Test Way Point Newsletter

Best Cars for camping and Road Trips

Who doesn’t love a holiday? The chance to get away from it all and relax, enjoy new experiences and come back feeling fully recharged – and with a fresh set of memories that will last a lifetime.

One of the best ways to unwind is with a camping holiday or road trip – or a combination of both. And perhaps the best method of travel is under your own steam, in a car that's designed to go the distance while delivering absolute comfort and convenience.

Here at Thame Cars, we stock a wide selection of high-quality used vehicles, and arguably, the best cars for road trips are SUVs – and we have some terrific options.

Our pre-loved SUVs include the Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and ŠKODA Karoq, vehicles that more than qualify as some of the best cars for driving long distances. The Sportage, for example, is a highly regarded all-rounder thanks to its practical body and spacious front and rear passenger compartments.

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It more than comfortably accommodates two full-size adults – or three younger travellers – in the back, and a 591-litre boot (petrol models) is one of the biggest in its class. What’s more, with rear seats folded, luggage volume grows to an enormous 1,780 litres, which means there’s plenty of space for camping equipment and the like.

Of course, you can further increase cargo capacity with the addition of a bike carrier, roof rack or roof box.

SUVs are good towing vehicles too. The petrol or diesel Sportage, for example, can tow up to 1,650 kg, allowing you to attach a trailer or a four-berth caravan.

Discover the best cars for camping at Thame Cars today by clicking through our carefully selected and fully tested SUVs, which are each issued with an AutoTrust warranty.

See something you like? Please get in touch with our Rycote Lane team today to book your test drive appointment.

Simplifying Your Car Buying

It’s a standing joke among my friends and family that I know next to nothing about computers.

When people start talking about the RAM and speed of their shiny new laptops my eyes glaze over and my head starts spinning.

Of course I know how to operate a computer - the situation isn’t that desperate - but to me it’s a means to an end and as long as I can send emails and get onto the Internet I’m perfectly happy!

So a few months ago when my laptop suddenly died it sent a shiver of dread down my spine.

Not at the prospect of getting behind on my emails and reports, but the thought of having to figure out what was going to be the best replacement.

I hate the thought of going into a shop and being exposed as a tech dunce.

I remember the feeling of being totally out of my depth the last time I had to buy my daughter a laptop for school.

Being asked questions I should know the answers to, and feeling like a fool in front of the ‘experts’ (who would presumably then have a good laugh about my lack of expertise once I had left the shop in humiliation!)

I know that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, but buying a new computer isn’t up there on my list of fun things to do.

Fortunately a friend of mine recommended somebody who could advise me, and although I still had a bit of trepidation I made an appointment and went along.

And guess what?

My experience was nothing like what I had anticipated!

My new best friend was friendly, listened to me carefully as I fumbled my way through explaining what I needed, and then helped me find a few options he thought would work for me.

No jargon, no complicated comparisons, just simple and clear explanations that made sense.

The result was that I left with two things: 1) my laptop problem solved and 2) a refreshingly positive experience.

As I drove home it made me think about how similar my experience had been to what we strive to do here at Thame Cars.

We’re all really passionate about cars and could talk about them until the cows come home, but we’re more passionate about people, and in particular serving our customers in a way that’s simple, safe and easy.

In fact those 3 words - simple, safe and easy - are at the very foundation of what we do so it’s no surprise that I noticed the similarities with my computer buying experience.

We know that most of our customers just want their car problem solved, and they come to us because they know they can be confident they’re going to be listened to by somebody who’s committed to understanding them.

My experience of buying a new laptop reminded me that we’re not just about selling cars, we're about the experience of selling cars. So if you’re thinking about your next car, or if you need service, MOT or hire advice, let us remove the jargon, make things as safe, simple and easy for you, and help you feel good about your purchase.

Get in touch directly or check out our website for more information about how we work.

Driving Without Servicing: The Risks You Need to Know

As a car owner, you may be tempted to skip yourvehicle's regular maintenance service to save time and money.

However, driving without servicing your car can lead to serious problems that may jeopardize your safety and increase your repair costs in the long run.

In this article, we'll explore the risks associated with driving without servicing your car and provide you with some practical tips to keep your vehicle in top condition.

The Importance of Regular Servicing

Regular servicing of your car is crucial to maintain its optimal performance and ensure your safety on the road. During a service, a qualified mechanic will inspect your car's various components, such as the engine, brakes, suspension, and transmission, and identify any issues that require repair or replacement. By fixing these issues early, you can prevent them from becoming major problems that may cost you more money and inconvenience in the future.

Moreover, regular servicing can help you identify potential safety hazards, such as worn-out brakes, faulty lights, or damaged tyres, and address them before they cause an accident. It can also improve your car's fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and prolong its lifespan, which can save you money in the long run.

The Risks of Skipping Servicing

If you decide to drive without servicing your car, you expose yourself to several risks that may compromise your safety and increase your repair bills. Here are some of the common risks associated with skipping car servicing:

Engine Problems

Your car's engine is the heart of its performance, and neglecting its maintenance can lead to various problems, such as reduced power, poor fuel economy, overheating, and even engine failure. A lack of oil changes, air filter replacements, or coolant flushes can cause the engine to accumulate dirt, debris, and other contaminants that can damage its components and reduce its efficiency. Moreover, ignoring warning signs, such as strange noises, vibrations, or warning lights, can indicate a serious engine issue that requires immediate attention.

Braking Issues

Brakes are an essential safety feature of your car, and driving without servicing them can lead to brake failure or reduced effectiveness. Brakes require regular maintenance, such as replacing brake pads, checking brake fluid levels, and inspecting the brake lines, to ensure they function correctly. If you ignore these maintenance tasks, your brakes may not work as intended, which can lead to longer stopping distances, reduced control, and even accidents.

Suspension and Steering Problems

Your car's suspension and steering systems are responsible for providing a smooth ride and precise handling. Neglecting their maintenance can result in problems, such as rough rides, uneven tyre wear, and difficulty steering or controlling your car. Suspension components, such as shock absorbers, struts, and springs, need periodic replacement to maintain their effectiveness, while steering components, such as tie rods and ball joints, require regular inspection to detect any signs of wear or damage.

Electrical Malfunctions

Modern cars rely heavily on their electrical systems to power their various features, such as lights, wipers, air conditioning, and entertainment systems. Neglecting your car's electrical system can lead to various malfunctions, such as dead batteries, malfunctioning alternators, or blown fuses. Moreover, faulty electrical systems can cause safety hazards, such as failing headlights, non-functioning brake lights, or malfunctioning airbags, which can increase the risk of accidents.

Tips for Maintaining Your Car

Follow the Manufacturer's Maintenance Schedule

Your car's manufacturer provides a maintenance schedule that outlines the recommended service intervals for various components based on your car's age, mileage, and usage. You should follow this schedule to ensure your car receives the necessary maintenance tasks at the appropriate times. You can find this schedule in your car's owner's manual or online.

Check Your Car's Fluid Levels Regularly

Your car's various fluids, such as oil, coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid, play a crucial role in its performance and longevity. You should check these fluid levels regularly, ideally once a month, and top them up if they're low. Also, check for any leaks or unusual colours or smells, which may indicate a problem.

Inspect Your Tyres

Your car's tyres are the only point of contact between your car and the road, and they need to be in good condition to ensure your safety and comfort. You should inspect your tyres regularly for any signs of wear, such as bald spots, cracks, or bulges, and replace them if necessary. Also, check the tyre pressure once a month and adjust it to the recommended levels.

Listen and Look for Warning Signs

Your car may give you warning signs that indicate a problem, such as strange noises, vibrations, warning lights, or smells. You should listen and look for these warning signs and address them promptly to prevent them from becoming serious issues. If you're unsure about a warning sign, consult a qualified mechanic.

Choose a Reliable Mechanic

To ensure your car receives the best possible care,We always recommend a reliable and qualified servicing team who has experience working on your car's make and model. Look for a mechanic who is certified by a reputable organization, such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the Motor Industry Code of Practice.

We are 5-star rated with over 2000 positive reviews please check them out yourself, by clicking here

At Thame Cars, we always recommend having your car regularly serviced, without it your car can lead to serious problems that may compromise your safety and increase your repair bills. Therefore, it's crucial to maintain your car regularly by following the manufacturer's maintenance schedule, checking the fluid levels, inspecting the tyres, listening and looking for warning signs, and choosing a reliable mechanic. By taking these simple steps, you can keep your car in top condition and enjoy a safe and comfortable ride.

Book in today to make sure your car is running as smoothly as possible.

Happy Driving


If you look back over your career there are probably a handful of standout moments where you felt an overwhelming sense of pride and gratitude.

For me, one of those moments was last Monday as I picked up the motor industry equivalent of an Oscar at the Car Dealer Magazine Used Car Awards.

There is a team of 18 at Thame Cars and we know we do good work, but there is something very special about this being acknowledged by the industry.

It’s a hotly contested category in which thousands of other similar businesses from across the UK would have been considered.

The reason why it was so special for us was because of how it reflects our core values and approach to serving the local community.

The judges were looking for a high-quality selection of vehicles for customers to choose from and professional and friendly customer service, but also plenty of positive online reviews.

We talk a lot about how we strive to make everything simple, safe and easy for our customers and this clearly comes across in many of our TrustPilot reviews; here are some recent ones that make us very happy to read (you can read more Thame Cars reviews on the TrustPilot website):

“They went above and beyond to deliver a fast and friendly service”
“I could not be happier with the service I received”
“It was a very pleasant experience”
“Just bought a car from Thame Cars, the process could not have been easier”
“Thame Cars are an excellent company to buy a car from. Helpful, patient and courteous”

We knew that we were going to be visited by a mystery shopper at some point but the whole team was confident that our standard approach to service would be more than enough to impress.

In fact they both visited us at Rycote Lane and interacted with us via the website, which since Covid has become an increasingly important way for us to serve our customers.

I’m incredibly proud of how Thame Cars continues to service the local community, and this award is for the whole team who live and breathe by our values of simple, safe and easy.

Nick Allen

Managing Director