Getting there

Not-so glorious mud: what to do if your car is stuck in mud

What to do if your car is stuck in mud

Mud, mud, glorious mud, goes the song, but it’s not something many drivers will be singing about if they end up stuck in the stuff.

Unfortunately, a combination of British weather and occasional parking venues at weddings, outdoor events and even farm shops mean it’s not just intrepid explorers who find their cars come a cropper and end up bogged down in mud. Everyday drivers do too.

So without further delay – especially for those who are, literally, stuck in the mud as they read this – here are some tips that may help get things moving again. Continue reading

Five useful apps for drivers planning a great escape over bank holiday weekend and beyond

Five useful apps for drivers planning a great escape over bank holiday weekend and beyond

The end of the summer holiday season is fast approaching which means that, despite children often doing their best to wear out mum and dad faster than the batteries of a radio controlled toy, millions of parents are planning last minute getaways to make the most of spending time together as a family.

Typically the most popular time to plan a last minute great escape is over a bank holiday. The next is on Monday, 29 August (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and more often than not arranging any trip involves packing the family into the car.

To help the bank holiday go smoothly for drivers, we’ve rounded up five useful apps that can take the stress out of travelling.

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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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In-car games: I-Spy beats iphones. Old favourites are best for long drives

In-car games

Keeping kids smiling when you’re on a long trip can be a challenge

Old-style in-car games such as I-Spy are the most popular ways to occupy kids on road trips. They beat smartphones and tablets, which astonishingly, are among the least popular choices to keep young passengers happy on car journeys.

New research by YouGov for garage rating organisation Motor Codes tallied with a recent study by Green Flag which found that travelling together is an opportunity to spend quality time with the family. The increasingly popular driving holiday is seen as a time for families to ditch technology in favour of entertainment that encourages creativity, learning and laughs for the whole family.

Looking out of the window and playing age-old observational in-car games such as I-Spy were cited by more than 60 per cent of drivers as the best way to keep youngsters entertained. This was the particular favourite of 18 to 24 year olds and over 55s.

Great in-car games to play with kids

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How to report problems with roads, potholes, drains and street lighting

Guide to reporting road faults such as potholes and blocked drains

Driving can be challenging at the best of times. From trying traffic conditions to confusing road layouts, pedestrians to be mindful of and blind bends hiding danger, there’s a lot to take in. So we could all do without having to worry about potholes the size of Lake Windermere, blocked drains and faulty street lights.

Unfortunately, such problems are now a permanent fixture of driving today. And authorities can’t spend all day, every day scouring their road network for faults. But everyone that uses the roads can do their bit to help make them better – by reporting problems with potholes, drains, street lighting and more.

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Driving abroad: Why you need breakdown cover

Breakdown cover can save wasting holiday time (Picture © TyreSafe)

Breakdown cover can save wasting holiday time (Picture © TyreSafe)

Having your vehicle break down is never something you expect and when it does happen it’s frequently at the most inconvenient time. Green Flag’s Sam Jackson explains how having breakdown cover can transform what would have been a difficult experience into a minor adjustment to your trip, even if you’re in foreign climes.  Continue reading

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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Half a million breakdowns driving home for Xmas – but you can avoid it

Driving home for Xmas

This is what the Christmas break will mean for more than half a million drivers

Driving home for Xmas with the family is waning in popularity. But of the millions of car owners who do make the trip home for Christmas, 510,000 will be delayed on the way by a conked out car. According to Green Flag research, between December 24th and 29th, there will be a breakdown every six seconds.

Throughout December and January, Green Flag warns there will be 900,000 breakdowns. Despite that, only 23 per cent of drivers now carry a tool kit in their car. However, 41 per cent do have a first aid kit; 44 per cent will be carrying water and 74 per cent of British drivers will be armed with their trusty ice scraper.

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Drink driving videos from Think! tell drivers not to give in to peer pressure

Think! drink drive video 2015

It’s a scenario familiar to many drivers: the phone rings and it’s your wife asking to be collected from the train station. But you’ve drunk more than one glass of wine with dinner and you’re not really sure whether it’s a good idea to get behind the wheel.

It isn’t. At least, that’s the message from Think!, the road safety campaigning arm of the Department for Transport (DfT). Its seasonal Christmas driver safety adverts remind drivers that they mustn’t give in to peer pressure to drink and drive.It also tells drinkers that they shouldn’t pressure drivers into joining them for ‘just one more’ before they hit the road. It comes in response to DfT figures that show the number of casualties in the UK caused by drink drivers increased in 2014 compared to the previous year.
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When it comes to the crunch these are the safest family cars on sale

Suzuki Vitara is the safest compact SUV tested by Euro NCAP

Even if you’re as handy behind the wheel as Lewis Hamilton, Britain’s three-time Formula One World Champion, and drive one of the most sophisticated supercars money can buy, accidents can happen. Fortunately for Hamilton, no one else was involved in his slightly embarrassing car crash in Monte Carlo. But it shows that a moment’s loss of concentration could lead to a costly crunch. In such an event, which are the safest family cars in an accident?

Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) is an independent, not-for-profit car safety organisation that subjects most new cars to simulated accidents and measures how well they’ll protect passengers and pedestrians.

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