News

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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Price of fuel rising? tips on how to reduce your costs

price of fuel
Follow our tips and you might not have to do this as frequently

While COVID-19 vaccinations are generally very welcome, one of the less pleasing side-effects is likely to be an increase in the price of fuel.

But if the price at the pumps does go up, you can offset some of it by watching how you drive, how you look after your car and where you fill up. Here we look at six simple steps that will save fuel and therefore money.

Become a hyper miler

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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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How drivers can protect themselves from email and text scams in 2021

email and text scams
Email and text scammers are targeting drivers on an industrial basis (Picture iStock/Milan_Jovic)

Car drivers are being warned they could fall victim to increasingly persistent motoring scammers. In 2020, the government’s Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) saw a 603 per cent leap in fraudulent activity compared to the previous year. That’s just from the number of scams that drivers reported. The DVLA is worried thousands of drivers have unwittingly fallen for scams and not disclosed it.

Desperate fraudsters are sending blanket emails and texts to thousands of drivers. They know that if just a tiny percentage fall for them, the crooks will be quids in. Read on to find out how you can avoid being scammed.

If it’s legit it won’t be an email or text

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What does how you hold the steering wheel say about you?

Next time you’re in the car, look at how you hold the wheel and see if it matches one of our nine categories below (Picture iStock/Slonme)

It’s something we all do in our cars without even thinking about. But a new study reveals that how we hold the steering wheel actually says something about the kind character – and driver – we are.

Conducted by Select Car Leasing the research was carried out with psychotherapist Lohani Noor. She said: “Your driving hand position certainly reflects your mood and personality.

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Mobile phone laws for drivers to change making touching devices illegal

mobile phone laws
Loopholes in the law that let drivers use smartphones will be closed in 2021 (Picture iStock/Mthipsorn)

The government is planning to change mobile phone laws for drivers in the first few months of 2021. It wants to close loopholes in the law. These enable drivers to use their devices at the wheel in ways that might be as dangerous as making a call.

The gaps have come about as phone technology has become more sophisticated with smartphones. To plug the loopholes, the government wants to make it illegal for drivers to touch their phone.

What will the new mobile phone law say?

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Catalytic converter theft Why it’s on the rise and are you at risk?

catalytic converter
Car catalytic converters can be stolen for the precious metals they contain (Picture iStock/BanksPhoto)

The Catalytic converter or ‘cat’ is a standard part of every modern car’s exhaust system. It helps to reduce harmful pollutants in the engine’s fumes. But thefts of catalytic converters are increasing dramatically.

In 2019, reported thefts of cats rose to 13,000 throughout England and Wales – up six times on the previous year. It’s not cheap to put right either. Replacement catalytic converters cost anywhere between £500 and £2500, depending on the car. Read on to find out if you could be at risk.

What is a catalytic converter?

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