Car Tech That Could Change the Way We Drive

electric car being recharged at charging point

Technology is constantly moving forward. Just consider what your phone can do now compared to ten years ago. However, it’s not just our phones that are capable of doing more. Today’s cars are near-unrecognisable from their automotive forefathers. Here are some car technologies that could change the way we drive (sooner than you think)!

More fuel-efficient cars

This technology is set to dominate the next stage of the automotive industry – the increasing number of hybrid and electric cars cropping up every day stand testament to this. As many international governments commit to green energy plans, we believe green car technology will (one day) become the norm. Expect to see petrol stations doubling up as electric charge stations in the next decade. Very sci-fi!

Self-driving cars

Autonomous cars are causing a lot of excitement in the automotive industry. A number of companies have invested large amounts of money into cars that can drive and park by themselves. In fact, there is already a wealth of semi-autonomous technology out there, with more and more cars featuring auto-braking sensors, adaptive cruise control and self-parking features.

Energy-storing body panels

Hybrid and electric cars are already set to become the norm of the automotive industry. Whilst this is probably a good thing, there is one slight hang-up that needs some ironing out. The batteries required to run a green energy vehicle add a significant amount of weight onto the vehicle. That’s where energy-storing body panels come in. The idea is that the panels would be able to store some of the energy from the batteries, powering the vehicle when it needs it most. Reducing weight and increasing energy efficiency. Win-win.

Predictive vehicle technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) has a pivotal part to play when it comes to the future of car technology – especially when it comes to predictive vehicle technology. Put simply, this technology will tell you what your car needs when it needs it. Forget dashboard lights that tell you about issues with your engine or when to top up your petrol, the whole of your car’s performance will be tracked and relayed to you via your smartphone or laptop. From the sensible to the sci-fi, there is no doubt that advancements in-car technology will change the way we drive. If you’re excited about the cars of tomorrow, but looking to finance a car for today – apply now or get in touch with our dedicated team of experts if you have any questions.

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Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

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Bluebird and Beyond: A History of the Land Speed Record

Bonneville Salt Flats where bluebird achieved land speed record

Humans have always been fascinated with going faster. In fact, we seem to associate speed with the advancement of mankind; the fastest vehicle on earth acting as a benchmark to where we’re collectively at. Among the most famous speed vehicles of them all were the Bluebirds.

From 1914 to 1964 the land speed record was dominated by the British. In that time, there were twenty-five records set, of which only two were set by teams outside of the UK. This impressive period of British domination was led by Malcolm Campbell. Campbell was the undisputed king of speed. He broke the record nine times over eleven years, taking the top speed from 146mph to 301mph. The vehicles that he used to make these records were all called ‘Bluebird’.

The name for Campbell’s cars was inspired by a play of the same name by Maurice Maeterlinck. Immediately after seeing the play, Campbell famously woke a paint shop owner in the night so he could purchase azure blue paint before racing at Brooklands the following day. Campbell named three cars this way that all broke the land speed record, increasing the top speed by over 200mph from the first version to the last. However, there would be another record-breaking Bluebird not driven by Malcolm Campbell.

In 1964, Malcolm Campbell’s son Donald followed in his footsteps by setting his own land speed record. Driving in his own vehicle named the Bluebird CN7, Campbell hit a record speed of 403.10mph which was to be the last land speed record set in a wheel-driven vehicle. Astonishingly, in the same year, Campbell also set the water speed record in the Bluebird K7. To this day he remains the only person to ever achieve this feat.

Following on from the Campbells’ reign as the fastest men on earth, the Americans took centre stage in the era of the turbojet engine. This new technology revolutionised the field and enabled previously unimaginable speeds to be reached. For almost a decade the Americans held every land speed record that was set, eventually reaching speeds of over 600mph.

For over a decade, no attempt got close to beating the record set by the Americans. Then the British teams made a comeback. Originally, a small overtake in the record was made by Andy Noble in 1983 – increasing the top speed by almost 3mph. However, Noble continued to direct land speed projects and returned fourteen years later with a new vehicle and a new driver, called Andy Green. In the space of a month, Green became the first person to register a speed over 700mph and the only person to drive a vehicle that broke the speed of sound, peaking at a top speed of 763.035mph. This record stands today, but with two projects currently working on breaking it, it might not stay that way for very long.

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Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

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Smart Driving: Top Car Apps

Driver checks car driving apps on iphone watch

The whole world is being driven by smart technology, and the car industry is no exception. From the giants of Google and Apple, to ingenious tech start-ups, everyone is trying to provide a better driving experience through their apps. To give you a little steer in the right direction, we’ve got a list of our top car apps.

Waze

Waze is easily one of the best car apps around. Essentially, it’s the most comprehensive route-planning app on the market, taking every factor into account to suggest the best journey possible. Waze tells you about live traffic conditions and gives you optimised alternative routes in real-time. It also lets you know about upcoming speed cameras as well as driving hazards. These hazards include road closures, construction delays and even sneaky potholes.

Drivvo

If you’re the kind of person that isn’t knowledgeable about cars, Drivvo is the app for you. It lets you keep track of almost every service and maintenance issue you could encounter. You can also use Drivvo to keep a track of your vehicle expenses (such as fuel, maintenance and tax). If that isn’t enough, it will also update you when you need to refill your car with petrol or get your next car service – useful!

Smart Dash Cam

Having a black box is perfect for some drivers but having a dedicated dash cam can be hassle and/or expensive. Enter Smart Dash Cam, this free app transforms the camera on your smart phone into a dash cam. You can set the app to only operate at specific times in your journey that you know will be particularly hazardous. You can also use any other apps whilst using it – music, route-planning, etc.

PetrolPrices

Petrol is one of the most expensive parts of having a car, so it’s understandable that many of us try to organise our journeys around where we can fill up our cars for a good price. Well, PetrolPrices is here to help make that a whole lot easier. Over 97% of the UK’s petrol stations are on the app! So, next time you need to fill up the car on your way somewhere – fire up PetrolPrices.

Parkopedia

How many of us have taken in most of the city from a car window with our necks craned out of the window, driving round in ever frustrating circles trying to find somewhere to park? According to Parkopedia: too many! This app records the location of over 70 million parking spaces, in 15,000 cities across 89 countries. With those kinds of numbers, finding a car parking space should become a lot easier.

Car apps are there to make your driving experience as smooth as it possibly can be. From planning the best journey and plotting out petrol stops along the way, to keeping track of your car expenses and making sure you capture video of any potential dangers or accidents on the roads – these car apps have got you covered when you’re behind the wheel. Plus, when it’s finally time to get out and give the legs a stretch, parking the car will be easy as you like!

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Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

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Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Flashy: Car Brands and the Stereotypes People Have About Them

Rear spoiler of Audi R8 purchased on finance

Be honest with yourself, at some point you’ve judged somebody by the car that they drive. We know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but sometimes it’s far too fun! So, here’s some of the car brands and stereotypes people have about them.*

Hatchbacks

Hatchbacks have been the starting car for almost everyone, but some people just can’t seem to break themselves of the habit. Here’s some of our stereotypical hatchback hunches:
  • Volkswagen Beetle – Estate agents, hairdressers and happy-go-lucky types.
  • Peugeots – Elderly teachers and university lecturers with a boot full of boxes.
  • Vauxhall Corsa – Boy and girl racers starting out.
  • VW Golf GTIs – Boy and girl racers that have graduated from the Corsa school.
  • Toyota – It’s written into the T&Cs that only a boring person can buy a Toyota.

Saloons

Saloons are often thought of as being the compulsory car of suited and booted business types, and if we’re honest, it’s probably true. Here’s our sly saloon stereotypes:
  • BMW – Yuppie suit type – younger.
  • Mercedes – Yuppie suit type – older.
  • Audi – Yuppie suit types who like to think they’re not a yuppie suit type.
  • Jaguars – Former aristocrats, who refer to everyone outside of their friends as ‘new money’.
  • Volvo – Steady Eddies who like safety and reliability, a lot.
  • Subaru – Extreme racers, there is a 9/10 chance that they could probably fix your car in any scenario.

4X4s

4X4s are reserved for those that are starting to make their way or have already reached the top of the ladder of success. Here’s our favourable 4×4 mentions:
  • Land Rovers – Middle aged tweed-clad couples with a Collie in the boot.
  • Range Rovers – Yummy mummies and football players.
Whether it’s a lifestyle symbol, childhood dream or just a matter of practicality – there’s no denying that certain people are drawn to certain cars. Perhaps this says something about the importance we place on cars, and perhaps our cars do actually say a lot about who we are – even if they don’t, you can still spot car stereotypes from a mile off! *Disclaimer: there is no offence meant by the following stereotypes, they are exclusively for comic purposes.
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Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

The History of the Licensed Number Plate!

Retro style green car with old fashioned number plate

Nowadays it’s almost impossible to imagine a car without a licensed number plate fastened onto the front and back of it. However, there was a time when we drove around anonymously – there were blank cars roaming the country without so much as a tyre mark and a dust cloud to know where they’d been. It was perhaps for this reason that the government brought in licensed plates, over a century ago.

It was the Motor Act of 1903 that stated every car must display a licensed number plate, and by the following year 1904, almost every car in the UK had abided by the new law. They were used to keep an official vehicle register of cars, in case of accidents (or more scandalously) to catch criminals. The number plates at this time consisted of a simple format – a one/two-letter code followed by a number between 1 and 9999. The letter code was used to identify the area the owner was registered, for example, if you lived in London your code was ‘A’, if you lived in Lancashire your code was ‘B’, Yorkshire was identified as ‘C’ and Hampshire as ‘AA’. The following number was personal to your address.

However, this system soon began to run out of combinations as the number of cars increased, and by 1932 a new system was introduced. Instead of two letters and four following numbers, three letters and three numbers were used. As you might imagine, this updated and improved system didn’t last long either and a new version was added in the 1950s to expand the options once more. However, it is the license plates from the earlier eras which gain most interest from car collectors and enthusiasts, becoming the most expensive plates to be bought in the UK. The original formatted license number, ‘25 O’, is the most expensive, coming in at a hefty price of £518,480 – it was bought by a car collector who wanted to place the plate on his classic Ferrari 250 GT.

The personalised number plate industry has sky-rocketed in recent years, with lots of car owners opting for the personal touch that your own number plate design can bring your vehicle. For those that this doesn’t appeal to, don’t worry – the number plate system that we currently have in place means that your number plate is truly an original. The system should provide entirely unique number plates until 2099. It’s surprising that not many people know how it works, so here’s a breakdown of the number plate: BD51SMR.

The beginning two letters are your area code, which indicate where the car was originally registered to. BD, for example, means the car was originally registered in an area in Birmingham.

The following two letters indicate the year the car was issued. If the car was issued between March and August in the year, the two digits are the year itself (i.e. ‘12’ would indicate a car issued between March and August 2012). If the car was issued between September and February, 50 is added to the two digits (i.e. our example above was issued between September and February 2001).

The final three letters are randomised – simple.

So, there you have it, a history of the licensed number plate. We’ve come a long way from the simple structures we had over a century ago, creating more complex ways of making sure that we know who’s driving what car. We’ve even taken it one step further when it comes to designing our own unique numbers for our car plates. The future of the licensed number plate is unclear, but what is for sure is that the people devising the first system back in 1903 would never have imagined it would have come so far.

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Total payable

X% APR*

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*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Exploring the UK by car (Infographic)

View of Lake District explored by car

From rugged mountains to pristine coastlines, the UK has an endless supply of stunning scenery and historic towns that are crying out to be explored. There’s never been a better time to get out on the open road and see what the United Kingdom has to offer!

With over 321,000 miles of roads to explore, what are you waiting for? We’ve got all the facts you need to know to get you and your crew out on the open road. Enjoy our infographic about exploring the UK by car – we hope it gives you a few ideas for your next road trip!
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£

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Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Seven Famous Cars of the Silver Screen

Signage for Aston Martin dealership

Luckily for all of us petrolheads out there, filmmakers know that for a car to be a memorable part of a film it has to be pretty special. The ultimate mix of advanced technology, incredible speed and that all-important cool factor have combined in our seven favourite cars of the silver screen. Check it out!

1963 Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger, Thunderball, Goldeneye & Tomorrow Never Dies

There is no car more iconic in film than James Bond’s Aston Martin, and for good reason. The cinematic version of this luxury British car is the coolest and most revolutionary car to ever hit the screen. Regardless of the fact that it is a great-looking car, it has enough bells and whistles to put a fleet of fire engines to shame, including: revolving number plates; a GPS dashboard to track enemies; tyre slashers; an ejector seat; and an array of armrest controls (for oil slick, smoke screen, machine guns and a bulletproof screen).

1981 DeLorean DMC-12 – Back to the Future & Back to the Future II

All great movie cars have to be better than anything else on the market. The DeLorean DMC-12 took this one step further by being something that will never be on the market – a time machine. Doctor Emmet Brown’s invention revived interest in the otherwise failed DeLorean model, chosen because of its vertically opening doors. This car has become somewhat of a cult classic and there is even a new DeLorean Company restoring and improving the model.

1973 XB GT Ford Falcon – Mad Max

This car was already cool before it featured in the film, so when it was given a movie makeover it took on legendary status. The body of the car was given a new front and huge flares on the back, but the most memorable feature of all was the supercharger sticking out of the bonnet. This incredibly cool feature boosts the power of the car at the flip of the switch, helping Max to zoom away from any trouble.

1963 Volkswagen Beetle “Herbie” – Herbie

Lots of us car fanatics treat our car like it’s a real person, which is why a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle called Herbie just had to make this list. This racing car has a mind of its own and can drive itself – we mean, come on! The car can take on cars with much better specifications than it could ever possibly in real life.

1968 Mini Cooper S – The Italian Job

This isn’t the coolest car for its advanced technology or super gadgetry, but for being exactly what it is – mini. The three iconic red, blue and white Mini Cooper S models provide the perfect car chase models. They’re small, they’re agile and they can squeeze into places (e.g. an underground station, a shopping mall) – making for one of the craziest car chases in movie history.

1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance – Ghostbusters

This is one of the most iconic cars to have ever crossed the silver screen. The Cadillac Miller-Meteor is an old ambulance/hearse model from the late 50s which the director went to some considerable expense to transform into a vehicle that’s ghostbuster-worthy. Despite it being instantly recognisable to lovers of the 1984 film, it’s still unclear as to what purpose the roof rack of lights and gadgets serves.

2008 Tumbler – Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises

Alright, so this might not be a car but come on – it’s the most awesome thing on four wheels. The Tumbler is armour-plated, clad with weaponry (e.g. machine guns, rocket launcher, deployable mines) becomes practically invisible at night in stealth mode, has wheels that can roll on all four axes, and can transform into a motorbike. Pretty cool, right?

The vehicles above all played significant parts in their respective movies. Whether it be down to sci-fi level technology, a distinctive look or just a dash of cool, old-fashioned cool factor – these vehicles have secured their place in film history for the foreseeable future.

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£

X monthly repayments of
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Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

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In-Car Tech Accessories: What’s Next?

iphone in holder on car dashboard to be replaced by apple carplay

Modern cars provide more than just a way of getting from A to B. The constant advancements in-car technology can aid your drive and/or improve the ride for passengers. We've all heard endless hype about self-driving cars and electric-engine technology. So, here are some more niche examples of in-car tech that will be coming your way sooner than you might think!

Adaptive cruise control

If you’ve ever been in cruise control and had to take it off and brake harshly for a vehicle moving slower up ahead of you, consider it a thing of the past. Adaptive cruise control will automatically adjust your speed so you maintain a safe distance from vehicles up ahead making for a smoother drive.

Cooled seats

It’s a hot summer day and you get back in your car after it’s been left in the sun for a few hours – it’s an inferno. Well, now as well as perspiring with the air on full blast, you can switch your cooled seats on to lend a helping hand. Cooled seats provide a cool current of air directly through the back of your seat to make sure you stay cool behind the wheel.

CarPlay

Using your iPhone in the car for either sat nav and music can sometimes be a little fiddly. Well, that’s certainly the way that Apple views the situation. The tech giant has just released CarPlay, an interactive screen that has all the functionality of your iPhone but on your infotainment system. You can put your favourite Spotify playlist on, set your destination and hit the road.

Wireless phone charging

Forget the stray wire that you’re currently using to charge your phone in the car, wireless phone charging is set to become a common feature in your next car. In most cases, this will exist as a pad behind your gear stick which you simply put the phone on. Anyone that’s a clean car fanatic will be mad about this new feature.

Driver profiles

If you’ve ever got back into your car only to find that your seat is in a disturbing position and all your driving features have been chopped and changed, you’ll know how infuriating it is. Enter: driver profiles. This new in-car tech will allow you to set all your car particulars into a profile which you can then reset with just one click of a button, correcting any meddling from drivers in-between.

Digital dashboard

This sounds like exactly what it is: a dashboard that is entirely digital. This full-width dashboard feature (which is being created by Honda) will be made of six screens: two that act as side mirrors, one containing all your normal control info (e.g. speedometer), two for infotainment (e.g. phone functions, radio, sat-nav) and one that acts as your rear-view mirror. Think of an experience that’s closer to a spaceship than a car and you’ll get the idea.

In-car technology is having a greater effect on our driving experience with every new release. Whilst some features are just luxuries that make for a more comfortable experience others can help to improve our driving and make us safer on the road. We hope that you’re looking forward to this new in-car tech as much as we are!

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Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!