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News

September 2020

Motorway speed limit to be cut to 60mph in four areas in drive to cut pollution

An upcoming trial, run by Highways England, will reduce the speed limit in four areas in a bid to improve roadside air quality and reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide.

August 2020

Rabbit pulled from behind dashboard after customer reported ‘funny noise’

An independent garage in North Wales has rescued a rabbit from behind the dashboard of a customer’s car after the owner complained of strange noises coming from behind the glove box.

July 2020

MOT decision leaves 1 in 10 at ‘dangerous defects’ risk

The government is being accused of taking “a serious safety risk” by allowing millions of motorists to keep their cars on the road until January 2021 without a current MOT. While drivers with MOTs due from 1 August will need to get a MOT as normal, those with a MOT due date on or before 31 July will still receive a six-month exemption from testing.

June 2020

Commuters turn away from public transport

More than 60% of people will turn their backs on public transport from now on. A new survey carried out by Motorpoint found that the coronavirus pandemic has changed mindsets with 60.2% of those questioned saying they will not return to buses and trains.

May 2020

Honda’s iconic ‘cog’ advert to be recreated by TV viewers

Chain of colliding Honda Accord parts thought to be among one of the most renowned TV adverts

April 2020

Coronavirus: what does it mean for cars and motorists?

The global Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on life in the UK. Here’s everything you need to know about how it affects cars, motorists and the car industry in the UK

March 2020

Transport secretary cracks down on pavement parking

The government is consulting on the proposal in order to make accessibility better for those with mobility or sight impairments, as well as parents with prams who may struggle to get past cars parked on pavements.

Government outlines smart motorway action plan

The Government has announced a series of measures to improve the safety of Smart Motorways, following a review commissioned by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. In October 2019, the future of Smart Motorways, which don’t have a hard shoulder and rely on cameras and signage for all-lane running, was called into question following an admission by Highways England that the dangers of removing the hard shoulder had not been fully investigated.

February 2020

Government aims for new 2035 petrol/diesel ban deadline

A ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles could come even sooner than expected, with government now saying it intends to bring the deadline forward to 2035 – or even earlier if possible. The ban will also be widened to include hybrids for the first time as well. The ban was originally announced in July 2017. The revision will be examined in a consultation.

January 2020

Top 10 worst driving habits revealed

UK drivers have revealed that ‘not indicating’ is the most annoying driving habit. In a new survey, drivers outlined the top 10 things that regularly irritate them on the road. Not indicating was voted as the worst driving habit by 55% of respondents.

December 2019

Drivers unprepared for winter weather

Drivers are not prepared for a harsh winter, prioritising umbrellas, chewing gum, and carrier bags instead of safety equipment. Research showed that a huge 62% of car owners have broken down in their lifetime. However, only one in five car owners keep a warm blanket or warm clothes handy. 

Novermber 2019

Motorists warned against buying car parts online

Vehicle owners are once again being warned about the dangers of buying car parts online in a bid to save money. Research found that headlights were one of the most common parts available on the online marketplace, with over 70,000 units. The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is among the trade bodies that have voiced support to raise awareness about the risks posed by counterfeit car parts.

Norfolk road marking blunder as workers confuse ‘A11’ with ‘ALL’

Council confirms “minor misprint” and reassures locals that corrections would be made at no extra cost to taxpayers

October 2019

Millennials still depend on cars, study shows

Millennials have shown that they still depend on the motor vehicle, despite the common misconception that they’re turning their back on private vehicle ownership, according to the Millennials and Auto Trends Report published this month.

Rise of electric cars could see motorway speed limit raised to 80mph

Issue should be revisited as earlier pollution concerns may not be as relevant, Transport Secretary says

September 2019

Half of British drivers think an MOT is a guarantee their car will be safe to drive

ALMOST half of drivers believe an MOT is a guarantee their car will be safe to drive for the next 12 months. A valid MOT certificate only confirms that a car has met the minimum standard of roadworthiness at the moment the test was completed.

MPs want ban on pavement parking

MPs on the Transport Committee have called for an outright ban on pavement parking across England and criticised the Department for Transport (DfT) for failing to take action. In 2015 the Government promised to look into the issue of pavement parking in England, but the Transport Committee says that consultations, roundtable events and internal reviews failed to lead to any actions to improve the public’s experience of pavement parking.

August 2019

Government urged to update driving laws

The government has been urged to update laws regarding driving while using a mobile phone, after a driver who filmed a collision has his conviction overturned. The law says that an offence is committed if a driver uses a handheld mobile phone for ‘interactive communication’. The law was set in 2003, before smart phones evolved to be used for much more.

MPs want fewer vehicles on UK roads

A group of MPs has called for the ban on sales of new ‘conventional’ petrol and diesel cars and vans, including hybrids, to be brought forward to 2035, at the latest. In a report launched today, the Science and Technology Committee also criticises the reductions in the ‘plug-in grant’ in October 2018, and asks why fuel duty has been frozen while bus and train fares have been allowed to rise.

July 2019

What to do if you see a pet in a hot car

Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.

Motorists advised to consult garage as common searches suggest they turn to Google

The UK’s most commonly search questions for the top 20 cars of the past decade have been revealed. “Why is my Vauxhall Corsa losing power” tops the list of motoring related questions entered into Google, new research found. Issues with power-loss also featured high in the list for owners of the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Vauxhall Insignia.

June 2019

Trump’s £1.2 million limo causes mayhem at service station

A picture shared on Twitter clearly shows the President’s highly-customised Cadillac as it stopped to fill up its tank during his three-day state visit, accompanied by police motorbikes and Trump’s vast motorcade.

March 2019

DIY car repairs on the rise but drivers end up paying £170 to fix their mistakes, study shows

Almost 40 per cent of ‘home mechanics’ have had to take their car into a garage to correct their mistakes, costing them as much as £170 to get the work done professionally, new research suggests. The study also claims that a growing number of British motorists attempting to repair their own vehicle with 57 per cent now buying spare vehicle parts.

February 2019

Motorists still unaware of rules around vehicle warranties

Almost half of Britain’s car owners (44%) believe that getting their car serviced by an independent garage will invalidate their warranty, despite a change in the law nearly 15 years ago that prevents this from being the case. Motorists have a choice and can legally take their vehicle to be repaired or serviced at any independent garage, franchised dealer or autocentre, according to the IAAF’s Your Car – Your Choice campaign.

Police seize vehicle after owner uploads 170mph speeding video onto Facebook

A driver held on suspicion of dangerous driving and later released under investigation has had his vehicle seized after speeding at 170mph and uploading the footage to Facebook.

 

January 2019

Government’s Clean Air Strategy outlines plans to tackle tyre and brake emissions

Much of the government’s focus has been on the reduction of emissions from vehicle exhausts but the government’s Clean Air Strategy 2019 report claims friction during driving also generates fine particles from brakes, tyres and the road surface. Responses to the government’s recent call for evidence on tyre and brake wear are currently being analysed and will help shape policies to address the problem.

Motorist with iced windscreen almost collides head-on into police car

The driver of a car which veered onto the wrong side of the road and nearly collided head on with a police car has had his vehicle seized. Police stopped the uninsured driver and photographed the inside of the car to show how much his vision was obscured.

 

December 2018

Driving home for Christmas

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, gives eight points of advice on driving home for Christmas. Richard says ‘Careful planning and preparation can ensure your Christmas drive home is a safe and smooth one.’

UK motorists travelled record number of miles in 2017

Government figures show UK motorists travelled 327 billion miles in 2017 – 1.3 per cent more than in 2016. Of the total mileage, 254 billion were covered by passenger cars, 51 billion by vans, 17 billion by lorries, three billion by motorcycles and two billion by buses. Data from the Department for Transport (DfT) also shows the volume of greenhouse gases emitted by cars has decreased by three per cent since 1990, despite car traffic having risen 22 per cent over the same period of time.

 

November 2018

New tech sees the cost of replacement headlight bulbs soar

Motorists are being warned of expensive bills for replacement headlight bulbs after a study by consumer magazine What Car? found the cost of bulb replacement on some of the UK’s most popular small cars, including the VW Polo, Suzuki Swift and Honda Jazz, could be as much as £846.

Drivers unprepared for winter driving

Millions of motorists are unprepared for winter driving – with nearly half admitting they have not conducted any maintenance checks on their vehicle, according to research. One in six revealed they have previously broken down in the cold season due to not checking their vehicle and, as the weather worsens it’s clear drivers are not taking proper precautions.

 

October 2018

Main dealer customers aren’t getting a fair price, researchers say

Motorists that take their vehicles to franchised dealers for a diagnostic check aren’t always getting a fair price when it comes to finding out what’s wrong with their cars, experts behind research – which shows the huge variation in prices – charged have said. While diagnostic checks are often free when the car is still under warranty customers outside warranty can be charged an average of £102 across all 27 manufacturers checked.

Government to cut grants for electric and hybrid cars

From 9 November, grants for new plug-in hybrids will be scrapped, while discounts on all-electric cars will be cut from £4,500 to £3,500. A number of motoring groups have spoken out against the decision to cut subsidies for buying greener cars. The Department for Transport (DfT) said the Plug-in Car Grant was introduced seven years ago to help the market become established. The DfT has now said it is time to focus support on zero-emission models like electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars.