Registration plates: take our quiz to see if your number’s up

Number plates have been around for more than a century. How much do you know about them? (Picture iStock/MisterClips)

Next week is the first of the two annual new-car registration plate changes for 2021. Number plates are such a fixture of motoring you see them whenever you look at a car from the front or back. But how much do you know about them? Take our cunning quiz to find out.

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10 great in-car gadgets

gadgets
In-car gadgets are a great way of sprucing up your motor – and making life more fun (Picture: iStock/Nicholas McComber)

No matter how much – or little – time we’re spending in our cars at the moment, there’s a whole host of gadgets out there.

We look at 10 of our favourites for making motoring safer, more comfortable, convenient or simply more fun. Whether you want to bring an older car into the 21st Century with the latest technology, or simply add a touch of luxury to a newer motor, we’ve got something for you.

Bluetooth receiver

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Valentine’s Day 2021: six great gifts to show your car some love

valentine's day 2021
Do you love your car as much as he does? (Picture iStock/HbrH)

How about giving your loved one something really special this Valentine’s Day 2021? No, we’re not talking about a gift for your partner… We mean a present your trusty (hopefully) companion who’s by your side through thick and thin, come rain or shine.

The best gift you can possibly give a car is to have it serviced. But assuming you’ve already done that and a service isn’t due for a while, we’ve got some more ideas. Read on for six great gifts for your car. In some cases, they’ll pay it back for the sterling work it does on your behalf. Oh and some of them might just come in handy for you too.

New mats

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Expert advice: why not all cars have heated windscreens

heated windscreen
Heated screens are a quick way to demist and melt ice in cold weather (Picture Ford)

We’re quite often asked why all cars don’t have heated windscreens to prevent steaming up. Heated screens are a great innovation, clearing condensation inside swiftly while helping to melt ice outside on frosty mornings. But not all cars have them. Read on to find out why.

What is a heated windscreen?

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Flood damaged cars: 9 ways to tell a motor that’s had a soaking

flood damaged cars
Once it’s been dried out, would you know this car has been partially submerged? (Picture iStock/ProjectB)

Rain and flooding might be in the news at the moment. But anyone buying a used motor over the next few months has got the prospect of purchasing flood damaged cars to be wary of.

Having a good soaking in a flood can cause a car to have numerous problems, not all of them immediately evident. Here are nine ways you can tell if the car you’re thinking of buying is flood damaged.

Look at the windows

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How easy is it to buy a car online?

Buy a car online
Buying a car online is simple and safe (Picture iStock)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many activities online, car buying among them. If future lockdowns dictate that all car dealers must close again, more of us will have to buy our next car over the internet. But how secure is it? What’s the choice like? Can you haggle over the price? And how likely are you to end up with a dodgy motor?

Can you buy a used car online?

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Expert advice: what happens if your car goes into limp home mode?

limp home mode
Limp home mode will enable you to get somewhere safe before stopping, ideally not at the side of the road (Picture iStock/DuxX)

If your car appears to lose power, you might have heard a technician refer to it going into ‘limp home mode’. This is a feature of all modern cars and I think it’s important for drivers to understand what it is.

What is limp home mode?

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How drivers can protect themselves from email and text scams in 2021

email and text scams
Email and text scammers are targeting drivers on an industrial basis (Picture iStock/Milan_Jovic)

Car drivers are being warned they could fall victim to increasingly persistent motoring scammers. In 2020, the government’s Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) saw a 603 per cent leap in fraudulent activity compared to the previous year. That’s just from the number of scams that drivers reported. The DVLA is worried thousands of drivers have unwittingly fallen for scams and not disclosed it.

Desperate fraudsters are sending blanket emails and texts to thousands of drivers. They know that if just a tiny percentage fall for them, the crooks will be quids in. Read on to find out how you can avoid being scammed.

If it’s legit it won’t be an email or text

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Expert advice: how to tell if your car has worn wheel bearings

wheel bearings
Inside this hub are bearings to ensure the wheel turns as smoothly as possible (Picture iStock/Psisa)

Car wheels look so simple, surely there can’t be much to fail? Actually plenty can go wrong from ropey balancing to worn or even broken wheel bearings. It’s often tricky to figure out what is and isn’t wheel bearing trouble but there are some giveaway signs. Read on to find out if that might be the problem with your car.

How do you know you’ve got a worn wheel bearing?

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