Car ownership

5 smart summer tips for trouble-free car trips

summer tips
Follow our tips and this could be you enjoying your family car trip (Picture iStock/petrenkod)

With restrictions in the UK lifting and school holidays approaching, increasing numbers of us will be hitting the road. And that means our cars will be getting a serious work out.

Our five summer tips are designed to ensure they – and you – cope with the miles you cover comfortably, reliably and above all safely.

Get your air con re-gassed

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Expert advice: all about converting a car to run on electric power

converting a car
There are companies that specialise in converting classic cars to electric (Picture RBW Classic Electric Cars)

From 2030, every new car sold in the UK will have to be electric. That’s great for the environment. And it’ll probably mean daily motoring will cost less for drivers because certainly at the moment, electricity is cheaper than petrol or diesel.

The downside is electric cars are expensive to buy. So what about converting your petrol or diesel car to battery power? Is it possible? And if so, how much would it cost?

Can you convert a car to electric?

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Quiz: How much do you know about self-driving cars?

self-driving cars
One day you might be able to have snooze while the car does all the work. (Picture iStock/Metamorworks)

We’re frequently told the future of motoring will be self-driving or autonomous cars. But how much do you actually know about them? Other than they have yet to make an appearance in a car dealer near you.

Take our cunning quiz to find out. It’s packed with interesting facts so even if you get the answer wrong, you’ll learn something.

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Expert advice: Are tyre inflation kits really the future for drivers?

tyre inflation kits
Tyre inflation kits use a compressor (above) to fill the tyre with sealant (Picture iStock)

You might have noticed your car doesn’t have a full-size spare wheel and tyre. On more modern motors you might not find any kind of spare wheel at all. Instead, many cars come with tyre inflation kits, sometimes sometimes known as mobility kits.

We’re called out to an awful lot of punctures so how effective are these mobility kits?

What is a mobility kit?

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Can new cars really spy on you and record personal information?

record personal information
Modern cars are constantly recording data and can be transmitting it too (Picture iStock/Oonal)

You know the make and model of your car. You probably know how much fuel it uses and maybe even what it’s worth. But how much does your car know about you? Read on to find out if new cars really can spy on drivers and record personal information.

Does your car record information?

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What are low traffic neighbourhoods and what do they mean for drivers?

low traffic neighbourhoods
Low traffic neighbourhoods turn roads into areas prioritising cyclists and pedestrians (Picture iStock/Michael Puche)

Car drivers, particularly in cities, are having to deal with a new feature: the low traffic neighbourhood. Brought in during first pandemic lockdown in mid-2020, they’ve split neighbourhoods. Some people are very pro; others seriously anti. Read on to find out all about LTNs as they’re often known.

What are low traffic neighbourhoods?

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Expert advice: car hacks that it’s best to avoid

Is cleaning inside a car using cooking oil really a good idea? Read on to find out (Picture iStock/welcomia)

We’ve all spent time looking at car hacks that will make our life easier. It might be using a common household product instead of going to a motor retailer. Or perhaps trying something wacky, either as a last resort or so you can tell your mates.

But how many of them really work? We’ve taken half a dozen popular car hacks that you might be tempted to try. The trouble is, if you do, they might cost you more than you would have paid to get a professional in, or buy the proper product for the job.

Put an egg in a leaking radiator

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COVID-19 lockdown easing – prepare for May and beyond

Back in May, COVID-19 lockdown measures eased, and we’re expecting further easing of measure in the near future. 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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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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