We’ll start with the electric future that is facing us. While some may say it’s all a bit too much and harp on about poor infrastructures and expense, there are some really positive points about driving an EV.
Wide choice of electric cars
Firstly, with more and more manufacturers having to focus on electric models, the choice is becoming far more competitive. And competition generally means the prices get reduced in the process.
We are already seeing fabulous fully electrified models from carmakers, such as MG and Volvo with the likes of SsangYong hot on the trail too. And the really good news for anyone concerned about driving distances is that these latest cars can deliver a very decent range between charges.
As the technology develops, the range and appeal grows too. Although the cars are still expensive to buy, (not helped by the Government slashing plug-in car grants again) the overall price of owning and running an EV does make financial sense.
There are fewer mechanical parts to go wrong for starters, the cost of electricity is cheaper than fuel (and you won’t see the queues at filling stations that we witnessed earlier in 2021), and they are exempt from many charges such as road tax and congestion charge.
Rolling out of charging infrastructure
Remaining on the EV theme, there are more positives to look forward to. There are extra charge points being installed at a rapid pace up and down the country and new car technology means the vehicles can often highlight where the nearest charge points are and, more importantly, if they are working and available.
In turn, the air pollution issues that cause so many health problems predominantly in busy cities, will eventually become a thing of the past. Now that is something we should all welcome.
The COVID pandemic has had a devastating effect on the way we lead our lives and buying a car has changed dramatically over the last couple of years. Many people have moved to the online buying experience and have loved the control that brings with it.
New ways to buy a car
And one manufacturer that is new to UK shores in 2021 has taken that a step further. Genesis, once the high-brow side of Hyundai, is now a stand-alone company and has launched five models this year in the UK. The difference is that all sales are carried out via a personal assistant. There are no showrooms, but instead, your personal assistant will talk you through the models, deliver a vehicle for testing, manage the transaction, arrange courtesy cars for servicing and much, much more. Maybe, this is the future of car buying – who knows?
At least showrooms were allowed to reopen this year which was good news for traditionalists who like to see the cars in the metal before buying.
And we were also allowed to take decent road trips this year too. With more travel restrictions expected in 2022, now is the perfect time to plan that staycation and with some of the most beautiful coastlines and parks in Europe, why not visit somewhere completely new without all the form-filling hassle associated with flying right now.
Great time to sell
Good news too if you have a decent second-hand car and are looking for a good price. There has been a slowdown in the availability of new cars and that has resulted in a real demand for used cars. In some cases, we have been informed of cars that are 12 months old selling for more than the price of its new equivalent. Crazy times eh?
End of the chip shortage
We have all heard that new car production has been hampered due to the microchip shortage. Yes, it has been an issue, but the crisis will be over soon and that will mean cars rolling off the production line at breakneck speed once again. That in turn, means dealerships will be competing for your signature on the dotted line, so shop around and look for those bargains.
No more smart motorways
But perhaps, the best news in my opinion, is the halting of the smart motorways. These are anything buy smart and by doing away with the hard shoulder are a danger to everyone using them. Until they can be both smart and safe, let’s hope they stay on hold.
In the meantime, we have a lot to look forward to, especially as technology improves, making safety such a high priority. Even cyclists have something to look forward to thanks to the latest Lexus 450h – it has a safety e-latch feature that prevents the doors opening into the path of a passing bicycle or car.
It’s going to be an exciting 2022 with lots of positives – let’s hope we can embrace it in the spirit it deserves.