Knowing which tyres to buy

If you go to a garage and enquire about having new tyres fitted, you may be a little overwhelmed at the choice you have available to you. You may hear the terms part worn or budget and not have a clue which ones you need. Below are a few examples of different choices you have:

Part worns – these are tyres that have been previously fitted to another vehicle so do not have the full tread on them. They often come from other countries where the legal limits are higher than in Britain, allowing them to be resold here. The problem with part worns is they may only have 3 or 4 mm of tread left on, which is the depth in which most garages recommend you change them anyway.

Budget tyres are brand new but the cheapest range. They vary drastically in quality depending on the make but you should be able to find out information such as wet grip rating, road noise and fuel efficiency.

Premium tyres are usually the most expensive but often have the best ratings, they are usually brands such as Continental or Bridgestone. Often they will cost upwards of £65 each depending on the make and size.

 

 

Breakdown cover explained

When looking to take out breakdown cover, it can be a little confusing as to which package you should choose. Almost all breakdown companies have a variety of packages that offer different levels of cover and if you are not careful, you can easily take out something that is pretty useless to you. First decide when and how you would like t be assisted should you breakdown. If you just want roadside assistance then you may be able to get away with the cheapest package on offer. If however you would need to be recovered home or to a garage of your choice, closer to your home, then you will often need to pay a little extra. If you would be really stuck without your car then you may even want to add home start, which will allow a breakdown expect to come to your home and investigate an issue would your car not start. Some breakdown companies also offer a hire car or overnight accommodation should you breakdown and your car cannot be fixed at the side of the road. If you have children this may be a good option for you as you do not want to be stranded in another part of the country in the middle of the night with no where to stay.

 

Should you buy a car with little or no MOT?

All cars over three years old need to have a valid Mot to be able to drive on the roads in normal circumstances (e.g. not driving to / from a test station). The MOT test itself usually costs between £35 and £55 pounds but if it fails, it could cost thousands to repair depending on what car it is and what it failed on.

Some people do try and sell cars with little or no MOT but this is usually for a reason. If they think the car may fail the MOT then they will often not want to put it in as the failure can be found on the internet by anyone with the reg number. If they are confident it will pass then they would probably put it in for the MOT as they are likely to make more than the cost of the test if they were selling the vehicle with 12 months MOT rather than none.

If when you go to look at a car you find it only has a month or so left on it then you could say that you will buy the car if they will put it through the MOT and it passes.

 

Car dash cams

Dash cams are becoming very popular amongst all types of motorists. Dash cams have been around for some time now, but recently they have dropped in price massively making them more widely available.

A dash cam can be a great way of getting extra piece of mind, and although it does not usually stop an accident or break in it can often help sort out fault for insurance purposes or catch the criminals who are breaking in. Sometimes just having a dash cam can be enough to put people off from breaking in to your car.

The cameras range in price from about £50 upwards toward a £1000 depending on what functionality and spec you want it to have. The cheaper cameras often do not come with a memory card though so you will have to factor in the cost for that too. Most dash cams are powered by a USB lead or 12v plug but you can buy kits to hardwire them in to the battery.

In some cases, having a dash cam may in fact lower your insurance price and some companies are stating that they will knock off up to 20% for having a dash cam.

Checking tyre pressures and wear – the right way

It is so important to correct maintain and look after your tyres as they are a massive part of the safety of your vehicle. They not only contribute hugely to the safety of the vehicle but also to the fuel consumption and handling of the vehicle.

It is vital to check your tyre pressures and to also check for wear or damage to your tyres every couple of weeks at least and when going on a long journey. Checking tyres pressures can often be done at most petrol stations but these have sometimes been shown to be inaccurate and if you are unsure as to whether your tyre is inflated properly then you may not wish to drive on it. Ideally you should use a home tyre pressure gauge that can be picked up from many car parts shops such as Halfords for as little as £10. You simply unscrew the dust caps, push the tyre pressure gauge on to the value and look at the reading. You will need to know what the correct pressures should be for your car which is normal stated in the handbook or sometimes inside the driver’s door pillar.

When checking pressures it is also advisable to check for damage to the tyre, this may be noticeable cuts or tears, bulges or wear. If they tyre is damaged then you need to take it to a tyre repair shop to see if it needs repairing or replacing, if the tyre is showing signs of wear then you can do a simply check with tyre depth gauge to see how low the tyre is. Anything under 3mm is advised to be change although the legal limit is 1.6mm.