Buying and selling

Towcar awards: best cars for 2022 revealed

towcar awards
SEAT Leon was overall Towcar of the year 2022 (Picture Caravan and Motorhome Club)

If you’ve considered caravanning as a holiday you’re not alone. Numbers taking holidays in caravans were increasing even before the pandemic. And in some months during 2020, caravan sales increased by up to 70 per cent compared with previous years.

To help drivers pick the best cars for their caravanning needs, the Caravan and Motorhome Club (CAMC) holds its Towcar of the Year competition. To find the winner of this year’s award, it tested 32 cars in 11 categories. It then narrowed these down to one overall winner. Read on to see the best cars for towing.

What was the best car for towing?

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Lack of computer chips causes new car shortage. How and why?

computer chips
Computer chips are an integral part of car manufacture (Picture iStock/Madmaxer)

Anyone who’s tried to buy a brand-new car this year may well have been disappointed. Dealers will happily sell you one. But actually getting to enjoy that new-car smell and all the electronic wizardry a new car will feature now involves a lengthy wait.

The delays are all down to a shortage of a part that costs a few quid. They are called integrated circuits or semi-conductor chips, more commonly known as computer chips. There’s even a knock-on to used cars with prices of these increasing. Read on for the full story.

What are computer chips?

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Stolen cars: why ‘chop shops’ are the new threat for car buyers

chop shops
Chop shops are like legitimate garages but stolen cars are stripped for their parts (Picture iStock/Patrick Heagney)

If you’re unlucky enough to have your car stolen, there’s a very good chance it will end up in what’s known as a chop shop. There it will be dismantled or chopped up and its parts will either be sold to innocent consumers or used to repair wrecked cars.

Why might this be a problem for car buyers?

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Experts claim high returns from investing in a classic car

classic car
Buy a Ford Cortina Mk1 and you could see its value increase by nearly a fifth in a year (Picture Ford)

Interest rates have been super low for years so rather than investing in a savings account, why not invest in a classic car? And we’re not talking about putting money into a motor with a famous name such as Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin or Jaguar.

Experts are claiming that the prices of many cars once considered run of the mill are on the up. It’s been fuelled by enthusiasts who following the pandemic find they have more time and funds on their hands. It means finding an old car might make a more sensible investment than putting your money in the bank.

What age of cars should you look for?

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Expert advice: all about converting a car to run on electric power

converting a car
There are companies that specialise in converting classic cars to electric (Picture RBW Classic Electric Cars)

From 2030, every new car sold in the UK will have to be electric. That’s great for the environment. And it’ll probably mean daily motoring will cost less for drivers because certainly at the moment, electricity is cheaper than petrol or diesel.

The downside is electric cars are expensive to buy. So what about converting your petrol or diesel car to battery power? Is it possible? And if so, how much would it cost?

Can you convert a car to electric?

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Electric car revolution: 10 great new cars being launched in 2021

electric car
The Vauxhall Mokka-e is one of a raft of new electric cars for 2021 (Picture Vauxhall)

The charge to electric cars is well and truly underway. With the government revealing a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel models from 2030, we’re all having to adapt to an electric future. And that means there’s ever more choice in the electric car market.

With fuel costs as low as 3 pence per mile (about a third of what you pay for petrol or diesel) and long battery warranties, electric cars are looking ever-more attractive. Here are 10 new electric models to look out for in 2021.

Vauxhall Mokka-e

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Expert advice: why not all cars have heated windscreens

heated windscreen
Heated screens are a quick way to demist and melt ice in cold weather (Picture Ford)

We’re quite often asked why all cars don’t have heated windscreens to prevent steaming up. Heated screens are a great innovation, clearing condensation inside swiftly while helping to melt ice outside on frosty mornings. But not all cars have them. Read on to find out why.

What is a heated windscreen?

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Flood damaged cars: 9 ways to tell a motor that’s had a soaking

flood damaged cars
Once it’s been dried out, would you know this car has been partially submerged? (Picture iStock/ProjectB)

Rain and flooding might be in the news at the moment. But anyone buying a used motor over the next few months has got the prospect of purchasing flood damaged cars to be wary of.

Having a good soaking in a flood can cause a car to have numerous problems, not all of them immediately evident. Here are nine ways you can tell if the car you’re thinking of buying is flood damaged.

Look at the windows

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How easy is it to buy a car online?

Buy a car online
Buying a car online is simple and safe (Picture iStock)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many activities online, car buying among them. If future lockdowns dictate that all car dealers must close again, more of us will have to buy our next car over the internet. But how secure is it? What’s the choice like? Can you haggle over the price? And how likely are you to end up with a dodgy motor?

Can you buy a used car online?

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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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