Advice and Tips, Car Maintenance
tyres on a snowy country road

Winter tyres

If there are two things that don’t mix, it’s conventional summer tyres and icy roads. They’re the motoring equivalent of strawberries and mustard, or lamb chops with clotted cream. You just don’t want to go there. But if you’re reliant on your car to transport you whatever the weather, what can you do to keep moving when the temperatures plummet? Investing a few hundred quid in a set of winter tyres is the simple answer.

When the temperature drops below seven degrees centigrade, the rubber in conventional tyres hardens and grip is reduced. Winter tyres feature a compound which stays soft even when the mercury drops below zero, so getting going is easier, while braking distances are reduced too – from 30mph, you could stop in just 35 metres compared with the more usual 43 metres. As a result, you can get going more easily, stop more quickly, and when you corner your car will feel much more stable.

For years, some drivers in mainland Europe have been compelled to fit winter rubber in low temperatures. It’s one of the reasons why Scandinavian countries don’t grind to a halt when the snow hits; they just fit their winter tyres and keep driving. Recent harsh winters in the UK and lots of publicity has led to an increasing number of drivers here adopting European practice, but many drivers remain unconvinced.

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Advice and Tips, Buying & Selling, Car Maintenance
Car Clocking

Car clocking – don’t get caught out

It’s easy to think of clocked cars as a problem of yesteryear. One that’s been tackled so you no longer need to worry about it. But sadly, nothing could be further from the truth, as one in every 20 cars subjected to an HPI check is found to have been clocked.

Where there’s easy money to be made, crooks will always strike – and with clocking so easy and the rewards potentially so great, it’s no wonder clocking is still such a big issue. So big in fact, that according to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), clocked cars cost the motor industry and consumers more than £100 million each year.

According to used car valuation experts Glass’s, if you’re lucky enough to own a 12-plate BMW 530d SE Touring it’s worth little more than £15,000 with 150,000 miles on the clock. But halve this mileage and the car’s value jumps to just under £20,000. Cut the mileage to just 30,000 and the BMW is worth a whopping £23,000 – a 53 per cent (and £8000) increase over the 150,000-mile car. No wonder clocking is rife.

Last year, one gang of criminals was imprisoned for clocking at least 255 cars, with four million miles being lost in the process. In 2013, a Nottingham-based dealer pocketed over £130,000 by wiping six million miles off 74 used cars that he sold online . With these scams far from unusual, you really need to have your wits about you.

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Advice and Tips, Buying Advice, Car Maintenance

The Dangers Of Buying Used Tyres

Running a car can be expensive, so it’s only natural that the idea of cutting costs can be hugely appealing. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to skimp on maintenance and to fit cheaper parts when doing so. Second-hand or pattern parts can be much cheaper than the new, branded alternative – so why wouldn’t you opt for them?

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