COVID-19 lockdown easing – prepare for May and beyond

Later in May, COVID-19 lockdown measures are easing once again. Many of us are excited to get back on the road, see friends and family, and maybe even enjoy a summer staycation.

But, before you hit the road, it’s important to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared. Here’s some handy advice.

Give your vehicle a proper check

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Preparing for a staycation by car this summer

staycation
To help you get to your destination safely, read our top tips (Picture iStock/pixdeluxe)

With continued uncertainty over whether we’ll be allowed to go abroad without extensive quarantining, 2021 is looking like the year of the staycation. And that means rather than letting the plane take the strain, a lot of drivers will be turning to their cars.

Here we look at what you need to ensure you have a dream holiday rather than a trip from hell. The key is planning. If you carry out our checks the week before you go away, it gives you options to act on them. Do them the day before your holiday and it might result in more stress than you need.

And because a lot of people will be taking their motorhome or caravan away, we’re including those too.

Start by checking the battery

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One in five MOT extension cars still haven’t had a test

mot extension
Nearly two million drivers don’t have an MOT (Picture iStock/Mark Eastham)

Around one in five of the drivers who opted for the MOT extension during the pandemic last year hasn’t had their car retested. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) which oversees the annual roadworthiness checks said that around 1.86 million vehicles (19.5 per cent) still have to take their test.

It means hundreds of thousands of vehicles that are potentially unsafe could be on the road. Using a dangerous car is illegal and their drivers could be liable for a £2500 fine.

What was the MOT extension?

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Take our quiz: find out how much you know about your car tyres

Test your knowledge of tyres (Picture iStock/PeterSchreiber.media)

Our car tyres are one of the vehicle’s most important pieces of safety equipment. They’re its only contact with the road so keeping them in good condition is vital for reliable and safe motoring. But how much do you actually know about them?

Under normal driving conditions, tyres usually last around 20,000 miles. If you need new tyres, visit the Green Flag Tyres website. Find out more about your tyres and how to keep them in tip-top condition.

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The 9 reasons why you should give your car a wash this spring

Spring car wash

Spring has sprung, the bulbs are coming up and the birds are getting frisky. But chances are, your motor is looking far from perky, wearing the cloak of winter in the mucky form of an all-encompassing film of dirt. With warm weather (hopefully) just around the corner, now’s the time to get out and give your car a good spring car wash. There are plenty of good reasons to. Here we list nine of them.

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Post-lockdown nerves: Brits reveal why they’re nervous to drive again

Lockdown restrictions may have eased a little on 12 April, but some Brits aren’t rushing to get back behind the wheel.

We spoke to 2,000 drivers, and a fifth of them told us they feel less confident about driving from the 12th. In fact, well over half (61%) said they would rather walk or cycle than drive at the moment.

Why are drivers worried?

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Expert advice: the difference between the MOT and servicing

mot and servicing
The MOT test is a legally required check to ensure a car is safe for the road (Picture iStock/Vershinin)

Many drivers believe that as long as their car has passed its MOT test, other mechanical jobs are optional. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Here I look at the difference between the MOT and servicing and why both are equally important for your car.

MOT is required by law

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Up to a third of drivers suffer pothole damage

pothole damage
Between one in three and one in five UK drivers has struck a pothole (Picture iStock/Kozmoat98)

If your car’s been damaged by a pothole, you’re not alone. New research suggests at worst one in three drivers has suffered in this way; at best the figure is one in five.

And another annual study of the state of the nation’s roads paints a picture of a network that’s gradually crumbling. The report blames years of inconsistent funding combined with extreme weather conditions.

How many drivers have suffered pothole damage?

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Expert Advice: all about turbo trouble in your car’s engine

turbo trouble
This is what a turbocharger looks like inside an engine (Picture iStock/Kool99)

Ever more cars use turbocharging on their engines. And that makes turbo trouble a problem some drivers might face for the first time. A turbo is a way of getting a smaller, more fuel-efficient engine to match the power of a larger capacity unit.

To work their magic, turbos have to work at high speeds, high temperatures and high pressures so they can be susceptible to failures. But if a turbo packs up, the engine won’t necessarily stop. Here I look at what a turbo is and the kinds of problems your turbo car might experience.

What is a turbo engine?

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Price of fuel rising? tips on how to reduce your costs

price of fuel
Follow our tips and you might not have to do this as frequently

While COVID-19 vaccinations are generally very welcome, one of the less pleasing side-effects is likely to be an increase in the price of fuel.

But if the price at the pumps does go up, you can offset some of it by watching how you drive, how you look after your car and where you fill up. Here we look at six simple steps that will save fuel and therefore money.

Become a hyper miler

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