Green Flag

Scenic Route prize draw: Win a Scottish Highland Safari for four

Taking the Scenic Route is a celebration of going places and doing things by car that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get to. Such as a Scottish Highland Safari. As actor and TV presenter Joe Swash discovered, driving off-road takes a bit of getting used to.

Along with Highland Safaris, we’re offering you and three friends the chance to have your own 4×4 driver for the day. To win, you simply follow @GreenFlagUK and retweet our ‘RT to win’ tweet. Whoever is successful in the prize draw will have the adventure of a lifetime by Land Rover across some of the most breathtakingly beautiful and inhospitable terrain in the country.

The experience will start with fully paid-for travel and transfers to the Fisher’s Hotel in Pitlochry. Following an overnight stay in the stylish and sumptuous hotel and a hearty breakfast, you’ll transfer to the Highland Safaris HQ in Aberfeldy, Perthshire. There you and your three guests will enjoy a full day of 4×4 driving with your very own kilted off-road driving expert.  Continue reading

Quiz: Guess the Green Flag tools and beat Joe Swash’s score

Guess the Green Flag tool

Joe Swash has been on a road trip of a lifetime, touring the Scottish Highlands in a vintage Land Rover as part of Green Flag’s Scenic Route series of inspiring drives. But when a car is almost as old as its driver, things will inevitably go wrong under the bonnet.

When cars breakdown, getting to the root of the cause is half the battle to swiftly getting it back on the road. That’s why every Green Flag breakdown van carries hundreds of tools, each with a very specific purpose. It means if a driver’s motor splutters to a halt – as Joe’s Land Rover did several times – the Green Flag technician should be able to fix the problem at the roadside.

The tools vary from the simple to the highly complex, costing from pence to hundreds of pounds. And several of them came to the rescue of Joe Swash, although he wasn’t too sure what many of them were for.

Take our quick quiz and see if you can guess the Green Flag tools and identify more of them than Joe could…

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Scenic Route: Buying old Land Rovers – the Green Flag expert’s guide

 

Fans will tell you buying old Land Rovers can be a fun and rewarding experience. Old versions of the model we now know as the Defender were the original ‘go anywhere’ vehicle. Ever since its introduction in 1948, the Land Rover is one of the few cars that can truly lay claim to having a cult following. It’s no surprise then that Joe Swash picked a Land Rover for his epic road trip for Green Flag’s Scenic Route series.

Joe’s is a 1985 Land Rover 90 Soft Top, the short wheelbase version fitted with what appears to be a poorly erected tent covering the back seats and load bay. You need a sense of adventure to own and drive a car like Joe’s. It’s also ideal to have a little mechanical knowledge or, at the least, the enthusiasm to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in, learning to fix faults as they arise. And they will – as any Land Rover owner will tell you. Continue reading

Avoid buying a flood-damaged car

Flood-damaged car

This might look like a watery write-off but it could be dried out and sold on

Thousands of used car buyers could be at risk of buying a flood-damaged car. The insurance industry is currently dealing with 2800 motor claims resulting from December’s Storm Desmond alone, according to the Association of British Insurers. The Christmas and New Year flooding in the north of England and Scotland is likely to increase that number dramatically.

Green Flag head of rescue and motor claims response, Neil Wilson, believes one in seven cars rescued by the company in flooded parts of the country will be an insurance write-off. That means six out of seven cars from flooded areas – thousands – will be put back on the road. And some will undoubtedly be sold as used cars. Here are some simple checks to ensure you don’t buy a flood-damaged car.

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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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Expert advice: How to keep your car motoring with our winter checks

Winter checks

Hopefully we won’t see too much of this. But it’s good to be prepared…


To coincide with 2015’s Road Safety Week, it seems sensible for us to carry out some simple checks to ensure our cars are up to everything that winter weather can throw at it. Of course, at Green Flag we know from experience that there are some things no driver can predict. But there are plenty that we can. To help less experienced or less confident drivers be prepared for bad winter weather, I’ve compiled these six simple checks that take just couple of minutes to carry out and can minimise the chances of a car breaking down in harsh winter weather.

Check your tyres

Even if this winter is a relatively mild one, as it has been so far, it’s likely to be pretty Continue reading

Revealed: Roads worth avoiding during the Rugby World Cup

Roads worth avoiding

Rugby World Cup matches equal large crowds which means congested roads around grounds


The roads worth avoiding during the Rugby World Cup have been revealed by Green Flag – and surprisingly they’re not all in London. In fact the analysis, carried out during September 2015, revealed that Elland Road in Leeds is expected to be the most congested rugby ground in the country.

The Rugby World Cup climaxes at Twickenham on the outskirts of London on Saturday October 31. Green Flag data reveals that more than half a million breakdowns will take place in the UK during the course of the tournament. That’s a breakdown every seven seconds.
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Breakdown causes: Why Green Flag is called out

Breakdown causes

Sensible drivers have breakdown cover and ring to be rescued

For some drivers, Friday the 13th really will be unlucky. They’ll be the thousands of car owners whose vehicles break down. Obviously cars are very complex machines with a lot of different components working together. At Green Flag we’re proud of our ability to get members’ cars going again when we attend breakdowns. And last year we helped out nearly 200,000 people. Here are the most popular reasons for calling out our technicians in 2014.  Continue reading

Checking engine oil: what you should know about your car’s life blood

Checking engine oil

Wearing a ball gown to inspect your oil in a field might be taking things a bit far… But it’s still important to check it regularly. (Picture © Mobil 1)

If the engine is the heart of your car, the oil is its blood, but checking engine oil is a lot simpler than major surgery! Without oil your engine can’t function as the oil lubricates all the moving parts and ensures your engine leads a long, healthy and happy life. It’s a worry that surveys show the majority of drivers can’t and don’t check the oil level in their cars because if the lubricant level gets too low, an engine will literally grind to a halt.  Continue reading

Green Flag promises to help Father Christmas – whoever he may be

Father Christmas

“Is this how you put fuel into one of these?” A Green Flag patrol helps get Father Christmas’s stalled sleigh going again

Green Flag is spreading festive cheer for the hundreds of temporary workers playing Father Christmas this year. Any Santa who breaks down on his way to the grotto will be entitled to complimentary cover over the holiday period courtesy of the break down provider.  Continue reading