Winter is fast approaching, and with it comes an increased risk of accidents on the road! There are steps we can all take to ensure our cars and vans are prepared for driving in wintery conditions, so read on to find out how you can ensure you are ready for the upcoming colder weather. The first thing to do is ensure your car has the right levels of fluids – we are talking oil, engine coolant and fuel. Many motorists fail to check their levels when they travel, and this can lead to break downs and accidents. Breaking down in the winter is no laughing matter, as sitting on the side of the road in the dark can be very dangerous! Tyres are next on the list. Ensure your tyres are pumped up to the right pressure level (you can do this yourself or get a garage to help you if you aren’t sure). Most cars have the tyre pressures printed inside the fuel door, or at least in the manual, so check if you don’t know which pressure you are meant to be using. Sometimes it depends on the nature of your driving.
Planning a trip for work can be super stressful, not only with the usual travel concerns, but keeping your mind centered on the business side of the trip. With careful planning and preparation, you can ensure your trip runs smoothly and you stay focussed. Find out if you will need any special accomodations before you book – perhaps you might need a visa to get into a certain country, or even check if the tap water is safe to drink etc! Make sure you plan an itinerary so you keep on schedule and do not forget any important tasks for your trip. Knowing exactly where to go and what to do as well as the time each task needs to be done by is a good way to stremline your travel plans from the beginning. Make sure you note what time checking in at the hotel begins and when you need to be out. Don’t forget to highlight your flight check in time too!
Yes, it is true, you CAN drive a minibus on your normal car driving licence in the UK. There are, of course, certain rules you need to follow. First up, you need to be over the age of 21 and have held your licence for at least 2 years. You cannot charge passengers for the journey, it must be purely for social and leisure purposes (as in, you cannot drive your minibus as a commercial enterprise!). If you are over 70 years old, you will need to fit within the medical standards for “group two” vehicles, which is for lorries and buses. These are similar to the car driving medical tests, however they are slightly more strict. The minibus you drive must not weigh more than 3.5 tonnes, or 4.25 tonnes if you have special equipment for disabilities such as wheelchair ramps etc. You can also drive your minibus abroad if you wish, although you might need to double check with the licencing authority in the country you are travelling to, to make sure you won’t need a special licence.
Car safety is an important topic to know a little about – we all understand that we must wear seatbelts while driving, and that speed limits apply on UK roads, but not everyone knows how to keep our cars safe in terms of tyres. All tyres have a tread pattern on them. The tyre treads are there to help grip the road better. If the tyre treads get too low (lower than 1.6mm), they cannot do their job properly. The treads work to divert water away from the tyres underneath and stop the car from sliding around. If they are flat, the tyres cannot grip the road as well and may cause an accident. Another way to know if the tyres need changing is to check for unusual lumps and bumps around the edge of the tyre. This can be a demonstration of a slow puncture or other issues with air pressure within the tyre.
Travelling for business is not always the most glamourous of ways to travel. If you need to get to an aiport for your next trip, why not think of a more luxurious way to get there, instead of catching the train or bus? Many airlines offer a luxury chauffeur service for business passengers, such as Etihad airways. The personal chauffeur services serves many cities and allows a more comfortable and luxury method of getting around! Travelling in a limosine or executive car is a much more comfortable experience, offering the traveller more space and a quiet area in which to work, or relax. Getting to the airport can be stressful, especially if you need to find out about parking, or where to go for the terminal – all these concerns are drifting away when you hire a personal chauffeur! They can pick you up from your door and whisk you directly to the terminal you need for your flight, saving you the time and stress of organising the route yourself.
The MOT is an important legal document your car needs to have in order to drive safely and legally. The MOT test checks your car for particular areas of wear and tear as well as the emissions and other driving related things. Any cars or vans which are at least 3 years old are required to have an up to date MOT every year to prove that they are in good working order. Some of the things which are checked include brakes, tyres, lights, washers and general wear. If a car is found to not have a valid MOT, the driver can be liable for an on the spot fine! Many police vehicles have automatic numberplate recognition devices which can instantly spot if a car is up to date with its MOT.
Packing for a business trip takes a little planning and thought. Know exactly where you are going and what you will be doing, take only what you need and remember, less is more! Step 1: Get your itnerary sorted. Have a folder prepared with your travel documents, any important contact numbers (such as the airline, hotel, car rental etc) as well as some plans for non business activities such as sight seeing opportunities. Step 2: Prepare your things. Make sure your passport is well in date, that you have the right cash on you and if you are using carry on luggage, make sure you have travel sized toiletries! There are strict rules about what liquids you can take within your carry on luggage, so be prepared. Step 3: Packing time. Allow one pair of underwear and socks per day, and pack an additional pair of shoes for non-business activities. Colour co-ordinate your shirts and bottoms and take one less item than you think you need.
Hiring a car is easy these days. There are so many companies offering great rates for a quick car hire, ideal for business travel plans involving going abroad! The first thing you should do is think about the number of passengers you have. If there is only you, you can hire a small or mini car, which has enough room for one or two people comfortably. If there is a group, it might be worth hiring a more spacious vehicle such as a people carrier or minivan. Check the small print when you book your hire car, as many places encourage you to sign up for additional insurance, which can cost a bomb. Other charges might include a fee for fuel, sat nav systems or child seats. You are unlikely to require a child seat for a business meeting, but you never know what they might try to persuade you to book!
It has been mentioned in the British media recently that many drivers struggle to see clearly at night when they are driving thanks to the brightness of modern car lights. Lots of drivers find that they are dazzled by the oncoming lights and it takes them a few seconds to be able to see clearly again. This is obviously a dangerous position to be in at any time when driving, let alone at night! Car manufacturers are always making bigger and better parts for their cars, and it is going the same way with lights; each company wants to have the best fittings for their new vehicles. Some new lights are so bright now that it is actually making the road less safe as more drivers become dazzled at night time.
If you have travelled to New York for a business meeting, it is highly possible that you will need to hail a cab! This can be quite a task in New York, and not really as it is in other countries…here is how to hail a cab in the Big Apple. Understand what the lights mean: taxis in New York have three different light symbols. There is a sign in the middle of the row which indicates if the taxi is available. If this light is on, you can hail the cab. If the outer lights are on, it means the cab is off duty. If no lights are on, it has already been taken and you’ll need to wait for another. Step right out into the road to hail your cab. Do as the native New Yorkers do, and step right out into the road, to be sure to grab their attention! Check that the inner light is on and that the taxi can take you! You might be able to get a short ride if the cab is technically off duty. Try doing a thumbs up sign to them!