Essentials Items To Keep In Your Car

Essential items to keep in your car

A few months ago, we asked our customers which items they do carry in their car at all times. And all participants made sensible choices when it comes to items, tools and safety equipment. We take a closer look at which essential items you should carry with you in your car.

Legally required items

If you are stopped by the police, this is the paperwork, they will ask you to show:

  • Driving license
  • MOT certificate
  • Insurance certificate.

You don’t need to have them with you but you will have to take them to your local police as proof within 7 days. If you fail to do this, there is a hefty fine waiting for you.

Safety equipment to keep in your car

There are a number of items, that are key for your safety, should your car break down. Even though they are no legal requirement for UK drivers, they are in some EU countries. Drivers should check which items are mandatory when planning a road trip on the continent. It is also worth checking rental cars for these.

High-visibility vest

They are not the most fashionable item to wear, but they can save lives. These bright and reflecting orange or yellow vests ensure you are seen early when you are waiting for a recovery vehicle. or while you are putting up your warning triangle.

Warning triangle

The purpose of the warning triangle is to alert other drivers of obstruction ahead. It is recommended to place it at least 147 feet or 45 metres away from your vehicle. This distance is about the way a car travels when it slows down from 50mph to a full stop.

Make sure you are wearing your high-visibility vest when you are placing or retrieving the warning device.

Never use them on motorways!

First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit in your car can save lives. The key purpose of carrying a stocked first aid kit is not to help you but to provide fast assistance in any case of emergency. You might be the first responder to an accident and will need to provide emergency treatment until medical services arrive. Knowing that there is this small box with all things needed sitting in your glove box or boot, provides peace of mind for drivers.

Items that belong in a first aid kit:

  • Sterile cleansing wipes and/or saline solution for wound cleansing
  • Adherent dressing or sterile gauze
  • Burn dressing
  • Trauma dressing
  • Sterile dressing in various large sizes
  • Regular plasters
  • Disposable gloves
  • Adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandage
  • Bandages in several sizes
  • Tweezers and scissors
  • Resuscitation device
  • Foil blanket
  • Hand Sanitiser

Some items in your first aid kit have an expiry date, so it is worth checking it regularly and replace any items that are out of date.

Fire extinguisher

In 2018/19 over 10000 vehicle fires have been reported. Vehicle fires start small and are usually caused by faulty electricals. Therefore, a car fire extinguisher comes in handy to act fast, contain the fire or keep it away from the fuel tank, lowering the risk of explosions and more serious damage to your car.

Maintenance and repair essentials to keep in your car

Spare tyre

Spare tyres are designed to bring you home or the next garage. Some cars, however, are now sold without one, so check again before you go on a long drive.

Car or Tyre Jack

Keeping a spare tyre without a car jack does not make much sense. Best keep both items together in case you will need to change your tyre.

Spare bulbs

In some European countries, drivers are legally required to carry spare bulbs in their car to be able to replace a blown one straight away. Driving without a fully working set of lights is putting you and other drivers in danger.

Jump leads

Imagine you plan on going home from work and suddenly have to find out your battery is flat. Jump leads can help you get your car started with the help of another driver so you can at least get to back home or the nearest garage to the battery checked.

Basic tool kit (hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, various sockets, wrenches)

Keeping a basic toolkit allows you to do small repairs by yourself instead of waiting for a mechanic to arrive and to spend 2 minutes to fix your car

Empty fuel can

This is for the unlikely event that you’ll run out of fuel faster than the fuel gauge on your dashboard tells you. In these cases, grab your fuel can, get a lift to the next gas station and fill it up.

Duct tape

This is an unusual one, but duct tape allows for quick and temporary fixes like a broken side window, or a boot that won’t close. While this sounds easy, avoid driving around with these quick fixes, especially if you think your car is unsafe to drive and seek a mechanic as fast as possible. Driving around with a car kept together using tape will impact your insurance.

Other useful items to keep in your car

Torch

Think about breaking down in the dark, and having to find out what is going on under the bonnet. Of course, you will be in dire need of some source of lighting in this situation and keeping a torch (wind up is fine) in your car comes in extremely handy then.

Blanket and/or warm jacket

Being stranded in cold, wet or windy weather is not a nice thought. Keep a woolly blanket or thick jacket to throw over and keep you warm while you wait for your recovery vehicle to arrive.

Water and Snacks

No one likes being stuck in traffic, so plan ahead and keep some water and non-perishable snacks ready, for days when your journey takes longer than anticipated and you’ll need to hydrate and keep up those energy levels.

Save driving!

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Common Noises Your Car Can Make And What They Mean

Common Car Noises

One of the most common questions our expert team of in-house mechanics receives on a regular basis is:

“My car makes a strange noise, what does this mean?”

Here are some pointers as to the different sounds that could be coming from your car, and what they could mean.

Squealing from the engine while driving

High pitched squealing noises usually point to an issue with a belt or pulley, indicating a required replacement or re-adjust.

Hissing from the engine

A signal that the engine could be overheating, which can cause serious trouble further down the line. It also could point to a fluid leak under the bonnet, a leaking turbocharger pipe or a damaged intercooler.

Squealing sound while braking

This is a tell-tale sign of worn brake pads. If the noise becomes the sound of grinding metal, you’re seriously damaging your brakes. Have it checked as soon as you can.

Grinding sound from your gearbox

This noise is indicative of a potential problem with the clutch or transmission.

Rattling sound from the engine

This is a very confusing noise as it could be a number of different problems – including issues with the oil, a faulty clutch fan or a stretched timing chain. Nevertheless, these all require urgent inspection.

Rattling noise from underneath your car

This noise could, amongst others, be a sign of a loose part of your exhaust system.

Clicking while turning

Faulty CV joints are usually the reason for this noise and should be checked by a mechanic right away.

Clicking sound from the engine

Usually, a sign that your engine is running low on oil. If it persists after an oil top-up, have your engine checked thoroughly by a professional.

A loud knocking from the engine

This could be indicative of a lack of lubrication, or something has broken within the engine set-up – or is about to break. Either way, seek the services of a professional mechanic to get the issue seen to.

Humming or growling noise from your tyres

The first thing to do when you hear a noise from your tyres is to check the pressure. If the pressure is correct, have your wheel alignment and balance checked and possibly adjusted.

If any of these noises are coming from your car, the next mechanic is only a click away.
If you are unsure what’s wrong with your car, book a free phone consultation with one of our experienced mechanics in residence.

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Happy driving!

Top 8 Car Cultures From Around The World

Since the automobile was invented different car cultures have developed across the globe. As in other subcultures, like punk or otaku, there really are no limits as to what can be done other than the ingenuity of those involved. From extreme camber to massive spoilers and cars so riding so low they could pass for a pancake, every part of their world has their own particular car culture. Here’s 8 car cultures that deserve to be highlighted.

Lowriders
Hot Rods
Lowriders were first seen in 1940s Los Angeles, their man feature: hydraulic ride height adjustment in different directions. Some can reich heights of up to 8 feet.

Spinners
Spinners
This subculture originates in South Africa. Drivers perform stunts whilst their car drifts round in circles, driverless that is.. Yes, spinners perform their stunts whilst their car spins round around them.

Boy racers
Boy racers
Famous for their use of huge aftermarket bodykits, exhausts and hifi systems, boy racers gained huge popularity in 1990s Britain.

Oni-kyan
Oni-kyan
This Japanese phenomenon translates as “Demon Camber”. The wheel camber on these cars is purposefully set to be so extremely ‘negative’ that barely any part of the tyre touches the road surface. This makes drifting much easier, as there is very little grip. However it makes handling the car quite an art!

Bosozoku
Bosozoku
Another Japanese subculture here, Bosozuku cars come with enormous body kits. It’s a visual expression of their owners’ rebellious attitudes.

Kustom Kulture
Kustom Kulture
You’ve probably seen something like it on TV. Regular cars are turned into something special, with fine attention to detail and special features.

Van Dwellers
https://www.gocompare.com/new-interactives-content/car-culture/img/Camper.gif
Essentially Van Dwelling is an extreme form of camping, Van Dweller choose to spend their lives living in a camper van. Apparently to get away from the stresses of modern life, perhaps it really is much better than a week of camping on a cramped campsite!

Hot Rods
Hot Rods
Probably one of the most recognisable automotive subcultures, Hot Rodding is almost as old as the automobile itself. With origins in 1920s America, Hot Rods are retro-fitted with much bigger engines to push straight line speed to the max. With it come cosmetic changes to give the car an exterior to match the straight line speed. Cornering is another matter though!

Source: Gocompare

How to finance a new car

A range of finance products for UK motorists

car finance money vehicle

With the widest ever range of finance products on offer, it has never been easier for motorists to buy a new car. And with good reason as dealers usually make more money on the finance products sold than the profit from the vehicle.
Despite this fact, it’s possible to get behind the wheel without it costing a fortune.
Here, I’ll run through some of the best car buying options available in the UK and a trick to borrowing money with little or no interest.
Most of the methods below should include your own car history check. If you’re at all uncertain about purchasing a used car a ClickMechanic car inspection is recommended.

Common ways to a new car:

Hire Purchase – This traditional method to borrowing is still widely used. You’ll need a deposit (10% or something similar) or a part exchange car. You can borrow the rest from a finance company for a set period.
Typical agreement:
Car: £5,000
Deposit or part exchange: £1,000
Loan amount: £4,000
Period: 36 Months
APR: Dependent on finance company and credit score (low is around 5% APR)
Typical monthly repayment: £147.68
Most dealers provide hire purchase via a finance partner like MotoNovo

PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) – A suitable way to a new car if you like to upgrade regularly with lower monthly payments to fit your budget.
You don’t pay off the value of the car with PCP and you don’t own it at the end of the contract (but you’ll have the option to buy at the end via a balloon payment). Lenders usually want around 10% of the car value as a minimum but the more deposit you pay the less your monthly repayments will be.
The amount borrowed is also based on the predicated car value at the end of the term. You pay the depreciation as monthly payments plus some interest – typically 4% to 8%.
You need a decent credit score to obtain PCP.
Check out this article for some detailed information on PCP.

Leasing – Similarly to PCP, a car lease is great if you like to upgrade regularly. Leasing can save money as you sometimes don’t need to pay for road tax or servicing (if the car is brand new) but this will depend on the supplying dealer.
There are a wide range of cars available from a Ford Fiesta to a Range Rover Envogue.
In years past, leasing was only available to those with a solid credit file but there is a huge poor credit market for leasing. Here is one reputable leasing company to look at.

A little secret to borrowing money at 0% interest!
Buying a car with a credit card may seem like a scary prospect but it can be the cheapest if you plan.
You’ll need a superb credit score for this to work.
So, we have all heard of a 0% interest credit card. This type of offer is available for a fixed period of around 18 months. But, some lenders like Virgin credit card now offer 0% for up to 24 months.
Note, these offers are updated regularly so you’ll need to do some research on the best offers.

Making a credit card car purchase work for you:

Let’s say you found a credit card with 0% Interest available for up to £5,000 over 18 months.
You can borrow the 5k to buy your car. At month 15 of your lending period you must apply for another 0% interest credit card and balance transfer over before any interest kicks in.
There may be a balance transfer fee, but this is nominal at around £75. To keep the lend amount interest free you must always make the minimum payment and settle the outstanding.
It’s straight forward provided you think through the process and continually plan ahead.
Finally, you also get another layer of insurance that comes with any credit card purchase. So, if you buy a used car for £5,000 and inherit mechanic issues the credit card company have a legal responsibility to help (subject to the individual terms and conditions of the credit card company).