We answer the UK’s most common car-related questions

We answer the UK’s most common car-related questions
We answer the UK’s most common car-related questions

Once upon a time if drivers had a question about their car or driving they would need to turn to a more knowledgeable relative or friend, reference books, or rely on their mechanic to have the answer.

But now, thanks to the internet, we can find the answer to our biggest motoring puzzles with a few keystrokes or clicks. 

While you can find out everything from how to tune the carbs on your classic VW to what is the fastest accelerating car in the world, it turns out most motorists’ queries are far more straightforward than that. 

 The UK’s most common car questions

  • How do I jump start a car?
  • How do I change a tyre?
  • How do I get cheaper insurance?
  • How do I change a car battery?
  • How do I pay road tax online?

According to research by used car supermarket CarShop, the most searched for car question in Britain is how to jump start a car – something than nearly 10,000 Britons google every single month. 

Other popular questions included how to tax a car, how to get cheap insurance and how to change a tyre. 

With those queries ringing in our metaphorical ears, we’ve teamed up with CarShop to gather the answers to the UK’s most common motoring questions in one place.

How to jump start a car

  •     9,900 searches per month on average
  •     22% increase over the last 12 months

 To jump start your car, you’ll need jumper cables and another car with sufficient charge. 

  1. Ensure your handbrake is on, and put your car in neutral (or park, for automatics)
  2. Connect the red jumper cable to the positive terminals in both your car and the charged car – the positive terminal should be labelled “POS” or “+”
  3. Connect the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of the charge car, and attach the other end to an unpainted metal surface on your car to ground it. Make sure it’s nowhere near the battery.
  4. Start the charged vehicle and wait for a good ten minutes
  5. Start your vehicle

For a more detailed guide, including how to bump start a car if you don’t have jump leads click here

 How to change a tyre

change a tyre
Only try to change a tyre if it is safe to do so. (Picture: Shutterstock)

  •     6,000 searches per month on average
  •     315% increase over the last 12 months

 To change a tyre, you will need a wrench, a jack, wheel chocks,, a car pressure gauge, your car’s handbook and, if you have alloy wheels, a wheel nut key. 

  1. Apply the handbrake and put the car in neutral
  2. Position chocks on the opposite wheels to the one being changed
  3. While the car is on the ground, loosen the wheel nuts with the wrench – but don’t fully unscrew them
  4. Jack up the car (you can find the appropriate jacking points in your car handbook if you’re unsure)
  5. Completely remove the wheel nuts using the wrench
  6. Pull the wheel off
  7. Slide the new wheel on to the hub bolts, or in line with the wheel nut slots
  8. Put the wheel nuts on and tighten them by hand
  9. Lower the car until the new wheel is touching the ground, but don’t fully lower the jack
  10. Tighten the bolts fully with the wrench
  11. Fully lower your car
  12. Check the pressure of the new tyre, and inflate/deflate if necessary

How to get car insurance cheaper

car insurance
It pays to shop around each year when looking for car insurance. (Picture: Shutterstock)

  •     2,900 searches per month on average
  •     24% increase over the last 12 months
  1. Change your insurer – it’s rare that your renewal quote will be the best price, so always shop around 
  2. Use price comparison websites
  3. Always contact an insurer directly and ask for a better price
  4. Consider a black box plan 
  5. Increase your voluntary excess if you can afford it – you’ll be able to claim this back if you’re not at fault should an accident occur
  6. Park your car in a garage or on a driveway overnight if possible

Car battery how to change

  •     22,000 searches per month on average
  •     22% increase over the last 12 months

 To replace your car battery, you will need a socket set. 

  1. Undo the clamp nut and remove the cable attached to the negative terminal
  2. Repeat this on the positive terminal – always after the negative terminal
  3. Release the battery from the clamp or bracket and lift it out
  4. Replace with the new battery and reset the clamps or brackets
  5. Replace the positive cable and clamp nut first, and then repeat with the negative cable afterwards

 How to pay road tax online

car tax
You still need to apply for tax even if your car is in a zero tax band. (Picture: Shutterstock)

  •     390 searches per month on average
  •     325% increase over the last 12 months

 To tax your vehicle, you just need to visit the government website. Here, you’ll be able to tax your online – you’ll just need your registration number and your credit or debit card.

The site also allows you to check the tax status of your vehicle or make a statutory off road notice declaration.

 Remember, you still need to complete this process, even if your road tax is free – you won’t be charged, but it will validate your tax. Failing to do so could see you fined.

The Government site also offers a service to check the MOT and recall status of your vehicle. 

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