Car ownership

Thousands report bad driving by using dash camera portal websites

dash camera portal
Dash camera footage is now responsible for thousands of driving convictions (Picture iStock/Toa55)

Ever thought of buying a dash camera for your car? More than three million UK drivers have already installed one of the dashboard-mounted devices. And the cameras have been such a hit with car owners that police are increasingly using the footage people send to them for making convictions.

In July 2018, the National Dash camera Safety Portal (NDSP) was set up. Since then, drivers, motorbikers and cyclists have uploaded more than 10,000 clips of footage. Around half of these have resulted in the police making convictions.

What is the NDSP?

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Pro tips on cleaning your car to stop COVID-19 spreading

stop COVID-19 spreading
Cleaning parts such as vents using an anti-bacterial and virus cleaner will help stop the spread of the disease (Picture iStock/zoff-photo)

There are 40 parts of your car that you should consider cleaning during the current coronavirus pandemic. Ben Murphy is the man who’s responsible for keeping Toyotas in tip-top shape for the Japanese firm. He’s outlined the 40 areas that he thinks drivers should target to stop COVID-19 spreading.

The virus is spread by tiny droplets sprayed from the mouth when an infected person coughs. And it can survive on hard surfaces. That means if your car goes to the garage for emergency repairs, it might spread the virus, or on return, harbour it. And if you get the virus on your hands while out, you can transfer it to other areas of your car. That could spread it to others.

How to clean your car

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Expert advice: car care during the COVID-19 lockdown

COVID-19 lockdown
If your car is equivalent to this during its lockdown lay-up, follow our expert tips to keep it in the best shape (Picture iStock/Istanbulimages)

Updated: 13th May 2020

Whether you’re now travelling to work again, or if your car is still sat idle, following the advice below is vital to keep your vehicle safe and ready to go when you need it.

Cars are designed to be driven. Some parts rely on regular use to stay in tip-top shape. That means during the COVID-19 lockdown, your car will need some attention to stay fighting fit and ready for any essential journey.

How long you can leave a car parked and expect it to work as it should depends on what condition it’s in. But follow my tips and when you can drive your car, there’s a much greater chance it’ll start first time after a lockdown lay-up.

Look after your battery

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Pothole problem: new report shows it’s getting worse. Read how to claim

pothole problem
An all-to-familiar sight on England’s roads. Read how to claim for the damage (Picture iStock/kozmoat98)

We may not be driving much at the moment but after the warm wet winter, the pothole problem for drivers is still a motoring headache.

A new report has revealed that road maintenance budgets in England have fallen; there are now fewer roads than last year described as being in ‘good’ structural condition; and the rising backlog of repairs means billions of pounds are still needed to bring local roads in England up to scratch.

What were the survey’s main findings?

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UK COVID-19 lockdown: what it means for MOTs, breakdowns, fuel stations

covid-19 lockdown
The government has suspended MOT tests for six months from 30 March 2020 (Picture iStock/yevtony)

If you’re a Green Flag customer and want our latest advice on what to do if you break down, please visit our important updates page here.

The country is in lockdown due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The government has told people to work from home where possible and suspended all but essential services. What does this mean for car owners? Read on to find out about MOTs, what’s happening with petrol stations, and what other motoring services are and aren’t available.

What if your car needs an MOT?

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Valentine’s Day 2020: great gifts to show your car you care

valentine's day
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? 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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Drivers warned about using unofficial websites for motoring admin

unofficial websites
Unofficial websites can charge many times what the official sites cost for simple admin tasks (Picture iStock/Rowan Jordan)

Drivers who need to renew their driving licence, tax their car or even book driving tests might be paying way more than they have to because they’re using unofficial websites.

The government is warning drivers that these websites can charge many times the official cost. Even so, the companies running them are doing nothing wrong.

What are the unofficial websites?

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Expert advice: how to get more trouble-free miles from your motor

trouble-free motoring
We can’t guarantee this won’t happen to you but follow our tips and it’ll be a lot less likely (Picture: iStock/Ljubaphoto)

How many trouble-free miles has your car covered? And perhaps more importantly how many more is it good for? Records by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show there are more high mileage Skoda Octavias in the UK than any other vehicle. That’s currently 1950 UK-registered Octavias with a valid MOT that have done more than quarter of a million miles.

But how do you get that many trouble-free miles out of your car? It certainly doesn’t happen by accident. Here are my tips.

Have your car serviced regularly

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Catalytic converter and premium car thefts help fuel spike in car crime

catalytic converter
If you know what you’re doing it’s easy to steal CATs from exhausts for their valuable metals (Picture iStock/BanksPhotos)

Drivers shouldn’t just be worried about having their car stolen. They’re actually more likely to have something pinched from their car. And that could include the catalytic converter.

Figures from London’s Metropolitan Police reveal that in the first six months of 2019, thefts of this component, which makes up a part of the exhaust system, were nearly double the same period in 2018. We investigate the problem and give tips on how you can avoid being a victim of car (and CAT) crime.

Why are catalytic converters stolen?

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