MOT

How to check how many miles you drive each year and avoid invalidating your insurance

How to check how many miles you drive each year - and avoid invalidating your car insurance

If you’re unsure how many miles you drive each year, you’re not alone. More than a quarter of drivers could be guessing how far they drive and it may cost them dear, according to a survey.

The findings mean millions of drivers could be paying too much for their car insurance or, more worryingly, may be at risk of invalidating their policy.

The survey of 2,000 drivers highlighted how 27 per cent of Britain’s motorists ‘guesstimate’ how far they drive each year. It was conducted by uSwitch.

Why is it important to submit an accurate annual mileage to insurers?

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Car exhaust system cleaning: is it worth using DIY products for catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters?

Car exhaust system cleaning: is it worth using DIY products for catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters?

Within your car’s exhaust system there are two areas that are hot spots for trouble and often need cleaning – the catalytic converter and the diesel particulate filter. Both of these cause problems for the efficient running of your car and can lead to it failing its MOT. In fact, Britain has a monthly peak of 43,000 cars failing the annual roadworthy test because of unacceptably dirty emissions from the exhaust.

Given the high cost of replacement parts, it’s no surprise that many drivers are embracing DIY cleaning products. These claim to return to good health congested catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters. We look at the options for drivers and ask whether they are worth using.

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Buying bangers: All you need to know about buying older cars

Buying bangers

Just because a car’s a bit older doesn’t mean it has to be scrapped. Read our tips on how to buy an older model.

Buying bangers isn’t for everybody but it might just make sense. You might need a cheap car quickly. Or perhaps you’re fed up with pouring money into new cars that seem to lose their value quicker than you can make the monthly payments. Continue reading

Car exhaust emissions: What they are and why they may cost you money

Exhaust emissions

Smoke-like steam when you start up is normal. If it continues, your car could have a problem

The moment you turn your car’s engine on, exhaust emissions start coming out of its tail pipes. They could cause your car to fail its annual MOT test if examiners judge that too many harmful gases are being emitted. They could even land you with a fine.

There’s nothing drivers of internal combustion engine cars can do about small levels of exhaust emissions. They are, after all, the result of the chemical reaction taking place when fuel is burnt by the engine. But with tougher checks for cars’ exhaust emissions, find out how to stay the right side of legal. Continue reading

How to check a used car’s V5C logbook and MOT are genuine

How to check the V5C and MOT documents are genuine

It would be nice to imagine that when buying a used car, every vendor is as trustworthy as a girl guide and each handshake worth as much as a legally binding written contract. Sadly, there’s no shortage of unscrupulous, shady characters who make Tony Soprano seem positively saintly. And that’s why it’s important to check a used car’s V5C registration document and MOT.

The V5C is essentially the authorities’ record of who owns, or is responsible for a car. When someone selling a car produces it, a buyer can use the V5C to check that the vehicle is what it claims to be, and that the person selling it is the car’s owner and entitled to sell it.

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White vans slammed: Drivers urged to act on unsafe overloaded vans

Unsafe overloaded vans

Sadly, not all vans are as well looked after as this one (Picture © Iveco)

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