It was twenty years ago today

The colourful and outspoken car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide, is twenty years old today.

First published on November 30, 1996, as a paperback guide to car buying, The Dog & Lemon Guide has always caused controversy.

The first issue pointed out that many popular models of car had failed international crashtests. This provoked an aggressive backlash from the motor industry.

However, despite almost universally negative response from the motor industry’s supporters in the news media, the guide prospered, growing with each edition.

By 2004, each printed guide was around 1000 pages long, making it the largest car buyers’ guide on the planet.

The Dog & Lemon Guide has always placed a strong emphasis on road safety, and has consistently campaigned for lifesaving improvements for roads and cars.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson has always been as controversial as the publication he produces, often describing the car industry as ‘a bunch of crooks’.


Dog & Lemon Guide editor Clive Matthew-Wilson. Photo credit: Greg Novak

“Except for politicians, there is no group more comfortable with lying, cheating and deceiving than the motor industry. The recent Volkswagen emissions scandal was just the tip of the iceberg; the motor industry not only regularly cheats its customers, it effectively runs government policy on transport in many countries.”

The Dog & Lemon Guide now sells its reviews through its website the last printed edition was produced in 2010.

Matthew-Wilson does not miss publishing his printed guide.

“Many of our older customers were angry when we went 100% online. However, the fact is, that style of book is now obsolete. Our $5 online reviews can offer a level of depth and presentation that was impossible with a printed guide.” reviews are now offered specifically for the Australian, New Zealand and English markets.

After twenty years, Matthew-Wilson is in no hurry to quit.


“Someone needs to keep the car industry honest”, he said today.