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Paws on tour: Dogs set to travel 1.4 billion miles this summer

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white and black short coat puppy on black window car

Millions of pet owners are packing up their cars with dogs and cats as well as family, friends and luggage this summer, reveals new research from Direct Line Motor Insurance.

Nearly 12 million owners plan to take their dogs on road trips, each travelling an average of 123 miles. This means the nation’s dogs will be driven a combined 1.4 billion miles across the UK this summer.

Dogs are not the only ones going on holiday this year, as many cat owners also say they can’t bear to leave their feline friends behind. Some 3.6 million owners plan to take their cats on road trips over the next few months, driving 98 miles each, meaning British cats too will travel a total of 349 million miles.

‘Va-cat-ions’ are being fuelled by younger owners: a third (33 per cent) of cat owners aged 18-34 plan to take them on holiday, compared to just four per cent of owners over the age of 55.

Further research from Direct Line suggests the rise of staycationing is driving this trend, with 6.3 million dogs and 2.3 million cats expected to be taken on UK holidays this summer. The research found that British breaks are booming, with 36.9 million trips taken last year, with over 13 million Brits (25 per cent) not currently finding overseas holidays an appealing prospect due to the pandemic.

Some 3.6 million owners plan to take their cats on road trips over the next few months

Lorraine Price, Head of Motor Insurance at Direct Line said: “This summer is set to see another boom for staycations as we pack up our cars and hit the road for well deserved holidays. We are certainly a nation of animal lovers, which is clear from the number of dog and cat owners who plan to pack their pets in the car when they set off this summer. Driving with pets can be stressful, so it’s worth spending time planning how they’re going to be safely secured and that there are plenty of opportunities for stops along the way if going on a long journey.”

Nearly 20 million people (37 per cent) say their holiday habits have changed this year, with pet ownership a key factor. A quarter (25 per cent) would feel uncomfortable leaving their dog with someone else while they went on holiday, while a fifth (20 per cent) say their holidaying habits have changed since they got a dog. One in five (19 per cent) wouldn’t normally drive on a UK holiday, while one in seven (15 per cent) wouldn’t normally take their pet on a UK holiday but will this year. 

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How holiday habits have changed this year

How holiday habits have changed Percentage of people whose holidays have changed due to this
I wouldn’t normally go on a holiday in the UK but will this year35 per cent
I would feel uncomfortable leaving my dog with someone else while I went on holiday25 per cent
My holidaying habits have changed since I got a dog20 per cent
I wouldn’t normally drive on a UK holiday but will this year19 per cent
I wouldn’t normally take my pet on a UK holiday but will this year15 per cent
This year is the first time I’m planning on taking my dog on holiday9 per cent
My holidaying habits have changed since I got a cat9 per cent
All whose holiday habits have changed37 per cent

Source: Direct Line Motor Insurance 2021

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Llanelli

West Wales car dealership to double in size

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Dafen-based Llanelli Motor Company have broken ground on a new development that will see their forecourt double in size over the coming months.

Led by Managing Director Ian Jonathan, the two-phase project will see the independent car dealership increase the number of used vehicles it has on sale to over 400 by January 2023.

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“It’s certainly an exciting period for the business,” said Ian, “and with the significant changes to the used car market, we felt now was the right time to start the project, which has been in the pipeline for over five years.”

Although the business was potentially looking at 2020 as a start date for the developments, the Coronavirus Pandemic put the brakes on the project.

However, since the easing of lockdown restrictions and the delay in obtaining new vehicles, the used car market has seen an unprecedented spike in demand.

Dafen based Llanelli Motor Company is planning to double in size
The company have broken ground on an expansion that will see over 400 cars on sale by the end of January 2023

“The last 12 months have been exceptionally busy,” continued Ian.

“No sooner are we finalising our 140-point safety check on vehicles before placing them on the forecourt, than they are being purchased within a matter of days”.

With the ability to stock 150 nearly new vehicles of all makes and models at the moment, the 1-acre expansion will increase this to 250 by September before more than doubling it to 400 by the spring of 2023.

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In order to facilitate this growth, the company will also be entering a recruitment phase and looking to employ at least 10 new members of staff across its sales, workshop and admin teams as well as taking on new apprenticeships.

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Lifestyle

Swansea man’s delight as he scoops combined £37,000 cash-and-car prize

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A Swansea man who was feeling lucky during the working week was left in a state of delighted disbelief on finding out he had won a combined £37,000 cash-and-car prize with online competitions company BOTB.

Anthony Brain from Swansea could not believe his luck when BOTB’s Christian Williams picked up the phone to let him know he was the winner of its Midweek Lifestyle competition.

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Anthony, who works for Swansea-based automotive products company Marelli, scooped a brand new BMW 128ti, as well as a cash prize of £2,000.

After recovering from his initial shock, Anthony said: “It’s absolutely unbelievable – I’m over-the-moon and still on a real high from it. It’s rare that I take part in the Midweek Lifestyle Competition – I think I’ve only entered it once or twice before – but I was feeling lucky during the working week, so thought ‘why not?’ When I got the call to say I’d won, I was stunned.

“Being a car enthusiast, I’m really excited about winning the car but the cash is brilliant too. We’ve already booked some holidays with some of the winnings, including to Italy and Florida. It’s nice to have something to look forward to.”

Anthony said his prize win has prompted colleagues to throw their hat in the ring and give BOTB’s competitions a go.

He added: “The thing is you’ve got to be in it to win it – and I think once you know someone who has won, you feel more hopeful that you could be in with a chance. I’d encourage anyone thinking about entering to try it for themselves.”

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Other recent winners have bagged a motorbike, a luxury holiday to Barbados and £15,000 in cash. 

The company, listed on the stock market, was founded by William Hindmarch in 1999 and has given away more than £47m worth of cars so far. 

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Food & Drink

Winner winner, weekday dinners: Morrisons introduces midweek dinners for under a fiver in its cafés

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Amidst the cost of living crisis, supermarket giant Morrisons is introducing a ‘meal of the day’ for under a fiver to its cafés nationwide.

Every weekday from 3pm, a ‘Daily Special’ will be discounted, offering a saving of up to £3.89 on the individual product price.

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The meal on offer will rotate each day and customers can choose from British roast chicken served with chips and coleslaw, a hearty chicken tikka masala, a 9-piece breakfast brunch, a succulent British cheeseburger served with chips and coleslaw and the ultimate beer-battered fish and chips.

The offer includes a drink and vegetarian alternatives are also available.

Each meal will be priced at £4.99, which the supermarket chain says makes them cheaper than the same evening meals at Wetherspoons, Harvester and Beefeater.

Morrisons also say that kids can also eat free all day with the purchase of any adult meal, meaning a family of four can enjoy a meal out together for just £9.98.

Ali Lyons, Head of Morrisons Cafés, says: “We know how hard it is for our customers at the moment and we want to make sure they are still able to enjoy a meal out, even on a budget. We’ve handpicked these favourites so that no matter what day it is, our customers can enjoy a saving.”

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Morrisons £4.99 offer will be available in its 406 cafés nationwide after 3pm every weekday. The ‘Daily Specials’ on offer are:

MondayRoast Chicken served with Chips & Coleslaw or Cheese & Onion Quiche served with Chips & Coleslaw 
TuesdayChicken Tikka Masala or Mac ‘n’ Cheese 
WednesdayBreakfast Brunch or Full Vegetarian Breakfast 
ThursdayCheeseburger served with Chips & Coleslaw  or Vegetarian burger served with Chips & Coleslaw 
FridayUltimate Fish & Chips

(Lead image: Morrisons)

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