News

What will the new taxes on electric cars mean for drivers?

taxes on electric cars
EVs might have cheaper fuel and maintenance costs but tax rates are changing (Picture iStock/Marcus Lindstrom)

The government’s recent autumn statement revealed new taxes on electric cars. We investigate whether electric vehicle (EV) owners will be out of pocket and what the changes really mean for drivers.

Car tax changes for EVs

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What is synthetic fuel and is it really the future for our cars?

synthetic fuel
Using synthetic fuel could keep thousands of combustion engine cars on the road (Picture iStock/Sharfsinn86)

You might have heard of synthetic fuel. It’s a way to power regular combustion engine cars in a less polluting way.

If we’re learning one thing, the planet does need to clean up its act. Burning fossil fuels to get around isn’t great for anyone’s future. But neither is it possible to immediately change all our cars to zero emissions electric vehicles (EV). And that’s where synthetic fuel comes in.

What is synthetic fuel?

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Noise cameras being tested to target boy racers

noise cameras
Cameras will target cars with noisy exhausts and drivers who rev loud motors like Lamborghinis (Picture iStock/Jaap2)

The government is trialling noise cameras in a bid to cut down on anti-social drivers with overly loud exhausts.

The cameras have been tested throughout the UK and the scheme’s £300,000 second phase is now being rolled out in areas that have a problem with noise.

Cameras will be installed in Bradford, Birmingham, Bristol and Great Yarmouth over the next two months. Boy racers driving cars with aftermarket and often illegally loud exhausts blight all the areas.

How do noise cameras work?

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How much do you know about the Ford Fiesta?

quiz ford fiesta
The many faces of the Ford Fiesta. The last is back left (Picture Ford)

You may have heard the Ford Fiesta is coming to the end of its long and successful life. Interest in the Fiesta is at an all-time high with internet searches for the model booming.

So to celebrate this great little car’s demise, we thought we’d do a special quiz all about it. See how much information about Britain’s favourite car you’ve picked up.

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Thousands of possible death traps sold to unsuspecting buyers

possible death traps sold
If a written off car has been repaired, it should be declared (Picture iStock/Kadmy)

It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of used cars. And those that are available are being sold for inflated prices. Hardly surprising then that the trade in dodgy motors is picking up.

Research by TV show Dispatches found that up to 40,000 possible death traps sold every year could be insurance write-offs going to unsuspecting buyers.

How can a written off car be sold again?

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Electric car MOT passes are higher than petrols or diesels

electric car mot passes
Electric cars are proving better at passing the MOT than petrols (Picture iStock/SimonSkafar)

Struggling to see the benefit of switching to an electric vehicle? Look no further. Electric car MOT passes are higher than regular combustion engine models according to a new study.

And hybrid cars – which combine petrol engines with electric motors – are even better at passing their MOT test than EVs. We try to explain this unexpected bonus to battery-powered motoring.

What does the MOT check?

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Increased car cloning causes innocent drivers trouble

car cloning
Cloning cars usually starts with stealing a number plate (Picture iStock/Jens Rother)

If you’ve been hit with an unexpected fine for speeding, driving in a bus lane, parking or not paying a congestion or emissions zone charge you may have unwittingly become a victim of car cloning.

New research shows an alarming increase in fines issued by Transport for London (TfL) to cars with altered identities. The number overturned because they were given to cloned cars was up nearly nine times between April 2021 and April 2022.

We look at what cloning is and what to do if you suspect your car has been a victim of it.

What is car cloning?

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Speed limiters – what new tech means for drivers and driving

speed limiters
Speed limiters used to be controlled from the steering wheel, bottom right button here. In future, they’ll be automatic (Picture iStock/AnyVidStidio)

From the beginning of July 2022, all new cars sold in the UK will have to be fitted with a speed limiter. We investigate what this means for car owners and how it will change driving.

What is a speed limiter?

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Fuel your knowledge: take our petrol quiz

We know how expensive it is but how much else (Picture iStock/DeepBlue4You)

We regularly fill our cars with petrol but how much do we actually know about the golden liquid that keeps them going? If you’re anything like us (when we compiled this quiz), probably not very much! Even so, petrol is a truly global phenomenon with plenty of history. Take our quiz to find out how much you know about it.

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Ways to stop your car’s catalytic converter being stolen

catalytic converter theft
Drivers are increasingly starting to protect their catalytic converters from thieves (Picture iStock/Michael Vi)

Catalytic converter theft continues to be a problem around the UK. The Centre for Infrastructure and Asset Protection (CIAP) claims thieves stole 2,254 catalytic converters – also known as cats ‑ in March 2022, up by 11 per cent from February.

The CIAP, with backing from the police, now wants to roll out its SmartWater marking for cats nationwide so that more drivers can benefit from it. We look at how drivers can stop crooks making off with this valuable part of their car’s exhaust system.

How can you stop your catalytic converter being stolen?

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