Car ownership

Future of motoring: the paying car key and clever steering wheel

car key

As long as you’ve got your car key, contactless payments will be possible (Picture © DS Automobiles)

They’re parts of everyday motoring that we’ve taken for granted for years. But very soon we could look at our car key and steering wheel in a completely different light. French car company DS Automobiles has come up with a key that doubles as a payment card. And Jaguar Land Rover is working on a steering wheel that could revolutionise the way we own cars.

How do you pay with a car key?

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Drivers dread garage visits as they fear being ripped off

Garage

The perfect garage? But many drivers don’t like the jargon some garages use

Getting a car serviced is one of the fundamentals to ensuring you don’t break down. However, visiting the garage is viewed with the same dread many people experience when a visit to the dentist is on the cards. A new survey has revealed that car owners fear dealing with garage mechanics more than any other trade.

Why do we hate dealing with garages?

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Rip off at the pumps? Avoid inflated fuel prices this bank holiday

Inflated fuel prices

A Green Flag investigation has revealed inflated fuel prices on the way to some of Britain’s most popular holiday destinations. With more than three quarters of Brits (77 per cent) expected to take to the roads this August bank holiday weekend, some fuel stations seem to have increased their prices. The result is that drivers in Scotland or Cumbria, and those on the way to popular destinations who use motorways such as the M1, M4, M5 and M6, could all fall victim to pumped up prices.

Where has the most expensive petrol?

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Drug driving increase prompts calls for dope testing after crashes

Drug driving

Increasing numbers of drivers are being caught drug driving

Drug driving is increasing with more than half the drivers suspected of being under the influence of illegal substances testing positive. Now some road safety campaigners are calling for all drivers involved in accidents to face drug tests.

Figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) reveal there’s been a startling increase in drivers taking banned substances such as cocaine and cannabis. Of 2022 people stopped in June 2017, 1084 had illegal drugs in their blood. That’s 53.6 per cent compared with 39 per cent when a similar check was conducted in 2016.

Why are there so many drug drivers now?

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Vous êtes nicked! British drivers face hefty fines for speeding abroad

Speeding abroad

If that’s a speeding ticket he’s writing, it could blow the holiday budget

More than four out of five British drivers are oblivious to tough new fines for speeding abroad. Just weeks after UK speeding fines changed in April 2017, the EU increased the penalty for breaking the limit on the Continent. That means drivers could be fined up to £640. Other motoring offences, such as not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone at the wheel, are covered by the law change too.

When UK drivers were asked by Green Flag about their driving habits , the largest proportion (45 per cent) said they broke the speed limit abroad by mistake. And more than a third (38 per cent) claimed they find themselves speeding abroad because they don’t know the limits.

Driving abroad: what are the speed limits?

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Life savers: safety features drivers should pick for their next car

Life savers: optional safety features drivers should choose for their next car

Car firms can now fit even the most modest motors with an astonishing array of safety equipment. It’s kit that’s designed to assist drivers and prevent crashes happening. But according to a study by What Car?, four times as many drivers prioritise connectivity, fancy audio units, navigation systems and alloy wheels over advanced systems that can help keep them, their passengers and other road users safe.

Many road safety experts believe this is because drivers don’t fully understand what the systems do, and how they can help. Here we investigate some of the most significant safety systems available on used and new cars.

Automatic braking systems

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How to save money on car servicing

car servicing

Be smart about car servicing and you can cut how much he’ll cost

Car servicing costs could escalate by as much as 10 per cent after Brexit. A new report conducted for car industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) warns that if tariffs and other trade barriers come into force when the UK leaves the European Union, prices could rise. It claims the average annual cost of car servicing would then increase to £777.

According to the SMMT, 80 per cent of car spares are imported. Almost three quarters of those come from EU-based suppliers. The SMMT is concerned that if no new trading relationship with the EU is secured, tariffs and customs barriers will hike the prices of these parts.

Last year, every UK car owner spent an average £707 on car maintenance. Tyres, lubricants and filters were the most commonly replaced items. However, demand is rising quickly for telematics devices and tyre pressure monitoring sensors. Read our five top tips on how to save money on car servicing.

What does servicing entail?

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What drivers should know about the Audi and Mercedes diesel recalls

UK to ban diesel and petrol cars from sale by 2040

Mercedes has announced a recall of three million diesel cars worldwide. And Audi said it will carry out repairs to nearly a million of its diesel models. The moves come as the German car makers scramble to reduce levels of harmful toxic emissions and restore drivers’ faith in diesel engines.

In 2015, the Volkswagen Group confessed to cheating at US environmental tests. It has subsequently been forced to carry out fixes to around 11m cars worldwide.

Yesterday the European Commission confirmed that it is conducting an investigation into German car makers over allegations of a cartel that colluded over technology.

With one bad news story after another, here’s what drivers need to know about the latest Mercedes recall.

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Connected cars coming to a road near you soon

Connected car

Weather conditions, the state of traffic, and engine software updates will be handled automatically by connected cars. (Picture © Continental)

If you’re lucky enough to drive a car that has its own mobile internet network, you’re ahead of the curve. You’re driving what’s known as a connected car. As time passes, these vehicles will become fundamental to everything we do on the road. They’ll revolutionise how we think of transport and spend time in our cars. They’ll speed up the likelihood of full self-driving cars. And they’ll cut the number of crashes, one day maybe even making road deaths history. Here’s all you need to know about the connected car.

The beginnings of the connected car

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Diesel car sales fall but new tech could make it cleaner and greener

Diesel cars

Diesel cars are blamed for poor air quality courtesy of their exhaust emissions

Diesel car sales are falling as drivers turn their back on it because of health concerns. But diesel power is about to hit back with new technology designed to reduce harmful exhaust emissions.

Official figures show that sales of diesel cars were down in the UK by a fifth in May 2017 and by 15 per cent in June. That’s compared with the same period in the previous year. The slump is believed to have been caused by various factors. The high-profile Volkswagen diesel cheat device case raised people’s awareness of the harm of the nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollutants diesel produces. But people are also concerned that diesel cars may be slapped with hefty taxes.

However, we can reveal that diesel is hitting back. Automotive technology giant Continental has worked out how to make a much cleaner diesel car.

Why do we need diesel?

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