Tickets, tyres and trade-ins
week we visited the Lake District and decided to take a walk from Grasmere. We chose a walk that was described as taking three hours and paid for four hours of parking. During the stroll my wife slipped and hurt her back, which slowed our pace. We exceeded our parking limit by about 40 minutes, but I intend to appeal against the ticket. What would you advise?
AT, Rugby ADo
that and give your reasons. If this is rejected, tell the parking company to take you to court. A judge is unlikely to reject your appeal. You might receive threatening letters, but will not be taken to court. The firm cannot put bailiffs on to you without a court order.
Water ship down
damp weather, my friend’s 1995N Vauxhall Astra suffers severe internal condensation. Do you know how this can be reduced or preferably eliminated?
BM, Derby AThe
plastic, waterproof membranes inside the doors have disintegrated and need replacing. For a car of this age, it’s best to make your own using DPC membrane. It’s fiddly to get the door panels off without breaking the clips. Don’t plan on doing anything else that day.
Some like it hot
years ago I purchased a 2003 Jaguar X-type 2.0 petrol, with one previous lady owner, 43,000 miles and a main dealer service history. Since then I’ve moved to Cyprus and brought the car with me. It has now done only 67,000 miles, because my annual mileage is low. What major and/or minor repairs might face me?
GT, Nicosia AThis
is a smaller version of one of the best engines Ford (which owned Jaguar at the time) ever built. It was dropped because it did not sell, so availability of some parts is not as good as it is for the 2.5 and 3.0 V6s. It has a timing chain, so there’s no belt to worry about. Cyprus is warm, so there won’t be condensation in the brake fluid, but it’s still worth changing it. Change the engine oil and filter, as well as the air and cabin polen filters. Run the highest-octane petrol you can find. Steep saunter: a walk in the Lake District that took longer than expected after an injury resulted in a parking ticket ambient temperatures. If you want tyres that are good in the summer and can also cope with winter snow and ice, I recommend Goodyear Vector 4Seasons. Another reader has had excellent experience of these on a Jazz. The Primacy HP has been replaced by the Primacy 3.
have driven a Seat Leon Cupra 1.8 20VT for the past 10 years. It’s time to change because the Seat is getting old and my wife has developed compacted discs that make long journeys painful – especially in a car with firm suspension and low-profile tyres. I have a budget of £20,000 and want something that is comfortable for her, but also reasonably interesting to drive. I do a lot of motorway driving, so think that diesel is the way to go. We’ve tested the Audi A5 quattro, Honda CR-V, Skoda Yeti and a Volvo V40 Cross Country. She liked the Honda, which seemed enormous, but I’d be happy with any of the others. AThe
1.8 TSI is by far the best Yeti, but new ones cost £25,000. Unfortunately, the Cross Country would not have Volvo’s promising new four-cylinder 2.0-litre 179bhp diesel engine that gets less than 100g/km in the EC tests in the S60 and V60. That’s worth investigating.
Mercedes-Benz CLK 230K has now covered more than 103,000 miles and is starting to cost serious money. I hope to keep its replacement for at least five years and expect to do about 7,000 miles a year. I fancy another drop-top but don’t like later CLKs. Convertible Beetles seem a bit twee for a 66-year-old builder and, although I like the looks of the VW Eos, I gather they’re prone to leaks. I’m prepared to put in £12,000, plus whatever I can get for the Merc. Thoughts? AMazda
MX-5s are excellent sports cars, but a tight squeeze inside. Look at a BMW Z4. This is less of a sports car than the Mazda, but roomier and would suit somebody who’s used to a CLK. There’s a decent engine choice, too.
Ticket to raid?
am the registered keeper of a car that was given a private parking ticket. I was not using the vehicle at the time and supplied the driver’s name and address, as requested. The parking enforcer has now sent a payment notice to my address, although the driver does not live here. They have threatened us that their enforcement agents are in the area and that the driver of the vehicle is liable to prosecution. The British Parking Association says I’ll have to pay because the driver obviously hasn’t. AI
checked this with a retired fraud squad officer who knows about the relevant legislation. He wrote: “Once the registered keeper has named the driver, then the registered keeper can no longer be held liable, irrespective of whether or not the private parking company gets its money
AD, via email from the driver. So long as the registered keeper provided the private parking company with the genuine and serviceable name and address of the driver within the appropriate time frame, then they cannot be held legally liable for the alleged debt. For a notice placed on a vehicle, the liability is with the driver and the driver only because there is no way of knowing (or proving) that the registered keeper was ever aware of its presence. To claim ‘keeper liability’ where none exists is a misuse and misrepresentation of DVLA data and should be reported as such to the DVLA.” See legislation. gov.uk/ukpga/2012/9/ schedule/4/enacted.
Prince of wails
the coolest miniSUV for a new mother?
PC, via email ASome
people like the Kia Soul, but there are also the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. Mini-SUVs as a category don’t really qualify as cool, but a used Nissan Cube might.
drive about 20,000 miles per year. I have a leased Mercedes SLK (bad for long distances) that goes back in March. I want something reliable and stylish, maybe an estate, and have a budget of up to £11,000. I’ve looked at Citroën C5s, Jaguar XFs, BMW Tourings, Audi A6 Avants, Jeeps and so on. The best bets seem to be a Mercedes CLS 320 CDI or an XF 2.7 TDV.
AS, via email AI
think a CLS 320 CDI will be more reliable than an XF 2.7. A couple of oddball alternatives are the Renault Laguna Coupé and Peugeot 407 Coupé. The 407 Coupé is one of the quietest cars I’ve driven. See honestjohn. co.uk/carbycar.