Sent in by a visitor. Most people have probably never thought that stopping on amber traffic lights can potentially be dangerous. Or maybe most people are aware. After all, driving on the roads in general poses a threat to ones safety. Especially these days with there being more cars on the road than ever before. Add to that the increased impatience of people, where everything now has to be instant. And also distractions like Smartphones, SAT-NAVs, passengers and Android stereos, where you can now watch movies, sitcoms etc.

Not forgetting some people potentially driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol (drink / drug driving). Put all these dangers together, and the considerably high chance of being unfortunate enough of coming into contact with at least one of them at some time or another the more years you are behind the wheel, and you can see how many potential dangers there are. Combined, and going on the law of averages, it's a potent recipe for potential destruction to you and your car.

Such is the case when considering whether to stop at an amber traffic light or not. Of course, the rules are, if you can make it through safely then that's perfectly within the law. However, just because you can make it through safely, what about the driver behind you, do they also think they can make it through before the light turns red.


And what happens if this thought process is reversed. Your intention is to stop on Amber because you feel it is the right thing to do, and there isn't enough time to make it before the light turns red, but the person behind you thinks they can sit close to your bumper and make it through while the light is still on Amber. But then you stop for the amber light, when they believe you are going through. That scenario has all the ingredients for a crash. And I bet an accident under these circumstances happens almost daily in the UK.

I was the victim of such a crash. I stopped on an amber light, but the driver behind me thought I was going through and they tried get through themselves, travelling too close behind. Needless to say, their vehicle went straight into the back of mine causing quite a lot of damage to me and my car. Their vehicle was a lorry / dumper truck. My car ended up being an insurance write-off and my injuries have slowly been healing.

However, mentally I can't say that this incident hasn't made me feel a bit apprehensive when stopping on an amber light, because in the back of my mind I don't truly know if the driver behind has the intention of trying to make it through the lights. I suppose this will fade after a while, and to be honest, it is becoming less of an issue week after week.

But as of right now, I have started going through more amber traffic lights if I'm close enough to safely make it through (and looking in my rear view mirror to see what the driver behind is doing) rather than stopping at them. Safely of course. While this is perfectly legal if you're too close to stop, I used to side more with caution and stop on amber almost all of the time, so its definitely the after effects of the crash which have altered the way I react at traffic lights. Got a story you want to share? Get in touch.

Car Crash: Amber Traffic Light Dangers

Cars have made traveling much easier. We can now travel far distances in a short time thanks to these incredibly convenient inventions that so many seem to take for granted these days. While the ever-evolving enhancements being made on cars are improving the comfort and safety of our travels, cars are also becoming more expensive to keep on the road. Tax, Insurance, MOT, fuel, and their parts can be pretty expensive too.

Don’t worry too much though, this list of 5 small UK cars with cheap insurance costs (another list here) will help keep the price of motoring down a bit. Among other things, increasing your no claims bonus should help lower your insurance premiums further.

#5. Nissan Micra

The newer models of Nissan Micra have various litres of turbocharged engines available and a sharp, sporty design. No more bubbly ladybird body for the Micra. It is one of the best mini cars available at a very decent price. It has engines that sit within the 70 – 89 bhp range that have been proven to give a respectable amount mileage per gallon, especially the smaller engined examples. 104 Nm of torque is produced by the Micra with an engine displacement of 1198 cc. Go for one of the lower CC petrol or diesel models and the insurance is very cheap. Good safety features are also present in the new Micras.

#4. Hyundai i10

The Hyundai i10 is a combination of great value for money, style and comfort. This model of Hyundai is one of the smallest made by the company, but owning it could make you come to the conclusion that you do not need anything else. Just like many owner reviews have stated. The i10 is a tidy small car with a small engine, good safety score, and its reliable. It sits in 6th place out of the top 100 UK cars on reliabilityindex.com. Add to that the cheap insurance brackets throughout the range and the i10 is a very smart choice.

#3. Toyota Yaris - Best Choice*

Another small car that is affordable and reliable, Toyota Yaris gives you a quality drive. I should know, I've owned several over the years. Although they have been older models, so the "best choice" is rather bias. However, they have an excellent track record and are capable of high mileage.

Some of the newer models comes with a hybrid option. This model has an engine that is efficient enough to provide you 209 bhp. I believe it is the only mini car that really stands out in the market place with a petrol-electric engine. Although, bear in mind that a car with 209 BHP is not going to be the cheapest to insure. However, there are many new-shape Yaris' (1.0L - 1.2L) that are situated in much lower insurance groups. And the Toyota brand overall is still well up there at the top of the reliability ratings.

#2. Ford Ka+

Looking more like a lean mini Fiesta than an old shaped KA, this is a small city car that gives some good competition to all the mini cars in the market. While it is a budget car, it comes with some great features, such as auto start - stop (turns the engine off automatically when car is stationary), SYNC 3 (voice controlled technology for Smartphones, stereo, etc) and lots of cutting edge built-in safety equipment. It gives you a smooth ride and is easy to handle. Most models of KA+ are cheap to insure.

#1. Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo is the perfect example of a sophisticated small car. It is one of the classiest minicars sold in the UK. It gives strong competition to all small premium cars. Looking more like a Golf, the Polo is deceptively spacious. The 2019 model has been given the top prize by WhatCar? as the best small car of the year. Although only available with 5 doors, so not one of the smallest on this list, the potentially low insurance groups, super smart technology, and high level safety features definitely makes it worthy to be on this list.

5 Small Cars That Are Cheap To Insure

Sent in by a visitor. AXA Car insurance has some of the worst customer service I have ever had the misfortune of having to deal with. None of the departments that deal with accident claims seem to know the right department to put me through to. It appears to be so unorganised that its been close to impossible to get the answer to what should be a very simple query. The funny thing is, I'm not even insured by AXA. It's the person who caused the accident who is insured by AXA. I'm the third-party.

But still, having to go through them in order to get the matter resolved has been met with stumbling blocks all the way. They have dragged their heels at almost every step. From taking a long time to make first contact after the crash (with me having to re-contact the person at fault in order for them to ask their car insurance company (AXA) why they haven't made contact with me), to paying me the settlement for my car being a total loss. Everything has been so slow.

But the worst and most shocking thing about dealing with AXA has been trying to establish what address to write on the online form that notifies the DVLA that the car has been written off. Or in my case, sold to the AXA Insurance company. Failure to inform the DVLA can result in a one thousand pound fine. I'm not sure what the timeframe is for notification but with AXA not replying to emails, and with it being near impossible to phone and get put through to the right department that knows the answer to this question, weeks were going by and I was no nearer to finding the answer.


Every phone number that I was given by AXA employees, who said to call them if there was anything I needed help with, all said the same thing. Either "This isn't the right department", and I'll have to transfer you (which still didn't help resolve the issue because the other department didn't know the answer either), or "We can't find you on the system", even though I gave them all the reference numbers I had been given by AXA. Some of their staff were also quite rude. Their telephone manner was generally abrupt.

To get the answer to this simple question (What address to use to inform the DVLA AXA had bought my total loss car), it took several weeks. Many ignored emails later, and phone calls which resulted in me being left on hold for over 1 hour each time and being so annoyed I eventually had to hang up. One day I thought to myself; Today I need the answer and I'm not getting off the phone with AXA until I have it. For the final call I had to be transferred to at least five different departments, spanning what appeared to be by the change of accents, the whole breadth of the UK, and spent another full hour on the phone.

After each representative claimed its was not their area of expertise and palming the problem off to another department (left on hold every time), the end result was the correct address. But wow, what a nightmare company to have to deal with. Overall this was a very shocking and disappointing experience, and I'm glad that I don't use AXA for my own car insurance.

The key realisation that I came away with after this experience, is that when it comes to car insurance companies, if you have trouble with your own company and feel like they are not providing a very good service, you can always change and go with someone else. But when its the car insurance of the other party, in my case the person responsible for the crash, and you have to go through them to resolve the matter, you are basically forced to have to deal with them no matter how terrible they turn out to be. If you want to share your experience of dealing with a car insurance company, good or bad. Let us know.

AXA Car Insurance Bad Customer Service

The fastest official lap recorded at Nürburgring Nordschleife is now held by the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, which was achieved in just under 6 minutes and 45 seconds (6:44:97). The expert driver who set the new record was Marco Mapelli, and you can watch the actual lap from the Aventador SVJ's passenger seat in the video below.

The previous record was held by the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. If you go and have read on some of the Porsche and Lambo forums, and also browse the comment sections on related YouTube videos (including the one below), you'll quickly see that there is somewhat of a bad taste in the mouths of some, but not all, Porsche fans with the record being broken.

It's nothing too serious, just friendly banter really between petrol heads. But its clear that competition between the two sides is alive and well. And that's a good thing. At the end of the day, regardless of what make of car, records are made to be broken. No doubt there will be a new car coming along shortly, possibly a Porsche or a Ferrari, that will break the new winning time and be the new king of the ring for however long, before eventually being beaten itself.

The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ is an absolute powerhouse of a supercar. The 6.5 Litre V12 engine produces an eye popping 759BHP, and has a 0-60 time of around 2.8 seconds. It's an all-wheel-drive super car with a top speed of 218 MPH. How much does it cost to buy? It'll set you back around half a Million Dollars. Convert that into Pounds (GBP), which is around £380,000, and it doesn't sound like that bad of a deal for such an exciting car. For those who can afford to spend such an amount on a car, it must be tempting. I'll have to keep daydreaming. That's the price of two nice houses in my neck of the woods.

The Fastest Lap Record At Nürburgring

If it wasn't bad enough already that around 1,000 workers were relived of their jobs at Jaguar Land Rover within past year, now the situation gets even worse with the announcement that workers at the Castle Bromwich plant will now be put on a 3 days work per week schedule on the run up to Christmas. After Christmas, who knows what may be suggested. But the word is that the cutback in hours will not be ongoing, and should be restored once into 2019. However, nothing is 100% certain in these crazy times.

The UK car icon has stated that with the decline in orders for diesel models, coupled with the Brexit uncertainty that the UK is going through at the moment, has forced them to re-evaluate what the future holds, and take the appropriate action, including previous job cuts for agency staff (already taken place) and hour reductions for staff  (coming into force) to ensure everything remains balanced.

If there is a no deal Brexit its possible that JLR could much more suffer serious damage, with some people in the Auto industry and government claiming it could actually force the company to have to stop production all together. Not only would that be devastating for the UK economy and Automotive industry overall, but the amount of JLR workers who would end up unemployed and having to look for a new job is very concerning.

One thing Jaguar does have in its favour, is innovation and the ability to adapt. They haven't been in business for so long (around 80 years) just out of chance. They've lasted this long and not long ago were actually thriving. Rolling with the times, they've also invested heavily into electric car technology. But due to these recent hard times, investment budgets into this area will no doubt be slashed. Let's hope they can find their way through.

Worrying Times For Jaguar Land Rover

Here we have a real beast of a Coupe, a real stunner. Reminds me a bit of an Aston Martin from the back. The rear wheel drive 2018 Lexus LC 500 auto is packing a 5 litre V8 engine that produces an impressive 471 BHP. It can reach 60 MPH in 4.4 seconds, with a top speed of 160+ MPH. Rockets like this are definitely not for the faint hearted.

Apparently, the inside of the car, interior, dashboard etc is amazing. The Mark Levinson sound system that's in this car is widely praised as being outstanding. The sound system has a total of 12 speakers. And for a sports Coupe that can seat 4 people, it's surprisingly comfortable, or so they tell me anyway.

2018 Lexus LC 500 Coupe

The above image: Lexus LC 500 side view, taken by Car Auto can be reused under the CC Attribution 4.0 International License. Please visit this page to read about how to give appropriate credit to the author when reusing.

I wasn't lucky enough to sit inside, or even worse, take it out for a test drive. But I did manage to take some quick pictures. Apologies for the sun glare, it was a very sunny day. What's the price? Well, if you take a browse on Autotrader UK, You'll see they are priced up from between £65,000 - £80,000 depending on spec + extras and year (2017 or 2018). Of course, finance packages are available. I did hear from a few people in the know that there was a slight niggle with the LC 500, and that is with brake squeal.



As annoying, and somewhat embarrassing as that type of issue can be, it's a much better problem to have than some of the other costly issues I can think of. Especially with a high-end sports car like this. However, with such an expensive car, it shouldn't really be happening at all, and Lexus should probably offer a free or cheap fix for owners who are currently experiencing the brake squealing.

Also worth noting, however I'm not exactly sure how widespread this problem is, or how many vehicles are potentially affected, is some talk about a recall on the fuel injection system. But other than that, what an amazing car. And rest assured, if you are thinking of buying one, it does come with a standard 4 year warranty (or 50,000 miles).

2018 Lexus LC 500 Coupe Spec + Pictures

I know it's a bit late, but a new 2018 / 2019 Bentley like this is always worth a post. Mat Watson from Carwow.com gets to review the new GT. Yes, that includes taking it out for a quick test drive. The new Continental GT 4 seater Coupe is, in my opinion, one of the best looking Bentley's ever produced.

It is, however, ever so slightly let down by the way the back has been designed. The small oval rear lights and the way it narrows down makes the rear of the car not as "Beastly" as what the rest of the car is. I'm just being picky, It's still a real beauty, a real statement of a car. What a monster.

The exterior is something special, but inside is almost just as good. As you would expect from Bentley, the quality of the interior, including all those small but noticeable details and beautiful finishing touches that give it the wow factor are second to none. Except to Rolls Royce of course.

The dials in the new Bentley Continental GT Coupe, although they look analogue, they are actually digital. The doors can automatically close on their own if they are left ajar. The new Continental GT Coupe weights over 2 Tons, but it can still go from 0 - 60 MPH in 3.7 seconds. Mat apparently did it faster @ 0 - 60 in 3.6 seconds.

The 6 litre W12 Twin Turbo engine @ 635 BHP is extremely powerful, but smooth and super refined. Being so powerful, and petrol powered, as you can imagine, the cost to run this thing won't be cheap. But if you've got the £160,000 to spend to buy the car, it's pretty obvious you're not going to be counting the pennies to scrape the cost of a full tank of petrol together.

Mat Wilson provides a good, honest review of this car in the video. I liked the 5 not so good points and 5 features that really stand out about the car. This video review keeps it real. Yes, it is a super car, and it's not perfect, but its not far off the mark. Stunning vehicle.

Bentley Continental GT Twin Turbo

That is exactly what one male did. And guess what, he managed to save well over £500 on his car insurance. The man, from Canada, got a quote for a new car that was through the roof. Not happy, he asked how much the insurance would be if he was a woman, and was surprised to discover that it was much cheaper than he had been quoted for being a male.

But it should be noted that the man's driving record wasn't 100% clean. He did have a few blemishes in the form of a small collision and a few speeding fines. So these past issues may have been part of the reason why his insurance was quoted so highly. But that doesn't change the Canadian car insurance price increase for younger males.

You see, in Canada, if you are a man under the age of 25, the laws are that car insurance premiums are more expensive because a greater number of collisions take place among people who are of that age group. This is fair enough. Even in the UK, younger drivers are responsible for a big majority of accidents that could have been avoided.

But should there be a difference whether a person is male or female to determine how much they should pay? Well, if it is Canadian males that cause most of the crashes in this age group, then perhaps it should be a bit more expensive. However, that does tarnish all the good male drivers who are under 25 years old that have never been in an accident and are careful drivers. So really the premium should be worked out on an individual basis.

And to some extent, although still extortionate and suspiciously (and secretly) discriminatory (just take a look at some of the story's out there of - example: "James" changing his name to "Mohammed" and getting £1,000 put on his premium), in the UK it generally is worked out on a person to person basis. But Canada do things a little different. It's going to cost "David" more money, so he opted to legally change over to being female.

Gender Change - Time for the Chop then?

Well, thankfully no, he didn't have to take things that far. There's a bit of a glitch in the Matrix here. You see, all this man (David) had to do was change over to being a woman on paper. He did not have to have to go under the knife. A quick visit to the doctor and a chat about he now wants to be a female, and that was the starting process to getting himself legally "changed" over to becoming a woman. On paper at least.

After completing the required paperwork he now has a new Birth Certificate and driving license of "himself" as a "Woman". I'm not sure what name he chose, but I doubt he is still called David. The extreme lengths some people will go to save some money!

David was 24 years old at the time. Should he have just waited until he reached 26, and in the meantime made do with a smaller engined car that was cheaper to insure, or did he make the right choice and get one over on the greedy car insurance industry. I supposed he can always change his mind and become a male on paper again once he reaches over the age of 25. Got an opinion on this story. Comment below.

Gender Change To Save On Car Insurance

How to open the boot on a Hyundai Getz. This may seem like a no-brainer to most people, but the amount of people who end up on this website from typing that into Google is fairly high. Like all the easy "How To" things to do with cars, they seem easy when you know how its done. But if you don't know they can be a real pain. Especially when you're in the moment, such as at the petrol station, running low on petrol and can't find out how to open the petrol cap. Anyway, today I wanted to help the people who have ended up on this website looking for the answer for how to open the Hyundai Getz Boot.


If you are already inside the car and only want access to the boot, all you have to do is take the seats down, which is very easy to do on a Getz. If you're outside the car and confused with how to access the boot, read the following instructions and see the pictures below. Click to enlarge if you need a closer look.

Needless to say, go to the back of the car. At the back, the Hyundai Badge / Logo is located on a small handle / panel. See the image below where it is highlighted in red.

How to open the boot - Getz

Directly underneath this panel (in the middle) there is an opening. This is where the handle / release mechanism is located. Put your hand underneath the handle / lip and press in with your fingers. This will then release the lock and open the boot. See the image below for the exact location of the handle.


Press the handle in to open the boot. When closing the boot you don't have to use this lever at all. The boot can just be closed like any other car, with a good slam. It's only needed when opening the boot. Hope this helped you out.

How To Open The Boot - Hyundai Getz

Clarke 4000 Jump Start Review. What do you need, more portability or more power. Generally speaking, the more powerful a jump starter is, the bigger it is. So in that regard, the Clarke 4000 Heavy-Duty Jump Start is packing much more power than the hundreds of hand-held jump starters that are out there. The Clarke 4000 is still portable, but weighing in at around 17KG, it's certainly not something that can compete with' the mini handhelds when it comes to easy concealment.

But that's the compromise you have to make to ensure maximum starting power. Sure, on paper some of the little guys claim to have a seriously high specification, and some are impressive. But the truth is, in reality most are lacking the sheer power needed to start the really big petrol and diesel engines.

The Clarke 4000 Jump Start boasts a maximum turn-over capability of being able to safely start up to a 6 litre petrol and 4 litre diesel. Because its known for high power, there is a little bit of confusion with potential buyers as to whether its compatible and safe to use on smaller engines. The answer is yes, it can safely be used to start engines of all sizes lower than the stated maximums.

Anything over the maximum engine sizes and it will more than likely fail to start the car. And usually with jump starters, its wise to shave a litre off each end of what the manufacturer claims it will start. But, in saying that, there are quite a few people who have reported using the Clarke 4000 on petrol engines well within the 4.5 litre to 5.5 litre range with close to a 100% success rate. That also goes for diesel engines within the 2.8L - 3.5L range, too.

Whilst not without some unhappy customers (show me a product that doesn't have some), take a thorough look at the customer reviews for the 4000 and you will see that the cordless Clarke 4000 has managed to consistently start some seriously big engines. From the big diesel Range Rovers and vans, to the powerful petrol engine Audi's, BMW's, TVR's and Jaguars (XF, XK8 etc).


These reviews are frequent online wherever you look. One buyer even uses this model for jump starting a variety of industrial farming vehicles. Which Caravan Magazine rated this model as an excellent buy, or "best buy" in their own words. So it's definitely one of the top products in its category and price range.

Build quality is good for the price. It's a tough, robust item that will last many years if treated with respect. Although the front stickers (main branding illustration and warning sign at the top) are known to peel off. Not really a big deal though, as long as the item itself doesn't fall apart, right? This unit is all about power. If you've had your fair share of smaller portable jump starters in the past and they have struggled to start your car because of its big engine size, this is the item you need to invest in.

Clarke 4000 Heavy Duty Jump Start Specification

  • 1500Amp peak power output
  • Max starting power - 6 Litre Petrol / 4 Litre Diesel
  • Instant battery energy level test button (with gauge / needle indicator)
  • Charging indicator lights (Red: Charging - Green: Fully charged)
  • Audible incorrect polarity (terminals connected the wrong way round)
  • Low battery alarm
  • Battery Isolator switch
  • 1 meter long lead length
  • Front facing torch-light
  • Chargeable via mains or car auxiliary socket (both adaptors included)
  • 1 year warranty

The one potential weak point on all car battery jump starters / boosters, whether big heavy-duty models like this one or cheaper priced models for starting smaller engines, is the shelf life of their internal battery. This is the backbone of all portable jump starters, so its essential that a good quality battery is used in order to get a device that can potentially help you out for a good few years.

If a low quality battery is used, the ability to retain a charge over a long period of time is significantly diminished. This also applies to how many times the battery can be recharged before reaching the end of its life. With most portable jump starters once the internal battery pack doesn't charge anymore, or can't hold a charge for very long, it's the end of the line, and a new device will need to purchased. This is because for most of these products they come with what they come with, and that's one internal battery that's not easily replaceable.

In that regard, these products are much like Tablets and Smartphones, where if you want to replace the internal battery, you will need to either source the battery and do the job yourself, or take it to a professional, which, with the price of the new battery added to the labour for fitting, will most probably cost you more money than if you were to just buy a newer model.

Clarke Replacement Power Pack

Thankfully, the Clarke 4000 does not fall into this category. Once you get to the point where the internal battery is starting to get weaker you can just buy a replacement. Fitting is fairly straight forward. But be warned, they are not cheap. However, for what they cost, and considering the amount of power you get from the Clarke 4000, the price comparison to other models would be a good quality, but much smaller in size and power 600A - 800A (15000mAh - 18000mAh) unit.

So really, it makes sense to buy the replacement battery, that is, if you have been happy with the Clarke 4000 and have had considerable usage from it before needing to replace the battery.

I mention this because out of the huge amount of extremely happy users of this item, unfortunately there has been a few reported cases of this unit failing to charge after a short period of ownership. In many cases this is most probably due to a faulty charger, battery cell damage from a knock / fall, or the internal battery being low or empty of any power and not being charged for a long time.

This can lead to a strange case of permanent cell damage from the long period of dormancy that can see the unit totally refuse to accept a charge. To prevent the issue of irreversible dormancy make sure you give the unit a charge every few months.

Please note: These issues are rare, and you most probably won't encounter any of these problems. But if you do this item is covered by a 12 month warranty, so you can either send it back to be repaired, or potentially be given a refund. All things considered, this is an excellent product if sheer power is one of your main requirements.

Clarke 4000 Auto Jump Start Review

Whether you're getting a bit too old for driving around with a boot that's basically a speaker box, or your just looking for a mini upgrade to your additional audio equipment, the small but fairly mighty Pioneer TS-WX120A Underseat Subwoofer makes an excellent little space-saving companion for enhancing your cars sound range and quality. It's fairly powerful for its size @ 150 Watts, very inconspicuous, and weighs under 4KG. It's compatible with many standard, and after-market car stereos.


The Pioneer TS-WX120A has a built-in MOSFET amplifier and comes with a wired remote control for easily adjusting the bass and frequency to your preference. In appearance, the TS-WX120A looks very similar to the many portable Bluetooth speakers that everyone seems to be going crazy for. The differences are that the WX120A is specifically made for a car.

There's always a work around if you wanted to use it for another purpose, such as in the home. But there are so many other bass units out there for sale that are purposely made for larger spaces, that it makes much more sense to go for something else that has been specifically made for home use.

Another difference between this and the portable Bluetooth devices is that this is a wired unit (not controlled via Bluetooth), and while small for a Subwoofer, it is bigger than most of the wireless examples for home / personal use. The dimensions of the Pioneer TS-WX120A unit are 28cm (length) x 7cm (depth) x 20cm (width). The aluminium coned internal speaker size is approximately 8" x 5". The small size makes it able to fit nicely under, or just behind the passenger seat of many different makes and models of vehicle, from small car to SUV.

I say just behind the seat because some users want to be more courteous to their passengers, as there is some feedback from buyers that when the bass is pumping, the vibrations through the car seat can be a bit of an annoyance for some passengers. You could also put this unit in the boot of the car, but it's not really packing enough power to be nearly as effective in the boot as it would be when located under the passenger seat, or somewhere else within the seating area of the car.

It's not a full-blown subwoofer, but a great little hideaway unit for adding extra depth and hitting some of the lower, and higher bass tones that many smaller speakers, especially when it comes to standard door speakers, can't really manage to reach. If you have no option but to put this the boot of your car, this would obviously lessen the effect and intensity of the Subs bass in the car. And for the money this costs, while not really expensive for what you get, you can pick up something much more powerful and substantial for the boot.

Even an old second-hand bass box would do the job, and will be much cheaper in price. But if you're past the stage of bass bins in the boot, have a newer car that already has a decent standard set-up, or just don't have the space anymore, the Pioneer TS-WX120A is an excellent mini woofer that, when placed somewhere in the main area of the car, definitely has enough power to provide a noticeable increase in both bass and overall sound depth. The sound is nicely balanced, not ridiculously overpowering.

Pioneer TS-WX120A Underseat Subwoofer

What's the cheapest MP3 car stereo you can buy brand new in the UK that has Bluetooth, a USB port, Aux connection, and a TF memory card slot. After some research, it has to be the Kidcia SU-1089 Single-Din. These three features alone make this car radio a very good deal for the price. Bluetooth is the number one feature that most people now look for in a head unit.

Most just want to sync the stereo to their Smartphone so they can play the music stored on their phone through the car stereo. For this, the Kidcia SU-1089 Single-Din fits the bill. Bluetooth can also be used to pair the two devices together in order to make / receive phone calls in hands free mode. This radio has a built-in microphone. Add the memory card slot and a front facing USB port into the mix, and wow, what a deal.

Do you get what you pay for? Not all the time. But a lot of the time, yes. And if we go on that terminology, this universal stereo is so cheap to buy that you wouldn't expect it to last the day. But considering the price, it's actually surprisingly good. And the reviews are tremendously positive. This is definitely down to price versus expectation. And with the Kidcia SU-1089, it seems to far exceed most people's expectations.

However, a product that's so cheap does have to cut corners somewhere. Of course they do, or else the companies making them would be out-of-pocket. This one is no exception. Make no mistake, you're not going to get a top-end Pioneer DEH-X8700DAB or  Clarion NZ502E at this price.

This is a basic, easy to use budget stereo for those who are looking for the cheapest after-market audio player as a low-cost upgrade that can effortlessly perform some of the tasks the more expensive ones can. It's also a great, cost-effective option for people who have just bought a used car that came with an empty hole where the radio used to be.

Let's also not forget that used car stereos with removable fascia's are available for cheap these days. From many of the top brands too, like Pioneer, Sony, Clarion and Kenwood. Just take a look on eBay and you'll see that some are surprisingly cheap. One of my old stereos, the Xplod Sony CDX-GT24, which is MP3 / WMA compatible, and has a Aux / 3.5mm headphone jack, can be found for sale second-hand on eBay in really good condition for around £20.

It was / is a great stereo, but a little outdated now if we compare its features to this model. So, if you want a radio from a well recognised brand for a similar price, in most cases you will be getting one that does not have features / connection options that the Kidcia SU-1089 has.

But, if you would prefer to go for an older used model by a more well-known brand, they all have one thing that the Kidcia SU-1089 does not have. And that's a CD player / slot. This Kidcia model does not have a CD player. Furthermore, while this model looks like a pop-off (the face is removable) it is not. The face is not removable. It is fixed.

These are the only real down points for this unit. The fact that it doesn't have a CD player won't be a big deal for a lot of people, as they don't use them much anyway. With advancements in technology / car audio, some now consider them as almost obsolete.

The other area of more concern is the issue of the non-removable fascia. To a car radio thief who doesn't know the difference between a cheap stereo or a really expensive one, or is desperate enough for money, it may be worth the risk for them to smash your car window and take the stereo, beings as you left the stereo nice and complete with the face still on. Or so the thief thinks. So, there is a little bit of a security issue with this unit.

You could always leave the stereo unfitted and take the whole thing out each night. But that is quite inconvenient and looks untidy. You have to decide whether or not it is worth the risk. Live in a high crime area? Got a good car alarm? Is your car garaged overnight.. The decision is yours.

A very small number of people have reported poor sound quality when using hands free call mode. But how many other stereos, most of which are from the top brands, have had this issue also. There are many. And most have a lot more complaints regarding this issue than the Kidcia SU-1089 Single-Din has.

And let's not forget, they cost literally 10 - 15 times more than what this one costs to buy. So, a few reports of poor quality, crackly sound from an obviously faulty product out of a vast amount of positive reviews is hardly anything to be concerned about. Overall, price vs features, what a superb little bargain for those on a tight budget.

MP3 Car Stereo With Bluetooth Aux + USB

These days, an electric car pump that is small, portable and easy to use, is an essential item to have stashed away in the boot. If its got a read-out screen, like this digital QZT electric car tyre pump and many others have, that's even better. Of course, there's always the spare tyre should you get a flat while on the road. But how many cars have you had which have one or two tyres that just seem to lose air over the course of a week that you intend on getting sorted out but never actually get round to doing. I've had this more than a few times, on many different cars.

Faulty valve, rim leak, a very slow puncture, or just for topping up. Whatever the reason may be, it's always smart to have a reliable electric car pump at your disposal that can quickly give you enough air to ensure you're up and running at the correct pressure to safely continue on your journey.

If problems persist you should always get it sorted out rather than keep pumping it up. However, for a quick fix, an electric pump fits the bill very well. I would also always recommend a manual foot pump also, just in case of car battery drain / failure. Foot pumps are very cheap, so its better to be fully prepared and buy one than not bother and potentially get caught out.

When it comes to 12V tyre pumps, there are lots of different, very well-known brands to choose from. Ring, RAC, AA, Michelin etc. And they are all very good products. However, none of them have a higher customer review score than this best-selling digital QZT inflator. With that type of competition to contend with, it's quite surprising that the China based brand QZT comes out on top. Or at least it did for a year or so.

QZT Electric Pump Features

  • Very easy to operate + Accurate
  • Clear blue backlit digital display
  • Sturdy clickable on/off button
  • Powered by 12V auxiliary (Cigarette lighter)
  • 27 Litres per minute inflate speed (approximate)
  • Up to 150 PSI / 10.4 Bar (approximate)
  • Built in LED torch-light
  • Pressure preference options (show as kPa, PSI, BAR, etc)
  • Click down attaching to tyre valve (not screw on)
  • Additional 3 different valve attachments (for footballs, bicycle wheels, mattresses etc)
  • Slightly longer than average 3 meter extension cord
  • Spare fuse included
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Weighs under 1KG (Still fairly heavy)

This QZT uses the very convenient auto stop feature. Set it to the pressure level you want, and when reached, it will stop inflating. This also prevents the user having to be crouched down next to the wheel in order to monitor the tyres pressure as it increases. It's much safer too when using it on roads where traffic is flowing.

Always make sure your engine is running when using an electric tyre inflator for anything longer than 30 seconds. Like car stereos that are wired to powerful amplifiers, electric pumps can be quite demanding on battery power, and you don't want to end up with a nice fully inflated set of tyres and then have a dead battery!

Maximum operating time for this unit is eight minutes. That doesn't mean it can't handle longer, just that it will need a rest when operating for anything longer than eight minutes. To be safe, I wouldn't let it operate continuously for anything over 5 minutes before stopping it for a while.

A product improvement suggestion for all brands. While most portable / handheld electronic tyre inflators in this price range can also be used to pump up other things like footballs, inflatable mattresses and push bike wheels, they all seem to suffer from the same problem. Or should I say, the same design hindrance.

They only have a 12V connection socket. But most of the other things air compressors can be used to pump up, especially air beds, are more conveniently inflated in the comfort of your own home. I mean, what if you don't have a drive way and park down the street but want to pump up your inflatable mattress.. I had this exact problem not too long ago.

Needless to say, it would be the icing on the cake if the designers could make an inflator within, or close to this price range that had both a 12V and mains connection. You can always buy a 12V to mains adaptor, but good quality examples aren't exactly cheap. I would hope to see some inflators hitting the shelves with both options incorporated at some point in the near future.

There's always the super portable, cordless Air Hawk PRO. But that's considerably more expensive, and nowhere near as highly rated as this model. However, overall, the QZT is an excellent product for the price. It's not the number one best seller on Amazon for nothing.

QZT Electric Car Tyre Pump

Kids Spiderman Car Seat with Cup Holder Review. Being a parent truly changes your life. While there might have once been a time when you didn’t think twice about the speed you were driving as long as it was under or on the limit, now that your child is with you, you will no doubt be more mindful to ensure that the journey goes by as smoothly and as safely as possible.

One way to increase your child’s safety in a car is through a car seat. Now, the chances are that you are already equipped with one if you have a kid. Also, there is an equal probability that such a car seat has a generic and boring design. Your child deserves some fun, even when on the road. One way to make them happy is by providing them with the Marvel Embrace Spiderman Car Seat. After all, there is little that can go wrong when you have Spiderman with you.


One thing buyers despise about most car seats is the fact that children tend to outgrow them quite quickly. Hence, there is a different car seat for an infant, a toddler, and an older kid. What does this signify? Well, it means you need to say hello to various shop visits over the course of a few years.

This car seat, however, can be used in a variety of ways. You can use it as an infant car seat for your nine-month-old baby as well as a high back booster for your twelve-year-old. This multi-usability gives rise to massive convenience for parents of one or more children. As soon as one child outgrows having to use a booster seat it can be passed down to the next little one in line, so it makes a great money saver too.

Safety First

No kids car seat is worth the investment regardless of how cool it looks if it is not able to protect your child from harm. Customers found the Spiderman Car Seat with Cup Holders to perform this function adequately. The seat is equipped with thermoplastic which is known to be resistant to high impact and provides side-impact protection, rendering the material excellent for when (hopefully never) disaster strikes. Moreover, the five-point harness system ensures that your little one is secured firmly in their place.

Enhanced Comfort

The Spiderman Car Seat with Cup Holder also manages to provide children with the comfort they deserve. This is made possible by the generous amount of materials it is made with. That includes side-impact protection, along with the adjustable headrest and seats which are accompanied by extra padding to make the ride as comfortable as possible.

The headrest can be adjusted with immense ease by pushing a mere button which offers you the choice to choose between three positions. This feature plays a crucial role in guaranteeing that your child remains content throughout the journey, and is also one the features at the top of parents lists when looking for a good, multi-use car seat.

Flexible Harness System

The manufacturers of this car seat have gone the extra mile to ensure that the product is equipped to deal with a growing child. This is provided by the harness system which features energy-absorbing technology as well as three harness slots for comfortable strapping. Additionally, the material of the strap is made to be soft so that it does not bother the child. Reviewers found such a feature to be an excellent addition because not only did it ensure that the seat was as safe for a nine-month-old as it was for a ten-year-old, but it mostly provided a high level of comfort for all age groups.

Downsides of the Spiderman Car Seat

This super hero car seat manages to be safe and comfortable, but that does not mean that it excels at everything. As with all products, it's rare to find one that pleases 100% of the people all of the time. As a result, there are a few flaws with this product that are worth mentioning.

Firstly, while the car seat claimed to be easy to transfer between cars, this is not what some customers experienced. It is true that the product is lightweight, but the fact that the product is difficult to install and remove from the car undermines the convenience and ease with which the car seat can be transferred from one vehicle to another.

Hence, if you don’t mind having a Spiderman car seat installed at all times, you are good to go. For others, get ready to spend considerable time in installing and removing the product. Also, while the material of the seatbelt is comfortable and well-padded, this does not stop it from twisting occasionally. This flaw slightly undermines the comfort of the seatbelt and the functions that it is supposed to perform. This is more of a slight annoyance than a serious issue, and definitely not a deal-breaker.


It is true that this car seat exhibits a few disadvantages, but when it comes to the safety of your child, the product is safe and passed all official regulatory tests (ECE R44/04) to be legally sold in the UK. The fact that Spiderman is bound to make your child happy is yet another bonus, and huge selling point of this car seat. Hence, if you feel like you can deal with the minor flaws of the product mentioned above to provide your little one with a fun car seat, the Marvel Spiderman 1,2,3 is certainly a good choice. Makes a great gift for those who have recently had a new addition to the family.

Update: There is another model of this booster seat which has been released more recently. It's made by the same company, KidsEmbrace, but the design is different. It features a printed Spiderman design in the middle of the backrest and the Spiderman logo / writing on the headrest. While it does retail at a much cheaper price than the model reviewed here, the overall customer review score is nowhere near as good.

Kids Spiderman Car Seat Review

The King of the Single Dins? Despite the novelty of driving inevitably wearing off the longer a drive continues for, car journeys can still be quite fun when you are equipped with an excellent mile munching helper like the Clarion NZ502E. Music, video for when you take a driving break, and a built-in navigation stereo system makes the NZ502E a true stand alone head unit capable of close to all the requirements you may need when behind the wheel.

While some might say that Smartphones have rendered the need for such built-in systems unnecessary, the fact remains that Smartphones tend to be more of a cause of distraction than an aid.

After all, you are required to manually operate them, which can distract you from the road ahead. While you can - "set and forget" in regards to using it as a SAT-NAV. As in, program the route and not touch the phone again, it's much more convenient to have an all-in-one control unit that has a much bigger screen, is wired to the cars speaker system and is always within easy reach.

Car audio head units are ten-a-penny these days. There are so many out there to choose from. No matter if you're after an after-market Single Din or Double Din, and whether you have £50 or £500 to spend. There is a stereo, or should I say, complete entertainment unit to match your needs and budget. Needless to say, the Clarion NZ502E is right at the top end where price is concerned.

Amidst an array of choices, this Clarion 7" Flip Out manages to stand apart thanks to some of its excellent features. If I were to go through everything this model can do, I would be here for a week typing. So this "review", or general chat really, will cover some of its most stand-out features.

For those who don't want to read the whole review, and just want a brief low-down of what this model has to offer. Quick to power up and pleasing on the eye, It has a built-in Satellite Navigation system (SIRF teleatlas), Bluetooth, DVD / CD player, tuner, 7 Inch WVGA flip out screen, built-in microphone, 4 x 50 Watt output, MP3, MP4 and WMA compatible, DVB-T ready, Aux connection, USB connection, and a remote control. It is reverse camera compatible (Camera not included).

Questions widely asked about this model:

Does the screen come off so I can take it with me when I leave the car?

No, it is fixed. But with the press of a button the screen actually folds away back into the stereo itself, so it isn't constantly on show.

Do I always have to have the screen out to use the stereo?

No, this unit also works with the seven Inch screen concealed.

Although it doesn't look like it from first glance, the NZ502E is a 1-Din. Being a standard size after-market Single Din means that the chances of this head unit fitting into the stereo slot of most vehicles, regardless of make, is quite high. in some cases an adjustment or extra interface may be required. The good news for all those who want this stereo in a Double Din, is that there is a version out there for sale. It is a slightly older model which is called the NX501E. This earlier model has a slightly smaller screen, but is still a great after-market head unit.

High Quality 7" WVGA Touchscreen Monitor

The Clarion NZ502E seven-inch head unit is equipped with a 7 Inch touchscreen flip out monitor that has a high-resolution WVGA (Wide Video Graphics Array) display. Which is kind of like the High Definition (HD quality) for the VGA family. The screen manages to be impressively responsive to the slightest touch, which makes operating the unit while driving a piece of cake.

The fact that it does not include any knob-like buttons also gives the head unit, and thereby the cockpit of the vehicle, a modern vibe. In a world where aesthetics are almost as important as functionality, a lot of people will like the futuristic look this unit gives off.

Built-In Navigation System

Gone are the days when we relied on our memory and actual maps to navigate across roads. While there is something exciting (and fuel draining) about going on an adventure where you are not sure where you are headed, in our daily lives, most of us now rely on a sound GPS system to help guide our path. As mentioned, this head unit is accompanied by an excellent built-in navigation system which is easy to get your head around.

Instead of having a complicated system to set up, like some do, all you need to do is enter your destination and you will be provided with voice prompts telling you in advance every turn you need to take. The system is also preloaded with various points of interest (12 million of them to be exact) so that you don’t need to wait around for the system to locate your destination and provide its services.

Parrot Bluetooth

One of the features liked best about the Clarion NZ502E was the inclusion of a Parrot Bluetooth, which meant that the system could provide its users with super easy to use hands-free phone usage. The built-in microphone and the ability of the system to access your phonebook by pairing with your smartphone mean that you can attend to important calls without being distracted from the road.

Moreover, the Bluetooth feature allows you to play the music stored on your phone without having to connect it to an aux cord. However, for those of you who wish to control the head unit with your iPhone, the product comes with a rear USB connection for this purpose. The Clarion's Bluetooth offered within the NZ502E is compatible with a variety of devices, including Acer, Apple, Blackberry, Lenovo, LG, Nokia, and HTC.

Things that could be improved

While this is now an older model, there's no doubt about it, even in 2019 / 2020, this is still a superb after-market Single Din stereo system. But just because it has a lot going for it, that does not mean it doesn't have a few flaws. Or, things that would have made it a bit more user-friendly overall. There are so many features and options incorporated into this head unit that it does have a learning curve that may frustrate some users. It will be worth taking the time to get to grips with though.

The USB connection is located at the back of the unit. However, this connection is actually joined to an extension lead, which has a decent enough length to reach where you need it to. So it's not as if you have to take the stereo out to use the USB. But a front USB would be more convenient.

Furthermore, the head unit is quite pricey, which makes the lack of certain features, like the inability to personalize the interface or a lack of rotary volume button noticeable drawbacks. After all, you do expect such features when you are paying a premium price.

All in all, while the product does have a few things that it could be improved on, the fact remains that it succeeds in providing versatility and excellent performance. Whether it be audio streaming or multi-language support, the sheer number of useful functions that the head unit provides its users, makes it a worthy investment. Want the next model up? Take a look for the NZ503. Great stereo if you can find one for sale.

Clarion NZ502E 1-Din Stereo Review

Welcome to the future of tyre inflators. Compressors that now look exactly like cordless drills. Well, at least the Air Hawk PRO and a few others do. One of the main complaints in regards to the annoying aspects of electric car tyre pumps is the Auxiliary cord. Most say they are made too short to be used with comfort, as most of them require the user to feed the entire unit through the car if pumping up wheels on opposite ends on opposite sides. Cordless certainly eliminates that headache instantly.

No restricting wires means true freedom and versatility. And that brings me to the second reason why cordless is so beneficial for inflators like this. Almost all of them come with several extra attachments that can be used to pump up other items, like footballs, air beds, beach balls, bicycles, etc. But, because most only have an Auxiliary connection, unless you buy a converter, anything that needs inflating has to be taken to the car.

That's very inconvenient, and quite annoying if you need to blow up something like an air mattress if you live in a flat, or park in a communal car park. With Cordless, you can take full advantage and really use this item the way it was intended, and how it has been marketed. With no restrictions. The Air Hawk PRO comes close to that, but isn't without areas that could do with improving.

Air Hawk PRO Features

  • Super portable
  • Powered by battery or 12V Auxiliary socket
  • Blue digital screen
  • Auto pump (Will stop when desired pressure is reached)
  • Integrated LED torch-light
  • 3 additional attachments
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Mains charger
  • Car charger
  • Includes storage case

One area of concern is that some buyers claim that the rechargeable battery doesn't last as long as they would have liked, and will, at a stretch, fill one-to-two tyres from flat per charge (highly contested). To be honest, if that is accurate, it's not too bad considering it is being run by a battery pack.
However, the Air Hawk PRO does come with an Auxiliary adapter, so it can also be used as a wired compressor should the need arise. Another issue appears to be how powerful it is. The amount of air it puts out has some buyers recommending only using it to top up car tyres that are already blown up, and not to inflate from flat.

Air Hawk PRO Review Conclusion

It's a great idea, and I think this type of design is the future. But from reading through the many reviews on this particular model, while there's a fairly even mix of good and bad, I see this one as more like a fully working prototype for future models to learn from. Saying that, there are others which are very similar to the Air Hawk PRO. Two wireless examples that stand out are the GHB (AP-101-C3) and the Ideaworks JB7607.

The Air Hawk PRO needs to be more powerful, sturdier built, with a longer lasting battery and a more lengthy air hose tube connection. In terms of the length of the air tube, all models suffer from the same problem of it being on the short side. A good effort though. Adequate for topping up car tyres, and great for other items that don't require a large amount of air pressure to blow up, like balls, air beds and bike wheels.

Cordless Portable Handheld Inflator

Car stereos don't just play music anymore, they are now Android based computer systems. With the Pumpkin CN01-03302B-02A (pictured) you get all the latest car technology. GPS, OBD2 compatibility, Bluetooth, DVD, WiFi, Parking sensor, HD video recording, and so much more. The Pumpkin 7.1 Android Nougat Double Din car stereo is basically an enhanced tablet that just happens to, most of the time fit perfectly into a 2-Din head unit space.
This model is compatible with the following VAG car brands that are fitted with double din.  Those are, newer models of Volkswagon, SEAT and Skoda. To avoid disappointment make sure to check that this unit will work with your make / model before purchasing. You may need a universal (compatible with most) model stereo.

The majority of double din stereos like this (for the specified models of VAG cars) usually have a screen that measures seven inches or less. This one is 8 Inches, giving it that extra bit of screen visibility. If you're after the biggest screen available, one exception is a newly released 10.1" Universal model also offered by Pumpkin. The Ten Inch model can be successfully installed in many other car brands, including Toyota and Vauxhall. But dependant on model, may require an additional add-on for full functionality.

The Pumpkin (CN01-03302B-02A) also offers excellent pairing power to most Smartphones (Android or iOS based), and a very quick start-up time. Within a few seconds its ready for action.

This is the newer Pumpkin Android 7.1 Nougat head unit. The core specification is very impressive. A good quality 8 Inch 1024 x 600 touchscreen display, Quad Core Processor which is operating at 1.6GHz per core, 2GB RAM (DDR3), 32GB internal storage space (upgradable), Bluetooth, WiFi, USB Ports, SD card slot, All region DVD player, GPS, DVR, Full AV out, 3G compatible, Multi channel CAN BUS, individual Subwoofer output and controls.

And last but not least, a max 4 x 50W output. Supports playback for all the common file types. MP3. MP4, AVI, MKV, etc. There's also an older model which has an IPS screen (more sharper, viewable screen from all angles).

Of course, if you're slightly old school like me, you'll be glad to know that it supports normal CDs and burned data discs full of music, as well as video. However, most people who buy a Pumpkin will just pair their Smartphone to the head unit via Bluetooth and play the music / video files directly through the stereo. Due to the internal storage and various options for adding more externally, you don't have to use your phone, and can store files directly on to the head units internal storage, memory card or USB stick.

Depending on the type of Smartphone, you can mirror link the phone to the stereo either by USB or WiFi. As well as that, you can also connect your Smartphone to the head unit via Bluetooth and have hands free enabled, giving the user the ability to make and receive calls from the unit itself.

With the correct adapter or App (dependant on car model) this Pumpkin head unit can display a whole host of useful car-related information. Including air conditioning info, how much petrol / diesel you have, warnings about seatbelts, open doors, and even information regarding the car battery. As mentioned above, it's also able to operate as a reverse parking sensor, but additional wiring will be required for this feature to work properly. For car / wire-savvy individuals this is not very difficult to carry out, and there's lot's of information about this procedure online if you get stuck.

It's really convenient that while waiting in your car for something / someone, this "stereo" gives you the option of being able to just stick a film or TV series on and watch it from a decent sized screen, and not have to sit there people watching or playing with your phone. Of course, get additional screens for the headrests so back seat passengers can also watch without leaning forward or straining their eyes, and everyone else can comfortably do the same.

All the features combined make this a great head unit for the price, but one of the best things about this device not yet mentioned is its Satellite Navigation (GPS) System. Online or Offline, it's excellent. The package itself doesn't come with a maps card. But thankfully, you can just go and download one of the many free Sat-Nav Apps and be up and running in no time. Navmii, Google Maps, MapFactor, etc, to name a few.

Although some of the following items may not be needed, due to most of the compatible car models having their own looms / connection cables ready to plug straight into the unit, the new (latest) Pumpkin 7.1 Android Nougat Double Din head unit for VAG cars comes with an impressive array of accessories.


GPS Antenna, connections for rear left right out and front left / right out, two video outs, subwoofer, external microphone + lead, Aux in connection, camera connection cable, radio adapters and USB cables. There's also a very handy WiFi aerial extension lead (1.5 meters in length) so that you have much more control and can choose the best location to pick up the strongest signal.

If you're looking for a good aftermarket 2-Din, with an impressive amount of options and features, where close to everything can be wired / programmed to work through, this unit is well worth considering. It's actually being sold at quite a cheap price for an aftermarket audio entertainment / control system that's as capable as this.

Support from Pumpkin is also superb. Many buyers who needed to send the item back, for whatever reason, have stated in their reviews that it was a very easy process, and that the staff were great to deal with. You never really know how good a company is until there's a problem, and Autopumpkin have always put the customer first. This is evident from the reviews and their 100% positive feedback score on Amazon. So that's an encouraging sign.

Pumpkin Android 2-Din GPS Car Stereo

No, were not talking about an umbrella insurance policy, were talking protection from the elements. Car umbrella's have been doing the rounds for a number of years now. They are much more popular in America due to some states, like Texas, California and Florida getting so much sunshine throughout the year. A good car umbrella ultimately puts the car in the shade, helping to keep the temperature inside the car down, and working as a paint protector from the suns powerful UV rays.

Other than protection from the main culprit, the sun, it can also be effective against other annoyances like rain, dirt / debris, tree sap and bird droppings. Bird droppings can be a real problem.

Park your car under a tree for a prolonged period of time and the chances are you may be coming back to a car that has been left a birds calling card. Not really an issue if you drive a little run around that you're not too bothered about, but for more expensive / classic cars this can be a real headache. Bird droppings can damage a cars paint work permanently. Thanks to the Uric acid content, it can leave stains, blemishes, and even start to remove layers of paint. So, for an expensive motor, this can be a costly issue.

Tree sap is another concern. Once it makes contact, most commonly starting with the roof of the car first, and then gets a bit of time to almost cement itself to the paint work, it can be difficult to remove. In most cases, depending on how long its been stuck to the car, a soapy wash with warm / hot water will be required.

These types of covers can also work well for providing a dark environment if you are someone who spends a lot of time on the road and regularly pulls over to get a few hours sleep before continuing on their journey.

Regardless of the brand, most car shelters / protectors like this have got the same, or very similar design. It's fairly straight forward, basically working like a personal umbrella. Attach a suction cup-like attachment to the roof of the car, get the protective sheet and fit it to the connecting joint at the top of the suction cup.

Then use the remote control to initiate the quick unfolding procedure, which automatically stretches the protective material over the width of the vehicle. Some are even solar-powered. All are very portable, and easily store away in the boot when not in use.

Apart from the design being similar, one other thing car umbrella's have in common is the price. They are not cheap. So, you better have a car worth protecting. This isn't the kind of product you would buy if you have an X reg Vauxhall Corsa you use as a run around. It's for costly, prestigious cars that people really care about. Besides, on an old Corsa it would look funny, and probably get a few people saying - the cover costs more than the car.

Jokes aside, the one area where the majority of car umbrella's seem to be weak is when the wind picks up. There are numerous complaints from reviewers stating that when conditions are windy / blustery, its pretty much time for the umbrella to head back to the boot. If the design team could address this problem and make the product more sturdy in bad weather, it would make the product a lot more desirable, and more worthy of its price tag. Specially for the UK market.

Always double-check the dimensions with covers like this, as not all companies are catering solely to the UK market and their vehicles. As a result, they don't use the same, one size fits all small to medium-sized vehicle measurements. The coverage size may be different in the UK than it is for the American auto market.

Portable Remote Controlled Car Umbrella