As St Patrick’s Day gets underway, countless revellers will hijack the religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland, and dress up in green-coloured outfits to keep themselves invisible to leprechauns that are said to like nothing more than pinching unsuspecting individuals.
One or two pints of Guinness are likely to be consumed, and pubs and bars around the world will be ringing out to the cries of “Luck of the Irish!”, an expression that dates back to the 19th century, when Irish miners enjoyed successes during America’s gold and silver rush.
To mark the occasion, we’ve compiled a quiz on some of the world’s strangest superstitions for drivers. Continue reading
Drivers have been given some good news, after Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced in the 2017 Budget that fuel duty will be frozen, despite widespread fears it would be raised to help balance the nation’s books.
It means that for the seventh year in a row, the duty on fuel remains frozen. This is estimated to save the average British driver £75 a year, and as much as £270 for van drivers.
At the same time, road tax – formally known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – has been frozen for a further year, for private motorists and hauliers.
Are you an experienced driver? Can you tell one end of a spark plug from another? Do you know how to operate a swish infotainment system? And could you change a wheel at the roadside, or even just check the air pressure of a car’s tyres?
Nearly every driver secretly fancies themselves as being ‘above average’ behind the wheel. But cars are becoming so complex that it’s understandable if there are features few of us are familiar with.
However, there are some fundamental items on a car that either need checking regularly, to keep you safe on the road, or that you should know how to operate to help get the best from your car’s technology.
See how well you know your way around a car by taking this fun quiz. And once you’re done, send it to friends to see who’s the more knowledgeable driver…
Choosing the right car seat for children can be confusing at the best of times. But now the government has introduced new car seat rules, in line with United Nations legislation, which is aimed at phasing out the use of simple booster cushions for young children.
Previously, children as young as three-years old, or weighing more than 15kg, were legally allowed to use a basic booster cushion.
However, safety experts have long held concerns that the cushion-style seats offer little, if any protection to children in the event of a car accident. The UN cites EU figures, from 2010. These showed that nearly half of all children killed in road crashes were passengers in a vehicle.
The new legislation means only children taller than 125cm or weighing more than 22kg will be permitted to use a backless booster purchased after 9 February 2017.
Just how great is the British car industry? And what about the cars it produces? Britain, like any other nation, has enjoyed its fair share of ups and downs. There have been success stories, and then there have been British cars that have ruined their makers and reduced grown men to tears.
To test your knowledge of the landmark cars and places that have shaped the jigsaw of the British car industry over the years, we’ve devised a devilishly difficult quiz – well, difficult for those that can’t picture the difference between a Mini and a Maxi.
So without further delay, put on your thinking cap and see how much you know about Britain’s brilliant and not-so brilliant cars.
The more you earn, the more money you’ll hand over if you get caught speeding
Speeding drivers will soon face much higher fines and stricter penalties. On April 24 2017, new guidelines set by the Sentencing Council will come into effect in the UK. Those caught driving at more than 101mph in a 70mph speed limit could be disqualified for up to 56 days and get a fine of between 125 and 175 per cent of their relevant weekly income.
Although the motorway fines have taken the headlines, drivers are most likely to be affected by the new fines and penalties on slower roads. If you are caught at between 31 and 40mph in a 30mph zone you will get three penalty points and a fine of between 25 and 75 per cent of your weekly income. Currently many drivers get away without points and a fine by paying for a speed awareness course.
How big are the changes for speeding drivers? Continue reading
Air pollution means cars with high emissions could be prevented from entering Paris or Lyon
As millions of Britons make plans for their Easter or summer holidays, travellers driving to France must ensure that their car has an emissions sticker when visiting Paris or Lyon – the two largest cities in France.
The sticker system has been introduced to help tackle air pollution in city environments, and is active in Grenoble, as well. Other French cities are likely to join the scheme.
Called Crit’Air, it effectively bans old cars from city centres during weekdays and will allow authorities to restrict which cars are permitted to enter cities.
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
If TV is your thing, and you know which private detective drove a Ferrari 308 GTS, or can tell a Ford Cortina from a Consul, then try tackling our tricky TV car trivia quiz on cars that have made their mark on the small screen.
Perhaps those hours spent staring at the box can earn you more than just kudos when it comes to pub trivia. If you can answer all these questions correctly, then why not challenge friends and family to have a go, and see how closely they were paying attention to the same TV shows?
So, without further ado, settle into a comfy armchair and cast your mind back to some of the best-loved TV shows, as we take you on a road trip down television’s memory lane.
Whatever you do, don’t call it Top Gear. On Friday 18 November, petrolheads around the world will be tempted to take a cheeky sick day, as they get their first chance to watch Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond in action together on The Grand Tour.
The three troublemakers have been doing their best to avoid controversy since the BBC decided not to renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract, last March.
But now they’re back and the carnage can recommence, with an all-new car show that will continue to play on the relationship between the ‘three middle aged blokes’ as much as it will celebrate some of the most incredible things on four wheels.
The first episode will be made available through Amazon Prime on 18 November. The Grand Tour has agreed a deal with Amazon for three series over three years, with 12 episodes in each. Here’s what to expect…