Buying and selling

How drivers can protect themselves from email and text scams in 2021

email and text scams
Email and text scammers are targeting drivers on an industrial basis (Picture iStock/Milan_Jovic)

Car drivers are being warned they could fall victim to increasingly persistent motoring scammers. In 2020, the government’s Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) saw a 603 per cent leap in fraudulent activity compared to the previous year. That’s just from the number of scams that drivers reported. The DVLA is worried thousands of drivers have unwittingly fallen for scams and not disclosed it.

Desperate fraudsters are sending blanket emails and texts to thousands of drivers. They know that if just a tiny percentage fall for them, the crooks will be quids in. Read on to find out how you can avoid being scammed.

If it’s legit it won’t be an email or text

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Cheap running costs and reliability – why electric car sales are booming

Sales of new electric cars are rising in the UK (Picture iStock/SvenLoeffler)

Electric car sales are booming in the UK. New figures reveal that in the first 10 months of 2020, purchases of new battery-powered motors were up by 195 per cent in the UK on the same period the year before. As well as an ever-expanding choice, much of it is down to a growing number of car buyers waking up to the benefits of electric motoring.

Rather than just being easier and cheaper to fuel – power for electric cars costs about a third of conventional fuels – electric cars are also cheaper to run. Here we look at why they cost so much less than internal combustion models.

Why are electric cars more reliable?

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2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars. What will it really mean?

ban on new petrol and diesel cars
This is likely to become a completely normal sight on urban roads in the UK (Picture iStock/Phaustov)

The UK government is believed to be ready to say it wants a sales ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. This sales ban will include hybrid cars and bring the proposed changes forwards by 10 years.

The government may even consider lowering tax on electric cars after an independent study recently found that ‘some form of financial support to make it easier to afford’ an electric vehicle would be effective and popular.

But assuming this ban does go ahead in 2030, what will it mean to the millions of ordinary drivers out there? We investigate.

How will the ban work?

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Taking your car to uni? Read our handy advice for student drivers

student drivers
Every driver should regularly check the oil in their car (Picture iStock/stock-eye)

More than half of younger student drivers are planning to take their car to university this year, research by Green Flag found. The study revealed that 54 per cent of 18-24 year old students hope to have their car with them when the 2020 academic year starts.

If you’re one of those student drivers, there’s plenty to consider. From the type of car you choose, to how you look after it and what you tell your insurer, we investigate what you need to know.

Buy a car that’s cheap to run

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Now might be the right time to switch to an electric car

switch to an electric car
Now might be the right time to consider a shiny new Nissan Leaf (Picture Nissan)

If you’re considering the switch to an electric car, now might be the time to do it. A new study by insurer Direct Line has revealed that the average lifetime costs of running an electric vehicle (EV) are now cheaper than the equivalent petrol-powered model.

How much cheaper are electric cars?

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Have you given away your personal data when selling your car?

personal data
Cars are increasingly data hubs. But how do you keep control of personal info? (Picture iStock/oonal)

Modern motors are technical marvels that are more than capable of storing our personal data. And new research has revealed that when they sell their car, thousands of drivers are giving away potentially delicate information such as friends’ and relatives’ names and addresses. Read on to find out if you’re in danger of doing that or have perhaps already done it.

How do cars store personal data?

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Buying a used car? Our tips should help make it easy and trouble free

buying a used car
Buying a car should be the start of a beautiful friendship, not a relationship to regret (Picture iStock/1001nights)

Research by Green Flag suggests that almost a third (32 per cent) of Britons are now planning to buy a new or used car to avoid exposure to COVID-19 on public transport.

It doesn’t matter whether a car is brand new or not, getting a new motor should be a joyful moment. After all, it’s got to be better than the old smoker it’s replacing. To ensure it is, follow the tips below on how to buy a used car.

Research is rarely wasted

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Changes to Euro NCAP crash tests may harm ratings of large SUVs

crash tests
Changes include smashing into a moving object to make crash tests more realistic (Picture: Euro NCAP)

Testing how cars behave in serious crashes has undergone the biggest shake-up for a decade. The Euro NCAP safety ratings have been overhauled to make them more relevant to the kinds of cars that are now popular.

The independent assessments show in an easy to understand way how cars respond in crashes. They are important in helping car buyers to compare the safety of different vehicles. Read on to see why the new changes could affect you.

What are the main changes?

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Surveys reveal most reliable cars and best garages

reliable cars
Coming out of lockdown it’s important to have a trustworthy garage (Picture iStock/FG Trade)

Reliable cars are vital for most of us. And garages plus the quality of service they offer are just as important. The last thing you want is to buy a new car and find that it either lets you down or when you need help, the garage offers shoddy service.

There’s an easy way to discover how dependable cars and their dealers are and that’s by asking the people with real-life experience of owning the cars. This is where surveys come in. We’ve combed reports compiled by Auto Express and What Car? to distil the information you need to know if you’re buying a new car.

Best garages

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Insurance groups: what are they, who sets them and which is your car in?

insurance groups
How cars behave in crashes is fundamental to which insurance group they are in (Picture iStock/monkeybusinessimages)

If you’re thinking of changing your car, how much you pay for insurance may be important to you. To help with this, all cars sit in insurance groups. Knowing about a car’s grouping will enable you to do an accurate, back-to-back comparison with other models you might be interested in.

Read on to find out what an insurance group is and how to find out what group a car is in.

What is an insurance group?

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