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Jaguar Cars
Jaguar's website looks as prestigious as its cars. The graphics are extremely high quality and the site is uncluttered, making it very easy to navigate. You can find out extensive information about the current model range, including specifications, information on ride & handling, engine & transmission and interior photos. Other sections cover dealers, design & development, safety & security, heritage and financial services - an essential feature if you actually want to buy one of these luxury cars. One highlight of the site is that you can read selected articles from Sovereign Magazine, the official international Jaguar publication.
As you might expect this site is self-assured and not just a little arrogant. It's introduction to the Z8, James Bond's car in The World Is Not Enough, reads 'Is a car the most thrilling experience there is'. However the site does cover a lot of ground, detailing not just the cars, but also BMW's bikes and the C1, BMW's new scooter with a roof. And of course there is news of BMW's motorsport activities and the low-down on new technology coming soon.
Most of us can't afford such luxury cars as BMWs and Mercedes, and judging by the number of Ford cars on the roads, it seems that we choose from their ranges more often than other brands. Ford's website is no less dynamic or attractive than any of the other sites featured here. Graphics are good quality and the site layout makes for easy navigation. In the 'World of Ford' section, you can download screensavers, delve into Ford Motorsports and read about Ford's history as well as futuristic models.
You can now by a Vauxhall on the Internet, as Griff Rhys Jones' character keeps telling us in those adverts. Funnily enough, the home page features the beardy boffin directing surfers straight to the online buying page. The buying process is pretty straightforward, but only a few special '.com' models are available and you can only make limited changes to the colour and trim. You also still have to go through a dealer to finalise payment and delivery.
Lotus Cars
Lotus produce road cars that are as close to racing cars that you can get and this boy racer mentality is much in evidence on their website. The graphics are flashy and fast moving, especially on the motorsport part of the site where the words 'are you ready' scream towards you off the screen. Unfortunately there was more style than substance on this site. The links to the specifications of the Elise were broken and there is no pricing or options information on this site - you have to visit a dealer for that.
Rover's homepage is extremely glossy and good looking, although when we visited there was a problem with one of the graphics, which spoilt an otherwise good opening. Once into the site you will find there is very little information, but what there is works well. The price and specification pages work seemlessly, allowing you to add extras to the basic models at the click of the button. Prices are updated without having to retrieve extra data from the server. Specifications appear on pop-up pages.
A lot of effort has gone into the design of this site. The main section is geared towards you being able to choose your new car, seeing the specification and options of each and seeing how much it will cost you. The selection process is quite long winded - you get separate screens to choose the paint colour and trim, for example - which slows down the whole selection process. Toyota have also featured their motorsport involvement.

Thankfully the content is equally good. You can, as you might expect, choose a car from the range on offer, but unlike some other sites, seeing the specification and choosing the options is quick and hassle-free. However the site does not automatically price up a car including all your own accessories - the only omission on this otherwise superb site. Not only are Nissan's models covered, but also their involvement in the world rally championship. You can see details of Nissan's results last season, profiles of their drivers, and perhaps most importantly get the low-down on the car they drive. But there is more. Nissan also unveils some of the new technologies it has been working on, such as a new transmission and a revolutionary navigation system. So if you want to impress your mates in the pub with the latest developments before they are available on the street, this is the place to look.


CarSeller UK
Buy or sell your car for free, and check out the latest motoring news while you're at it.
This functional site is low on design thrills however it will pull up relevant new and used cars in your local area. You type in your search criteria and matching cars are listed in ascending price order. You also get full specification details and photos for the majority of the cars on sale. If you're looking to go through a dealer you can even book a test drive online.
Fish4Cars is a huge database (over 120,000 at the last count) of second-hand cars. The site gets its information from local newspapers across the UK. You can search through private and trade ads by simply inputting your budget, the make and model of car you're after and your location. If you're not sure what kind of car would suit you try out the Lifestyle search and see what it suggests. As well as used cars Fish4Cars also has sections for second-hand boats and caravans.
Ford Direct
This online directory lists used Fords for sale from authorised Ford dealers around the UK. You just choose your model and then go ahead to specify the colour, price range, engine size and your geographical area. Then you're directed to the nearest Ford dealer offering your chosen automobile. The site is also home to information on insurance, warranties and finance deals.
New Car Net
You can't buy direct from the New Car Net site. However it does point you towards your nearest dealer, lets you book a test drive online and handles your requests for a brochure. The site looks great and there are good, clear photos of the cars. This is a useful resource for anybody doing a bit of pre-purchase research.
This site helps you dig out your perfect new or used car and you can also sort out your finance deal and get an insurance quote from Autobytel. If you're not sure exactly which motor to go for you can read up in the Research section where you'll find reviews from Top Gear. Once you've chosen the car for you simply type in the make and model and enter your postcode to bring up all the relevant cars in your area. Autobytel will then point you in the direction of one of its network of dealers, who promise to quote 'a firm low, no-haggle price'. 
Autohit will point you in the right direction of a suitable local dealer. You let the site know what kind of car you're looking for and you can also choose to view those cars being sold in your local area. The site includes lots of useful background information such as a monthly repayment calculator, trade-in values, insurance and finance quotes and a list of catchy numberplates for sale.
Autotrader Interactive
Autotrader magazine specialises in second hand car classified ads and the website is a straight translation of this model onto the Internet. There are two levels of search engine: basic - make, model, price, postcode, distance you're willing to travel; and advanced - as above plus colour, doors, bodytype, age, mileage and so on. Many of the car details come with pictures and the site also has information on bikes, 4wd, classic cars, vans, boats and caravans. There are also sections on insurance and finance.
The Allen Vintage Motorcycle Museum
Although the museum itself is in Boston, Massachusetts, the bikes are very well displayed on this well designed website. The museum concentrates on bikes from Britain, as well as from the States, so you will find photos of Triumphs and Vincents nestling alongside Harley Davidsons, with the odd Honda thrown in for good measure. There are thumbnail shots of all the bikes, but these can be expanded to agood size and a detailed specification of the bike is also included.
Classic Motor Monthly
Another magazine's online presence, this site claims to have had 150,000 hits (people who've accessed the site). It's very colourful, with a news ticker and plenty of sections to navigate. In fact, there are fifteen sections ranging from news and events, to archives, clubs and letters. The Classic-fieds section is for those wishing to buy or sell a classic, and there's also a search engine to help you out if you're after something in particular. The Museums section lists places you can go for a great day out too. Were you are aware example, that Lancashire has a Lawnmower museum?
Bath Classic Motorcycle Club
If you are not near Bath, you might not think this site is worth a visit. However if you want to get enthused about classic bikes, or just want to get some ideas on running your own club, then this is the place to come. The chaps down in Bath obviously get a lot of fun, not just from road runs, but also from trials and scrambles, and of course more than the odd night in the pub.
Pre '67 VW
Despite its dodgy start in life and its associations with Hitler, everyone loves the Beetle. This site is dedicated to early VW models and is a guide for both those who already own one and those who plan to buy one. So there is a brief history of the Beetle and a run-down of other VW models, such as those early, tiny camper vans, the Barndoor. There is even advice on what might be the problem if various faults occur, such as if your VW will not start, or, more worryingly, if it will not stop.
Big Sid's: the Motorcyclist's Pitstop
It is not often that you will want to read a website from start to finish, but once you are on Big Sid's pages you will want to stay for a while. Not only is the site well designed, elegantly simple, but with some very cool graphics, but it is a riveting read. There are short pieces on Sid's latest restoration work and longer features on his trips out on the road. And there are added extras such as interviews with professional riders.
The Bike Shed
This is a real enthusiasts site. You can almost feel the excitement and enthusiasm of Steve Rackley, the author, as he writes about his passion. The site is superb for a beginner just starting out, giving lots of information on what bikes are out there and how to get hold of one, as well as such practicalities of what insurance you need and whether they are more difficult to ride than modern bikes.
Classic Car Directory
The Classic Car Directory is a slick, well designed site and covers a broad band of information on classic cars. Particularly useful are the classic car price guide and the built-in search engine, the latter ideal if you can't find what you want on the site. Simply search for MG, for example, and a list of links to dealers, restorers and parts companies comes up. Comprehensive and up to date, this site is particularly handy for companies wanting to advertise their services, with a How To Advertise section helping no end.
The Veteran Car Club of Great Britain
The London to Brighton classic car race stirs up a lot of interest every year, and it is this lot, the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain that organises the event. So if you have a classic car that you are interested in testing out in this gruelling event, then this is the place to come. There is even a gallery showing pictures of some of the cars that have taken place and a couple of movies of the race in action. Otherwise the site simply has details of membership rates, a calendar of events, a links page and contact details.


Not only bikes are covered on this extensive site. ATVs, utility vehicles and watercraft are also featured. The site provides all the usual specs and photos of the bikes themselves, and there is also an extensive library of QuickTime movies for you to download, so you can see the bikes in action. There is obviously a section on motorsport with all the information on Kawasaki's numerous teams. The site was still being added to when we visited it, so expect more soon.
Moto Guzzi
Moto Guzzi is perhaps not the first name to spring to mind when you think of motorcycles, but this Italian company has been around since 1921. The site is full of all the information you could want on the bikes, all presented with customary Italian style. Strangely each bike comes with a testimonial from avid riders who would never dream of owning anything other than a Moto Guzzi. This concentration on riding the bikes is carried over into the newly started forum.
The Ducati home page might well open with a snazzy presentation including video and audio, but it's not clear what's coming next until you surf the site yourself. There's plenty to see once you're in, which makes for good viewing, though the layout is a little haphazard. As well as the standard bikes and technical details, you can bid online for Ducati memorabilia, visit the online museum, enter the Virtual Store or the D.O.C - the official Ducati club. This part of the site requires you to download Shockwave if you want to enjoy the full visual effects.
Harley Davidson
Stop browsing. Start living. Start here. So reads the introduction to Harley Davidson's bikes. You are then offered a choice of taking the 'Flash route' or the 'HTML route'. Be warned, the Flash route can take a while to reach, and for the little movie you see, it is probably not worth the detour. Once you are in, however, all the details are there, although prices are in US Dollars. As well as the bikes themselves, there is a whole section devoted to riding Harleys, and of course the culture that goes with them.
Honda manage to pack a lot into a small site. Not only is navigation quick and easy to the details of any bikes you may be interested in, but there is plenty of other information up here. So you can read about the Honda UK Riders' Club, with details of forthcoming events, and a few pages on Honda's Motorcycle Apprenticeship Course, designed to make you a better, safer driver. And finally there is the Honda magazine Rider, most of which has very little to do with motorcycles, but make interesting reading nonetheless.
Suzuki is another of the monster-sized manufacturers, and another that dispenses with a localised UK website. Like Kawasaki, any information you pull off this site is US biased, so forget it if you're trying to find a UK dealer - you'll need an American zip code for that. The site is really well designed apart from that glitch, with all sorts of information from news to showroom to history, plus riding guides and an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. The latter is particularly useful for finding out technical details such as how your digital ignition system works.
The Triumph site is relatively spartan, but easy to navigate if a little ponderous when it comes to page downloading. The beauty of a British manufacturer is that the content is British based unlike many of the others. The contents include a showroom, for bikes and for accessories, a Clothing section for those expensive Triumph-branded extras, an FAQ section and a dealership finder. There is also a link to the official (factory based) Triumph club for owners called the R.A.T.
Yet another Flash heavy site, Yamaha's pages take quite a while to download, and it could be argued that they are not really worth the wait from a design stand-point. However there is certainly plenty of information here, not just on bikes but on a whole load of other Yamaha products. Everything from power tools to jetskis, via golfing carts and snowmobiles is covered. There is, of course, a section on Yamaha's racing teams and plenty of news about Yamaha and its products.


Rallying in the UK
If you are more interested in taking part in rallying, rather than just watching it as a spectator, then this is the place to come. There are event results, details of past and future events and links to all the official sites of the various rally championships, but there are also plenty of other information, covering such things as the basics of what you need to start rallying and real and spoof glossaries of terms.
Sandman's Rally page
If you are looking for the best links page on rallying, then you have just found it. The site does not have a great deal of its own material, but what it does have is a huge number of links to other sites. So you have recommended sites, British sites, official event sites, team sites. In fact you name it and you can probably find it here. So if you want to know when the next rally is taking place in the UK, you'll track down a site that will tell you, or if you want to get the latest team news, you can use this site to find your team's website.
Mobil 1 BRC Official Site

Rating : 3/5
Rally UK
While not the most polished site, design-wise, this site none the less has plenty of information. Not only does it have photos of some of last year's rallies and the results entered in full, but it also has plenty of back-ground information, such as specifications of all the cars entered, and even a section devoted to the various teams that drive the cars, together will all their placings.
Rally Zone
Although well designed - and in fact redesigned over the last few months - this site still promises much, but has yet to fill in the missing gaps. However what there is makes the site well worth a visit. There is a section on the teams and a run-down of events world-wide, together with dates of when they are happening. There is the obligatory gallery of images and a news section.
Sports Car Club of America
The Sports Car Club of America is the official body that runs both professional and amateur rallying in the US. As you might expect from a large organisation, this website is slickly designed and has a huge amount of information. The site is split into four main sections devoted to different kinds of rallying for the amateur and an additional section on their organisation of professional rallies in the States.
Welsh Road Rallying
This is a great homepage from someone with an obvious passion for rallying. Sadly, it doesn't appear to have been updated for some while, but despite that, there is still a lot of information on here which is worth looking at. Full marks for the Introduction to Navigation part of the site - a fascinating and easy-to-understand explanation of how to guide rally drivers around an unfamiliar course at breakneck speed. The road reports are also a pleasure to read and make all the official sites sound stuffy and tedious.
World Rallying
Decked out in sporting red, this site scores highly for its archive of rally reports going back five years. Each of the major championships are covered, with a fairly lengthy written report and most with good photos. The results are also given and a few of the reports even have the full navigation notes, which tell the drivers what is coming up on the road.
British Superbike Championship
Apart from the world championship, the British Superbike competition is one of the most important motorbike events in the calendar. Its website is colourful (a strangely pleasant yellow/orange), well-designed and impressive in scope. Along with the latest news, the site also boasts interviews with the leading figures in the sport and an impressive array of knowledgeable features. The site was only started in the middle of this year's season, and with a promised revamp - including improved up-to-date information on races as they happen - for the next season.
No other constructor has dominated Formula in the way that McLaren has over the last few years. On this site, though, you will find precious little about the cars that have made them so successful. Instead the site concentrates on giving a run-down of the races themselves and of how the previews went from the point of view of the drivers and the infamous Ron Dennis. There are plenty of photos and the results from the last two seasons, and biographies of the drivers.
Daily F1
When they say Daily, they really do mean daily reporting from the world of Formula 1. There is a huge amount of news on this site about the latest happenings, and also plenty of opinion pieces. All the results for the races are of course posted up here, together with details of the teams. There is even a detailed specification for each of the cars. You can have a newsletter posted direct to your e-mail inbox every day to keep you up to date.
Mild Seven Racing Information
Mild Seven are probably better known as the Benetton Team, and you have to hand it to them, this team has done far more than others to produce a website that has more than just driver biographies and statistics. It has the latest news not just on the Benetton team but on others courtesy of Motoring News. And it has introduced some columns by journalists, one of which concentrates on the cars themselves, so you can keep up on how much difference remoulding a body section can make.
F1 Live
This site is dedicated to bringing you the action as it happens. Even when we wrote this in the closed season, there was plenty of action on the site, including a look at the new cars and news on how the drivers were getting on with their new teams. However the background information is also worth a look. You will find maps of all the circuits, together with markers showing what speeds the drivers reach at each point and what gear they are in at the time, as well as all the statistics and race reports you could need. And there is a lively forum to dip into.
Formula1.com has all the latest news on all teams and general F1 incidents. The site is split up into five other main sections: drivers, results, fun, teams and circuits. This makes it a good pool of information on all the teams rather than having to visit each particular team's website to find what you're looking for. There's also a pictures section, with various images from previous Grand Prix for your delectation. Again, one of the highlights is the fun section, which includes games, competitions, fantasy F1, babe votes and a downloadable screensaver.
As you might expect from the people who have the TV rights to Formula 1 in this country, the coverage on this site is second to none. It is packed with news - even out of season it was still bringing you previews of the new cars and who is going to drive for which team in the forthcoming season. Of course it also has the full low-down on the 1999 season, giving all the results from every race, as well as plenty of interviews, features and insider gossip.
The Superbike World Championship Official Site
Superbikes are the equivalent of Formula 1 in car racing, making them the most well-known form of motorbike racing. And this, the official world championship website, does them proud. It is very flashy, mixing news and features with professional photos of recent events. The same flashiness, however, means pages take a while to download and so moving about the site can be slow. One thing this site has got right though is the multitude of facts and stats on everything from the number of wins to the attendance at races - heaven for any sport fanatic.


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