News

Thousands of possible death traps sold to unsuspecting buyers

possible death traps sold
If a written off car has been repaired, it should be declared (Picture iStock/Kadmy)

It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of used cars. And those that are available are being sold for inflated prices. Hardly surprising then that the trade in dodgy motors is picking up.

Research by TV show Dispatches found that up to 40,000 possible death traps sold every year could be insurance write-offs going to unsuspecting buyers.

How can a written off car be sold again?

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Electric car MOT passes are higher than petrols or diesels

electric car mot passes
Electric cars are proving better at passing the MOT than petrols (Picture iStock/SimonSkafar)

Struggling to see the benefit of switching to an electric vehicle? Look no further. Electric car MOT passes are higher than regular combustion engine models according to a new study.

And hybrid cars – which combine petrol engines with electric motors – are even better at passing their MOT test than EVs. We try to explain this unexpected bonus to battery-powered motoring.

What does the MOT check?

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Increased car cloning causes innocent drivers trouble

car cloning
Cloning cars usually starts with stealing a number plate (Picture iStock/Jens Rother)

If you’ve been hit with an unexpected fine for speeding, driving in a bus lane, parking or not paying a congestion or emissions zone charge you may have unwittingly become a victim of car cloning.

New research shows an alarming increase in fines issued by Transport for London (TfL) to cars with altered identities. The number overturned because they were given to cloned cars was up nearly nine times between April 2021 and April 2022.

We look at what cloning is and what to do if you suspect your car has been a victim of it.

What is car cloning?

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Speed limiters – what new tech means for drivers and driving

speed limiters
Speed limiters used to be controlled from the steering wheel, bottom right button here. In future, they’ll be automatic (Picture iStock/AnyVidStidio)

From the beginning of July 2022, all new cars sold in the UK will have to be fitted with a speed limiter. We investigate what this means for car owners and how it will change driving.

What is a speed limiter?

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Fuel your knowledge: take our petrol quiz

We know how expensive it is but how much else (Picture iStock/DeepBlue4You)

We regularly fill our cars with petrol but how much do we actually know about the golden liquid that keeps them going? If you’re anything like us (when we compiled this quiz), probably not very much! Even so, petrol is a truly global phenomenon with plenty of history. Take our quiz to find out how much you know about it.

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Ways to stop your car’s catalytic converter being stolen

catalytic converter theft
Drivers are increasingly starting to protect their catalytic converters from thieves (Picture iStock/Michael Vi)

Catalytic converter theft continues to be a problem around the UK. The Centre for Infrastructure and Asset Protection (CIAP) claims thieves stole 2,254 catalytic converters – also known as cats ‑ in March 2022, up by 11 per cent from February.

The CIAP, with backing from the police, now wants to roll out its SmartWater marking for cats nationwide so that more drivers can benefit from it. We look at how drivers can stop crooks making off with this valuable part of their car’s exhaust system.

How can you stop your catalytic converter being stolen?

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Is pay-as-you-go insurance the right cover for you?

pay as you go insurance
Low mileage drivers should look at pay-as-you-go insurance (Picture iStock/Kameleon007)

You might well use pay-as-you-go for your mobile phone. It does after all seem fair enough to only pay for what you use. So what about pay-as-you-go car insurance? It’s becoming increasingly popular with drivers and according to comparison site Compare the Market, a fifth of car owners could save money by insuring in this way.

How does pay-as-you-go insurance work?

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Drivers warned not to tackle car thieves themselves

tackle car thieves
Hacking into cars’ security systems is often how they’re stolen now (Picture iStock/Humonia)

Security experts are warning car owners that they shouldn’t attempt to track down and retrieve missing cars, or tackle car thieves themselves.

Car theft is on the up. New Home Office figures reveal that last year 101,198 cars were stolen in England and Wales. And police are struggling to tackle the blight which is seeing nearly 300 often high-end cars go missing every day. But why can turning Sherlock Holmes be so dangerous for drivers?

Who steals cars now?

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Prepare for road closures – 8 million Brits are planning a Jubilee street party

It looks like there’s going to be a lot of dancing in the street during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.

According to our research1, one in seven Brits (that’s around eight million of us) are planning a street party over the Jubilee four-day weekend.

But what does this mean for anyone hitting the road?

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Cut the cost of motoring by buying an unlikely classic car

A classic car? Really? Yup, many think so. (Picture Vauxhall)

One way to cut your motoring costs is to own a classic – a car that’s more than 40 years old. But you’ll probably think some of the motors that turn 40 this year make an unlikely classic car, clapped out rather than classic.

Owners of pre-1982 cars don’t need an MOT and don’t pay any car tax. If you read on below, you’ll see that many classics won’t cost a fortune to buy either. Get the right one and it’ll even appreciate in value too.

Here we look at some of the cars that turn classic this year – at least in name. We also see how many remain and reveal what it might cost to buy one.

Audi 100

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