"America can keep its guns, but there are plenty of motoring ideas it should send our way"

Mike Rutherford would like to bring some aspects of American motoring culture to UK shores but leave others...

OPINION - american ideas

There are aspects of motoring life in America that we would rather not have in Britain, ta very much. 

For example, in Pennsylvania, Howard W. Altemos is a State Constable (his official title) who recently shot an unarmed, retreating motorist, Kevin McCullers. The bullet was pumped into him at 7.30am as he sat in his driveway. It lodged in his spine and left him permanently paralysed from the waist down. 

So McCullers must be a hardcore, armed and dangerous fugitive, right? Er, wrong. The man was “wanted – for unpaid parking tickets”. 

• 'The 124 Spider could be the car to reignite Fiat's fortunes'

America can keep its guns and its iffy system of law enforcement/justice. But on a more optimistic note, there are plenty of US ideas and products that it could and should send our way.

Where British firms instantly slash your no-claims bonus. “Accident forgiveness” rather than financial punishment is the intriguing approach of at least one car insurer in America. Some car dealers currently scream “you work, you drive” to anyone with a job, regardless of salary levels or credit histories. 

Monthly car leasing at $59 (just over £1 a day) is a reality. But more popular are tempting 72-month deals comprising zero deposit, zero first month’s payment and zero interest charges. 

• "Hyundai and Kia should recruit ex-VW Group bosses"

Gifts from dealers of pre-paid debit cards are increasingly common as they attempt to woo/incentivise/reward customers. Some have been offering $1 to potential buyers every day they stop by the dealership – even if they do so hundreds of times a year and never buy a car. 

Free car washes, vouchers for shopping malls and tickets for major sporting events are other worthwhile ‘bribes’ for consumers merely thinking of purchasing new cars. For those who actuallybuy, discounts of $14,000 are possible – even on humble Hyundais. 

Don’t like dealing face to face with car salesmen? Not a problem. Multi-storey glass and concrete credit card-operated machines are claimed to be the next big thing. The US driver who’s happy grabbing everything from cold drinks to hot pizza from vending machines will now enjoy the same buying experience when acquiring their next car. 

God bless America... and Kevin McCullers. 

Which aspects of US motoring life would you bring to the UK? Join the debate in the comments section below...

Recommended

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020
'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020