Let’s face it the cost of driving these days has increased to the point where we are all looking for ways to save money wherever possible. The price of car insurance, car tax and fuel has rocketed in the last few years or so and therefore it is important to try to make as many savings as you can. One of the areas you can look at is how you maintain your vehicle and also drive it. So whether it is your own vehicle or a car hire
, here are some useful pointers about how you can reduce your fuel consumption:
Drive sensibly and efficiently
Speeding and driving aggressively as well as rapid acceleration and having to brake harshly all adds up to a waste of fuel. Driving at average motorway speeds, you could potentially reduce your fuel consumption by up to 30% if you drive in a more controlled and moderate manner. It is also safer for yourself and other road users!
Keep within the speed limit
Different vehicles reach their best fuel economy at different speeds; however normally driving above 60-70mph for a period of time will see your fuel consumption increase quite rapidly so try to stay within the speed limit.
Remove unwanted baggage
Some people have a habit of using their car boot as a storage area for all sorts. Whilst it is sensible and practical to keep some items in the boot (in case of breakdown etc.) there is no need to have the kitchen sink in there as well! Excess weight in the car can reduce your miles per gallon and this is more noticeable in a smaller vehicle.
Make sure your car is in good working order and have it checked or serviced at regular intervals. Something like a faulty oxygen sensor being repaired can improved your fuel economy by as much as 40%. Also another component to check is the air filter as a dirty air filter can restrict the flow of air to the engine, which can hamper performance and also fuel economy.
The tyres on your vehicle should be inflated to the correct pressure. If you’re not sure what that is you can easily find the information on the internet or usually at the petrol station there is a chart next to the air pump. It should also be in your owner’s manual and often there is a sticker somewhere in the car to tell you the correct pressures. Under-inflated tyres can really reduce the amount of miles you get out of your fuel. I speak from experience here, as I realised that I had been driving on the wrong pressured tyres for nearly a year. They should have been 33psi and I had been setting them at 28psi. Oops! After inflating them to the correct pressure, I then did a long journey which I do regularly and was amazed to find I had used a quarter of a tank of petrol LESS than I normally did. Don’t make the same mistake I did!
Do you need air conditioning?
Having the air conditioning on can certainly guzzle the gas quickly. Ask yourself do you REALLY need it on? Sometimes if you’re pottering around town in your car, it might be better to just open the window and get some air coming in. Although at faster speeds on the motorway it might be less of a fuel consumption to have the air con on and the windows up, as the windows down can cause drag on the car at speed thus increasing the usage of fuel. Make the best decision for the circumstances.
No visit to the UK is complete without a trip to the beautiful county of Cornwall with its idyllic countryside, scenery, coastline and beaches. It is already a very popular destination for Brits to take a holiday, however it is also an appealing location for international visitors.
Cornwall known as Kernow to the locals is right at the tip of the southwest peninsula of Britain and is rich in history and heritage; its earliest inhabitants can be dated back to the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods. Later on during the Middle Ages it played an important role in the tin mining industry.
Due to its location and many of the towns and villages on the coastline being warmed by the Gulf Stream, Cornwall enjoys probably the sunniest and mildest climate of anywhere in the UK. It is normal to see sub-tropical vegetation growing abundantly such as palm trees, grape vines and fruit trees that you would not normally expect to thrive in the UK climate.
The administrative centre and the only city due to its magnificent cathedral is Truro. There are some fine examples of Georgian architecture in the city as well as a good range of shops, cafes and restaurants – many of them to be found on some of the pretty cobbled streets. There are usually a couple of markets open 6 days a week, including the Lemon Street Market and the Pannier Market where you can find a wide range of handicrafts and local food and produce.
Not far from Truro is the town of St. Austell, probably best known for two of its attractions, the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project. The Heligan gardens are particular stunning during the spring and summer, with the beautiful flowers and shrubs in full bloom. It would be a crime to miss the glorious and vibrant display of rhododendrons blooming during this time. There is also a very fine farm shop on-site, called Lobbs Farm Shop which has a wonderful range of local produce, some of it coming directly from the gardens of Heligan.
The Eden Project boasts the world's largest greenhouse and you can see plants there that have been collected from all over the globe. It opened in 2001 and attracts thousands of visitors every year. It also plays host to musical performances and some famous names who have played there include Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Snow Patrol and Pulp.
Newquay is probably one of the best known destinations in Cornwall and is famous for its surf. During the summer it is bustling with holidaymakers (or ‘emmets’ as the locals call them) all keen to enjoy the attractive beaches, coastline and surf. There is an excellent array of hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants in Newquay as well as a good selection of shops. As dusk falls the town livens up even more as there is a huge nightlife scene which is popular especially with stag and hen parties. One of the regular annual events that is held in the town is the Run to the Sun festival, which is one of the largest VW and custom built car festivals in Europe. If you’re a petrol head this an event not to miss as you will see all sorts of modified cars and part of the fun is the cars parading through streets all day long, stereos blaring and horns honking. A lot of fun! This event attracts people from all over as well as international visitors. Newquay has its own airport so if you are flying in for the event you can pick up your Newquay car hire
at the airport and soon be on your way.
If you go a little further south down through Cornwall you will reach the splendid Roseland peninsula. This really is the Cornish Riviera and is one of the most beautiful, unspoilt and picturesque parts of the British Isles. Here are some suggestions of where to visit and things to do in the area:
King Harry Ferry
The King Harry Ferry service was started in 1888 and makes the connection between Truro, Feock and Falmouth with St. Mawes and the Roseland peninsula. By taking the ferry you can cut out a large stretch of the journey if you had to drive round instead. It operates 7 days a week and departs every 20 minutes; it takes about 10 minutes to cross over. As you go over take in the breath-taking beauty of the River Fal that it crosses, one of the deepest rivers in Cornwall.
The fishing village of St. Mawes is about a 20 minute drive once you get off the King Harry Ferry and lies on the east bank of the Carrick Roads. These Roads are a large waterway which was created naturally after the Ice Age and resulted in an enormous natural harbour at the nearby Falmouth – often purported to be the third largest natural harbour in the world.
St. Mawes is a very pretty and picturesque village with its own harbour that has regular boat trips and also ferry trips over to the neighbouring Falmouth. Quiet during the off peak season, during the summer it can get very busy indeed with tourists. There are 2 or 3 beaches which can get quite busy during the summer but there is usually plenty of room for everybody.
Sailing is very popular in St. Mawes and it has its own Sailing Club. You can find boats to hire around the harbour area as well as kayaks if you feel brave!
There is a reasonable selection of shops as well some as hotels, pubs and restaurants. Obviously being a fishing village, there is an excellent range of fresh fish and seafood on offer in the eateries – you can’t ask for fish to be much fresher than it having been landed that morning and you tucking into it a few hours later!
The Rising Sun pub does particularly excellent fish and chips on its menu, the locally caught fish battered in the chef’s own recipe and the chips are fried in beef dripping. The portion is enormous – you have been warned! Also there is a fine selection of pasties, pies, bread and cakes to be found in the St. Mawes bakery.
A sight not to miss when in the village is the St. Mawes Castle
. It sits at the water’s edge and looks over the sea to its larger sister castle, Pendennis. Both castles were built by Henry VIII, the one in St. Mawes between 1539 and 1545 and were part of a defensive chain of fortresses designed to protect the south coast.
Many years ago you used to be able to wander around it freely but now it is part of the English Heritage and you will need to pay a small fee to go inside – however it is worth the money as it is an amazing building to look around.
Just across the water from St. Mawes is the town of Falmouth situated around its busy port. Due to the extremely deep waters in the natural harbour it is not unusual to see massive ships and oil tankers docked there and also submarines have been spotted in the area! Falmouth itself is rather like a larger version of St. Mawes and also has a good range of shops and eateries.
Pay a visit to the famous Fat Willy’s Surfshack and browse the rails for a funky T shirt! Also be sure to indulge yourself with a delicious locally made pasty which is known as an oggy by the locals.
A popular place for both visitors and locals to enjoy is the Swanpool Nature Reserve
which is one of the most important brackish lagoons in Britain. Brackish means a mixture of salt water and fresh water and those conditions means a huge variety of wildlife thrives there. If you take the ferry over from St. Mawes you may be lucky to spot a dolphin or a seal on the journey, as they are often seen when travelling on the ferry.
St. Anthony Lighthouse
This lighthouse guards the entrance to the Carrick Roads and warns passing ships of the infamous and deadly Manacles rocks. It was automated some time ago, however visitors can still have a look around in the peak season. The steps up to the very top are at such a steep incline they are almost vertical – not so bad going up but a bit hairy coming down! The lighthouse was also the setting for the children’s television series ‘Fraggle Rock’.
St. Just Church
A few miles from St. Mawes is the parish of St. Just and here resides what must be one of the most beautiful and peaceful churchyards in the world. It was built in the 13th century, has a 6th century Celtic heritage and is set in one of the most tranquil and pretty locations you will ever see – next to the water and with lush sub-tropical gardens and vegetation.
Other popular towns and villages to visit in Cornwall include Fowey, Looe and Padstow. Padstow perhaps made more famous by its best known resident, the chef Rick Stein – although the locals now refer to their town as ‘Padstein’ as he has taken over so many of the local shops and businesses!
Cornwall is most definitely worth a visit whether you’re a Brit or you’re coming from further afield as it is so rich in history and culture and also has so much to see and do. The other big benefit is the climate is so much more pleasant than most other parts of Britain and the summers especially can be very warm and sunny. It has a very relaxed and laidback feeling to it, some people say this can be attributed to the salty sea air!
Public transport is not brilliant with a lot of the more interesting villages and areas not really being serviced by a bus and if they do there’s likely to only be a couple of services a day. Many visitors when going on holiday will book Cornwall car hire
as it is the most convenient way to explore the nooks and crannies of the county and see the more remote and untamed areas, especially the beaches and coastlines.
Bath which is located in the county of Somerset, is a very popular destination for tourists in the UK and from all over the world, especially visitors from the USA. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the city of Bath boasts some of the most spectacular architectural buildings and sights in the world.
It is probably best known for its Roman Baths, with the city being established as a spa resort in AD43 and given the Latin name Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sulis”). The Romans built these baths and also a temple on the surrounding hills, based around hot springs which are the only ones that occur naturally in the UK.
After receiving a £7.78 million grant from the Millennium Commission in 1997, the Bath Spa Project was launched. Its aim was to resurrect the city’s reason for being there in the first place – the naturally occurring thermal springs. Work was completed successfully and now visitors can enjoy the peace and relaxation of the Thermae Bath Spa experience using the same mineral-rich and warm waters the Romans were enjoying 2,000 years ago. The spa offers a range of treatments including massage, thermal treatments taking advantage of the natural thermal waters, hot stones therapy, Kraxen Stove and facials.
Another landmark of the city is the Royal Crescent, designed by the architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774. A feast for the eyes for any enthusiasts of Georgian architecture, this stunning collection of 30 houses laid out in a crescent is one of Bath’s most visited areas by tourists. These days, although the interiors have been changed, the façade remains relatively the same. As well as dwellings and office buildings, along this stretch there is a museum and also a very fine hotel - The Royal Crescent Hotel.
is a mecca for shopping, as it has all the usual high street stores as well as many independent shops and unique boutiques. In fact Milsom Street was voted ‘Britain’s Best Fashion Street’ in the Google Street View Awards 2010. These are some of the shops you can find there:
• Jolly’s Department Store
• Vintage to Vogue – for period clothing
• Duo – specialises in ladies’ boots
• Kaliko – ladies fashion
• Vinegar Hill – homeware, fashion, jewellery and gifts
It also has a wide range of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars to appeal to all tastes. Jamie Oliver has a restaurant on Milsom Place, specialising in Italian food. Another excellent eatery is the Beaujolais Bistro, which was voted one of Britain’s top bars by the Independent Newspaper. It also has its own wine shop where customers can buy the wine after having a tipple.
Another renowned landmark in the city is Sally Lunns which is a world famous eating establishment and the building where it is located in is the oldest in Bath. Here the iconic Bath Bun was born, a speciality of the region which is known the world over. There is also a museum where you can see the actual kitchen that was used by the baker herself Sally Lunn, who created the first Bath buns.
At Carsforhireuk we want our customers to get the best deals. Thats why we check the prices of all major suppliers to ensure you get the best deal. However, whilst we will try our best to get you the best deal, we have included a few hints and tips for YOU to consider when booking your next rental.
1) Book early and look for sales
Cars are sure to be scarce this summer according to Economy car hire. Leaving it late could almost double the cost of your car hire. Last summer, when the car hire shortage started, an Economy vehicle which would normally rent for 117 Euros per week had gone up to 240 Euros per week. Avoiding the summer rush could save you real money, especially if you are travelling from the UK to summer hotspots such as Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain and Italy. To be really sure of getting the car, pre-payment helps as pre-booked cars have not always been materialising at the airport as they should. If you pre-pay and give the company your flight details it just ensures the car will be ready and waiting for you on arrival. There are also certain times of year when you can get sale prices on cars for hire, for instance the week between Christmas and New Year is generally a good time to book.
2) Check whether you are being charged for petrol
Cars for hire UK companies are gearing up for the half-term holidays by trying to put on special deals. However, some companies are offering deals which appear too good to be true. If that seems to be the case then it is probably correct. Take the case of one customer who complained about having to pay for a full tank of petrol when she rented with Goldcar in Spain. This means that some customers will not use up all their fuel, even though the next client may still have to pay for the full tank. This encourages Goldcar drivers to use up every drop of fuel and can hardly be considered environmentally friendly. Most companies charge for fuel for less than three days rental but not four days rental so this is worth bearing in mind if you don’t plan to do much driving. Shop around for the best bargains.
3) Read the small print
Whichever car hire company you choose it is imperative that you take the time to read the small print, terms and conditions. Some car hire companies try to slip ludicrous conditions in. This includes insisting that people who have lost the car keys to a stolen car pay the full value for it, even if the keys were stolen at the same time as the car. Knowing your rights could be a problem when booking online. A car hire survey, Which Holiday, said recently that the companies Avis and Enterprise did not provide the full booking terms and conditions on their websites. Other major cars for hire companies such as Hertz and Alamo provided some but not all of the relevant information.
4) Join a loyalty scheme
Some cars for hire companies have loyalty schemes. This means that every time you use them, or book a flight, hotel or holiday with a partner company you can earn rewards.
5) Make sure the insurance package is what you are looking for.
Different car hire companies have different insurance packages. For instance with www.carsforhireuk.co.uk you can take out a special reimbursement excess option which covers you against having to make any large pay outs. The Insurance4carhire company also offers independent car insurance on an annual basis. So if you are looking for cheap Heathrow car hire
, be sure you know what you are getting for your money to avoid paying unnecessary extra's at the hire desk.
Hertz car rentals has won an award for the best car rental company in Europe and the United States in 2009. The award was handed out at the German Business Traveller Awards after readers of their magazine voted. Hertz came top of a list which not only included car rental companies but various travel firms such as Hotel chains and airlines. In the United Kingdom Hertz picked up the Buying Business award again, having won it for four years in a row.
However, the accolade for World's best car hire company went to Sixt which was conducted by the Travel + Leisure magazine. An estimated 300,000 readers put in their votes to crown Sixt the best car hire company. Sixt does mainly European car hire but in 2000 they opened busy offices in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai airport. Always at the forefront of car hire, Sixt recently pioneered a mobile phone car hire booking service to go with their dedicated website. They have also branched out into environmental car hire with a range of electrical vehicles to go with the luxury, economy and four by four cars that they already offer. Sixt has around 4,000 rental offices and has been going for 75 years.
If you are not looking to save the pennies on cars for hire then why not try something luxurious. A car hire company is drawing admiring glances for its new range of prestige cars which includes the stunning Aston Martin DBS Volante. If you can't pull in this car then there may be no hope for you at all. Prestige cars for hire has just got this beautiful model in, and among its many impressive features are an exceptionally light clutch and a superlative gearbox. Who could imagine they would be able to rent a car which could go from nought to sixty in just under four and a half seconds? The car hire company owner has described the car as sounding like November storms pounding the Cornish coast. You can also try www.carsforhireuk.co.uk which does an exciting range of luxury, executive, elite, compact elite and premium cars. Popular models include the Jaguar X type and the Porsche Cayman.
For those looking to hire luxury cars in Miami, the Miami luxury car rental service allows you to choose vehicles such as the Cadillac Escalade and makes and models by Rolls Royce. It is important to have a good-looking car in Miami as this is a place where glitz and glamour are everyday. You can choose convertible cars if you plan to soak up the sun and show off your resulting tan.
The car service does its best to be convenient and enjoyable and that's why you can take advantage of a door-to-door delivery service which serves places such as Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Another nearby cars for hire location is in Tampa Florida, and Florida has the biggest car hire industry in the world. This is due in part to the fact that there are so many theme parks like Disney World and Sea World. Every year thousands of families head to Florida looking for a vehicle, so pre booking is important. Having your own vehicle means you don't have to rely on getting cabs and can go where you want when you want. In terms of accommodation there are numerous deals on four star hotels, some of which are cheap and all inclusive.