Icy roads probably aren’t something we think about much. Yet for many of us driving on ice is a regular occurrence during the coldest months of the year. If you have to scrape the ice off your car in the morning, or even perhaps when you leave work in the late afternoon, there may be ice on the road. We explain how to figure out whether the road is likely to be icy and how to drive if it is.
A new service has been launched for drivers to check if their car needs to go in for manufacturer recall repairs. This work is called for when specific parts or systems prove faulty on a large number of similar cars. Recently, Vauxhall had to issue a second recall for its Zafira family car’s electrical components causing fires after the first fix proved ineffective. And in 2009, Toyota had to recall around nine million cars world wide, including 180,000 in Britain, because of a problem with unintended acceleration.
To enable drivers to check if their car has been subject to a recall, data company HPI has unveiled a new service to enable drivers to have someone carry out a recall check on their behalf. You simply enter the vehicle registration and HPI does the detective work for you, for £2.99. But it will only save you about 10 minutes and there are cheaper alternatives.
How to check for free if a car has been recalled
Carrying out DIY checks on your car before you take it for its actual MOT inspection is surprisingly easy to do and could save you money. Passing the test is a legal requirement for all cars more than three years old. But for many of us, the MOT is a bit like having the outside of your home painted; we know we need to do it but we don’t look forward to it because it can bring to light remedial work that will hit the wallet hard.
According to the Driver Vehicle Services Agency (DVSA), which oversees the annual MOT test, around 40 per cent of cars fail. Yet many flunk their MOT for reasons that even a novice mechanic could spot. Follow my tips for your own basic DIY MOT test, and you could stop your car failing on the simplest points.
Van owners and drivers are being encouraged to take more care of their vehicles. It comes after research revealed many are unsafe or overloaded. A study showed almost two thirds have a serious mechanical defect. More than nine out of 10 stopped are overloaded. It has prompted a van maintenance and awareness scheme, launched by industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Continue reading
The cost of learning to drive varies from driver to driver. But it’s safe to say it’s one of the pricier parts of motoring, particularly considering that every year only around half of the 1.5 million drivers who take their test will actually pass. Here we look at the costs and potential pitfalls. As Mike Frisby from the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) explained, learning to drive is far more than simply moving a car from A to B. “It’s about attitude, behaviour, a whole variety of situations and how you go about dealing with them,” he said. Continue reading
Drivers have been warned not to be duped by government website copycats charging for services that would normally be free. Continue reading
Cars are by far the most complicated mechanical good consumers can buy, each consisting of around 12,000 components. Sometimes one or more of those parts goes wrong, either because they’ve been designed incorrectly or the materials used in them aren’t up to the job. Often this will result in the car being recalled for corrective work by the manufacturer; there were 480 notices served in 2013 on all vehicles from motorbikes to lorries. Here’s what you need to know. Continue reading