Motoring

Expert advice: simple car checks before the bank holiday

cheap car checks
You really don’t want your bank holiday to end up like this (Picture iStock/Jimdoberman)

Before you hit the road for a bank holiday getaway, make sure you download the Green Flag app.

This bank holiday, thousands of drivers will be hitting the road, and we’ll be here to help 24/7 if any breakdowns try to ruin your journey.

But, with a few quick and easy checks, you can help prevent a breakdown from happening. So, before you set off, give these a read (and give your vehicle a bit of TLC).

Check your tyres

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Expert advice: your E10 questions answered

e10 questions
Any questions about new E10 petrol? Our expert answers them (Picture iStock/Sturti)

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the new E10 petrol so I thought it would be useful to answer some of them.

E10 has been the cheapest petrol on garage forecourts since September 2021 when it replaced E5 as the forecourt standard. It gets its name because the bioethanol content was doubled to 10 per cent. Bioethanol is an alcohol-based fuel that is made from plant bi-products. The government chose to do this because it believes it’s a simple way to reduce the CO2 emissions from petrol cars.

Read on and I’ll answer some of the most popular questions about E10 petrol.

Will E10 damage my engine?

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Revealed: the best and worst motorway services in the UK

motorway services
Do you have a favourite motorway services? A review of user ratings reveals the best (Picture iStock/Gas Station)

At some point this year, you will have to pull into a motorway services. But the kind of experience you have – supreme or shoddy – will depend on which services you use. A new survey has revealed that there’s a huge difference between the best and worst.

Car dealership Brindley Group carried out the study. It looked at user reviews on TripAdvisor, Google and MotorwayServicesOnline for all 100 of the UK’s services on our 29 motorways. Researchers then collated review marks to award an average score out of five for each site.

What is the UK’s best services?

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Registration plates: take our quiz to see if your number’s up

Number plates have been around for more than a century. How much do you know about them? (Picture iStock/MisterClips)

Today is the first of the two annual new-car registration plate changes for 2022. Number plates are such a fixture of motoring you see them whenever you look at a car from the front or back. But how much do you know about them? Take our cunning quiz to find out.

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Proof of why tired drivers pose a threat to other road users

tired drivers
Being tired at the wheel can have potentially lethal consequences (Picture iStock/LSOPhoto)

It’s obvious driving and sleepiness don’t mix. But some new research shows just how much of a threat tired drivers can pose to other road users.

It’s not only nodding off at the wheel that can be dangerous. Tired drivers struggle to anticipate hazards, drive too quickly and aren’t as aware of other road users. They’re all the traits we associate with drink driving. Hardly surprising that statistics show driver fatigue may play its part in up to one in five road crashes.

How was the study carried out?

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Rules of the road your driving instructor may not have told you about

rules of the road
Do you know when you should and shouldn’t use your car’s horn? (Picture iStock/PixelsEffect)

There are so many rules of the road that driving instructors can’t be expected to tell you everything. That, after all, is what the Highway Code is for.

But just in case the regulations have changed since you took your test we’re outlining some of the things most of us do, that we shouldn’t. Some can even result in hefty fines.

Be careful when you use your horn

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Expert advice: how to make sure you don’t void your car warranty

car warranty
A warranty should give extra protection to your car but they’re easy to void (Picture: iStock/Rido Franz)

Buy a new car and by law it must come with a warranty. And increasingly, if you buy a used car, particularly if it’s manufacturer approved, it’ll also have a car warranty.

These guarantees vary in length from between seven and three years if it’s a brand-new car; between one year and three months if it’s a used car.

But they come with a strict set of terms and conditions. Drivers must abide by these if the warranty is to remain valid throughout its term. Here are five things you should steer clear of if you want to maintain your car warranty.

Keep your car maintained

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Find out how much you really know about Mondeo man’s favourite Ford

ford mondeo
When it was put up in 2001, this was said to be the biggest billboard poster in the world (Picture Ford)

Ford has revealed that the next version of its once best-selling Mondeo saloon won’t be available in the UK. In the face of waning sales, Ford has decided the current fourth generation Mondeo will be the last to be sold brand new.

The inspiration for ‘Mondeo Man’, the big Ford has been part of the fabric of British society for nearly three decades. But how much do you know about it? Take our quiz to find out.

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How much do you know about alternative fuels?

A transport revolution is underway with the adoption of battery-powered electric vehicles. Although they’re new to us, there’s nothing radical about using a fuel that isn’t petrol or diesel. But how much do you know about alternative fuels? Take our crafty quiz to find out.

There have been all sorts of alternative fuels for cars over the years. But how much do you know about them? (Picture iStock/SimonSkafar)
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Is a city near you getting a Clean Air Zone this year?

clean air zone
London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone is the pioneer. More are being launched in 2022 (Picture iStock/Cheekylorns)

You might have heard of London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone. But depending on where you live in the country, you’re more likely to have a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) coming to a city near you this year. We investigate what these are, what they mean to car drivers and reveal which cities are getting them in 2022.

What are Clean Air Zones?

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