The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

Letters of the week, January 31

Your correspondence


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The bright stuff

Anthony G Phillips made a valid point regarding modern car headlights and running lights (“Walking blind”, January 17). It’s almost as though there were a competition to see which car maker can produce the most dazzling headlights and the most ridiculously shaped and ludicrously bright running lights. On certain vehicles the headlights are so bright that you struggle to see the front indicator in the light scatter.

Graham Eldridge, Market Harborough, Leicestershire


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Fair trade

I’ve always thought how ridiculous it is that a company-car driver with a BMW 1-series, for instance, pays £30 a year in vehicle tax and does 40,000 miles a year, while another motorist with the same car does 8,000 miles but is charged the same £30 annual levy. Unfair and mad or what? Put the tax on fuel — it’s a much fairer system.

Nick Welch, Chesham, Buckinghamshire

 

Pleasure principle

Once again the subject of vehicle tax rears its illogical head. Surely the way forward is to put the duty on the petrol. I do about 50 miles a week out of necessity, as opposed to the person who may do 500 miles a week for pleasure.

Rob Lane, Timperley, Cheshire

 

Off-road

Remember, others consume petrol as well as those on the roads (“Reign of error”, last week), including people with outboard motors, strimmers, mowers, portable generators, pumps and chainsaws. It’s unfair to increase tax on these users.

Cecil Birch, Falmouth, Cornwall

 

Falling in line

Peter Moggridge mentioned the low fuel prices in America, but they are also much lower on the Continent (“Taxing question”, January 17). French diesel is just below €1 (76p) and in Portugal it is €1.09 a litre. It seems that UK prices still have a long way to fall.

Bob Webster, Great Cambourne, Cambridgeshire

 

Light entertainment

I find it far more entertaining to use my handbrake at traffic lights than not (“Red menace”, Points, last week). Often the person behind me starts to text, or is already texting as we stop at the lights. The absence of my bright brake lights removes the signal that they need to tell them the lights have changed to green.

On a technical note, I also get away more promptly from the lights, as those riding the brake and clutch have an inevitable delay to get back into motion.

Susan Russell, Halifax

 

Value judgment

The response to KL’s question (Car Clinic, last week) about whether owners of diesel Audis are obliged to take their car in for corrective work in response to the Volkswagen emissions scandal raises the matter of resale values. According to motoring.co.uk and mymotoring.co.uk, the value of my 2011-plate, low-mileage 2-litre diesel VW Passat CC dropped by £1,758 from £15,129 when the deception was highlighted last September. I suspect the resale value will not recover once the vehicles have been “corrected”.

Alan Lloyd, Newport, Gwent

 

Beyond belief

KL need have no qualms about taking his Audi in for corrective work. After all, if Audi says that “neither the fuel consumption nor the performance data [will] change”, who are we to disbelieve it?

Nigel Duckworth, Dartmouth, Devon

 

Systems crash

What a brilliant safety measure by Citroën, installing the automatic SOS function in case of a serious accident (“Recipe for a little French fancy”, last week). I expect it will be deployed when the driver takes their eyes off the road to read the latest text message on the car’s 7in touchscreen.

John O’Donnell, Trimdon, Co Durham

 

In plain sight

Why did you need to travel all the way to Sweden to see a still- camouflaged Jaguar F-Pace (“Well knock me sideways — it’s a drifting dream”, last week)? If you had been on the A34 just south of Oxford last week you would have been able to admire a light metallic blue F-Pace with no disguise. Travelling separately, and equally interesting, was what looked to be a production-ready red Range Rover Evoque convertible, also undisguised.

Peter Yaxley, Southampton

 

Priced out of the market

I’m glad Richard Piper is enjoying his plug-in BMW i3 (“Top of the range”, last week), though disturbed to find this is the future of motoring. A very quick search of the internet tells me that prices start at about £25,500 and escalate quickly with a few options. I’m afraid this will mean that as a pensioner I’ll be left at the roadside, owing to a lack of funds. Why can’t the future of motoring start at around £8,000?

Gray Pratt, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

 

Raising the roof

I bought a new Evoque in May 2014. The panoramic roof has acquired a crack just above the passenger seat in a rough circular shape. I took it to the Land Rover garage where it was purchased, was told it wasn’t a manufacturing problem and was given a quote for replacing the roof of almost £3,000. I am wondering if other readers have had a similar problem or have any suggestions, as I cannot understand how this could have happened.

Jacqui Dickinson, Catwick, East Yorkshire

 

Hold that thought

According to a report in the News section, in some cities battery-powered vehicles are to be allowed in bus lanes (“Electric cars to use bus lanes”, last week). If numbers of these cars multiply as forecast, congestion will increase and public transport will be delayed. Who thought this one up?

Joe Cowley, Belvedere, London

 

Clarkson U-turn

Having been teased as a Toyota Prius driver, on the back of Jeremy Clarkson’s contempt for the car, I had to adjust my glasses to read that “what we need now is new thinking, new means of propulsion” (“Oh you’re good, Audi, but I bet you can’t give it vertical take-off”, Clarkson, last week). When, please, did Jeremy get bumped on the head — or has he been replaced by a lookalike alien or a robot?

Patrick Hogan, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

 

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