Motoring

Preparing for a staycation by car this summer

staycation
To help you get to your destination safely, read our top tips (Picture iStock/pixdeluxe)

With continued uncertainty over whether we’ll be allowed to go abroad without extensive quarantining, 2021 is looking like the year of the staycation. And that means rather than letting the plane take the strain, a lot of drivers will be turning to their cars.

Here we look at what you need to ensure you have a dream holiday rather than a trip from hell. The key is planning. If you carry out our checks the week before you go away, it gives you options to act on them. Do them the day before your holiday and it might result in more stress than you need.

And because a lot of people will be taking their motorhome or caravan away, we’re including those too.

Start by checking the battery

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Post-lockdown nerves: Brits reveal why they’re nervous to drive again

Lockdown restrictions may have eased a little on 12 April, but some Brits aren’t rushing to get back behind the wheel.

We spoke to 2,000 drivers, and a fifth of them told us they feel less confident about driving from the 12th. In fact, well over half (61%) said they would rather walk or cycle than drive at the moment.

Why are drivers worried?

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Up to a third of drivers suffer pothole damage

pothole damage
Between one in three and one in five UK drivers has struck a pothole (Picture iStock/Kozmoat98)

If your car’s been damaged by a pothole, you’re not alone. New research suggests at worst one in three drivers has suffered in this way; at best the figure is one in five.

And another annual study of the state of the nation’s roads paints a picture of a network that’s gradually crumbling. The report blames years of inconsistent funding combined with extreme weather conditions.

How many drivers have suffered pothole damage?

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Why all-season tyres could be the perfect new tyre choice for your car

all-season tyres
Winter tyres aren’t the only way to stay mobile and safe in cold weather

The weather is starting to warm up but there could still be times when the thermometer is struggling to nudge up from zero, particularly early in the morning or late at night. In cold conditions like this, regular tyres won’t have the grip you might expect or need.

If you’ve got the budget, the answer could be a set of winter tyres. But there is another way. You can now buy all-season tyres from many places, including the Green Flag Shop. Read on to see the benefits of these.

What are all-season tyres?

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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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Test how well you know the Highway Code with our road safety quiz

The government is considering changing the priorities drivers enjoy on the road. It wants to improve road safety by protecting vulnerable road users such as cyclists.

However, safety charity IAM RoadSmart surveyed drivers. This revealed drivers didn’t like the idea. Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) think giving more priority to cyclists and pedestrians over cars will cause more arguments.

IAM RoadSmart policy director Neil Greig claimed if the rules are changed, drivers need to be educated properly. He said: “The Department for Transport needs to be realistic about the impact simply changing a seldom-read document will have on the behaviour and safety of road users.” Take our quiz to find out how well you know the Highway Code.

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Expert advice: how to de-ice your car safely

Over a third of UK drivers regularly get behind the wheel without having fully de-iced their vehicle. Not only is this dangerous, it’s actually against the law. 

So, as part of our Can’t See, Won’t Drive campaign, we’ve put together some expert advice on how to de-ice your car safely, even in the toughest conditions.

How to de-ice your car

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