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How To Maintain Your Car During Lockdown 3.0

Driving a classic convertible car on a sunny day

Now that the third lockdown is here, the chances are that you won’t be driving your car as much as you were before.

As such, it is imperative to make sure you leave it in a condition that’s as safe to drive as possible for when you next come to use it.

From checking the tyres to ensuring it’s stocked up on antifreeze, there are a number of things you can do to keep your car in its best possible condition.

Join us as we run through what some of these key things are, helping you use your time in lockdown in a proactive manner.

Wash Your Car

While your car is sat dormant on a nearby road or driveway over the coming months, leaves and other types of debris are likely to make it look a lot less spick and span than normal.

Therefore, it’s important to check on it regularly throughout the lockdown, taking the time to remove any debris that you can see both externally and under the hood.

Likewise, why not get the power washer out and give your car a good clean?

This will not only ensure it is looking great when you next come to use it, but it will also give you something to do to pass the time while stuck at home.

Check Your Tyres

When it comes to leaving your car undriven for a prolonged period of time, there is a high likelihood that your tyres could deflect slightly.

As such, it’s imperative to keep an extra eye on them throughout the lockdown.

After all, the last thing you want is to come across a flat tyre when you’re finally able to get away on that post lockdown road trip you’ll have been longing for.

Here are FEV, we are experts in car safety and know full well how important it is to keep your car in its best possible condition. Therefore, for more great advice on how to look after your car during the lockdown, please do not hesitate to contact our team at your earliest convenience.

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The Best Family-Friendly Car Films To Watch Over Christmas: Part Two

race cars image

Following on from our first blog, let’s crack on and take a look at some more family-friendly car films to think about watching over the festive break this year.

Christmas is all about lounging about in PJs, after all, sitting in front of the TV enjoying movie after movie while gorging on an abundance of treats.

But, if you and your family are into your cars as well, why not combine the best of both worlds?

Here are the motoring-based movies to add to your Christmas watchlist this year:

Rush

OK, so this one might be a better choice if your children are a little bit older but, if you’re an F1 fan, Rush is a must-watch.

This true story sheds light on the well-documented rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 F1 racing season.

Starring Thor himself (Chris Hemsworth) as Hunt and Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) as Lauda, this feel-good flick is sure to keep you more than entertained with its humour and insightful storyline.

Baby Driver

Another great film choice if your children are slightly older and able to hack the darker, grittier films, Baby Driver is described as one of the most entertaining thrill rides of the decade – and it’s not really hard to see why.

Starring Ansel Elgort as a talented young getaway driver, the film shows his journey helping a motley crew of thieves – including Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm – steal huge sums of money.

It may not have the same feel-good factor as some of the films mentioned in our previous blogs, but its dark humour is sure to put a smile on your face.

Oh, and its getaway driving scenes are second to none.

Herbie: Fully Loaded

One of the older films on our list, Herbie: Fully Loaded shows Lindsay Lohan at her best and is a classic film your kids will love.

A fan-favourite of many Disney lovers the world over, the movie follows Lohan and Herbie – her pearl-white sunroof 1963 racing Beetle – on their quest to dominate the race track.

If you’re looking for a film that offers fun, adventure and a real heart-warming story, this is the choice for you – especially if you’ve got younger kids who love to get soaked up in the magic of Disney.

While the films mentioned above may make driving at speed look effortlessly cool, staying safe in your vehicle is imperative. So, if you’d like any advice on improving your car’s safety, either check out our blog for the latest advice or contact us to find out more.

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The Best Family-Friendly Car Films To Watch Over Christmas: Part One

Cars movie

With Christmas right around the corner, it’s time to put all the Christmas present shopping and wrapping to the side for the time being.

Instead, you need to focus on one of the more important aspects of Christmas planning: choosing the best festive films to watch.

Well, rather than settling in for the classic Christmas flicks like Home Alone, Love Actually or Elf (all excellent films I must add!), we thought we’d compile a list of the best family-friendly car films to watch.

While they may not all be festive, each of the choices below are sure to keep you and your loved ones entertained over the Christmas period, combining your love of driving with the feel-good factor of a nice, relaxing film.

James Bond: Any Of Them

While you may not have been able to get your James Bond fix this year, following the postponed release of No Time To Die until April 2021, why not watch the super spy in action in one of his earlier flicks?

With a wide range of Bonds to choose between – from the late great Sean Connery to the charming Pierce Brosnan to the rugged Daniel Craig – whichever film you choose to go for will be sure to keep you and your kids entertained for hours.

Plus, being 007 comes with the perk of being able to ride some of the world’s most luxurious cars, so keep an eye out for some of the classics.

The Fast & Furious: Any Of Them

With eight action-packed adventures to choose from, whoever would have thought Vin Diesel would go on to spawn a multi-billion-dollar franchise?

Having been around for almost two decades now, the Fast and Furious films are well known for their adrenaline-fuelled action and wide range of supercars.

In other words, one thing’s for sure – whichever film you decide to watch, it is bound to keep you and your family entertained for hours.

Disney Pixar’s Cars

Who doesn’t love a bit of Disney?

Since Christmas is a time for spreading cheer and watching mindless animations on the TV, Disney Pixar’s Cars is a must-watch.

Filled with adventure and an uplifting storyline, the animation involved is also incredibly captivating and will help capture the magic of the festive period.

Here at FEV, we understand car safety better than most and know that Christmas is an especially important time to stay safe on the roads. Click here to find out more about keeping your car safe this winter.

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The Post-Lockdown Road Trips To Think About This Winter

Winter roads blog image

With the second lockdown now in full flow, you’ve probably recently started thinking about all the things you’d like to do once the restrictions are lifted.

If you’re itching to get away again – either for a holiday or to see friends and family – we don’t blame you.

After such a strange year, it’s important to let yourself blow off some steam and relax a little when you can.

One of the best ways to do exactly that is to get packed and ready to head on a post-lockdown road trip.

With this in mind, here are a few of the best UK-based road trips to think about doing this winter:

1 – Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

If you were a fan of the Game of Thrones TV series and were constantly wowed by the scenery they used, then Northern Ireland’s Dark Hedges is a must-visit.

Located near the village of Armoy, all the way along Bregagh Road you will be able to drive through a row of Beech trees and some of the most famous natural phenomena found throughout Northern Ireland.

2 – The Cornish Peninsula, England.

If you’re looking to head on a road trip somewhere you can fill your lungs with fresh sea air, then look no further than Cornwall.

Throughout the Cornish peninsula route, you will encounter rugged cliffs, snow-sprinkled landscapes and stunning wintry coastlines.

And, better yet, choosing to visit in winter will leave many of the roads clear for you to drive on.

3 – Snowdonia, Wales.

While Wales’ Snowdonia may have more of a reputation for walking routes, it is especially beautiful to go and visit at Christmas time as well.

You’ll need to have your winter tyres on for this track though as you’ll be navigating a fair bit of snow throughout the high, snaking passes.

You’ll also need your camera with you too since the panoramic views you’ll be able to see from the top will certainly live long in the memory.

Before you head out on your winter road trip adventure, it’s important to ensure your car is safe and able to handle the route ahead. For expert advice on this and more, be sure to contact our team here at FEV or visit our blog for relevant information.

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How To Keep Your Car Lockdown-Secure

Winter car concept image

Now that we find ourselves under lockdown conditions again, it’s pretty likely that you won’t be using your car much over the coming weeks.

However, leaving your car unattended over an extended period of time can not only be a security risk but it could also jeopardise its functionality when you come to use it again.

So, to prevent any issues arising, we’re here to guide you through how to keep your car lockdown-secure.

That way, you’ll be best placed to use it again properly when you’re able to travel freely again when the restrictions are eventually lifted.

Step One: Leave Your Car Somewhere Safe

The first thing you’ll need to do is ensure you’re leaving your car somewhere where it’ll remain safe and secure.

The last thing you want, after all, is to return to your unattended car after several weeks to find it either vandalised or with parking notices plastered all over the windscreen.

Step Two: Check Its Coolant Level

With a winter lockdown, in particular, ensuring your car is able to cope with the colder months is imperative.

While most modern-day cars are designed with this in mind, it’s still worth taking the time to ensure it’s as winter-proof as possible by double-checking the coolant level, topping up the antifreeze and monitoring the tyre pressures.

Step Three: Don’t Cancel Your Car Insurance

While it may be tempting to try and cut costs here and there, don’t cancel your car insurance during the lockdown period.

Unless you are keeping your car on private land and declare it as being off the road, every vehicle in the UK will need to be taxed and insured. Otherwise, you could end up shelling out more than you would have saved in the first place!

Here at FEV, we understand the importance of car safety better than most. For more expert advice on how to keep your car secure during the lockdown, please do not hesitate to either get in touch or read our dedicated blog.

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3 Things To Buy For The Perfect Dog-Based Road Trip

Dog in the drivers seat

With the threat of another lockdown looming large, now’s the time to get away and enjoy your freedom while you can.

So, what better way is there to do just that than on a road trip? Or, better yet, a road trip with your pooch in tow as well?

However, before you set off on your travels, preparation is key. The last thing you want, after all, is to get halfway up the M6 before remembering you left your dog’s lead at home.

Here are three things to make sure you have with you in your car to ensure your doggy road trip goes off without a hitch.

1 – Dog Seat Cover

Let’s not beat around the bush here – dogs have claws and claws often spell bad news for car interiors.

Fortunately though, dog seat covers are a great way of not only protecting your car’s lovely seat but also providing your pooch with an enclosed area for them to sit or lie down in.

A much nicer alternative to a dog crate, dog seat covers are often waterproof as well so you won’t need to worry if you and your pooch get a little wet on one of your walks!

2 – Bottled Water

Water is essential for both you and your dog to drink so why not make sure you have a ready supply of it available in your car?

While it may be a more expensive way of giving water to your dog, if you suddenly become lost or stuck while on your road trip, at least you’ll have it available to use.

Plus, rather than needing to lug around a great canister full of it, having it in bottle form will enable you to take it out with you on your walks as well.

3 – Collapsible Dog Bowl

Talking of water, you’re going to need something easy for your dog to drink it out of.

While an actual dog bowl would be preferable, collapsible dog bowls are a great alternative if you’re looking for something lightweight that you can take out and about with you.

Whether it be halfway up a mountain or roadside at a service station, having water and a collapsible bowl on hand will make your doggy road trip a lot easier.

Here at FEV, we take car safety incredibly seriously and offer a wide range of products to help make your car as safe as possible. To find out more about these products, or to discuss your vehicle’s safety with our expert team, simply give us a call today.

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3 Ways To Give Your Old Car An Upgrade

Car upgrades and gadgets

If you have an old motor in dire need of modernising, rather than shelling out on a brand new car, why not consider giving it an upgrade?

With just a little bit of money, elbow grease and the right level of engineering knowhow, you can help give your car a new lease of life, taking it from frazzled to fresh in no time at all.

Listed below are three great ideas to get you started.

1 – Invest In A Smart Display

Using a phone while driving has been illegal in the UK for years now, but a number of people still do it anyway.

As a result of this, Apple and Google decided to do something about it, trying to encourage people to focus on the road instead of trying to reply one-handed while steering.

Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto now offer easy, hands-free access to all the calls, messages and notifications you may miss while driving.

What’s more, since they connect so seamlessly to your phone, they can also allow you to listen to your favourite playlists, podcasts or utilise Siri/Google Assistant.

2 – Install Parking Sensors

If parking is your Achilles heel when it comes to driving, why not get a helping hand?

Parking sensors can enable you to get into even the tightest of spaces with ease, becoming activated whenever you put your car into reverse gear.

Plus, regardless of how old your car may be, adding parking sensors can be relatively inexpensive.

However, if you’re not comfortable installing them yourselves, it will probably be worth getting an engineer to fit them for you

3 – Rear View Cameras

Rear view blind spots used to account for more than 15,000 injuries each year, largely due to drivers not being able to see what’s behind them.

Thanks to the emergence of rear view cameras though, this number has plummeted as a result, saving drivers potentially thousands in terms of insurance and legal fees.

They’re also fairly inexpensive to install but, again, if you don’t feel comfortable fitting them yourself, it could be worth asking a professional to do it for you.

Here at FEV, we understand better than most just how vital car safety is. For expert advice and assistance on ensuring your car is as safe to use as possible, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today.

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The Pros & Cons Of Buying An Electric Car

Electric cars charging by the road

Following the government’s decision to move the ban on petrol and diesel cars forward to 2035, many people will now be weighing up whether it’s time to bite the bullet and invest in an electric vehicle.

If this is something you’re currently considering, this article is here to help.

From questions over battery life to durability, join us as we run through some of the key pros and cons of choosing to go electric.

Pro/Con: They’re ideal for short journeys… at the moment.

Whether you see this as an advantage or disadvantage will really depend on how you intend to use your car.

In essence, at this moment in time, electric cars can’t travel as far as a petrol or diesel charge on one full charge alone.

Therefore, if you often need to commute long distances, they may not be the best thing to invest in just yet.

However, if you work in the city and are looking for a quick and easy way to get around, electric cars are a much more economical option.

Pro/Con: They’re easy to charge… at the moment.

Again, whether this is seen as a pro or a con will depend on your personal circumstances.

Currently, electric cars represent a fairly small minority of the cars you see on the road so being able to find a free charging point is pretty easy.

However, as time goes on and their popularity continues to grow, there will be an increased number of drivers looking to charge their vehicles.

This, in turn, could lead to increased competition between drivers and a potentially greater expense to install your own charging point at home.

Pro/Con: They’re expensive… at the moment.

Our final pro and con is a fairly obvious one: electric cars tend to be a lot more expensive to buy upfront than petrol or diesel alternatives.

That said though, the price gap is nowhere near what it used to be.

Plus, hybrid models – which use both petrol and electric charging – are a great alternative if you’re looking to get the best of both worlds prior to the government’s ban becoming active.

Here at FEV, we are experts in vehicle safety. For advice on how to keep your car as safe as possible, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team today. 

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The 10 Most Common Reasons People Fail Their Driving Test

Driving test - student with teacher

Ahh, the dreaded driving test – one of those lifetime things you simply have no choice but to go through at one point or another.

Pass it, and you can on as many post-lockdown road trips as you like. But, fail it, and you’re back to square one, practicing even harder to make sure you nail your next test.

If you’ve got a driving test coming up soon or have recently failed one for some unknown reason, we’re here to help you diagnose what you should and shouldn’t be doing during it.

Join us as we run through the ten key reasons – as reported by DVSA – why people fail their driving test.

  1. Observation At Junctions. The number one reason people fail, if you aren’t clearly paying attention to what’s going on around you at a junction, you will be marked down.
  2. Not Using Mirrors When Changing Direction. Driving safely is all about using your mirrors correctly – and especially when it comes to changing direction.
  3. Steering Control. It should go without saying really but you need to show your examiner that you’re actually in safe control of the car you’re driving.
  4. Turning Right At Junctions. Junctions can be scary things so it’s important to maintain a good level of concentration, particularly when turning right at them.
  5. Moving Off Safely. There’s no point waiting for the perfect opportunity to move off at a junction if you’re not ready. Find that biting point, release that handbrake and move off.
  6. Traffic Light Signal Response. Again, it should go without saying, but make sure you don’t go through any red lights. You’ll only fail straight away if you do.
  7. Controlled Moving Off. Your examiner is looking for you to show them you’re in control, so make sure – when it comes to moving off – you are.
  8. Driving Positioning. Don’t sway all over the road or stay too far to the left-hand side. Your positioning says a lot about your confidence on the road, so don’t be afraid to own it.
  9. Signal Response To Road Markings. When driving, you need to be ready for the unexpected – especially when it comes to responding to specific road markings.
  10. Controlled Reverse Parking. Parking is a tricky thing to learn but the reverse bay park is one of the most difficult. Keep it slow and steady, and concentrate fully all the time.

Here at FEV, we are specialists in car safety, supplying a wide range of related products to drivers throughout the UK. To find out more, either click here or contact our team today.

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The Post-Lockdown Road Trips To Think About This Summer

Roadtrips blog image

Now that the lockdown restrictions have been lifted somewhat, it’s time to salvage what’s left of the summer and make the most of the beautiful weather.

If you’ve been itching to get away somewhere while you’ve been stuck in lockdown, now is the ideal time to jump in the car and head away on a summer road trip.

Just picture the scene: sunglasses on, music blaring out the speakers while you sing along, driving up a country road with a few friends to all thoughts of the coronavirus pandemic as far away as possible. Pure bliss.

Well, no longer does this have to be a pipedream – make the most of your post-lockdown freedom by dusting off the gearstick and heading somewhere for a well-earned break. Listed below are a few great places to think about.

The Brecon Beacons

If you’re looking to head somewhere with expansive mountain range views, then South Wales’ Brecon Beacons has to be top of your bucket list.

Featuring spectacular ridgelines, mountains and waterfalls, this National Park offers something for everyone and is an incredibly scenic drive to get to.

Plus, if you’re looking to make a real trip of it, North Wales’ Evo Triangle isn’t too far away either, taking you right the way along the edge of the Snowdonia National Park.

Edinburgh

With a huge variety of landmarks and things to see, Scotland’s capital city is also one of the most dog-friendly places in the country, featuring a number of scenic walks to go and enjoy during your stay.

Therefore, if you fancy bringing your pooch along on your road trip with you, it could be well worth a visit.

Plus, it’ll certainly knock off any cobwebs in your car as, if you’re driving up from the South, it’ll take you a fair few hours of driving to get there.

Brighton & Hove

So we’ve covered city and scenic breaks so far, but how about coastal? If you’re a fan of coastal drives, then look no further than Brighton & Hove.

Taking you from the infamous city to the cliffs of Seven Sisters, here you will be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the seaside city while topping up your tan.

There’s a plethora of things to do and activities to take part in as well. From cabaret acts to comedy on the beach, a road trip down to Brighton will certainly be worth the petrol money.

Before you head out on your road trip, it’s important to ensure your car is safe to drive. If you would like our expert advice and assistance for this, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

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