Buying a used car? Our tips should help make it easy and trouble free

buying a used car
Buying a car should be the start of a beautiful friendship, not a relationship to regret (Picture iStock/1001nights)

Research by Green Flag suggests that almost a third (32 per cent) of Britons are now planning to buy a new or used car to avoid exposure to COVID-19 on public transport.

It doesn’t matter whether a car is brand new or not, getting a new motor should be a joyful moment. After all, it’s got to be better than the old smoker it’s replacing. To ensure it is, follow the tips below on how to buy a used car.

Research is rarely wasted

Continue reading

Changes to Euro NCAP crash tests may harm ratings of large SUVs

crash tests
Changes include smashing into a moving object to make crash tests more realistic (Picture: Euro NCAP)

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.

What are the main changes?

Continue reading

Expert advice: all about replacing an engine’s timing belt

timing belt
Here’s what your timing belt looks like inside the engine (Picture iStock/Warut1)

The cambelt or timing belt is an integral part of many engines. It also needs replacing on a regular – if thankfully not too frequent – basis. Read on and I’ll explain why the cambelt is so important, how you know if your car has one (not all do) and why replacing them is an absolute must-do.

Why is the timing belt so crucial?

Continue reading

Face coverings: should you wear one while driving?

face coverings
Wearing a face covering in a private car is a personal choice (Picture iStock/SbytovaMN).

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.

What is the government advice about masks?

Continue reading

Surveys reveal most reliable cars and best garages

reliable cars
Coming out of lockdown it’s important to have a trustworthy garage (Picture iStock/FG Trade)

Reliable cars are vital for most of us. And garages plus the quality of service they offer are just as important. The last thing you want is to buy a new car and find that it either lets you down or when you need help, the garage offers shoddy service.

There’s an easy way to discover how dependable cars and their dealers are and that’s by asking the people with real-life experience of owning the cars. This is where surveys come in. We’ve combed reports compiled by Auto Express and What Car? to distil the information you need to know if you’re buying a new car.

Best garages

Continue reading

Insurance groups: what are they, who sets them and which is your car in?

insurance groups
How cars behave in crashes is fundamental to which insurance group they are in (Picture iStock/monkeybusinessimages)

If you’re thinking of changing your car, how much you pay for insurance may be important to you. To help with this, all cars sit in insurance groups. Knowing about a car’s grouping will enable you to do an accurate, back-to-back comparison with other models you might be interested in.

Read on to find out what an insurance group is and how to find out what group a car is in.

What is an insurance group?

Continue reading

MOT extension to end over unfit cars? Do your own vehicle health check

mot extension
Many MOT testing stations are open for business (Picture iStock/Marbury)

The UK’s six-month MOT extension might end early because of fears about increasing numbers of unroadworthy cars. Car owners are also being warned that if they don’t keep their motors in a fit state to be driven, their insurance may not cover them.

In the latest report by Green Flag and road safety charity Brake, an alarming number of drivers revealed gaps in their knowledge about vehicle maintenance. Around one in 10 drivers (9 per cent) claim they never carry out any vehicle safety checks.

One in four (27 per cent) said they care for their car just once a year. More worryingly, a fifth of drivers (20 per cent) said they’d knowingly driven an unroadworthy car.

We investigate why the MOT extension might end early and how you can ensure your car is roadworthy.

Who wants the MOT extension abandoned?

Continue reading

What to do if your keyless entry doesn’t work

Modern cars are often accessed using remote fobs and keyless entry. But what do you do when it doesn’t work?

Thankfully, these vehicles are fitted with a key blade inside the fob, and a lock that’s either visible or hidden behind a cover on the door.

Below, we’ll show you some examples of what to do to gain entry to your car, and how to start it if the key is not detected.

Continue reading

Falling petrol price: why it’s coming down and why it could go further

petrol price
The price of filling up is falling but how far will it go? (Picture iStock/AscentXmedia)

The petrol price is plummeting to below £1 a litre. However, some believe there’s room for it to fall further.

Since the beginning of the year, the price of crude oil – the raw material used to produce petrol and diesel – has more than halved. But although the cost of petrol at the pumps is falling, it hasn’t kept pace with rapid drops in oil prices. Here are two reasons why fuel prices might stay higher than you’d expect.

Reason 1: Fuel stations are suffering

Continue reading

Quiz: how well do you know your British cars?

british cars
British cars celebrate some major birthdays this year. Test your knowledge of them (Picture iStock/Lalocracio)

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.

Continue reading