Author Archive for cormac84

A Closer Look At The Mercedes Benz C Class – A Review

Mercedes last updated the C Class in 2011 – giving it a thorough facelift and really pushing it to the compact executive fore. Even though we expect to see a new version of the car later on this year, the current model still is going head to head with the A4 and 3 Series. So, let’s take a look at how it fares and whether there’s still some bite in the soon to be replaced motor.

Design

One of the big things that came about with the Merc’s midlife refresh was the revised styling. The car got some new headlamps to bring it in line with newer models and also its bumpers, running lamps and other areas got a refresh.

However, the C Class still struggles to look as sporty as the BMW and is quite restrained in comparison. The AMG body kits do tend to spice things up somewhat with their larger wheels and bi xenon headlamps. The cabin is more subtle, though quality is very good and there’s plenty of tech too including Bluetooth and dual climate control.

The Drive

The Mercedes is a competent performer and it’s not just as sporty as the BMW or even the Audi for instance, however even its most basic engines are decent power plants. From the turbocharged C180’s 1.6l to the C63AMG’s 6.2l V8 – each has a purpose and each is more than fit for that purpose.

The most popular choice is the 201bhp C250CDI’s engine which has plenty of power mid-range and though the gearing is a little clunky is a good car. There is a 7 speed that’s fantastic but you pay a princely sum for it.

Ride and handling are well…..Mercedes like – which is a good thing. It’s not as sharp as the BMW, but it’s a very comfortable ride that offers a lot.

Reliability

The Mercedes is well equipped in safety terms and in fact leads its class. The addition of 7 airbags, electronic stability control and a number of other additions is great. There’s a number of other great optional extras too. Buyers can opt for the Driver Assistance package, which includes lane assist, blind spot monitoring and a number of other smart features.

The car is well built and reliable too and a lot better than some of its recent predecessors and a hark back to the days of old. Servicing costs aren’t cheap however.

Is it Practical?

The Mercedes C Class is a sensible family car and there’s plenty of room for two adults and more than a couple of children. The 475l of boot space is almost as large as the BMW’s and there’s plenty of other room in the door pocket, glove box and other little hidden areas. The only downside is the lack of split rear seats – which both the Audi and BMW provide.

Costs

Economy and CO2 emissions are massively slashed on this model of Mercedes – no surprise as it will often be used as a company car. The C220 CDi’s Blue EFFICIENCY engine is the best of the bunch and manages a CO2 figure of 109g/KM and almost 69mpg. However, the C63 unsurprisingly is a different kettle of fish and produces 280g/km of CO2 and returns 23mpg – however, it’s hardly as surprise.

The car’s resale values are quite decent and you can expect to receive 40% of the value of the car after 3 years – quite like an Audi or a BMW. However, unlike the Audi and BMW there’s no fixed price service. However, the chance of having to pay for Mercedes repairs is low as the car is a massive improvement in quality on generations previous to this C Class.

The C Class is right up there and considering it’s at the end of its life is a good auto with a lot going for it.

What to do when you have a car accident abroad

The first thing you should do after being in a car accident abroad is ensure that nobody needs urgent medical treatment and that all parties are safe and not in any immediate danger. This includes clearing the road if possible but not if it puts you in danger.

The next step would be to inform the police and get a copy of the police report. If you need an interpreter now would be the time to ask for one.

You should then:

  • Make notes about what occurred during the incident
  • Take photographs of the scene to use as evidence, this should include pictures of the vehicles, number plates, damage and positions on the road. Aswell as any potential hazards that may have contributed to the accident such as ice.
  • Ensure that you exchange insurance details
  • Get contact details of any witnesses at the scene
  • It is important that you don’t apologise or admit liability as this could be used against you in a claim

If you are travelling in europe it is important that you ensure that you understand all the rules of the road relevant for the country you are visiting.

Which insurers do I call?

If you were driving your own vehicle make sure you tell your insurance company about the accident as soon as you can even if you do not wish to make a claim. You should give your insurance company as much information about the accident as you can, this will help them to process your claim. Key things you should do before you travel abroad

  • Check your car insurance is valid abroad before you travel.
  • Ideally contact your insurer at least a month before taking your vehicle abroad
  • Many insurance companies offer third-party cover while overseas, not comprehensive cover. This could leave you out of pocket if there is damage to your vehicle

If you were driving a hire vehicle and have an accident you should report your accident to the local Police before you come back to the UK. Make sure you do not admit liability as this can affect your car hire insurance claim. At Claims Hull we would advise you to contact your hire car company as soon as possible, make sure you give them as much information as possible about the accident. Once you are home it may be a good idea to write to the hire car company with a full report of the accident.

Can I make a compensation claim in England?

In most cases you can make a claim in England for your car accident. You just have to ensure that you have reported the car accident you have been involved in to the relevant authorities abroad. You also need to make sure to retrieve any insurance and registration information from the third party involved.

Enjoy your holiday but always be road safe. Don’t drink and drive and be aware of all the relevant rules of the road you should follow in order to have a safe and happy holiday.

 

 

How Professional Drivers can Stay Healthy and Keep Insurance Low

Truckers are noted for their driving skills, as much as they are for their health and it often seems that problems with weight and professional drivers go hand in hand. The sedimentary nature of the job means that drives can spend 10 hours or more a day sitting in one place – something that doesn’t tend to constitute a personal trainers’ dream.

Of course, the other side of health concerns is that it increases insurance risk and this is something that can cause significant issues on a number of levels. However, with this in mind, we’ve compiled a number of tips and pieces of advice on how to keep healthy when working behind the wheel.

Plan your Day

One of the unhealthiest things about being a trucker is that many are trying to meet a schedule and so skip out on important things that could help health. Plan your day to include stops for food, exercise and even a snack to ensure that you can fit them in and don’t end up working long hours and eating badly.

Food

Food is the fuel that drives you and allows you to drive and eating unhealthy options causes immediate and long term problems. Eating unhealthily will mean that you have peaks and troughs of energy – something that’s not ideal when you need your wits about you. In addition, it can cause long term heart, health and other problems that could cause you to crash. People with health issues tend to pay higher premiums – we know that at http://www.multiquotetruck.co.uk/truck-insurance

Learn the foods that keep your healthy and also keep an eye on portion sizes. Snacking can also be an issue for truckers, who are constantly at the wheel. Try and avoid it at all costs as it can be a significant source of empty calories. If you must snack, bring healthy snacks in the truck with you.

Water

Keeping hydrated helps with concentration and also health and you should always have some water beside you at all times and constantly sip away to keep your body clean and at its best.

Smoking

Smoking, particularly if you smoke in the cab is a terrible pastime that can be a real bane and serious health hazard. Avoid it at all costs. Many truckers chain smoke just as a way of passing the time and often end up smoking boxes of cigarettes each day. Quit smoking and you’ll instantaneously be healthier and also have more money in your back pocket.

Exercise

One of the issues a lot of truck drivers end up having, is that they find it extremely hard to fit in exercise. Walking is a great form of exercise and if you can fit in over 30 minutes a day before, during or after work it’s ideal. It helps keep you fresh, fives your heart a boost and significantly lowers the incidence of heart disease. Add it into your routine.

Rest

Of course, the other side of the coin is when you’re off work. Truckers and professional drivers tend to have to drive at all hours and this can leave them with weird sleep patterns. Try and ensure you get plenty of rest between shifts. In addition, you may need to consider multivitamins to help.

Following these tips should keep your healthy and fit and in work, while keeping your wellbeing up and health care and insurance costs down.

 

The Best Ways To Determine A Car’s True Value

When you are buying or selling a car, one thing that always springs to mind is the true value of that car.

Image Credit

Virtually all private sellers and car dealers will advertise a car at a price slightly higher than the market value in order to make a profit on the sale, and if you are trying to sell your own car, it can sometimes be hard to determine what the real value of it is.

So if you are trying to buy or sell a car, how exactly do you know what the “real” value of that car is? Check out these top tips to help you find out!

Get an online valuation estimate

The first thing to do would be to check out websites such as Parkers or Glass’s Guide. They will let you choose your car’s make, model, year of manufacture and you can even enter in the exact mileage for a more precise valuation estimate.

You will be able to get an estimate based on the condition (poor, fair or good), as well as the trade-in value of the car should you wish to trade it in for a newer car. You can also get a free car valuation at WeWantAnyCar (this website is great if you need to sell your car fast, by the way).

Check eBay Motors’ completed listings

One of the main reasons that people use eBay is to sell their cars using the eBay Motors part of their website (I’ve sold a few previous cars on there too).

Although it is obviously an auction website, it will also give you an indication of what real-world prices you are likely to attain if you were to sell your car today (or indeed, the value of the car you are interested in buying).

In order to check out the completed listings of cars that were advertised for sale through a classifieds advert or put through as an auction or “buy it now” auction, you will need to log in using your normal eBay username and password.

Should you not have an account on eBay, it is fairly straightforward – and free – to set one up. Alternatively, you could search with a friend or family member using their eBay account instead, should you not want to create one of your own.

Check current listings online

Another thing you can also do whilst you are online is to check out the current listings for the same make and model of your car. You can do this by looking at various websites that specifically offer motoring classifieds adverts, as well as other classifieds websites which also have a separate motoring classifieds section.

If your car is a popular model, then chances are someone has set up a community forum dedicated to it, so it’s worth doing a search to find out. Most, if not all forums, have a classifieds section where their members can post up for sale adverts.

Sometimes you might have to register to use the website, as some forums are private.

BMW i3 – A Quick Look

bmw-i3-coupe-concept-3The BMW i3 may have a name that makes it sound that it has been built in conjunction with Apple, but we can assure you it’s all BMW and as revolutionary as any product Apple has created.

Unlike other sorts of electric vehicles the new i3 is a very different type of electric car thanks to a number of innovations. For one thing the BMW comes with a rear wheel drive – something that is quite unusual in the electric vehicle world. However, it does make sense. The car’s rear powered  wheels are in the perfect position thanks to the driveline and mean that there is no need to string hefty cables from front to rear or vice versa.

Battery

The auto itself has a 230kg battery, which sits underneath the floor of the car and is kept at low temperatures thanks to the cars air conditioning system. This is all well protected thanks to a thoroughly strong chassis and sills made of nothing less than carbon fibre. The motor that drives the car is positioned beneath the boot’s floor.

The car keeps weight down thanks to a suspension made from aluminium and hollow drive shafts. The wheels of the car are made from forged aluminium and all screw, bolts and a whole lot more is made from aluminium.

Weighing in at 1270kg, the BMW is a quite light car, obviously thanks to the use of aluminium and carbon fibre. BMW quotes that a car made with traditional materials of this kind would be around 300kg heavier – which would obviously greatly impact on the fuel consumption and the power to weight ratio, which would affect performance.

Power

Power wise the 22kWh lithium ion battery can produce plenty of it and the electric motor drives 168bhp through the rear wheels of the car – a lot of petrol cars pale in comparison to this figure. Expect the car to go as fast as 93mph and acceleration to be undimmed throughout.

Of course, the other big performance factor is the range of the car and BMW quote this at 140 miles on a charge on combined roads. In realistic terms expect to see around 100 miles to a charge. BMW however has also offered the option of adding a range extender to the vehicle – something we’re interested to see with our experience as BMW specialists Cardiff.

This is essentially a 650cc motorcycle engine that’s added to the car and acts as a generator for the car’s battery. This will charge the car as it goes and pushes its range to 186 miles. This is expected to be added to the vast majority of cars that are bought.

Rear Hinges

The car comes with rear hinged doors – possibly there just to push the notion of modernity, while inside the car is comfortable enough to accommodate four people at a push. The trim comes in all manner of shapes and forms with wood, plastic and fibres thrown in. However, reports suggest that it doesn’t completely live up to its BMW billing and is a little slacker in terms of quality than usual.

However, one benefit of the motor in the rear is that the noise of the electric power is at the rear and quite quiet.  Expect the ride to be better also thanks to the cars lightness and handling is said to be precise, while he car is brisk and agile on B roads – quite similar to a Mini – a car that it utilises plenty of parts from.

The BMW is probably the best attempt at any EV yet and a real step forward in a lot of ways. However, priced at over £25,000, it’s a lot more than the £11,000 tag on a Nissan Leaf. Though, it is a BMW after all.

8 Tips to Get More from your Car Hire

Car hire can be a great solution to a whole myriad of problems and offer a very effective solution to the need for a car. However, good management is a necessity; otherwise the savings you make from this sort of hire for employees will be redundant and disappear. So, we’ve compiled a number of tips to get more for less from your ca hire.

  • Car hire should be booked for when it’s needed and no more or no less. Extra days or weeks of car hire or rental in both the long and short term will cost more money and is pointless.
  • The car should do the job at hand and little more and paying extra money for something you don’t need is pointless – so don’t do it. Choose a car that fits your needs and your group size and that should be enough.
  • Car hires require two people; otherwise you need to make sure that the car is left at your business. This is the same rule for the return of the car – so look for a long term car rental company that also offers collection.
  • One of the most common areas for dispute lies in the condition of a car. Upon delivery you should check the car with a fine tooth comb to ensure that there is no damage to the auto. Watch out as many companies will provide you with the car and run away, leaving you a little blindsided. Avoid this and if you can’t inform them straight away if you find an issue.
  • Mileage can also be an area of dispute, so always ensure you check the mileage at the beginning of the journey as there may be issues over the amount you can drive and the usage patterns involved.
  • Fuel is also another issue of dispute and so should be also taken account of before a car is rented or sent out. Some businesses tend to have a return full policy, while some have a fuel empty policy – check beforehand to ensure you know the policy and are prepared to send the car back in the correct way afterwards. Ensuring the car is filled slightly higher than it was when it was taken out should suffice and serve to prevent problems.
  • Even though it’s only a little thing – the number of keys you are given is also a problem and something that can cause significant issues when the car is returned. Make sure to record the number you received to ensure you don’t lose any and take account of all of the ones you’ve had when given the car by the company.
  • One of the best ways to ensure you don’t lose keys is to get the driver to sign the keys in and out. This will help prevent loss and allows you to easily locate the keys if they are misplaced. The new driver should also be given a run down on the vehicle, where everything is in it and how it works. They should also be offered an emergency number in case there are any issues.

These tips should help you ensure you get the best possible deals and there are no surprises

How to Change a Car Battery in 10 Steps

A dead battery can’t be recharged and will leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere quite often – not something you want when you’re miles away from home, or on a cold winter’s day. Batteries tend to come with expiry dates and if they don’t around half a decade is the expected norm. Removing a batPhoto-CarBatterytery before the end of its life expectancy and replacing it with another is quite an easy task once you know how. And, if you don’t we’re going to teach you – here’s how to change a car battery at home and save going to the garage to have it done.

  • Firstly, turn off your engine and ensure that the vehicle has its handbrake on.
  • Open up the bonnet of the car and put a blanket or a soft rug over the bumper area. This is there to prevent any of the battery acid that may have escaped causing problems to the paintwork.
  • Battery terminal cables now need to be removed. Each case is different here and you will need to take a close look at your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see if your vehicle has negative ground. In this case, use a wrench to loosen the nut and bolt on the lamp, with the battery cable on the negative terminal. If the vehicle is positive ground, loosen the positive terminal. The cable should now be removed and placed out of the way. Do this then with the other cable and lay aside. Often the bolt can be tough to remove. In this case take hold with one wrench and the nut with the other and move the wrenches in the opposite direction. This should loosen it.
  • The battery may be in place by a bolt of screw, remove this completely, using your hand to make the final turn to avoid it falling away into the engine.
  • Now, you can remove the battery and place it out of your way.
  • If there is rust on the tray that held the battery, wear some gloves and clean it with some baking soda in water. Make sure that the area is dry before the next step.
  • Get the new battery and place it in the tray and ensure it’s in the same direction as the previous one.
  • Replace the pieces that kept the previous battery in place and ensure that the battery is fully secure.
  • This is important – put the cables on the terminals in the opposite order to the way you removed them. So, for instance, if your vehicle has negative ground places the positive back first. Ensure that the clamps that hold the cables to the terminal are tight. Your car battery should now be replaced and you can close the bonnet of the car.
  • You should now take the old battery to a recycling centre that will accept batteries and so that it can be properly disposed of. Throwing a battery in the rubbish will cause serious environmental issues as it’s filled with heavy metals and corrosive liquids. At alpha-batteries.co.uk we help recycle and the same is true in places you buy a battery from will change it – so just enquire about it.

Now, your battery should be changed and your car ready for a number of years of trouble free driving.

What Does the Future Hold for Electric Cars?

Electric cars have a history that spans far further back than most people realise. Although they’ve only really been this popular since around the start of 2012, the very first electric car was produced in the 1800’s, and this makes many people ask why they didn’t catch on earlier.

Well, the reason for this is almost certainly cost. The parts needed to make an electric car have always been relatively cheap, but for them to transport people effectively, there needs to be literally thousands of charging points all over the UK – and that requires someone with a somewhat fat wallet.

Anyway, we’re not talking about the history of the electric car in this article, oh no, it’s time for us to focus on the future, because that’s where it gets really interesting. Just remember, if you’re not short of a few quid, you can pick up great electric cars today from respected retailers like Jardine Motors (amongst others).

So What Will Change?

Well, quite a lot actually. Within the next ten years, you can expect to see vast improvements in electric vehicle quality. Most manufacturers are looking towards the use of newly designed lithium batteries that will have the ability to absorb an increased amount of lithium ions, which will obviously make the charge last considerably longer. On top of this, motors will be constructed without the use of any precious metals, making them far less expensive and allowing the average UK citizen to afford to go electric.

Also, manufacturers are moving in the direction of aluminium and high-strength steel, which will mean the electric cars of the future will be much lighter, resulting in them being able to travel much further on a single charge.

What About The Inside?

Good question! As we move into an increasingly automated age, electric cars certainly won’t be left behind. In truth, it’s much easier to control these vehicles via a central system, so we’re sure to see major advancements in direction plotting, controls of vehicle dynamics, and driver interfaces. This will make our roads much safer than they currently are.

Obviously the ideal end point here is full automation, where nobody physically drives their car, although we won’t see this becoming commonplace until around 2025. Still, it’s an exciting prospect, and something worth looking forward to. When we achieve full automation, there will no longer be any road traffic accidents, and no-one should ever lose their lives as a result of someone else’s bad driving.

Will The Way We Charge Stay The Same?

Pretty much yes. The only difference will be improved battery life and less time spent at charging points. At the moment some companies are rolling out new technology that will allow electric cars to travel around 10 miles for every minute they’re plugged into a charging point, so half an hour per day should be enough for even long distance commuters.

Well, there you have it my forward thinking friends. That was a quick guide to some of the things you can expect to see from electric car manufacturers in the very near future. We live in exciting times, so don’t fear the future; be it.