Driving advice

Pre-drive checks to help avoid a car breakdown.

Nobody wants to deal with a breakdown. In fact, that may be the only thing every driver has in common.

It can be a significant inconvenience, cost you money, and it could even pose a danger to yourself, passengers, and others around you.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. We have good news. There are some simple pre-drive checks you can do that will (hopefully) lower your chances of breaking down.

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“How much are driving lessons?”: learner driver questions answered

Having your own driving licence really can offer a new sense of freedom. You no longer have to hear friends, siblings, or parents refer to themselves as “Your taxi driver”, you don’t have to wait for public transport to most likely not even arrive on time —  it’s all great.

However, first things first, you need to learn to drive. And driving lessons can bring up a lot of questions like:

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Prepare for road closures – 8 million Brits are planning a Jubilee street party

It looks like there’s going to be a lot of dancing in the street during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.

According to our research1, one in seven Brits (that’s around eight million of us) are planning a street party over the Jubilee four-day weekend.

But what does this mean for anyone hitting the road?

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Fuel shortage advice: how to use less petrol while driving

The fuel shortage is causing queues and chaos all over the country. Right now, we’re encouraging all drivers to make sure they only hit the road if they’re certain they have enough fuel to make the trip.

If you are heading out, you’ll probably want to use as little fuel as possible. Well, just follow these steps and you’ll get the most out of the fuel you’ve already got.

1. Slow down and stay steady

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Which Premier League fans will be driving the most this season?

The new Premier League season kicks off on 13 August, and fans all over the country are eager to see their teams live again.

As excited as people are to get back into their home stadiums, a lot of fans will be hitting the road for away matches. This got us thinking: which Premier League supporters will travel the farthest to see their team play away from home? And, importantly, how much will that cost in petrol?

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Get road trip ready: nine things to do before you hit the road this summer

Ready for some summer fun? Well, you’re not alone. With restrictions being eased completely and the weather heating up, 52% of us are planning to hit the road for a summer road trip.*

Whether you’re heading on a blissful beach escape or an idyllic cabin adventure, here are nine things you should do before you set off.

1. Wake up those tired tyres.

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The zip merging debate: is it perfect sense or pushing in? We find out

Do you let people in when the next door lane is closed to traffic? (Picture iStock/oversnap)

The debate on how you merge into moving traffic when the lane you’re driving in closes is a fierce one. Do you stay in the closing lane to the very end, then merge in turn with the traffic in the open lane? Or do you move out of the closing lane as soon as you possibly can?

It’s a bit like whether you put cream on a scone before the jam or vice versa. Or perhaps even more fundamentally, whether you pronounce the word scone like ‘own’ or the other way. The law states that we should merge in turn, better known as zip merging. Yet only around a quarter of drivers (27 per cent) know this is the correct thing to do. Read on to find out why people who stay in the closing lane aren’t doing anything wrong.

What usually happens

You’re on a dual carriageway or motorway and you see signs warning that a lane is closing. Most of us – seven out of 10 according to a survey by Halfords – believe we should get into the lane that is staying open as quickly as we possibly can. This can result in hundreds of metres of perfectly usable carriageway lying empty. On top of that, 3 per cent of drivers actually think it’s OK to spread their car over two lanes to stop anyone else using the empty lane. That’s nearly three quarters of drivers (73 per cent) who’re wrong.

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Quiz: 12 tasty motoring teasers from 2018

Quiz 2018

How well do you remember 2018? Our fun quiz looks at some of the news from the year just gone. Laws to do with car tax, the MOT test and learner drivers all changed. And there was plenty of eyebrow-raising research too.

How much attention were you paying? Take our test to find out. And don’t worry if you get any of them wrong: our questions have been designed to help you become a better, safer driver. Here we pose 12 teasers – one from every month of the year – to see how much you remember.

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Expert advice: How you can beat the Christmas food coma this year

Food coma

An estimated 24 million drivers are expected to hit the road after eating their Christmas dinner on December 25th. Nothing unusual about that. What worries me is they could experience side effects from over eating that affect their driving in a similar way to drinking.

I’m a qualified nutritionist and have spent years studying the effect of food on the human body. One thing it’s taught me is that if you eat a large amount of the sort of food that makes up the average Christmas dinner, you’ll have sluggish reactions and maybe even fall asleep at the wheel.

Green Flag research found that more than a third of drivers (37 per cent) claim they can’t control dozing off after eating a festive feast. That doesn’t surprise me. But nod off at the wheel for just three seconds on a motorway and you’ll cover the length of about four football pitches. The dangers are obvious. Read on to find out how you can beat the Christmas food coma.

Why Xmas dinner makes us dozy

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Stop unnecessary work on your car. Find out what jobs really need doing

Unnecessary work

If you’re not sure about repairs, ask the technician to point them out to you. (Picture iStock/Sturti)

Has a garage recently suggested you need new brake fluid, an anti-freeze drain and refill or a fuel and oil flush? If so, how do you know whether it had to be done or was unnecessary work? Research by Green Flag has revealed that UK drivers spend £3.4billion every year on work by garages to their cars that doesn’t need doing. That’s around £90 per car per annum.

The problem stems from drivers not having the knowledge about their cars to question whether work recommended by garages is really required. More than a third of drivers (39 per cent) say they have no idea what’s checked when their car has its annual MOT roadworthiness check. But this is when garages often say jobs need doing.

Read on to discover which 10 jobs Green Flag believes should ring alarm bells if they’re suggested by a garage. And find handy hints on how to check whether the work really should be done.

“Your brake fluid needs changing”

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