Getting your driving license is thrilling – the newfound freedom, the sense of accomplishment. However it may be intimidating too.
That can assist you become familiar with driving alone, we’re breaking down among the commonest questions on taking care of a automotive, maintaining your car road-legal, and the way to economize as a brand new driver. Plus, we’ll embrace hyperlinks to all our most useful articles, guides, and blogs to maintain you clued up about all issues motoring.
New driver insurance coverage and automotive tax
Each car on UK roads must be taxed. Automobile tax, additionally known as highway tax, car train responsibility, or VED, varies from car to car relying on elements like age, tailpipe emissions, worth, and gas kind.
It is because automotive tax goes in direction of funding issues like highway upkeep, maintenance, and different native initiatives, so automobiles which can be deemed to make extra of an influence pay extra. You could find a full breakdown of tax charges right here, and you may tax your automotive on the federal government web site right here.
As for automotive insurance coverage, it may be tough to determine what coverage is best for you. Many insurers will advocate a black field coverage for brand new drivers, as it would assist to maintain your premium low. To higher perceive how automotive insurance coverage works and what you may get cowl for, take a look at our Varieties of Automobile Insurance coverage Cowl information.
Your automotive’s insurance coverage band or group can even have an effect on the worth of your premium. There are 50 bands, with band 1 automobiles being the most affordable to insure and band 50 automobiles the costliest. You could find out what band your automotive falls into right here.
New driver MOT and servicing
Identical to highway tax, your automotive additionally wants an annual MOT. This yearly check assesses the situation of your car to ensure that it’s secure to drive, so it’s unlawful to drive with no legitimate MOT certificates.
In case your automotive is model new, it received’t should be examined till its third birthday (since all of the elements and mechanisms aren’t prone to have amassed a lot put on and tear in that point), however you’ll have to e-book in for a yearly check from then on. Though it’s not a authorized requirement, in order for you the peace of thoughts that every little thing is working correctly, you possibly can e-book a service or MOT inside these three years. Discover out extra about new automotive MOTs right here.
A service, then again, shouldn’t be a authorized requirement, however it’s extremely really useful that you just e-book one to verify your automotive is working safely. The place an MOT checks that your automotive meets vital security and environmental requirements, a service will assess the complete working situation of your automotive, and substitute issues like your engine oil, coolant, and filters if wanted. You could find a full record of what’s included in a automotive service right here.
One of the best ways to economize on an MOT and repair is to e-book them collectively – not solely does it prevent an additional journey to the storage, however you’ll additionally get a big low cost in comparison with two separate bookings. Plus, you’ll be much less prone to overlook both appointment since they’re each on the identical day!
You could find out when your MOT is due with our helpful on-line device – simply enter your car registration quantity to see the date that you must e-book in. You may as well join electronic mail reminders, so that you’ll all the time know when your check is due.
Fundamental automotive upkeep for brand new drivers
To maintain your automotive in good situation long-term, it’s finest to hold out some fundamental routine upkeep. This may sound intimidating, however it’s typically so simple as maintaining your automotive clear and tidy!
Not solely does washing your automotive maintain it trying contemporary, however it may possibly additionally maintain every little thing working properly for longer. Taking the time to take away contaminants can cease them from damaging your automotive’s parts; highway salt is corrosive and might trigger your paintwork to rust if it’s left uncleaned, whereas grime and bugs in your windscreen can injury your wiper blades prematurely. So, it’s finest to get right into a routine from the beginning.
There are some things to keep away from, although; you need to by no means wash your automotive with washing-up liquid! Though it might appear cost-effective, you’ll truly find yourself spending extra in the long term, because the chemical substances within the method can injury your paintwork and even create rust. As a substitute, a devoted automotive shampoo is your best choice.
You could find our full step-by-step information on the best way to wash your automotive right here.
To maintain the engine’s parts transferring freely, your automotive wants engine oil. This lubricating substance, often known as motor oil, helps to cut back friction between the engine’s transferring elements to cut back put on and injury.
Maintaining your engine oil topped up is a vital – and easy – a part of taking care of your automotive. You may shortly see in case your automotive wants a top-up by checking your dipstick – it’s a fast and straightforward activity, and also you’ll discover a full information on the best way to do it right here.
To seek out out extra about what engine oil does, and which kind is true in your automotive, you will discover our full engine oil purchaser’s information right here.
Since your tyres are in fixed contact with the highway, it’s vital to verify they’re all the time at their finest. There are some things to look out for – your tyre strain, your tyre tread depth, and any irregular tyre put on.
Checking your tyre strain
Checking your tyre strain is a straightforward technique to maintain your car at its finest. Not solely is it unsafe to have incorrectly inflated tyres, however you’re additionally legally required to have tyres inflated to your producer’s suggestions. You’ll discover the right inflation in your automotive’s tyres in your proprietor’s guide.
Checking and inflating your tyres is easy – you should purchase a tyre strain gauge and tyre inflator so you are able to do it your self at dwelling, or you should utilize the machines supplied at petrol stations. Right here’s a helpful step-by-step information to stroll you thru the method, together with some widespread questions.
Irregular tyre put on
To provide the finest grip on the highway, your tyres ought to be carrying evenly throughout the complete tread. Any uneven put on or unusual injury to your tread might influence your tyres’ grip, so it’s finest to regulate them and examine them commonly. You could find our full information on irregular put on and what to look out for under.
Checking your tyre tread depth
To present you a strong grip on the highway, your tyres are lined in tread – that’s the grooves and ridges within the rubber. The extra your drive, the extra this tread is worn away because the tyre makes contact with the highway. To make sure you have a secure quantity of friction, your tyres have to have a minimal of 1.6mm of tread by legislation. You may examine your tread depth with a tyre depth gauge.
In the event you’re not sure about finishing up any of those checks your self, why not pop to your native Halfords storage for a Free Tyre Test. We’ll examine your tyre strain, examine tyre tread depth, and guarantee your tyres are secure and authorized, all for no value.
Useful apps, devices, and tech for brand new drivers
Now that you just’ve handed, it may be intimidating to consider driving by yourself for the primary time. Fortunately, there are many devices, apps, and different instruments that can assist you really feel extra snug and assured on the roads.
- P plates/new driver sticker – These stickers let different drivers know that you just’ve simply handed, in order that they know to provide you extra leeway and consideration.
- Sat nav – When you’re getting used to navigating by yourself, a sat nav might be actually helpful for getting round. Many fashions can even warn you to issues like velocity cameras, accidents, and velocity limits.
- Extra mirrors – That can assist you see extra of the house round you, you may get additional mirrors to suit inside your automotive and in your wing mirrors. Even when you don’t all the time use them, it’s reassuring to know they’re there.
- Petrol Costs app – By no means pay greater than that you must for gas once more, with this helpful app that tells you the petrol and diesel costs on the garages close to your location.
Saving cash as a brand new driver
Once you’re beginning out as a brand new driver, saving cash the place and when you possibly can is vital. Fortunately, there are many issues you are able to do to maintain prices down.
Use a parking app
Attending to your vacation spot is one factor, however paying for parking can add much more value to your journey. To keep away from paying for a premium house, use a parking app akin to Parkopedia – these databases can let you know if there’s a less expensive automotive park close by so you possibly can keep away from paying greater than that you must.
Wash your automotive your self
Though it may be tempting to let a drive-through automotive wash do the be just right for you, cleansing your automotive your self can save some huge cash in the long term. £5 or so each few weeks can quickly add up, so when you’re attempting to chop prices, this generally is a good place to begin. Plus, there are many inexpensive automotive cleansing kits and bundles you should purchase to get every little thing you want for a radical clear in a single bundle!
Hold your tyres inflated
We’ve already advised you ways maintaining your tyres inflated could make your journeys safer, however do you know it may possibly prevent cash too? Underinflated tyres truly scale back your gas financial system, so that you’ll use extra gas to cowl the identical distance as on accurately inflated tyres.
Be part of the Halfords Motoring Membership
Probably the greatest methods to economize as a driver is thru the Halfords Motoring Membership! You may enroll fully free and obtain £30 price of on the spot advantages to maintain you transferring, secure and saving.
Or you possibly can improve to our Premium membership for a small month-to-month payment (or a one-off cost) and revel in an enormous £100 price of advantages, together with a free MOT! Each membership varieties can even have entry to unique promotions and presents, together with early entry to a few of our greatest offers.
Legal guidelines for brand new drivers
Within the first few years of holding your license, you could be topic to some totally different guidelines and legal guidelines than extra skilled drivers – it’s because new drivers are classed as being in a “probationary interval” for the primary two years after passing your check.
What number of factors can a brand new driver get?
Penalty factors (or endorsements) might be put in your license when you commit a motoring offence and can keep there for 4 or 11 years relying on the offence. In the event you construct up a sure variety of them, then you possibly can lose your license. Nevertheless, the variety of penalties you possibly can accrue as a brand new driver differs from different motorists.
An ordinary driver (a driver who’s held their license for over two years) might be disqualified from driving in the event that they get 12 or extra penalty factors inside 3 years. For brand spanking new drivers although, your licence will probably be revoked when you get 6 or extra factors inside 2 years of passing your check. You may learn extra about penalty factors on the authorities web site.
So, these are a few of our greatest new driver ideas that can assist you get used to proudly owning and driving your automotive. Simply keep in mind to loosen up and drive safely! For extra useful ideas and recommendation on all issues motoring, you possibly can take a look at our assist and recommendation hub on Halfords.com. There you’ll discover a whole bunch of helpful articles, from the best way to discover the right wiper blade dimension to ideas for driving at night time.