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Personalised Number Plates From Around The World

September 14, 2015
Posted in Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

Most of the people who will read this blog will be from the UK, but did you know we are actually not the only country that holds interest in personalised car registrations. Numerous countries around the world offer drivers the opportunity to have their own number plate on their vehicle, and many of them work a bit differently to the UK’s DVLA. Here are 10 of my favourites. It is amazing how different the process is in other countries.

AUSTRALIA

Australia Number Plate

Personalised number plates from down under are sold by the motoring authorities in each territory. Drivers pay a few hundred dollars for their chosen registration and then pay a yearly fee to keep it. Ownership cannot be sold between private individuals or transferred, making it a vastly different system to the UK.

Our Australian cousins do differentiate between normal personalised plates, which have to meet a specific format, and “Prestige Plates”, which are shorter and more expensive. Similar to our dateless/cherished plates.

Some territories, such as Victoria and Queensland, use the money raised from the sale of personalised number plates towards road safety activities. A very nice touch and perhaps is something DVLA can remember when they next walk away with millions in profit from an auction.

 

AUSTRIA

Austrian Number Plate

Personalised number plates in Austria have a different format to the normal registration numbers issued to vehicles. This is of course to keep both types of number plate distinguishable. You can buy a personalised number plate for just 245 Euros. An absolute bargain. However I imagine the best number plates will have already been taken.

 

BELGIUM

Belgium Number Plates

Belgium operates on a system where number plates are registered to the individual rather than to a vehicle. This means if you were you buy a new vehicle you have to swap the number plate your already have onto it.

Personalised number plates are becoming increasingly popular in country and it has led to the Belgian government introducing a new format with a higher price tag (1,000 Euros rather than the usual 620 Euros) to cope with the rising popularity.

The new format basically allows drivers to have any unique number plate up to 9 characters long, however there are restrictions: You cannot have just numbers, e.g. “1”, “11”, “111”, etc would not be allowed. Rude/offensive number plates are of course banned, like in most countries. More strange is the restriction on number plates that reference political parties.

 

CANADA

Canadian Number Plate

Known as “Prestige Plates” or “Vanity Plates”, Canadian personalised number plates are organised and issued by the province. Provinces decide everything from the cost to what is and isn’t allowed with limited involvement by the national government. Typically you are only looking at a few hundred dollars to pick one up though.

More popular than personalised registrations are what are called “Speciality Plates”. These are plates with different backgrounds and designs to suit the personality and taste of the driver. For example, if you are interested in a particular sports team you can have their logo on your registration plate.

 

HONG KONG

Hong Kong Number Plate

Hong Kong uses the PVRM Scheme (Personalized Vehicle Registration Mark) which works very differently to personalised number plates in other countries. Rather than paying a fee to obtain your choice of number plate you request a registration from the government who then enter that reg into an auction where it can be bought by anyone.

Number plates in Hong Kong can be up to 8 characters long but has its fair share of restrictions. E.g. it cannot be similar to already issued vehicle registrations, it cannot have more than four of the same character in a row, etc.

 

LATVIA

Latvian Number Plate

New to the number plate game, Latvia began offering personalised number plates as recently as 2006. Originally it only cost 542.80LVL to buy one but this was soon increase to 2,500LVL because it was deemed too affordable (really).

Latvian personalised number plates can be 2 to 8 characters long and can be made up of letters, numbers and spaces. That is a lot of customisation.

 

POLAND

Polish Number Plate

Poland doesn’t offer a great deal of customisation options as all number plates must use the correct voivodeship character (a letter denoting the region in which the vehicle was registered) followed by a single digit. After only 3 to 5 characters can be used, and letters and numbers must be kept separate.

Rather uniquely all custom plates get their own allocated design, which is black letters on a white background.

 

SOUTH AFRICA

South African Number Plate

Personalised number plates have become huge in South Africa with some of the best ones costing as much as R10,000 to buy. After purchasing users also have to pay a yearly fee to maintain the rights to the specific registration. This alone can be R200 – R300.

The registrations themselves can be 1 to 6 characters in length and can consist of letters, numbers and spaces. Additionally there will be a two letter code denoting the province in which the vehicle was registered (e.g. the letters “WP” indicates “Western Cape Province”).

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

UAE Number Plate

The UAE have an interesting system based on auctions in which they sell what are known as “distinguished plates”. Different from personalised plates, these registration marks are more similar to our cherished registrations.

Normal UAE number plates consist of five digits and a sixth optional digit depending on which Emirate the vehicle was registered. Distinguished number plates are any combination of this format that might hold mass appear (i.e. 12345, 55555, etc), as well as anything with fewer digits. This format means that registrations like “1” are available, but in this instance it cost 52.2 million Dirhams (over lb9million).

Distinguished plates attract a lot of interest and are sold at auction for the benefit of character. Many dignitaries also take part. The aforementioned “1” number plate, for example, was bought by Sheikh Mohammed, the Emir of Dubai.

 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

USA Number Plate

Across the pond, all 50 states offer the right to purchase a personalised number plate for a small cost. As we’ve seen with other countries, drivers can pay a yearly fee to keep the rights to their number plate. Exact prices depends on which state you become registered, but that isn’t all.

Not only do individual states have the rights to charge whatever fee they want, they also have localised authority over possible combinations. This means that registering your personalise d plate in one state will not make it unavailable elsewhere. In theory you could have 50 of the same number plate driving around the US.

Each state also has their own design which they intend to reflect on the state’s personality and history. This at least goes some way towards differentiating between the similar number plates. However there have been reports that some people use the designs to their advantage, e.g. Florida’s number plate design features an orange which some people use to act as an O.

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GTAV Vehicles and Their Real Life Counter-Parts

July 20, 2015
Posted in Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

GTAV (Grand Theft Auto 5) is world-renowned, somewhat infamous video game series. You probably know the GTA series for its violent reputation but for many gamers the attraction is the cars and the driving. There is even an expansive GTA racing community, would you believe?

All of the Grand Theft Auto games have never had official endorsement from the major car companies but that hasn’t stopped them finding inspiration from them. These days GTAV boasts a huge variety of vehicles for gamers to drive, from beautiful super cars to stylish coupes.

Below are 15 of the best cars in the world, and their video game counterparts that can be found in GTAV.

- 1 -

Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

GTAV Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Benefactor SchwartzerBenefactor Schwartzer

There are a few Mercedes-Benz vehicles in GTAV, all under the guise of Benefactor. The Schwartzer is a civilian vehicle in Grand Theft Auto based off of Mercedez-Benz’s coupe-luxury class, though in-game it is actually part of the sports class of vehicles, and unfortunately isn’t incredibly good for racing.

 

- 2 -

Audi R8

GTAV Audi R8 Obey 9F

Obey 9F

Audis make for superb vehicles wherever you go, and the virtual world is no different. There are several Audi cars available in GTA but one of the best is the Obey 9F sports car. Available as shown or as a roadster, which takes further inspiration from the Audi R8 Spyder.

 

- 3 -

Nissan GT-R

GTAV Nissan GT-R Annis Elegy RH8

Annis Elegy RH8

The Nissan GT-R is very popular amongst boy racers and in GTAV that reputation is continued. The Elegy is actually available to Grand Theft Auto players for free. It also provides some of the best customisation options, which makes it one of the most often seen vehicles in GTAV. Of course, as we all know, you should try to avoid becoming a RICER.

 

- 4 -

Ford Mustang GT

GTAV Ford Mustang GT Vapid Dominator

Vapid Dominator

The Dominator is very popular on GTAV for its raw power, much like its real-life cousin. It is by far the best muscle car in the game and can give most sports cars a run for their money, though the rear-wheel drive can make it difficult to control.

 

- 5 -

Aston Martin DB5

GTAV Aston Martin DB5 Dewbauchee JB 700

Dewbauchee JB 700

There is a very rare and valuable class of vehicle in GTAV known as “Sports Classics”, and naturally you are going to find the iconic Aston Martin DB5 in that range. It so blatantly a copy of the car that it even references the DB5’s most famous user, James Bond. Get it? James Bond 007, JB 700?

 

- 6 -

BMW M6

GTAV BMW M6 Ubermacht Zion

Ubermacht Zion

Ubermacht is one of the most commonly seen vehicle brands in GTA. It seemed natural then that they took inspiration from one of the most popular vehicles in the world today in the BMW M6. The Zion is available in two versions and is statistically the best coupe in the game.

 

- 7 -

Subaru Impreza

GTAV Subaru Impreza Karin Sultan

Karin Sultan

Another vehicle that is popular amongst racers and ricers alike in reality. The Impreza falls under the banner of Karin in Grand Theft Auto, which is sort of a catch-all brand for Japanese vehicle-inspired models. Performance-wise it is very middle-of-the-pack as far as sports cars go, but it is impressive never the less and had a lot of mod options.

 

- 8 -

McLaren P1

GTAV McLaren P1 Progen T20

Progen T20

The T20 is currently the most expensive vehicle in GTAV at $2,200,000. This is almost a million more than its current real-life value! You could argue that it is worth that amount of in-game money though, as it is officially the fastest vehicle in the game and the crown jewel of the super car category.

 

- 9 -

Porsche 911

GTAV Porsche 911 Pfister Comet

Pfister Comet

Much like the Porsche 911, the Comet has been around for a while. It has been a few other Grand Theft Auto games before getting a GTAV version. Legacy aside though the vehicle is middle-of-the-ground performance-wise, but it is also cheaper than most similarly ranked sports cars so is well worth having.

 

- 10 -

Ducati 848

GTAV Ducati 848 Bati 801

Bati 801

GTAV has a lot of bikes available to purchase and race, but the best one is the Bati 801. Both the in-game and real-life vehicles are renowned sports bikes and perform really well in road races. Naturally it is not so good off the road, so stunting can be difficult. Nevertheless the bike is beautiful.

 

- 11 -

Rolls-Royce Ghost

GTAV Rolls-Royce Ghost Enus Windsor

Enus Windsor

One of the new vehicles in GTAV currently, the Enus Windsor is very experience in relation to its performance. It is amongst the slowest cars in its class but what it misses out on speed it gains is flash. Like the Ghost it is an incredibly good looking car and more so you can customise it to look even better.

 

- 12 -

Jaguar XKR

GTAV Jaguar XKR Ocelot F620

Ocelot F620

Loud, powerful and smooth, the Ocelot F620 is much sought after in GTAV. While it is based mostly off of the Jaguar XKR you can also draw comparisons between it and a few Maserati cars. It isn’t the fast coupe in the game but it is among the best looking vehicles in the game.

 

- 13 -

Dodge Charger

GTAV Dodge Charger Bravado Buffalo

Bravado Buffalo

You don’t get much more American than driving a car like a Dodge Charger. The car itself is recognised as a powerful sedan, though in GTAV is has for some reason been put in the sports category. As a result it is one of the slowest in the game, but it remains a very good looking car to drive around in.

 

- 14 -

Chevrolet Corvette

GTAV Chevrolet Corvette Inverto Coquette

Inverto Coquette

Aside from in a couple of aspects, the Coquette is probably one of the most well-rounded vehicles in the game. Like its real-life counterpart it is incredibly attractive and performances excellently. Statistically it is one of the best vehicles in GTAV in terms of handling, and has a really good top speed to boot.

 

- 15 -

Bugatti Veyron

GTAV Bugatti Veyron Truffade Adder

Truffade Adder

The Veyron is one of the most intense supercars in the world. In fact, it currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the fastest street-legal vehicle in the world. The Adder follows suit by being among the fastest in the game – though it cannot be hugely modified to performance a lot better than it does by default. Another upside though is the price. At $1,000,000 in game it is a lot, but a lot less than the Veyron, which costs around lb1.6 million in real life.

 

BONUS GTAV VEHICLE

GTAV Smart Car Benefactor Panto

SMART CAR, meet PANTO.

 

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5 Personalised Plates Myths … Busted

June 16, 2015
Posted in Editorial,Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

Personalised plates can mean one of two things – 1. Private registrations that Nationla Numbers sells, and 2. The plastic plates that you put onto your vehicle.

You are probably aware already what you can and can’t have on a private registration, but what many people aren’t aware of are the rules and regulations relating to the plates themselves.

Personalised number plates are just strict as the DVLA’s format for car registrations, and the penalties can be hugely costly if you deliberately or accidentally use an illegal set.

In today’s blog we will address the common myths surrounding personalised plates, and we will tell you exactly what you can and can’t have.

 

Myth #1

“I can space personalised number plates however I want.”

singh personalised number plates

Many people forget that when you buy a personalised registration you are still buying what is a valid vehicle registration number from the DVLA, and so it is still in format. However, since it is a personalised plate you might still make the assumption that you can modify it to look however you want.

For example, if you buy F511 NGH because your name is Singh then you might want to space it so 511NGH is together, thus spelling the name. It makes sense, but it is illegal as it doesn’t match the official format.

All personalised plates much meet the standard DVLA formats, which have been explained here. Spaces are legally mandated and cannot be omitted, altered or moved.

Singh personalised plates

 

Myth #2

“I am allowed to use my own images on a personal reg.”

derek personalised number plates

You might have noticed that some plates have a flag on the left side. You might think this is a customisation option and you could potentially have any picture you want in place of that, but unfortunately that is not correct.

Flags act as identifiers and the EU symbol is compulsory for any vehicle travelling through Europe. Like characters and spacing, the size, shape and even colour are mandated by DVLA. The only ones you can have are as follows:

  • Union Flag (UK)
  • Cross of St George (ENG)
  • Cross of St Andrew – also known as the Saltire (SCO)
  • Red Dragon of Wales (WALES, CYM)
  • Euro Flag (GB)

I have had customers ask for things like the Cornish flag in the past, but even this is not allowed unfortunately.

derek personalised plate

 

Myth #3

“It is okay to add my own slogan at the bottom of my number plates.”

sa personalised number plates

If you get number plates from a car dealership you will notice that they will put their name at the bottom. You might this this is them trying to get some free advertising and that if you had your own personalised plates made up you can add your own name or slogan at the bottom.

However, that is not correct. According to DVLA:

The British Standard sets out the characteristics of the number plate. This includes visibility, strength and reflectivity. To meet the British Standard, each number plate must be permanently and legibly marked with the following information.

1. The British Standard number (currently BS AU 145d)

2. The name, trademark or other way of identifying the manufacturer or supplier

3. The name and postcode of the supplying outlet

(Source)

This is basically so the supplier of the number plate can be held accountable if there is anything wrong with the plate, such as it not being made to legal standards.

The space reserved for the name can be no more than 13mm in height, so is barely visible at a distance, and no other advertisement is allowed.

sa personalised plates

 

Myth #4

“Personal number plates don’t have to use the standard sizes and colours.”

des personalised number plates

Technically, this is sort-of half true if you are talking about the size and shape of the acrylic number plate. Many makes and models even require specially cut and shaped number plates these days, such as the curved Ferrari plates.

Other than this though, DVLA do have set guidelines for the size of the font, the colour of the font, and the material used. All personalised plates must be made of reflective acrylic and must be white on the front and yellow on the back, all with black text.

You couldn’t for example had a red number plate to match your Ferrari, like one customer asked for.

You cannot actually have anything in the background on the number plate. It much be plain white or yellow. Even the honeycomb that some number plate suppliers issue is no longer allowed.

des personalised plates

 

Myth #5

“The font on personalised plates can be changed.”

marty personalised number plates

No matter what personalised number plate you have, no matter the format or the length, every single character on a number plate is deliberately formatted within DVLA’s specifications. You cannot have any variation on the font.

We’ve been through what this format is in the past, but as a summary it is as follows:

  • Characters must be 50mmx79mm (except for I/1), and 14mm thick.
  • Spaces of 11mm between each character.
  • Spaces in the format must be 33mm.
  • Margins at the top and bottom must be 11mm.

Even if you have your own personalised number plates made up you cannot change the font if you want to be able to drive the car. It is this way so every number plate on the road can be easily identified. In fact, that is the reason why many of these rules are in place to begin with.

marty personalised plates

 

 

If you are caught violating any of the rules mentioned you could face fines of up to lb1,000 and your MOT will be invalidated, even if you are using personalised plates.

Remember, these are in place to keep you and other drivers as safe as possible. Do not fall for any of these myths, it is not worth it!

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5 Summer Drives We’re Looking Forward To

May 26, 2015
Posted in Cars,Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

5 – A1, Tyne and Wear

We might be a little biased, but we think the Angel of the North is a stunning sight, and it isn’t just about Northern pride. You ask anyone who has endured the tedium that is the A1 for any more than a couple of hours and they’ll tell you that Antony Gormley is a welcome piece of wonder.

 

1b

1a

The Angel of the North stands on a hill in Low Fell, overlooking extensive grassy fields on the fringe of old industry that the North East is historically aligned with. It serves as a reminder of the regions roots, but also its future. The foot of the Angel itself is a perfect pitstop with many families picnicking on warm summer days.

 

4 – Abergwesyn Pass, Wales

If you like detours and little villages the Welsh mountainous road will be the perfect road trip for you. The road connects many small villages around the Cambrian Mountains, so you have your pick of routes. Over the 18 mile stretch you will find lakes, hills, forests and rivers, all making for perfect summer scenery.

 

2b

2a

The Llyn Brianne reservoir is a perfect place to stop and enjoy the view. The market town of Tregaron is also ideal for a quiet getaway so a few good places to stay the night and enjoy some good food. Be careful driving away though, you might run into sheep or cattle enjoying the roads as well!

 

3 – Humber Bridge, North Lincolnshire & Yorkshire

You may be thinking that this is just a bridge but it is much more than that. The Humber Bridge was once upon a time the longest suspension bridge in the world (though it is now the 7th longest) and can be seen for miles around. Not only is it a spectacular feat of engineering it also provides a platform for the most spectacular view over the Humber.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

4b

Stop off at the viewing deck to take in the scenery. Many call it the perfect place to watch the sunset, for example. Once you have enjoyed the views and the drive you have your choice of locations, just continue down to motorway.

 

2 – A2, Portrush to Ballycastle, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has become known for its scenery but it is hard to pick a better route than the A2 in general, particularly the 19 mile stretch between Portrush and Ballycastle. The route spans a good section of the coast opening up great opportunities to see the famous Giant’s Causeway. Beautiful greenery completes the drive as one of the best scenic routes in the country.

 

3b

3a

If you are looking for activity there is a lot to do and see. It is easy to catch a ferry to Rathlin Ireland to more supurb scenery, or you can travel on foot through the Causeway. Continue down to road to find old castles, seaside destinations, or my personal favourite, the Old Bushmills Distillery, Ireland’s oldest whiskey distillery.

 

1 – Bealach na Bà, Wester Ross

If you were to make an effort to drive along any road I would urge you to pick this one. Scotland has many excellent driving routes but few compares to this one. Take in the Scottish Highlands in the best way possible – through a series of twists and turns on this dramatic mountain road. Enjoy the sights overlooking Skye, the Islands of Rum and the Outer Hebrides, and take in the attractions from surrounding towns.

 

5a

5b

The name comes from Gaelic meaning “Pass of the Cattle”. The road was originally used to drive livestock. As you can guess it is certainly not a route for the faint hearted – I certainly wouldn’t want to attempt it in the snow. Don’t worry though as Applecross proves to be an excellent target destination, perfect for a quiet getaway.

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Jeremy Clarkson is Breaking Beeb

March 11, 2015
Posted in Humour,Interesting,Media — Written by Nationla Numbers

It has happened. Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended by BBC after another controversy. This time the 54 year-old host of Top Gear has got himself in bother after allegedly punching one of the show’s producers. As a result the remaining episodes of the current series of Top Gear will not be shown, but the fans are having none of it. Upon last glance a petition to reinstate the embattled presenter had reached an amazing 350,000. [UPDATE: Signatures are reaching 850,000]

Clarkson certainly does divide the public but surely after so many final warnings the BBC cannot waver now? Will this be the straw that broke the channel’s back?

Here is a run through of all of Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear controversies. Decide for yourself whether you think Clarkson has pushed the envelope too far, or if he is just a greatly misunderstood entertainer.

How Jeremy Clarkson is Breaking Beeb

Jeremy Clarkson is Breaking Beeb BBC

 

November, 2003 – BBC Pays lb250 After Jeremy Clarkson’s First Stunt

During an episode of Top Gear, Clarkson attempted to demonstrate the strength of a Toyota Hilux by driving it into a tree. Unfortunately it was a 30-year-old horse-chestnut tree that was valued by the local Somerset community. By February 2004 the BBC had apologised for the incident and had paid lb250 to the parish in compensation.

November, 2005 – Don’t Mention The War

During a discussion about the design of the Mini a comment was made about it being “quintessentially German”. This was Jeremy Clarkson’s cue to lead a mock Nazi salute as well as other references to the Nazi regime in poor taste. For good measure he even set the satnav to Poland.

July, 2006 – Clarkson Under Fire Again For Homophobic Slang

When discussing the Daihatsu Copen in the studio Clarkson used the phrase “ginger beer”, which is rhyming slang of “queer”, in response to an audience statement about the vehicle being “a bit gay”. Only four people complained about this, but it is one that BBC upheld and apologised for.

February, 2007 – Beating The Dead Cow

Jeremy Clarkson makes an enemy out of vegetarian viewers during the US special after driving with a dead cow strapped to the roof of the vehicle. He then slammed the beef carcass to the ground by applying the brakes.

July, 2007 – Drink Driving Jibe Leaves BBC Out In The Cold

During Top Gear’s Polar Special, Jeremy Clarkson drove over international frozen waters and made the comment that he wasn’t drink driving because technically he was “sailing”. Clarkson was accused of glamorising drink driving and BBC said the scene itself was not “editorially justified”. Jeremy Clarkson would like to remind us he was outside the jurisdiction of any drink driving laws though.

November, 2008 – LorryGate

In his most controversial incident yet, Jeremy Clarkson made a comment on his show about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes. Two years earlier in Ipswich, five prostitutes had been murdered. Perhaps it is unfair to judge without context, so the full quote goes as follows: “Change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That’s a lot of effort in a day.” Obviously, Clarkson’s comment was seen in bad taste and netted the presenter over 1,000 complaints and the first call for him to be sacked.

July, 2010 – Another Homophobic Comment

In a comment that did not make it to air, Clarkson said that he “Demanded the right not to get bummed” in an interview with Alistair Campbell on Top Gear. Of course the comment was cut because Jeremy Clarkson deeply regretted the comment … nope, he went on to say it was just cut because the interview was too long.

August, 2010 – Alienates The Disabled Community

With further tactless and inconsiderate comments, Jeremy Clarkson referred to co-presenter James May’s Ferrari F430 “special needs” and “simpleton”. Ofcom received a number of complaints but amazingly Clarkson got away with it.

December, 2010 – Mexico’s Most Wanted

The Mexican ambassador said comments made by Jeremy Clarkson were “outrageous, vulgar and inexcusable” after the presenter described Mexicans as “lazy, feckless and flatulent”. He even said Mexican food was “refried sick”.

February, 2011 – Because It Worked So Well The First Time

During a segment the hosts pretended they had been sent to Albania to test cars for a mafia boss and attempted to fit overweight “murder” victims into the boots of their cars. Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson received hundreds of complaints in response, probably because it seemed like a blatant attempt to play off previous controversy.

January, 2012 – Christmas Spirit

During the Top Gear Christmas Special, Clarkson and Crew made numerous digs at Indian culture, food, dress, trains, toilets and people. The Indian High Commission called the jokes “tasteless” and lodged a formal complaint.

February, 2012 – Grotesque

Jeremy Clarkson followed up by annoying facial disfigurement charity, Changing Faces, by comparing a Japanese camper van to a person with a growth on their face.

March, 2014 – Down Hill From Here

During the Top Gear Burma Special, Clarkson made the following comment to fellow presenter, Richard Hammond, about a wooden bridge they had built: “That is a proud moment, but there’s a slope on it.” Jeremy Clarkson made this comment as a native of Burma crossed the bridge. BBC claimed it was a light-hearted comment referencing the quality of the bridge, though viewers noted that it was clearly an offensive jab at the local Asian male on screen. BBC later said they did not realise the word “slope” was considered offensive.

May, 2014 – Pushing The Boundaries

Clarkson’s biggest controversy today came after the Daily Mirror unearthed unused footage from a 2013 episode in which Jeremy Clarkson appeared to is the “N word”. The racial slur stirred up prompt reaction as the presenter was chastised for the act, as well as the shameless attempt to deny it. He later apologised and was given his final warning by BBC.

October, 2014 – NumberPlateGate

Next, Jeremy Clarkson almost caused an international incident after he and the entire Top Gear crew was chased out of Argentina while filming the Patagonia Special. The reason was blamed on a number plate, H982 FKL, which locals believed to be in reference to the Falklands War in 1982. BBC and Top Gear staff, including Clarkson, have defended the controversy as a coincidence, despite claims to the contrary by the Argentinian Government. Of course, the “final warning” isn’t considered violated at this point.

 

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These 10 Car Hacks Will Make Your Life Easier

March 4, 2015
Posted in Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

Car hacks allow you to take control of your car and driving habits and save space and travel smart.

If you’re reading this you probably find you are spending most of your spare time driving. Whether commuting to work, doing the school run, or just driving for pleasure, most of your time goes on your car.

Like with anything though, even if you love it there will be the small things that annoy you, and that is were these amazing car hacks come in!

Hacks are clever way to solve a problem or simplify something complicated. They can make use of seemingly useless items, or add a new use to helpful tools. Car hacks can help you get the most out of your vehicle and if you give them a try you will never want to go back.

1. Cool down your hot car in minutes with this quick trick.

car hack for cooling hot vehicle

Sometimes when you go for a drive on a hot summer’s day it feels more like you’re stepping into an oven than a car. When this happens you open all the windows, switch on the air-con, and drive in misery until everything cools down. But no more! You can cool your car in a matter of minutes with this simple car hack.

This video from Japan demonstrates how to do it, but it couldn’t be simpler. Unlock your car and wind down the driver’s side window. Now close the door and go to the passenger’s side. Simply open and close this door four or five times.

Opening and closing the door forces the cooler outside air into the car and pushes the heated air out of the open window. Some people are saying their in-car temp dropped 10 degrees just from doing this!

 

2. The fuel gauge tells you which side your fuel cap is.

fuel gauge car hack shows where the cap is

You’ve probably been in a situation where you’ve been on the wrong side of the petrol tanks when trying to re-fill. You might be in an unfamiliar car, or maybe you just forgot, but as a result you are now scraping the paint off the back of your vehicle as you try to force the nozzle around. Avoid this in future by looking at the fuel gauge. Most cars will have a little arrow that tells you which side the cap is located, making it a lot easier. Just a glance at it as you pull into the petrol station will remind you what side to be on.

Pointing out a feature that you didn’t know exist? That is what car hacks are all about!

 

3. Cloudy headlights? Toothpaste. Obviously.

clean your headlights car hacks

Over time your headlights might get cloudy and dirty. The longer you wait the worse they will be, as air and dust leaves dirt and scratches on the plastic, and the sun’s UV rays dull it further. You could replace them, which is expensive, or buy a clearing kit, which is also expensive. Or you can use some toothpaste and elbow grease, which is all that is needed for this car hack.

I’m not sure how it works, but is does, and the picture above shows the type of result you can expect. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive and contains tiny crystals that are rough enough to polish and small enough to fill scratches. All you need to do is buff the toothpaste onto the light in a circular motion using a cloth and then wipe clear. To make the results last longer follow up the cleaning with some car wax. Your headlamps should go from dirty and cloudy, to clean and clear.

 

4. Keep rubbish off the floor with a re-purposed cereal tupperware.

clean your car hack

It is really easy to ditch used coffer cups, crisp packets and chocolate bar wrappers onto the floor of your car when you have nowhere else to put them. This rubbish can build up until you have no choice but to have a big clear out, wasting your Sunday afternoon. This car hack will save you a big job though if used correctly.

Get yourself one of those plastic tupperware boxes you use to keep cereal fresh. Pop off the top and place in it a plastic bag like you would any household bin before replacing the lid. There you have it. A makeshift travel rubbish bin. The tall, thin shape of the box means it slots easily into either the driver or passenger side of the car, and the hinged top makes it easy to deposit waste. When it is full simply take out the bag, tie it together and throw it away. Job done.

 

5. Save your finger nails and use a staple remover to open your key ring.

key ring key chain car hack

Key rings are one of the most painfully frustrating things in the entire world. How many times have you spent way too long trying to pry open the two metal rings with your finger nails only for them to shut on you before you can even get a key anywhere near it. You might even find yourself using your teeth, or a knife, to open it up. But you’re missing a trick.

Staple removers are vicious looking things that you might not usually need, but this use alone makes it worth the 99p you could pick a cheap one up for. All you have to do is position the two fangs between the two rings and push, prying them apart. You can easily slide on your key afterwards. Key chain hacked.

 

6. Hang a bungee net for extra storage.

extra storage car hack

People use these bungee nets to secure luggage to the roof of their car, or keep things from rolling around in the boot, but getting an extra one will give you even more options for storage thanks to this car hack.

Secure the corners of the net to the upper handles in the car to create a sort of canopy. You can use this to store your coats, bags or even toys for the children. This is perfect for longer journeys as it not only gives you more room, but also ease of access if you do want to get anything stored back down.

 

7. Use your seat warmer to keep food toasty.

car hack to keep food warm

 

A repeated problem with takeaway food is that it gets cold by the time you get home. A lot of modern cars have electric seat warmers. Put this feature to good use by using it to keep your food hot. Simply pop your food onto the passenger seat and crank up the heating, you will find that your food stays warmer for longer.

 

8. Need a spare cup holder? Use your shoe.

shoe cup holder car hack

Maybe you don’t have a cup holder? Or maybe your cup holder is already in use? This car hack will give you an extra place to store your drinks … actually, it will give you TWO extra places. All you need to do is slip off your shoe and neatly slot your drink into it! It should be snug and sturdy, so all you need to worry about is putting it somewhere where it is not in the way. The last thing you want is for it to spill into your lap or be kicked over.

Warning! We do not advocate actually drinking from your shoe.

 

9. Hang a tennis ball in your garage to help you park.

garage parking car hack

Did you know parking your vehicle in a garage is more dangerous than parking it out in the street? This is because when you are parking in a garage you are more likely to damage the car by scraping against the walls or dinging against the back wall. This car hack fixes that though by warning you when you go far enough.

Attach a tennis ball to a piece of string and hang it from the ceiling in a position where it touches your windshield. This way when you are parking you know to stop when you knock the tennis ball.

If you want to add to this hack you can also prevent yourself from slamming your door into the wall or scraping the side of your vehicle by adding extra padding to your garage. The best we have seen has been to cut a pool noodle in half and put them along the side walls.

 

10. Fix small dents with a household plunger.

plunger car hack

This is sort of a no-brainer when you think about it, but that is what these car hacks are all about. This one solves a problem every experienced driver has.

The plunger is already used to fix other unpleasant accidents, so of course it can be used to treat car dings as well. I won’t go into the science behind how plungers work (because I don’t know it), but we all have a vague idea. Pushing the plunger onto the dent creates suction which in turn pulls the dent out and leaves the car looking like normal. Just make sure the plunger is clean before you use it on your shiny motor.

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Top Gear meets LEGO

January 17, 2015
Posted in Humour,Interesting,Media — Written by Nationla Numbers

This trailer for Top Gear Series 22 shows the crew plastic’d up in the style of LEGO. The whole Top Gear team is these, with Clarkson, May and Hammond, and even The Stig, all being turned into the blocky characters you know and love from childhood and last years hit LEGO Movie. Everything is awesome indeed!


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Would you pay lb30k for a (child’s) sports car?

December 16, 2014
Posted in Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

This probably isn’t news, but kids love presents! It is probably the reason most of us jaded adults still enjoy Christmas – to put a smile on the faces of our children. But with that said, can anyone really envision spending lb30,000 on a single toy? Albeit a very good one. Atom Cars certainly can, in fact their business relies on it.

mw_displays_30102014_0050-e1418054291980

 

That right there is a gold-plated sports car. For children. It runs on a rechargeable 48volt Cpu motor, which lasts for up to 48 hours. Capable of speeds up to 15mph, it also comes with working lights, horn and dashboard. Its fancy leather interior can be customised, the number plates can be personalised, and you can even add alloy wheels. All for the low, low price of lb29,995!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure kids would love it. Who doesn’t know a kid obsessed with race cars? I would have absolutely loved this myself, I must admit, but at the end of the day I was perfectly happy with Hot Wheels and Scalextric.

In any case this fancy junior vehicle, called The Atom Car, seems to be selling and is making the company a pretty penny. Their Facebook page if full of pictures of delighted youngsters and their often custom-made toy cars.

I can see the appeal, as long as the child has enough room to drive in, but I can safely say the Atom Car is probably a step too far for me.

What do you think? Is this a fitting present for children?

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Future of Driving Apps: Track, contact, harass and stalk …

July 14, 2014
Posted in Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

Imagine being so annoyed with a fellow driver that you just want to give him a piece of your mind. Imagine if you could record their number plate and receive their mobile number in return. A new app, DiDi Plate, could do that.

General Motors, one of the biggest vehicle conglomerates in the United States, have revealed plans to create a smartphone app that will put you in contact with a vehicle owner.

Entering a number plate into the app will send you a text with the vehicle owner’s mobile number. It would also be possible to scan the number plate and see the phone number directly via Google Glass, an exciting technology currently emerging.

Currently the app, called DiDi Plate, is being tested in the Chinese market. One advert shows one driver using the app to ask another driver out on a date. Of course, creative and more devious uses for the app can be conceived rather easily.

DiDi date request

Consider the private number plate industry for example. If you have an attractive personalised number plate on your vehicle, any of the hundreds of people who see your number plate every day could potentially make contact with you. This could be people interested in how much it is worth or people who want to buy it, serious or otherwise. This is a nuisance in itself, but what if it is not even for sale? And what about persistent tryers who do not take ‘No’ for an answer?

This is a lot different from the old fashioned way the number plate industry used to operate. Leaving a note on a vehicle urging the driver to call you is one thing, but the driver can ignore you or otherwise have the choice to chase up or not. As this app does not have an option to opt out there is a huge issue with privacy.

You can foresee road rage coming into play as well. A driver being cut off on the road could lead to them using the app to send abuse towards the offender. This is a slippery slope that could lead to dangerous altercations, not to mention harassing behaviour.

There is the safety issue of using a mobile phone while driving. Texting while driving is already considered a dangerous driving offense in the UK and increasingly in the United States. It has already been revealed that Google Glass will be treated as a mobile device and will be illegal to drive with.

Not to say an app like this does not have some uses, such as quickly capturing the details of a wreckless driver or someone committing a crime, but an idea like this is unlikely to ever be launched in this country. Despite being developed by General Motors and already built into some vehicles I doubt it will make it out of the factory.

In the UK it is a none-starter due to how protective of personal information the DVLA is. As this app does not appear to have official backing the only way UK driver information would make it to the app would be if private individuals voluntarily gave their details. There are already number plate-based social networking sites that allow this already though.

Moreover drivers across the pond are unlikely to be happy about their details being given out without their permission. The app will likely meet huge opposition before it’s wider release, and ultimately be killed by Government intervention – especially due to the safety issue.

It is an interesting development either way and it opens up possibilities going forward about ease of access to driving information. A DVLA-endorsed app allowing drivers to report infractions or request other information would be hugely popular, though still not something that should be used while driving. For now though, lets see how the market in China and the US react to this technology.

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World Cup Week: The most expensive football plates sold by DVLA

June 11, 2014
Posted in Auctions,Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

 

DVLA have revealed the highest selling number plates ahead of the World Cup

The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is fast approaching and football fans around the globe are gearing up for what is bound to be an exciting few weeks. Of course, the most fanatic of supporters are known for expressing their love for the sport and their team in anyway possible in this game personalised number plates become the most unlikely of trophies.

world cup

Number plates are really one of a kind, and while there might be others similar a perfect representation of a word or name is hard to come by. There may only ever be one or two number plates in the country that could be held with pride by football supporters and you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time, and have the right budget, to get your hands on one.

Ready for the World Cup the DVLA have revealed their Top 10 highest selling number plates from their past auctions. Keep in mind many of these will have gone up astronomically in value in the following years.

lb9,400 PRE 570N (PRESTON)

lb10,000 UTD 80Y (UNITED BOY)

lb11,500 S41 NTS (SAINTS)

lb12,000 EN61 AND (ENGLAND)

lb14,500 DER 8Y (DERBY)

lb19,000 ALB 10N (ALBION)

lb35,000 V1 LLA (VILLA)

lb36,000 HU11 CTY (HULL CITY)

lb36,000 AR53 NAL (ARSENAL)

lb57,000 WE57 HAM (WEST HAM)

Many of these are currently on the market with their private owners at much, much higher prices. To think for even the cheapest of these number plates you would be able to attend every group game in the World Cup plus the final itself. An that is the cheapest one! I guess the difference is local clubs often get a much more die-hard following than international teams.

Many football plates are still available for much cheaper also. A Manchester fan may be interested in UN12 TED.

The FIFA 2014 World Cup starts on Thursday the 12th of June with Brazil versus Croatia.

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