Choosing a good car to tow your caravan

If you are considering replacing your current vehicle it is important to give some time to think about how you will use your car. If towing your touring caravan is on your list of uses, there are a few points to remember.

The First thing you will need to judge is whether the car will tow a caravan of a given weight. Some modern hatchbacks will tow a small caravan but if your caravan is larger or a twin axle version you will need to look at the torque of the vehicle to see whether it is powerful enough to successfully pull your caravan without putting your vehicle under strain and possibly causing mechanical issues.

If you are sure that your potential vehicle has the torque you need next it is time to decide whether you need a manual or automatic transmission. Surprisingly, people who regularly tow a caravan say they prefer automatic transmission as it makes towing easier.

Four-wheel drive vehicles would be advised if towing a large twin axle caravan however as some estate cars offer four-wheel drive options this does not necessarily mean that a SUV is needed.

If you are unsure about the suitability of a particular make or model of car most representatives in car dealerships will be able to advise you on the best vehicle for your needs.

How can you get rid of dents in a plastic bumper?

Dents in cars happen often. It may be that you accidently reverse in to something or that you bought a second hand car that already has a bump in it. Dents can look unsightly and can even cause issues with the paintwork if on metal as exposed areas can begin to rust.

They can make even the newest of cars looked uncared for and can make it difficult to sell. If you have a car with a plastic bumper and get a dent, then you may be in luck as there are a few tricks you can try to remove the dent relatively easy.

Before taking the car down to the local body repair workshop or forking out for a new bumper try the method below as many people have reported great success with it. But make sure this is only done on plastic bumpers.

Apply heat to the dented area either with a hairdryer or by pouring boiling water on it. I found the hair dryer to be the best method. Once the area is warm you can push your hand up under the dent and apply pressure to it from behind. The dent should just pop right out and often leaves little or no indication that it was ever there.

Saving towards your MOT

A MOT is one of those things that may cost you only the price of the test or may end up with you having to fork out hundreds of pounds.

A MOT is an inspection that needs to be carried out by an authorised garage that checks certain parts and the running of your vehicle. Some aspects that are checked are safety related and other such as CO2 emissions are more for the environment. Every car that is over 3 years old must have a valid MOT to allow it to be driven on the roads in the UK.

The cost of a MOT for a car is usually around £35-£45 pounds. If the car passes, then you will only have to pay this amount. If the car fails, then you will have to fork out for the repairs that need doing and have it retested. You will not have to pay again if you take it back to the same test centre before the end of the next working day for a partial retest but you may have to pay for a partial test if it is over this time but within 10 working days. After ten working days you will have to pay for a full retest again.  

You often do not know how much you will need to spend to get the car through and MOT until the car has undergone the test. If the car fails and is out of MOT, then you will not be allowed to drive it until a valid MOT has been issued. Try and put aside an amount of money each month towards your MOT to allow you to have an amount saved towards repairs that may need to be carried out.

Should you take your car to a main dealership to be serviced?

Every car will need a service at some point. The service schedule is decided at the factory and it can vary from manufacture to manufacture and depending on the model of car. IT is very important to have services carried out in accordance with the schedule in order to keep your car running in tip top condition.

You have the choice as to whether to take it to a main dealer (same manufacture as the car) or to take it to another garage of your choice. Many people opt to use a local garage as main dealer prices are often quite a bit higher than local garages. If your car is still within the manufactures warranty then you may have to have any services done at the main dealer to keep the warranty and stop it from becoming void or ensure that where you take the car for the service, uses genuine parts.

Having full main dealer service history can also add value to your car when you come to sell it, so if you want to look after the resale value then main dealer servicing is the way to go. If you cannot afford this then local garage services are often just as good and will ensure that the car is looked after.

Getting the most money for your second-hand car

People sell cars for many reasons, sometimes it is because they need a bigger or smaller vehicle or it may be that they are simply cannot afford to run the car etc. Unfortunately some people do sell cars when they know it has or is soon going to have a serious problem. It may surprise you how many people put up pictures of a vehicle they have for sale that has not been cleaned properly. It maybe that some people will see beyond the surface dirt but for others, this could be enough to put them off immediately without even bothering to read through the rest of your advert.

Before you picture your car give it a good once over clean and polish ideally, and do not forget the interior. For as little as a pound you can buy a product called back to black that is wiped over all the black plastics on the car that may have started to fade. This will really help to bring the black bumpers back to life and make them look almost new, this can make a huge difference to the overall appearance of a vehicle.