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.
Getting a regular MOT and service is something all drivers need to do. It can end up being incredibly costly, not least because garages know this is something which is essential rather than optional! It can be expensive if you need to have several parts fixed or replaced on your car, so it is important you know how to get a better deal from your garage. The first thing you can do is shop around for the best MOT prices. Lots of garage offer fairly cheap MOTs, but they do not include any service work. You may be able to haggle with a garage to get a service added on for a good price. If a garage know you are going to stick with them for some work, you can usually have a strong hand to influence the price. Check the costs that other garages are charging for typical maintenance work on cars – if you have a list of alternative places which offer good prices, you can potentially encourage your own garage to compete with others to keep your business!
One major problem which can happen if you do not regularly check the tyres on your vehicle is that you might experience a puncture or blowout. This can be really scary when it happens, especially if you are driving fast on a motorway! The best way to check your tyres is to inspect the outside of your tyres before you drive each day – check for any obvious wear or perishing such as cracks, bulges or uneven patches. If you spot any, it is best to change your tyre before doing a long journey! Tyres should have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in the UK which can often be indicated by a tread depth indicator on the tyre, a little groove which will line up once the tread reaches a certain level.
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.
Travelling for business does not need to be so stressful! Here are some ideas for making sure you get to your destination on time and in one piece… Make sure your passport is in date! Some travel companies will not allow you to fly even if your passport is nearly due it’s expiration date. Check that yours still has at least 3 months left. Decide how to recieve your ticket – some flights allow e-tickets which can speed up the check in process. This can be good if you are on a tight schedule, but make sure you are happy with the technology and you know how to use it. Avoid checking in bags if you can. Checking in bags takes time, sometimes costs money and things can get lost. Use carry on luggage only and you will speed through your journey! Check if there are any unusual customs in your destination. Make sure you know how to introduce yourself politely and any values or customs you need to be aware of!
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.