Wheels and deals

The Germans rule the roost when it comes to buying cars and car parts on eBay.co.uk, fresh figures have shown, with more people buying German than French, Italian or even British.


As many as 9,750 German cars or parts for them are sold through the online marketplace every day, equivalent to 400 sales per hour or seven every minute.

Ebay statisticians compared sales of cars and parts relating to auto brands from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Korea, with Germany securing a clear first place.

The nation, which is home to more car brands than any other European country, can boast the headquarters of BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Opel, Smart, Porsche and more.

PA File Photo of a petrol pump. See PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News. Picture credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News.

We Brits are also fond of French cars, buying 4,718 items from Renault, Peugeot and Citroen per day — or 197 per hour — to put Gallic motors in second place.

And while the UK may no longer be the manufacturing powerhouse it once was, we’re still loyal to classic British marques like Land Rover and Vauxhall. Despite having foreign owners, sales of British car brands came third behind France and beat Italy, Japan and Korea.

Ranking of country by car sales per hour

1. Germany - 400

Undated Handout Photo a Honda S2000. See PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News.

2. France - 197

3. UK - 174

4. Japan - 112

5. Italy- 64

6. Korea - 18

A third of all cars on the UK’s roads need repairs to their suspension every year, and the most likely to suffer suspension damage are Audi and Mercedes.

The Audi RS6 and Mercedes R-Class came out worst in a survey of suspension damage, followed by the Fiat Multipla, Jaguar XK and Bentley Continental GT. Other cars that fared badly included the Mazda 5, Mercedes CL, Chrysler 300C, Jaguar XJ and Hyundai Santa Fe. These cars are up to 30 times more likely to need suspension work than the least prone vehicles - among these cars least susceptible to suspension damage are the Citroen C1 and Honda S2000.

The cause of damage to these cars’ suspension is attributed to the UK’s heavily potholed roads and a proliferation of speed humps in urban areas. It has led to a third of all cars in the UK requiring remedial work to their suspension every year with an average cost of £247 for repair work.Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “It is almost unbelievable how much variation there is from one model to another when it comes to suspension damage. Any vehicle driven on damaged, poor surfaces regularly or used for commuting on routes littered with speed bumps will eventually come to grief. London is particularly bad for the latter.

‘The roads are as bad as ever but some cars are affected terribly, with components like bushes, track rod ends, drop links, springs and dampers all susceptible. Instead of cheap runabouts, luxury vehicles and stiffly sprung sports cars are most prone to breakdowns - with the exception of the Honda S2000.’

Vehicles made by Honda, Isuzu and Toyota have the most robust suspension systems. Less than 3% of cars made by these manufacturers suffer failures annually. Bentley performs worst with 28% of its cars suffering suspension damage in a typical year.

Supermarket petrol prices may have fallen this week but drivers feel they are being ripped off by motorway services fuel tariffs, according to a new RAC survey.

Research from the motoring organisation showed that petrol and diesel prices at motorway service stations can be as much as 10p higher than those elsewhere.

Of 1,463 motorists polled, 74% reckoned motorway prices were “very expensive” with 26% refusing to buy fuel at motorway stops.

As many as 63% said prices should be capped so fuel was no more expensive on motorways than at non-motorway forecourts.

More than a quarter (27%) would be happy with fuel being capped at just a few pence over the non-motorway price, and only 10% believed nothing needed to be done.

Also, 44% said they only bought fuel at motorway services when they had no other choice. Almost 20% admitted to putting in “just enough fuel to get by” at motorway services and finding a cheaper alternative later.

In addition, 76% said service stations should display the price of their fuel before drivers pulled off the motorway so they knew what they would have to fork out.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s no wonder that motorists feel held to ransom with prices on the motorways inflated to such an extent. We can see no reason why motorway fuel should be so much more expensive. In fact, arguably it is much easier from a delivery point of view than it is getting fuel to urban filling stations.”