Tag Archive: Driving guides

  1. What Can You Be Fined For?

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    Driving is an essential part of daily life for many and unfortunately, that means dealing with driving fines and even penalty points from time to time. Our temporary car insurance will ensure you are always able to drive insured, but there are plenty of other causes for driving fines.

    Whilst penalties for speeding, drunk driving, and causing danger on the road are all very well known, there are plenty of other causes for fines you may not be as wise to. We’ve collated lots of unexpected reasons here, to help you stay road safe and free from fines…

    Over Packing the Car Fines

    When it comes to carrying things in your vehicle, overpacking could land you a  £100 – £2,500 fine and invalidate your insurance. Drivers could face a fixed penalty for over-filling the car, exceeding the weight limit or obstructing the view of the road. In serious cases, the possibility of being banned from driving or receiving three points on your licence is possible if your car is deemed to be being driven in a dangerous condition. This can in turn invalidate your vehicle insurance.

    Fine for Running Out of Fuel

    Fuel gauge roulette is never a good idea. According to the Highway Code (rule 97) before setting off, drivers must ensure they have enough fuel for their entire journey. Breaking down and causing an obstruction to traffic because your car is running on empty can result in a £100 fine and/or points on your licence.

    Don’t Drive with Bald or Low Pressure Tyres

    The legal limit for tread on tyres is 1.6mm and unfortunately, there’s a fine for ‘bald tyres’ that are thinner than this. As a result, tyres below that depth can lead to a fine of up to £2,500 per tyre – and even three points on your licence. If every tyre’s bald, you could be facing a bill for up to £10,000! Additionally, all four tyres should be at the correct pressure (which you can usually find on the sticker inside the driver’s door).

    Fines for Using Your Phone or SatNav

    Ever wondered whether you can (legally) use your phone as a sat nav whilst driving? Sorry to disappoint you… but holding any type of device that’s receiving data when you’re driving – even if you are sat in traffic – is a major no-no and you could receive 6 penalty points and a £200 fine for doing so. Plus, if you’ve had your licence for less than two years, you could be banned from driving altogether. It is of course okay to set your phone running to operate as your navigation before you set off, but if you’re messing with it whilst driving, that’s when you could face a fine.

    Don’t Drive with a Dirty Number Plate

    Your number plate is a really important feature for Police to ascertain when and where it’s registered, so it needs to be visible at all times! Under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994, drivers who have dirty, obstructed or hard-to-read licence plates could face a fine of up to £1,000.

    Disclose Pre Existing Medical Conditions

    Driving with an existing medical condition (that appears on this list) and not informing the DVLA could land you with a hefty £1,000 fine. DVLA estimates there are more than 1m motorists on the road with an undisclosed health issue – make sure you’re not in that group.

    Fines for Splashing People With Puddles

    Anyone caught deliberately driving through a puddle to splash a pedestrian faces a fine of up to £5,000 and three points on their licence. Being a pedestrian who gets splashed is a day ruiner, so don’t do it and risk a hefty fine ruining your day too.

    Driving Without De-Fogging or De-Icing Windows

    It doesn’t matter if you’re in a rush, you should never set off driving if your windows and mirrors are iced over or they could suddenly fog up as you are on the move. The same goes for letting your windows become foggy while you’re driving. The dangers are obvious, not being able to see can only lead to accidents, but it can also lead you to a fine of up to £2,500, three points and even the risk of a driving disqualification.

    You’ll Be Fined for Obstructing Emergency Services

    When you see the flashing lights and sirens of emergency services approaching you, it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re not blocking their way. This can sometimes be difficult but you should always safely make an effort to move out of the way, allowing the response teams to easily make their way through. If you make no effort to move and delay the response time of the emergency services you could be putting lives at risk. If you don’t make an effort to move and end up obstructing them you could also face a fine of up to £5,000.

    Pets Must Be Restrained

    The Highway Code says dogs have to be ‘suitably restrained’ whilst they are in the car, and failure to do so could land you with a fine of up to £5,000! Dogs shouldn’t be able to freely move around the car, both for their safety and the driver’s. Ideally, dogs should be in a crate, carrier or harness. If they are in the boot, dog guards should be in place so they can’t jump through to the front.

    The Rules Around Sunglasses Whilst Driving

    Whilst sunglasses are important to prevent glare damaging your vision whilst on the roads, if you wear them at the wrong time they could cost you dearly. You should never drive in sunglasses outside of daylight hours, and doing so could result in a fine of up to £2,500 as you’re compromising how clearly you can see the road and your surroundings.

    Dutch Reach Rules

    The Dutch Reach method for opening car doors has been a recommendation of The Highway Code since Jan 2022. It encourages drivers and passengers to check for cyclists, walkers and other traffic before opening car doors, by using the opposite arm to the door when opening. In case of an accident, you won’t be fined for not opening your door following the Dutch Reach method, but you could face a fine of up to £1,000 for ‘Car Dooring’ which is an offence.

    Fines for Not Supervising Learner Drivers Properly

    There are many rules for supervising a learner driver, and one of them is not being on your mobile phone whilst doing so. Just like if you were driving, if you are caught on your phone whilst supervising a learner you could face a £1,000 fine. So, the next time you help out with some driving practice make sure you are paying full attention.

    Not Concentrating on the Road

    This shouldn’t come as an unexpected fine, but being deemed to not be concentrating on the road whilst driving could land you with a £5,000 fine. Playing music too loudly, wearing headphones and turning around to talk to passengers in the back could all be viewed as limiting your concentration on the road. So when driving, limit distractions in the car to ensure your concentration is never jeopardised, as it’s not just a fine you would be risking, but also an accident.

    Fines for Not Reporting Hitting an Animal

    Hitting an animal with your car is seen as the same as any traffic collision and it must be reported to the police. Failure to do so could see you being fined up to £5,000. Interestingly though this only applies to a handful of animal types including dogs, horses, cattle, donkeys, sheep, pigs and goats. Whilst you may not be fined for not reporting hitting other animals like cats, deer or badgers, it is still advisable to report the incident.

    Whenever you’re driving you should always strive to be safe and that means having full visibility of your surroundings and staying focused on the road. Whilst some of these fines might seem surprising, ensuring you comply with the law will only mean you’ll be driving more safely – protecting your wallet and your life. 

    Whilst we can’t help you avoid all those fines, we can help you get comprehensive cover in under two minutes, so you can always drive insured whether you’re borrowing a car or need insurance for driving practice, our temporary cover is there for you. 

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  2. Christmas Car Decorations, What is Okay?

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    As the festive season unwraps itself with joy and merriment, it’s tempting to extend the Christmas cheer to our vehicles. Google Trends shows a 62% surge in searches for “Christmas car decorations”, with drivers wanting to pimp their rides with festive flair. We can’t blame them!

    While a decked-out car might seem like a festive dream, a cautionary note is essential. Experts warn that Christmas car decorations could potentially play the Grinch with your temporary insurance policy, posing risks that go beyond a simple fa-la-la. 

    Let’s unwrap the details and explore how to balance holiday spirit with responsible motoring…

    Decorations Could Cause Increases in Theft

    With Christmas trees sparkling in homes and houses adorned with twinkling lights, the desire to extend the festive spirit to our cars is entirely understandable. The allure of turning our vehicles into festive chariots is undeniable, but there’s more to this holiday makeover than meets the eye.

    Despite the desire to make our cars festive masterpieces, as an insurance company, it’s our duty to warn that such decorations could turn into an unwelcome gift. Decorating a car is often considered a vehicle modification. This is because aesthetic upgrades can make the vehicle more attractive to thieves and, consequently, impact the likelihood of insurance claims as your risk of a robbery or theft changes dramatically. The risk isn’t just about denied claims; it extends to potential premium hikes as insurers calculate the increased risk associated with modified vehicles. 

    To be clear, this isn’t a no to any decorations! Just those that significantly alter the appearance, for example, you might not want to wrap the whole car in tinsel. So just ensure you err on the side of caution and moderation if decorating your car.

    Decorations Can Cause Distractions

    At GoShorty, your safety on the road is our top priority, especially during the festive season. While the temptation to glam your car is real, it’s crucial to recognise the potential risks associated with overly obnoxious or obstructive decorations. 

    Overly elaborate decorations inside the car can act as distractions, diverting the driver’s attention and increasing the likelihood of a collision. Drivers need to appreciate the importance of prioritising safety over their vehicle’s festive exuberance. Ensuring a clear and unobstructed view while driving is essential. We all encourage some Christmassy-themed fun and your car should be no different, we just love to strike a balance between celebrating the holidays and maintaining a safe driving environment.

    GoShorty users need to be aware that, according to insurance standards, if your vehicle is deemed to have distracting decorations and you’re involved in a collision, there’s a risk that your insurance might be considered invalid, despite our thorough fully comprehensive cover, in-car distractions often end up voiding insurance. This is a significant concern, as it could result in complications when processing a claim, potentially leaving you without the coverage you need. 

    We want to ensure that our users can enjoy the festive season without unnecessary worries, so we recommend exercising caution and avoiding excessive or obstructive decorations that could compromise your safety on the road. Safety always comes first, and adhering to insurance guidelines helps guarantee a worry-free holiday season.

    Navigating the Festive Road Safely

    Don’t let the scrooge come out to play, stick to responsible decorating. A bit of tinsel never hurt anybody and we love a santa air freshener, but caution is advised to prevent decorations that could obstruct your vision or violate legal regulations.

    As you navigate the roads during this sparkly season, consider these actionable tips to strike a balance between Santa spirit and road safety – just because he can carry a big sack of presents on the back of his vehicle sadly doesn’t mean we can!

    Be Mindful of Vision Obstruction:

    • Avoid decorations that obstruct your vision or create blind spots
    • Ensure that all decorations comply with legal regulations regarding visibility

    Moderation is Key:

    • Embrace festive decorations in moderation
    • A few well-placed elements can exude holiday charm without raising insurance eyebrows

     Check with Your Insurer:

    • If in doubt about specific modifications, consult with your insurer
    • Seek clarity on whether your chosen decorations align with insurance policies

    Safety First:

    • Prioritise safety over excessive embellishments
    • Choose decorations that enhance your car’s festive appeal without compromising your ability to drive safely

     Consider Vehicle Tracking:

    •  If you think your car could be a tempting target for thieves due to decorations, consider installing a vehicle tracking system for added security!

    Car modifications don’t necessarily need to be excessive to potentially invalidate an insurance policy. Even seemingly minor changes, if deemed distracting or compromising safety, could pose challenges when processing claims. To ensure a smooth and worry-free holiday season, we advise our users to strike a balance between festive creativity and adhering to insurance guidelines, guaranteeing that your vehicle modifications won’t jeopardise your coverage in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

    So, go out this Christmas and lap up the festive joy, exercise caution with the jingle bells but by all means get the Bublé CD on the speakers. Just remember, it’s crucial to approach Christmas car decorations with caution. By exercising moderation, prioritising safety, and consulting with your insurer, you can strike the perfect balance between holiday spirit and responsible motoring. 

    Let your car shine with the magic of the season, all while ensuring a safe and joyful journey through the festive roads. Merry Christmas!

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  3. Getting Home for Christmas (The Easy Way!)

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    As the festive season approaches and you and your family get ready for presents around the tree and roast dinners so large you’ll feel like you’re the pigs in blankets, the logistics of getting home for Christmas can often become nightmarish. It’s a special kind of Christmas stress reserved for the days in the run up to the 25th, and it’s not jolly at all. 

    Whether you’re stranded thanks to inevitable train strikes, or braving typically unpredictable English weather, the journey back to your loved ones can feel like a never ending quest. But fear not this winter – we’ve got your back with a variety of short-term vehicle insurance options to ensure you get home for Christmas without breaking the bank, or losing your mind.

    So, buckle up and choose a smooth, stress-free journey home this December – we’ll make sure everything’s taken care of, so you don’t have to. Ho, ho, ho, indeed.

    Difficulties of Getting Home for Christmas

    Everyone knows that heading home for Christmas can easily become a real ordeal –  especially if you’re navigating challenges like returning from a far-flung university campus, or leaving the bustling city for your parents’ place in the countryside. Fancy avoiding cramped, delayed trains over Christmas this year? Of course you do. All anybody really wants is to recline on a heated car seat and cruise down the motorway, being serenaded by Mariah et al.

    Of course, this blissful journey becomes significantly harder to imagine if you aren’t in possession of your own vehicle. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to be a car owner, but faced with the grim reality of skyrocketing fuel costs, are having to abandon your motor over the holidays in favour of more pocket-friendly public transport. Those relying on trains for a smooth journey face the recurring nightmare of strikes disrupting schedules, leaving travellers stranded, their Christmas plans hanging by a thread.

    So, too, does the cost of public transport elicit tears, with shockingly high ticket prices now the norm. Ultimately, spending Christmas with your loved ones should not be tarnished by financial worries, which disproportionately affect students and young drivers hit the hardest by the cost of living. Luckily for you, we insure both. 

    At GoShorty, we’re proud to offer affordable and convenient temporary car insurance, so you can spend a little less on travelling, and a little more on gifting! You can get an idea of how much a temp car insurance policy will cost you using our handy calculator.

    The Benefits of Temporary Car Insurance

    Share the journey to break up any long driving stints in tough conditions and split the cost of fuel to make your journey home not only more enjoyable, but cost-efficient, too. Swapping a difficult journey home on public transport with temporary car insurance will have you feeling festive in no time.

    For those who don’t own their own vehicle, temporary insurance provides the flexibility to share a car – meaning that you can secure your Christmas car share, safe in the knowledge that the owner’s no-claims discount won’t be affected in the event of an accident. Pooling resources and sharing fuel costs can transform the Christmas Eve commute.

    When is the Best Time to Travel Home?

    We get it, plans change at a moment’s notice, work has called you in and it’s all kicking off during the Q4 sales; emergency car insurance offers the flexibility you need when the unpredictable happens. 

    However, if you can plan ahead, it always pays dividends to pick the quieter travel days. Tradition would dictate that the two days leading up to Christmas are the busiest, but it’s not always this cut and dried.

    In 2023, Christmas Day falls on a Monday, which means many people will finish working on Friday 22nd. Naturally, this is going to represent gridlock on the UK’s road network, and Saturday 23rd also looks like one to avoid (if you can). There’s a full football fixture list on this day, which will only add further stress to congested routes as fans travel around the country watching their teams. 

    With more workers having the ability to work from home, it’s easier to travel earlier in the week when roads should, hopefully, be quieter. Now you just need to ensure your hosts are happy with your plans for an extended stay!

    Also, roads are likely to be quieter outside of the usual commuting times, so plan your trip wisely, especially if you’re heading into or out of city centres. With freezing conditions probable, you should check out our winter driving tips before loading up the car, too. 

    Also, roads are likely to be quieter outside of the usual commuting times, so plan your trip wisely, especially if you’re heading into or out of city centres. With freezing conditions probable, you should check out our winter driving tips before loading up the car, too. 

    In the spirit of hassle-free festivities, our helpful team is on hand to provide the easiest ways of getting home for Christmas. Whether you’re dodging train strikes, sharing a festive car ride, or avoiding the chaos of high fuel costs, our temporary car insurance options have you covered. 

    Quality Streets at the ready!

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  4. Winter Driving Laws and Hazards

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    As the weather begins to turn, UK drivers must prepare themselves for those dangerous winter roads. Although most drivers are aware of the dangers the colder months present, there are some lesser known hazards and rules drivers might not know. 

    Failure to follow these rules could land drivers with fines of up to £5,000, which none of us need. So we are going to run through these hidden hazards and driving rules so you can avoid any unwanted costs.

    Andy Moody, Founder and Managing Director of GoShorty says:

    “During the winter months, we must all take extra precautions when on the road, even some of the most experienced drivers can get caught out during this time of year. It’s the most hazardous time to drive, so by taking care to follow the Highway Code, we can keep each other safe. 

    “Clearing windows and number plates, ensuring we’re wearing the correct footwear, using our lights correctly, making sure our vehicles are in correct working order and driving carefully are all small measures we can take to ensure the roads are safe to drive on during the festive period. Drivers can also take extra precautions such as checking and planning their routes ahead of time, switching to winter tyres to improve traction on slippery roads and slowing down when on the road to allow for more distance between themselves and the vehicles ahead.”

    Clearing your Windows Properly

    In the cold weather, car windows can become a hazard as they fill up with steam, frost or snow as temperatures fall. It is important that drivers de-ice their vehicle completely before setting off, in order to have a clear vision of the road and not endanger themselves and other drivers. 

    Rule 229 of the Highway Code reads ‘you must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows’. Failure to follow this means you are considered to be driving a vehicle in a ‘dangerous condition’, which could land you with a £2,500 fine and three points on your licence.

    Ensuring your Lights and Number Plates are Visible

    Just like your windows, your lights and number plates will become obscured by the winter elements. Take the time to clear off any ice or snow that may be stuck to them in order to keep in line with Rule 229 once again, which states that ‘you must ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible’. 

    Drivers who have dirty or hard-to-read number plates and snow-covered lights are at risk of receiving a £1000 fine for each of these issues! So don’t risk it, give them a wipe down before driving or risk wiping your bank account in the middle of the festive season!

    Having the Correct Headlights

    Drivers could face an on the spot fine of £50 if they are relying on low-level lights in areas with poor visibility

    Rule 226 states that you ‘must use headlights when visibility is reduced’. Using dipped headlights allows you to maintain visibility, without blinding other drivers. Drivers ‘must not use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced’ due to the impact it can have on others on the road. 

    Wearing Appropriate Footwear to Drive

    Rule 97 of the Highway Code states that ‘footwear cannot prevent you using the controls in the correct manner’, so if you are choosing to wear chunky boots, bring a pair of other shoes with you to use whilst driving. Failure to have proper control of the vehicle could lead to points on your licence and a £100 fine on the spot. Safety over style in this instance!

    Leaving your Car Running

    When things are cold and frosty outside, it is common to start-up and leave your car running to warm up before setting off. 

    However, rule 123 of the Highway Code states that ‘you must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road’. So, in doing so you are breaking the Highway Code, and could see you issued with a £20 on the spot fine.

    Drive Carefully to Combat the Hazards

    Before setting off on a road that may be icy or snowy, think to yourself- is your journey absolutely necessary? If it is, plan and check your route ahead of time and prepare for the state of the road ahead. Snow, ice or even black ice can pose a serious threat when on the road, especially black ice due to its hard to spot nature. If it is cold outside and the road looks wet, be careful, as this could be a sign of black ice covering the roads. 

    Failure to drive carefully could lead to vehicular damage or an injury to yourself or another driver, if you are found guilty of careless driving, you could be handed a fine of up to £5000 and receive between three and nine points on your licence.

    Driving on the road in winter poses plenty of threats to all drivers, especially when roads are busy. To help reduce the amount of cars on the road, GoShorty’s temporary car insurance allows drivers to car share easily. By sharing the journey, drivers can make sure they are on the ball at all times when driving on these more dangerous roads, whilst also reducing the amount of cars on the road, helping others have more space and time during this hazardous period. 

    So, whenever you are driving in winter ensure you take extra care. With roads being more prone to accidents also be sure you have fully comprehensive cover for peace of mind on the roads. 

    Take out insurance for a day to borrow someone’s car that is safer on icy roads, or use hourly car insurance to share a long drive with a friend. We have plenty of temporary insurance options to help you drive safely this Winter. Get a quote today.

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  5. Private Test Drive Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

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    Buying a new car can be an exciting process and it’s easy to get carried away with flash new features – warm seats, anyone? But as with all major purchases, it’s essential to step back and consider if you’re making the right choice for you – and more importantly, if the car itself is in the correct working order.

    A test drive is a great way to check how a vehicle drives and make sure that everything functions as you’d expect before you sign on the dotted line. Testing a car from a dealership typically means that you’re covered by their policy. If you do purchase though, it’s always best to check you have the right drive-away insurance in place. 

    This is different to a private sale, where it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re insured before taking the vehicle on a test drive and you definitely will need to organise driveaway insurance if you do purchase the vehicle. 

    So, whether you are having a private test drive before purchase, or about to drive off into the sunset with your new vehicle – temporary car insurance is always the perfect solution. 

    Why Are Test Drives Important?

    A test drive is a great way to get a feel for a car, decide if it’s a good fit for you, and fully inspect every nook and cranny. It’s arguably the most important part of purchasing a car, as it gives you the chance to spot any issues that might only be noticeable in transit.

    Without a test drive, you could miss issues like a faulty clutch, poor power steering, or slipping brakes. Fail to spot these errors before purchase, and you could be stuck with a car that isn’t fit for purpose, and in need of expensive repairs. 

    Once a car has been bought and the money handed over, it can be difficult to negotiate a return. Making sure you’re totally happy with your decision to purchase before you agree to the sale is absolutely integral to such a big investment – and a test drive is key to this decision-making process.

    Do I Need To Be Insured When Test Driving a Car?

    You need to have insurance in place when having a test drive. If you are test driving a car at a dealership they may have cover already in place. If it is a private test drive you will need to organise your own insurance, hourly car insurance can work perfectly for this. 

    Car insurance is always needed to cover you when you get behind the wheel of any car. It doesn’t matter who the car belongs to, where you are in the country, or how long you’re going to be driving it. 

    Test drive insurance for a private sale vehicle is a legal requirement, which is why many drivers opt for short-term temporary cover. Test drive insurance covers the vehicle from any potential damage or accidents, and also protects the owner’s no claims discount on any annual policy they might have in the event of an accident. Meaning you can test drive the car with the complete peace of mind that you have the right cover in place. 

    Test Drive Checklist

    It can be hard to know what to look for when test driving a vehicle, especially if you’re a young driver buying your first car. To make things simple we’ve created a comprehensive checklist of what to look out for on your test drive.

    Car Body and Paint Work

    The first thing to check is the general appearance of the car. Scratches, dents and other obvious flaws can be a sign that the car has been involved in an accident and there are issues beneath the surface, too. If the paint is patchy or there are sections of bubbling, the metal underneath might be rusty – which can be a real pain to fix.

    Gaps in the car panelling can also be a cause for concern, as it may signal that previous repairs have been carried out poorly, or that there is further damage that might not have been disclosed. 

    If the car is a convertible or has features like a sunroof, you should check these functions are working well. If it’s a soft top, check for tears and mould, and test the mechanism to make sure it’s operating smoothly.

    Inside Checks

    There are a lot of features inside the car that need to be checked before driving off – and we don’t just mean the radio! Make sure the lights and indicators are in working order and that they’re connected to the lenses outside the vehicle.

    It’s important to check the mileage of the vehicle too, to see if it’s consistent with the paperwork you’ve been supplied with. If the odometer shows low miles, but the steering wheel, gear lever and pedal rubbers are worn, the real mileage could be significantly higher.

    You should also assess how comfortable it is to sit in – this is where you’ll spend most of your time in the car, so it needs to be pleasant. Check that the seatbelts pull out smoothly and that the seat can be adjusted easily to your preferred fit. Test the electric windows and mirror to see if they work properly, as well as the ventilation systems. If it’s blowing the wrong temperature or is making a strange noise, then there’s likely a fault that you need to be made aware of. If there’s a sat nav fitted, make sure it’s properly calibrated and set for the correct location.

    Tyres and Suspension

    Before driving off, you should check if the tyres and suspension are safe and legal. The tyres should have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm, which can be checked with a 20p coin. Simply insert the coin into the groove of the tyre to see that the tread covers the outer band of the coin. If so, it’s legal and safe to drive. 

    You should also check that any wear to the tyre is even across the wheel and its tread. If not, this may indicate there’s an issue with the suspension. You can check this by pushing down on each corner of the car. It should bounce back up smoothly. If it fails to, there may be a bigger issue at play. 

    If the car comes with a spare wheel, check its condition. You certainly don’t want to pop a tyre only to find that the spare is worn down or punctured.

    The Boot, Locking System and Everything Else

    One of the most important parts of any car is its locking system. You don’t want to drive away only to find out that you’ve bought an unsafe car.

    Space can also be an issue. Think about how you use your car on a daily basis. Is the boot big enough to fit your weekly shop? Is there enough room to get a pram and child seat in and out of the car? Can you fold down the seats if you need to move stuff from A to B?

    You may want to take your essentials along for the test ride to check they fit and don’t prohibit your view or usage of the car, to save you from any surprises on the way home.

    Taking The Car For a Drive

    Every car drives and handles slightly differently, which is why actually testing how the car drives is arguably the most important part of the buying process. Make sure you’re comfortable behind the wheel, happy with the way everything works and feel totally in control of the car. 

    The test drive is your chance to test the steering, make sure the brakes are all in working order, try out other features like cruise control, and listen out for any concerning sounds – especially when accelerating. Clunks, rattles and other sounds could be a sign that something is wrong with the engine, so keep a close ear for any noises. (We recommend spending the majority of the test drive without the radio on – sorry!) Excessive smoke coming from the exhaust or the engine is another sign that something is off, so make a note of this before returning the vehicle.

    A few other things to consider: 

    • If you are test driving a car from a private seller, you might want to request a cold start, meaning flicking that ignition when the car has been sitting dormant for several hours. If the car bonnet feels warm, it could indicate that the seller is trying to conceal an ignition problem.
    • If you are buying from a private seller and the test drive has gone well, ask whether you can pay for a mechanic to check the car over. Whether or not you decide to go ahead with it, the seller’s reaction should tell you if they are trying to fleece you into a bad deal.

    Private Test Drive Do’s and Don’ts

    When taking a private vehicle for a test drive there are a few guidelines that you should follow. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a couple of key rules to ensure your drive goes smoothly.

    Don’t Waste Time

    A test drive should usually take between 15 and 30 minutes. You should take your time adjusting the vehicle to assess how it handles, but it shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes to check the basics of the car. A quick drive to test the brakes, clutch, steering and other essentials should be enough to ascertain its working order. 

    Be Respectful

    You’re there to test the car, not to borrow it. Test drives aren’t for you to run errands or take a quick trip through the drive-through – so don’t take the mick! No matter where you go, make sure that you leave the car as you found it. Take all your personal belongings with you, as well as any rubbish or empty coffee cups you’ve accumulated on the way.

    Stay Alert

    As a general rule it’s best not to daydream when driving – ever – but especially when you’re driving a vehicle you don’t own! Not paying attention is a sure way to end up with bashed car doors or a shattered side mirror. The last thing anyone wants when trying to sell their vehicle is  unexpected damage, so make sure you stay alert and extend the car the same care you would your own. Even if you’re covered for the damage, it’s going to be an awkward drive home…

    Don’t Waste Fuel

    Drive how you would if you’d filled the tank yourself – which is to say, razzing the car up and down the street is going to waste a lot of fuel and put unnecessary strain on the engine – don’t do it, even if you’re tempted to test the acceleration speed. Testing the car on different roads can be useful, so pick a route through a few local areas. 

    Get Comprehensive Test Drive Cover

    Test drive insurance is the most crucial part of any private test drive. Without it, both you and the car owner are at risk of damage and costly claims. 

    Our temporary insurance policies can save you time and money by covering you for as short a period as 1 hour. Our car sharing insurance protects you, the car and its owner while you’re taking a test drive, so you can drive away knowing you’re all fully protected. We cover a range of vehicles, including vans. Our quick and easy-to-use temporary insurance calculator can give you the average cost of a policy so you can get an idea of what you might be paying, before you get an exact quote

    Our process couldn’t be simpler, and we can get you insured in as little as 90 seconds, so you can get from A to B as soon as possible. Invest in hourly insurance for your test drive and get one step closer to finding your dream car, with GoShorty. 

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  6. Driving to Europe Vs Flying This Summer

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    For many Brits, the difference between getting away on holiday this year and not will come down to finances. The cost of living crisis has taken its toll and the average Brit is having to dip into their savings to mitigate the 8.7% inflation rate and the skyrocketing cost of food and energy. Driving to Europe from the UK might not be as popular as opting to fly, but it’s certainly cheaper. 

    That’s why when you’re deciding between driving versus flying, you should consider that GoShorty’s temporary car insurance now extends to Europe. Whether you’re going for a week of sunshine, or a month-long expedition, begin your holiday this year with a road trip (as opposed to boarding another plane) – and save some of your hard earned cash to spend on gelato instead.

    Temporary car insurance allows you to get your fellow holiday partners all insured on the same car so you can split the driving hassle free, or even borrow someone’s more road trip friendly car if they let you! Europe has never looked more easily driveable!

    Carbon Cost of Flying Vs Driving

    Whilst it’s fairly common knowledge that flying takes a huge toll on the environment, not many of us actually know to what extent our summer vacationing affects the world. 

    Tourism releases 5% of all energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) global emissions, with 75% of the greenhouse gas generated from transportation.

    In the UK for instance, it’s estimated that CO2 emissions from commercial aviation (including both domestic and international flights) sits at around 841 kg per capita. We can look at some of our closest European neighbours to put that figure into context – Germany was estimated to be 712 kg per capita, France 137 kg per capita, and Spain 139 kg per capita. 

    Air travel dominates the frequent traveller’s individual contribution to climate change. And though it might be true that planes are at least able to transport large numbers of people at once, this doesn’t mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions of flying versus driving. 

    Not alarmed by the climate crisis? Once you take into consideration the endless queueing, flavourless plane food, and the stranger lightly snoring on your shoulder – car sharing starts to look much more attractive, whether you’re environmentally-minded or not. 

    Driving to Europe From the UK

    Once you’ve made the decision to drive to Europe there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your journey goes off without a hitch. 

    • Find out if you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP). Typically you won’t require one in EU countries, but there are a few notable exceptions to that. 
    • Take the correct documents, including your passport, insurance information, valid driving licence, vaccination certificates, vehicle registration certificate, motor insurance information. 
    • Check if you’ll need an emissions sticker to drive through certain cities at certain times. 
    • Some extra equipment just in case, like a reflective jacket and warning triangle. 
    • Beware vehicle bans in countries experiencing heat waves – some places will ban older, less efficient cars in an effort to keep air pollution at bay. 
    • A pot of loose change to use on toll roads will save you scrabbling around and holding other travellers up. 
    • Drive on the right. No, not that right. 
    • Headlight converters will ensure you’re not dazzling other road users – but make sure to remove them once you’re back on home turf. 
    • Display a UK sticker – unless the car you’re using has the UK identifier on its number plate. (The GB one no longer counts!)
    • For each country you’re driving through, make sure to check the speed limits, compulsory items and emission rules – and save yourself any potential headaches.

    And just a couple of things to keep in mind about driving to Europe from the UK, with GoShorty – your policy must be taken out on a car journey that starts in the UK and ends in the UK, and your cover lasts for a maximum of 28 days. That is plenty of time for a great summer holiday of exploring. Lovely. 

    Best Ways to Explore Europe?

    Nostalgic tales of backpacking across Europe might make us feel like dropping everything and thumbing down the next car to pass us by, but we’d probably recommend against this particular approach. Whilst the halcyon days of hitchhiking across the world might be behind us, the flexibility short-term car insurance endows travellers with more than makes up for it. 

    Whether you’re planning to hit every major historic site across the EU, have a wine tasting booked at every vineyard on the continent, or feel compelled to cross every border you come across – getting from A to B in a car will always be the best way to explore Europe. 

    Maybe you’re not mentally prepared to negotiate public transport in a foreign language. Maybe there’s nothing you love more than the site of the open Autobahn. Maybe you really don’t want to be beholden to luggage restrictions – yes, we do support an extensive holiday wardrobe. 

    Dissolve the man made boundaries of nation and traverse the continent by car with never before seen ease, aplomb and daring. Reject the arbitrary limitations we’ve attached to the small pleasures life holds. How many Nutella crepes is too many? Who could possibly say?

    The ease of road tripping is unsurpassable – no longer is your spontaneous nature going to be beholden to the dictates of airway laws. Never again will you have to suffer the profound embarrassment of pummeling a backpack into an already-full compartment, dripping in sweat, to the amusement of the small children sitting in your reserved seat. With our temporary car insurance, you can get some of your friends insured on your car too, to share all the driving. Or you can even borrow someone’s more road trip worthy car if they let you! With our quick and easy quoting process you can be insured in as little as 90 seconds – freedom beckons.

    With our temporary car insurance, you can get some of your friends insured on your car too, to share all the driving. Or you can even borrow someone’s more road trip worthy car if they let you! With our quick and easy quoting process you can be insured in as little as 90 seconds – freedom beckons.

     Family Holidays in Europe

    Listen, we’re not going to tell you how to parent. But taking two under two on a packed plane to Spain requires the kind of patience we’ve not seen since Mother Teresa. Carrying all the junk kids require, plus your own supplies, typically requires a small lorry. If you’re happy chancing your sanity on a plane or a train, so be it. But next year, when you’re looking to get covered on a friend’s roomy people carrier – we’ll be here for you. And we won’t even say we told you so. 

    Self drive holidays are paving the way for a long forgotten freedom – one we know to be integral to the human experience. You, too, can enjoy the spiritual enlightenment of the unhindered traveller. Cross plains, wind through verdant valleys and pootle along picturesque shores to really see the country you’re in, up close and personal.

    Explore Europe with ease and book your dream holiday today, with GoShorty’s temporary car insurance.

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  7. Car Sharing Etiquette: A Handy Guide

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    Car sharing is simply the act of borrowing a car. The car could belong to a neighbour, a friend or a family member, whoever is happy to let you use their vehicle.

    Car sharing is ideal for someone who doesn’t have a car or doesn’t drive much (we’ve created a guide for low-mileage drivers) and therefore doesn’t want to have an annual insurance policy. With GoShorty’s temporary car insurance, car sharing is easy, safe and beneficial to you and other drivers on the road. 

    The Benefits of Car Sharing

    Car sharing brings with it a number of benefits. The most obvious is its ability to save you money. If you are borrowing a vehicle, chances are you may not own a vehicle yourself, or your vehicle is just out of action. By getting yourself a temporary insurance policy on the car you want to borrow, you’re only paying to drive the car for the specific time period you need it. Meaning no extra costs or commitments that would come with an annual insurance policy, you’re just covered for the time you need. Also, if you’re car sharing with others, you can save costs on fuel by splitting the bill! 

    Car sharing is also a great use of your time. Saving you the hassle of renting a car from a company, you can organise things with the person you’re borrowing from on your own time. Also, GoShorty can provide a quote on a short-term policy within 90 seconds, so you can arrange your insurance hassle free online, wherever you may be. 

    For those who are environmentally conscious, car sharing will also work towards reducing the number of cars on the road, simultaneously reducing carbon emissions and reducing congestion on the roads, a win-win! 

    A good thing to remember about temporary insurance is that it will have no impact on the car owner’s no claims discount. Meaning, if there is an accident of some sort, you won’t be damaging their policy.

    Car Sharing Etiquette

    When borrowing someone’s car, you are in charge of an important asset of theirs, so it is important you treat the vehicle as if it were your own. Here’s some tips on what to do and what not to do.

    Do’s and Don’ts of Car Sharing

    It goes without saying, you should drive carefully. Of course, this is the case at all times, but you don’t want to be returning the car in a damaged state, even if the temporary insurance means the owner’s no claims bonus is protected. Looking after the car will allow you to borrow the vehicle again in the future if needed, drive carefully, park it securely and follow the law.

    Be sure to make it clear exactly how long you need the car for to the owner. This just makes things clear from the start, and allows you to come to an agreement where both parties are happy. In most cases, you will be close with whoever you are borrowing the car from, but this just ensures everything is understood. It also helps to get the owner to let you know anything particular about the vehicle you are about to drive, in order for you to be able to drive it as safely as possible.

    It would be polite to return the vehicle in the same state you received it in. If the car is clean, keep it that way. Don’t bring rubbish into the vehicle and leave it there, or smoke in the car, try not to eat in the car either, essentially don’t do anything that could dirty the car. Returning it in a fit state is the best thing to do, you may want to borrow it again in the future, so it’s best to leave a good impression. If the car gets a little dirty on your travels, it would be considerate to give it a clean before returning it.

    Try to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel too, topping up the fuel before returning the vehicle is a polite way of saying thank you for it. Also, it would be very inconvenient for the owner if it is returned empty. 

    If you have a regular car-sharing arrangement with somebody, you’ll need to plan. Have an idea of what’s in your calendar a few weeks ahead of time, so you can ensure you’re not left stuck. Also, car ownership is expensive, hence why we’re always flying the flag for a step-change in people’s attitudes towards sharing and borrowing vehicles. If a car is due its service, you should be contributing in some way. 

    Lift Sharing Etiquette

    Sharing a lift with others is a great way of saving money and even saves yourself from driving a lot. If multiple drivers are able to get a short-term policy, then the load of driving can be shared, making it a little easier on everyone involved. Also, the cost of fuel can be shared too, making it an effective way of saving money. Just like borrowing a car however, there are some things you should be mindful of if you are lift sharing, here’s some tips on lift sharing etiquette.

    Do’s and Don’ts of Lift Sharing

    When sharing a car with people, you might be spending some time together, especially if you are on a road trip of some sort. In this case, it’s important to keep the mood up, music can help this, but it’s important you don’t take over the music and annoy everyone with your favourite hits. Music on a trip is fun, just make sure it’s being enjoyed by everyone. A good way to approach this is allowing everyone to contribute to what’s being played – a Roadtrip Spotify Playlist is always a winner.

    Try to keep your road rage under control. No one wants to hear you screaming at other drivers when sharing the car, it makes passengers feel stressed and unsafe. If road rage is something you are guilty of, try to keep cool, or hand the wheel to someone else. 

    If you are travelling for a trip, try to pack efficiently so all of your belongings can fit in the boot. You don’t want to burden others with your bags between seats, if everyone is comfortable, then the mood will be better.

    Conversation can keep everyone happy, so it’s a good thing to chat as the journey goes on. Just be mindful of how much you are talking, if others are tired, they may not want to hear you chat about what you had for breakfast. Read the room, or the car, and keep conversation flowing with others, instead of talking at them.

    If you’re not driving, it is a good idea to help with navigation to give the driver a break. Helping out with the navigation allows the driver keep attention on the road, and allows you to contribute to the success of the trip. 

    Just like when borrowing a car, you shouldn’t eat or smoke in the vehicle. This is inconsiderate and makes the car less comfortable for everyone else. Wait for the service stops to have a cigarette or eat some food, to save the car from getting messy. 

    Car sharing and lift sharing are great. They reduce the amount of vehicles on the road, which reduces congestion and carbon pollution. It can also save you time and money through the use of short-term insurance and cutting out the need for a rental company. GoShorty is here to provide short-term insurance if you are looking to borrow a vehicle, you just need to find someone to lend it to you!


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  8. Premier League Car Share: Which Football Fans Get The Best & Worst Deal On Travel?

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    With a brand new Premier League season about to start, match-going fans who follow their teams home and away are already in full travel-planning mode. Organising transport to and from each game can be a thankless task: rail strikes, extortionate train fares, and games kicking off at unsociable hours to suit TV schedules have all combined to make it an expensive and arduous mission for many supporters.

    Given such inhospitality, it’s no surprise that many fans swerve public transport in favour of travelling to games via car. While often a cheaper option, the cost of fuel and parking can still really stack up. And some fans have it far, far worse than others…

    Which Premier League Fans Spend the Most On Travel?

    We’ve been crunching the numbers to see which Premier League football fans have the furthest to travel if they were to follow their team at all 19 away games across the new season. 

    A few caveats (we’ve detailed our methodology in full at the bottom of the article):

    1. We’ve used Google Maps to measure the distance between each club’s stadium, using the shortest possible, toll-free route (we’re all about keeping those costs down!) 
    2. We fully appreciate that fans travel from all over to follow their favourite team and are unlikely to live on the doorstep of their club’s stadium (cue jokes about Manchester United and Liverpool fans having easy access to London away games!) 
    3. Car park costs are based on data from Footyparking.com, which is a super handy resource for those who struggle to park on match days 
    4. Most London-based fans are likely to travel to games in the capital via Tube, but for the sake of a fair test, we’ve assumed they’ll be hopping in their cars!

    Which Fans Have the Furthest to Drive

    To the surprise of nobody who is aware of the make-up of next season’s Premier League, Newcastle United fans have drawn the shortest of short straws. 

    The Toon Army are accustomed to long trips. With no relatively short hops to Sunderland or Middlesbrough on the agenda, Newcastle fans face an average journey of 232 miles, covering an eye-watering  4,410 miles in total. This includes a frankly brutal 720-mile round trip to watch their team play AFC Bournemouth. 

    Speaking of whom, Bournemouth fans also have it tough. Based on the South Coast, they must travel 3,494 miles to watch all of their team’s away games – an average journey length of nearly 184 miles. The bad news doesn’t stop there for fans of ‘The Cherries’. 

    We also looked at average fuel price data for all of the regions in which Premier League clubs are based. Compared to the national average of 143.9p for a litre of unleaded petrol, the average in Dorset is 146.38p per litre (as of July 2023) – the highest of all 20 clubs in the league. For context, the price in Tyne and Wear is 142.53p – small mercies for the travel-weary followers of Newcastle United.

    Manchester-based supporters benefit from the cheapest fuel prices on average, with a litre of unleaded costing 139.9p. 

    Which Fans Will Cover the Shortest Distance?

    According to our calculations, supporters of newly-promoted Luton Town have the best deal next season. Benefiting from the significant number of London-based clubs in the league, they only need to cover 2,098 miles following their team – an average trip length of just over 110 miles

    They just pip Aston Villa to the post, who given their location slap bang in the centre of England, can usually be expected to benefit from shorter travel distances. 

    As mentioned, with seven London-based clubs playing in the top level of English football, fans in the capital benefit from a multitude of local derbies and short hops across the capital. This is offset slightly by beefy trips to Burnley, so swings and roundabouts!

     The Cost of Parking 

    While it’s filling the tank that undoubtedly makes the biggest dent in the coffers of fans who drive to games, parking costs can rack up too.

    We looked at the documented parking options within a three-mile radius of each club’s stadium to find out which clubs offer the cheapest and most expensive parking rates on average. 

    Visitors to Luton can revel in the fact that average parking costs in the vicinity of Kenilworth Road are by far the cheapest, starting from just £1.55. However, being the smallest stadium in the division – with a capacity of just 10,356 – it’s understandable that parking options are limited, with only eight car parks in the area. 

    On the flipside, car parking around the swanky Tottenham Hotspur Stadium may be in greater supply (23 car parks within three miles), but the cost of parking up for 90 minutes is the highest in the Premier League, with average starting costs surpassing the £10 mark. Carpooling suddenly becomes all the more attractive!

    More Fans in Fewer Cars!

    Being a die-hard football supporter can be a costly pastime, and as we’ve demonstrated, following your team around the country is not always straightforward. 

    At GoShorty, our mantra is to get more people into fewer cars, and this very much extends to motorists who are travelling to sporting events. You can mitigate some of the cost of driving to the football by sharing the journey with fellow fans. Car sharing is an increasingly appealing option, and one of the questions we’re most commonly asked is: “can someone else drive my car?

    By offering temporary car insurance policies in a matter of seconds online, we make it easy for people to borrow someone else’s car, or share the driving responsibilities during a road trip – all safe in the knowledge that you’re legally covered to do so. For the average football fan, a daily car insurance policy will do the job, as this will cover you there and back with no fuss. 

    If you happen to be a Newcastle, Bournemouth or Brighton fan, chances are you’ll be making a weekend out of some of these trips! In which case, our weekend car insurance policies are a superb option over the course of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign.

    Adding context to some of the findings from GoShorty’s ‘Premier League Car Share’ research, our Director of Marketing (who also happens to be a loyal Newcastle United supporter) Graeme Stoker commented:

    “Kick-off times are constantly being moved at short notice, which makes it a nightmare for many fans to plan their travel to and from games. With many matches being moved to Friday, Saturday or Monday nights, the trains simply aren’t an option.

    “We want to see more fans getting into the habit of sharing lifts to sporting events. Not only can this significantly lower the cost of travelling, it has a positive impact on the environment too. Our short-term car insurance options are tailor-made to allow people to drive different cars legally. The quick and easy nature of securing a policy online means you can swap drivers more regularly, which is extremely handy when you’re completing a 700-mile round trip from Newcastle to Brighton!”

    You can check out all of GoShorty’s short-term car insurance options online.

    Our Methodology: 

    Travel Distances

    We analysed data from Google Maps to plot the shortest road distances between each Premier League football club, ensuring that all routes were toll-free. We calculated the total distance to be travelled by each club’s fans throughout the new season and then worked out the average distance of a typical trip. 

    In the interest of fairness, we used the distances between each team’s stadium. In the case of Liverpool and Everton – whose grounds are barely a mile apart – the total distances are slightly different based on the direction of other stadia to Anfield and Goodison Park, hence why it appears that Everton supporters have marginally less distance to cover. 

    The distances were calculated between July 9th and 13th 2023.

    Car Park Costs

    We used data from Footyparking.com to find car parks within three miles of each football ground. This was based on data from the 2022/23 season and the database is being updated all the time, so new car-parking options may be added. We sourced our data between July 9th and 13th 2023. 

    We created a list of each car park and calculated an average starting cost, so prices “start from £X”. For extra context around parking viability at each club, we used data from Football Ground Guide to determine the capacity of each team’s stadium.

    Fuel Costs

    Knowing that unleaded petrol vehicles are the most popular in the UK, we opted to use this type of fuel as our barometer for average costs across the UK. We sourced our information from Fleet News, which provides a county/region-wide breakdown of average unleaded petrol costs for July 2023.

    Our full dataset is available upon request via Google Sheets.

  9. Is it harder to take your driving test in the winter?

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    Is your theory test in the past, and do you want to go ahead and book your practical driving test? You probably want to book your time slot right away, but have you considered how adverse weather conditions could influence your results?

    Many factors will influence your practical test result, but the weather will probably play the most significant part.

    You also need to keep in mind that you will need temporary learner driver insurance when practising your driving skills and new or temporary car insurance once you have passed.

    In this article, we will look at why winter months have lower pass rates, when is the best time to pass your driving test in the winter, and how the Drivers and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) want to help you to pass your test, even in winter weather.

    Why Winter Driving Tests are More Difficult

    Winter is unpredictable, and you risk having your practical test slot cancelled because of hazardous conditions and icy roads.

    If your test centre confirms that your test is going ahead, you will have to drive extra cautiously. Even though main roads would be ploughed, residential streets can still have plenty of ice. There will be snowbanks along the curves, parked cars will be covered with snow, and roads will be slippery.

    The best time to book your test in winter would be in the afternoon, as this will allow ice and snow to thaw, making driving a little bit easier.

    What to Keep in Mind When Taking Your Driving Test in Winter


    If your test occurs in snow conditions, make sure your car has quality tyres suitable for the snowy conditions. Tyres should have at least 3 mm tread depth to safely drive in snow.

    All-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive

    Cars with all-wheel drive are the easiest to control on slick roads as all the wheels are involved in keeping you on the road. If you do not have access to an all-wheel-drive car for your test, the second-best option is a front-wheel-drive vehicle.

    It is not recommended to drive a rear-wheel-drive vehicle for your winter test as these push the car forward from the back wheels, which is much harder to control and more likely to lose traction and slide.

    Following distance and speed limits

    The recommended following distances and speed limits are when a practical test is taken under ideal weather conditions. Of course, the conditions are less than ideal in winter, meaning you should take extra caution.

    You should increase the following distance to about eight seconds to allow enough time for braking.

    The Weather is Bad: What Will The DVSA Do?

    The main priority of the DVSA is to protect both the candidate driver as well as the examiner. Although driving tests are allowed during winter, the DVSA can cancel tests if road conditions are not considered safe. This includes road ice, floods, strong winds, or dense fog.

    If you book your practical driving test in winter, you risk having your test cancelled. Naturally, the DVSA does not want to cancel and reschedule hundreds of tests, as this will lead to backlogs in future months. Therefore, they will allow testing to continue during winter.

    Early morning tests have a greater chance of being cancelled, so we recommend that you book a later test during winter.

    How the DVSA determines whether a winter test will be cancelled

    Of course, it is frustrating when learner drivers have been waiting weeks or months for their tests, only to have them cancelled on the day. The DVSA will only cancel a test when absolutely necessary. You can contact DVSA’s customer support team to find out if your test will continue.

    Your safety must come first

    The DVSA has a duty of care to protect the driver, other drivers, and the examiner. It is only fair that all drivers are tested fairly and equally, and taking a driving test in bad weather will be a disadvantage.

    Constantly assess road conditions

    To prevent a backlog, examiners will constantly assess the road conditions and determine routes that are less affected by bad weather. Weather forecasts are continually assessed, and tests will only be cancelled if local conditions turn bad.

    Snow is a hazard

    Snowfall will affect visibility, making it difficult to see road signs, other road users, and road markings. The DVSA is likely to cancel a test on a snowy day since the road ice and slush will also impact the ability to perform driving tests well.

    Things to Keep in Mind When Driving in Winter

    Whether you are taking your driving test in winter or just want to learn more about safe driving in winter weather, here are some things to keep in mind.

    Basic safety

    Drive slowly. There is no need to rush, as this will put you and other road users in danger. Driving slowly during winter means you will have more reaction time, more braking distance, and a greater following distance behind the cars in front of you.

    Don’t crowd other vehicles. Whether a passenger car, snowplough or freight truck, give other vehicles plenty of space to manoeuvre on dangerous roads.

    Tyre safety

    The pressure in your tyres will drop in cold temperatures, so make sure before you drive or take your test that all the tyres are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

    Make sure to inspect your tyres before you drive, including checking for damage, wear, and depth of the treads.

    Car battery

    Your battery power will drop along with the temperatures. Your car will also require more battery power to switch on, and its range will be reduced if you have an electric or hybrid car. Make sure to check your battery before the cold season, as well as during, to make sure your battery is functioning effectively.

    Car safety technology

    Your car will come with plenty of safety technology that will protect you while driving. Familiarise yourself with all the technology in your car, as well as with the warning lights on your dashboard, so that you can have the safest driving experience possible.

    Why Summer is the Best Time for Taking a Driving Test

    As we have mentioned, winter is probably the hardest season to pass your driving test. The months of January and December have the lowest pass rates, while the summer months have higher pass rates. Booking your driving test in summer may be easier, but you are likely to face much longer waiting times as most people will be booking during the summer months.

    Despite this, summer has much better driving conditions and a much smaller risk of having your test cancelled.

    During the summer holidays, there are usually fewer people around, which means less traffic and pedestrians to worry about while taking your test, and also no peak traffic, rush hour or school-run traffic to worry about.


    When will I find out if my test has been cancelled?

    Test centres will know in the morning whether tests will go ahead. Contact your test centre first thing in the morning to find out whether your driving test is still going ahead, especially if your test is early. If your test is in the afternoon, phone a few hours ahead.

    Will my test be cancelled if the weather conditions are bad?

    You will still have to contact the test centre to determine whether your test has been cancelled. If you decide to not show up because of the weather, but the test continues, you will not get a refund.

    My test has been rescheduled, but it is months away. What can I do?

    If your new test date is months away, you can get a fast-track practical test to jump the queue and move your test date forward.

    Your local test centre will also receive cancellations from learner drivers, meaning test slots become available almost every day. A fast-track test is a driving test that is scheduled in one of these empty slots. Several companies can organise driving tests at the local test centre in these cancellation slots.

    It is time for my test appointment, but it is snowing. Can I still take my test?

    The DVSA is mandated to keep drivers safe. If they did not cancel the test and you feel too unsafe to drive, you will forfeit your refund. It is best to take your test if it is not cancelled.

    Wrapping Up

    Even experienced drivers can tell you how difficult it is to drive in winter. Taking a driving test in bad weather can be a harrowing experience, and studies show that it is harder to pass driving tests in the winter months because of inclement weather and bad road conditions.

    If the bad weather persists, test centres will cancel test appointments to ensure the safety of the drivers and driving instructors. The best time to take a driving test in winter will be in the afternoons, as snow and ice would have thawed.

  10. Five Easy Ways to Save Money When you Drive

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    Running a car is an expensive process. While electric cars might offer a cheaper future, most people still use traditional cars that use fossil fuels. Traditional fuels are getting more and more expensive for most drivers – along with the associated costs of owning a car, like insurance and tax. All of this means that drivers all across the country are looking for ways to save money when they drive. Here are five easy ways to save money on your driving costs.

    Drive Sensibly

    One of the easiest ways to save money on your car is to change how you drive. Different ways of driving use more or less fuel. Driving smoothly – not speeding up, slowing down or changing gear too quickly – is an effective way to use less fuel.

    Going slower is also an easy way to use less fuel and save money. Generally, the speed limit is a good measure. While you should be sticking to the speed limit anyway, going at 70mph rather than 60mph uses 9% more fuel. Going 80mph (even on the motorway) uses 25% more fuel than going 70mph.

    Care for your Car

    Cars that are not maintained tend to use more fuel than those that are kept well looked after. Make sure that you service your car every year. Minor issues with engines or valves can contribute to inefficient use of fuel, and as a result, higher costs.

    You should also make sure that your tyres are all in top condition. If any of your tyres have damage, an incorrect tread depth, or are incorrectly inflated, then you will have a correspondingly worse fuel efficiency. Defective or damaged tyres cost you money.

    Carry Less

    Everything you put on or in your car is weighing it down. Heavier cars go slower, and use more fuel. An estimated extra 50kg of fuel makes a car 1-2% less fuel efficient. This sort of weight is easy to achieve in a car. Attachments to your car that should be temporary are easy to forget about. Roof bars and cycle racks should be removed when not being used, as they are heavy.

    Shop Around

    Fuel costs can vary wildly between different areas, and different petrol stations. Finding the best deals in your local area is an easy way to reduce your potential driving costs. Generally, fuel from supermarkets is cheaper than from both chain and independent petrol stations. It is also often possible to get vouchers for cheaper fuel when you shop at the same supermarket.

    Drive Less

    Perhaps the easiest way to save money when you drive is to use your car less. This might sound counterproductive, but you should start to ask yourself if you need to drive everywhere. If you can walk or cycle to a nearby destination, you should do. Equally, if it is possible for you to split a journey with a friend or neighbour, car sharing can be a great way to save money.

    Insurance from GoShorty

    Temporary Car Insurance from GoShorty is perfect for saving money. If you only use a car occasionally, you don’t need to be insured for the whole year. Save money all year round by only paying for short term car insurance when you need it. If you share a car, or borrow a car from a friend or relative, you can insure yourself for between 1 hour and 28 days when you need to use it.

    Get a temporary insurance quote today, and see how much you could save on your car insurance with temporary cover from GoShorty.