4 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Hybrid Car

Hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular every year. They used to be seen as silly little things that you’d buy to try and show others that you’re better than them because you care for the environment. Now, they’re a great middle ground between typical petrol cars and fully electric automobiles.

If you’re thinking about buying a new car, and have your eyes on a hybrid, then here are a few things you need to know before you make the purchase:

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They’re NOT Fully Electric

Many of you may already be aware of this, but I thought I’d put it on this list just in case. Yes, hybrid cars do have electric batteries in them that can power your car. However, they also have engines that power the car too. This means they’re not classified as fully electric cars. If you want an electric car, then don’t look at hybrids. The clue is in the name; they’re a hybrid of both electric and petrol cars.

Servicing Will Be Different

Servicing a hybrid car is different to servicing a regular car. This is because you essentially have two main power sources for your car. There’s the engine, and then there’s the battery. As it mentions on the Certified Car Care website, many local mechanics don’t have the skills to handle hybrid car servicing. They trained in traditional motor maintenance, meaning they know real engines and nothing else. So, you need to ensure you find a servicing garage that can actually deal with hybrid cars before you buy one. Don’t assume you can take it to your old mechanic and that they’ll be able to do the job.

You Don’t Have To Buy A Prius

There’s a common misconception that hybrid is a term made strictly for the Toyota Prius. This is because it’s the most recognized hybrid vehicle in the world. It was the car that pioneered hybrid technology way back when. But, if you want a hybrid, you don’t need to buy a Prius. There are loads of other cars out there from different brands as well.

You’ll Need A Charging Station At Home

Finally, you must be aware that buying a hybrid car also means you need to buy a charging station for your home. This is because the battery must be charged up, much like a battery in any other device. Sure, you can fill your tank with petrol and use your normal engine if you like. But, you still have to charge the battery if you want to take advantage of the emission saving technology. So, be aware that this is an additional cost, and you need to have room for it to be installed. If you live in a flat, then this might not be possible for you.

Hopefully, this article gives you more information on buying a hybrid car. You now know it’s not a simple case of just getting a new set of wheels to drive around in. There are other concerns too – such as servicing and charging the battery. I also hope that a couple of the points have answered a few questions you may have regarding what a hybrid car actually is.

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“Be Here, Be Now”, A Good Rule of Driving to Remember

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With the advent of mobile phones and built-in communications centers in cars, distracted driving has become more of a problem. And, I suspect it may be responsible for more accidents than we think.

However, even without the instant portable modes of communication we have today, the potential for distracted driving is still there.

Just your own thoughts can be enough to distract you. Say you have an argument with your significant other, then go out in the car. Chances are, that argument will still be on your mind as your driving down the road. And it doesn’t have to be an argument, either. How many of us have thought about how we’d spend the money if we won the lottery with the ticket we’re driving to the store to buy? Or the activities we’re looking forward to doing while driving to that great resort or camping spot? Or about seeing that favorite relative as we’re driving to the airport to pick them up? Or a million other things that can come into one’s head?

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Well, whenever I think my mind may start to wander as I’m driving, I say to myself, “Be here, be now!” In other words, telling myself to pay attention to my driving. And it’s true. Those other thoughts can wait. If you’re worried about something or have some problem to solve, you can’t do anything about it while you’re driving! And don’t worry, you’re already going in the right direction to buy that lottery ticket or pick up that relative, and they’ll be waiting for you.

I’ve seen a few accidents in person and some on video that may well have been caused by drivers distracted by mere thoughts.

So, if you want to stay safe on the road, remember, Be here, Be now!

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Are You A Diligent Driver Or An Accident Waiting To Happen?

Did you know that you’re more likely to be injured in a car accident than almost any other mode of transport? Most of us get into the car every day without any anxiety, but there are always risks involved with driving. Modern cars are built for safety, as well as performance, but even the most innovative of vehicles cannot correct or prevent driver errors. Mistakes and a lack of care and attention account for more than 90 percent of accidents on the roads. Bearing this in mind, do you consider yourself a diligent driver or could you be an accident waiting to happen? Here are some of the most common causes of crashes and some golden rules to follow to steer clear of trouble.

Monitoring your speed

If you drive on a regular basis, you may have come across signs that encourage you to reduce your speed and stick to restrictions. You may think that it’s fun to drive fast and that there are no risks involved in driving above the speed limit if there’s nobody else around. However, there are speed restrictions in place for good reason. When you drive fast, there’s a higher risk of losing control of the vehicle and the impact of a crash is likely to be much more severe at speed. If you crash at 30 mph, damage to the car may be minimal, and injuries are likely to be minor. If you crash at 70, 80 or 90 mph, the story could have a very different ending. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you exceed the limit, you will be liable if you have an accident and you may face legal charges and be required to pay a fine or even spend time in jail. Just as going too fast is dangerous, it’s also important to make sure that you don’t drive too slowly. If you’re holding up a line of traffic behind you, this can also be dangerous. Use the speed limits as a guide and adjust your speed in line with conditions. If it’s raining or there’s snow or ice on the road, reduce your speed and keep well back from vehicles in front, as your stopping distance will increase.

Image by https://www.flickr.com/photos/zachd1_618/3489625168

Focusing on the road

Be honest. How often do you take your eyes off the road to mess around with the radio or make a phone call or send a text message? When you’re driving, you need to maintain your focus at all times. Even if you only glance away for a second, this can put you and other drivers at risk. Keep your eyes on the road ahead, pay attention to other vehicles around you and always be wary of hazards, such as animals, pedestrians and obstacles in the road. If you’re not looking and you’re involved in an accident, it’s highly likely that you will be held liable. If you need to make a call or you want to change the CD or program in a new radio station, find a safe place to pull over. If you tend to do business on the go, invest in a Bluetooth headset or look for a car that has an inbuilt system that enables you to make calls without using your hands or taking your eyes off the road.

Picture credit http://www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/15866

Drunk driving

Drunk driving is one of the most common causes of major accidents on the road. Alcohol affects your ability to react quickly, it can alter your mood and your behaviour, and it can also cloud your judgment. You may think that you’re absolutely fine after a couple of drinks, but often, the impact of drinking isn’t immediately visible. If you want to drink, arrange a lift or book a cab. It’s much better to be safe than sorry. If you’re out on the road and you’re hit by a driver who has been drinking, you have every right to get in touch with experts like those at Mirian Law and find out more about claiming compensation. Drunk driving puts everyone at risk, and often, it’s innocent people who haven’t touched a drop of alcohol that get hurt. Legal limits vary depending on where you are, so the safest thing to do is avoid alcohol altogether if you plan to drive.

A set of car keys in the foreground and glass of whiskey behind.

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/99329675@N02/11064883376

Tiredness

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you can’t physically keep your eyes open? Driving tired puts you and other drivers at risk of injury. When you’re tired, it takes you longer to react, it’s harder to concentrate, and you could even fall asleep at the wheel. If somebody suddenly walks into the road, a tree falls, or a car in front changes lane without looking, you may struggle to hit the brakes fast enough, and this could have disastrous consequences. If you feel exhausted, don’t risk driving. Take a nap and make the journey later. If you’re already on the road and you start to feel tired, pull over in a safe place, have a coffee, stretch your legs and get some fresh air and then get back on the road. If you struggle to stay awake, try and avoid driving late at night and plan journeys in advance. If you’ve got a long drive ahead, schedule an overnight stop and break up the journey. It may take you a little longer to get from A to B, but at least you’ll make it in one piece.

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/comapre/7478206746

Most drivers have opinions about other drivers, but have you ever thought about your performance on the road? Surveys show that most people think they’re good drivers, but the statistics would suggest that not everyone is quite as diligent as they may think. The vast majority of accidents arise as a result of driver errors. Although some accidents are impossible to avoid, most could be prevented. Next time you head out in your car, think about what kind of driver you are and do everything possible to keep yourself and those around you safe. Take your time, stick to speed limits, focus on what you’re doing, avoid drinking and take a break if you’re tired.

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Can You Really Run A Supercar On A Budget? (The Answer Is Yes)

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Ask a petrol head what they would like to drive and the answers will range from Ferrari to Lamborghini. No one wants a Nissan per-say, but they are quite attractive and affordable. And, that is the pertinent point to keep in mind: the cost. Supercars are sexy and fast and desirable, yet they are out of most people’s budget and that is a sticking point.

But, what if there is a way to own a car that will make your neighbour’s eyeballs bleed and it didn’t break the bank?

Of course you’d be interested, but it isn’t true. Well, that isn’t entirely the case.

Set A Figure

A Bugatti will cost a cool half a million dollars, which is an astonishing amount. Ferraris aren’t much cheaper at a quarter of a million, while Porsches and Lambos are six-figure sums too. It seems that all supercars are unattainable yet it isn’t true as some only have four zeros at the end. Take the 911, the German manufacturer’s iconic model. Today, a newer version can cost as little as $40,000. Sure, you won’t have it lying around the house, but the number is a hell of a lot smaller than $500,000. You can pick up an Audi R8 for the same price.

Choose A Runner

What this means is that you want to pick a car that is reliable. Sadly, supercars are known for breaking down and costing their owners a small fortune. The last thing you want to do is go balls out and then realize the auto repair expenses are too high. As always regarding reliability, pick a German car. So, their PR department is working overtime currently, but it doesn’t mean a Porsche is going to break down. On average, the life of a car can last as long as 250,000 miles. The Japanese also have a solid reputation, too.

Back To The Future

Fuel efficiency is another expense that can break the bank if you are not careful. Supercars are notorious for guzzling gas and spitting it out in toxic fumes and it’s not good for your bank balance. The price of fuel is rising around the world as fossil fuel resources deplete, which is a bummer. Burning petrol is not the answer, but using electricity is a fine solution. Tesla is the market leader at the moment, with traditional manufacturers hot in pursuit. Choosing a hybrid or a fully electric engine like a Roadster is a fantastic way to be current and own a badass motor.

Try Second-Hand

The idea of owning a supercar is to show off to the whole of the neighbourhood. However, you do need to have the money to floss and not care about the costs. For those that can’t buy a car without checking their bank balance, a used model is an option. Lots of owners get rid of their toys and replace them with new, in vogue alternatives, leaving perfectly good wheels to rust. Not only is the right one cheap but reliable, too.

Do you want to own a supercar? Hopefully, you’ll be four steps closer.

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Essential Knowledge For Taking Care Of Your Car

In today’s world, it is almost impossible not to own a car. Yes, there are public transport options everywhere, but many of these take considerably longer than simply jumping in your car and driving to your destination. Whether your car is new or used, there are certain things that you need to be aware of in order to properly care for your car. Some of these may be covered under your warranty or service package if you have a new car, but it is always useful to have a little bit more knowledge when it comes to your primary mode of transport. Below are a few tips and bits of information which should make your time as a car owner easier on you and your car.

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Daily engine care

This may sound like a huge commitment that you don’t have the time for, but it is actually quite simple. The best thing you can do for your car is to simply make sure that you are being kind to it on a daily basis. Some people jump into their cars, turn the ignition, put the car into gear, and go screaming up the road in a matter of seconds. This is a horrible thing to do to your car and will wear out the engine components very quickly. Firstly, after turning the ignition, you should wait a few seconds for the oil pressure to build up within the engine, the oil is what keeps all the metal components lubricated and working well together. After that, you should gently put the car into gear. If you drive a manual car the gearbox can be a little stiff until the transmission fluid is up to temperature, so you should take this into account. But perhaps the most important aspect in this scenario is a fundamental flaw that some people are definitely guilty of. And that is that you should not put a large amount of stress on a cold engine. Think of your car like an athlete; you wouldn’t expect anyone to be able to compete in a 100m sprint without an adequate warm up, and neither can your car. It can take up to ten minutes of gentle driving for an engine to reach its operating temperature. Only then can it safely be asked to accelerate hard or climb farther up the rev range. If you are someone who enjoys taking their car out for a spirited drive, it is important to finish your weekend blast with another ten minutes of gentle driving and finally letting the car idle for a minute before switching off the engine.

Checking and changing oil

This is such an easy job to do on most cars, yet many people fail to give it the time it deserves. Oil is to your car’s engine what blood is for your body. Without it, your car simply cannot function. An engine has incredibly high operating temperatures and lots of metal parts rubbing and grinding against each other, your car’s oil can help to reduce the wear and tear of these internal components. As a rough guide, most cars call for an oil change every 5,000 miles and an oil and filter change every 10,000 miles. There are plenty of in-depth guides and videos teaching you how to change your oil and filter, which sounds technical but is actually a very easy job with the right tools. If you don’t have an expansive toolkit or are a bit hopeless with DIY, then you should take your car to a qualified mechanic. If possible, you should take your car to a specialist, like Bavarian Workshop BMW services, who deals with your particular make of car. You should also be checking your oil level on a weekly basis. Checking the oil is incredibly simple, all you need to do is pop the hood and locate the dipstick. If you aren’t too sure what this looks like on your car, the owner’s manual should provide the relevant information. You should check the engine oil level when the car is cold to give a more accurate reading, checking when the engine is warm will mean that there will be oil distributed all around the engine and not located entirely in the sump (which is where most of the oil drains to when the engine isn’t running). Take out the dipstick, wipe it off on an old rag or paper towel and then replace it fully. Withdraw it again and check where the oil comes up to on the dipstick. There should be an upper and lower line, and you want the oil to be in between these. If it is quite close to the lower line, or below it, you will need to top up the oil. Be sure to top up with the same brand of oil as is in the car already, mixing brands can cause the different additives to not work well together and can damage your engine.

Changing a tyre

This is another incredibly simple and essential piece of information regarding your car. Everyone should know how to change a tyre. Punctures rarely occur at a time that suits you and waiting for breakdown recovery to come and help you could take hours, not to mention that you could get your puncture somewhere out of signal range. Every car will come with a spare wheel (sometimes a smaller version called a space-saver wheel), a jack, and a wrench. Simply park your car on a level surface, put it into gear if it’s a manual or park if it’s an automatic, and apply the hand brake. Then you need to loosen the nuts on the offending wheel suing the wrench. These will be pretty tight, but most wrenches are extendable to allow you to make use of a larger lever arm. After you’ve loosened the nuts, jack up the car at the proper jacking point until the tyre is about an inch off the ground. Take the nuts off, switch the wheels, then finger tighten the nuts. Release the jack, then when the car is on the ground you can use the wrench to tighten the nuts. Make them as tight as you can for now, when you go to get the puncture repaired the mechanic can put the nuts on to the correct torque setting. Space-saver wheels are not designed to travel at high speed or for long distances, but either way, you should get the puncture repaired or the tyre replaced as soon as possible.

There you have it, three simple pieces of information that are crucial to the continued care of you and your vehicle. A car is an incredibly complex piece of machinery and needs the right amount of attention. Look after it right, and it will never let you down.

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Don’t Be a Sinking Ship: A Guide to Travelling Around the World in your Boat

There are plenty of people out there who would never even think about buying a boat and this is because they believe that a boat is a bad investment. They also think that a boat investment is like throwing money overboard. Some boats do end up costing quite a bit in repairs, but others don’t as much so it really all comes down to choosing the right one for your needs. There are also many pitfalls that you can avoid to try and cut the cost down as well. All in all, a boat is a brilliant investment if you want to travel the world and your family can have years of enjoyment as a result.

Affordability and Expenditure

Did you know that when you have your very own boat, you can travel as far or as close as you’d like? You can take to the seas and venture out to almost any location. The problem is that you have to make sure that the boat you have is affordable and you also have to make sure that you can afford to run it. Financing is a great option here and there are plenty of dealers who can help you. They can even help you to cut the interest rate down as well!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/sea-dawn-nature-sky-127160/

Insurance

One of the first things that you would have to consider is the insurance. There are a lot of factors that can come into play here and that includes your boating experience, the cost of your license and more. When you do have your insurance sorted out, you will have to make sure that the insurance covers you if you do happen to travel out of the country as this is one of the many pitfalls that a lot of people experience when owning their first boat.

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Boating Tips that will Change the Way You Travel

If you want to make the most out of your boat travel then you have to make sure that you drive at a slower speed so that you can increase your fuel efficiency. You also need to invest in some marine grade lumber as this is one of the best ways for you to make the most out of your purchase. Of course, it’s also very important that you minimise the amount of time that your boat is in the dock and you need to keep your engines maintained as well.

All of this will help you to keep the cost down with your boat and it will also help you to make sure that you are happy with the end result of your purchase in general. All in all, travelling the world on a boat is an experience unlike any other and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to have the journey of a lifetime without having to worry about a thing. It’s a great experience for the whole family and it is a great way for you to spend the time to focus on yourself as well.

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Having Trouble Deciding Between New And Used Cars

Having Trouble Deciding Between New And Used Cars?

Your life

The need for a car can depend highly on your lifestyle and what use you can make of it. It’s all very well if you need your car every day in order to get to work and back, but can you guarantee you’ll get that much use out of it? If you don’t need to travel so frequently, you might want to consider other forms of transport instead. With that said, how do you determine what kind of car you need to get when it comes to buying one. Everyone has their preferences and needs, and the difference between used and new can vary significantly.

New cars

When it comes to buying new cars, you can expect to get along with it without having to worry about any issues or problems on the horizon. Even if you do run into these problems, you’re very likely to have a warranty on it. Not just that, but you’re much more likely to get better deals when it comes to financing it too because you have to get it from a car dealer. It’s more expensive, but you’re investing that money in the guaranteed quality and flawlessness. If you’re passionate about your car, you want to make sure it’s going to look and run perfectly at the same time, and you don’t want to have to settle for things like scratches or mechanical imperfections that you would get from a used car.

The main reason people don’t tend to buy new cars is because of the pricing. Some people are completely fine when it comes to dealing with scratches and dents, possibly even some mechanical problems as long as they can knock a percentage of the price down. For example, take a look at the new Vauxhall Viva and get an idea of what kind of price you would be looking at. Now, don’t take that as buying a new car isn’t worth the money; for most car owners it absolutely is. A car is something you can be proud of, and something you should be able to feel joy from owning; not just a rusty old bucket to get you from A to B.

Used Cars

There’s a huge market for used cars, and that’s for many reasons. First of all, having to buy used is an essential for a huge demographic of people; for example, students. When you first learn to drive, you’re likely unable to afford all of the costs that come with a new car, because you’re not just looking at the base payment, you need to consider your insurance too. New drivers typically have to pay more for their insurance, as they’ve not had any experience to prove themselves; that number does go down over time, however. You’re saving a lot of money, yes; but you’re also risking a lot too. Many faults can come with a used car, and you need to be careful when picking one out; else you may end up with a useless hunk of metal over the course of a year.

(Source: Pexels)

There’s a preference for everyone, you just need to make sure that the costs are in your interests, and also your needs for the vehicle. It’s best to go for new if you’re going to be putting it through rigorous usage; as an older and already worn car is much more likely to fail on you in short time.

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