Staying Comfortable On The Road As A New Driver

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If you’re a new driver, then congratulations! But how do you feel about being able to hit the road full time? Maybe you’re excited, because you’ve finally got that breath of independence and freedom you’ve always wanted? Maybe you’re a little nervous as well, because you’ll be on your own with no one to rely on except yourself? Maybe you just haven’t paid it much mind yet, because you haven’t got a car to use nor any insurance to keep you covered yet!

Whatever your feelings as a new driver, it’s time to make sure you’re going to be comfortable with using the road, and that you’re confident enough behind the wheel.

Try to Use Roads You Don’t Know

If you’re someone who has a few butterflies in their stomach over trying to navigate as a new driver, make sure you’re not completely avoiding the idea of using roads and routes you don’t know and have never been down before. You’re never going to get comfortable like that!

You think you’ll get lost, or you have a chance at coming across a road sign you never learnt the meaning of – thinking hypothetically will just make you a lot more nervous! Take a SatNav or a map in the car with you, and check it for some memorable reference points. Then put it away, and see if you can take the route you just picked out without needing to double check – the more you try to navigate independently, the better you’ll become at handling roads, and drivers on those roads, that you’ve never had to cope with before.

A. L.
Get to Know the Insurance Policies

Insurance confuses even the best of drivers at times, and because of that, you’re going to want to learn the ins and outs of new driver insurance policies as soon as possible.

At the least, you’ll want to read the terms and conditions in full, to see if any traps are waiting. But if you want to go a little deeper with the details, be sure to get to know points like:

  • You’ll want to know the difference between fault and non-fault.
  • You’ll want to know how a claim will affect your policy and premium.
  • You’ll want to know if you always have to disclose an incident to your insurer.

Learn Some Maintenance Tips

If you know how to look after the car you’re in, you’re going to feel a lot stronger about using it on a regular basis. And if you’re going to be alone most of the time whilst behind the wheel, you’re going to need to know how to troubleshoot common roadside problems on your own. Even just knowing how to change a tyre with the spare in the back will put you in much better stead!

Being a new driver can be scary, but you can learn to be comfortable with practice and time. Be sure to think about tips like these to be sure you’re going the right way on your journey.

Careful Driving in London – With the Right Car Brakes

The capital city has its fair share of difficult places to drive. The Hangar Lane gyratory system is a near-legendary troublesome intersection between the A40 and the North Circular. There again, the sights of West London are not for the faint-hearted motorist if they need to negotiate Hyde Park Corner and all of the confusing signage that goes with it. In South London, drivers are often confused by the Catford one-way system which forms part of the South Circular. Then, there’s trouble of the congestion charge zone. So many motorists don’t seem to know it is coming up and take last-second manoeuvres to avoid it.

All of these difficulties mean you need to have to have your wits about you, especially if you drive in the rush hour. In fact, rush hour pedestrians in London often seem to have no care for the traffic they are stepping out in front of – perhaps this is because they are so used to slow-moving and congested roads? Despite the obvious need for careful driving in London to manage all of these hazards, motorists need to accept they can’t do it on their own. Reacting to problems is one thing but this is no good if you brakes let you down. What should you be checking to make sure you can stop when you need to? If you are not sure by yourself you can take help of car brake centers from places like DAT tyres in London.

Brakes rely on a hydraulic system to work. When you put your foot down on the brake pedal, a corresponding amount of pressure is applied to your brakes. This way, if you push hard, then you will – in theory – brake hard. Correspondingly, a gentle touch on the brake will simply slow you down a little. The feel of your brakes very much depends on how the hydraulics are working and, like everything else in your car, the fluid in your brakes’ hydraulics need to be inspected regularly. If the pressure drops, then you just can’t stop in time to avoid road incidents even if you react quickly.

The other elements of your braking system that need to be inspected are the brakes pads. Each wheel has one and this is the part that comes into contact with your wheel to provide enough friction to slow your car. They wear down over time and need to be replaced to keep you safe.


What Are The Consequences of Negligent Car Servicing?

It can be so easy to put things off until another day. You put it to the back of your mind and promise yourself that you will do it tomorrow. But sometimes this can go horribly wrong -if you’re negligent in the wrong areas for too long, you can end up paying the price.

Getting your car serviced is something that should be done regularly – but so many people put it off. We all have to have a regular MOT but most car owners know that they should be getting other stuff checked – or checking ourselves throughout the year. So what could the consequences be if you are negligent when it comes to getting your car serviced?

You could be breaking the law

When it comes to your tyres, it is a fine line between the minimum tread depth needed and your tyres being illegal. You can measure them yourselves but if you aren’t confident doing so and feel that you will need new tyres, consider one of these great tyre fitting services in Dundee. Professionals will be able to check your tread depth and analyse whether you need some new tyres fitted. You don’t want to get pulled over by police for bald tyres when it can easily be avoided, do you?

It can be very dangerous

There are so many things that you need to check in your car on a regular basis. Engine coolant, brake fluid, tyres. Any of these getting too low can be very dangerous. Brakes need brake fluid to work effectively. Car engines need the coolant to stop them from overheating. Tyres actually need some tread depth to grip effectively. If any of these are too low, an accident could happen – whether that is not being able to brake in time of an accident or braking but not being able to grip with the tyres effectively or your engine could overheat whilst you’re driving down a busy road and unable to pull over. Why would you want to risk the life of not only you but any passengers you have when it can easily be checked by you?

The financial implications

Cars cost money – we all know that. But why pay out more than you have to? If you are getting your car checked regularly, it won’t cost too much – maybe some new tyres or new engine coolant when required. However, when people put it off, the cost can become extreme! Whilst some people are lucky when putting off services, others end up paying dearly for their actions – what could have been a quick five minute job and cost just a few pounds could end up taking days to fix and cost hundreds, perhaps thousands of pounds. Utter negligence could lead to the car being written off – and this all could have been avoided!

Exemption of warranty

Some people’s cars may still be under warranty – and it can be tempting to ask the company who made the car to fix any issues whilst under warranty. However, if you have been negligent when it comes to servicing your car, you may find that your warranty is now exempt – meaning that the company won’t be helping you fix any issues that you may come across.

The inconvenience

Finally, and probably the least important overall, is the inconvenience of not having a car because of your own negligence. A quick five minutes out of your day is all that was needed to check and if things have gone horribly wrong with your car, it may take days to sort out, if it can be sorted out at all! This can be incredibly inconvenient, especially if you have a family that you need to get around.

I hope these consequences of negligent car servicing have brought it home to you how important it is to get your car checked regularly. Have you ever put off a service when it is due?


Ensuring Your Car Is Safe For Winter

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Car maintenance and servicing is essential and really shouldn’t be ignored. So many people overlook and delay tyre and car service check ups. With winter on its way, car maintenance is more essential than ever. We always get our checked over at a reputable autocentre or garage and it oftens takes just a few minutes of maintenance to make sure you don’t fall foul of the winter weather conditions. Calmac Car Service Autocentre takes pride in providing excellent car servicing in Northampton if you live in that area.

So what must you remember when it comes to servicing your car, ready for winter? To ensure yourself a safe drive, you really should be making sure your car has all these things in tip top shape.

If your car is due in for a service, make sure you get it done before winter takes its hold. Cold can actually cause a lot of problems for cars which could have been prevented if the owners had taken care of their cars a little more regularly. If it isn’t due for a service, there are still plenty of things you should check to ensure your car is safe to drive. If your car isn’t safe to drive, it will probably need scrapping – have you considered selling your junk car?

The battery should be your first port of call. You don’t want your car battery to go flat – it happened to us before at a petrol garage and we had to call out someone who had jump leads to give us a jump start. In the winter months, batteries are used even more than normal as we are often running the lights more often as it is darker for longer and we are often running the heater more because of cold temperatures. Other things that you really should be checking if you know how to is the brake pads, discs and fluid – make sure your brakes are as fast and responsive as they should be. If you don’t know how, a decent autocentre or garage will check these for you as well as checking your fan belt and alternator to ensure they are tight.

Antifreeze should also be among your car essentials for the winter months. It should really be used throughout the year for your engine coolant but people often top up with water throughout the year which actually dilutes the antifreeze rather than having what should be a mix of 50% water and 50% antifreeze. Make sure you also top up your screen washer with antifreeze too.

Something that should never be ignored all year round is the condition of your tyres but more so in winter. Ensure you are checking for pressure and tread depth – as a driver, you should know the minimum legal amount – but should aim to have more than the legal minimum for better grip. You could also actually get winter tyres fitted if that is something you feel more comfortable with.

Another thing that you should always consider is having a winter breakdown kit in the car, just in case the worst happens. Not only does this include tools and safety essentials but it should also carry some sustenance – some bottles of water and some snacks as you can never be sure how long you may be waiting before you get on the road again. A decent car breakdown kit would have a torch, a hi visibility vest, a shovel in case you need to shovel snow, a blanket for the cold temperatures as the heating won’t be working if you’ve broken down. It should also include extra screenwash and antifreeze just in case and a de-icer and a scraper.

Always make sure you have enough fuel and oil just in case of delays – you may not break down but you could get caught in horrendous winter traffic and you don’t want to be stuck for hours with barely any fuel and worrying about it running out.

It hasn’t happened to me for many years but I’ve been stuck in horrendous traffic before because of the harsh winter weather conditions and whilst we had enough fuel, oil and the car was in tip top shape, we didn’t have any food or drink which wasn’t good! When we finally got near to a shop, the people I was with jumped out and got as much food and drink as they could carry as we didn’t know how long we’d be stuck! It actually once took me eight hours to get home from school one year, thanks to the snow and the traffic that ensued – my school was a twenty minute drive away!

I hope this guide to car safety in the winter helps you – and reminds you of any things you may need doing. Is your car ready for winter?

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Our Must Have Car Features To Ease Family Travel

As a family, we love travelling, whether it is for a day out or a weekend away. We drive to these places most of the time and driving long distances with children can be stressful so it is essential that we are happy with the car we are driving and the features it has to offer.

Our car is our haven – we spend a lot of time in it so it is important it has all the features that we know and love. Large boot space is perhaps the biggest feature that we look for in every new/new to us car we get – it has to be able to fit in pushchairs for a day out and the same plus suitcases and other stuff if we are going away for a few days. Add to that the fact that Steve plays golf a few times a week and you can see why a big boot is important to us.

Another feature of our car that we love is the Bluetooth connectivity. Whilst Steve tries not to use his phone at all, having this feature is very handy in case we do have to answer the phone. We also love our inbuilt car navigation system. We used to use Google Maps on my phone but that made it difficult for me to do anything else on my phone if I needed to. Having an inbuilt system has made such a difference to our journeys – it means I can now still get some of my social media work done on the road if I need to!

Our last favourite feature has to be the entertainment system. We can play the radio, our own CD’s or use the Bluetooth connection to one of our phones to stream our favourite music. Car journeys can be incredibly boring for the kids so they love nothing more than having their Disney songs CD playing with them singing and dancing along in their car seats.

Why am I telling you about my favourite features though? Well, it turns out the Aviva Drive app has a fantastic new dash cam feature. If you are one of their car insurance customers, it will track your driving skills, rewarding safer drivers with a discount on their insurance – and it also gives you evidence should you be in an accident. Being able to save money on your car insurance thanks to your safe driving skills sounds like a total win, right? With our insurance renewing soon, I definitely know where we will be considering – this feature sounds perfect for families such as us who will be driving safely as it is!


What are the best features of your car? Does this new feature of the Aviva app sound appealing to you?

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Aviva.