I'm having difficulty getting some spares for my faithful Ford P100. Any ideas?
FT, Maidenhead

That is an old vehicle and for those who don't know it's essentially a Ford Sierra pick-up which proved tough and popular in the 1980s and early 1990s. The best option is to try the Parts Plus scheme which is available through your local Ford dealer. This is Ford's national network of specialist parts dealers who can track down obsolete stock for older cars and possibly supply them at discount prices.

My company charges me for petrol I use travelling to and from the office. However if I visit a customer direct over a shorter distance can the company charge me for the mileage I do not do?
HD, Wolverhampton

According to the Inland Revenue that journey is classed as private mileage. It would only be business if you went into work first then travelled to the client, which would waste time and petrol.

Having just purchased a new car with alloy wheels, apart from eliminating the need for hub caps what is the point of them?
TW, Cheam

Alloy wheels are fitted solely to enhance the appearance. Originally alloy wheels allowed wider section tyres to be fitted which helps grip andhandling. Also the brakes could be cooled down more effectively. Makers may claim that alloy wheels do all these, but really they just look good.

0-60 mph times puzzle me, as surely even my Fiat Punto would reach 60mph in first gear. At what point do the testers change gear?
LP, Rotherham

0-60mph is a benchmark for performance, but not a very good one. A better indication is the "overtaking" 50-70mph time. Officially, though, 0-60 times are measured as maximum acceleration times of the vehicle through the gears. Incidentally, gearing on standard road cars is not configured to reach 60mph in first gear and we would not advise attempting it.

* Please send questions to The Car Doctor, Features Department, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS

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