Car ownership

Expert advice: your E10 questions answered

e10 questions
Any questions about new E10 petrol? Our expert answers them (Picture iStock/Sturti)

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the new E10 petrol so I thought it would be useful to answer some of them.

E10 has been the cheapest petrol on garage forecourts since September 2021 when it replaced E5 as the forecourt standard. It gets its name because the bioethanol content was doubled to 10 per cent. Bioethanol is an alcohol-based fuel that is made from plant bi-products. The government chose to do this because it believes it’s a simple way to reduce the CO2 emissions from petrol cars.

Read on and I’ll answer some of the most popular questions about E10 petrol.

Will E10 damage my engine?

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Rules of the road your driving instructor may not have told you about

rules of the road
Do you know when you should and shouldn’t use your car’s horn? (Picture iStock/PixelsEffect)

There are so many rules of the road that driving instructors can’t be expected to tell you everything. That, after all, is what the Highway Code is for.

But just in case the regulations have changed since you took your test we’re outlining some of the things most of us do, that we shouldn’t. Some can even result in hefty fines.

Be careful when you use your horn

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Half of all speed cameras are switched off, new report finds

speed cameras
There’s a 50% chance this will be switched off but drivers are still speeding (Picture iStock/Daniel Heighton)

Love ’em or hate ’em, speed cameras have been a part of British motoring life for more than 30 years. But your chances of getting a ticket for speeding from a fixed camera are now significantly reduced. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by BBC Panorama has revealed that only around half of fixed speed cameras now work.

Meanwhile, another request to police forces showed that the highest a driver has been caught speeding at between 2018 and 2020 was 163mph, more than twice the legal limit.

Why have speed cameras been turned off?

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Expert advice: what cold weather does to your car

cold weather
Winter affects many parts of your car (Picture iStock/Hutchyb)

Winter is here and with the cold weather comes a whole lot of challenges, and not just for us drivers. Cars too will be suffering in the lower temperatures. Here are the different ways icy conditions affect your car and some handy suggestions for ways to reduce their impact.

Low temperatures thicken the oil

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The manual handbrake is history and it’s costing us dear

manual handbrake
Most new cars have an electronic parking brake (Picture iStock/Kenneth-Cheung)

If you bought a car that’s either new or just a couple of years old, you might have noticed something missing between the seats. Back in the day there used to be a lever that would operate the parking brake, more commonly known as the handbrake.

No longer. The reassuring old handbrake has been replaced by the much less substantial electronic version. And it could be costing us dear. Read on to find out why.

What is an electronic parking brake?

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Expert advice: 6 questions to ask when getting your car serviced

getting your car serviced
Ask our questions and you’ll get him rather than the dodgy place next door (Picture iStock/Minerva_Studio)

For most of us, getting a car serviced ranks somewhere close to going to the dentist. It’s expensive, it involves hassle and we can’t get away with not doing it. But there is another way.

Pick the right garage to start with and you can make the experience an altogether more positive one. Of course, it’s impossible to know what a garage is going to be like until you use it. But ask the following six questions and you’ve got a fighting chance of picking a decent one.

What trade body do you belong to?

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Driving licence backlog causing 10 week delay on new permits

driving licence backlog
Applying for a driving licence hasn’t been straightforward for some younger and older drivers (Picture iStock/stocknshares)

If you’ve applied for your driving licence and it still hasn’t turned up, you’re not alone. New figures have revealed that drivers are facing a 10-week wait if they’ve applied for a new driving permit.

The driving licence backlog is so bad that MPs are demanding action by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). We look at what’s causing the problem and what you can do about it.

How bad is the driving licence backlog?

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Our guide to carrying a Christmas tree safely by car

carrying a christmas tree
Both children and Christmas trees should be securely fastened if you’re planning on driving with them (Picture iStock/Romrodinka)

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to buying and carrying a Christmas tree. The British Christmas Tree Growers Association claims there are around seven million ‘real’ Christmas trees sold in the UK every year.

It’s all very well deciding you want a tree that wouldn’t look small in London’s Trafalgar Square. But if you can’t get it home, it’s a waste of money. Follow our tips below on carrying a Christmas tree successfully and above all, safely.

Measure up for carrying a Christmas tree

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How to go about rejecting a faulty car

rejecting a car
You might end up deciding to reject a car if your dealer can’t fix it satisfactorily (Picture iStock/Skynesher)

Increasing numbers of owners are rejecting their cars. Law company Stormcatcher claims people seeking legal advice for rejecting a car has skyrocketed over recent months.

But what does rejecting a car mean and if you want to do it, how do you go about it? Read on for all the ins and outs.

How can you reject a car?

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Expert advice: cold-cheating winter kit to carry in your car

winter kit
Having a glove with your ice scraper will prevent frost-bitten fingers (Picture iStock/AlenaPaulus)

Around this time of year I always think about winter and what to carry in my car to make life simpler and safer. Compiling a winter kit of equipment to carry in the cold months is easy. It might help you out when temperatures plunge and it could be a life saver if you get stuck in snowy conditions.

Make de-icing a bit nicer

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