Title: Family Road Trip Playlist

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Summary: It can be difficult to please everyone when it comes to the music played in the car. Save yourself a headache and have everyone bopping along to this super family friendly playlist!

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Meta Description: Something to please all the family on the road!

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A little bit of something for everyone, this playlist is a road trip necessity!

 

The Beatles – Drive My Car

Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl

Pharrell Williams – Happy

The Jackson 5 – ABC

Aretha Franklin – Respect

Sheryl Crow – All I Wanna Do

Katrina and The Waves – Walking On Sunshine

Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off

Justin Timberlake – CAN’T STOP THE FEELING

Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild

The Beatles – Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Aerosmith – Walk This Way

Randy Newman – You Got A Friend In Me

Katy Perry – Firework

Imagine Dragons – Thunder

Miley Cyrus – Party In The USA

Justin Bieber – Sorry

 

Author: Bristol Street Motors

Title: 5 Incredible Road Trips From Around The World

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Summary: You don't have to be a wanderer at heart to enjoy a road trip, you just need to be able to drive. Grab a cuppa and take a look at some of the most magnificent trails in the world!

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Meta Description: 5 of the best road trips from around the world

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There is nothing better than packing the car with your favourite people and things, and heading off on an adventure. Here are some of the most beautiful, exhilarating road trips in the world, in no particular order!

 

The Wild Atlantic Way – West Coast Of Ireland

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At a staggering 2,500km, the Wild Atlantic Way is not only one of the most beautiful road trips in the world, it’s also the longest! Taking anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, this trip will show you enormous sea cliffs, gorgeous beaches and fantastic culture. Make sure to check out Donegal headlands, Slieve League coast and Yeats Country for the poets amongst you!

The Ring Road – Iceland

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Having done snippets of this one myself, I can tell you it is not to be missed! The sheer size of the famous waterfalls, like Gulfoss, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss will have you astounded, not to mention the wild Icelandic countryside. You can tailor the trip to last anywhere from a few days to 2 weeks. Amazing.

Cabot Trail – Canada

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This stunning trail is packed with activities come rain or shine. In the winter months, you can snowmobile or take part in cross-country skiing and there is horseback riding and whale watching in the warmer months. Not to mention the unbelievable coastal hikes and old-growth forests to explore. Who has the car keys??

North Coast 500 – Scotland

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If you live in the UK, you don’t have to travel very far to see some beautiful scenery on a road trip. Bonny Scotland is home to the North Coast 500, where you’ll see historic castles, coastal walks, scattered whiskey distilleries as well as the chance to see the Northern Lights! I’ll pack the car.

South Island – New Zealand

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Much further afield, exploring the South Island in New Zealand will have you trekking varying landscapes from mountains to sprawling countryside. It takes about 4 weeks to travel around the whole island and there are places not to be missed, such as Marlborough Sounds, Abel Tasman National Park and Golden Bay, Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook (worth a Google at the very least!)

Author: Bristol Street Motors

Title: Car Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

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Summary: No one likes to pay for maintenance of their car but here are some jobs you can do yourself to limit the costs of keeping your vehicle running as smooth as a nut!

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Meta Description: Some easy car maintenance you can carry out yourself

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In order to keep down maintenance costs, we have put together a few different jobs you can do to make sure your car is running properly. You may not know your spark plugs from your alternators, but this guide should give you an idea of what to do!

 

TYRES
Tyres are essentially your vehicle’s shoes and we all know what it’s like wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes! When inspecting your tyres, you want to be looking for any cracks or gouges around the tread and sides of the tyres. If you spot a nail or screw, don’t remove them because the tyre may deflate. Instead, drive carefully to your nearest dealership where the tyre can be repaired or replaced!

To visit our Tyre Shop, click here 

 

WINDSCREEN WASHER FLUID
This is super easy so don’t worry if your mechanical skills are limited! Usually under the bonnet, you’ll find the windscreen washer bottle cap, which will have a washer jet symbol printed on it. The lid usually unclips but if you aren’t sure, check your manual before you start pouring!
Screen wash fluid is better than water alone as it contains a detergent to remove stubborn dirt. Check to see if it needs to be diluted then fill the bottle. Job done!

CHECKING/TOPPING UP YOUR OIL
Another pretty easy job although this has potential to get a little bit messy! Your engine needs to be cool and your car should be parked on an even surface for the most accurate results. You need to be looking out for the dipstick,  which is near the engine, usually yellow or orange. If you can’t find it your car manual, or Google, is your friend here.
Once you find it, carefully remove it and wipe with a piece of kitchen roll. Pop it back in fully then remove it again. At the end of the dipstick, there are minimum and maximum marks, where the level of oil should be sitting.
If it’s below the minimum, you will need to top up your oil. Making sure to get the correct oil for your vehicle to avoid any engine catastrophes.
Remove the cap, pour in the oil, then check the depth again using the dipstick. Be sure not to overfill!

WINDSCREEN WIPERS
There isn’t a standard size or type for windscreen wipers so make sure you find out which ones you need for your vehicle.
Turn off your windscreen wipers if they’re on (unless you feel like challenging yourself) Lift the wipers away from the windscreen gently as they are quite delicate. They will have retaining clips but they very from vehicle to vehicle so pay close attention to how they fit. Once you’ve worked out how your existing blades detach, do the process in reverse to fit your shiny new wiper blades. Give them a cheeky test and away you go!

WASHING YOUR CAR
Although it may not seem quite like maintenance, removing grime, bird droppings  and road salt, in winter, will preserve your paint and protect against potential rust. Plus who doesn’t love a gleaming car?
If you aren’t hands on when it comes to washing, you can get it washed at an automatic/hand car wash, which you have to pay for. Alternatively, you can get your sponge and bucket out to give your car some TLC. Use a soft microfiber cloth to avoiding scratching your paintwork and finish with a wax and polish. Ideal!

 

Those are just a few things you can do yourself. For a more comprehensive service carried out by the professionals, click here and book today! Marvellous!

Author: Bristol Street Motors

Title: How to be a friendly driver

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Summary: Sometimes driving can be the most stressful thing you do all day, but it doesn't have to be. Read on for ways to stay focused and relaxed on the road!

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Meta Description: How to stay friendly and relaxed on the road!

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Assume they’re having a worse day than you
You may have spilt your coffee down your new shirt this morning, or maybe you left those really important papers on your kitchen side. Maybe you even forgot that tomorrow is your anniversary and you still have nothing for your significant other. Whatever might have happened and however stressed you may feel, take a moment to think about what other people might be going through. She may be in a rush to get to the hospital. He may be slightly distracted coming back from a funeral. This doesn’t mean that your problems aren’t real but don’t take them out on strangers around you.

 

Respect the personal space of those around you
It might not be their own rear end but getting a bit too close to the car in front of you is, nevertheless, unnecessary and unpleasant for its occupants. It’s putting yourself and them in danger and accomplishes nothing. Most likely the’ll stay exactly the same speed or potentially even slow down. If a car is tailing you, never feel pressure to speed up! If anything, you need to bring your speed down to give you, and them, more time to react if you were to break suddenly.

 

Do to others as you would want done to you
A wave of thanks takes nothing but can put the recipient in a better mood for the rest of their journey. Even if they were only following the rules of the road by letting you through, there are far too many people who ignore said rules! Make it worth their while with an acknowledgement of gratitude and they’re likely to pay it forward – make the roads a happier place one wave at a time.

 

Accept that we all make mistakes sometimes
The first thing you need to accept is we all occasionally end up in the wrong lane on a roundabout or misjudge the speed of an oncoming car when pulling out of a junction. Moments like these aren’t done on purpose to spite you so don’t get defensive. Stay calm, react to their movements safely and carry on with your day. Aggressively beeping at someone who’s in the wrong accomplishes nothing but distracts them from their own driving. If you’re worried, beep once to remind them of your presence, but there’s no need to deafen them.

 

If you are worried about someone’s driving, you can always take note of their number plate, and any possible details about the individual, and anonymously ring the DVLA on 0844 453 0118 (reports with the police will be passed onto the DVLA).

Author: Bristol Street Motors

Title: How to stay calm before your driving test

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Summary: You may be nervous when it comes to taking your practical driving test but taking some simple steps can help alleviate any anxiety!

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Meta Description: 10 ways to keep your nerves in check before you take your driving test!

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Your driving test feels like a big deal when the time comes to it and there is often a lot of pressure on passing first time. While it doesn’t really matter how many times it takes you to pass, there is nothing stopping you from passing first time with a little preparation!

Below we have listed our top 10 tips for reducing stress and staying calm before and during your test; have a read through, take a deep breath and know that you’ve got this!

You don’t have to be perfect
This is the most important point to remember – even if you make a mistake on the test, there is a high likelihood that it’s only a minor error and you can have up to 15 minors! Forget about it and move on; don’t let worrying about your last mistake distract you into making another one.

Keep it a secret
It’s hard enough dealing with your own emotions without adding worrying about other peoples to the pile. Tell people you need to tell or want to tell but keeping it quiet takes some of the pressure off! If things don’t go quite to plan then people never need to know.

Arrive 15 minutes early
Plan your trip to the test centre in good time, you don’t want to be rushing to the test centre as it will make you even more stressed before you start. At the same time, if you arrive too early there’s nothing to do but overthink things which you want to avoid.

Ask your instructor for a mock test
The driving test seems daunting but in actual fact there are only a limited number of things that you’ll be asked to do and all can be practised beforehand. Get your instructor to take you on a practice run in the area that you’ll actually be taking your test in. Take note of any special speed limit zones and try out your manoeuvres along the roads that may come up in the real thing.

Take time to prepare yourself on the day
Make sure you’ve had a good sleep the night before (although if the stress is keeping you awake, don’t then panic further!) and have some proper food in your system. Food might be the last thing on your mind but having a good meal the night before and a decent breakfast will give you more energy on the day. Stick to healthy foods that you might eat most days, your body will be used to these and you won’t be worried about upsetting your stomach.

Have a think about what to wear
This might sound silly but wearing something you feel good in will give you a little boost of confidence which can help during your test. Aim for something smart but comfortable, as wearing something that isn’t your everyday outfit will help you stay a bit more alert but make sure it won’t get in the way of your driving. If you want to wear certain shoes to your test be sure to have worn them to some lessons beforehand to know how they feel.

Go to the loo at the test centre
Not only is it something to keep you busy at the test centre and will stop you overthinking but it also is one less thing to worry about during the test!

Plan the time of your test to suit you
If you’re the kind of person who will be stressing about the test all morning if it’s later in the day then book one of the earlier slots. On the other hand, if you normally only drag yourself out of bed at midday then book one in the afternoon when you know you’ll be more alert. Follow your normal routine where possible to make sure you feel as in control as possible.

Get into good habits
Make sure you get used to checking your mirrors and seat position when you get into a car each time. This is one of the first things the examiner will mark you for so make sure you know where you need everything to be. Get your instructor to take you along new routes with new challenges even if they’re not in the test area; practice staying calm behind the wheel and know how to deal with any mistakes safely.

Don’t overthink it
If your test is in the afternoon, don’t let yourself just sit around thinking about it for the whole day. Keep yourself busy, try to follow your normal routine if it will calm you or meet up with a friend to keep yourself distracted and positive, even watching some YouTube videos of your favourite channel can work! If you’ve have a good day up to your test, you’ll feel better about it when the time does come.

Good Luck!

Author: Bristol Street Motors

Title: What should I listen to during my commute?

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Summary: Whether you drive, take a train or walk to work, we have a few suggestions on how to pass the time!

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Meta Description: Things to pass the time on your way to work!

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commute

PODCASTS
Podcasts have proved to be super beneficial as listeners tend to be more imaginative and a better listener. Plus learning things is always a win!

Where?  BBC, iTunes and Spotify to name a few!

MUSIC
If music is more your thing, you’ll be glad to know not only does listening to music lower stress, it also elevates your mood while driving and strengthens your memory! You’ll arrive at work raring to go!

Where? Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Soundcloud plus many more!

LANGUAGE
Learning a language will not only impress your friends but it will increase your confidence, boost your cognitive function and is great if you like to travel Sign us up!

Where? Duolingo, Babbel, Memrise with lots more available on the t’internet

AUDIO BOOKS
Reading is a fantastic way to spend your time but when you need to keep your eyes on the road or in the direction you are going, audio books are the heroes you need! Plus they help with pronunciation, increase reading accuracy and expand your vocabulary.

Where? Audible, Amazon, iTunes, Kobo are just some of the ways to can listen to audio books on the go!

No matter what you choose to listen to, you can say goodbye to boring commutes! Now if only we could do something about the traffic…

Author: Bristol Street Motors

Title: Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and what it means for you

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Summary: Personal Independence Payment, or PIP, is being introduced as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being phased out. This means anyone in receipt of DLA will have to apply to claim PIP. But don't worry, we are here to help!

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You may or may not be aware, but the current Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and this mean there are a few things you need to do in order to claim!

Firstly, if you  were or were over 65 years of age on 8th April 2013, you will continue to receive DLA as normal. This also applies to children under 16 years of age, who are already in receipt of DLA.

Everyone else, between the ages of 16 and 64,  will need to submit a new application for PIP, even if you have a ‘lifetime’ or ‘indefinite’ award for DLA. Don’t worry, it’s pretty straight forward!

If you want to get the ball rolling yourself, you can ring 0800 917 2222 (telephone) or 0800 917 7777 (textphone) Monday to Friday between 8am to 6pm. Within 2 weeks, you will receive an information pack with an application form and you will then have 4 weeks from then to complete and send back your application.

Otherwise, you will be sent a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) inviting you to make a claim for PIP. You will then have 4 weeks from receipt of the letter to complete and send back your application.

During this time, its a good idea to go and see your doctor to get the most up to date evidence on your health. However if you can’t get an appointment in that time, don’t delay your application. Use whatever evidence you have to hand. If you are unsure what to include, you can locate and contact your local Citizen’s Advice, who will be more than happy to help you.

To continue as part of the Motability scheme, you must be awarded the ‘enhanced rate’ for mobility component of PIP. Although this is not guaranteed, even if you are in receipt of the higher ratwe mobility component of DLA currently, making sure you have included as much evidence as possible will help to increase your chances.

In the event you do not qualify, you will have to return your Motability vehicle within 8 weeks of your payments stopping, or 26 weeks if you joined the Motability scheme before 2014. However you won’t be left high and dry without support from us and from the Motability scheme, who will offer transitional support packages, so don’t worry.

If your circumstances change as part of the transition, there are of course other options. Not only do Bristol Street Versa supply vehicles on the Motability scheme,  but we also have lots of new, nearly new and used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) available to buy so we can help to keep you going.

This may seem like an unsettling time but be assured that you won’t be left without the help you need should your circumstances change. Just follow the steps above to ensure your evidence and application are sent off in good time!

If you’re still unsure on your next steps,. you can either contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or contact Motability Customer Service on: 0300 456 4566

Author: Bristol Street Versa

Title: WLTP and RDE: What does it all mean?

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Summary: You may have heard about the new fuel consumption and emissions testing standards on the news... but what does it all mean? Read on for a simple explanation of WLTP and RDE - and how your motoring choices may be affected by the new rules.

Meta Title: What you need to know about WLTP and RDE

Meta Description: What does WLTP mean? How will WLTP affect motorists? Here's our simple explanation of fuel consumption and emissions testing, and why it's changing...

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From September 2018, all new car types (new cars introduced to the market for the first time) will be tested under the WLTP or the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure. Catchy name, right?

Fuel consumption and emissions have previously been tested using the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) which would put a passenger car through a cycle representative of ‘typical usage’ – but these tests – which are carried out in a laboratory environment – have attracted a lot of criticism for the likelihood that they could ever replicate typical ‘real world’ usage.

Because of this, it was claimed that advertised MPG figures were inaccurate and misleading.  So that’s when the European Union stepped in and created the WLTP! Hurrah!

BUT before we get to that, let’s quickly look at what fuel consumption and emissions are, and what they mean to drivers (for those who might not be too sure!)

Hang on, what is fuel consumption and what are emissions?

Fuel consumption is the amount of fuel used by a vehicle to travel a certain distance at a certain speed. Pretty straightforward so far! It is measured in either kilometres per litre or miles per gallon and the higher the value, the more economical the vehicle will be. This could mean you get more mileage for your petrol but there are a lot of variables which could affect this including driving style, weather conditions and road type to name a few!

Vehicle emissions refer to the production of some rather nasty gases including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, all of which have an impact on the environment and the air we breathe. Defined limits were put in to regulate the negative effects on the climate, environment and human health – and vehicle emissions must fall within those limits.

Okay cool. So what makes the WLTP more accurate than the previous test, the NEDC?

Well for one, it’s a longer test, taking around 30 minutes compared to the 20 minutes of its predecessor. Not only that but the test itself will cover a larger distance and the speeds tested will reach 81 mph with the average at 29 mph. A lot more fitting as most urban areas tend to be around 30 mph.

And what is RDE?

Running alongside the WLTP is the RDE (Real Driving Emissions) test where emissions of nitrogen oxide will be measured while the vehicle is out and about, driving on the road. This is the first time ‘real driving’ will be used during these sorts of tests, with the hopes of closing the gap between real life discrepancies and accurate figures.

Any other changes?

Yes! Another change is the introduction of testing car models with all of their additional extras,  as opposed to the basic specification taken as the representation of all models. This again has taken into account some of the variables that may affect fuel consumption and emissions and address them, hopefully, with a positive outcome!

Final thoughts?

While the WLTP and RDE will certainly bring us closer to a more accurate reading of fuel consumption and emissions, we cannot ignore that there are just too many variables to cater for, however implementing more robust tests will help to bring us closer to a greener way of driving!

Author: Bristol Street Motors

Title: The Most Unusual Driving Laws from Around the World

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Summary: We all have to abide by the laws of the road - they are there to keep us safe after all. However, there are a few from around the globe that are questionable!

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In Thailand, it is illegal to drive shirtless and you could end up with a warning or a ticket!

If you are driving in Denmark, you must check for sleeping children under your car before setting off

It’s illegal to have your sat-nav set up to alert you to speed cameras in France

In Italy, driving in certain historic zones without a permit is illegal

Make sure you have a packet of mints if you are in Ontario! You are not allowed in a taxi with bad breath!

In Manila, the number of days you can drive is limited depending on the last 4 digits of your number plate

It is illegal to urinate in public in the UK,  unless you are by the rear wheel, touching your car!

You must have a breathalyser in your car at all times when driving in France

Splashing a pedestrian is illegal in both the UK  and Japan!

In Finland, all taxi drivers must have a licence to play recorded music whilst carrying passengers

Don’t forget to fill your tank before heading on the Autobahn in Germany. It’s illegal to stop, even if you run out of fuel!

In Denver, Colorado it is illegal to drive a black car on Sunday (although I don’t think it’s enforced all that much!)

Make sure your car is sparkling before driving in Russia – it is illegal to drive around in a dirty car!

In California, it is illegal to jump from a car travelling at 65 mph…just in case you were wondering

Shhh! Slamming your car door is prohibited in Switzerland

In Massachusetts, it’s illegal to operate a car with a gorilla in the back. Of course!

In Macedonia, you need to appoint a designated driver AND designated front seat passenger as both have to be sober!

 

 

 

 

 

*Some of these may or may not be true.

Author: Bristol Street Motors

Title: How do I SORN my vehicle?

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Summary: If you have a car that you don't plan on driving for a good while, save yourself some money and declare it off the road!

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Whether your car is undergoing restoration, isn’t roadworthy or you just aren’t going to drive it for a while, you can declare it off road with a Statutory Off Road Notice which means you don’t have to tax the vehicle.

Driving without taxing your vehicle could end up costing you a pretty penny, somewhere in the region of £2500! The only exception being you are driving to a pre-booked MOT test, that you can prove.

Applying for a SORN is pretty simple. You need either the 11-digit reference number from your V5C (the logbook) or the 16-digit reference code on your road tax renewal reminder. Either of these, along with the registration, make and model of the car plus the date you would like to declare the vehicle off road from and you are good to go!

You can either contact the DVLA on 0300 123 4321, send a V890 application form to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AR

Or you can go online to register your vehicle as off road here

Once you have successfully declared your vehicle off road, you must make sure it stays that way until you tax it or sell it, which means it must be stored on a private drive, in a garage or in storage. You cannot leave it parked on the street as that does not constitute as off road and you could be liable!

A SORN will last indefinitely, only expiring if you tax the vehicle or sell or scrap it. You cannot transfer a SORN from one vehicle owner to another so if the car is sold, tax will be due unless the new registered keeper applied for a SORN.

Author: Bristol Street Motors