Time spent = money saved

Spring is undoubtedly the most important season of the year for the search for classified car ads. And if youre doing it online, its worth knowing about a service that has been around for a while, but I think is less well known than it should be.

In addition to checking the tax status of a car, you can now also check its MOT history since 2005, and not only whether it has passed or failed, but also the reasons for it, or what the warnings were at the time of its approval.

Which, I think, can give you some kind of indication of how the owner has treated a car. I find the early Porsche Boxsters quite tempting, but I would worry that one of them wouldnt stop appearing on an ITV with bald tires.

The check also shows the respective mileage. A Range Rover I looked at went from 210,000 miles one year to 85,000 the next. So be prepared with questions, sound the alarm or calm down, and waste less time and money anyway.

Simply go to check-mot.service. gov.uk and enter a registration number.

The sale of Ferrari makes a splash

Four years ago, a man named Richard Colton bequeathed the earnings of his two Ferraris – a 1960 250 GT SWB and a 1967 275 GTB/4 – to the RNLI. At the auction, the two cars were sold for £8.5 million, making them the most valuable items ever left to the lifesaving charity.

I mention it now because a new Shannon-class lifeboat, the £2.2 million boat that was the subject of Autocars Christmas road test, will be named Richard and Caroline Colton this weekend at their Hastings lifeboat station.

Of all the Christmas events Ive participated in, the Shannon lifeboat is one of the most extraordinary in terms of performance and capacity. The fact that the more than £400,000 a day needed to run the RNLI is charitably found is even more remarkable.

Read more

Review: Is the world of cars finally ready for the Audi A2

Christmas Road Test: RNLI Shannon Lifeboat Review

Reinvent the wheels: design new versions of old cars

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