driving a car

  1. Comments Off on Keep your car safe

    Figures gathered by the RAC has reported rise of 30% in car theft in recent years.  Whilst there could be other reasons for this it does raise questions about modern anti-theft technology as car theft rates had actually been decreasing since 2002. The RAC also found a notable rise in the theft of motorcycles and scooters.

    Modern anti-theft technology

    When buying a new(ish) car you are often presented with extra, modern anti-theft alarms and immobilisers but are they effective?  The rise in car theft is surprising considering these improvements, however in reality the thieves are just finding new ways to get around these high tech features. Anti-theft devices being put in place are just not up to scratch.

    Cars using keyless fobs seem to be the worst as the technology is far from secure. It is even possible to steal a car by holding a bag up to a house door and use a device to activate and extend the reach of the keyless fob inside the home.  Organised gangs will then steal cars and export them abroad for profit.

    How to keep your car safe from car theft

    As a consequence of this rise in car theft, motorists are also seeing their insurance premiums rise. Combined with a variety of other factors, this is making the cost of driving even more expensive.

    Now there is a rise in the number of people purchasing anti-theft devices like those used back in the 1980s and 1990s! Steering wheel locks and gear stick locks are enjoying something of a resurgence.

    There are several steps you can take to help keep your car safe.

    1. Park it somewhere safe particularly at night
    2. Always remember to lock it, with all windows and the sunroof closed securely
    3. Leave all valuables out of sight as well
    4. You should also ensure that you have any appropriate alarms and immobilisers fitted, which will hopefully deter anyone who is hoping to steal it
    5. Never leave your car running while it is unattended
    6. Try to avoid leaving your registration document in the vehicle, as this can help thieves to get away with stealing it if they’re stopped by the police
    7. If you want an obvious deterrent, a steering wheel lock is ideal. This shows people that you’ve taken steps to secure your car, which may make them think that you have other devices in place too (even if you don’t).

    By following these tips, you can decrease your chance of being a victim of car theft, even if the numbers continue their steep rise.

  2. Comments Off on Learning to drive a car

    Are you thinking of learning to drive?

    Before you can hop into your first car there are a few things you will need to do.  You will need to get your provisional licence, you can apply for this through the DVLA 3 months before your 17th birthday.

    Are you old enough to drive?

    The minimum ages for driving on British roads are:

    • 16 for mopeds
    • 17 for tractors, small vehicles (most cars) and motorbikes
    • 21 for medium/large sized vehicles, minibuses and buses
    Find a driving instructor

    Next, you will need to find a driving instructor. You can get anyone that is over 21 to teach you to drive, such as a parent or other family member, but the majority of the time they won’t have the confidence, experience or training to do it satisfactorily.

    Learning to drive a car - Learner platesLearner Plates

    You will also have to display L plates (L or D plates in Wales) on the front and back of the car you are learning to drive in.  It is illegal not to do this.

    Learn at 16

    You might be lucky enough to have the chance with your driving instructor to drive on an off-road mock road circuit is provided including all typical features of basic road formats, such as junctions, crossroads, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings on a variety of gradients. You could get to grips with basic car control without the worry of real traffic around before you turn 17.