Taking your car to uni? Read our handy advice for student drivers

student drivers
Every driver should regularly check the oil in their car (Picture iStock/stock-eye)

Around a half of the UK’s university students have a driving licence. If you’re one of those student drivers and you’re thinking about taking your car to uni with you, there’s plenty to consider. From the type of car you choose, to how you look after it and what you tell your insurer, we investigate what you need to know.

Buy a car that’s cheap to run

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Learning to drive, booking and taking a test: what’s changed

learning to drive
Wearing masks is compulsory for instructors and examiners; it’s also recommended for learner drivers (Picture iStock/Brankokosteski)

If your learning to drive was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll be relieved to hear things are getting back to normal.

Driving lessons have been held again since the beginning of July. Learners who feel they’re ready have been able to book a test since August 26. However, reserving a test slot has proved difficult because of technical difficulties with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) website. Read on to find out more about learning to drive and taking the test.

If you’re learning to drive

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Car crime: where your motor’s at risk and which cars are in danger

Car crime is still a real problem in the UK (Picture iStock/D-Keine)

Car theft has risen by a half over the last five years. That means every nine minutes in 2019 a car was stolen in the UK, official figures say. One organisation even estimates vehicle-related crime costs the UK £2.7m per day. But which models were most sought after by thieves? And where should you park if you don’t want your car to be stolen? Read on to find out.

Where are the UK’s car theft hotspots?

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Expert advice: how to tell if your car has suspension trouble

suspension trouble
Car suspension is complicated and hard-wearing (Picture iStock/kvsan)

The suspension on our cars is a very hard-working piece of kit. And it’s one we take for granted – until we experience suspension trouble. While we’re driving forwards, the suspension is constantly in motion too, coping with undulations in the road surface and other forces on the car.

It’s the suspension that keeps the car’s road wheels in touch with the ground when we go round corners. And it’s the suspension that helps to insulate the driver and passengers from the outside.

Unsurprisingly with something that’s so busy, cars can suffer suspension trouble. And the number of potholes on our roads seem to be making suspension trouble more likely. Read on to discover how to diagnose it.

Signs of suspension damage

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Car washing in hot weather: our dos and don’ts for the best results

car washing in hot weather
Try to wash your car one panel at a time when the weather’s hot (Picture iStock/rclassenlayouts)

Car washing in hot weather, or even on a warm sunny day for that matter, can become a long, drawn out and frustrating process. Even sunshine on a relatively cool day can cause trouble when you want to clean your car.

Cars heat up astonishingly quickly in the sun. According to researchers at Stanford University in the US, on a day when the temperature is just 20 degrees C, a car’s interior will get to 38.9 degrees C within 30 minutes. If the outside temperature is 24 degrees C, it will reach 42.9 degrees C in 30 minutes.

The car’s mainly metal bodywork soaks up heat just as effectively, causing water to evaporate quickly as soon as it’s spread over your motor. The result will leave a dirty tide mark of combined shampoo and dirt. And when you do manage to rinse that off, it’ll dry quickly again, leaving spots on your paintwork from impurities in the water.

How to wash a car on a hot day

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Expert advice: summer car checks for a safe, reliable getaway

summer car checks
Carry out our checks to help ensure a trouble-free trip (Picture iStock/Solovyova)

Now’s the time when most of us are either going away or preparing for our summer break. And it’s when our cars come into their own as a trusty family workhorse. Below are six basic summer car checks you can carry out. They’ll only take a couple of minutes and will ensure your car performs safely and reliably while you’re away.

If you’re worried about anything, don’t hesitate to book your car in for some professional attention. Alternatively, you could take your car for one of Green Flag’s free vehicle health checks. But in the first instance, read on to see the six summer checks I think you should perform.

Pump up your tyres

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Now might be the right time to switch to an electric car

switch to an electric car
Now might be the right time to consider a shiny new Nissan Leaf (Picture Nissan)

If you’re considering the switch to an electric car, now might be the time to do it. A new study by insurer Direct Line has revealed that the average lifetime costs of running an electric vehicle (EV) are now cheaper than the equivalent petrol-powered model.

How much cheaper are electric cars?

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Have you given away your personal data when selling your car?

personal data
Cars are increasingly data hubs. But how do you keep control of personal info? (Picture iStock/oonal)

Modern motors are technical marvels that are more than capable of storing our personal data. And new research has revealed that when they sell their car, thousands of drivers are giving away potentially delicate information such as friends’ and relatives’ names and addresses. Read on to find out if you’re in danger of doing that or have perhaps already done it.

How do cars store personal data?

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Quiz: How should you look after your car?

You should regularly check the oil level in your engine (Picture iStock/Moyo Studio)

One in 10 UK drivers say they never perform any kind of safety check on their vehicle. And 14 million licence holders check their cars once a year or less. Those are the shocking findings following some recent research by Green Flag and road safety charity Brake.

To help, Green Flag is offering all drivers the chance to have their motor given the once over with our free vehicle health checks. You can have the 10-point inspection done at a garage near to you and it will include checks on battery health, brakes and tyre condition.

In the mean time, if you want to test your knowledge of car maintenance, why not try our quiz? It’s fun and it’ll help give some tips and pointers for what you should do to keep your car in top shape – other than taking it for a free vehicle health check.

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New E10 petrol on sale in 2021. Will it be a problem for your car?

e10 petrol
E10 is already sold alongside super unleaded in fuel stations on the continent (Picture iStock/Dutchphotography)

Hundreds of thousands of drivers could be hit by the introduction of new petrol in the UK next year. The fuel, called E10, will become the forecourt standard petrol throughout the UK from 2021. However, it may not be suitable for older cars. Read on to find out if you’re going to be affected.

What is E10?

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