Expert advice: how to de-ice your car safely

De-icing a car is something we all have to do at some point in the year. Although it sounds simple and should be relatively straightforward there are still some dos and don’ts. Here are some top tips to make sure you can de-ice your car and get going, even in the toughest conditions.

How to de-ice your car

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Cheap running costs and reliability – why electric car sales are booming

Sales of new electric cars are rising in the UK (Picture iStock/SvenLoeffler)

Electric car sales are booming in the UK. New figures reveal that in the first 10 months of 2020, purchases of new battery-powered motors were up by 195 per cent in the UK on the same period the year before. As well as an ever-expanding choice, much of it is down to a growing number of car buyers waking up to the benefits of electric motoring.

Rather than just being easier and cheaper to fuel – power for electric cars costs about a third of conventional fuels – electric cars are also cheaper to run. Here we look at why they cost so much less than internal combustion models.

Why are electric cars more reliable?

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Mobile phone laws for drivers to change making touching devices illegal

mobile phone laws
Loopholes in the law that let drivers use smartphones will be closed in 2021 (Picture iStock/Mthipsorn)

The government is planning to change mobile phone laws for drivers in the first few months of 2021. It wants to close loopholes in the law. These enable drivers to use their devices at the wheel in ways that might be as dangerous as making a call.

The gaps have come about as phone technology has become more sophisticated with smartphones. To plug the loopholes, the government wants to make it illegal for drivers to touch their phone.

What will the new mobile phone law say?

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Catalytic converter theft Why it’s on the rise and are you at risk?

catalytic converter
Car catalytic converters can be stolen for the precious metals they contain (Picture iStock/BanksPhoto)

The Catalytic converter or ‘cat’ is a standard part of every modern car’s exhaust system. It helps to reduce harmful pollutants in the engine’s fumes. But thefts of catalytic converters are increasing dramatically.

In 2019, reported thefts of cats rose to 13,000 throughout England and Wales – up six times on the previous year. It’s not cheap to put right either. Replacement catalytic converters cost anywhere between £500 and £2500, depending on the car. Read on to find out if you could be at risk.

What is a catalytic converter?

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Drivers who need an MOT warned to book early to avoid test backlog rush

test backlog
Drivers are being warned of an MOT backlog over the next three months (Picture iStock/FG Trade)

Car owners whose MOT falls in the coming three months should book their test early. Garages are experiencing a surge in demand for MOTs, creating a test backlog. There are fears some drivers may struggle to get their car tested in time.

The extra demand is thanks to the MOT extension brought in at the end of March 2020. Experts believe there could now be nearly twice as many drivers looking to have MOT tests done in November, December and January. This will make garages much busier than usual.

What happened when MOTs were delayed

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Poor eyesight and clocks going back are November road safety hazard

poor eyesight
A fifth of drivers haven’t had their eyes tested for at least two years (Picture iStock/RapidEye)

The clocks going back sees November registering a dramatic increase in the number car crashes in the UK. It’s caused by more people driving in the dark combined with the weather getting worse.

But one thing drivers can do to protect themselves and other road users is have their eyes tested. Read on to find out why dodgy eyesight is a significant contributor to road crashes.

How many UK drivers have poor eyesight?

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Expert advice: prepare your car for cold weather this winter

prepare your car for cold weather
Give your battery some TLC before winter sets in and it’ll pay you back in spades (Picture iStock/JoeBelanger)

Summer is well and truly over and it’s sensible to prepare your car for cold weather. If you can, the best way to get your car ready for winter is to take it in for a service. But if your scheduled service isn’t due, here are five very simple tips that should ensure your car won’t let you down when the going gets cold.

Why your battery needs some love

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Insurance premiums may fall in 2021 but fraud is up this year, drivers warned

insurance premiums
Fraudulent crashes seem to be increasing before the government clamps down on whiplash fraud (Picture: iStock/Monkeybusinessimages)

The good news for car drivers is insurance premiums could fall next year. The bad news is this year, the risk of being a victim of insurance fraud could increase. And drivers should be aware they’re being targeted in another scam called ‘click to call’. Read on to find out how motor insurance fraud is changing.

Why may insurance premiums fall?

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