0-62mph: 7 seconds
Top speed: 145mph
“It’s creepy and it looks all wrong,” says my American neighbour. “It’s kinda pervy, like a Swedish muscle car.” I glance at the lipstick-red S90 R-Design. She’s right, it seems to be smouldering, but it’s certainly not pervy – the Swedes have always been known to have a robust sex drive. Anyway, the car isn’t really Swedish. It’s now Chinese. A few years ago, a cash-strapped Ford offloaded Volvo to Geely. It gleefully pumped billions into reinventing the brand. For a while all went quiet. Then in 2014, Volvo unveiled its colossal XC90 – part luxury off-roader, part statement of global intent. That was soon followed up with the all-new V90 estate and S90 saloon. Executive motorists didn’t know what had hit them.
Now, with the market nicely softened up, Volvo is starting to tinker with its line-up, and this new R-Design trim is the sportiest, sexiest and perviest variant of the S90 yet. It’s currently available with either the 2-litre twin-turbo diesel D4 or D5 engines (with a hybrid T8 to join later this year). It rides on huge alloy wheels, and has dual chrome exhaust pipes at the back and an all-black concave grille at the front which was inspired by a classic from Volvo’s past – the fin-tailed P1800.
The interior is a thing of beauty. Aside from the sheer quality of the fit and finish, there is just so much space. The boot is deep and the seating ample, even for the plus-size traveller. Up front, Volvo’s distinctive 9in touchscreen infotainment system is now joined by a foot-wide crystal-clear instrument display. The screen works like an iPad. You can swipe and finger pinch it, or use voice recognition. The tech is better than some, but as usual it doesn’t really work properly. My request for “Radio 5 Live” gets the response “Lower air temperature?” There’s an auto-park feature, too, which I tried 10 times, but it only worked on a handful of occasions. A rogue wheelie bin was way too much for it.
Anyway, let’s go for a drive. The performance is really impressive and overtaking an absolute joy – a clever PowerPulse air compressor means there is virtually no turbo lag, so acceleration is smooth and effortless. This is a car built for long roads. It’s crying out to be taken to the south of France or Inverness, and the clever Pilot Assist function takes much of the slog out of long hauls. In town, however, it’s a heavy beast and the lowered and stiffened suspension turns every speedbump into a real tarmac scraper. And that’s not very sexy – in Sweden or in China.
End of the road: how to scrap your car, by Dean Adams
Nobody enjoys that stressful feeling of when your car finally stutters into the nearside lane, choking to a stop. The vehicle’s worn out body and tired parts just can’t take any further mileage – it’s the end of the line.
Every year over 1.8m cars are scrapped through government licensed authorised treatment facilities (ATFs) as drivers face the heartache of losing their beloved motor. New EU guidelines dictate scrapping your car must be done in an environmentally friendly way through an ATF if your car is beyond economical repair. A scrap yard – now better known as an ATF – will either scrap it or repair and sell it themselves. They will take accident damaged cars, MOT failures and non-runners.
Your first thoughts are going to be, how much is my car worth? Is it worth anything Firstl, the condition of your vehicle will fall into one of the following categories: retail, salvage or scrap.
If your car can legally be returned to the road, you may find a buyer who is willing to pay you a higher price for your vehicle.
Alternatively, if your car has fixable damage which isn’t economical to your finances, you may find a salvage buyer who will use his own contacts to repair your car before returning your car to the roads safely through the retail sector.
Lastly, if your car cannot be returned to the roads, the car may still have value. The vehicle’s weight and parts may have good value. Larger vehicles will have more weight, which will have a higher metal cost. And newer cars will have parts desirable to the salvage industry which can include engines, gear boxes, panels and wheels. Catalytic converters are also made from precious metals, like silver and platinum, thus gaining you a few more pounds in your pocket.
Some scrap recycling centres will arrange free collection, so you’ll not be spending out any money. But the likelihood is you will get at least the scrap value of your vehicle. It is illegal for any person or business to pay cash for a scrap vehicle since the Scrap Metal Dealers Act came into force in 2013 which helps prevent the theft of metal. The price of scrap metal will change on a regular basis, but to get an idea of just how much your car is worth, there are online companies such as scrapcarcomparison.co.uk which has a network of ATFs that buy scrap and salvageable vehicles. It will be ready to give you an instant, free, no obligation quote just by you providing your registration number and postcode. They will then handle all your environmental responsibilities. This website compares a large number of local buyers so that you don’t have to.
So, how do you start the process? What are your options? The process may seem daunting, but really it isn’t. The days of searching for local scrap yards are over as everything can be done online in the comfort of your own home.
Scrapping your car
The best authorised companies will collect your vehicle from you free of charge and you will be given the scrap value as agreed. Prices will vary depending on the car, age and condition. Scrapcarcomparison.co.uk’s online valuation form will give you an instant quote which is guaranteed, providing you enter your vehicle’s description correctly, and for peace of mind, find a vehicle recycler with no hidden fees or charges. The price quoted should be the pounds you’ll have in your pocket.
Once you have been given a quote, an agent will call you to discuss the handover and any questions you may have. A suitable time and location is then arranged for the recovery agent to collect – in some cases you don’t even have to be present. The agreed payment is then paid either direct into your bank or as a business cheque on the day of collection once the keys and paperwork are handed over to the recovery agent.
If your vehicle is completely scrapped, an ATF will hand you a ‘certificate of destruction’ within seven days.
If your car is issued with this certificate it means 95% of your car will be recycled and could be turned into jewellery, handbags, wedding rings and even flooring in children’s play parks.
You must tell the DVLA you’ve taken your vehicle to an ATF or you will risk a fine of up to £1,000 – and be sure to give your ATF the vehicle log book (V5C) whilst you must keep the V5C/3 (notification of sale or transfer of a vehicle), which is the yellow part.
Selling your car for salvage
There is a chance your car is worth more than scrap metal due to its parts or repair and resale value. This will guarantee you a higher value of your vehicle. Besides scrapping a vehicle, companies like scrapcarcomparison.co.uk will have a network of buyers for salvageable vehicles – these are vehicles that have the possibility of being repaired and returned to the road, or used for parts if the vehicle is not classified as insurance category A. A certificate of destruction will not be issued if the car is not scrapped.
It is important you follow the process of notifying the DVLA that you have handed your car to an ATF and that you retain the V5C/3, whilst handing over the V5C to those who purchase your vehicle.
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