Natisha and the Suzuki Jimny

10 Questions With Natisha Chatten, Auto Social UK

Natisha and the Suzuki Jimny
Natisha and the Suzuki Jimny

At Changing Lanes, we are continuing our travel around the world (virtually) to gather the best new stories and independent voices on motoring! Today, we are taking a short journey across the Irish Sea to the UK to catch up with Natisha Chatten from Auto Social UK. In this interview Natisha tells us the story of how she got started making YouTube car review videos.

Natisha has a background in the dealership side of the motor industry and this informs her approach. This experience in the retail environment means Natisha has lots of insight into what customers actually want to know about new cars, what's important to them and how to tell it to them. She's also one of the few emerging female voices on new cars, and she mentions in our interview her desire to inspire other young women to get into cars.

Natisha uses video to show her audience the features of some of the most desirable new models on the market. This year alone she's been behind the wheel of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, BMW 1 Series, the Volvo S60, the Ford Puma and the Vauxhall/Opel Corsa. She's already building a community online through YouTube and her social channels. Here's what Natisha had to say about the inspiration behind her channel and some of her favourite cars!

1. Can you introduce yourself to our readers in a few sentences?

Hi, my name is Natisha, more often referred to as Tish and I am an aspiring ‘new car reviewer’ from the East of England. I have always had a keen interest in cars and have worked within the automotive industry in various roles for the past few years. I launched my YouTube channel and brand ‘Auto Social UK’ at the beginning of 2019.

2. How did you get started reviewing cars on YouTube?

A few years ago, I worked at an independent car dealership where I was thrown into the deep end and put in front of a camera. Despite my initial meltdown, I quickly become comfortable with presenting cars. I started to realise I really enjoyed it and the videos were very well received. However, I hated not being in charge of what I filmed and how long I was given to prepare so I decided I wanted to start my own YouTube channel on my own terms.

3. How are you building your community online?

I am building my online community slowly but steadily. Currently this is not my full-time job, so I am happy to grow my channel organically using other supporting social media like Instagram and Facebook. Despite this I already have quite a few people that engage regularly with my videos and content, giving me constant feedback and support, which has been overwhelmingly encouraging.

4. What inspires you?

I believe that being a female within the car industry is tough. I feel inspired to prove myself in what is predominantly a male workplace and encourage other young girls to get into cars.

Working within sales I found it very apparent that car dealerships become desensitised to the magnitude of the decision a customer needs to make when picking a new car. I wanted to build a platform that would help people to be able to explore cars within more detail from their own homes. I do not claim to be a car expert and try to look at car reviews from a customer’s point of view. What features for instance would be important to say my mum when buying a car?

Dream car: the new Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet
Dream car: the new Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet

5. What car do you drive and why?

My personal car was a sensible purchase, a little Volkswagen Street Up! At the beginning of 2019 I had to give back my company car. I needed something that was going to be reliable, as well as cheap to run and insure. This little car ticks all of the boxes. With its playful stripes and nice upgrades of full leather and panoramic sunroof I think it matches my personality and needs very well. In the not too distant future I have my heart set on the Volkswagen T-Roc convertible.

6. Favourite music to drive to?

You can thank my dad for my favourite driving playlist. We used to take road-trips down to Devon regularly when I was younger and there would always be The Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Arctic Monkeys blaring through the speakers. Still to this day that is my favourite music to drive to.

7. What do you like to do when not testing cars?

When I am not testing cars, I like to travel. I love exploring new cities that I haven’t been to and writing travel itineraries for my trips.

Natisha and the Skoda Karoq
Natisha on location with the Skoda Karoq

8. What would be in your dream 3 car garage?

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

Audi TTRS.

Lamborghini Urus.

9. Favourite place in the UK for a road trip?

I would have to choose the Norfolk coast as my favourite place for a UK road trip. It’s not far from myself in Suffolk and holds lots of happy memories, from spotting seals in Hunstanton to catching crabs in Cromer.

10. And finally, how can our readers follow your work?

If you want to follow my journey; the best way would be to subscribe to my YouTube channel ‘Auto Social UK.’ You can also find me at autosocialuk.com, on Instagram @auto_social_UK or on Facebook @AutoSocialUKReviews.

Subscribe to Auto Social UK on YouTube for more
Subscribe to Auto Social UK on YouTube for more

Thanks to Natisha for taking part in this interview!

By Caroline Kidd


Eugene Devereux, founder of Irish Boostrapper, and his BMW 3 Series Coupe

Me And My Car: Eugene Devereux, Irish Bootstrapper

Eugene Devereux, founder of Irish Boostrapper, and his BMW 3 Series Coupe
Eugene Devereux, founder of Irish Boostrapper, and his BMW 3 Series Coupe

Irish Bootstrapper was founded by Eugene Devereux and promotes positive mental and physical health through travel and adventure. Eugene produces the popular podcast The Bootcast, which features inspiring interviews with people living and working in the travel and adventure space. Eugene also loves cars and he accepted our invitation to feature on Changing Lanes with his BMW 3 Series Coupe! I spoke to Eugene about the story behind Irish Bootstrapper, his favourite travel memories, and the most memorable journey he ever took in his BMW.

1. Can you introduce yourself in a few sentences?

Hi, I'm Eugene Devereux from Carlow, Ireland. My passions lie in travel, adventure and business, while my interests are in tech, media, music, motors and of course Ireland. My professional background is in media, sales and marketing, and in 2019 I started a new Adventure/Travel brand called Irish Bootstrapper.

Irish Bootstrapper: A new travel and adventure brand

2. What inspired Irish Bootstrapper?

I've always had a love of travel and adventure, ever since taking my first flight to Wales at 14 years old. Since then, I've been to a lot of Europe, the US and most recently South East Asia. Also, I take part in adventure races around Ireland, which are a fun, challenging way to see the country and meet new people. I had always wanted to start my own business. So, when I went travelling in 2019, I started Irish Bootstrapper effectively as a blog and it naturally progressed into what you see today: a fresh Irish brand bringing you travel and adventure products, services and content with will one day be a global powerhouse in the space.

3. As you've travelled the world, have you made any observations about cars and transport in other countries?

European cites: They love to drive cars and in general smaller cars. Take Paris or Amsterdam with their Smarts, Fiat 500s and little Renaults .

Asian Cities: They love to drive 2-wheelers!

Cambodia: Tuk-tuks and rickshaws are common public transport options.

Vietnam: The bus drivers take no prisoners! On your little scooter, get out of their way! Streets are narrower and very congested in the Vietnamese cities, like Ho Chi Minh, so it's a space thing. And, you'd be surprised what you can get onto a Honda 50! I've seen anything from a chicken pen to a ghetto blaster to literally somebody's entire home on the back of a scooter whereas in Ireland or Europe, you might think you need an SUV with a roof rack and hitch for doing the same journey. Resourcefulness with their vehicles I guess.

Irish Bootstrapper in Ho Chi Minh
Irish Bootstrapper reaches Ho Chi Minh

4. What has been your most memorable car/transport moment to date while travelling? 

In South East Asia, being a passenger on my friend's scooter on my first night in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. The sheer volume of traffic (99% 2-wheelers) and what appears to be absolute pandemonium is a total driving-awakening to somebody from a small Irish town.

In Europe, doing a road-trip with three friends from Nice in the South of France, along the coast and up into the French mountains, going through places like Grasse, Antibes, Castellane and another little gem of a town high in the mountains.

An absolutely amazing journey in terms of driving experience, scenery and stop off points. And all in a trusty Peugeot 307!

5. What in your opinion are three of the best road trips and which car would you choose to explore each of them?

Oh good question. From what I've done and what I'd like to do:

1) The South of France road trip mentioned above. You could start off in Monte Carlo and go through the coastal towns before heading into the mountains. I would do this again in an Ariel Atom. These are real "driver's roads" and the car would be ideal for maximising the spectacular views en route.

2) A trip to the West of Ireland and around the West, in something like a VW Camper. The West is so amazing in terms of terrain, scenery and its rugged Irish appeal, as well as a host of activities and traditional taste along the way.

3) The entire Route 66 in either an original Mustang or Dodge Charger. Clichéd maybe but it would be so "American muscle"!

When not travelling abroad, Eugene is driving the 2010 BMW 3 Series Coupe
When not travelling abroad, Eugene is driving the 2010 BMW 3 Series Coupe

6. Tell us about your car/what do you like about it?

I drive a 2010 BMW 320d M Sport Coupé. It's a lovely car to drive, it's reliable and actually quite fuel-efficient for a 184 bhp 2 litre. The boot is pretty big for packing for trips around Ireland and long journeys are comfortable, even on the low-profile 19s. It can be fun in the wet too!

7. Most memorable journey to date with that car? Where did you go?

Probably driving it back from Wales when I bought it. I was so excited to have bought it and the journey from Cardiff, through Swansea and onto Fishguard before boarding the ferry was a great intro to my future with the car. I drove about 300 km in total so was pretty used to its handling and response by the time I pulled into the driveway at home!

Eugene has travelled around Ireland in his 320d
The 2010 320d is powered by a 184 bhp 2.0-litre turbo diesel

8. How did you prepare for the journey?

Got my insurance changed over, brought a few snacks for the way and filled the tank in Cardiff! I found it difficult to sleep on that ferry though.

9. What was on the stereo during this journey?

Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf.

10. What did you learn from that journey? 

If you really want to do something in life, make a bit of a plan to achieve it and then take the first step. It doesn't have to be entirely mapped out with precision. Once you have a starting point, an end goal and a rough idea of how you might get there, the rest tends to fall into place. But anyway, it's the journey that matters.

Hence, the Irish Bootstrapper tagline is "Become The Journey".

Irish Bootstrapper in Saigon - eyes on the world

Listen to The Bootcast here.

You can follow Irish Bootstrapper across social media:

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Thanks to Eugene for taking part in our interview.


Interview With Nina Weizenecker

Nina Weizenecker and the Mercedes-Benz CLA
Nina Weizenecker and the Mercedes-Benz CLA

Let me introduce Nina Weizenecker, one of the brightest new stars blogging about cars! Nina is from Germany and writes for her own website and the German magazine Der Autotester. I spoke to Nina about the inspiration for her blog and her favourite cars.

1. Can you introduce yourself in a couple of sentences?

Hi car enthusiasts, my name is Nina Weizenecker and I am an automotive blogger. I'm from southern Germany and I study educational science. I also work for the German online car magazine www.der-Autotester.de. My father gave me a passion for cars from the time I was in the Maxi-Cosi. He didn't exchange his beloved Porsche for a family car when I was born!

2. How did you start your career testing cars?

Back in 2012, my father founded our car magazine, der-Autotester.de. I am part of the team since September 2018.

3. What is the inspiration behind your blog Ninacarmaria.de?

I set up my blog to share my enjoyment of all the latest models. It gives me great pleasure to give my community the opportunity to explore the newest cars with me.

Nina is an automotive blogger from Germany
Nina is an automotive blogger from Germany

4. What was your first car?

My very first car was a Fiat 500 Convertible. It was love at first sight. It was finished in a beautiful pearl white with a wine red roof.

5. Which have been your top 3 cars to test? 

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Audi R8

Suzuki Jimny

6. What has been the best moment of your career so far?

Totally hard to pin down. Of course, driving super sports cars are always indescribable moments but I enjoy testing camper vans even more, preferably by the sea!

Nina and the Lamborghini Aventador!
Nina and the Lamborghini!

7. Which place in Germany would you recommend for a road trip?

I'm from the Black Forest and I love the winding roads here. The magnificent landscape in combination with a beautiful sports car makes my heart beat faster. If you have the opportunity, you should definitely visit the Black Forest.

8. What advice do you have for anyone who wants a career as a motoring journalist?

Be authentic and love what you do.

You can follow Nina's adventures with cars on social media:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube

Thank you Nina for taking part in this interview!

Follow Nina on Instagram to stay up to date on all the cars she tests
Follow Nina on Instagram to stay up to date on all the cars she tests

Louise O'Reilly interview

Interview with Louise O'Reilly, Style Me Curvy

Louise O'Reilly is an international model and the woman behind the award-winning fashion and beauty blog Style Me Curvy. Louise has become a powerful advocate for diversity in fashion but did you know that she's also got a big passion for cars?

1) Where did your passion for cars begin?

It's something I've tried to pin down to be honest. My Grandad was always big into cars: he loved everything from vintage to more modern styles. My dad is more of the safety car fan. He's a religious Volvo worshipper. Coming from a family full of boys as well, I think it all just blended together somehow over time.

2) Tell me about your car history.

My first car was a second hand diesel Ford Fusion. She was a great starter car. Then I moved to a diesel Hyundai i30 and my current love is a Toyota Auris Sol hybrid.

3) What's your favourite car memory?

The first time I went to Mondello I was recording a segment at the time for a TV show. I was so nervous but it was something I really wanted to do for so long and they were kind enough to allow me to drive their Porsche Boxster too, which was the icing on the cake for me.

4) What would be in your dream three car garage?

That's a really tough question. Probably the Maserati GranCabrio MC or the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, both equally incredible and you'd never be late! The Range Rover Evoque or the Toyota C-HR, and finally a classic 1953 Chevrolet Corvette C1 (white with red interior). I'd like to have a nice balance between sports and practicality.

Maserati GranCabrio MC
The Maserati GranCabrio MC. Louise would have one of these in her dream three car garage.
5) How do you keep up to date on car news?

I follow a lot of car companies on social media. I'm also a massive Top Gear and Fast N' Loud fan, and of course as a blogger I love to indulge in other car blogs to see the most up to date reviews.

6) What do you find most interesting about the motor industry?

It's ever changing and particularly in 2016 I think it's so wonderful how we have such a shift in accessibility for people. There are less obstacles now to driving something that feels luxurious but that is also cost effective and low in CO2 emissions too. More and more car companies are pushing the boundaries to create more commercially friendly yet beautifully designed cars that are far more accessible than ever before.

7) How would you describe your driving style?

An over thinker, I'm always double checking everything. Extra safe I suppose you could say!

8) Hatchback or saloon?

Hatchback

9) SUV or estate?

SUV all the way!

10) Petrol or diesel?

Usually I would say diesel but I'm currently converted to a hybrid, which is combined with a petrol engine.

11) Manual or automatic?

I love a bit of both. Automatic is great for city driving but at times it can be a bit boring. Manual makes driving that little bit more interesting.

Louise O'Reilly interview
Driving this Porsche Boxster at Mondello Park is one of Louise's favourite car memories

Thank you to Louise for taking part in this interview. You can follow Louise across social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Caroline Kidd