Car urban myths – solved

Growing up, we’ve all heard a good few urban myths, most likely from our parents. From the bogey man to getting curly hair from eating bread crusts, or that swallowing gum stays in our bodies forever!


But what about the car and driving urban myths we’ve been told over the years? Where have they come from and most importantly, are they true? We’re on a mission to separate the facts from fiction.

Don’t buy a diesel car

This myth has been years in the making and stems from diesel cars being thought of as too expensive to buy and are deemed as worse for the environment compared to traditional petrol engines and of course, electric/hybrid vehicles. Although they were also favoured in the past due to their superior fuel economy and low road tax. But have things changed? The car tax system has changed, meaning that diesel owners pay more in the first year and then pay a flat rate from the second year as per other drivers. So, savings now come from fuel economy only, so if you do a lot of driving on the motorway or towing, a diesel car can work out more cost saving for you.

In terms of pollution, diesel cars produce a lot more NOx (comprised of Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide) that petrol. But on the other hand, Petrol cars produce excessive amounts of Carbon Monoxide.

Will diesel cars be banned? In short, yes, but so will petrol cars. As part of the UK Air Quality plan from 26th July 2017, sale of new diesel and petrol cars will be banned from 2040.

When choosing your next car, we recommend doing as much research as possible but ultimately it comes down to your own preference and how you’ll be using the car.

Red cars cost more to insure

We’re not sure where this one came from but there is no truth behind it. In fact, most insurance companies wouldn’t don’t ask for vehicle colour.

Pour boiling water on a frozen windscreen

We know it can be tempting, on a really cold morning when you’re already running late to stick the kettle on and pour over the windscreen to defrost. But whereas this option might be the quickest, there’s a good chance you could crack your screen. The sudden hit of boiling water on a freezing screen can cause an instant reaction and leave you with a huge bill. We’d recommend keeping a stock of de-icer and a scraper in your car, it really is the safest way to clear your screen in cold weather or buying a windscreen protector to keep on overnight.

Playing the radio uses up fuel

Of course, playing the radio whilst the engine is on will use up fuel, but that’s down to the engine, not the radio. So, although many of us think that turning the radio off will save fuel, it doesn’t.

Filling the boot is bad for your car

We’ve all been guilty of packing our cars to the brim, whether it’s for a family holiday or a house move but overloading your car can put strain on your tyres plus affect the handling and braking, not to mention being extremely unsafe if your things are blocking windows. Your car will have an official weight limit in the manual so if you’re thinking of packing up, then best is to refer to the manual. Drivers can also be fined for being over the vehicle weight limit.

Don’t run your fuel tank dry

Driving on empty or running your fuel tank to the last dregs can cause damage to your car. From the risk of getting debris stuck in the pump to damaging your car’s catalytic converter which can be costly to fix or replace. It’s also dangerous as it can cause your car to stall. It’s always best to keep topped up before the light comes on!

 Unfortunately we couldn’t prove if the Loch Ness monster really exists but hopefully we’ve solved a few motoring mysteries.

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