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Hot off the press automotive news and views

Read about the latest news from our team, and find out what’s happening in the world of motoring.

  • Car maintenance… Yet another thing to add to your to-do list and another cost to hit your budget. But it need not be that much of a chore or an expensive one at that. While getting an annual service is important for car safety, how you use your car and what mileage you do will determine how in-depth that service needs to be. For example, if you don’t cover much mileage – say, you only use the car at weekends for shorter trips – then you may not need a

  • Like all manufacturers and other mechanics we advocate regular servicing – typically annually and more regularly if you put lots of mileage on the car. While safety is a major reason for this, it isn’t the only one. With the onset of autumn and before the winter sets in, we thought we would explore the other reasons why regular car maintenance is important and not something you should ever neglect. Saving money Yes, you do have to spend money on servicing, but it will save you money in the short, medium and

  • It’s that time of year when schools have gone back and you are faced with making the daily school run again. Has that doubt begun to creep in again about all those short journeys and what effect they may be having on your vehicle as well as on the air quality in your local area? We take a look at this in a little more detail to help put things into context and help you make the right decision for you. Are short journeys bad for your vehicle? Before vehicles became

  • The holidays are in full swing, you are finally on annual leave, or even a long bank holiday weekend, and the weather is still holding (most days, anyway). Time for this year’s staycation to finally get going, and what better way to explore the country or get to your B&B or campsite than with a road trip? Before you set off though, make sure that your vehicle is up to the journey and you are not going to find yourself broken down on the side of a country lane with

  • We do love a bit of warmth and sunshine during the summer, but so far this year we have seen quite the heatwave! Just as we sometimes overheat and feel like we can’t, so can our vehicles especially if we are using them regularly on congested, hot urban roads. Let’s take a look at how a few simple actions on your part can help keep your car running smoothly and not overheat. Cooling system Vehicle cooling systems have become very sophisticated over the last few years. Whether you are driving an old

  • On the 20th of May 2018, new MOT rules were introduced that could affect your car. Broadly speaking, the main changes relate to new defect categories, stricter rules for diesel vehicles, and an exemption for vehicles that are over 40 years of age from requiring an MOT. Full details can be found on the gov.uk website, but we explore these in a little more detail this month to help you understand how you and your vehicle may be affected. New defect categories There are now three categories of defects in the MOT

  • Changes introduced in April have seen car insurance premiums drop for the first time in three years. The news has made headlines across the media given the high and increasing costs over the last few years particularly affecting younger drivers under the age of 25. So what prompted this change and are you likely to benefit from it? We explore this in a little more depth this month. What has changed? Over the years it is believed that the price of premiums has gone up through increased claims related to injuries following

  • Finally…the winter is over. That cold spell over the Easter break had to be it for this year, surely! While we cannot predict the weather, we do want to think that spring has finally arrived and that temperatures will slowly start to rise as the days get longer and longer. Whether or not there is any more cold weather to come, we can start to get ready for the summer and while we often use this time of year for a spring clean of our homes we often overlook our

  • The cold weather can wreak havoc on all sorts of things and your car is no exception. The cold, damp, and ice can get into nooks and crannies leading to locks that won’t unlock, doors that won’t open, screenwash that freezes, and a myriad other problems, large and small. This month we take a look at how to avoid those happening and what to do if you find yourself with a cold-related car problem. Common problems and solutions We explore the most common issues likely to occur and offer some solutions to

  • While many of us like to think that we know what happens under our car bonnet, the reality is that we have a vague idea at best. We may be able to tell what is wrong, but we don’t know how to fix it. We know our cars well enough to know when something is wrong, sounds different, or may not be working as well as it should. Having a car mechanic you can trust is key to feeling confident that when you take your car in to be checked

  • If you live and drive in the south of England you have probably already been on the new M3, or at the very least experienced some of the delays caused by the upgrades that Highways England has been carrying out over the last few years. It’s not the first such motorway in the UK. The first one was actually the M42, upgraded since 2006, although it was known as a managed, rather than a smart, motorway. According to Highways England, congestion on motorways and major roads costs around £2 billion each

  • On the 23rd of October this year Mayor Sadiq Khan introduced the toxicity charge, or T-charge, aimed at vehicles that do not comply with the minimum Euro standards on emissions. The T-charge, or to use its official name the Emissions Surcharge, is in fact the first step in setting up what is known as the Ultra Low Emission Zone or ULEZ. Following a recent consultation it has been decided that its introduction will be brought forward by two years and will now come into force on the 8th of April

  • Unless you live in a remote rural area or in mainland Europe, the chances are that you don’t regularly fit winter tyres to your car. But is it something that you should consider? There has been some debate over the years about whether or not fitting winter, or cold weather, tyres is necessary and it really all depends on how cold it is going to get over the winter months. Initial indications are unclear and while it could go either way, looking back at the last few years there have

  • Autumn is already well under way and with the clocks about to change there is no denying that winter is almost upon us. There is no better time to prepare your car before the cold and damp set in so that you are ready to face winter whether it’s a slow turn to cold weather or a sudden cold spell overnight. To make sure you are set for the cold, here is a quick checklist of what you need to look for: 1. Servicing: if you haven’t had a service yet this

  • September means lots of things – the end of summer and cooler temperatures, going back to school (or to work), and looking forward to winter. It’s also an important time of the year if you are a car owner. It is the anniversary of new vehicle registrations which also means that it may be time for your car to go through its MOT check, possibly for the first time. When do I need an MOT check? All cars that are three years old or older will need to have an MOT

  •   While many people think that cars only require attention and maintenance during the winter, the reality is that you should be checking it regularly during the summer too. Summer is usually associated with sunshine, beaches, and barbeques, but it can also be a time of car breakdowns; the summer heat can take its toll on a vehicle so it is prudent to take care of it before it’s too late. The key areas on your car which you should never ignore, including during the summer season, are: Headlights There are two different headlight

  • Many car owners are of the opinion that the cold winter months pose a bigger risk to a vehicle than the hot summer months. In actual fact they’re both challenging to deal with, so preparing your car for the summer months is just as important. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to keep your car running efficiently. Before you head off on holiday or on a long car journey is a great time to give your vehicle a summer check. In fact, if you tie in a summer

  • Forgetting to renew the MOT on your vehicle can have serious consequences, especially if you’re involved in an accident. Most insurance policies become invalid if a vehicle is involved in an accident and the MOT has expired. This scenario could lead to a lot more grief than expected. A motorist that forgets to follow up on their MOT renewal date and subsequently has an accident will find that they are also not insured and then run the risk of being prosecuted for having neither. The vehicle tax system has changed radically

  • EBay, Gumtree, Auto Trader or We Buy Any Car? If you’re planning on selling your car, then you’ve never had so many options before you. However, if you’ve decided to go it alone rather than part-exchange or sell to a garage, you may quickly realise that it can be a minefield out there. Here are some essential pointers to bear in mind. Selling via eBay or Gumtree Auction and public noticeboard websites such as eBay and Gumtree are often seen as a quick, sure-fire way to sell your vehicle; however, you need

  • With the days finally getting longer and the first fledging signs of spring arriving, it’s time to ensure your car is fighting fit following the toughest months of the driving year. Here are our top five tips for the lighter, brighter motoring season. 1. Give your car a spring clean Winter is tough going for our vehicles – grit, salt and grime can dull even the brightest of metals. As the weather improves and the temperatures rise, now is the time for a wash and valet. You may also want to double

  • Motorists rejoice! While the annual government budget usually brings only bad news and depressing updates about tax, the 2015 budget announced a sweeping change that could extend the time between purchasing a vehicle and having to book in for an MOT test. But is it all good news, or should we be concerned that more unroadworthy vehicles could soon be found on UK roads? The MOT changes – an overview The MOT test change would mean that all new cars will be first tested at four years, rather than three, a move

  • Far from being a mythical test that demands the knowledge of an experienced mechanic, there are a few simple steps that you can take for the best possible chance of your car passing first time, and with flying colours. Here’s a ten-point check that can be done and dusted in ten minutes. The Ten-Minute MOT check 1. Headlights and indicators 30% of all MOT failures are down to lights or indicators (GOV.UK) so it makes sense to start your MOT check here. Begin by checking your headlamps, rear lights, hazard lights, and indicators. 2.

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