Driving Home For Christmas

Driving home for Christmas driving tips

Many families will take to the roads this Christmas to meet relatives. Take a look at our top tips for staying safe on the roads this festive season…

Whether you’re heading home for Christmas, visiting family members afar or spending Christmas in a holiday home, it’s important that you check over your car before heading on these journeys and stay safe on the road during the festive period. Take a look at our top tips below.

Check The Weather & Traffic Before You Set Off

Although so far the UK weather has been quite mild, there may still be some risks of black ice and flooding. Make sure you check the weather the evening before you set off so you can plan your route and drive to the conditions. If there is going to be snow or heavy rainfall, drive slower and leave a larger distance between yourself and the car in front.

It’s also wise to check the traffic before you head off on your journey in case there are any accidents, flood warnings or road closures in place. It’s best to check with your local news or input the directions into Google Maps and Google will provide you with the quickest route.

Volkswagen on snow road

Keep Your Car Maintained

To ensure your car is ready for the cold winter months why not book your car in for a Pulman Winter Health Check for £20*. Included in the check is an Express Visual Check which identifies any health issues which may need fixing immediately or in the near future. Plus take home your own Winter Care Kit which includes De-Icer, Ice-Scraper and Screenwash. After your car has had its Winter Check at Pulman, it will receive a wash and vacuum.

Make sure all of your essential fluids are topped up such as your brake fluid, oil, Screenwash and check your tyres have enough air in them. As the evenings turn darker earlier during the winter months, make sure you check your lights too.

Pulman Winter Health Check

Avoid Driver’s Fatigue

If you’re travelling far this Christmas, ensure you have had plenty of sleep the night before, and if possible, switch the dedicated driver throughout the journey. If you do come across tired and you’re the only driver, take regular breaks at service stations for a quick drink and a bite to eat; it’s also wise to turn the heating down in your car now and again so it doesn’t get too stuffy!

When you’re driving through built-up areas such as towns and villages make sure you’re aware of your surroundings. During the festive period there are a lot more people on the streets enjoying Christmas celebrations and may not be as aware as you when walking near the road!

Tower bridge car traffic in London

Make Sure You Have Enough Fuel/Electric Range

If you’re heading on a long journey to spend Christmas with relatives, don’t leave your car short on fuel as some fuel stations close during the Christmas period. There’s nothing worse than driving around a new area searching for a petrol station plus you’ll find fuel pricier if you go to a service station just off the motorway.

If you own an electric vehicle, make sure you charge your EV until you’re about to leave (if you have wallbox installed at home or charge throughout the night). If you’re unable to charge at home, find your local EV station on Zap Map and use a rapid charger.

Petrol pump

Be Careful The ‘Morning After’

Many people enjoy a couple of drinks over the festive period but on the morning after if you know you’re going to be the dedicated driver, take it easy the night before and stop drinking early on. Between Christmas and New Year the police are more prone to breathalyse you; if you are the only one driving to meet relatives or friends, wait till later in the day after a good breakfast and lunch before you head off and remember we can all still have a good time without loads of alcohol!

Breakfast

Don’t Leave Gifts On Show

If you’re quickly running to the shops or at a service station before you head on your Christmas journey, make sure you don’t leave any gifts or valuables on show. Anything which looks expensive or wrapped in Christmas paper on show in your car will attract thieves, who may try to break into your car. To avoid the potential risk, place all gifts in the boot or if there is more than one of you travelling, ask if one of the adults wouldn’t mind waiting in the car.

Buys car park

Finally, from all of the team at Pulman, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

*Prices correct at time of article (23/12/19) and may be subject to change.

Top 5 Places To Visit In The North East This Bank Holiday Weekend

Top 5 places to visit in the North East by Pulman

With a heatwave expected this August bank holiday weekend, there’s never been a better time to get out and about around the North East in your car!

We’ve rounded up the top hot spots to drive to across the North East below, why not browse through them and see if there’s somewhere you could visit this weekend!

Penshaw Monument

Penshaw Monument, officially named The Earl of Durham’s Monument, is located between Washington & Houghton-le-Spring and sits on top of Penshaw Hill. It was first built in 1844 and provides fantastic views across Wearside and County Durham! There are a number of steps leading up to the monument but it’s definitely worth the climb!

If you’re not afraid of heights, every weekend and bank holiday between 6th April and 29th September 2019, you can take a tour to the top of the monument via a spiral staircase to see further views across the North East!

Penshaw Monument

 

As well as the Penshaw Monument there are many walks around the area; from the surrounding woodland to Herrington Park which is just across the road. There’s a large lake which sometimes has boat races and is occupied by swans and other wildlife. There’s also a playpark (usually with an ice-cream van) and café with plenty of parking too!

Whitley Bay

On a warm summer’s day there’s nothing better than visiting the beach! Whitley Bay is situated in the borough of North Tyneside in Tyne and Wear and has a fantastic beach with quirky surrounding cafes, shops and pubs! There’s plenty to do in Whitley Bay, our top recommendations to visit are Spanish City, Seaton Delaval Hall and St Mary’s Lighthouse.

St Mary’s Lighthouse is just north of Whitley Bay and is accessible when the tide is low by a short concrete causeway. Once on the ‘part-time’ island, you can climb the 137 steps to the top of the lighthouse for spectacular views along the North East coast. However, if you’re unable to climb the steps there is a video facility which allows you to experience the same views from the ground level. It should be noted that the island is only open between certain times due to the tide times, you can find the times here.

St Mary's lighthouse at Whitley bay

 

As well as the locations above, there are many fantastic beaches along the North East coastline like Seaburn in Sunderland and Seaham which is a little further south in County Durham.

Holy Island

Another tidal island, similar to St Mary’s Lighthouse but of a much larger scale, is Holy Island based a mile off the mainland Northumberland in the North Sea. The island consists of Lindisfarne Castle, a couple of pubs which offer fantastic meals and numerous walking routes around the island. The Gertrude Jekyll garden is a must too; it was crowned garden of the year by Countryfile Magazine in 2019, you’ll see why if you visit it! There are certain crossing times to visit Holy Island, you can find the 2019 times here.

Holy Island

Durham City

Visiting Durham City is never a dull day out, there’s so much for the full family to do! If you like walking there are plenty of routes along the river and the surrounding woodlands. If you like to shop there are many high street shops as well as original one-off shops. There is a huge range of restaurants, pubs and cafes, many offering delicious food. When visiting Durham there are certain attractions which are must to visit!

Durham Cathedral is in the city centre of Durham and is one of the great buildings of Europe, it’s not hard to see why once you visit! From the structure to the stain glass windows, it’s a must to view the Rose Window which casts colourful sunlight on the Cathedral’s floor (if the sun is shining). There are many places within the Cathedral to visit and you can also climb the tower to view the historic city of Durham and the surrounding countryside!

Durham City and Cathedral

 

The Botanic Gardens is located in the southern outskirts of Durham city and is set in 25 acres of mature woodlands! Inside the botanical gardens there are a number of gardens to visit including the Alpine, Winter and Woodland gardens as well as the Bamboo Grove and wild flower meadow! The gardens are perfect for families to take picnics along and to relax in the sunshine!  

Corbridge

Corbridge is a beautiful village based in Northumberland, just 16 miles from Newcastle and is a fantastic drive to get to! Corbridge is well-known for hosting many annual events in the centre surrounded by the unique shops and pubs as well as the local farm shops selling local meats. A must if you visit Corbridge is the Corbridge Roman Town Hadrian’s Wall where you can walk the old Roman streets, explore the museum and discover the Corbridge Hoard!

Hadrian's Wall

 

As well as the hot spots listed above, there are many fantastic locations across the North East from beaches and woodlands to countryside and shopping centres! We nearly forgot to mention the Pulman Extravaganza event which ends on Monday 26th August 2019 at all of our Volkswagen, SKODA and SEAT branches across Durham and Sunderland! During the event we are offering fantastic offers across the new and used car ranges, plus when you order your new car during the event you have a choice of four Pulman Perks! Find out more about the event here.

Top 5 places to visit in the North East by Pulman

 

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Myths Of E-Mobility Debunked!

Myths Of E-Mobility Debunked!

Electric cars are soon to be around us in everyday life, however there are many misconceptions which people associate with electric cars! In this article we will debunk the most common myths…

“Electric cars are too expensive, I’d never be able to afford one!”

As electric cars will be the norm in a few years, they are becoming more affordable with one of the main factors being that the cost of a battery has fallen by around 80% in the last 10 years! Also the running costs of an electric car are cheaper in the long run as electricity costs a lot less than petrol and diesel. There’s less tax to pay and service and maintenance jobs are around a third of the cost of conventional cars. On top of this, some electric cars are eligible for a government grant! 

“It takes too long to charge my car”

As the electric car industry keeps on developing, there are now high-power charging stations which can charge your car battery to 80% power in just 30 minutes! However around 70% of charging processes will occur at home or at work (if charging points are available) so it’s highly unlikely you’ll need to do a full charge, but if you do need a little charge, a quick stop at a service station for a bite to eat will pass the time. There are also apps available which highlight the nearest charging stations along with the plug sockets available at these points.

“There aren’t enough charging stations available!”

According to a report from data company, Emu Analytics, there are currently around 16,500 charging points across the UK which is set to keep growing! Plus, supermarket giants, Tesco, are already onboard with around 2,400 charging stations across 600 locations in the UK! As mentioned above most of the charging will take place at your home or place of work so charging whilst on the road is mostly unnecessary.

“I can only travel short distances before having to charge again!”

The myth of short driving ranges which come with electric cars is a thing of the past! The latest electric cars can offer ranges of up to 342 miles and the availability of charging points and stations is (and will continue) to grow across the UK and Europe.

“If it’s electric, is it dangerous in mixed weather conditions and in the unfortunate event of a crash?”

As with the cars available on the road today, electric cars go through vigorous safety testing to ensure the high safety standards are met! For example, there are special safety systems used to build the car which instantly terminates the electricity flow from the battery in the unlikely event of a crash. Further to this, ADAC tests have shown far less risk of fire in comparison to combustion engines. The weather doesn’t cause an issue either as it’s completely safe to charge your car in the rain!

“Electric cars are dangerous to pedestrians”

From experience of past electric cars, they can be very quiet however once they reach speeds of 18mph and over the noise generated from the tyres can be heard. In addition to this, electric cars use comprehensive assistance and safety systems to meet the high safety standards required. To add to this, synthetic sounds will be mandatory for all electric cars from summer 2019.

 

These are just some of the common myths associated with E-Mobility and electric cars! If there’s something else you’d like to know, don’t be afraid to contact our friendly specialists!

Or call your closest retailer:

  • Pulman Volkswagen Durham: 0191 383 7509
  • Pulman Volkswagen Sunderland: 0191 537 5993
  • Pulman SEAT Sunderland: 0191 537 0015
  • Pulman SKODA Durham: 0191 383 7500

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Get Your Car Ready For Spring

Spring clean car

Now that we are saying goodbye to the cold winter weather (hopefully) it’s time to get your car ready for spring! Follow our top tips to get your car gleaming & restored back to its natural beauty…

During the winter months the harsh weather conditions such as snow, sleet and rain mixed with the road salt beating against your car can affect its exterior and interior overtime. Although you should be cleaning your car throughout the winter months to keep the dirt at bay, now is the perfect time for a total spring clean.

Give Your Car A Thorough Wash

To wash the exterior of your car you can simply use a garden hose or if you don’t have access to one, a sponge and bucket filled with cold water will do the trick! Starting off at the bottom of your car will remove the heavy mud and dirt from your car first a the lighter stains should drip off as you move up! Use a large microfibre cloth afterwards to speed up the drying process a don’t leave your car to dry in the sunshine as this can create water marks!

Onto the tyres; to start with if you have winter tyres on you should replace these and you should check for any cracks and check the tread; if the tread is low or you spot any cracks, these should be replaced immediately. If you don’t need to replace them, you should use a smaller sponge or small brush to get in between the alloys to remove stubborn dirt. Finally, you should check your tyre pressure, either by visiting your local petrol station or you may have your own tyre inflator at home.

Volkswagen clean wheels

Top Up Key Fluids

You should ensure that your car’s key fluids are topped up. Firstly, check the water fluid and top up if necessary; you can use water or windscreen wash.

You should also check the engine oil using the oil dipstick but before you do this ensure your engine is cold or been off for at least 10 minutes. Once cooled remove the dipstick from the pipe and wipe it on a clean, lint-free cloth like a microfibre cloth, place it back into the pipe and pull it back out again and look at the film of oil on the end of the stick. You should look at how high the oil film reaches the dipstick as well as the condition of the oil. If you’re unsure on how to check your oil and which oil to use, visit your local Pulman Retailer (Volkswagen, SKODA and SEAT) across Durham and Sunderland and a member of the Service Team will be happy to help!

Clean The Interior

The interior of your car can also take a tough beating during the winter months so it’s important to give the inside of your car a good spring clean too!

Depending on the condition of your mats either clean or replace them. If you’re cleaning them, clean them outside of your car with a stain remover, and if you have time, with a jet wash and let them hang to dry. To clean the seats within your car, a handheld hoover works best as it can get between the crevasses and saves you potentially tripping up around the cable from a standard home hoover! If the material throughout your car is cloth, a foaming fabric and upholstery cleaner can be used, however, if your materials are leather/wood you should check the owner’s manual for appropriate cleaning products to use.

Interior cleaning of a car

Top Tip For Your Wiper Blades

Although it’s usually wise to change your wiper blades after a harsh winter, there is a tip to try first before replacing them. Try rubbing them in alcohol, if this doesn’t stop the constant smears on your windows, then it is time to replace your wipers!

Emergency Items

If you store winter emergency items in your car such as blankets, a shovel, rock salt etc… now is the time to replace these with spring emergency items. This includes a few bottles of unopened water, a torch, portable phone charger and replenishing the first aid kit.

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We hope our guide on how to spring clean your car has helped! Currently at Pulman we are offering Spring Checks from only £20 which includes an express visual check, oil and washer fluid top-ups, wash & vac and an air conditioning refresh. Book yours today by clicking here. To be kept up-to-date with the latest news from Pulman, follow our social channels:

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