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Car Rental Tips

car road flowers spring drive driving sunnyNeed wheels on your next trip? Renting a car can give you freedom and flexibility when you're traveling, and in some parts of the world it's the only feasible way to get around. But a rental car can sometimes add complications to your trip -- like trying to find the best deal or sorting out exactly which insurance options you need. Read on for our practical tips on saving money, understanding your rental agreement and avoiding problems with your car rental.

Choosing a Vehicle

Think carefully about what kind of vehicle you'll need. If you're traveling with children or with a lot of gear, you may want a large sedan or SUV. If you're simply looking to save money on rental rates and gas, you'll want to reserve the smallest available model.

But size isn't the only factor. Looking for something environmentally friendly? Check out our Green Travel Resources for eco-friendly car rentals. Can't drive a stick shift? Be sure to reserve a car with automatic transmission. (In many countries, a manual transmission is the norm -- so read the fine print before booking. Learn more with our International Car Rental Tips.) Also, be sure that the company from which you're renting offers any extras you might need or want, such as a ski rack, car seat or GPS system.

Booking Your Car

How long will you be renting? If it's for less than a week, you'll probably do best with a major rental company, such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National or Thrifty. For rentals of a week or longer, you may get better rates from local companies, particularly auto dealers. Remember, however, to be wary of local companies if you plan to drive a lot; if you break down or get into an accident, they usually lack the support services of the majors.

Always shop around. Check the major booking engines and aggregator sites (such as Travelocity and Kayak) to get an idea of what rates are available, but you should also visit the car rental companies' Web sites as well -- they'll often offer exclusive discounts, and you'll avoid booking fees. Don't forget to check out our selection of discount car rental deals before making any reservations.

To lower your rate, ask about discounts for any major national organizations, frequent flier programs and credit card programs to which you may belong. They'll frequently offer deals on car rentals. Those offered through AAA can be very good. If you're employed by a company that frequently rents cars, they may have a negotiated rate. Make sure to check.

Before you book online, do an Internet search for coupon or promotion codes to put into the booking engine of your car rental company's site. Just type the name of the company followed by "coupon code" into the search field and you'll often find special promotion codes that could save you anywhere from 5 to 20 percent off the cost of your rental. For more ideas on saving money when you rent a car, see Cruising for Car Rental Deals.

If you haven't already, consider joining your car rental company's loyalty program when you book. These vary by company, but most of them are free and entitle you to certain privileges when picking up your vehicle; your information will be on file ahead of time, allowing you to simply jump into the car and go rather than standing in a long line or filling out paperwork. You could also be eligible for special discounts or free upgrades.

The newest way to save on rental cars is to hook up with a car share service. If you live near a major city or you're a frequent renter, you may save money by joining a car share, such as Zipcar.

Five Features of a Fantastic Road Trip

Understanding Your Rental

If you're booking online, read the terms and conditions carefully before confirming your reservation. If you're booking over the phone, ask the agent about restrictions. Be sure you understand the conditions of your reservation. Is there a penalty for no-shows? How long will the car be held if you're stuck in traffic on the way to the pickup station? Is there a fee for additional drivers and must their names be listed in the contract? Is your 20-year-old daughter old enough to drive the car? (For liability reasons, this is important.)

If pertinent, ask about any restrictions on interstate travel. For your own protection in case of breakdown, be sure the company has offices in all the states on your itinerary.

For one-way car rentals, ask about drop-off charges. They can be exorbitant.

Always get a confirmation number. For airport rentals, be sure to give the customer service representative your flight number and scheduled arrival time. This will usually protect your reservation if the flight is delayed.

The True Cost of Car Rentals

Buyer beware: The rate you see advertised in big print may become so inflated with state and local taxes, airport surcharges, additional driver fees, insurance, gasoline bills and drop-off charges that you end up paying more than double what you expected. Learn more about these extra charges in Car Rental Hidden Costs.

Also, the advertised rate may be valid only during the off-season in Florida or California, when many cars are idle there, but not where you want to rent. Finally, the rate may be only for a car size that you would find unsuitable.

In recent years, the major booking engines have become more transparent about rental car rates, and they now usually show you the total cost of your rental, including estimated taxes and fees, early on in the booking process. For instance, Travelocity offers total pricing, which guarantees that the company's estimated amount will be within one percent of the actual rate.

Like the airlines, the major auto rental companies have adopted "yield management." That means that their computers can quickly readjust prices according to changes in the supply of cars available, and so the rental rate you are quoted is valid only at that moment. Unless you reserve immediately, the rate is likely to change.

At Pickup Time

If your first drive will be from an airport to a hotel for the night, why not take a shuttle van to the hotel instead? Doing this may save you the price of a day's rental. Even if you must drive the same day your flight lands, you may not have to get the car at the airport. By picking it up downtown, you can often avoid hefty airport surcharges.

ignition car keys If you have personal auto insurance or charge the rental to a major credit card, you will probably be covered at least for collision damage -- so you shouldn't have to purchase the car rental company's collision or loss damage waiver (CDW or LDW) insurance. If in doubt, ask your insurance agent or credit card issuer.

Before you drive away from the pickup station, inspect the car carefully for body damage. Be sure the lights and turn signals are working properly, and check the mileage odometer. Report any defects at once.

Familiarize yourself with the workings of the car before you leave the lot. Check which side your gas tank is on, and learn how to use the headlights, windshield wipers and turn signal. It may seem obvious, but you'll also want to memorize the make, model and color of your car -- that way you won't lose it the first time you park in a busy lot! For more tips, see The First 10 Minutes of Your Car Rental.

Returning Your Car

Be wary of prepaid gasoline plans. Always fill the tank yourself before returning the vehicle so that you're only paying for the amount of gas you actually used. Try to avoid the gas stations right near the airport where you're dropping off your car -- the prices tend to be highest there. Instead, fill up a few miles away. Even better: Check before your trip to find out where the cheapest gas stations are in your area.

It may seem counterintuitive, but returning your car early may actually cost you money. You'll often pay an early return fee (usually about $15 a day), but even worse, your rate structure will most likely change and you'll be responsible for the difference. Of course, returning the car late could cost you too -- many car rental companies only give you a 30-minute grace period before beginning to rack up the late fees.

Before leaving the vehicle, check to be sure you haven't left any personal belongings. Don't forget to check the trunk! The most common lost articles include cell phones, sunglasses and umbrellas.

Be sure that the check-in attendant inspects the car's body in your presence and that you agree about any damage. Examine your rental agreement carefully for all charges and make sure they credit any deposit to your account while you wait.

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What You Need To Know About Motorcycle Training

For those who have been riding a motorcycle for a while now, you probably know that there's still a lot to learn. In fact, there's a lot of seasoned riders who take motorcycle training in order to hone their skills and fine-tune their mental skills that are essential for survival traffic. In a motorcycle training, you're going to learn the technique of stopping quickly, managing traction, swerving, and even cornering.

What to Expect

For beginners and those who are under the age of 18, you have to ask for permission from your parent or guardian before you can take a motorcycle-related course. In the classroom, you'll learn the different type of motorcycles, how to become a safer and more responsible rider, as well as how the layout and operation of the basic control works

A license from a motorcycle training is usually released after a day or two, and the only way you can get one is if you're going to take the training at an accredited driving school.


Improve the Image of Motorcyclists

There are some road users, like vehicle drivers, as well as pedestrians who believe that motorcycle riders are nothing but ungrateful bullies who have the habit of zipping in and out of lanes with no care at all. Even though some motorcyclists do something like this, it doesn't mean all of them does. To change this inaccurate public perception, the best solution would be to undergo motorcycle training.

Improve Riding Skills

Just like what has been mentioned earlier, motorcycle training isn't limited to beginners. Riders who have several years of experience can also, consider taking a refresher course as a way to improve their riding skills or get better. In fact, there are courses specifically designed for this purpose. You should also know that there are various levels of skill enhancement. The reason for this is that; the skill level needed to ride a scooter significantly varies from the skill required to ride a motorcycle. As a matter of fact, moped riders are required to undergo compulsory basic training before they're even allowed to hit the road. Likewise, it's important to pass a motorcycle test with two years, or you'll have to take the CBT again.

Improve Road Safety

Aside from improving the overall image of riders, motorcycle training also promotes and improves road safety as well. Wherein, aspiring motorcyclists learn every important about road safety, as well as the meaning of different road signs and traffic laws.

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The Hovercraft Principle Of Operation Is Not As Straight Forward As It Appears

A single statement tells us that air pressure created by a huge fan causes a hovercraft to float above the surface of dry land or water, but this is the very tip of the iceberg. A working hovercraft of any size is the result of many years of trail and error before the concepts were full understand. The air flow and pressure underneath an air cushioned vehicle depends on several important factors complex. The power required to life the craft can vary considerably according to the type of terrain it is flying over.

The hovercraft is quite unique in the respect that it, unlike most flying machines, it does not require forward motion to lift from the ground. In fact, it must lift off before moving at all, as the friction of air against air is very small at that time. Contrary to what it might seem, it isn't the speed and the amount of air pushed downwards by the lift engines that determines the lifting power of an ACV, but the shape of the underneath of the hull and the skirt material surrounding and containing the air flow.

Large vehicles have a split skirt in two sections with an inner and outer skin. Air is blown down through this and also down through slots along the underneath of the hull. An effect was found by one of the earliest inventors, known as the annular effect. When air is blown between two walls a ridge of pressure forms in the shape of an annulus or three dimensional ring. This ring of pressure has the tendency to form a barrier between the air being blown down to the ground, and the air outside the skirt. Basically, less lift thrust is needed due to this effect, which makes a huge difference to the power of the engines needed for any given weight of hovercraft. Small hovercraft have a generally less complex design srtucture.

Although capable of flying over many types of surface, the power required and the flight characteristics are not the same. On a perfectly flat surface, the power required to hover is about 25% of the power needed by a helicopter of the same weight! This represents a massive saving both in engine size (and therefore cost) and in fuel requirements. Both factors mean that an ACV can be lighter and carry a bigger payload. However, on rougher terrain and water, this changes dramatically, because of the turbulence introduced by obstructions and undulations on the ground.

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Hovercraft Safety

In all hovercraft events, it is conditional for all participating hovercraft, including those built by students, to adhere to World Regulations for Competition Hovercraft - oh yes, they do exist now). By following the DiscoverHover free hovercraft plans, students will build a hovercraft designed to conform to these regulations.

All hovercraft, including DiscoverHover student hovercraft, must be checked by the Safety Officer of an authorized Hoverclub prior to its acceptance into any hovercraft race. During hovercraft races, the event Safety Officer again checks each hovercraft prior to its participation. Both the Safety Officials and the Race Officials closely monitor the performance of each hovercraft and pilot throughout all racing events.

This emphasis on assuring conformance to a rigorous safety code, regulating both the construction/condition of leisure hovercraft and the operational performance of the pilots, has created an unusually safe sport for both participants and spectators.

Hovercraft Safety and Maintenance Must Do's & Dont's

DO TAKE LESSONS from a qualified hovercraft pilot;
DO Watch the exhaust gas temperature gauges to avoid burning pistons;
DO Practice flying on land in a wide open space until you can weave in and out of a row of traffic cones spaced 25 feet apart without touching them;
DO Sit well back in the hovercraft when operating on water;
DO Grease the bearing grease fittings every 10 operating hours;
DO Stay away from people so as not to hit them with the slip stream;
DO Fly with consideration for others at all times and obey Coast Guard and local boating laws;
DO Carry emergency gear with you: flotation device, signal, paddle, first aid, etc
DON'T Start the engine with any guards removed (fanguard or engine cover)
DON'T Start the engine with people standing close behind the fan;
DON'T Fly any great distance over concrete, asphalt, through woods, over rough terrain, on gravel roads or ever on highways;
DON'T Stand up when operating on water;
DON'T Forget to lean into a turn but sit straight up on ice;
DON'T Fly fast until you have lots of experience and always give yourself plenty of room;
DON'T Put you hands into the fan or drive system unless you have the keys in your pocket and the engine is off;
DON'T Forget to trim the payload when cruising on water;
DON'T Forget to tie the hovercraft down on the trailer, attach the safety chains and check that the tilt latch is locked.

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Features To Look For When Buying A Second Hand Vw Golf

If you are someone who is quite knowledgeable about the automotive world, the chances are good that you already know that the Volkswagen Golf is a vehicle that has been taking the top spot for a number of awards right from the very moment that it came out. With the excellent build and the dependability that this vehicle has to offer, they are looked upon as being a wonderful value, especially if you are going to be buying used. Before you start shopping, it is important to look into a list of some of the features that you are looking for so that you can get the best vehicle for the investment.

Remote Locking

This is a feature that hit the showroom floor when the Mark IV came out, but it only came with some of the special trim levels. With the Mark V, drivers had the luxury of remote locking becoming a standard feature. Often referred to as central locking, this is a feature that includes a key fob with a button that you can easily use to either unlock or lock the car from a distance.

Adaptive Chassis Control

In 2008, this is a feature that was available with the sixth generation VW golf and it works to automatically regulate the suspension depending on the particular driving conditions. You can also manually change the suspension between the different modes to help change how the vehicle handles. These three modes are normal, sport and then comfort, and each have their own benefits for the driver.

Parking Assist

This is technology that hit the showrooms with the Mark VI Golf and it is used to help the driver locate a parking spot that is suitable and easy to maneuver into. If you are someone who often has issues with parking, such as parallel spots in the city, the system is going to measure the precise distance that you need to easily get into the spot using a designated path. All you have to do is take care of working the pedals and the steering wheel will turn on its own to get you into the space.

Buying Your Second Hand VW Golf

You can save a great deal of money on a second hand Volkswagen Golf simply by taking your time and weighing all of your options. There are plenty of VW Golf sellers that are available today that will give you a great price on a dependable vehicle that has been well taken care of. Just make sure that you talk with the seller and take the vehicle out for a test drive first to make sure that you are getting what you pay for.

If possible, you should think about bringing a mechanic with you so that you can have someone else take a look at the inner workings of the Golf. When all is said and done, you should have a great used vehicle that is going to last you for quite some time, complete with all of the features that you want.

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How To Maintain A Deep Cycle Battery Over Winter

A deep cycle battery is typically used in marine applications, and these types of batteries require specific care and maintenance that is not required in traditional automotive batteries. This type of battery needs a multiple stage battery charger that can be used to recharge these batteries. A single stage battery charger is used to charge an automotive battery. This means that deep cycle batteries are not fully charged until they undergo multiple stages of charging and discharging cycles.

The battery is designed to be discharged and then recharged many times during its life cycle. On the other hand, discharging an automotive battery one time can lead to the immediate failure of the battery. The charger used for a deep cycle battery should have 8 amps output minimum, and close to 16 amps on the higher side. The good news is that a float mode that is installed in many of the chargers can not only increase the longevity of the battery, but also allows the battery to be charged for a longer period of time.

Initial Charge

Even when deep cycle batteries are brand new, they still need to be charged before they are used. In fact, these types of batteries generally need 20 to 40 discharge/charge cycles before the battery is fully charged. This means that the battery should be broken into gradually during the discharge/charge period, and you should avoid allowing the battery to complete deplete its charge. If this occurs, the service life of the battery could be reduced by months or even years.


Although keeping the battery clean is a very important part of maintenance, it is a step that is often overlooked. When residue is allowed to build on the top of the battery, a circuit could be created between the negative and positive terminals. As a result, the battery has an opportunity to discharge.

The battery posts should be cleaned every year with a wire brush, and then they should be coated with grease in order to prevent oxidation from occurring. The battery case should also be visually inspected every year, or anytime the battery is dropped or is hit by an object. However, by securing the battery in a battery box, you will add an extra layer of protection for your battery.

A deep cycle battery can have an extended service life when it is properly cared for. It is vital to use a charger specifically for this type of battery in order to save you money and guarantee long service.


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My First Car:-the Toyota Corrolla

My first car was a Toyota Corrolla. The Toyota brand of cars is originally engineered in Japan. I purchased this vehicle as a salvage car from an auto-yard within the city suburbs. A salvage vehicle is the chassis of a previously brand new car still with a functional engine, that may have been involved in an accident of sorts and is therefore demanding of mechanical repairs prior to its re-usage for vehicular purposes.The car was a yellow, five seat sedan. It had a dented bonnet from a traffic collision. It had a shattered windscreen and also it's front bumper had been knocked off. All this required replacement. The engine was also deprived of oil, but still functional. There are many reasons I chose the Toyota Corrola as my vehicle of choice. This model of car comes highly affordable in the market. This is due to its high supply in production and low demand as it's not widely flashy expensive,elitist and top of the range vehicle by upper-class people. Secondly, the Spare parts to the Toyota Corrolla are highly available and highly affordable too. Therefore, in the event one has has a mechanical problem of sorts, replacement of damaged parts and gadgets are cheaply and easily obtainable.

There are many factors that inspired to purchasing a car. First and foremost, I no longer considered having a personal car a luxury. I felt it was imperative to be sheltered from torrential rain down pour whenever i wanted to travel within the limits of the city. I also felt it was of the essence to be able to have the capability to navigate areas withing the city, that I couldn't conveniently explore using the public transport system. My first job also entailed marketing and sales and I was required to promptly market and distribute home-care and health care goods within the proximity of the city. For this reason it was only a prudent strategy to be in charge of my own form of transportation. Lastly, I felt I had come of age to own the prestigious privilege of owning a personal car. I nevertheless hadn't enough money, to make the extravagant purchase of a more flashy or highly exorbitant vehicle. Salvage vehicles are sold-off at throw away prices, and all it took me was visit the auto-yard with a trusted mechanic to evaluate the cost implications of having repairs on this vehicles upon purchase. It deemed quite affordable considering the salvage vehicle retailed at 1000 pounds. I was confident that it was a win-win situation because I considered it a good bargain having almost an entire new vehicle after repairs were complete.

Having said this, I will now explain how in the most impromptu manner i purchased my first car. One day in September, It happened to be a normal day in work. The day began beautifully and sunny in the morning and as the afternoon came in, I was due to make my last delivery. I was to make my last delivery of goods to a client approximately 15 km, on the other side of the city. Suddenly, dark ominous clouds, engulfed the sky and the loud clap of thunder became audibly evident. Out of the blue, heavy torrential rains began to pour. I was flabbergasted at the sudden turn of events and my ensuing predicament. I usually had my boxes of home care and healthcare goods stacked and transported via the public transport system, however on this day this strategy wasn't going to work. This is mainly because, heavy rainfall usually causes a myriad of problems for transportation of all sorts, ranging from traffic jams or go slows that run into hours sometimes. The public transport system of buses uses specific routes which may not necessarily be the shortest route to one's destination. Therefore during rains, delay is eminent culminating from traffic jams. My merchandise was furthermore exposed and drenched in the rainstorm. In a nutshell, I wasn't able to make my deliveries in time, and subsequently had my boxes so heavily rained on I had to seek replacements.There and then, I made the decision to break the bank of my little savings and purchase my first car.

Get help to learn to drive and get your first car also with Driving Instructors in Glasgow.

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The More Subtle Benefits Of Gps Vehicle Tracking

If you're part of a forward-thinking company that operates a large number of vehicles, you've probably already considered the possibility of equipping your fleet with a GPS-based tracking system. In case you're still on the fence, here are some of the less-often-considered advantages to GPS tracking.

A Hidden Data Bonanza

Obviously, TIGTrack's GPS tracking equipment will tell you where all of your vehicles are at any given time. Have you considered just how much you can do with that information, though? You can analyze your vehicle usage from a host of new viewpoints with an automated system tracking every vehicle's movements.

The only real limits to what you can do with this data are those of the software you use to manipulate it. This is why it's important to pay attention to the reporting capabilities and software support offered along with a GPS vehicle tracking system prior to picking one. A good system can deliver tons of useful, easy-to-digest data; a cheap one may spit out nothing but uninterpreted numbers.

Streamlining Resource Utilization

When you're running a fleet of vehicles, you're trying to keep track of a host of different valuable resources. There are the vehicles themselves, the equipment and materials they carry, and of course the time (and pay) of the employees riding in them. A good GPS-based tracking system can help you manage all of these resources!

GPS tracking lends exceptional accuracy to your supply-chain logistics. You'll know exactly where every truckload of material is at any given moment. A robust tracking system also makes dispatching far easier, cutting down on both idle time and accidental duplication of work.

Minimizing Maintenance Costs

Consider the benefits that GPS tracking can confer on your vehicle maintenance program. You needn't worry about whether or not your employees are keeping accurate vehicle logs any longer; the system collects all the necessary data automatically!

With the help of GPS tracking, you'll extend the life of your vehicles considerably by ensuring they get their regularly-scheduled maintenance without time. This also makes your fleet more reliable and protects you from unexpected breakdowns.

Hopefully, reading this article has encouraged you to look at GPS-based vehicle tracking systems with a broader point of view. There are plenty of benefits to these systems that you may not have considered yet! As the hardware gets cheaper and the software gets more capable, the advantages to tracking systems are only going to get stronger and stronger. Isn't it about time you started enjoying those advantages at your company?

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Sell Your Car Free And Get A Lot Out Of It

It will benefit you to sell your car for free because you will save a lot of money. You won't have to pay a dealer to do it for you or have to use any kind of paid service that takes part of the money you make.

The main thing you want to do is find a place to list your vehicle for no cost at all. Most cities, for instance, have some kind of a paper that is given out for free that you can put a free listing in. A lot of people also put their vehicles online in an ad because there are free online classified ad websites out there you can work with. You won't get a lot of features you can ad to a local paper, but online you can easily link to photos if you want.

Learn how to describe a vehicle in a more expressive and imaginative way so that when you try to sell it, you are giving someone a good idea of what to expect. It is just a waste of your time if you aren't going to tell people all about it, so expect to answer some questions before you let someone come out to check the vehicle out. You'll have a hard time if you just have a blurb online or in a paper and expect people to just come look at the vehicle, so work on coming up with a description of it.

The websites where you sell for free may have some paid options that you can use to help you get the vehicle sold faster. One thing you can do to make this still free for you is to tack on that fee to the price of the vehicle. Plus you can factor in what your time is worth, and then add that to the price as well. Just don't get too crazy about pricing your vehicle as high as possible, since eventually it will get to a point where nobody at all is going to respond.

Figuring out how to sell your car for free lets you make more money off of it. Since it's so easy to advertise for virtually no money at all, it is possible to do this. You just have to be willing to work hard to find a seller on your own by using the advice you got here.

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