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Accelerate into 2020 with the UK’s Best Car Shows

With ice and snow forecast over the next few months, combined with gridlocked roads, UK motorists could be in for a tough few weeks.

But the start of a new year also means the motoring calendar is hotting up – and these are the dates for petrolheads to put into their diaries.

The list has been compiled by leading UK car leasing firm Select Car Leasing, who say it could be one of the most exciting years yet when it comes to four-wheeled talking points.

Mark Tongue, Company Director at Select Car Leasing, the UK’s leading specialist in car and van leasing, said: “When it comes to new cars ready to hit forecourts, we’re in for an exciting 12 months.

“We’ve got cars like the Tesla Model Y, Aston Martin DBX, Ford Mustang Mach-E as well as Lotus’s Evija hypercar to look forward to.”

“And the year’s motoring shows look equally tempting, whether you’re into restored classics, Japanese drift motors or US Hot Rods.”

The British Motor Show

After a 12-year absence, the iconic event returns in all its glory. Live action, including stunt driving displays, supercar and classic car parades and demonstrations from the latest manufacturers and tech firms, will take place at the Farnborough International Expo Centre, adjacent to the site of the world-famous Farnborough Air Show.


Discussing the relaunch of one of Europe’s most iconic motor shows, British Motor Show Chief Executive Andy Entwistle said: “Motor shows are going through a transformation, not just in the UK, but globally.

“With the emergence of EV, the industry is in the process of its most significant upheaval in living memory.

“This has created a groundswell of interest in motor shows and we’ve seen growing crowds at many of the biggest shows, including Geneva as well as further afield in LA and Shanghai.

“I’m incredibly excited to announce that we’re leading this transformation by bringing the British Motor Show back.

“This will be like no motor show that has been seen before, and our focus on past, present and future means there will be something for the whole family, as well as every petrol-head.

“I’m particularly excited about the technology hall where we will be able to get EVs and alternatively fuelled vehicles in front of the masses for the first time.”

When: 20-23 August

Where: Farnborough International Exhibition Centre, Hampshire

Price: £18.50 adults, £37 family

Autosport International

This racing-focused event is a must for motorsport fans and industry professionals. Giving visitors the opportunity to get up close to iconic race car displays and a host of motorsport stars - including this year’s star guest, F1 race winner Charles Leclerc.


Highlights include the UK’s largest indoor racing track - ‘The Live Action Arena’ - where thrill seekers can enjoy exhilarating precision driving, live wheel-to-wheel racing, and stunt drivers. There is also the F1 Racing Display where fans can see modern F1 cars.

When: 9-12 January

Where: Birmingham NEC

Price: £31 - £138, depending on access locations

London Classic Car Show

Now in its sixth year, the London Classic Car Show appeals to discerning classic car owners, collectors, experts and enthusiasts, who can view some of the world’s finest classic cars and vintage models for sale.


Organisers say guests will be treated to a new selection of carefully curated features and celebrations of some of the most exotic and exquisite marques from throughout the decades.

When: 20-23 February

Where: Olympia London

Price: £25-£75 (£20 child), depending on the day and standard or premium ticket

Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show with Discovery

For enthusiasts looking to ignite their passion to finish a restoration project, or who want to view beautiful completed classic cars on display, this event is a must-see.


The show brings together over 1,000 display cars and in excess of 250 exhibitors and autojumbles, including restoration companies, services providers and product suppliers.

There’s live demonstrations, car auctions and competitions being held, practical workshops on restoration skills are also taking place with numerous celebrities expected to be in attendance.

When: 27-29 March

Where: Birmingham NEC

Price: £21-£41 (£16 child), depending on the day and ticket

Fanatics Motor Show

Anyone who appreciates vehicles in general, be they classics, modified or standard, will find this show a must, according to organisers. They say, ‘We're here to share the love for motors! Whether you're on a Vespa, in a Lambo or cruising along in your mum's Kia Picanto, we want you!’

When: 6 June

Where: Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

Price: £10 adults, £5 ages 4-15, and free to under-4’s

JapShow

The JapShow event is open to anyone who likes Japanese motors, be it a Nissan Micra, a race spec Evo, or a Yamaha R1.


All Japanese cars and bikes are welcome at a show which features club displays and a trade area and, for those that like the louder side of life, there’s a variety of attractions.

These include the country's quickest Japanese cars competing in the FWD Drag Series.

When: 6-7 June

Where: Santa Pod Raceway, Poddington, Bedfordshire

Price: from £14 adults, free for under-13’s

Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry

This two day motor-themed cultural festival in the heart of Coventry - the UK’s Motor City - brings together thousands of people to celebrate the vehicle industry.

It features thrilling motorsport, heritage displays, global street food, live music and more. According to organisers, MotoFest is the one summer party invite that’s just “too good to turn down”.

When: 6-7 June

Where: Central Coventry

Price: Free, non-ticketed

Hot Rod and Custom Drive-in Day

The south of England’s biggest Hot Rod and Custom event features hundreds of cool, colourful custom cars, live music and other entertainment. Hot Rods, Customs, American Muscle, and Chops & Bobbers will be among the hundreds of vehicles on display.

Visitors can also expect a stunning display of American motors from sponsor Solent

Renegades, and there will be classic Camaros to modern Mustangs taking part.

When: 21 June

Where: Beaulieu, New Forest National Park, near Southampton

Price: tbc

Goodwood Festival of Speed

Hailed as the world’s largest motoring garden party and a unique summer weekend, this event features a heady mix of cars, stars and motor sport ‘royalty’. Held in the grounds of Goodwood House, one of the major draws is the famous hill-climb event, with climbs 1.16 miles through the picturesque grounds.


Last year the course record - held for 10 years - was smashed by a 671bhp VW ID R electric racer, completed the climb in a time of 39.90 seconds. Consider that gauntlet to be well and truly thrown down for 2020….

When: 9-12 July

Where: Goodwood House, West Sussex

Price: £42-£210

Festival of Wheels

This adrenaline-fuelled event is perfect for petrolheads who crave spectacle. There will be monster trucks, the ‘Demon Drome’ wall of death and motorcycle stunt teams - as well as the full gamut of cars, from low riders and muscle motors to trucks and scooters.

Away from the cars, there’s also BMW racing and wrestling shows, and you can book a ride in a Land Rover on the mini off-road course. The organisers say it’s, ‘An intoxicating mix of cars, bikes, trucks and all things motoring come together over two superb days for the Festival of Wheels.’

When: July 31-August 2

Where: Trinity Park, Ipswich

Price: Free to £19

The Ultimate Show

Launching this year, organisers say the event will feature a selection of the best ‘stance, performance and modified vehicles’ along with traders showcasing their products.

With live entertainment, including prize giveaways, the show will also have awards for the best vehicles on display.

Show organiser Ryan Taylor says: “After a number of years organising car events throughout the North-West I thought it was time to up the game and bring a professional automotive to the city of Liverpool. The city hasn’t hosted an event of this type before and what a place to bring The Ultimate Show too. After a number of meetings with Exhibition Centre Liverpool it felt the perfect venue to work with”

When: 15 August

Where: Exhibition Centre, Liverpool

Price: £11-£16 (free for under-12’s), depending on the day and ticket


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