If your learning to drive was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll be relieved to hear things are getting back to normal.
Driving lessons have been held again since the beginning of July. Learners who feel they’re ready have been able to book a test since August 26. However, reserving a test slot has proved difficult because of technical difficulties with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) website. Read on to find out more about learning to drive and taking the test.
Now’s the time when most of us are either going away or preparing for our summer break. And it’s when our cars come into their own as a trusty family workhorse. Below are six basic summer car checks you can carry out. They’ll only take a couple of minutes and will ensure your car performs safely and reliably while you’re away.
If you’re worried about anything, don’t hesitate to book your car in for some professional attention. Alternatively, you could take your car for one of Green Flag’s free vehicle health checks. But in the first instance, read on to see the six summer checks I think you should perform.
Testing how cars behave in serious crashes has undergone the biggest shake-up for a decade. The Euro NCAP safety ratings have been overhauled to make them more relevant to the kinds of cars that are now popular.
The independent assessments show in an easy to understand way how cars respond in crashes. They are important in helping car buyers to compare the safety of different vehicles. Read on to see why the new changes could affect you.
From 15 June 2020, anyone in the UK travelling on public transport should wear a face covering to help limit the spread of COVID-19. But the rules about sporting masks or face coverings elsewhere are less clear. We look at what it means for car drivers.
This year is a bumper one for British cars. Motors that are well known to this day, such as the Range Rover, Morgan Plus 4 and Jaguar E-Type celebrate significant birthdays in 2020. And several other models that car fans hold dear to their hearts have anniversaries too. Find out how well you know your British cars by taking our cunning quiz.
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.
You might have heard the term hydrogen fuel cell car and wondered what it was. It’s an eco-friendly alternative fuel that’s already on sale, and which some claim represents the future of motoring. There is certainly a growing shift for car makers to develop this new tech. But how viable is it? Read on to find out all about fuel cells.
In April 2020 the latest James Bond movie No Time to Die was supposed to open. Although postponed until November because of the coronavirus, like every other Bond film it’s bound to feature evil baddies, nail-biting stunts and thrilling car chases.
But for many, the Bond cars themselves will be a vital ingredient to the movie’s success. In the latest film, 007 drives an Aston Martin again. But think back to the motors in the special agent’s previous 24 adventures. How well do you know your Bond cars?
The Royals are rarely far from the headlines. And like the rest of us they use cars to get around. But despite their global fame, how much do you know about the Royal cars? Take our cunning quiz to find out how well you know the motoring habits of the most famous family in the world.
Whether it’s Christmas shopping or enjoying the Boxing Day sales, Green Flag research shows the largest proportion of people (46 per cent) will drive. And that means having to park in shopping centres or on busy high streets. Here are our 10 car parking tips for ensuring a hassle-free shopping experience, whatever the time of year.
Research before you go
One of the most wasteful bits of parking is using fuel doing laps of a town centre looking for somewhere to stop. Research where you’re going to park before you go and have a list of parking places in order of convenience.
Where you park
Try to choose a car park that’s been approved by Parkmark for its security. If you’re
worried that a car park isn’t safe, try to park near to the lifts or the exit where
there are likely to be more people around.
Check parking times
Some councils suspend charges over the Christmas period to
encourage shoppers. Others don’t. You don’t want to be caught out with a parking
ticket at any time of year, least of all Xmas, so make sure you know where and
when charges are enforced.
Not everyone’s comfortable using the new style parking meters where you pay using a smartphone app. If you’re not, make sure you have change in the car. If you do leave coins in the car, stash it somewhere it can’t be seen.
Don’t be rushed
Don’t allow yourself to be hassled by other drivers. When you spy a free parking spot, indicate early. If you’re parking on the street or in a crowded car park, you may well hold up the traffic behind. But it’s better to take a few seconds longer to park than to damage your car or someone else’s. Always remember, if anyone’s getting impatient with you, they too will hold up traffic when they park. And you will have been held up by other people parking. In this instance, what goes around really does come around.
When you parallel park, it’s much easier to reverse in than
to go in forwards. Equally, in a car park, it’s usually easier and quicker to
reverse into a bay than to go in forwards. The downside of this is boot access may
not be as easy. But there are two big benefits.
It’s safer because when you leave it makes it much easier to spot hazards such as other cars or pedestrians. And if you’re in a car park, as most people park nose in, it’ll mean your driver’s door is adjacent to the next car’s driver’s side. If there are big cars in small bays, this means you can position your car to give yourself room to get out of the car knowing the driver of the car next to you will have room to get in too. And if you are tight to the car on your passenger side, their driver should still be able to get in.
Think about others
If everyone parked in the middle of the bay, how easy life would be. But as we’ve reported, parking bay size isn’t keeping up with the ever-expanding girth of our cars. When you’re stopping in a car park, try to position your car in the middle of the bay if you can. If you leave your car right on the white line, chances are, the person in the bay next to you will have to do the same thing. And there will come a point where bays next to walls or bollards become unusable.
When you’re parallel parking next to a kerb, look at how the
cars in front and behind are parked. If you can, leave some space for the car
in front’s owners to put things in their boot.
Keep valuables hidden
Remember: most car crime is the theft of things from vehicles. If you’ve bought some presents and you’re heading off somewhere else to do your shopping, put them in the boot. That should keep them away from prying eyes.
Equally, a fifth of people asked in our survey said they use
their car to hide presents in. If this is you, make sure you hide them in the
Remember where you’ve parked
It sounds obvious but in the rough and tumble of Christmas
shopping, it can be easy to forget where you’ve left the car. Most smartphones
have a function that will show you where your car is and guide you back there
using a map. Alternatively, in a multi-storey car park, take a quick snap of
the sign by the door; at least that way you’ll know which floor you’ve parked
Use your smartphone
Use your smartphone as your handy assistant once again. If
you’ve parked on the street and have paid for a certain amount of time on the
meter, set your phone’s alarm. It’s easy to get carried away buying presents
and this will remind you to get back to your car before the parking attendant
can get busy with the ticket.