Ever since I was a kid, Haynes manuals have held a special place in my heart. I started driving before broadband was a proper thing (I know right) so Haynes manuals were the bibles that taught me my fuel filters from my drive shafts. I won’t lie, I didn’t exactly get the knack for fixing things in my late teens, and my dad’s frequent moans of, “Oh God, what have you done now” still make me laugh. Haynes manuals have and always will be directly correlated with true car knowledge for me. 

Recently, Haynes have brought out Car Hacks, a less manufacturer specific title, which is all about quick wins for your car. It’s steeped in the usual Haynes pedigree, with practical and inexpensive tips for you to get the most from your motor, something that is really important when you have kids. Whether you do a lot of miles or not, there is something in this book that will make your driving life easier or at least more practically effective or efficient. 

The manual focuses on keeping life simple through little wins…and I’m all about that. Car Hacks explains how to use the things you have around your home to improve your car life, and balance your wellbeing in the process – seriously, my eyes have been opened. Always losing coins down the interior cracks? Hack for it. Lost screws? Hack for it. No internet? Hack for it. 

Chapters include hacks for interiors, exteriors, hacks for your garage and storage, tips for long journeys (so helpful if you’ve got a family road trip coming up) and a chapter on modernising your car…which by the way isn’t actually that hard. What I love about the book is that it has the age-old Haynes accessibility. You don’t need to be a mechanic to access the hacks, in fact my little boy was able to do some of the bits for me (which he was delighted about.)


Organisation for me is a key thing. I’m so disorganised because I spend so much time thinking I’m organised but I’m not. Now, I can find everything I need to in seconds and best of all, it’s not flying around the back of my car – and the solution was so simple, I just needed some Haynes thinking. 


Car Hacks is written by Craig Stewart, a car enthusiast who has worked at magazines including Classic Ford and Fast Ford, and he has also written for tech magazines and websites including T3. His knowledge fuses common sense with real specialist knowledge of motors in a way in which allows car specialists and non-specialists to take something away from the title. Craig has authored articles on hacking and car design for the Haynes website’s Tips & Tutorials section, and his current project is a 1991 VW Passat estate, which has not remained un-hacked…what I love about the advice in the book is that it is written by a geezer who does these things to his own cars. Top.