Aug 14

Advanced Driving Lessons: What and Why

If you’ve recently gained your full licence, you’ll probably be aware of the PassPlus course – this six module course is for anyone who has passed their test in the last 12 months, and enables you to get a discount on your car insurance.

But did you know that you can also learn a whole new level of driving skills, which could get you further car insurance discounts and – more importantly – make you a much safer and more confident driver for life?
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Aug 14

How To Prepare Yourself and Your Car For Driving At Night

Let’s face it; for the most people, people will be driving their cars during daylight hours. If you are a learner, or have recently passed your test, driving at night can be a scary prospect. The thing about night driving is that familiar landmarks and roads look a whole lot different.

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Aug 14

Who Invented What: a Guide To Automotive Innovations

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Car makers around the world love inventing all kinds of weird and wonderful technology! Most of it is useful and has helped to shape our attitudes towards driving. If nothing got invented, we would be driving around in noisy, smelly and unreliable cars!

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Aug 14

What is a MOT Test and Why Are They Needed?

Cars became commonplace on Britain’s roads at the beginning of the 20th century. Back in those days, they weren’t subjected to any regular tests or checks. You could drive around in a car that was falling to bits, and no-one would tell you off!

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Aug 14

7 Top Tips for Your Practical Driving Test Day

So, the big day is here. You’ve passed your theory test, spent hours practicing and can perform manoeuvres in your sleep – but now that your practical driving test is here, it’s only natural to be nervous and worried.

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Aug 14

Useful Tips for Buying Your First Car

It’s always an exciting time buying a new car, even more so when you are buying your first car! Some people buy their first car whilst they are still learning to drive. Others wait until they have passed their theory and practical tests.

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Aug 14

The Pros and Cons of Driving an Automatic Car

For generations, we had it drilled into our heads that we should be driving cars that have a manual transmission. There is a certain stigma attached to cars with automatic transmissions. Some folks think automatics are for people that are lazy, can’t drive well, are elderly or wealthy.

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Aug 14

5 Qualities Every Good Driver Needs

Anyone can learn to drive and most people – with practice and instruction – can pass both the practical and the theory driving test. Yet not everyone on the roads is a good driver. Why not? Because there are 5 key qualities every good driver needs. How many do you have?
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Aug 14

How to Buy Your First Car at Auction

Online auction. Gavel on laptop. - How to buy your first car at auction

Most second hand car dealers obtain their stock from auctions, and add a markup to what they paid. Savvy car buyers, however, are gradually getting wise to the fact that you can buy at auction yourself, and save a lot of money in the process. We look at best practices and exactly how to buy your first car at auction.

Buying your first car can be a daunting experience at the best of times, and auction buying is not for the faint hearted, but if you follow these simple tips you could walk away with the first car of your dreams, at a great bargain price.

Get a Feel for the Auction Process

It makes sense to visit a few car auctions before you intend to buy. This will give you an idea of how the whole process works, so it will seem less intimidating when you’re doing it for real.

How to Buy Your First Car at Auction – Do Your Research

Research the make and model of car you’re after, and make sure you know what the market price range is. By the time you arrive at the auction house, you should have a good idea of what kind of car you want, and how much you’re prepared to pay for it.

How to Buy Your First Car at Auction – Budget Carefully

As well as the actual cost of the car, you will have to pay buyers’ fees, which will vary from place to place. You’ll also need insurance and fuel if you want to drive the car away – don’t forget to factor these costs into your budget.

How to Buy Your First Car at Auction – Inspect the Car Thoroughly

Arrive at the auction house in plenty of time to inspect your chosen car. If you don’t know much about cars, never go without a friend or relative who does – you need someone to give it an expert once over, to ensure that you’re not buying a dud or potentially dangerous vehicle.

How to Buy Your First Car at Auction- Know Your Rights

Auction houses can – and do – take away some of your normal consumer rights by issuing disclaimers or varying their terms and conditions. Make sure you read the fine print carefully and know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

How to Buy Your First Car at Auction – Bid Clearly and Responsibly

When it’s time to bid, be very clear in your bidding. Leave the subtle signals to the experts. Crucially – do not go over your budget limit. You will need to be strict with yourself about this, as auctions move quickly and it’s very easy to find yourself out of your depth. Once the bid reaches your maximum, stop. You cannot retract a bid once it is made, and if you win the auction you are obliged to buy the car.

According to British Car Auctions, 10% of cars sold at auction go to private buyers, so if you do your homework and hold your nerve, an auction can be a great place to find your perfect first car for less. It’s exciting, a bit of a challenge and can be quite scary – but if you succeed, you’ll gain not only a car but a huge sense of satisfaction too.

Aug 14

14 Safety Tips for New Women Drivers

Safety Tips For New Women Drivers

In the excitement of having passed your driving test, it’s easy to forget basic personal safety when you first start to drive alone. we have put together a list of 14 safety tips for new women drivers. The UK is a safe place for women to drive alone, and serious incidents are very rare – however, for your own peace of mind, check out these simple safety tips.

Safety Tips For New Women Drivers – Before Your Journey

1. Before you set out – and on a regular basis – make sure you perform the routine car maintenance checks you learnt during your driver training.

2. Tell someone where you are going, and roughly what time you expect to be back.

3. Ensure that you take a fully charged mobile phone with you.

4. Check that you have enough fuel to complete your journey. Don’t allow the tank to run down to warning light levels – get into the habit of filling up before you need to.

5. If you can afford to, join a reputable breakdown service, and make sure you have their emergency number in the car.

Safety Tips For New Women Drivers – While You are Driving

6. Keep your valuables out of sight, but keep your phone close to hand in the driver door compartment.

7. Lock your doors and keep them locked. If you have to leave the car briefly, do not leave it unlocked, even for a few moments.

8. In built up areas, don’t open your windows fully – especially in heavy traffic where you are likely to be stationary or almost stationary for extended periods of time.

9. Do not pick up hitchhikers for any reason. Do not stop to give assistance to someone, either – if you see someone in distress, drive on to a safe place and phone the police.

10. You must stop if you are told to do so by a police officer, or if a police car flags you down. However, stay in the car, with the doors locked, and ask for ID to be shown through the window. Only get out of the car or open the window once you are satisfied that the police officer is genuine.

11. If a car flashes you from behind, trying to get you to stop – don’t. If you feel that the car is following you, drive to a busy, well lit place such as a petrol station or supermarket car park. Stay in the car, with the doors locked. If the driver approaches you, open the window just enough to hear him or her – there may be a legitimate reason they need to speak to you.

Safety Tips For New Women Drivers – Parking

12. Park in busy, well-lit areas. If you’re parking during the day but will be returning at night, think about how safe the area will be in the dark.

13. Don’t unlock the car until you are close enough to get in immediately, and then re-lock the doors straight away.

14. Before you get in, however, get into the habit of glancing into the back to ensure the car is empty. You should never allow fear to inhibit your solo driving experiences, but a little bit of common sense goes a long way when it comes to women driving alone.