Clocking and keyless car theft: new report warns drivers about car crooks

car crooks

Clocking a car is now easier than ever with a laptop computer

Drivers are being urged to keep their eyes open in an effort to beat car crooks. A new investigation has found villains are benefiting from car clocking not being thoroughly policed. They can then profit from selling mileage-altered motors illegally. And car owners have been warned to stay up to date with manufacturer recalls designed to thwart thefts of models featuring keyless entry.

The failure to crack clocking

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Buying a cheap car? Use this to avoid scams and choose with confidence

Buying a cheap car? Use this checklist to buy with confidence and avoid scams

Finding a cheap car isn’t difficult. There are more than 800,000 used cars for sale at any one time on websites such as Auto Trader, eBay, Exchange & Mart and Gumtree. And that’s in addition to other online sales sites both locally and nationally.

Buying a good one, however, calls for drivers to do their homework. We’ve created this checklist to help drivers buy the best motor for their budget and sort the good from the bad and the downright ugly.

Research the best cheap car for your needs

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Halloween quiz: Cars in horror movies

Horror movie quiz

Halloween is almost upon us. For those that like to get into the swing of things and indulge in a spot of trick-or-treating, we’ve come up with a themed quiz for fright-night.

Based around cars that have appeared in some of the best-known horror movies of all time, it’s perfect for anyone who may have spent more nights than they care to admit to, cowering behind the sofa as horror flicks unfold.

Find out how whether you were paying attention or hiding behind a cushion, by trying our 10 devilishly difficult questions. Continue reading

Is your car affected by the £10 London T-Charge and how do you pay it?

Is your car affected by the £10 London T-Charge and how do you pay it?

The new London T-Charge has been introduced in an attempt to reduce the number of polluting cars in the capital. But drivers are already being warned that the Mayor of London wants to introduce harsher measures.

The T-Charge or ‘Toxicity Charge’ has been brought in to help tackle air pollution. This is estimated to cause the premature deaths of 9000 people a year. Here we explain which vehicles are affected by the T-Charge, how much it costs, when it operates and how to pay – and what to do if car owners need to pay a Penalty Charge Notice.

What is the London T-Charge?

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MOT 2018: what the changes are and what they mean for drivers

MOT changes

Next year the UK government is planning to bring in MOT changes. The tweaks to the annual vehicle roadworthiness test have been designed to make life easier for drivers preserving historically interesting ‘classic’ cars.

But critics say they will increase the number of unsafe cars on the country’s roads. Further changes are afoot too. The Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is currently considering the results of a consultation paper on the age that cars first take their MOT. Read on to find out more about the changes.

What are the changes to the MOT 2018?

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Expert advice: water inside your car? How to find where the leak is

leak

Water can make its way into a car in all sorts of ways. Here’s how to find a leak

One of the most frustrating elements of car ownership is when you discover a leak. You might be alerted to it by a stale musty smell. Or perhaps the carpet feels damp. Or you may notice that the car steams up of its own accord when there’s no one in it.

All are depressing because cars are supposed to be like a home from home; something that will keep you dry and warm whatever the weather. Finding water on the inside of a car is as unsettling as having a leak in your home. But leaks in cars are trickier to find than those in a building. Cars have lots of hidden pipe work and virtually every wall is an outside one. But it is possible and here’s how.

Where is the water gathering?

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Motorway services: drivers urged to share good and bad examples

Motorway services: drivers urged to share good and bad examples

Motorway services and rest areas have long been the bane of drivers’ lives. Now anyone who is blowing a head gasket over the poor conditions of facilities can do something about it. Drivers of cars, vans and lorries are being urged to name and shame poor motorway service areas.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has launched a social media campaign. It wants to use people power to drive up the standards of services and rest areas across Britain.

The FTA is taking action after the government revealed it wants to fine drivers for not taking breaks away from their vehicle. Drivers who spend rest times in their cabs face a £300 fine. But HGV drivers complain that rest facilities on Britain’s motorway network leave a lot to be desired. They argue their full-fitted cabs are frequently more comfortable.

How do I share experiences of good or bad motorway services? Continue reading

Balancing act: how to load a car roof rack safely

Balancing act: how to load a car roof rack safely

When drivers run out of space in their car, an increasingly popular practical solution is to fit a roof rack and storage box. These allow for a holiday’s worth of luggage to be carried without resorting to packing out the passenger seats. But failing to load road-mounted luggage correctly might lead to more than scattered clothes in the road. It could cause an accident.

According to IAM Roadsmart, a leading UK road safety charity, each year thousands of accidents are caused by debris falling from vehicles. Even if there aren’t any casualties caused by such an event, the charity points to the practical problem of delays. It claims that each incident leads to a 20-minute traffic jam on average.

To help keep drivers safe, the IAM’s driving experts share some simple tips for loading a roof rack safely.

Why use a roof rack or roof box?

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Expert advice: How to drive in strong winds

Expert driving advice for stormy weather and high winds

We rarely need reminding that the UK is an island. And one of the consequences of not being part of a larger continent is we’re frequently buffeted by strong winds. And that means whenever the Met Office issues weather warnings drivers in particular should pay attention.

Car owners frequently think rain and snow present the most challenging driving conditions. But wind is up there with the worst of them. Short of staying at home, lighting the fire and pouring a cuppa, what practical steps can drivers (along with bikers and cyclists) take to stay safe when they need to get from A to B in strong winds?

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Lost car keys: what to do and who to call

What to do if you have lost your car keys

A car is of no use without its key. It can’t be opened, so it’s going nowhere. And if it was locked and left in gear with the handbrake applied, it’s going to be devilishly difficult to move.

The moment most drivers realise they’ve lost their car keys, is when they need to be somewhere, soon. But first they’ve got the headache of working out how best to remedy the situation. Should they phone a friend who knows their way around a car? Perhaps it’s better to call a garage or should it be a breakdown service provider? And what about a car locksmith? Here are the steps drivers can take when they have lost their car keys.

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