How to check how many miles you drive each year and avoid invalidating your insurance

How to check how many miles you drive each year - and avoid invalidating your car insurance

If you’re unsure how many miles you drive each year, you’re not alone. More than a quarter of drivers could be guessing how far they drive and it may cost them dear, according to a survey.

The findings mean millions of drivers could be paying too much for their car insurance or, more worryingly, may be at risk of invalidating their policy.

The survey of 2,000 drivers highlighted how 27 per cent of Britain’s motorists ‘guesstimate’ how far they drive each year. It was conducted by uSwitch.

Why is it important to submit an accurate annual mileage to insurers?

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Diesel car ban: Will it really happen and what does it mean for drivers?

Diesel car ban

About half these cars will be diesel. Could they really be banned?

Will there really be a diesel car ban? It’s been a hot topic among drivers for the past couple of years and as time passes it seems to get ever hotter. At the end of 2016 it was revealed that by 2025 diesel cars would be forbidden from entering Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City. And there are already rumours that London could follow suit.

Even if the capital doesn’t, it plus five other UK cities have been told they can create clean air zones. These would permit local authorities to charge diesel drivers for coming into city centres. In London the fee, which would be on top of the current congestion charge, is mooted as being £10. But what do these proposals mean for owners of diesel cars and drivers considering buying them?

Why are diesel cars being punished?

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Simple tips to prevent a flat battery in a car

Simple tips to prevent a flat battery in a car

On the face of it, a car battery is a boring piece of equipment that’s often hidden away and rarely given a moment’s thought. But drivers who don’t want to end up stranded at home or, worse still, at the roadside should pay more attention to their car’s battery, or it could go flat.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the battery is the heart of a car. If it goes flat, your car stops working. And flat batteries are the number one cause for technicians from Green Flag to be called out to rescue drivers.

The reasons car batteries are the number one culprit causing breakdowns are simple. Batteries don’t last forever; they typically have a working life of between five and seven years. And batteries are placed under increasing strain, as new cars offer a rising number of convenience features that can drain them with precious little warning.

Happily, you don’t have to be a trained technician to care for a battery. These are the simple steps any driver can follow to prolong the life of their car’s battery. Continue reading

Big fuel savings for better drivers. We show you how to reap them

Fuel savings

Drivers who’re more aggressive at the wheel could use significantly more fuel

Drivers with a light foot can save themselves £562 a year according to a new report. By anticipating the road ahead better, drivers can save money at the pumps and almost halve the amount they have to fill up every year.

Insurer Direct Line compiled the findings using information from drivers with telematics ‘black boxes’ fitted to their cars. It analysed 319,000 journeys over a two-month period and concluded calm, less aggressive drivers can make big fuel savings of nearly £11 a week.

What did the report find out?

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The best driving courses for mastering winter weather

The best driving courses for mastering winter weather

Winter weather isn’t only dangerous for drivers when ice lies around a bend or snow is falling from the sky. The limited daylight hours, low sun, wet leaves, standing water and submerged potholes all make for particularly difficult driving conditions.

Drivers who don’t always feel confident when faced with such challenges – and many don’t – would benefit from taking a driving course specifically aimed at dealing with winter weather.

There is a wide variety of training available, tackling everything from aquaplaning to driving on ice. Prices range from affordable refresher courses to once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Here’s how you can stay safer, and feel more confident, when driving in the most tricky of all the seasons. Continue reading

What every driver needs to know about the 2017 VED car tax changes

Car tax

Did you know that the car tax regulations will change in April, 2017? Big alterations are afoot after the government calculated that increasingly fuel efficient cars are leaving it out of pocket.

That’s because currently, the annual tax drivers pay to be on the road is calculated according to how much carbon dioxide (CO2) comes out of their car’s exhaust. And around 25 per cent of all new cars are so clean that, guess what? They’re exempt from road tax.

But from next April anybody that buys a new car will face a new regime of car tax. And overnight it will make many of the UK’s most popular new motors much more expensive to own.  Continue reading

Car exhaust system cleaning: is it worth using DIY products for catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters?

Car exhaust system cleaning: is it worth using DIY products for catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters?

Within your car’s exhaust system there are two areas that are hot spots for trouble and often need cleaning – the catalytic converter and the diesel particulate filter. Both of these cause problems for the efficient running of your car and can lead to it failing its MOT. In fact, Britain has a monthly peak of 43,000 cars failing the annual roadworthy test because of unacceptably dirty emissions from the exhaust.

Given the high cost of replacement parts, it’s no surprise that many drivers are embracing DIY cleaning products. These claim to return to good health congested catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters. We look at the options for drivers and ask whether they are worth using.

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Expert advice: Defrosting cars – all you need to know

Defrosting cars

Iced up car windows are all too familiar at this time of year

Defrosting cars is something we all have to do at some point in the year. Although it sounds simple and should be relatively straightforward there are still some dos and don’ts. Here are my top tips to ensure you defrost your car and get going, even in the toughest conditions.

How to defrost your car

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2016 Quiz: How well do drivers know this year?

Few of us will forget 2016. It has been a momentous year, with all manner of change. Drivers have felt a few bumps in the road too. From the state of the nation’s roads, to the ups and downs of BBC Top Gear, the year has taken as many twists and turns as an Alpine pass.

The beginning of the year saw Volkswagen drivers in Britain confused by the company’s refusal to compensate drivers here, despite agreeing to settle with American buyers.

Then came warnings that the nation’s roads were in such a dire state, it would cost eye-watering sums of money to repair all the potholes.  Continue reading

Designated drivers: wild passengers and pressure to drink drive – the truth

Designated drivers

It is possible to have fun at a party and stay sober to drive friends

Being the designated driver can be a thankless task. Now the facts about staying sober to drive friends who’ve had a few can be laid bare. Being pressured into drinking by friends who’ve entrusted you with their safety and having drunken passengers distracting you are just two of the pitfalls. Nonetheless, new research by Green Flag shows that more of us than ever before (26 per cent) are volunteering to be designated drivers.

Designated drivers: the benefits

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