Car clocking – government set to close loophole

According to vehicle history checking company HPI, there could be as many as 1.7 million used cars with fraudulent mileage readings on our roads. The purpose of car clocking is to reduce a vehicle’s on-screen mileage in order to boost its re-sale value. These days it is mostly carried out electronically using sophisticated computer equipment, and can interfere with other functions controlled by the car’s ECU, such as safety warnings.

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Motorbike MOT pre-checks

Just like a car MOT, a motorbike MOT ensures your motorcycle is safe and road worthy. The law requires all motorbikes over 3 years old to have a valid MOT certificate; it is as essential to bike ownership as a helmet and insurance.
Around 20% of motorbikes fail their MOT first time round, but with some simple checks and a bit of preparation you can make sure your bike gets the all-clear.

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Buying a used car – a haggler’s guide

2.7 million used cars are sold privately in the UK every year but frequently buyers fail to carry out even the most basic of checks, giving unscrupulous sellers the perfect opportunity to take advantage. One of the most important things to remember is never to simply buy a used car on “face value”. The advertised price is practically never definitive so you should always be willing to haggle and for that you need leverage. We have put together a guide of the basic pre-negotiation checks.

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Motorway driving best practice

Driving on the motorway can be intimidating, particularly if you are a nervous driver, or have recently passed your test. Here we look at the most important things to remember.

Joining the motorway
The key to doing this safely is to match your speed with the traffic already on the motorway. Accelerate on the slip road and follow the mirror, signal, manoeuvre procedure to find an appropriate gap in the traffic flow.

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Tips to save money on your car insurance

Car insurance is a necessary evil, with premiums seeming to sky-rocket year on year. However there are steps you can take to minimise the impact on your pocket. The commonest mistake made by drivers is to blithely accept their insurer’s renewal quote without looking for a better deal. These days comparison sites do all the hard work for you. Even if you don’t end up switching, going to to your provider armed with a bunch of cheaper quotes gives you great leverage to haggle.

Aside from shopping around, the single best route to cheaper car insurance is a lengthy no-claims bonus, so make sure you protect it. While this may cost you a few extra pounds in the short-term, you will reap the financial benefits in the long run.

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Pothole damage

Potholes are one of the banes of winter driving and more seem to appear on Britain’s roads every year. Here comes the science bit: potholes are formed by water penetrating the road’s surface through cracks caused by everyday road use. When the temperature drops, this water freezes and expands which causes a rupture on the surface.  When this ice melts it leaves a vacuum which then caves in under the weight of passing traffic. The freeze-thaw cycle of the British winter exacerbates this, the result- lots of pesky potholes.

Hitting a deep pothole at a low speed can damage tyres, wheels and steering alignment. Hitting one at higher velocity can result in more severe damage and may even cause you to lose control of the vehicle, resulting in accident or injury. If you do hit a pothole, stop as soon as it is safe to do so and check your wheels and tyres. If you notice your steering pulls to one side or anything unusual, such as a vibration, get the vehicle checked out pronto at a garage. These are signs of faults with the tracking or steering and ignoring them could be costly and dangerous.

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Winter tyres- exploding the myths

Some of us may be dreaming of a white Christmas and while temperatures (down here in Gosport anyway) have been relatively mild so far, we should all be making preparations for when winter’s bite really sets in. From December to February every year, roadside assistance companies such as the AA and RAC rescue thousands of vehicles stuck in snow, ice or mud, caused in the most part by skidding off the road in icy conditions. A large proportion of these incidents could have been avoided if vehicles had been fitted with winter tyres. So are they a winter safety essential or just an unnecessary expense for drivers? Here at TS Garage Services we have been looking at some of the common misconceptions surrounding cold weather tyres.

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Still have a paper driving licence?

You may or may not know that in June this year, the DVLA abolished the paper counterpart of the UK driving licence, as well as enhancing its digital checking services.

Yet around 7 million GB drivers still hold a paper driving licence (that is, any licence issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998) and some of our customers may well be among them.

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What to do if you breakdown

There is never a good time for your car to breakdown! But if you’re prepared for the worst and clued up on what you should do, then everything will be ok. With the first frost at the weekend and the bitter cold snap called winter now upon us, we’re writing this article giving you the heads up; its better to not breakdown and be over prepared, than to breakdown and regret not being prepared as you sit in a freezing car for hours waiting to be rescued. Continue Reading →