Getting there

The zip merging debate: is it perfect sense or pushing in? We find out

zip merging

Are you driving in the closed lane on the left, or queuing patiently on the right? (Picture © Alamy)

The debate on how you merge into moving traffic when the lane you’re driving in closes is a fierce one. Do you stay in the closing lane to the very end, then merge in turn with the traffic in the open lane? Or do you move out of the closing lane as soon as you possibly can?

It’s a bit like whether you put cream on a scone before the jam or vice versa. Or perhaps even more fundamentally, whether you pronounce the word scone like ‘own’ or the other way. The law states that we should merge in turn, better known as zip merging. Yet only around a quarter of drivers (27 per cent) know this is the correct thing to do. Read on to find out why people who stay in the closing lane aren’t doing anything wrong.

What usually happens

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Expert advice: Dos and don’ts for stopping on motorway hard shoulders

Motorway hard shoulder

Don’t try to fix it yourself. Read our five dos and five don’ts for stopping on a motorway hard shoulder

A motorway hard shoulder is a dangerous place to spend time. Recent figures released by the Highways Agency revealed that between 2011 and 2016 there were 403 collisions on Britain’s motorway hard shoulders. Over that five-year period there were hundreds of injuries and, sadly, 38 deaths.

All our technicians receive comprehensive training on what to do and how to behave on the hard shoulder. While it’s their job to spend time at the side of motorways, it’s also something every driver could have to face at some point in their car-owning career. For that reason, I’ve compiled five dos and fives don’ts for the motorway hard shoulder.

DO take care entering the hard shoulder

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Wild thing: Car travel with pets – how to keep them safe on journeys

Car travel with pets

Pets can bring an enormous amount of pleasure to their owners. But car travel with pets can be as stressful for the humans as it is for the animals. Whether it’s with man’s best friend or a family feline favourite, travelling with pets in a car requires careful planning to keep people and pets safe.

For those that haven’t driven with pets in the car before, this beginner’s guide is aimed at covering all the basics for national and international travel. If any seasoned travellers have more tips for keeping pets safe in a car, please share them in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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Quiz: See how many of these British road signs you can identify

Quiz: Can you identify all of these British road signs?

Our proud nation produces more than its fair share of proud drivers: car owners who like to think they’re handy behind the wheel and know it all when it comes to the rules of the road. But how many of us really know the true meaning of the huge number of British road signs that we have to identify to stay safe?

After all, it may be decades since you took your driving test, and years since you last looked at the Highway Code.

So why not step up to the challenge and try identifying these 10 common British road signs?

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Most reliable cars come from Japan and Korea

Most reliable cars

Toyota’s reputation for reliability appears well founded (Picture © Toyota)

If you want a car that isn’t going to let you down, you should look to makers from the far east. New figures from guarantee firm Warrantywise show the top 10 most reliable cars comprises seven manufacturers from Japan and one from Korea.

The Warrantywise data revealed that the five most reliable manufacturers are Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi and Mazda – all from Japan. They are followed by Korean company Hyundai and Japan’s Nissan. Ford is the first non-far eastern brand. The findings tally with the 2015 Auto Express Driver Power survey where owners rated the Toyota iQ and the NX and IS from sister brand Lexus as the UK’s top three most reliable cars.

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Assess your reaction time at the wheel with online instant test

Reaction time test

Drivers think texting at the wheel is a bigger safety threat than drink driving


Did you know that being a regular driver can make your reaction times quicker than not driving? Or that for some people, not having enough sleep has as much of a negative effect on their ability at the wheel as having too much to drink? The startling results come after a new internet game was released to give drivers the chance to test their reactions.

Do you have the reflexes of an 18 year old?
Click image to open interactive version (via JustPark.com).
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Traffic jams cost drivers 30 hours every year

Traffic jams

The daily commute. On top of regular journey times, drivers waste hours in traffic (Picture © Volvo)


Traffic jams across the UK are causing drivers to lose an average of 30 hours a year. Monitoring service Inrix claims that London is Europe’s most congested city with the average driver squandering 96 hours a year because of traffic jams. Next up was Greater Manchester with 52 hours followed by Merseyside with 37 hours, the data released in August 2015 said.

However, it’s in the Midlands where the biggest increases have been seen, with congestion up by 37 per cent (to 30 hours) in North Staffordshire and 33 per cent (to 28 hours) in Coventry.
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Electric car charging roads on test in the UK

Electric car charging roads

Is this what the electric highway of the future could look like? (Picture © Highways Agency)

Electric car charging roads that will refuel battery-powered motors as they drive along are to be tested in the UK. The pilot project, a first in Britain, has been set up by the government’s Highways England. The aim is to boost the number of low emission vehicles on the road by making them easier to live with.

Electric car sales in the UK increased by 167 per cent in 2014, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The government wants to ensure this trend for switching to low emission vehicles continues. It’s investing £500m in alternative fuel transport technology over the next five years. Part of this will be on roads that can charge electric vehicles. In July 2015, Highways England published a feasibility study: Powering electric vehicles on England’s major roads. The testing of electric car charging roads result from that.

Electric car charging roads: How they’ll operate

The government’s plan is for major roads such as motorways and A-roads to feature the new charging technology. Trials will take place at a special testing facility later this year. Pure electric vehicles will be fitted with wireless technology enabling them to receive a charge on the move. Equipment installed beneath the road will generate an electromagnetic field to charge the cars.
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Expert advice: Changing a wheel after a puncture

Changing a wheel

Changing a wheel should be quite straightforward. Follow our expert advice to avoid common pitfalls (Picture © TyreSafe)

Changing a wheel: it’s one of the most common things Green Flag’s expert technicians are called out to fix and it’s also considered to be one of the simplest to do. There used to be a very macho perception that anyone can change a wheel and it was only people who didn’t want to get their hands dirty who called a breakdown service because they had a flat tyre. That’s nonsense. Changing a wheel can be tricky. Here’s a simple guide to de-mystify it.  Continue reading

Car Share: It’s not just drivers who get stressed by commuting to work

Car share

This is what it really looks like inside Peter Kay’s Car Share Fiat 500 MPW (Picture © @Conorjtwomey/Twitter)

Car share might be a comedy that gives millions of us a good laugh. But in the real world it can leave passengers feeling as stressed out as drivers. The sit com starring Peter Kay follows the twists and turns of two colleagues forced into commuting together. However, new research has revealed that a commute of just 20 minutes can be so stressful it may cause professional burn out. And in a car share situation, it’s the passengers who are more likely to feel the heat than drivers.  Continue reading