My First Car – By John Hartson

John Hartson - My First Car

John Hartson’s first car, also known as ‘the most comfortable taxi in Luton’…
My first car was a Ford Escort, 1.6ltr engine. I bought it for £400 back in 1992 after I passed my test at the second attempt when I played for Luton Town. I sourced it from a garage in my home town of Swansea and my dad drove it up to Luton for me.

I think he had to make four or five stops en route to let the engine cool down and the black smoke to disappear!

For me, it was just great to be mobile and I loved picking up my team-mates in the morning and taking them into training. I was 17 at the time and I spent a few quid on it doing it up and put some nice, soft seats into the back seat. The lads used to say my car was like a Luton taxi.

Thinking back, it was a light brown shade and wasn’t the most pleasant on the eye, but I couldn’t have cared less.

Your first car is about enjoying the independence and freedom it gives you and it’s about getting your bumps and bruises out of the way as you improve as a driver.

I kept that car for around a year, although I’ve no idea how it managed to stay mobile for that length of time.

Over the years, as I made my way in professional football I was able to treat myself to some nice cars and I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a Porsche Jeep, Porsche Cayane, Range Rover, Bentley and a lovely Audi A8.

But there is always an attachment to your first car and just thinking about that Ford Escort right now evokes some great memories and happy times.

John Hartson Car Facts

Number of cars owned: More than 20

Favourite car owned: Range Rover

Dream Car: Would definitely be the top of the range, four door, Bentley, in black. Think they cost around £250,000.

My First Car By Kenny Dalglish

Kenny Dalglish - My First Car

MY first car was a Fiat 124. I bought from a car showroom on the Great Western Road, near Charing Cross, in Glasgow in 1972. I hadn’t long passed my test by that point. I passed first time, by the way.

I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and out on the road. The car was brand new out of the wrapper and I was its first owner. It was a navy blue colour and I was as proud as punch driving around in it. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. To me, it was a Rolls Royce.

My dad was very much into his cars and he gave me guidance and advice on that front. He came with me when I bought it. I can’t remember how much I paid for it but it would have been a fortune in my eyes, back then.

To be honest, I wanted a Triumph Vitesse because of the two headlamps on the front, but I couldn’t afford one of them. However, I thought the Fiat 124 looked similar. Truth is it looked nothing like it, but I managed to convince myself that it did.

I’d drive into training every day at Celtic Park and it felt so good to have my own car. Before I was on the road, I’d be getting buses or getting one of the boys to pick me up. So, it was great to have my independence and I really valued that.

I kept the car for a wee while and it never let me down. I think the Russians ended up buying that particular design and it then became a Lada.

Since then I’ve had many cars, from sponsored ones from my days at Celtic, Liverpool and Scotland. But regardless of what they were, I always retained a soft spot for my Fiat 124.

Kenny Dalglish Key Facts

Number of Cars owned: About 25

Favourite Car Owned: Definitely my Fiat 124 – in terms of cars, my first love!

Dream Car: They haven’t made it yet, but one which you don’t need to stop and fill up with diesel fuel, or put air in the tyres or take for a service. So, there’s a challenge to all the manufacturers!

Have You Seen Our New Electric Vehicle Infographic?

At Intelligent Car Leasing, we like to put out content that is actually interesting and fun to read! That’s why we produced a new infographic detailing 10 of the most interesting facts you might not know about electric vehicles.

New EV Facts Infographic Released

EVs are a hot topic at the moment and registrations of electric vehicles are growing year on year. Why not take a look and see how many of our 10 facts you’re aware of…

View Infographic

Interested? Click the button above to view the full infographic and find out all the fun facts!

My First Car by Frank McAvennie

Frank McAvennie First Car Banner

I PASSED my driving test in 1979 and for the first few months I used to borrow my mum’s car to get me from A to B. I also had a motorbike for a short period of time and I always found it a thrill to be on the bike.

But I always wanted my own car and had promised myself that one day I’d be able to buy a Ford Capri. Well, when I signed for St Mirren in 1980-81 I saved up a few quid from my wages and bonuses and paid £2000 to a garage for my dream Capri.

It was a gold coloured one with a tan roof. Not like me to attract attention to myself!

I can remember driving around Glasgow thinking I was the business with my set of wheels. I loved it.

Frank McAvennie Fast Facts

Part of my attraction to a Capri was that I was a big fan of the TV series, The Professionals, and Bodie and Doyle used to speed around London in a Capri catching criminals for CI5. Doyle had a curly brown perm and I had a blonde perm. We’d have made a good partnership!

I suppose I sort of imagined myself as ‘The Third Professional’, only the Glasgow version, although I wasn’t interested in catching any villains when I was out in my car!

My mates all loved my Capri and we had some great times driving around.

I sometimes watch old episodes of The Professionals on ITV4 and the memories come flooding back. I also remember Del Boy getting a shiny green Capri Ghia in Only Fools and Horses. It suited him down to the ground as he ducked and dived his way from deal to deal.

So, in terms of my first car, I was a mixture of Doyle and Del Boy. That’ll do nicely for me.

2017 Charity Drive For Intelligent Car Leasing!

At Intelligent Car Leasing, we pride ourselves on our many core values and this year one of our charitable aims is to raise more than £10,000.

We have not even been around for 3 years yet but our staff has taken part in countless fundraising activities and that has resulted in almost £9,000 being donated to fantastic causes.

However, we don’t like to rest on previous successes and that’s why we want 2017 to be our best ever year.

We have set our bar at its highest ever point and we aim to succeed.

Our principal charity focus for the next 12 months is the Celtic Football Club Foundation. Celtic FC Foundation strive to honour the charitable principles and heritage of Celtic Football Club and aim to respond to the needs of disadvantaged children, young people and adults in our local communities to improve Health, promote Equality, encourage Learning and tackle Poverty.

To help reach our target and, hopefully crash through it, Intelligent Car Leasing will continue to donate £10 to the Celtic Football Club Foundation for every car leased through the company and we are confident that will raise more than £10,000.

Intelligent Car Leasing is proud to be an official sponsor of Celtic Football Club. For the seasons of 2016/17 and 2017/18, ICL is supplying the club with vehicles for staff as well as sponsoring various aspects of operations and match day events.

We’re confident of delivering the five figure sum and, indeed, we expect to crash through it in the months ahead.

Our staff prides itself on our core values and that’s why we are committed to hitting the back of the net with our charitable goals.

Here’s to 2017 and our £10,000 target…….

What You Need to Know about 2017 Road Tax Changes

As you may have already heard road tax is changing again! It’s definitely not the most exciting of topics, but one which is important to understand. From April 1st onward there will be a universal change in the way VED (vehicle excise duty) on cars is calculated.

What’s changing?

Essentially the change in road tax is down the way that CO2 bands are being calculated. After April 1st fewer cars will come under the £0 band, which isn’t good news for motorists currently enjoying the exemption.

The First Year Rate (referred to as the first licence period) is still based on a graduated table of CO2 emissions, with cars falling into bands, from £0 for cars with zero emissions, all the way up to £2,000 for vehicles with CO2 emissions above 255g/km.

However, after the first year, cars will move into a second licence period known as the Standard Rate. All cars, other than those with zero CO2 emissions, are required to pay a yearly standard rate of £140.

There are some exceptions to this standard rate, more details of which can be found in this downloadable guide by ICL.

See new 2017 VED bands below:

Emissions (g/km CO2) First Year Rate Standard Rate
0 £0 £0*
1-50 £10 £140*
51-75 £25
76-90 £100
91-100 £120
101-110 £140
111-130 £160
131-150 £200
151-170 £500
171-190 £800
191-225 £1,200
226-255 £1,700
Over 255 £2,000

*After the first year, cars with a P11D value over £40,000 pay an annual supplement of £310 for five years.

How might this affect you?

When a vehicle is leased, the VED is included in the monthly payments.

If the vehicle is registered after 1 April 2017, the VED rate used to calculate the monthly payments may change (refer to the table above). The actual registration date depends on the dealership supplying the vehicle, but typically a vehicle is registered on the day it is delivered. If, due to manufacturer issues, a vehicle delivery scheduled for before 1 April 2017 is delayed beyond this date, the monthly payments may change.

January 2017 Car Leasing Special Offers

january car leasing offers

The new year is here and people across the country are going through a period of personal development, change and reflection. You’re going to get that flat stomach you always wanted, run a marathon, build your own house and finally get rid of the old car for something fresh. Well…One of those resolutions is more likely than the others anyway.

Sadly Intelligent Car Leasing can’t help you burn off the mountain of mince pies and sparkling drinks consumed over the festive period. However what we can do is help you get a cracking new car at a very competitive rate.

Below are three car leasing special offers to kick off the start of January! You can also view our full range of specials using dedicated offers section of our site for more deals. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to lift the phone and speak to one of our dedicated advisors on 0344 3872727.

Offer 1 | Jaguar XF Diesel Saloon Portfolio – £237.99

Key Facts:

  • Transmission: Automatic
  • 0-60mph: 7.7 seconds
  • BHP: 180
  • CO2: 114g/km
  • Wheels: 18″ Alloy
  • Standard Features: 8 inch colour display screen, SD navigation, Electric front seats and wing mirrors, heated front seats.


Offer 2 | Nissan Qashqai Diesel Hatchback 1.5 DCi Acenta – £192.99

Key facts:

  • Transmission: Manual
  • 0-60mph: 11.9 seconds
  • BHP: 110
  • CO2: 99g/km
  • Wheels: 17″ Alloy

Offer 3 – Fiat 500 Hatchback 1.2 Lounge – £108.99

Key Facts:

  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Transmission: Manual
  • 0-60mph: 12.9 seconds
  • BHP: 69
  • CO2: 100g/km
  • Wheels: 15″ Alloy
  • Standard Features: 5″ touchscreen with bluetooth and DAB, fixed glass sunroof

We’ve got lots more offers to come in the next few weeks of 2017 so keep an eye out for more fantastic deals on our social media accounts and special offers section.

Driverless Cars – A World Without Traffic Jams, Delays and Wasted Fuel?

One of the banes of a driver’s life is getting stuck in traffic during busy periods. It is a stress, uncomfortable and an inconvenience for timekeeping to say the least. At the moment if you drive in any capacity there’s no real way of avoiding traffic jams, congestion and disruptions at some point or another.

However, imagine a world where traffic consistently flows without disruptions, even when the roads are at their most congested during rush hour and at peak times.

That is quite likely the reality we’ll face in the future when autonomous cars are ubiquitous. A very strange thought indeed, but it is probable that at some point in the future our roads will be entirely populated by self-driving cars. One of the advantages of self-driving (autonomous) cars is that they are fitted with 360 degree sensors/cameras and have the ability to communicate with other systems in real-time.

This ability to communicate with other systems is the key to eradicating traffic jams in the future. Did you know the majority of jams and delays today are not caused by any actual obstruction issue with the road? Traffic delays are most commonly caused by a phenomenon known as the ‘phantom traffic jam’. The following video below explains it perfectly:

In the future the road will essentially be a large interconnected network of computers (cars) all talking to one another simultaneously. This means that there won’t be the issue of getting too close to the car in front and having to brake harshly. Even if somehow this was to happen, the other vehicles on the road would be able to deal with it effectively, as opposed to the current outcome which is a jam travelling backwards like falling dominos.

As we’re finding out from the Google self-driving car, these machines are finding efficiencies and driving techniques that humans wouldn’t even consider. This article recently published in Popular Mechanics talks about how the self-driving car has found ways to achieve a 3 point turn that are quicker, safer and more efficient. However the motions of such manoeuvres are disconcerting to human occupants, and as such the cars need to be re-programmed. Humans prefer arcs and smooth shapes when performing turning manoeuvres according to research. Therefore the future of motoring development could be in overcoming the clinical efficiency of computer calculated driving.

This machine-learning of self-driving cars however translates to general road driving as well. The car will be able to automatically calculate the best route, speed and gear change timings to get you to your destination as quickly as possible with maximum fuel efficiency.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions and many hurdles to overcome before autonomous cars can be fully launched. However as we can see from this article and other research the benefits are vast and getting this technology ‘right’ could give us a hugely positive change on the roads.


Celtic FC has named a Glasgow-based vehicle leasing company as its ‘official’ car-leasing partner until June 2018 in a deal that will help raise thousands for charity.

The arrangement set up between the club and Intelligent Car Leasing sees the business provide 39 leased vehicles for a number of club players, backroom staff and other employees; 37 of which are from Kia Motors including the CEE’D and the Sportage.

The move means a big boost for the club’s charitable arm – Celtic FC Foundation – which is set to receive as much as £15,000 over the period of the leasing company’s involvement.

Celtic skipper Scott Brown joined Intelligent Car Leasing marketing executive Mairi McAslan to launch the new initiative.

Intelligent Car Leasing donates £10 to the Foundation for every single car leased through the company’s website (

Celtic FC Foundation’s key aim is to provide assistance to those who face daily challenges within the key priority areas of improving Health, promoting Equality, encouraging Learning and tackling Poverty (HELP).

Martin Brown, Managing Director at Intelligent Car Leasing, said: “We’re delighted to be named as Celtic FC’s official car leasing partner and are particularly pleased to work with Celtic FC Foundation into 2018. It’s good to know that the money we raise is used to make a real difference to the lives of those in our community and beyond.

“It’s a real honour for Intelligent Car Leasing to be an official sponsor of the much-loved football club, Celtic FC so there was no doubt that we wanted to continue our relationship with the Foundation as well.

“From a business perspective it’s good to work with club that’s both a major sports institution and a globally recognised brand.”

Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive, Celtic FC Foundation said: “We are delighted to have  Intelligent Car Leasing as the Club’s new car partner and we are so pleased that as well as providing such an excellent service to the Club and its supporters, they are making such a vital contribution to Celtic FC Foundation.

“The support of ICL will be very important in allowing us to continue our work in our important key areas. This will be vital in making a positive difference to the lives of others”.

“Everyone at Celtic FC Foundation thanks Intelligent Car Leasing for their generous support.”

Throughout the next two seasons Intelligent Car Leasing will offer football fans exclusive offers and the chance to win ‘money can’t buy’ prizes in a series of online competitions.

Intelligent Car Leasing provides car leasing and contract hire deals to personal and business customers throughout the UK.

Martin Brown added: “Through our easy-to-use website, customers – both private and business -  can browse at their own pace, see the latest special offers and promotions and make their choice with Intelligent Car Leasing.

“We take the time to fully accommodate each customer’s needs and give a truly personal service while maintaining big brand competitive prices.”

ICL Launches New Road Safety Guide

As a leasing company which wants to blog about a range of topics and not just our latest and greatest offers, ICL produces a wide range of helpful content. This time round we have written a detailed and illustrated guide on motorists and cyclists sharing the road together safely.

You can see the guide by clicking here.

It contains detailed tips on 5 common types of collisions between motorists and cyclists and how these can be avoided. There are also key tips on bicycle safety that riders should adhere to, in order to make sure that they’re as safe as possible any time they head out on the open road.

We hope you find it useful – safe travels!