Your top 10 car questions – and the answers

When is my MOT due

The MOT test is the subject of one of the most popular car questions on Google. This is according to a recent study of monthly searches via the all-conquering search engine.

Indeed, MOT accounts for around 70,000 monthly searches, with ‘when is my MOT due’ the most popular search term in the study.

Google might not know the answer, but the chances are it knows a website that does. Here, we reveal the top 10 car questions on Google. We’ll also attempt to provide the answers.

When is my MOT due?

58,000 monthly searches

This one is easy, because it’s possible to check the MOT status of any vehicle online. Simply head to the government website, type in the car’s registration number, and the website will tell you when the MOT test is due.

It will also provide details of the car’s MOT history dating back to 2006, including advisories and the reasons for a fail.

How much is my car worth?

Approved Used Skoda

43,000 monthly searches

There are dozens of online car valuation tools. Many websites require some personal details before they reveal the valuation. Others, such as the excellent Parkers valuation tool, provide a basic price without requiring your email address.

Don’t be afraid of doing a little legwork yourself. Use the classified adverts on Auto Trader to see how much similar cars are selling for. Remember, dealer prices will be higher. Don’t forget to adjust the price depending on mileage, condition and age.

Another trick is to use the advanced search tools on eBay Motors. It’s possible to view the prices the cars actually sold for, which is especially useful if you own a rare, classic or exotic vehicle.

How much is my car tax?

17,000 monthly searches

We’re surprised this figure isn’t higher. Car tax – or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – is rather complicated. Indeed, you’d be forgiven for taking one look at the government’s tax calculator and giving up.

As a guide, for cars registered before 1 March 2001, the rate of vehicle tax depends on its engine size. For cars registered on or after 1 March 2001, the rate depends on CO2 emissions and fuel type.

Fortunately, we’ve prepared a handy guide, so car tax doesn’t have to be too taxing. Or something.

How to jump start a car

Can you jump start a car using EV

10,000 monthly searches

How many of these 10,000 searches were conducted on a smartphone, alongside a car with the bonnet up? In truth, it’s better to arm yourself with the facts before the worst happens, as there are many things to consider. Can you jump start an automatic? Can you jump start an electric car?

We’d start by looking at the comprehensive guide provided by Which?.

What oil for my car?

10,000 monthly searches

There are many online engine oil finders. One of our favourites is the tool on the Opie Oils website.

Alternatively, you should consult your vehicle handbook. If in doubt, ask the dealer or contact the vehicle manufacturer.

Topping up between services is perfectly normal on older vehicles, but if your car is suffering from excessive oil consumption, it’s probably worth getting it checked out.

Who can fix my car?

Mechanic

9,000 monthly searches

A mechanic. There, that wasn’t difficult, was it?

Turn to Google for an answer and the top result will be a comparison website with a very similar name. Check out the reviews before using the site. Alternatively, contact your local independent garage for advice. Quality garages need our support. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

When is my car tax due?

8,700 monthly searches

You can check to see if a vehicle is taxed by using the government website. You just need the vehicle registration number.

The website will also tell if you if the vehicle has been declared SORN, along with when the MOT is due.

What is my car worth?

8,600 monthly searches

This is a similar question to ‘how much is my car worth?’, so we’ll refer you to the previous information.

What does SUV stand for?

6,900 monthly searches

SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle. We won’t go down the avenue of when an SUV becomes a crossover, but we will refer you to our guide to the different car types.

How much to tax my car?

6,500 monthly searches

Again, see above.

Car questions and answers

As the Comparethemarket research shows, some of the more obscure car questions are the most revealing. ‘What does BMW stand for?’ If you’re a Brentford fan, the answer is ‘Benrahma, Mbeumo and Watkins’.

‘What is the fastest car in the world?’ An Astramax diesel, obviously. ‘What car should I buy?’ Having dished out far too much advice to family and friends, we’d recommend the car you fancy. Just buy the car you want.

Commenting on the research, Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at Comparethemarket.com, said: “During these unprecedented times, people may be concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the way they drive, insure and maintain their cars.

“Google can be a great place to find answers on car queries, although it’s important to make sure you’re getting your answers from a reputable source, such as the Government website, DVLA, RAC or the AA.”

Visit the Motoring Research advice section for more answers to your car questions.

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