Category Archives: Motoring Tips & Advice

Ten Simple Ways To Save Money On Your Next MOT

Ten Simple Ways To Save Money On Your Next MOT

MOTs can be stressful, so much so that millions of Brits are said to suffer from ‘MOT anxiety.’ But a few simple steps can save you money and maximise your car’s chances of passing…

Read The Driver’s Manual 

Have you ever read your car’s driver’s manual? Probably not. But you should make an effort to do so. Why? Because it’s full of precious nuggets of information, including the lifespan of individual components and parts; and when they’ll need to be replaced. Follow the advice given by the manual over anyone else; the manufacturer knows best.

Drive Smoothly And Gently 

The best way to achieve peace of mind before an MOT is to recall how smoothly you’ve been driving…You have been driving smoothly, haven’t you? Excessive acceleration and harsh / late braking will all contribute to premature wear and tear. That basically guarantees steeper servicing and maintenance bills later down the line. Keep your movements and manoeuvres steady and both your car and your wallet will thank you later.

Check Your Lights

Did you know that nearly 20% of MOT failures come from a light-related faults? That’s particularly amazing when you consider how simple, and affordable, swapping a light bulb is. In fact, it’s usually so simple for most models that you can do it yourself. Before driving to the garage, check all of your lights; front and back. You’ll need someone to help you do this.

Look After Your Tyres

Tyres can be expensive to replace, especially if more than one is past its prime. Driving smoothly will reduce the wear on your tyres tread depth and also reduce the risk of damage. Before your MOT, ensure that each tyre has the right pressure level; your driver’s manual will specify what’s correct. You can check that your tread depth is legal by using the so-called 20p test. Place a 20p coin in one of the grooves. If the lower edge is submerged, you’re good to go.

Compare Prices Online

Never accept a price at a garage at face value. You have every right to assess your options and to shop around. If you fail your MOT, the garage won’t be able to let you drive away as the vehicle isn’t road legal. However, you can still contact another garage and get it transported to them if they have a superior price. Taking the time to haggle and compare prices can save you a surprising amount of money. So why wouldn’t you?

Repairs, Not Replacements

Research has revealed that drivers can save up to £3,000 simply by opting to repair components rather than replacing them. A large amount of faults can be repaired and safely; always ask about this option when a problem emerges. If one garage says they won’t do it, another may. Some unscrupulous garages will charge for replacements they haven’t actually made. So if you do opt fora  replacement, ask them to leave old components in your car’s boot.

Get Extended Car Warranty 

It doesn’t matter how much you look after your car, it’ll deteriorate as it ages; all you can do is slow down the process. If you are driving an older car, it may make sense to purchase an extended car warranty policy. This will make it more affordable to tackle more frequent, and probably more expensive, faults and technical issues.

Use A Trustworthy Garage

Professional garages will only charge you what you owe for parts and labour; plain and simple. In addition, there’s less chance they’ll try to ‘up-sell’ needless repairs or checks simply in order to maximise their profits. When looking for a garage, do your research and look for any reviews they’ve received; also make sure they’re regulated.

Keep A Detailed Service History 

Not every mechanic or garage wants to take you for a ride. Believe it or not, many of them are passionate about what they do and want to treat their customers with respect. In this case, you should help them to do as good a job as possible. Keeping a detailed service history to hand means the garage will have a broader and more accurate understanding of your vehicle and the attention it might need; this helps deal with cheaper and smaller problems before they become more expensive and larger ones.

Stay In Financial Control 

There’s two things all good garages do. First of all, they’ll give you a quote at the start of the process before any work starts. This means you know how much you’re going to be paying for the repairs your car needs. In addition, should they discover other problems throughout the process, they won’t carry out work without your permission. That is to say, they’ll get in touch, explain the problem, readjust your initial quote and wait for your permission to continue. This means you’re in financial control throughout the process and avoid any surprise bills.

Failed MOTs: The Most Likely Reasons You’ll Face One – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/failed-mots/

Dodgy Mechanics: Common Tricks And How To Avoid Them – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/dodgy-mechanics-common-tricks-and-how-to-deal-with-them/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

Used Cars: Everything That Causes Them To Depreciate

Used Cars: Everything That Causes Them To Depreciate

There are all sorts of things that can cause your car to depreciate. If you want to protect its value, it’s important to understand what causes it…

Mileage

Mileage has an enormous effect on the rate of depreciation. Why? Because it’s probably the best indicator of overall wear and tear. If a car has covered an extensive amount of miles, it’s likely been subjected to the elements, experienced wear to its components and otherwise been knocked around; a straightforward logic. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to get around this. Buying a car and not using it sort of defeats the point! That said, if you’re buying a used car, be aware of so-called ‘car-clocking’. This is the increasingly common practice of altering a car’s mileage to make it look ‘newer’ or less worn.

Fuel Type

As a general rule, cars with a better fuel-economy will depreciate more slowly. This means that electric vehicles and hybrids tend to retain their value longer than the more traditional power-trains. Circumstance can be a major influence, too. The ramifications of Dieselgate are still being felt and demand for diesel models has contracted considerably. Either way, if you want a sound investment opt for a vehicle for a good mph rating or for a ‘greener’ fuel-type.

Condition 

Probably the best (and most obvious) way of reducing the impact of depreciation is to look after your car; both inside and out. Avoid dents and scratches, don’t rip the upholstery and try not to stain the fabric with the smell of nicotine. Conducting regular maintenance checks can also make a major difference. These include topping up your oil levels, keeping your car’s engine fan clear of debris and checking the battery for any leaks. Make sure not to neglect trips to the garage, either. Whilst no one enjoys a repair or servicing bill, it’s more economical in the long-term as it preserves the car’s value and prevents even more expensive problems from popping up.

Model 

Different models depreciate at different speeds. It’s simply a question of popularity. Some models can lose up to 60% of the value after just three years, others can keep 70% of it. Luxury and sports models tend to retain their value for longer periods of time. But that’s not to say more mainstream cars can’t ward off an impressive amount of depreciation. When buying a car, consider its popularity and its brand’s commitment to it. When buying a used car, try to verify overall demand; you can find all sorts of price guides online.

Documentation 

A simple and easy way to reduce the rate of a car’s depreciation is by keeping its documentation safe and orderly. This will detail its service history, MOT guide and registration. It’s the only way to demonstrate that the car’s fully legal and has been properly looked after over the course of its life. Used cars that lack any of these documents should be regarded with suspicion and are best avoided. If you’ve somehow lost some of your documents, bear in mind that it’s possible to purchase full history checks for as little as £6 from major motoring organisations.

Cars Are Lasting So Long That Automakers Are Losing Money: https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/cars-lasting-long-automakers-lose-money/

10 Things You Should Never Do To Your Car: https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/10-things-never-car/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

Five Ways To Significantly Reduce Vehicle Downtime

Five Ways To Significantly Reduce Vehicle Downtime

Reducing vehicle downtime should be a priority for all fleets, regardless of size. It means you’ll be able to reduce costs and be in a better position to meet deadlines. Here’s five ways to reduce it…

1) Driver Training

What causes vehicle downtime? Ultimately, it comes down to wear and tear or accidents. In both cases, drivers themselves can play a large role. The way they drive fleet vehicles is enormously important. Late braking, harsh acceleration and incorrect gear changes can all accelerate the rate at which the car deteriorates. In addition, these behaviours are inherently dangerous and increase the likelihood of an accident. Offer your drivers training and ensure they’re aware of your expectations.

2) Maintenance And Repair

Regular and maintenance and repairs can be expensive. But they’re almost never as expensive as vehicle downtime; which can cost an average-sized fleet around £700 a day, not including repair costs themselves. Develop and stick to a regular servicing schedule. Some checks can actually be carried out internally, such as those concerning tyre pressures, oil levels and light bulbs. The key is to identify small problems before they become big ones.

3) New Vehicles

This isn’t an option for all fleets, but it’s certainly a consideration and the ideal strategy. Newer vehicles are less likely to brake down or experience mechanical faults. That’s a simple fact. Whilst they’re naturally more expensive than used vehicles, they can help a fleet save money in the long-term. However, utilising data is crucial in determining viability and potential savings.

4) Telematics

Whilst training your drivers and ensuring they’re aware of expected driving standards is vital, it’s often not enough. You need to know how they’re behaving whilst behind the wheel. Telematics can be useful in seeing what they’re getting right and what they’re getting wrong. In addition, it’s capable of shedding light on a fleet’s overall fuel economy. The technology is getting cheaper and more advanced all of the time; it’s definitely worth investing in.

5) Vehicle Downtime Data

A fleet is only as good as its data. Whether it’s concerning driver behaviour, fuel costs or route management, it’s always vital. Vehicle downtime is no different. You need to understand how much it costs the fleet, which vehicles are most likely to fail (and why) and the most efficient methods of addressing it. Don’t treat each brake down or accident as an isolated event, look at them as a part of a single trend. How efficient are your chosen garages, which models are the least reliable, what are the causes of accidents? With a clearer picture, you’ll be able to devise a clearer strategy.

Fleet Driver Safety: Everything You Should Be Doing – https://www.autoservefleet.co.uk/latest-news/fleet-driver-safety/

Failed MOTs: The Most Likely Reasons You’ll Face One – http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/failed-mots/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

Highways England Is Urging Motorists To Tow Safely This Summer

Highways England Is Urging Motorists To Tow Safely This Summer

Highways England is urging drivers to ensure they’re road legal when towing this summer. It means having the correct license and insurance, as well as properly securing loads.

There are over 4,000 accidents involving trailers each and every year. That’s the equivalent of 11 a day. As a result, Highways England is issuing advice to motorists as they tow over the summer. Accidents are usually caused by poorly prepared and overloaded  vehicles, travelling at excessive speeds and using an inappropriate vehicle. In addition, motorists can face fierce crosswinds as they tow and sometimes end up with insufficient noseweight; this can cause trailers to sway and lose control.

Highways England’s Strategic Road Safety Lead, Stuart Lovatt, stressed that whilst towing accidents were relatively rare, caution is a necessity. He said, “thankfully incidents are very rare but now is the time to remind motorists of the need to make sure you have carried out proper checks and have loaded the trailer or vehicle correctly.” He added, “we have all sorts travelling on our network including horse boxes, trailer tents and leisure vehicles such as boats and caravans. Our message is really simple, check it before towing it. So that everyone gets home, safe and well.”

What To Check Before You Tow

Drivers can reduce their risk of having an accident as they tow. It’s important to ensure that the vehicle is up to the job of transporting caravans and trailers. Consult your owner’s manual to determine what your car’s loading capacity is. Driving within towing speed limits is essential. Extra caution is advised whilst going downhill or overtaking.

If you’re caught besides a larger vehicle, maximise the difference between the trailer and the vehicle; this is achieved by using the length of the lane, assuming it’s safe to do so. Should you experience instability, do not apply the brakes. Remain as calm as possible and simply ease off of your accelerator. Allow the steering wheel to twitch and don’t steer against the motion of the car. It’s always worth inspecting the vehicle and it’s load after a scare. That way you can ensure nothing is wrong with the actual load itself.

The Absolute Worst Places To Drive In The UK: http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/worst-places-drive/

Motorway Misconceptions: Separating The Facts From The Fiction – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/motorway-misconceptions/ 

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

Car Clocking: What You Need To Know About This Enduring Menace

Car Clocking: What You Need To Know About This Enduring Menace

As long as there have been speedometers, there have been instances of car clocking. And whilst it might invoke images of a sleazier age, the phenomenon is actually on the rise. Here’s what you need to know…

What Is It?

In simple terms, car clocking is process of altering a car’s mileage so that it appears to have covered less ground than it actually has. The rationale behind this is simple. A car that’s been used less will have fewer faults and will be less likely to break down; meaning a higher price at the point of sale. Whilst you’d be forgiven for thinking digitisation would have killed it off, it’s actually at an all time high; smashing previous records.

According to vehicle history provider HPI, as many as one in every sixteen vehicles has a mileage discrepancy. This represents a 25% increase since 2014 alone. It believes some 40% of car dealers have purchased a second-hand car that’s fallen victim of car clocking. For perspective, the phenomenon is costing motorists a collective £800 million annually. For instance, a Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost will fetch £2,700 more at 50,000 miles than it will at 100,000 miles.

How To Avoid It

It’s actually easier to carry out car clocking today than it was a decade or so. Why? Because cars are basically computers on wheels nowadays. All you have to do is plug in a laptop and, with a little bit of technical know-how and the right software, the mileage can be altered. Believe it or not, altering the mileage itself isn’t illegal. But selling a car with an altered mileage and not informing the buyer is. There are a number of companies offering a perfectly legal service, usually for around £100, that will alter a car’s mileage for drivers professionally. As a spokesman for the RAC stated, “It’s absolutely ludicrous that shady operators are able to advertise their services, putting motorists at risk of buying a car with a tampered mileage, disguising its true history and likely level of wear and tear.”

Protecting yourself from car clocking can be tricky, but there are steps that can be taken. First of all, it’s important that a seller of a used car can produce a comprehensive service history; if they can’t, it should be an instant ‘no, thanks.’ Check it thoroughly for any gaps or inexplicable changes in the vehicle’s mileage. If it’s been averaging 15,000 miles a year only to suddenly fall to 5,000, questions should be raised. Should any of the garage stamps look suspect, you can contact the garages directly for verification. Also inspect the vehicle for physical signs of wear. A rarely used vehicle is unlikely to have chip marks at the front, for instance. It’s also worth test driving a number of examples of the model you want to buy; to see if any stand out as having poor performance.

Why Should You Care?

Ultimately, there are financial implications for car clocking. As previously mentioned, it can mean a huge loss in funds once the true mileage is revealed; potentially reaching thousands of pounds. But more importantly, there’s a safety issue. A car that’s travelled 100,000 miles is much more prone to faults than a car that’s travelled 50,000. If a driver believes his or her vehicle is in a better state than it really is, they can inadvertently put themselves and other road-users at risk. There’s also a risk that, should the vehicle be sold on without the true mileage being exposed, innocent motorists can take the blame.

Whenever you buy a second-hand car, make sure to thoroughly inspect its documentation and to inspect it inside and out. It’s a big purchase and you have every right to make sure it’s the right one for you. Don’t be a victim.

Used Car Drivers: Mileage Fraud Is At An All Time High – http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/mileage-fraud/

Garages Expect Brexit Price Jumps And Parts Shortages: https://www.autoservefleet.co.uk/latest-news/garages-expect-brexit-parts-shortages/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

Used Cars: Everything You Need To Know Before Buying One

Used Cars: Everything You Need To Know Before Buying One

Whilst the sales of new cars have come to an abrupt halt, used cars continue to attract a lot of interest. Given the enormous differences in pricing, it’s not hard to understand why. Here’s what you need to know before buying one for yourself…

Consider What You’re Looking For

As will all things, going into the used cars market blind is a bad idea. You’ll be left directionless and ripe for the picking by unscrupulous sellers and dealers. Figure out what you need from a car. Are you looking for ample space, fuel economy or creature comforts? Think about the journeys you take, their frequency and what you’re willing to compromise on. This will provide you with a sense of direction and will prevent impulse purchases.

Get Valuations For The Models That Interest You

Ideally, you’ll be able to reduce your interests to certain models and trim levels. In this instance, you’ll be able to use a host of websites to get a host of quotes for used cars. This means, even before you’ve started a conversation with a seller, you know what a reasonable price looks like. Never go in blind, work out an average price for a used car that interests you; a few quotes will help you gauge what’s fair.

Always Arrange A Vehicle Inspection 

Never commit yourself to a used car before inspecting it. Private sellers may distort what’s on offer and conceal damage and flaws. Photos might not always reflect what’s really on offer. Arrange an inspection in a place that you’re comfortable with. If in doubt, it might also be wise to take a friend or family member with you. You don’t know who the seller is, fundamentally speaking, so keep yourself save and don’t take needless risks. Once inspecting the vehicle, circle around it and look for scratches and dents. Also thoroughly go over the interior and keep your eyes open to stains and tears and your nose open to unpleasant odours. It’s very important that the seller produces a genuine service record and that it checks out, too.

Take The Car For A Test Drive

Even a car that looks pristine can conceal serious faults. Never purchase a used car without taking it for a test drive. If the seller is reluctant, it could be because they’re hiding something. It’s natural for them to want to accompany you whilst you test it and don’t be offended if they ask for your driving license and proof of third-party car insurance (you should have these ready). If you’re worried about driving with the seller, again, take a family member of friend. Get a feel for the braking system and the acceleration. Does the car handle well or does it pull to one side? Listen for any unusual noises and consider how comfortable the ride is.

Never Be Afraid To Negotiate

People selling used cars, generally speaking, want them off of their hands. They’re losing their value continually and, if it’s a private seller, they may want to move on to a new motor. Never just agree to the price on offer. Start from a lower price and gradually move forwards if required. If you want the car and you’ve made the journey to visit it, you have leverage over the seller. After all, if you don’t ask you don’t get. A little negotiation can save you a significant amount of money. Worst comes to worst, they can only say ‘no’ and stick to the advertised price.

Properly Complete The Transaction

Once you’re happy with a used car, it’s important that the transaction is completed professionally. The seller should ask their bank to produce two receipts, one for them and one for yourself; this can prevent disagreements later down the line. They’ll need to update the DVLA that the vehicle has swapped hands and you’ll need to notify them that the car is now in your hands. It goes without saying, but make sure that the person selling the car actually owns it! Request any spare keys and the car’s owners manual. With that, you’re all done and have avoided any unpleasantness. You hopefully now own a car you’ve bought for an affordable price that won’t breakdown at the first opportunity.

Privately Selling Your Car? Here’s Everything You Should Know: https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/privately-selling-cars/

Why Posting Photos Of Your Driving License Online Is A Bad Idea: http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/photos-driving-license/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

Engine Remapping: What Is It And Is It Really Safe?

What would you say if someone said they could improve your car’s performance without making any physical changes? You’d probably scoff at them, but it is possible and lots of people are doing it. Here’s what you need to know about Engine Remapping…

Cars As Computers

What a lot of motorists don’t recognise is the fact that their cars are packed with computing technology. Modern vehicles use computers that have a range of responsibilities. These include keeping emissions low, reporting on the condition of specific components and displaying warning lights. These technologies are improving all of the time, especially as new autonomous driving features are being developed.

So-called engine remapping has become increasingly popular over the years, as altering software has become easier and easier. The process used to be called ‘chip tuning’, as it literally involved swapping a microchip in a car’s electronic control unit with an altered one. Nowadays, it’s as simple as downloading a file onto a normal computer. What this means, ultimately, is that engines can be ‘remapped’ with new software; altering certain aspects of a car’s performance.

But Why Bother? 

If the idea of playing with an engine’s software sounds risky to you, it’s probably because it is. Which is why a number of companies specialising in engine remapping have emerged. They use laptops or unique devices to overwrite default factory settings and set them to something more inline with your preferences. A full remap typically takes around twenty minutes and can leave you with increased power and torque.

Automakers often actually scale back the performance of their models during product planning stages and in order to meet efficiency targets. Software imposes them, rather than physical components. Remove the software, and you remove the imposed limitations. It’s that simple. It can even be used to improve a car’s mpg rating and therefore its fuel economy.

What Are The Risks?

Whether engine remapping is risky depends on who you ask. Some cottage industries have emerged, in which drivers tweak their own engines or those of their friend’s vehicles. We advise against this, as a mistake can pose serious implications for a car’s usability and basic functions.

There are, however, a number of established and reputable companies that offer engine remapping. One of them is Superchips. Its Managing Director Jamie Turvey explained the process to AutoExpress. He told them, “remapping does put extra strain on an engine, but not a dangerous amount. We check carefully that the temperatures and pressures our remaps put the engine through don’t exceed the acceptable parameters.”

Automakers often use the process themselves, as Turvey explained “you find manufacturers launch a car with a set power figure, but then over the life of the model they’ll introduce a few facelifts and performance versions. They don’t develop new engines for each new version: mostly they limit the performance of the earlier models and then offer a little more power with each new edition.” He did note, however, that drivers with engine mapped cars needed to update their insurers, but stressed that most either don’t mind or request only a nominal fee as a result.

The End Of Range Anxiety: New EV Batteries Can Cover 600 Miles – http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/new-ev-batteries/

Volvo Will Be Limiting Its Cars To 112 Miles Per Hour – https://www.autoservefleet.co.uk/latest-news/volvo-will-be-limiting-its-cars-to-112-miles-per-hour/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

Why Posting Photos Of Your Driving License Online Is A Bad Idea

Why Posting Photos Of Your Driving License Online Is A Bad Idea

Maybe you’ve passed your driving test and want to show off your new driving license on Instagram? Maybe you want to prove to a prospective employee that you can drive? Either way, motorists are putting themselves at risk of fraud…

Why You Should Never Post Photos Of Your Driving License

The DVLA has issued advice to motorists, warning them of the risks of sharing documents online; especially driving licenses. By uploading photos of them to the likes of Instagram and Facebook, motorists are unwittingly putting themselves at risk of fraud. Criminals can use full names and addresses to steal a person’s identity. In addition, it’s also important that motorists are cautious when selling cars to private buyers. It’s important not to leave documents containing your vehicle’s registration mark or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The details can be used to ‘clone’ your car, meaning criminals can conceal stolen and salvaged vehicles; meaning they can be traced back to you.

Here’s How To Protect Yourself From Fraud

Vehicle fraud has become a serious issue throughout the UK. It takes on many shapes and forms as criminals become increasingly creative and determined. Consequently, the DVLA has released the following tips for protecting yourself and your vehicle from fraud…

1) Only use gov.uk operated websites when looking for information online.

2) Be aware of scam emails, official organisations won’t ask for sensitive information.

3) Avoid websites that charge fees for services or information that  gov.uk offers for free

4) Never use a premium-rate phone numbers to reach the DVLA. They’re all free.

5) Don’t post photos of your license or vehicle details online.

6) Be aware that the DVLA never uses texts. Ignore any you receive.

7) Report suspicious activity to Action Fraud to help tackle the issue.

The Biggest Motoring Scandals: http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/the-biggest-motoring-scandals/

Car Theft’s Becoming Epidemic, Here’s How You Can Protect Yours: https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/car-theft-is-becoming-epidemic-heres-how-you-can-protect-your-car/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

Fines are a sure way to ruin anyone’s day. Unfortunately for drivers, there are all sorts of things they can be fined for. Whilst we all know about speeding and parking fines, there are many others you might not be aware of…

1) Using Your Phone As A Sat Nav

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

Smart phones are getting, well, smarter. Many motorists are choosing to use theirs as sat navs. The problem is they’re often balancing them precariously on dashboards or holding them as they drive. They must be properly secured with an appropriate holder or you risk a £200 fine and six penalty points.

2) Having  A Dirty Number Plate

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

There’s not much point in a number plate if it’s impossible to read. If yours becomes so dirty and grimy that it can’t be made out, police officers can issue eye-watering fines of up to £1,000. Make sure to check yours before long journeys and after going off-road.

3) Using Your Phone To Pay At Drive-Thrus 

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving
By KRoock74 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

All sorts of payment methods can now be used via your phone. You might be tempted to use these at fast food restaurant drive thrus. Unfortunately, this counts as using your phone whilst driving (even if you’re stationary). That means risking fines and penalty points.

4) Middle Lane Hogging

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

When you’re not overtaking, you should on on the inside lane on the motorway. It’s that simple. If police find you ‘hogging’ lanes, especially you middle lane, it can be classified as negligent driving. That means potentially facing fines up to £100 and three penalty points.

5) Using Your Horn To Scold Road-Users

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

It’s such a frequent occurrence that it’s easy to see it as acceptable, but using a car’s horn to tell people off isn’t proper use. The horn should be used to alert other driver’s to your presence and nothing else. Using it for any other reason can, in theory, see you face a £30 fine.

6) Sleeping In Your Car Whilst Drunk

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

This is probably one of the weirdest driving ‘offences.’ As far as the police are concerned, a drunk driver IN their car is still in charge of it. They’re therefore in charge of a vehicle on paper; that means ten penalty points and a hefty bill to the government.

7) Taking Prescription Drugs

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

Over the counter prescription drugs can affect a person’s ability to drive. New laws introduced in 2015 acknowledged this. Police sometimes now carry screening devices designed to pick up popular prescription drugs, including codeine, diazepam and amphetamine.

8) Not Clearing Your Windscreen

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

Your windscreen is your central point of view whilst driving; it’s hardly rocket science. If it’s obstructed, it means you can’t see clearly ahead. It’s remarkable, then, that police officers often share images of motorists attempting to driving essentially blind. Keep yours clear to keep police away.

9) Smoking With Young Passengers

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

Since 2015, it’s been illegal to smoke in a car with passengers younger than 18. This is to protect minors from the dangers of second-hand smoke. As a vehicle’s owner, you’re also responsible for other passengers who decide to light up, too.

10) Driving With Snow On The Roof

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

When it snows, you’ll naturally clear your windscreen and mirrors. However, leaving snow on top of your vehicle can also land you in trouble. Why? Because loose snow can dislodge itself whilst you’re on the road, this can distract other drivers and road-users. According to the RAC, fines have been issued.

11) Idling

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving 

The Road Traffic Act 1988 states, “you must not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.” Since being issued, there have been further clampdowns because of the emissions idling cars release; especially around schools and hospitals. How much this is enforced, however, varies from region to region.

12) Not Telling The DVLA About Medical Conditions

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

Many motorists are unaware of the fact that they must inform the DVLA if they’re diagnosed with a ‘notifiable’ medical condition. These can include anything from anxiety to deja vu! Failing to do so means facing a charge of £1,000 and even prosecution.

13) Parking Too Close To A Junction

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

Junctions can be dangerous places that require a driver’s full attention and clear space to manoeuvre in. This is why it’s a driving offence to park within ten metres of one (unless there’s clearly marked and authorised space).

14) Misusing The Hard Shoulder

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving
By Philafrenzy – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The hard shoulder is for emergency situations. Period. These include your car facing a major fault or a medical emergency. The only exceptions are on so-called ‘smart motorways.’ These sometime use the shoulder as an additional lane.

15) Crawling (Driving Too Slowly)

15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Be Fined For Whilst Driving

When we think of speeding offences, we usually think of petrol heads putting their foot down. But driving too slowly is also an offence and can be just as dangerous. In fact, around 140 accidents are caused every year by drivers who crawl. If you’re found to be presenting a danger by driving too slowly, you can be issued with a whopping nine penalty points and an unlimited fine.

The British Car Manufacturers You’ve Never Heard Of: http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/the-british-car-manufacturers-youve-never-heard-of/

The Most Confusing Road Signs In The UK (And What They Mean): https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/most-confusing-road-signs/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

MOT Mayhem: The Cars Most Likely To Fail (And How Autoserve Can Help)

MOT Mayhem: The Cars Most Likely To Fail (And How Autoserve Can Help)

The MOT is tougher than ever before, having been made even stricter back in early 2018. New changes are stricter on emissions and have added new fault categories altogether. Here are the cars most likely to fail and how Autoserve can help your car pass…

When you get a car, you’re essentially making the second largest purchase of your life; after a house or a property. As a result, it’s important to make an informed decision. No one wants a car that’s more a liability than a joy; which means you don’t want it constantly sitting in a garage. Unfortunately, even with the latest manufacturing technologies, cars still fail to pass the MOT first time around. This means they either get trapped in garages or written-off altogether. Some are worse than others. These are the cars most likely to fail and pass…

The Most Likely To Fail Their First MOT:

Renault Megane (77.5%)

Fiat Punto (78.5%)

Peugeot 5008 (78.8%)

Vauxhall Corsa (79.4%)

Citroen DS3 (81.1%)

The Most likely to Pass Their First MOT:

Porsche 911 (95.9%)

Honda Jazz (95.3%)

Toyota IQ (94.5%)

Mazda MX5 (94.4%)

Porsche Boxster (94.4%)

In other words, if you own a Citroen DS3 it’s not looking good! Either way, there are clearly a host of popular car models on the roads that are simply failing the MOT at an alarming rate. So prevalent has this problem become that the expression ‘MOT Anxiety’ has gained traction amongst motorists and the automotive industry. This refers to the fear drivers have of facing the test; largely because they worry about the costs of failing it, or worse still, losing their vehicles.

Emma Garland, from MoneySupermarket, has stressed the importance of regular servicing and maintenance. She said, “our data shows that over a tenth of new cars are deemed unsafe to be driven after just three years, which shows how up-to-date you need to be with repairs and services to your car, even if it’s recently purchased. By law, a failed MOT will take your car off the road and could result in a fine of up to £1,000 if the vehicle is used.”

How Autoserve Can Help

No motorist should have to experience MOT anxiety. Whilst the test has become tougher, it’s purpose is to keep drivers safe; not intimidate them. Autoserve is a dedicated and professional vehicle management company. We aspire to eliminate MOT anxiety in two ways…

1) By eliminating the stress of the garage experience. We can handle bookings, costs and vehicle collection and delivery for you; meaning you don’t need to lift a finger

2) By offering up to 40% off vehicle servicing. Meaning you can keep your car fit and healthy, facing the MOT with confidence.

We’re able to offer our services via our Service Card, Fleet Guard or Guaranteed Maintenance Contracts. Learn more about them below…

MOT Mayhem: The Cars Most Likely To Fail (And How Autoserve Can Help)

Learn More About Our Service Card: http://autoserve.co.uk/our-products/service-card/

MOT Mayhem: The Cars Most Likely To Fail (And How Autoserve Can Help)

Learn More About Our Fleet Card: http://autoserve.co.uk/our-products/fleet-card/

MOT Mayhem: The Cars Most Likely To Fail (And How Autoserve Can Help)

Learn More About Our Driver Card (Guaranteed Maintenace) Here: http://autoserve.co.uk/our-products/fleet-card/

The Rules For Passing And Failing The New MOT: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/blog/new-mot-vehicle-test-may-2018

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.