Should Diesel Vehicles Be Banned In London?

Have you been keeping up to date with the news surrounding London’s air pollution? After just 5 days into 2017, one road in London (Brixton Road in Lambeth) reached its maximum annual allowance for levels of nitrogen dioxide. Yikes! 

This has now sparked major discussions on how we can work towards reducing air pollution in the capital.

One possible solution is to ban all diesel vehicles from the roads in London. This campaign is greatly backed by medical professionals (surgeons, doctors and nurses alike) along with the mayor of London, Sadiq khan.

“Doctors Against Diesel claim 9,400 Londoners per year die prematurely from breathing in toxic fumes from diesel engines.”

Did you know that pollutants such as diesel contribute to health problems such as asthma, heart and lung diseases?

In the news, this week the mayor of London has come out and said: “motorists should be given up to £3,500 for them to scrap their old diesel cars and vans and replace them with cleaner vehicles”.

As it is from October onwards, diesel vehicles that enter the congestion charge zone in central London will pay an additional T-charge of £10 on top of the £11.50 congestion charge.

Image Source: The Jakarta Post

Other cities who are working towards a ban on diesel vehicles include Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens

Is banning diesel vehicles completely the answer to the problem? Or will it create new problems?

Let’s wait and see whether the government acts and puts into place a national diesel scrappage scheme.

Source: BBC 

Shiply’s Favourite Driving Films

There is nothing better to do on a cold evening than to chill out with a good film turned on and the world turned off. Are you a lover of all things car related? Then you need to check out our top 6 driving related films.

The Fast and the Furious

This is a classic movie and has something in it for everyone. A great (looking) cast, fantastic fast cars and loads of high-speed racing. There are 7 movies in total and we definitely recommend watching them all. When you’ve watched all 7, don’t worry, the 8th movie “The Fate of the Furious” is set to be released in 2017. We hear a movie marathon coming on. 

Drive

This is not only great for driving fans but also Ryan Gosling fans. This is an action packed movie and a great example of when a book to film adaptation works. The classic cars in this movie won’t disappoint any car lover and, without giving too much away, the chase scene is enthralling and will leave you on the edge of your seat. 

The Transporter

Jason Statham is simply fantastic in these movies. Just like The Fast and the Furious, Transporter has been made into a series of movies and there are now 4 in total, all equally as good as each other! He is an expert driver who gets paid to transport cargo, but of course the road is far from smooth.

Cars

This cute little movie is perfect for the whole family. This is basically The Fast and the Furious, but in animation style and Pixar have got it spot on if you ask us. It is a charming colourful movie.  There is also a sequel for those that loved the first as much as we did!

The Italian Job

A car classic. This flashy film won’t fail to impress it is packed with action, drama, romance and classic cars. There is also a recent remake of it but we definitely recommend the original.  “PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN!” and get this movie on. 

Dude, where’s my car?

Ok, this one is just for fun. If you just want some lighthearted teenage humour, then this is the one to watch. It’s silly from start to finish and Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott are comedy gold. 

How To Save Money On Courier Services

Let’s face it, price matters. Who doesn’t love saving a few quid? Whether you frequently send a tonne of parcels or just the odd one here and there, we’ve put together a great guide to ensure you never overpay again.

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Buy Packaging In Bulk 

This is especially important to those of you who send parcels regularly. Buy everything in bulk and you’ll save a small fortune. You can buy boxes of all shapes and sizes that are of a high-quality and suitable for posting online on websites like eBay and Amazon. Or alternatively, pop into your local Poundland.

Use A Comparison Site 

This makes a lot of sense. When booking flights, almost everyone uses a comparison site to get the best deal. Well, the same should be done when choosing a courier. You can do this on Shiply. You get free comparative quotes straight to your inbox and, just like eBay, you can read the couriers feedback left by previous customers.

Know The Dimensions

This may sound simple but it’s often something people forget to do. The more accurate you are, with the dimensions and weight of your parcel, the more accurate the quotes you receive will be.

VAT

Did you know that if you are an online business sending parcels frequently you can claim VAT back? Well, now you do, so make sure you keep all receipts and paperwork in order to do this.

7 Weird But Useful Items To Keep You Warm

The cold weather has been nonstop this month with a lot of temperatures going below zero. But to cheer everyone up we have put together this short but wonderful list of wacky and practical items that will keep you warm.

Glovers 

Yes. These are an actual thing! They are gloves specially designed for couples to hold hands and wear the same glove keeping the heat in.

glovers

Image source: Radius Design

Toe Socks

These have been around for a while and work similarly to a glove only they are for your feet. Not the most attractive socks (and a little strange to walk in).

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Image Source: DeviantArt

Warming Pouch For Your PJ’s

This fantastic creation heats your pj’s for you. No more getting into freezing cold pj’s and you can also use it for other items like towels. Basically, whatever you can fit into it, you can heat.

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Image Source: CoolThings.com

The Nose Warmer

We still can’t quite get our heads around this one. Do you hate having a cold nose? Then, this may be the answer to your nosy situation. It is basically a woolly hat for your nose.

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Image Source: Nosewarmer.com

USB Heated Shawl

This is one for the office workers. These come in just about every colour and are sort of cute. You simply just plug it into your computer and let the fun commence.

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Image Source: HelloTrade

A Hooded Scarf

This ingenious product will keep both your neck and ears warm. This all in one will save you the need of splashing out on a matching set. We call that win-win.

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Heated Body Pillows

Yep, now we have seen it all. You could even use this as your Halloween costume. (Although if you are single this may scare off potential partners). 

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Image Source: Trend Hunter

 

 

First Ever Train From China to Britain Arrived Full Of Socks

Last Wednesday (January 18th) saw the arrival of the first ever freight train from China to the UK. This fantastic train was filled to the brim with socks and suitcases!

After travelling 7,500 miles it came to its final destination in Barking, London. It took 18 days to arrive and passed through seven countries on its way here. Those countries included Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France.

This 18-day trip by rail is faster and cheaper than both sea and air transport and weekly trains could be on the horizon between China and the UK.

Great things are afoot, I can feel it in my sole!

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Image source: Channel News Asia

The Ultimate Moving House Checklist

Moving house is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of prepping and planning, and for some of us getting organised doesn’t come naturally! It can also be an expensive task that leaves your finances drained. Worry no more as we have put together the ultimate go to checklist for your house move. It is easy to follow and broken down into 3 stages.

moving-house

Before Your Moving Day

– Lists, lists, lists! Who doesn’t love making lists? This is a good place to start. In the run up to your moving day, create a checklist of everything you need to do in the run up to your moving day and tick them off as you go.

– Give people plenty of notice that you are moving home. Inform all the relevant people of your change of address such as utility providers, friends, family etc.

– You will also need to redirect your mail which you can do this by visiting the Royal Mail website.

– Give yourself plenty of time to arrange a professional removal service. Compare free quotes on Shiply and book a removal firm at least 2 -3 weeks in advance.

– Before you start to pack, have a massive clear out! This is the perfect time to get rid of any unwanted or unused junk you may have lying around the house. You can sell them online on websites like eBay or donate them to local charity shops.

– Source strong packing materials. You will need bubble wrap, sturdy boxes and tape to keep your items safe in transit. You can buy packing boxes in bulk from websites like eBay.

– Don’t forget to defrost your fridge and freezer at least 2 days before you move. Also, remember to buy fewer groceries the week before you are moving. You won’t be able to transport most of this stuff and it will only be a massive build-up of waste.

– When it comes to packing electrics, take pictures of your devices, such as the back of your television, so you can easily remember what cord goes where when it comes to putting it back together.

– Label everything for easier unpacking.

– As you pack each room away clean as you go. So, when the day of the big move comes you won’t have much left to clean.

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On Your Moving Day

– Pack an essentials bag or box for the day of your move and fill it with items like snacks, a change of clothes, towel, pyjamas and any toiletries you will need for your first night in your new home.

– Keep the kettle and tea bags somewhere they can be easily located as moving house is thirsty work.

– Be present when the movers arrive to load and unload your belongings. This will allow you to supervise where everything goes which will speed up the process of unpacking.

– After the movers, have loaded all your belongings into their van, make sure you check every room before locking up. Don’t leave anything behind!

– The same goes when the removal company has unloaded your items. Ensure the van has been completely unloaded and nothing is left behind.

unpacking

After You Have Moved In

– Moving house can be the perfect time to look for new deals on your bills such as electricity and the internet etc.

– After the movers have left, do a quick clean of the new place before you start settling in.

– Don’t forget to leave your moving company feedback on the service they provided.

– Unpack your everyday items first.

– Have fun with decorating and organising and make it your own!

Preparation is key! The earlier you start preparing, the smoother the whole process will be.

 

Driving Resolutions For 2017

Have you made a ton of new year’s resolutions, that you know you will never keep! Instead of cutting out sugar and spending less money etc. Why not make more practical resolutions? 

How about stepping your driving up a gear and being safer on the road with these practical driving Resolutions for 2017.

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Walk More

Yes, you heard us right get out and walk more. For example, if you are only going to the shop that is two blocks away or if you are going to a friends house then leave your car at home and put your trainers on. This will help you keep some of your other resolutions such as getting fit and saving money. Killing two birds with one stone. 

Drive More Economically

This is not only good on your pocket but good for the environment also. One simple way to do this is by avoiding rush hour traffic (if you can). Try to always stick to the speed limits and turn the air conditioning off when possible. 

Keep Up To Date With Maintenance

This will help you to keep the above resolution of driving economically. You will save yourself a lot of hassle and money by keeping your car properly maintained. You should aim to get it checked twice a year.

Always, make sure your tyres have at least 3mm of thread for winter driving. Don’t forget to check the age of your tyres and spares. The physical integrity of tyres can reduce over time, making them more susceptible to failure.

Stay Calm

All road rage will do is raise your blood pressure. This is a golden resolution to make. Just remember you have to share the road with everyone even the stupid and dangerous drivers. Don’t let the idiot drivers ruin your good mood and karma. 

We hope you will consider these resolutions and stay safe on the road. 

9 EBay Selling Tips To Guarantee You That Sale

January can be a tough month on our pockets. However, there are always creative ways to make back some of the money spent in December. One of these ways is to declutter your house and get selling on eBay.

We get a ton of new Christmas presents every year and often have no space for them. So, why not start your spring clean early and make a bit of extra cash while you’re at it.

There are no excuses to not sell your old items on eBay, it is free to sign up and is as easy as pie to use whether you are a first-time user or a regular buyer. Follow our top 9 selling tips below and you will soon find extra cash in your pocket.

ebay

Tip 1. Build up feedback

Much like Shiply eBay is dependent on feedback.  If you are a first-time user with no feedback this could potentially put buyers off. So, it is a worthwhile idea to start as a buyer first and build up some positive feedback. You don’t have to go buying loads of items but buy at least 5 to get you started. There are loads of cheap items such as books, socks or CD’s etc. you can find on eBay that won’t break the bank.

Tip 2. Know the costs

Like everything in life, there will be some costs involved. If you are planning to sell on eBay, you should be aware of these. For example: if you are using PayPal as a payment method they charge you 20 pence on every payment you receive and 3.4% per month.

Don’t forget to include the cost of postage to your listing price so it doesn’t take away from your profit.

Tip 3. keywords

Keywords are key! Describe in detail what you are selling and make use of as many keywords as you can. For example: “Reebok size 8 women’s sports shoes” will probably sell much better than “women’s sports shoes”.

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Tip 4. Understand eBay slang/jargon

EBay has its own slang language used on some listings and it is a good idea to know what some of these mean.

For example:

  • NIB = New in Box

  • NIP = New in Plastic

  • HTF = Hard to find

  • WYB = When you buy

Tip 5. Keep your starting price low

Don’t turn off potential buyers off pricing your items too high. Do a bit of research first and see what similar items are selling for, also consider what you bought it for and what condition the item is in. EBay usually suggest a price when you list an item try to stick close to this price.

Tip 6. Think about the timing

Timing is everything. Auctions that end on Sunday usually do the best as this is when the most people are online.  The same goes for the time of day, make sure your listing doesn’t end at times like 3.00 am in the morning or evening times when people are commuting. It is a good idea to list your item on a Thursday evening for 10 days as this will result in your listing ending on Sunday evening.

Tip 7. Pictures

Take high-quality pictures in good lighting. You can have up to 11 pictures on a listing (make the most of this). Make sure to photograph the item from a couple of different angles (back, front, side etc.).

Tip 8. Delivery

If you are selling heavier items such as push bikes, kitchen appliances or furniture you may need to help your buyer arrange a delivery or you can list the item as “collection only”. We can help you out here as Shiply is eBay compatible and you can get free delivery quotes with no obligation to use. If you are selling lighter items such as clothing etc. make sure to get padded envelopes (to avoid any damage and negative feedback). You can buy these in bulk from most pound stores or online from eBay itself. 

Tip 9. Proof of postage

Protect yourself from dodgy buyers and always keep receipts and proof that you posted the item. Just in case it gets lost in the post!

EBay isn’t the only method you can use to declutter your life and sell your unwanted belongings. You can also try selling on Facebook, Gumtree or use free websites like freecycle.

 

 

10 Christmas Gift Ideas Drivers Will Love

Another year and another Black Friday in the UK. blackfriday8

Image source: Dave Granlund

Is there a driver in your life who is particularly hard to buy for? Are you in need of some inspiration? Well, you are in luck. To get you into the spirit of Black Friday we have put together a list of Christmas gifts that every driver will love

Portable Coffee Machine

No, we are not talking about a portable mug, you can get an actual portable coffee machine. This is a real thing called the Handpresso Auto Mobile and drivers can make themselves an espresso on the road (not while driving) whenever they need it. A thoughtful and extremely useful gift. No more paying for overpriced coffee at service stations.

Image source: Puccino’s

Satnav  

Anyone “driving home for Christmas” will need a good satnav. Even though most smartphones have satnavs in them and there so many specialised apps to choose from it is still a good idea to have an actual Satnav. It will save your phone battery and they can be a bit more reliable than certain apps. Just remember to update them!

The Transporter

This is the perfect man film and even more so for men who love to drive. It is full of fast cars and road scenes that will excite anyone. There are 3 films in total and all action packed with driving scenes.

Drive

Two words: Ryan Gosling. Only joking this is a good example of when a book to film adaptation works. The chase scene in this film is fantastic and will have any lover of driving enthralled.  Be a real human being and a real hero by buying this for Christmas.

drive

The DeLorean Story: The Car, the People, the Scandal

This is a fantastic book about the demise of both the DMC-12 and John DeLorean its creator. A sad book detailing the story of what could have been a magnificent car. It’s also packed with pictures, trust us it will go down a treat.

Heated Seats

These are the perfect winter gift, just like an electric blanket heated seat covers keep your body warm and would be loved by any driver. They are also, relatively inexpensive to buy especially if you buy online from websites like Amazon and eBay.

Maps

Some people still prefer old school maps than digital maps. The old, faithful paper map will come in handy when driving through remote areas with little or no network coverage. Paper maps can be far more reliable than phone apps. So, if you know a driver relying on his phone give him or her some backup maps (a valuable gift). map-photo

Image source: moving people blog

Steering Wheel Cufflinks

These are self-explanatory. Some drivers already have just about every gadget there is, for their vehicle if this is the case think outside the van.

Digital Stove

Every new year’s most of us pledge to eat healthier. Help the truck driver out by buying them a digital slow cooker, so they can cook on the road. Other cooking gadgets for the road include slow cookers, blenders and travel fridges. Healthy eating on the road is not impossible you just need the right equipment.

Power Bank

Running out of phone battery on the road can be a disaster especially for professional drivers. Put one of these bad boys in their stocking. Hopefully, we have given you some inspiration and ideas. Spend sensibly and think of the environment.

Road Safety Week In The UK

Monday the 21st of November kick starts Road Safety Week in the UK and it runs until Sunday the 27th of November. This clever campaign was set up in 1997 and is run by the road safety charity Brake. What’s happening? Well, basically they are asking everyone (drivers and non-drivers) to act this November and take the pledge to do 6 simple things to change your driver behaviour. winter-roads These six pledges are:

1) Slow down (stick to speed limits set).

2) Stay sober (this is simple no drinking or taking drugs when driving).

3) Secure (making sure everyone in your vehicle has their seatbelt on).

4) Silent (keep your focus on the road and stay off your phone!).

5) Sharp (Be alert on the road, get your eyes tested every 2 years and take breaks when needed).

6) Sustainable (when possible use other methods of transport such as public transport).

For more information on these visit Brake’s website directly. You can also share your pledge on social media by using these 2 hashtags: #brakepledge and #roadsafetyweek. Also, on Sunday the 20th of November is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victim. With this in mind, we have put together a few of our own road safety tips to keep you safe while driving this winter.

Winter Driving Tips: winter Get your emergency kit ready. Don’t be surprised by winter – be prepared for it. Stock your kit with an ice scraper, de-icer spray, blanket, first aid kit, rope (for towing) a high visibility jacket and of course a good decent torch. Hopefully, you won’t need to use any of these items.

Change your tyres to winter or all season tyres. Especially if you live somewhere that is prone to snow. These have a greater silica content in the tread to prevent it hardening when the temperature lowers. This gives you a safer grip in cold and wet weather conditions. Make sure your tyres have at least 3mm of thread for winter driving. Don’t forget to check the age of your tyres and spares.

Keep your windscreen clear. You cannot drive safely if you cannot see in front of you and frosty weather is a nightmare for windscreens. So, if you are going out somewhere and know it will be late and icy when driving back it is a genius idea to keep a bottle of anti-freeze with you. If that doesn’t do the trick use your air conditioning to get rid of it and wait until you can see before setting off.

Get your battery checked. This is the most frequent cause of winter breakdowns. It’s rare that a battery lasts longer than five years and will especially struggle in cold weather. You need to get it checked and if necessary replaced to avoid an unwelcome breakdown.

Slow down. Especially when driving in wet and icy conditions. Remember bad weather conditions can double stopping distances and make it harder to react to hazards due to poor visibility. So, over the festive period leave home earlier and don’t rush. Sources: Brake