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

Fastest Jet-Powered Truck in the World

The Shockwave is the world’s fastest jet-powered truck. It is powered by three jet engines and each engine produces 12,000 horsepower. It is so fast that it can outrun a Japanese bullet train.

Owner Neal Darnell described driving this bad boy as ‘It’s an awesome experience, you won’t believe it until you see it.’

“On acceleration, the driver experiences about 6G. We stop it by using two 40cm ring slot military parachutes, which produce an impact of up to negative 9G. It is some ride.” said Darnell’s son, Chris.

shockwave-5

Would you be brave enough to drive one of these bad boys?

Will Extra River Crossings Help Reduce Traffic In London?

Sadiq Khan (mayor of London) has announced some exciting news this week that will delight both drivers and pedestrians alike. London is continually growing and the roads and transport networks really need to keep up with this growth.

So it really is great news to hear talks about 5 new river crossings that are being planned for east London. One of these crossings includes a greener Silvertown tunnel (below), along with a bridge for pedestrians/cyclists and a new extension of the DLR.

silverline-tunnel

The mayor is optimistic that these new crossings will help ease pollution and congestion in London.

There is also talks of a “bespoke cycle-bus” that will carry cyclists through the new Silvertown Tunnel. A nice innovative touch.

But don’t get too excited as open dates for these won’t be until at least 2022/23.

See the plans for yourself below.

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source: dailymail,

Car Free London

Yesterday (September 22nd) was International Car Free Day. This annual day which began in 1994, is held in many major cities such as Portland in the US, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen and Barcelona to name just a few.

But London did not have one! Could car free days be coming to London in the future? Mayor Sadiq Khan is certainly keen for it to happen and so are Londoners.

From a UK government poll taken last year, it appears that most Londoners are in favour of an annual car-free day. 63% of Londoners said they would support a one-off car free day in the centre, with 58% agreeing it should be a monthly occurrence.

The whole point of having a car-free day is for people to leave their cars at home for one day and find alternative transport to work and school such as walking or taking public transport with the aim to reduce air pollution. A genius idea really when you think about it!

Cardiff held their first ever car-free day yesterday but only one street was actually closed. Park Place in Cathays was closed yesterday until midnight. However, it may only have been one street that was closed but it is certainly a positive step in the right direction.

no-cars

source: BBC

Uber Have Launched Driverless Cars – Futurama Is Upon Us?

A new era of taxis is coming! But would you feel safe in a self-driving cab? As of today, Uber have launched their first driverless car service. Don’t get too overwhelmed yet as for now it is only available in Pittsburgh, America and only to their loyal customers. But it’s a sign that times are changing.

During the trial period, each cab will have an Uber employee behind the steering wheel just in case anything goes wrong.

These ford Fusion cars have all been retrofitted with light-mapping systems, radar, sensors and cameras.

Curious now? Check out these cool photos of what it will look like from the inside.

giphy

driverless uber

uber button

uber driverless cab

Source: Business Insider

Because Charity Starts At The Dogs Home…

A few weeks ago we put on our blue Shiply capes to help out the Manchester and Cheshire Dogs Home get pallets of donated dog food delivered safely to the right paws.

They reached out to us on twitter in a bit of huddle about what to do.

Their situation was a ruff one, as they only had a few of days to get the pallets delivered so that’s where we came to the rescue.

We listed the delivery requirements on Shiply and received a variety of quotes in a short amount of time. So, within 24 hours we had the delivery booked and covered the cost of it.

Saving our furry friend’s paws and ensuring they have food for the next month.

shiply

 

 

10-step guide to become a master eBay buyer

1. FIND SUPER-LOCAL BARGAINS

Whether they’re designer sofas, dishwashers, Wiis or children’s books, sellers on eBay often specify items must be collected in person. As this often means fewer bids, there are bargains to be had. Yet you can’t search for “pick up only” on eBay, so we built tools to speedily track and map gems near you.

On the web. Do in at your desk, with the free Local eBay Deals Mapper tool.

2. USE SPELLING MISTAYKE SPOTTERS

Many people can’t spell, so they mistype their eBay entries. This English teacher’s nightmare is a bargain hunter’s dream. Wrongly-spelled products attract fewer bids because many people miss them.

A few specialist search sites take advantage of this. They trawl eBay for all possible spelling mistake combinations. These include FatfingersBaycrazyGoofbid and BargainChecker

3. LIST YOUR EBAY DELIVERY ON SHIPLY

Listing your eBay delivery on Shiply will give you the chance to receive delivery quotes from thousands of feedback-rated couriers. Transporters will compete to give you the best offer; you can then compare different couriers based on their quote, feedback score and reviews they have received from other Shiply users.

To get the best quotes for eBay deliveries it’s important to list your item with as many details as possible. Find our more here.

4. TOOLS TO BAG NO-BID ITEMS

Often sellers start auctions at 99p or less, hoping a bidding war will erupt. Many items go unspotted, staying at this super-low price. Lastminute Auction hunts for eBay auctions due to finish within an hour, but which still cost £1 or less. On a similar note, Baycrazy’s Zero Bids tool finds items ending soon with no bidders.

Double-check delivery charges, as some sellers hope to recoup costs by charging a little extra (though eBay’s now set maximum delivery charges for many categories).

5. SET ALERTS FOR RARE ITEMS

If you want something very specific or hard to track down, set a ‘favourite search’ and eBay will email each time a seller lists your desired item. This is fab if you like buying on eBay, but don’t want to spend your life hunched over the site.

Simply type a product in eBay’s search bar, such as “Star Wars Lego Millennium Falcon”, and click ‘save search’. Be as specific as possible for the most accurate results. Then, when someone clears out the loft and lists one, an email pops into your inbox.

6. CHECK THE EBAY GOING RATE

There’s a quick way to glean an eBay product’s market value. Fill in the search box and tick ‘completed items’ on the left-hand grey bar. It’ll come up with a list of prices similar auctions have already fetched. Then sort by “price: lowest first”.

If the price is red, it means no one bought it. Green means it sold – don’t pay more than the average

7. HAGGLING ON EBAY PAYS OFF

There’s nothing wrong with asking for a discount, even if the listing doesn’t show the ‘make offer’ logo. Haggling works best on buy-it-now listings, or auctions with a high start price and no bids. To contact the seller, click ‘ask a question’. If you’re polite and charming, you’ll get further. Blunt requests such as “hi, will u take 50p” are usually a mistake. They annoy the seller, and a discount is at their discretion.

Once you’ve clinched the deal, keep the transaction within eBay – just ask the seller to add (or change) a buy-it-now price. For 20 haggling tips for success beyond the web, see the High Street Haggling guide.

8. FIND AUCTIONS CLOSING IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT

Listings that finish at anti-social times often get fewer bids, so sell for less. To locate auctions that finish in the dead of night, use BayCrazy‘s Night Time Bargain search.

Don’t fancy burning the midnight oil? Combine this trick with auto-bidding tools that bid on your behalf while you’re deep in the land of nod.

9. PAY BY PAYPAL

Avoid sending cheques and never use money orders. It’s much harder for scammers to vanish with your cash when you use eBay’s online payment system, PayPal.

Paying this way costs the buyer the same as paying by cheque, but means you’re covered by eBay’s Buyer Protection scheme. If an item is faulty, counterfeit or non-existent, you are far more likely to see a refund.

10. BUY SOMETHING SMALL FIRST

In its essence, eBay’s just a marketplace. While it’s easy to snap up a scorcher, it’s just as easy to get burnt. Thus it’s a good idea for newbies to learn the ropes by bidding on a few small items such as books or CDs. This way, they learn how the bidding system works, before graduating to more costly wares.

Want to check if an item’s legit? Why not post it on the forum’s eBay board? Experts in there will tell you whether it looks dodgy.

Source: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ and http://www.shiply.com/

Father builds 180ft rollercoaster in back garden

Will Pemble spent approximately £2,075 and circa 300 hours into a rollercoaster project in his back garden.
The DIY project has led to him setting up the blog www.CoasterDad.com
‘We were just back from one of many amusement park trips and Lyle asked a simple question,
“Why don’t we build our own rollercoaster, dad?” ‘I couldn’t think of a single good reason to say no so Lyle and I
headed off to the lumber yard for a few supplies.’