of the 13 learner drivers who died on our roads in 2017 were unaccompanied - driving without someone with a full driving licence for at least two years. From 2014 to 2016, of the 35 learners involved in fatal collisions, 25 were unaccompanied.
SUVs are the lifeblood of car makers as more families opt for something sportier than an estate and more substantial than a hatchback. Sales of crossovers and SUVs are expected to more than double by 2020 and they have become the go anywhere, all-conquering family transport.
Sometimes the best cars are the most understated; you could be a thrill-seeking speed freak and nobody need know. The latest variant of Mercedes E-Class, the AMG E43, is just that. Designed to plug the gap between the regular E-Class and the rip-roaring E63, the E43 is a fast but demure car, rather than a hooligan sports saloon.
An MPV is not the car of choice for style-conscious families. If you are in the market for one it's more than likely that you are in need of extra seats and space, possibly as much as 1,000 litres with the seats folded down.
Now is a good time to buy an Alfa Romeo, from now until December 31 2017, the Italian car maker is offering Personal Contract Plan (PCP) finance, with an APR rate of 2.9%, or a Hire Purchase (HP) finance rate from 0%.
Despite substantial savings in running costs and the potential to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, electric vehicles currently make up a tiny fraction of the cars on Irish roads.
Named after a small town in Tenerife, the Arona is the latest newcomer from the Spanish car maker Seat and is a significant model as it marks its first foray into the ultra-competitive B-SUV sector.
As Storm Ophelia continues to sweep across the country gardai are advising not to make any non-essential journeys but if you do need to travel here are some important tips to keep in mind when driving in extreme weather conditions.
If you need any reminding of the surge in demand for SUVs, simply take a look at the European sales statistics from last year.
Citroen C3 Aircross - The C3 Picasso is no more and has been transformed into a funky crossover that will compete with rivals that include Peugeot's 2008, the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.
With more than 30 per cent of new cars sold on Personal Contract Plans, PCP deals are one of the reasons why car sales have steadily recovered since the market crash of 2009. The idea is simple: buyers put down a deposit or trade in their old car, followed by monthly payments made over three years and are given a "guaranteed minimum future value" ( GMFV) by the dealer at the outset which is the amount required to purchase the car outright at the end of the contract. In an ideal situation the value of the car at the end of the contract will exceed the GMFV and the excess will fund...
Is your car due its NCT? Give it a better chance of passing first time with our tips, writes Geraldine Herbert
'The future is electric' was the clear message from the opening events of the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this week. In the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal and with evidence of harmful pollution directly attributable to diesel, the global move against it has been ramped up and car makers are under increasing pressure to deliver new cleaner technologies and electric alternatives.
If you are looking for a crossover or small SUV there are plenty to choose from as the sector is booming. We look at some of the best selling stylish and value-for-money models available
Dacia Duster - It's over five years since the Duster was launched in Ireland at a time when the country was gripped by the worst economic recession in decades.
You no longer need to splash your cash on the top-of-the-range 5.0 litre V8 or 3.0 litre V6 Jaguar F-Type, as a new greener and, crucially, cheaper turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine has joined the line-up. And while Jag aficionados might baulk at the very idea, a recent test drive in Norway confirms that even they may be surprised.
On a rugged and gravelled Norwegian ski slope, a fleet of Range Rover Velars wind their way up more than 1,000 metres to a cable-car station in the clouds. It's a harsh and remote location, with only a few sightseers reaching the summit to cast a curious eye over the new car. Land Rover's lunch stops are always an opportunity to demonstrate the off-road capabilities of their cars and the Velar proves to be not only a family friendly SUV but a genuine off-roader.
The year 2008 was when Barack Obama was proving 'yes he could', Apple was a smartphone newcomer and the global financial meltdown sparked the beginning of some turbulent years. It was also the year Ford launched its brand new and most successful Fiesta to date.
The Renault Kadjar has a proved a popular alternative for those seeking a little more space than the Captur, and now the new Koleos offers even more comfort and space and completes its trio of SUVs.
No speed limits, no traffic lights, no congestion, just you and an accelerator firmly pinned to the floor. At our national track in Mondello, I was learning how to brake, steer and accelerate along the track's racing line in an M2 and an M4 as part of the BMW Driving Experience day.
The Renault Captur created quite a stir in the booming crossover market when it hit the roads in 2014. Injecting a little more fun into the market, this compact and affordable Renault was aimed squarely at customers wanting a small crossover but requiring a little more style and panache. It resonated with both male and female drivers to become Renault's best-selling vehicle in Ireland, and Europe's best-selling urban crossover in 2016. But this title has been under threat lately with stiff competition, so Renault has launched the 2017 Captur with revised styling, new features and...
In an effort to find something practical, safe and fuel-sipping but stylish enough to look good in our driveways and avenues, more of us than ever are opting for SUVs. In 2016, for the first time ever, an SUV (Hyundai's Tucson) was the best-selling car in Ireland.
Cool and Shady Dad
Now is a good time to buy Alfa Romeo's Mito as it is being offered with an upgrade worth over €2,750. The 'Super Sport' offer includes sports leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone air conditioning, tinted windows and red painted brake calipers and prices start from €21,266. There are also savings of over €4,900 with the exclusive 'Super Sport' and 'Super Lux' upgrade offer on the Giulia.
Your current car: Love at first sight or just a means to get from A to B?
From supermini to supercar, they're all here in our A-Z of what's heading your way in the next few months
Car sales in the UK declined by 8.5pc in May, compared to the same month last year. Diesel car sales have been hit hardest and suffered a 20pc drop.
Sometimes, even the best ideas take time to catch on. Remember when CDs were considered just a fad, dial-up internet was fast and who needed Google when we had Yahoo? Similarly, the impact of electric cars has been slow, particularly in Ireland, where drivers may applaud the zero-emission cleanliness of an EV and relish the economy, but up to now have been reluctant buyers due to range anxiety and high prices.
SEAT Ateca: SEAT's first SUV has found favour with Irish buyers and accounts for 30pc of their sales this year. Outside, it is robust and handsome; inside, it is functional and some of the plastics feel cheap, but durable nonetheless.
Irish motorists who speed while driving their own cars on the continent will no longer be able to avoid fines.
The British government is to follow the lead of other European countries and introduce a scrappage scheme for diesel cars. British Prime Minister Theresa May has asked officials to develop plans for a scheme as part of proposals to improve air quality. The scheme will encourage motorists to a switch to more environmentally friendly vehicles by offering a financial incentive for drivers of older diesel cars trading them in. Cars or vans that are more than 10 years old are likely to be eligible and owners may be offered up to £2,000 to switch to a cleaner car.
Once the quintessential family car, the saloon is under assault from myriad chic crossovers and compact SUVs. And yet despite this competition, one in five Irish buyers still drives a new saloon off the forecourt.
It is scarcely a revelation to say that SUVs and compact crossovers are enjoying a sales boom and it's easy to see the attraction, but in this image-conscious segment it's hard to stand out from the crowd. Or at least it was, because the new Peugeot 3008 is a very striking new entry, delicately balancing practicality and elegance with a raw edge.
Premium carmakers are enjoying a surge in sales. Not only are Mercedes, Audi and BMW stealing European market share from mainstream manufactures, but some models are actually outselling their equivalent volume player.
Peugeot's new 3008 compact SUV has been crowned European Car of the Year 2017.
Since the introduction of the first Cross Country almost 20 years ago, Volvo has not only become synonymous with practical and safe estate cars but also with rugged all-road, all-weather versions. The latest model in the range is the V90 Cross Country.
Citroen has charmed us over the years with quirky, innovative designs and in the hotly contested, but relatively dull small hatchback segment, the C3 guarantees to stand out from the crowd.
It's no wonder more and more buyers are opting to buy a car on a PCP (Personal Contract Plan) - even with a small budget you can drive away in some very stylish, versatile and practical cars.
If space for the kids, scooters and the dogs are playing havoc with your car choices but you are not yet in the market for an MPV or a crossover, then a compact family car may just be enough to tempt you.
On average almost 16 people were killed on Ireland's roads every month in 2016, 187 in total - a rise of 26 on 2015. The death toll included vulnerable road users, among them 10 children, 10 cyclists and 35 pedestrians.
From Alfa to Volvo, these are our most anticipated new models of the year
Now is a good time to buy a BMW as for a limited time only, BMW Ireland are offering savings of up to €6,000 on new models delivered before March 31 2017.
When it comes to a hot hatch, there are key requirements - it needs to be balanced, responsive and fast but also should be reasonably composed, calm and comfortable enough to live with day to day.
With C4 Cactus styling cues and frugal running costs, Citroen's funky third-generation C3 is its answer to modern city living. In a hotly contested but relatively dull small hatchback segment, the C3 stands out from the crowd with more than 36 different personalisation options including nine bodywork and three roof colours.
Irish buyers love saloon cars, we always have and despite the buoyant SUV and crossover market, more than one in every five cars we bought this year was a saloon.
The life cycle of car models is certainly getting shorter. A newly enhanced Mazda3 has just been launched a mere two years after its previous major makeover. Irish buyers may be moving in the direction of smaller crossovers and compact SUVs but the Mazda3 remains a crucial car in the Japanese carmaker's line-up.
1: The Paris motor show opened its doors to the press on Thursday with some of big name brands including Ford, Volvo and Mazda notably absent. Luxury brands Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini and Aston Martin also skipped the show.
The popularity of electric vehicles is growing all the time, but sales in Ireland are still tiny when compared to those for conventional cars. So far this year only 361 have been sold, representing a mere 0.26pc of the total new cars bought.
A pioneer of the compact MPV, the Renault Scenic was one of the game changers in the motoring world and redefined the family car.
Renault, the French car maker, expects diesel engines to gradually disappear from most of its European cars, according to the news agency Reuters.
The Citroen SpaceTourer is not simply a large car, it is an enormous people carrier capable of ferrying up to nine adults and their luggage. While there are few of us who actually need that number of seats, this spatial overdose of flexible seating, side-sliding doors and a decent boot is actually quite endearing.
A new Renault Clio is on the way and while it's not substantially restyled, there is enough to reawaken our interest. The Clio is one of the world's most successful cars, an impressive 13 million have been sold since it first drove off with the European Car of the Year award in 1991. The current fourth-generation range was launched in 2012.
As ever more stringent emission and fuel economy rules are imposed on car manufacturers, it is easy to understand the increasing popularity of hybrids. In fact, European hybrid sales have more than doubled in the past five years and are predicted to triple to more than 750,000 in the next three.
There's nothing radically different about the exterior of the new E-Class but it certainly looks so much more appealing. Gone is the three-pointed star from the front bonnet and the angular lines replaced with a more coupe and smoother look.
The decision by 52% of the UK to leave the EU has a huge impact on the Irish economy, not least on the car market.
With just days to go before primary schools shut their doors for the summer holidays, more and more families will be packing up their cars and driving to Europe in search of sun and family fun. We have some tips for safe and happy driving.
With close to 154,000 cars recalled in Ireland in 2015, the chances are at some stage, if you are the owner of a car, that it will be recalled.
According to a recent study, it's mums who are driving the surge in SUV sales. That comes as no surprise, I've lost count of the number of bereft mothers at the school gates, who have sought my advice in their attempts to free themselves from the shackles of an MPV and graduate to getting behind the wheel of an SUV.
There are few cars that can be considered truly game-changing, but the Toyota Prius is one. It was almost 20 years ago that the Prius spawned the hybrid revolution and since then these pioneers have been continuously rewriting the rulebook. Now in its fourth generation, the Prius is lighter, stronger and more dynamic than the car it replaces but in 20 years the market has changed, so has Toyota done enough to stay ahead of the competition?
As the latest automotive industry scandal deepens with the Japanese car company Mitsubishi admitting to falsifying fuel consumption data for decades and research from the UK concluding that none of Britain's most popular diesel cars meet the legal limits for nitrogen oxide emissions, it seems that inaccurate information from car makers is not limited to Volkswagen and it could be more widespread.
Our appetite for SUVs shows no signs of diminishing anytime soon and an onslaught of new models - particularly from the more premium and luxurious brands - is on the way. Queues are already forming for Maserati's Levant and Bentley's Bentayga and new arrivals are planned from Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce.
You have to love Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and CEO of Tesla - the brash upstart Californian company that is shaking the car business to its very core. From an initial investment of $6.3m (€5.58m) in 2004, Musk has managed not only to produce the fastest and most desirable electric car in the world but is on the way to transforming the electric car to something both...
There is no denying the importance of the E-Class to Mercedes-Benz, it has not only attracted a loyal band of fans but it makes the German car maker more money than anything else in its range. Sales of more than 13 million units testify to the appeal of this car but past E-Classes have never been what you might consider exciting or entertaining to drive. Eclipsed by the elegance of the CLS and surpassed by the blend of technology and luxury in the S-Class, the new generation aims to iron out these foibles.
As the needle on the speedometer zips toward the red line and we nudge closer to the bend, I am reminded by my instructor to "brake, brake hard". A few laps around this very twisty racetrack and the nuances of braking, accelerating and steering are finally being digested and I learn the crucial lessons of track driving; there is no coasting, no cruising and certainly no time to admire the view. There is only braking and accelerating and nothing in between.
Mother's Day may be long over but this week I was the coolest mum in the world. That's according to my six- and seven-year-olds who spent their school holidays sojourning in the back of my test car watching RTE Junior.
If you are looking for a smart and stylish car that can cater for an active family, then Peugeot reckons the 508 RXH may just be the car for you. The RXH is the bells-and-whistles version of Peugeot's big family car.
On my typical school run, other parents have become immune to my endless stream of new cars. The brand-new registration plates, the garish Press car colours and even the occasional Bentley do little to arouse any interest and I can count on one hand cars that have really caused a stir. But when I pulled up in the Type R, the amount of attention lavished on this car was remarkable.
The recession seems to be finally over for car manufacturers and a supercar renaissance is afoot. As the doors of Europe's most important motor show of the year opened in Geneva, a new batch of supercars with no thoughts of austerity and the environmental impact was unleashed.
So Top Gear has been accused once again of sexism. This time the show bosses have been criticised after Sabine Schmitz , the show's only woman presenter, and the first in 15 years, arrived at the launch in a “Bavarian barmaid" outfit.
There’s something so smugly satisfying about driving a hybrid car; it is green, super economical and there is no range anxiety.
The car industry is still geared towards men and doesn't get women who feel "disfranchised" by manufacturers, a new survey of 48,000 women in the UK suggests. And staggeringly 90pc of the women surveyed said they would not visit a car dealership without a man.
There are your performance cars like Ferraris and Porsches and there are luxury cars like Bentley and Aston Martin and then there are the coupes - athletic without being muscle-bound, exquisitely curvy but not racy and aggressive looking, and never menacing.
Alfa Romeo Giulia: The big news for Alfa Romeo in 2016 is the new Giulia, its rival to the BMW 3 series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. Due here towards the end of the year, it is one of the most anticipated Alfas in years. Top of the range will be the Giulia Quadrifoglio, powered by a 375kW turbocharged V6 that allegedly gets the super saloon from 0-100kph in 3.9 seconds. The New Giulia is one of eight new cars that are planned from the Italian car maker over the next three years.
Deemed the most popular two-seat sports car in the world, it's hard to disagree. It's now more than 25 years since the original Mazda MX-5 went on sale and the appeal is simple -it has always been eye-catching, a blast to drive and comes in at an affordable cost. So can the fourth generation really improve on such a winning formula?
In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit that I have always had a soft spot for the Opel Corsa OPC - it was the first car I drove around the Nurburgring.
On the whole, I like to think I'm rational, educated and quite a grounded sort of person. I'm not what you would call sentimental, particularly about material objects; I may have more shoes than anyone has a right to own, an ever-growing collection of sunglasses and an oversupply of scarves but I have no real emotional connection to any of these things.
If you are looking to buy a new car for the best possible price, then now is probably one of the best times. With more new cars bought last year in July than in January, car dealers can no longer be complacent about getting your business and the result is even more offers and deals in the form of scrappage offers, price reductions and 0pc finance.
Car sales are booming, with almost 125,000 new registrations in 2015, up more than 30pc on 2014, according to figures from the SIMI. Sales so far for this month show similar increases and 2016 is set to be the third consecutive year of growth.
For many people, buying an MPV is a rite of passage, that time in life when the last vestiges of youth's frivolity dissipate in favour of night feeds and school runs. But as a parent of two young boys and a few dogs in tow, I have to admit the charms of a seven-seater are hard to ignore. The good news is that MPVs are no longer just about space; driving dynamics and kerb appeal are just as important. We look at three new options recently launched to suit a range of budgets.