A happy, healthy car needs a bit more than a weekly visit to the petrol station and a monthly wash and polish. But armed with our tips on running a car you’ll be able to carry out basic and preventative maintenance yourself, saving you money at the garage.
Fitting accessories to the outside of your car – such as bike racks, roof racks, roof boxes and tow bars – can add useful storage to any car. If not fitted correctly they can also be a huge problem.
Fitting instructions should always be followed word for word, so make sure you understand and can follow them. If in doubt, seek professional assistance. Anything that is not secure could be a potential danger to you and to other drivers and could cause a serious accident.
Be careful not to scratch your paintwork when attaching or loading equipment.
Check and follow the guidelines for how much you can carry at one time.
Bikes must not partially or fully hide your number plate. If they do you’ll need to fit a supplementary light board.
Fastenings and locks must be 100% secure at all times and should be checked before loading, unloading and again before any long journeys.
Take extra caution when driving with racks and accessories, and be aware they alter your car’s handling, especially when driving in high winds and at high speeds.
Keep a reminder of anything that increases the height of your car in view, so you remember not to drive through or under low-level constructions.
Remove the racks whenever they’re not in use to reduce fuel consumption.