Motorists beware: Check your driving licence

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Motorway traffic

More than one in five UK drivers could face a £1,000 fine for driving with an expired licence, a new study suggests.

Research by the car insurance team at Comparethemarket revealed the lack of awareness among motorists regarding the expiration of their driving licence.

More than one in 10 (11.6%) drivers admit they were unaware that their driving licence has an expiry date.

This knowledge gap is even greater among younger drivers, with one in six 17-34-year-olds admitting they were unaware of this.

Nearly a third (32%) of motorists have driven with an expired licence within the last two to five years.

“It’s concerning that our research shows over one in 10 British motorists are unaware that their driving licence has an expiry date,” said Julie Daniels Comparethemarket.

“Continuing to drive with an expired driving licence – knowingly or unknowingly – could land you with a fine of up to £1,000. To avoid serious consequences by having a fraudulent driving licence, it’s vital to renew your licence as soon as it expires.

“Driving licences expire every 10 years, so you should familiarise yourself with the expiry date on your licence and create a reminder to renew it.

“The DVLA will also send you a reminder when your licence is due to expire, so make sure to keep your contact details up to date.”

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Millions of motorists stop driving during the winter

Gareth Herincx

4 days ago
Auto News


One in five drivers avoid the roads altogether during the colder months due to concerns over slippery roads and limited visibility.

However, anxieties about driving aren’t limited to the winter — with a third (32 per cent) of adults admitting they don’t like driving in the dark all year round.

And 21 per cent of drivers said they dislike driving on country roads the most, followed by motorways as a close second (18 per cent).

While 14 per cent of motorists said city centre roads make them feel uneasy and 13 per cent hate roundabouts.

The research of 2,000 motorists, commissioned by Zego, also found that 62 per cent would not like to be a delivery driver during the winter and Christmas period, especially having to drive in such difficult conditions.

Nearly four in 10 (39 per cent) are planning on doing their Christmas shopping online this year to avoid having to drive to the shops in the winter weather.

A massive 79 per cent said road traffic accidents they have experienced had put them off driving in the winter months, with more than half saying they are more cautious when driving in harsher conditions like heavy rain or snow.

“It is interesting to see how so many people hate driving through the winter months,” said Sten Saar, CEO of the commercial motor insurer.

“There are more cars on the road because of the Christmas period which naturally means there are more accidents. The weather conditions in particular don’t help.

“It is important to be cautious this time of year and to think about those who have no choice but to drive in such conditions because of their job.

“We are proud to insure the couriers who supply and feed us throughout the darker months, working a job many of us would be scared to do.”

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Revealed: Top 20 car theft hotspots

Gareth Herincx

17 hours ago
Auto News

Car crime vehicle theft

Greater London is the car theft capital of the UK by a mile, according to an extensive study by a leading motor insurer.

Co-op Insurance found that the top 10 areas with highest rates of car crime in the UK are all found in London.

Based on the frequency of car theft claims as a percentage of policies in specific areas between 2017 and 2021, the London borough of Islington has the most car theft crimes, while the district of Torridge in Devon has the lowest.

Top 20 UK vehicle theft hotspots (by frequency of claims)

Postcode Area
1 Islington
2 Wandsworth
3 City of London
4 Camden
5 Westminster
6 Redbridge
7 Hammersmith and Fulham
8 Hackney
9 Barking and Dagenham
10 Haringey
11 Waltham Forest
12 Brent
13 Newham
14 Greenwich
15 Havering
16 Birmingham
17 Lewisham
18 Solihull
19 Southwark
20 Epping Forest
Co-op Insurance, 2017-2021

When it comes to which makes and models of cars are most likely to be targeted, the study reveals that it is smaller, lower-priced vehicles that are favoured by thieves.

The three cars stolen most frequently, by volume of total claims over the four years, are the Ford Fiesta, the Honda Jazz and the Ford Focus.

Top 20 postcodes outside London most likely to have a theft (by frequency of claims)

Postcode Area
1 Birmingham
2 Solihull
3 Manchester
4 Dudley
5 Coventry
6 Salford
7 Rochdale
8 Oldham
9 Bolton
10 Kingston upon Hull
11 Wolverhampton
12 Luton
13 Liverpool
14 Walsall
15 North Warwickshire
16 West Berkshire
17 Tameside
18 Bradford
19 Stockport
20 Kingston upon Thames
Co-op Insurance, 2017-2021

“We want to do all we can to help car owners keep their vehicles safe – they can do this by researching car crime levels in their own area and by following some simple steps that will deter a thief,” said Paul Evans, Head of Motor Insurance at Co-op Insurance.

Top tips to beat the car thieves

  1. Think before you park: if your car’s not at home, if possible, park it in a well-lit area, near to people and other cars and somewhere where it can easily be seen, preferably monitored by CCTV or a security patrol.
  2. Wheels at an angle: when parking on the street, make sure your car wheels are facing the curb (unless parking uphill or on a hill). This means that anyone trying to speed off in your car will have to release the steering wheel lock first. It also helps eliminate the chance of a thief towing or pushing your car away to a quieter spot.
  3. Invest in deterrents: something as simple as a visible steering lock can really put a car thief off. If you don’t have one fitted, and you have the resources, consider adding a car alarm, immobiliser, tracking device or dash cam.
  4. Doors to manual: you might think that by clicking your key fob, your car has automatically been locked but increasingly inexpensive remote-control jamming technology can be purchased online which blocks signals to your car: this means you’re unknowingly leaving it completely unlocked and not alarmed. Always make sure to manually check the doors and boot before you walk away.
  5. Avoid temptation: never leave valuable objects such as bags, clothes, sat navs, designer sunglasses, loose change, or mobile phones on display. This could prompt an opportunistic thief to smash a window and take your belongings. Ensure your car looks empty and free from expensive items.
  6. Switch off your engine: don’t leave your car running whilst you nip off to run an errand – you’re making it too easy for car thieves to take advantage of an empty driving seat.
  7. Fuel stations: if no one is sitting in your car, lock it as you go to pay for your fuel otherwise this gives a thief an ideal opportunity to strike.
  8. Be surroundings aware: to avoid being a victim of carjacking, when in slow moving traffic or a traffic jam, lock your windows and doors, place valuables out of sight and remain alert, especially if travelling at night or driving a convertible.

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Young drivers rely on bank of Mum and Dad

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Cost of motoring

More than half of parents financially contribute to their child’s first car, new research has revealed.

The survey, conducted by, found that a quarter of mums and dads (28%) covered the entire cost – at an average of £3,528.

City Average amount parents contribute to their child’s first car
Sheffield  £4,544
Edinburgh £4,230
Birmingham  £4,009
Newcastle  £3,802
London £3,779

Help from the bank of Mum and Dad didn’t stop there, with one third (34%) of parents paying for the entirety of their children’s driving lessons, with an average cost of £1,159 per child.

Of the parents who admitted to financially contributing to their child’s driving lessons – 48% helped out from their savings, while 44% used funds from the household budget.

The study also found that many parents contribute to their child’s initial on-the-road costs, with 18% admitting to contributing to MOT, road tax, servicing and fuel until their child can afford it themselves.

Alex Hasty of said: “The cost of insurance for new drivers is exceptionally high when compared to that of more experienced drivers, costing an average of £565 more than the average insurance premium.

“Therefore, it’s not surprising to see that so many parents are financially contributing towards their child’s first year of car insurance.

“It’s really important for new drivers to use comparison services such as ours to help find the right policy for them and to check for any potential savings.”

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Top safety tips to help drivers negotiate rural roads

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto Blog

Country road

Three-in-10 motorists are so worried about narrow country lanes they deliberately avoid them, according to new research from one of the UK’s biggest car insurers, Ageas, and the RAC.

What’s more, many drivers are prepared to take a detour of 16 miles or 25 minutes to avoid them.

As millions of Brits jump into their cars and head off on staycations in the countryside this summer, the figures highlight just how unnerved many drivers – especially those who live in towns and cities – are by Britain’s rural roads, which account for more than half of all those in the country.

More than half of drivers (58%) say they find using narrow country roads stressful, a figure that rises to 76% for drivers who live in urban areas.

The two biggest causes of stress, according to the research, are the difficulty of squeezing past other vehicles in tight spaces (62%) and the fear of colliding with another vehicle head on (61%).

The RAC has these three simple tips to help drivers negotiate rural roads safely and more stress-free this summer…

Check your route carefully – if using a sat-nav, scrutinise the suggested route before setting out and see whether it’s actually easier and more comfortable to stick to main roads as far as possible instead. And be aware of sat-navs recommending diversions down narrow lanes for the sake of making up just a few minutes – it’s time that’s easily lost if you meet oncoming traffic. Don’t be afraid to take the long way round – perhaps an extra 16 miles or 25 minutes is well worth it

Get in some practice – if you’re not used to negotiating narrow roads, then have some practice driving on some close to home before the pressure of a family holiday

Take your time – while many country roads might have speed limits of 60mph, that doesn’t mean it’s the right speed to drive at – in fact, in many cases it’s incredibly unsafe to do so. Read the road carefully and consider what forward visibility you have. If it’s narrow and winding, reduce your speed accordingly

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