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Ex-ceptional

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the RSA and NRA combined to cut down on driver fatigue?

No, I bet you haven't.

Well, as the Road Safety Authority bids to cut out all forms of narcolepsy at the wheel the National Roads Authority has come up with its own plan: Toll booths every few kilometres.

Yes folks, you the cash-strapped motorist who already pays the highest fuel costs and road taxes in the western world, will now have to pay even more to drive the roads.

And who has given them the green light for this new vicious assault on the Irish car driver?

Smug

Stand up Leo Varadkar, your time has finally come.

Our new Transport Minister -- the one with the large head and the smug puss - hasn't taken long in delivering the now traditional two fingers from the Department of Transport to the Irish motorist.

Leo the Lion as he self-styles himself -- has proven in his first few weeks that he is more than able to fill the clown shoes left by Noel 'the Snowman' Dempsey and Martin Cullen.

With a swift wave of his pen, our new Minister has given the thumbs up for a two pronged savaging on the motorist using the NRA and DCC sticks to beat us with.

Like a Karachi cop armed with a rod in a riot, Varadker has waded in and spanked the unfortunate car owner at every turn.

And if you happen to be a culchie -- who lives in a Dublin apartment, then you're in a real pickle thanks to toll hikes on the country's motorways and parking hikes for the city's flat dwellers.

You see, despite Leo and his FG mob's promises, nothing has changed - in fact, it's worse than it ever was under Fianna Fail.

Leo the Lion has given free range to both the NRA and DCC as the bicycle clip wearing clots run the rule over the entire country.

Despite all their terrible acts in recent years, it is the latest grubby attempts to suck more money from our pockets that is probably the most despicable.

First up the NRA want to charge motorists a staggering €62m on top of the €184m that is paid each year in tolls.

And then the City Council has announced that it wants to drive up the price of residential car park permits by 25 per cent, and reducing the number of spaces in

another act of treachery. Well one way for motorists to save money is to drive around in cheaper versions of expensive cars.

Last week I drove a SEAT Exeo, which everyone knows is an Audi A4 minus the four circles and about €15k less on the pocket.

As we all know SEAT are driven by VW engines and in this case A4 style bodies, which makes for the cheapest German executive cars on the market.

The Exeo is more than a VW/Audi rip-off though. It is a beautiful looking car, and a jolly decent performer too thanks to the most delicious of engines -- the 2.0 TDI oil burner.

Okay, it's not quite Vorsprung Durch Technik - but it does have 16" Dante alloys, on-board computer, and multi-fuctional steering wheel.

And, this being a SEAT, I'm glad to report that it does have a front arm rest, unlike the Leon.

It also has an always aggressive looking double back exhaust and that drop dead gorgeous A4 profile.

And best of all, the most amazing price tag for all that German quality.

The Seat Exeo will cost you from a mere €24,825, or just €22,325 though scrappage.


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