Steadicam Smoothee for iPhone

Smoothee uses weights and gyroscope to keep an iPhone steadyVerdict3

Ever thought of doing your own car reviews using your iPhone? The footage would probably be too shaky, but now Steadicam – the well known professional camera accessory maker – has launched Smoothee for iPhone. And we’ve been trying it out.

The contraption works like the full-sized Steadicams – using gyroscopes and counterweights to balance the iPhone mount. It holds your phone securely, too, thanks to a detachable Continue reading “Steadicam Smoothee for iPhone”

Guide to car windscreen repair and car window replacement

What to do if you get a stone chip or crack in your car windscreen

It is hugely annoying when you get a stone chip in your windscreen, and if it’s right in your line of sight when driving, it becomes infinitely more vexxing. Even if your screen survives the chip and doesn’t crack, there is still the possibility that the damage will cause your car to fail its next MoT, especially if it is in a critical area such as in front of the driver. In short,it is worth fixing stone chips and other Continue reading “Guide to car windscreen repair and car window replacement”

Should you use snow chains in the UK?

Your comprehensive guide to using snow chains in the UK. Do you really need them?

The UK has something of a reputation for poor weather, but snow is something a lot of the country manages to avoid most years. That said, we do have to deal with it now and again, especially those of us in the north of England and Scotland or on higher ground elsewhere. If you’re one of these people and your local authority isn’t as thorough with its gritting as it should be, snow chains may be something Continue reading “Should you use snow chains in the UK?”

Best rechargeable torches 2020

We test nine winter essential rechargeable torches that you can keep fully powered up in the glovebox

Carrying a torch in the glovebox is always a good idea, but not so clever if the battery is flat when you need it. So a rechargeable model makes more sense, particularly when it can be revived in the car.

Modern LEDs provide lots of light for a small amount of charge and are tough, reliable and usually last the life of the torch. So which flashlight is the one to slip into your car? We Continue reading “Best rechargeable torches 2020”

Used BMW 2 Series Active Tourer review

A full used buyer’s guide on the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer covering the 2 Series Active Tourer Mk1 (2014-date)VerdictThe 2 Series Active Tourer is just 2cm longer than a 1 Series hatchback, but thanks to its higher roofline it’s much more practical. As well as being able to seat seven, the Gran Tourer can carry up to 1,820 litres, which is almost on a par with the big estates such as the Skoda Superb and Mercedes E-Class. Even better, despite their fairly low profile, these cars are Continue reading “Used BMW 2 Series Active Tourer review”

Best cordless impact wrench 2020

Heavy-duty car DIY jobs will know no bounds with our pick of nine torquey power tools

A good impact wrench takes the hard work out of almost any garage task, from simple wheel changes to heavier jobs such as brake and suspension repairs. 

Not long ago, using one required a bulky compressor, with its cable and awkward hose trailing around your garage. Now, the latest battery and motor tech means that the best cordless units are as good as their pneumatic counterparts, and with none of the Continue reading “Best cordless impact wrench 2020”

Best hose reels 2020

A hosepipe is a must to clean your car, but which hose reel kit makes it easiest to handle? We find out…

If you like to clean your own car, a hosepipe is an essential piece of kit. But it can become a nightmare of tangles, leaks and kinks that will lead to frustration and sodden shoes. The answer is to get reel with something that will keep the pipe neatly stowed away when it’s not in use, and has proper watertight connectors.

We tried eight of the best, choosing a variety of manual Continue reading “Best hose reels 2020”

Used Subaru Outback review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Subaru Outback covering the Outback Mk5 (2015-2019)VerdictSubaru has a habit of selling cars that can’t compete with more obvious mainstream rivals, which are invariably more luxurious and packed with extra high-tech gadgetry. There’s an element of that with the Outback, which isn’t as utilitarian as some of Subaru’s other models, but is still overshadowed by rivals such as the Volvo XC70 or Audi A4/A6 Allroad – all models that are more costly to buy Continue reading “Used Subaru Outback review”

Best 12v USB car adaptors 2020

Keep your kit charged in the car with these multi-socket plugs

Powering and charging portable devices on the move is a necessity nowadays. Many cars have built-in USB sockets, but these often can’t handle the power demands and many owners need more than one socket anyway. Two sockets are a common minimum but, for anyone with kids in the car, three, four or even five sockets would be better.

Virtually all phones and tablets still use conventional USB outlets, and most adaptors are Continue reading “Best 12v USB car adaptors 2020”

Best speed camera locators & apps 2020

Know your limits with these speed camera locators – and apps – to help avoid heft speeding fines

It’s a feeling every driver dreads: the double flash that means you’ve been snapped by a speed camera, or spotted a police van too late. The best way to avoid this is to stick to limits, but with various restrictions, smart motorways and special zones, many motorists are caught out.

A locator can alert you to the positions of fixed cameras and where police units are commonly sited, plus Continue reading “Best speed camera locators & apps 2020”