Dogs at the wheel when choosing a car, says RAY MASSEY

As a nation of car and dog lovers, it is inevitable that the two worlds overlap. There are an estimated 12.5 million dogs in the UK – meaning one in three households owns a dog. Compare that to over 30 million cars on the road.

Family estates and SUVs are a favorite of dog-loving families, but practical smaller cars like MINIs have their place too. Car companies allow families to take care of pets during transportation.

A recent survey by the website CarGurus revealed that British motorists spent nearly £2.1 billion on new dog purchases during the lockdown, following a 115 per cent increase in puppy demand.

I’m ready for the trip: dog is waiting for his owner at SEAT Arona

They paid an average of £7,594 to get a bigger or more practical car.

The survey of 2,000 drivers found that a fifth (22 percent) bought or adopted a dog after the lockdown started. About 64 percent of those surveyed admitted that getting a dog was harder than expected.

When it comes to what dog owners look for in a car, the survey found that 38 percent wanted a surface to wipe clean, while 31 percent said durable materials were a key feature.

A total of 43 percent said easy access was important, while the same percentage said a large suitcase made all the difference.

CarGurus has created an online Best Car for My Dog tool and has partnered with the National Animal Welfare Trust to provide advice when traveling with your dog.

Here’s our guide to the best dog-friendly motorcycles out there.

ROYAL PEDIGREE

With the Queen’s dog-loving granddaughter and Olympic rider Zara Tindall behind the wheel as a brand ambassador, you’d expect Land Rover to set a royal standard for dog care.

The daughter of Princess Anne and husband of former England rugby star Mike Tindall transports her dogs Pepper and Storm in the company’s 4x4s – formerly a Land Rover Discovery (priced from £53,150) and now a Range Rover Sport (£64,685).

Well accustomed to mud and outdoor activities, Land Rover offers special pet packs for its rugged and tough 4×4 range suitable for all models including the new Defender, Discovery Sport, Discovery, Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Sport . Accessories include a spill-resistant water bowl, ramp, portable shower, collapsible travel basket, custom padded boot liner to protect against paw prints and a cargo bulkhead.

PAWFECT PARTNERS

Known for its compact and fast laps, MINI recently announced a partnership with the Dogs Trust (dogstrust.org.uk), the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, in a bid to become the first official dog-friendly car dealership by 2022.

The brand will work with the charity’s dog behavior experts to educate motorists about best practices for dog car rides.

dr. Jenna Kiddie, head of canine behavior at Dogs Trust, said: ‘It’s really important that your car is suitable for the whole family, including your four-legged passenger, whose needs and safety requirements are slightly different from ours.’ David George, Director of MINI UK said: ‘We are so excited to be working with Dogs Trust, an organization close to my heart after we adopted our lurcher, Harry, from them three years ago. With more dogs in families than ever before, we want to make sure they travel safely and enjoy the ride.”

MINI stocks a range of dog travel products, including a guard and rear compartment mat. Thanks to the generous boot space in the MINI Countryman (from € 24,805), the convenient split rear doors of the MINI Clubman (€ 23,005), easy access, smooth operation, high-quality interiors and the new dog package, every dog ​​can be matched with a MINI partner .

For more information visit the website mini.co.uk/en_GB/home/mini-dogs-hub.html

By royal appointment: The Queen's dog-loving granddaughter Zara Tindall (pictured) transports her dogs Pepper and Storm in Land Rover 4x4s

By royal appointment: The Queen’s dog-loving granddaughter Zara Tindall (pictured) transports her dogs Pepper and Storm in Land Rover 4x4s

PROUD OF PLACE

Research by the Spanish car giant SEAT found that drivers are just as likely to leave dogs in the front seat as their children.

SEAT offers a range of pet accessories, including protective seat covers and harnesses for dogs on passenger seats, with luggage compartment dividers and luggage compartment covers for those in the trunk.

Nearly one in five drivers say their dogs are allowed to sit in the front – almost the same number for drivers’ children. Londoners are twice as likely (40 percent) to treat the man’s best friend to the seat with the best view.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Priced from £32,430, the ‘Disco’ Sport is available with a host of dog-friendly extras from the ‘Pet Pack’ accessory range, which can be used on all Land Rovers and Range Rovers.

Volvo V60 station wagon

Generations of dog owners love their traditional Volvos. The latest models include the new V60 estate (from £34,835), complete with dog-friendly accessories.

MINI Clubman and Countryman

The MINI Clubman, with its double rear doors (from £23,005) and Countryman (from £24,805) are practical compact cars.

SEAT Tarraco

Half of motorists drive more cautiously with a dog on board, says research from SEAT, whose Tarraco SUV (from £30,080), like all SEATs, can be fitted with pet accessories.

Rolls Royce Cullinan

If you have a quarter of a million pounds to buy the luxury all-terrain RollsRoyce Cullinan, then it’s no problem to spoil your dog while he travels with you.

SUPERMARKETS WITH THE SHOCK FACTOR

Shoppers face a ‘grocery sweepstakes’ when it comes to finding a charging point for their electric cars – with ‘huge disparity’ in availability in stores.

Tesco is the UK’s top supermarket for electric car charging points, according to a study published today by consumer website Electrifying.com.

Nearly half (45 percent) of Tesco’s locations have charging points, while only 1 in 14 (7.2 percent) of Sainsbury’s supermarkets have at least one charging point.

Charging Check: Ginny Buckley Founder of Electrifying.com

Charging Check: Ginny Buckley Founder of Electrifying.com

But others like Waitrose, Iceland, the Co-op and Marks & Spencer don’t seem to have any, according to the poll.

Runner-up is Morrisons with just over 40 percent of its stores offering customers the option to recharge, followed by Asda in third with one in five (19.71 percent). Tesco has a total of 1,660 charging points, followed by Morrisons (230), Asda (225), Aldi (180), Lidl (130) and Sainsbury’s (106).

The study examined the UK’s largest supermarket chains, excluding ‘express’ or ‘local’ stores.

Power cable: A recent poll found that 72 percent of motorists would be more confident in buying an electric car if there were more outlets in supermarkets

Power cable: A recent poll found that 72 percent of motorists would be more confident in buying an electric car if there were more outlets in supermarkets

Ginny Buckley, founder of Electrifying.com, said: ‘Congratulations to Tesco and Morrisons, who have both invested heavily in providing customers with great charging facilities.’

A recent poll by the website found that 72 percent of motorists would be more confident in buying an electric car if there were more outlets in supermarkets.

Visit Electrifying.com

SAVE MONEY ON DRIVING

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