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Coming soon: a ‘car vending machine’

The Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba, is set to open its own car “vending machine” next year in order to make the process of buying a car “as easy as buying a can of Coke”.

This particular launch comes after car seller Autobahn Motors’ opening of its futuristic 15-storey showroom in Australia. The company did this last year and has since been billed as the “world’s largest luxury car vending machine”.

The Australian vending machine currently displays vehicles in approximately 60 slots, with customers located on the ground floor given the opportunity to choose a vehicle from a touchscreen display.

According to the company, the car then arrives to the customer within two minutes. This is thanks to an advanced system which can manage vehicle retrieval.

Reports have noted that Alibaba will follow in Autobahn’s footsteps with the launch of its brand new car vending machine. It is set to enable car buyers to brows cars on their smartphones and then press the buy button, which then releases the car from the display tower.

Speculations have reported that the company may have gotten this idea from a US company, Carvana. Carvana uses vending machine-like towers in order to sell used cars. Approximately 5 months ago, it opened an eight-floor structure which holds up to 30 cars. This is located in San Antonio, Texas.

In a statement, Yu Wei, the general manager of the automotive division o Aliba’s e-commerce platform has said that, the era of online car shopping has arrived. Additionally, the brand new automotive retail model is set to “make buying cars as easy as buying a can of Coke”.

The vending machine idea has been developed in order to reduce costs. These costs include storage and staff, which also taps into the growing demand for luxury goods by China’s middle classes.

The company is planning on plugging in this concept to its online system. This is due to the process of incorporating finances and data about a car buyer’s credit rating. Buyers with a good credit rating according to the system will be able to drive away in their chosen car after paying a 10pc deposit. They will then have to finance the car in monthly installments thereafter.

So, what do you think about the car vending machine prospect? Do you think it will take a long time for a dealer to do this in the UK? Or, is the car buying industry ok as it is?



The most efficient petrol cars and why you should ditch that diesel!

It is a well known fact that diesel cars aren’t exactly the flavour of the month at the moment, so many motorists are considering alternatives. These switches include hybrid and turbocharging technology, which means that on paper petrol engines can offer a lot of impressive economic figuress.

So, if you tend to travel less than 10,000 miles a year, a petrol car probably makes sense for you. Here are some of the top fuel-efficient petrol and hybrid cars to think about purchasing as your next motor.

Audi A1 1:0: 67.3MPG

The punchy 1.0-litre TFSI engine is the Audi A1 supermini, which offers performance and economy figures that’s not a lot behind the 1.6-litre TDI. CO2 emissions of 97g/km is lower than the diesel’s 99g/km, while the petrol version is roughly £1,000 cheaper to buy.

Alfa Romeo Mito TwiAair: 67.3MPG

Launched roughly a decade ago, the Alfa Romeo MiTo is now showing its age. In reality, there’s little to recommend it over the new wave of supermini’s, although the TwinAir engine is still pretty delightful.

Volkswagen Up: 66.9MPG

This small city car is pretty impressive compared to its diesel comparison. Sadly though, the brand’s no turbocharged 1.0-litre TSI version cannot reach the heights of 68.9mph, but the standard 60hp Up is ok if you don’t tend on going far from the city.

Toyota Aygo: 68.9MPG

Toyota offers no fewer than seven Aygo models. These range from the ‘x’ to the x-clusiv and limited edition x-claim. Based on the claimed fuel economy, the 1.0-litre engine shouldn’t be, ahem, expensive to run. Perhaps opt for the automatic version when the economy drops to 67.2MPG.

Take a look at our other news today. Plus, be sure to enquire about our luxury hire cars.

Footballers’ car league revealed

It has been approximately 25 years since English football went all champagne with the birth of the Premier League. Since then, a lot has changed in the world of football, and not just matters according to the pitch.

Whilst television revenue has transformed the industry, and there’s enough cash floating around to make players the richest sportsmen in the world, of course they can afford their pick of cars available in the most lavish showrooms.

We all have our ideas with regards to what should/may be the most popular car purchased by Premier League footballers. Although, some of you may be surprised with the official listing that’s been revealed (we have been).

Finishing in first place is the Range Rover Evoque. With a very modest starting price of £30,769, the Evoque is a shock considering the average salary of a premier football player being £2.4 million. However, we may suggest that the Evoque is just one of a stable of cars earned by each footballer. This may be a tender to a fleet of land-yachts and exotics. Of course, this is most probably the most ideal car for the school run or nipping to town on the list (which is seen below).

The other cars on the list are slightly more predicable. They are listed below from the most to least popular.

  1. Range Rover Evoque
  2. Lamborghini Aventador
  3. Mercedes-Benz Onyx G6 GLE Coupe
  4. Bentley Continental GT
  5. Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
  6. Lamborghini Huracan
  7. Jeep Wrangler Kahn Sahara
  8. Porsche 911 GTS
  9. Bentley Bentayga
  10. McLaren 675LT Spider

Additionally, it is hard to understand why so many player’s cars are bought on finance when they earn so much? Let’s be honest here, Wayne Rooney could buy an Evoque with the money he earns in one day.

Darren Selig, CEO and co-founder at JBR Capital, explained: “The highest-earning premiership players can bring in six-figure salaries each week and could buy many of the cars on this list easily without finance, but like regular motorists, it pays to be smart and they are increasingly savvy in their financial affairs.

“Footballers want the monthly cost of the loan to be as low as possible, so they can remain flexible. They would rather spend large sums on investments such as property, and do not want to overextend their budget with outright purchases. They also generally run finance deals from two to four years, as these allow them the most flexibility.”

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Every Maserati model set to use electric drive by 2019

From 2019, absolutely every Maserati model is set to use electric propulsion. This information has come from FiatChrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne.

As a result of a conference call with investors, Maserati’s boss and parent company have said that the brand is now set to spearhead the wider group’s push to electric. This is set see more more than half of FCA’s range use even a slight bit of electric power by 2022.

FCA’s brands, which includes Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, and Dodge, is set to benefit from the brand’s new electric process. According to reports, Maserati will swap almost all of its investment in power trains to electric following the fact that “it completes the development of its next two models”.

The brand new and very first electrified Maserati is set to be released in 2020, and will be based on the Alfieri concept which has made its debut at the Geneva motor show three years ago. The all-electric model is a two-seater sports car which will use a brand new platform.

Just before then, Maserati is going to hybridise numerous current models, with the Levante SUV model set to be the most likely to bring in hybrid drivetrain to the group.

As Maserati Europe boss Giulio Pastore said last year: “The current platform allows for hybrid. We are working on it for 2019, when we will be ready to offer hybridisation.”

FCA has been unsure about investing in electric models until now because of the industry’s uncertainty, “We [FCA] have been reluctant to embrace that avenue until we saw clearer the path forward.”

Regardless of being part of the planning process, Marchionne will not head FCA during this move to electric.

Marchionne has announced that he is set to retire at the end of 2019.

Luxury motor built for the Queen sells for £47,700

A luxury car that was originally built for the Queen has been sold for £47,700.

The 2001 Daimler Majestic 4.0 LWB, which was used by the Queen from 2001 to 2007, failed to reach its predicted estimate of £45,000 to £55,000 at auction at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridgeshire.

At the auction, bidding stopped at £38,000 and eventually the car was flogged for £47,700 in a post-auction deal at the H&H Classics sale.

The car was designed and built to the very bespoke specifications for the Queen. She and the Duke of Edinburgh were regularly photographed in the vehicle, either commuting from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle, or to formal engagements. They also attended polo matches and social engagements in the car.

It was the motor which delivered luxury whilst still being understated.

The car features a handbag-holding tray, which is built in to the armrest between the two front seats.

Additionally, the standard CD changer in the boot was replaced by equipment for keeping the Queen in touch with her Home Office and Government.

The car had a V8 engine which was capable of 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 149mph. There was also a hidden blue flashing light in the case of it needing to be turned into an unmarked police car.

So far, it has driven approximately 15,400 miles, with 1,400 of these done since it was retired from the royal household.

Every British monarch had the right to be chauffeured around or drive this vehicle.

A letter on file from Jaguar Heritage says: “She drove the car herself and it was also used as a royal relief vehicle.”

Damian Jones, head of sales at H&H Classics, said: “Royal cars do come to the market from time to time but fairly infrequently, so when they do come to auction they usually command a premium price.”