Everything a girl needs to know about cars
New MOT rules 2018
May 16, 2018
MOT changes 2018

As of 20th May 2018, the way MOT tests work will change, what will this affect and what do you need to know?
What are the things you need to know?
1. The defects found during an MOT will be categorised differently from May 20th. The defects will now be:
• Dangerous- this is an immediate fail as there is a serious immediate safety risk or an immediate risk to the environment. You will not be able to drive a vehicle that receives a dangerous rating until the car has been fixed.
• Major- this to would be a fail and require immediate repair. This type of defect may be a safety risk or an environmental risk.
• Minor- there is no immediate risk with a minor fault, and the vehicle will still pass, however the defect will need to be repaired as soon as possible.
• Advisories. This could become more problematic in the future and should be monitored with a view to review. A vehicle would pass the MOT even if it had several advisories.
• Pass. This meets the required legal standards, and nothing further is required.

2. New rules for diesel car emissions
The Rules for diesel cars will become a lot stricter in particular:
• If smoke is coming from the exhaust this would be a major fault.
• The diesel particulate filter captures soot to reduce emissions and if there is any evidence that this has been tampered with, the vehicle would receive a major fault.

3. There will be a number of new items that will be tested from May 21st, 2018:
• Tyres being underinflated.
• Brake fluid contamination
• Environment risks from fluid leaks
• Break pad warning lights
• Headlight washers if the vehicle is fitted with them.

4. Vehicles over 40 years old may not need an MOT.
• If your vehicle is over 40 years old and has not been significantly change, you may not need an MOT.
If you want to keep up to date with more car news, check out our website at www.cars4girls.com

MOT Changes

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Driving Back the Years
May 15, 2018
Driving over 70s

The UK population is, on average, getting older. Naturally this means there are more older drivers on Britain’s roads. In fact, in the UK there are 1.2 million full licence holders in their eighties, 100,000 in their nineties and around 250 centenarians. All in all there are over four million driving licence holders over the age of 70 in the UK.

The feeling of freedom that comes with getting behind the wheel of your first car never really goes away. Whatever your age, it brings with it a sense of independence. Reaching different milestones in life shouldn’t be a reason to hang up the car keys, but there are a few things you should think about.

What age should you stop driving?
As there are no laws set in place as to when you have to stop driving, it really depends on your health and ability to drive. Together with your GP, you should have regular check-ups to see if you’re still up for the demands of the road.

Once you do hit the age of 70, you’ll need to renew your driving licence, and every 3 years after that. There’s no driving licence renewal fee and the DVLA will send you a renewal form 3 months before your birthday. You won’t have to retake your test, but you will have to declare any medical conditions you have and confirm that you meet the eyesight standards.

If you’re concerned about how age may affect your driving, you can book a driver assessment test with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). It won’t be a pass or fail-style test but they will feed back on any issues they pick up during the session, as well as suggesting ways for you to improve.

Are older drivers more dangerous on the road?
Drivers under 20 are more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than those over 70. This is partly because older drivers limit when and how far they drive – avoiding busy or complex junctions. It’s also because, as shown in our animation, they’re also more likely to visit familiar locations like local shops and relatives at quiet periods while also avoiding night time driving and rush hour traffic.

The numbers behind drivers over 70
Owning and driving a vehicle is important to many people and for many reasons. A car isn’t just a practical way of getting around, it can also become part of who you are. And you’re not alone in thinking that way. According to healthcare charity Independent Age:

73% of drivers aged 70 and over would feel reluctant to ask friends or family for lifts if they were no longer able to drive
One in 20 (5%) say they don’t have any friends or family they could ask for a lift
44% of drivers aged 70 and over say they would feel like they’d lost part of their identity if they were not able to drive
How to stay safe as an older driver
According to data gathered by the Older Drivers Task Force, “drivers over the age of 70 are less likely to be involved in crashes involving speed, loss of control or alcohol”. Despite these encouraging signs, there are extra steps you could take to further extend and enjoy your driving life, such as:

Making modifications to your car to assist any visual or physical ailments
If you have difficulty while walking you may qualify for a Blue Badge which gives you access to accessible parking
Having regular medical and driving assessments
Telling the DVLA about any medical conditions that may affect your ability to drive
We’ve been on the road for over a hundred years and we’re still here to lend a helping hand. Get breakdown cover today and keep your car moving in the right direction. For even more advice on age and driving, check out our safety for older drivers page.

Cars4Girls were granted permission to publish this article from The AA: https://www.theaa.com/breakdown-cover/advice/older-driver

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Calculating Car Insurance
Featured Insurance News
April 23, 2018
Making Car Insurance Clear

Every driver must have insurance to legally drive, but do they always know what goes into
calculating the final cost? Most have a vague idea, but can’t give a definitive answer. Insurers factor
in a number of variables – from driving habits and location to where the insurance is bought from.
The AA have created an animated video about it that you can see by clicking here, and we go into further
detail underneath.

Your car
Obviously, the type of your car you drive is going to be a major factor in an insurers pricing. The age
and value of the car are important, as well as the insurance group that it’s in. Insurance groups are
worked out by a cars price when new, their performance, repair costs and the cost of replacement
parts; meaning higher performance car models are usually in higher insurance groups as they will
cost insurers the most in claims. Security features, such as locks and alarms, also factor into an
insurance grouping.
Car modifications like tinted windows or custom exhausts can also increase insurance cost whereas
additional safety features like a collision warning system could lower it. Although still in
development, autonomous or driverless cars could also attract a much lower premium due to being
considered safer.
Your driving
The other big factor that goes into insurance calculations is how you drive. Your expected annual
mileage will indicate to an insurer how much deterioration may occur to your car. Having penalty
points, suspensions or convictions on your license, as well as previous insurance claims, will also be
important in how your premium is assessed.
The area you live in will also be considered as it may have higher crime and crash rates meaning
more claims. Although it doesn’t reflect your own driving, insurers have to account for this as the
risk of theft or accident increases.
Additional factors
Besides the above considerations, there are additional factors that go into insurance calculations.
One, is your no claims discount – the number of years that have gone by without you making a claim
on your car insurance. The more years, the better the discount.
The other is your level of voluntary excess – the amount you pay towards an insurance claim. There is
voluntary and compulsory excess; you set the voluntary amount of excess whereas your insurer sets
the compulsory amount. By choosing a lower voluntary excess, it can raise your premium.
Other policy add-ons to your insurance such as a replacement car, legal assistance cover, windscreen
cover will also affect your insurance cost.
Cheaper car insurance
There are a few ways that you can get cheaper car insurance. If you buy from a third-party website,
such as a comparison site, you may only see basic packages rather than a customisable package that
you may need or prefer. In this case, it might buy straight from an insurer as you may get a greater
level of cover or additional benefits such as a courtesy car.
Technology such as a car black box that tracks your driving can also lower premiums with many
insurers. For new drivers, doing a Pass Plus driving course to improve their driving ability can also
lower their insurance premium with some insurers. It’s wise to check first, to see if they do.

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Road Trip Essentials, Travelling With Kids.
March 30, 2018

We have all been there, we are in the midst of a mammoth road trip and we have forgotten charge the iPad, pack spare nappies, or you are stuck in traffic with a baby who is screaming for a feed.

Car aside there plenty of things you need prepare for ahead of travelling with children. Taking time to plan ahead, can ensure you arrive relaxed and stress free.

Car Seats.

Safety is the primary consideration when travelling with Children. Always double check your car seats are fitted properly and that you have followed the manufactures advise on how to fit them correctly. If you have recently changed cars make sure that the car seats are still suitable.


You can never have too many wipes, useful for sticky hands, runny noses and spilt drinks.

Snacks and Drinks.

Packing a bag full of treats is the perfect way to keep kids entertained during a long journey. Services stations are notoriously over priced and packing a mixture of healthy and treat type snacks will save you money and guilt over giving the kids too much sugar.

Plan your route.

If you are travelling one hour or 8 hours make sure you have planned your route and planned appropriate stops. Babies under 18 months should not spend more than two hours at a time in their car seats so ensure to plan stops to stretch you legs, change and feed the baby. Advice suggests that taking regular breaks helps avoid tiredness related accidents too.

Traveling times.

Review what time you are travelling. Rush hour can add hours onto travel time and can make a 3 hour journey become much more. Consider traveling very early or later in the evening to avoid traffic if travelling a long way. This has a double benefit, as children may be more likely to sleep during night time or early morning travels. Additionally, travelling with smaller children maybe more comfortable for all if it incorporated into a nap time.


In todays day and age iPad’s, tablets and games consoles are the perfect way to while away hours on a long journey, but if you fancy going old school there are plenty of car journey games to play on a long journey.

Ispy….I spy with my little eye something beginning… hours of fun ahead and no explanation required.

Memory Games. Mrs brown when shopping and brought followed by a list that all players must remember. Each player adds one item to the previous list and the winner is the one who doesn’t forget any items.

20 Questions. Players simply pick a person and their fellow passengers have to guess who it is using only 20 questions.

Would you rather. Would you rather have arms for legs or legs for arms. Neither is particularly pleasing, but you have to pick one. Great for kids and adults alike.

Finally, if all else fails as keep a bribe to hand and promise a little treat as a reward at the end of the trip.

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