Chris Haining

Chris Haining face

Chris is the subeditor for What Car? magazine. Doodling cars ever since he was able to lift a crayon, his ambition to be a car designer led to him earning a degree in Transport Design at Coventry University. However, his career path would soon be changed by the very magazines that fed his obsession.

While working in premium car sales, Chris started an online motoring blog and later joined the staff of American cult motoring website Hooniverse. .This role held the key to a full-time role in automotive journalism, initially as a content editor with Carbuyer. Now well established at What Car?, when a story really puts you in the driving seat and leaves you with the feeling that you’ve completed a journey, Chris has done his job.

Away from his desk, Chris can usually be found listening to music, or driving (or repairing) one of his old and worthless – yet beloved – cars. He still frequently draws cars, too, but these days using a pen or computer, rather than a crayon.

Chris is an expert in:

  • New and used car sales
  • Aftersales support
  • Engine and gearbox technology
  • Ride and handling
  • Classic cars

Chris Haining Q&A:

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a car buyer?

Be open-minded about brand. Brand loyalty is a trap; buyers often develop a strong leaning towards a particular carmaker, and this prevents them from even trying rival cars that might well prove more suitable or more enjoyable in the long run. You might prefer the image of a given brand over its competitors, but remember image is really all in the mind. It’s what the car is like to live with day-to-day that really matters.

What’s the best car you’ve ever driven?

I drove a Nissan GT-R Black Edition, from Edinburgh to Colchester, via Glasgow. Never before – or since – had I driven anything so dynamically competent, nor so blisteringly quick. The trouble is, it was too good. Its clever electronic brain turned me into a passenger; it was really the car that was doing all the hard work. As a result, while the GT-R served up exhilaration galore, I actually had more fun in my parents’ 1997 Ford Ka, which had one tenth as much power. Now long-since scrapped, that charming, simple, economical and practical Ka was the best car I’ve ever driven.

What will the car market look like in 20 years?

There will be a lot of brand names that you won’t find in What Car? Today, and that means consumers will have much more choice. I expect this to be particularly at the cheaper end of the electric car market, with many cars sharing technology, just like how rival mobile phones share the same processors and electronics, often made by a third party on behalf of a given brand. With very little to separate each car beneath the surface, you’ll make your choice based on design, equipment, price and – inevitably – image preference.

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