Weekly round-up: Reports and reviews, latest leases, classroom clowning and more

It’s been a busy week at ContractHireAndLeasing.com HQ, with the publication of our 2018 Leasing Report, attending the Audi range review to test drive their latest models, on top of bringing you all the latest news and views from the industry.

In fact it’s been so busy we’re amazed it’s actually Friday the week went so fast. So grab a drink, put your feet up and let us bring you up to speed on anything you might have missed.

BeFunky Collage

First, it’s time for the annual report.

That’s right, if leasing industry trends and goings-on are your things this week we published our Personal Leasing Report.

2017 Leasing Report

Covering the whole gamut of the industry from most enquired vehicles to most popular rental profile, the big news to come out of the report is leasing grew 12.7% and overtook hire purchase as the second-most popular form of new car finance.

Elsewhere, diesel car enquiries increased by 5% in 2017 and accounted for 55% of all enquiries, meaning anti-diesel rhetoric over the past 12 months has not impacted the personal leasing sector.

All this and more insight is available to view here.

Now, pay attention class, there’s a lot to get through today so we won’t stand for any silly devils or naughty behaviour. The other report we produced this week was manufacturer-specific, looking at which of the major manufacturers are excelling and which must try harder when it comes to the next-generation of the automobile.

Find out who is an A* pupil and who needs to see us after class

Some are collaborating, some are focusing on one specific area such as hydrogen fuel, others are hedging their bets across all markets and a few are taking a hands-off wait-and-see approach. Find out who is an A* pupil and who needs to see us after class.

Anyway, enough of all that, how about some reviews?

They’ve come thick and fast at ContractHireAndLeasing.com this week, with one of the big ones being the Jaguar F-Pace.

Borrowing its suave looks from the company’s saloons, the F-Pace SUV is Jaguar’s answer to the Volvo XC60, Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC to name but a few.

Howard Ritchie checks out the stylish Jaguar F-Pace (and has a little help from a Hollywood A-lister) to see if this British-built SUV can take on the tough competition.

Elsewhere, Neil Thomason took the Audi RS4 Avant for a spin around the beautiful locales of Kettering this week.

Audi RS4 Avant

With 444bhp at his disposal as well as 600 Nm of torque thanks to the twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 spark-ignition engine, see what the RS4 Avant has to offer to drivers.

The reviews only get bigger from there as we recently put the gigantic Nissan X-Trail through its paces, answering some Facebook fan questions along the way.

Nissan X-Trail

Can it comfortably fit seven people in? How is the MPG? Has the infotainment system been improved? All these questions and more are answered in our in-depth review.

Away from the larger end of the automotive scale, this week was the week of the hot hatch as lease deals for both the Volkswagen Up GTI and Hyundai i30 N were released on the site.

Volkswagen up! GTI

As desirable as it is affordable, the newest member of the up! family joins a stable of Volkswagen GTIs that now offers practical performance across three key models, with the up! GTI sitting alongside the recently-launched new Polo GTI and award-winning Golf GTI and Golf GTI Performance.

Hyundai i30 N

Meanwhile the i30 N has the Up’s bigger brother in its sights, gunning for Golf GTI and Peugeot 308 GTI as the defacto hot hatch of choice.

With a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, delivering 247bhp and 353Nm of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, and hitting 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds with a top speed of 155mph, it’s certainly got the credentials.

And finally…

Some depressing news to end the week on.

A study by Inrix has found that the typical UK motorist spent 31 HOURS stuck in rush hour traffic in 2017.

A study by Inrix has found that the typical UK motorist spent 31 HOURS stuck in rush hour traffic in 2017

The study also calculated that the jams are costing us £37.7bn per year – around £1,168 per driver. This accounts for wasted fuel and time, as well as indirect consequence such as inflated prices of goods caused by extra freighting fees.

Peak hours in Central London were the worst time and place for drivers in the capital, where they spent an average of 23% of their time in congestion at an average speed of just under 5 mph.

Travelling into and out of London at peak hours, drivers spent 16% of their time in congestion with an average speed of 12.8 mph. Manchester joins London as the hardest city to get into or out of during peak hours, with drivers also stuck in gridlock for 16% of the time.

Inrix’s chief economist, Dr. Graham Cookson said: “Combined with the rising price of motoring, the cost of congestion is astonishing – it takes billions out of the economy and impacts businesses and individuals alike.”

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Naaaah, we can’t end the round-up on that downer can we? Okay, how about some heart warming news out of the U.S?

Last year, Cam Dedman decided that for his grandfather Fred Lamar's birthday, he would surprise him by completely restoring his 1957 Chevy Bel Air. "My grandpa is like my best friend," Cam told WDRB. "He does everything with me."

Family and friends flew to Kentucky last month to watch as he surprised Fred with the restored car on his 81st birthday. Having bought the car when he was 28, the car had been sat in his garage since 1976 and was in terrible shape so the ecstatic grandfather never thought he'd see it look brand new again.

The duo plan on traveling across Kentucky in the Bel Air, visiting different car shows across the state.

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