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Round-Up: RAC flat battery warning, Van market grows in 2019, Superb iV order books open

RAC flat battery warning

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The RAC has warned motorists returning to work this week to make sure they don’t have a flat battery after the Christmas break.

The first days back after the Christmas and New Year break is traditionally the biggest breakdown days of the year for the RAC as thousands of cars have been left unused over the holiday period, the breakdown giant said, adding that people who have vehicles with older batteries are likely to be at greater risk of a ‘New Year non-start’ as the cold damp weather and long periods of inactivity “are the perfect combination to drain batteries.”

This year the RAC is expecting to be called out to around 12,000 breakdowns today with nearly a third of those call-outs likely to be flat batteries..

Last time round, RAC patrols dealt with 3,600 battery-related breakdowns on Monday 7 January 2019 which represented 31% of all its call-outs that day. Wednesday 2 January 2019 was also busy a day for flat batteries with 2,422, or 26% of all RAC breakdowns.

Van market grows in 2019

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The van market grew in 2019 with full year registrations up by 2.4% as 365,778 new models hit UK roads – the third highest total on record, with growth coming despite political and economic uncertainty for much of the year.

The SMMT said the results reflected buyers being keen to switch to the latest low emission models to comply with clean air zone requirements and meet demand brought about by the rise of online shopping and corresponding deliveries.

All van segments saw growth during 2019, with small vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes up 4.4%, medium vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes up 10.5% and larger vans weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes up 1.2%. Demand for new pickups and 4x4s, however, fell, down 1.0% and 9.7% respectively but the combined loss represented just 733 units.

Skoda Superb iV order books open

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Order books have opened for Skoda’s first electrified car, the new Superb iV, with prices starting from £31,970.

The Superb iV combines a turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and 85kW electric motor, delivering a total performance of 218hp and CO2 emissions of less than 40g/km. The Superb iV also offers a zero-emission drive up to 35 miles and can travel up to 578 miles on a single full tank and a fully charged battery when in hybrid mode.

The fleet-specific SE technology trim offers customers a leather interior and an 8” infotainment system screen and the Superb iV follows the new Scala and Kamiq by including the new third-generation infotainment system. Featuring an in-built SIM card for data and wireless connection for SmartLink and Apple CarPlay, it provides real-time traffic information and online support, allowing route suggestions to be calculated more quickly and accurately.