Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What Are The Best Cars For Motability?

One of the most important considerations for many people when choosing a car is motability. For many people with disabilities, the car is a lifeline. It affords an independence that is incredibly valuable.

Car manufacturers know this. It's why they've been producing motability vehicles since 1977. Now there is a broad range of cars to choose from. They range from tiny superminis to 4x4s and SUVs. In other words, those with a disability have very similar choices to the more able-bodied.

But such a large choice makes decision making difficult. There are so many options to choose from. Here we will review the best motability cars in each of the major car categories. That means that there will be a car for you, whatever your needs.

Best SUV : Skoda Yeti



The real benefits of the Yeti are its low price and its great handling. It's essentially a family crossover. The cheapest model comes in front wheel drive. Though, if you wanted something with a little more performance, you can opt for a 4x4 version.

Specialist motability dealers, like RRG Group, offer nil advance payment on the Yeti. This helps to make it more affordable. If you want, you can join the Motability Scheme to reduce costs even further. It's available to people on the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance. But you can also get it if you receive the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of the Personal Independence Payment.

Lastly, the Yeti has an intuitive interior. The controls are well-positions and the cabin easy to navigate. There's plenty of space in the rear too for storing wheelchairs and other mobility equipment.

Best MPV: Ford B-MAX



Ford have done something rather clever with the B-MAX. They've taken what is essentially the Fiesta and upscaled it slightly. For many, this is a genius move. The reason is that the Fiesta itself is a highly celebrated car and a genuine class leader. And now the B-MAX wants to gain from some of that pedigree.

What's so interesting about the B-MAX is how well suited it is for motability. The car features sliding doors on both sides. And it doesn't have a B-pillar, which means great access to the back seats.

What's more, when you drive the B-MAX you feel in control. That's because the seat height has been raised significantly over the Fiesta. You get a far more commanding view of the road ahead.

Added to that, you also get that signature Ford feel. The car feels light and responsive, which is unusual for an MPV.

There are other notable mentions in the MPV category, like the Vauxhall Zafira. But whether it's the looks, or something else, they don't quite feel on a par with the Ford.

Best Hatchback: Ford Focus

Ford have had a real run of success with the Focus. Since the car was debuted in the late 1990s, it has become the UK's most popular family hatch. And for good reason.



The car is just stunning to drive. You always feel in control. And now that the car comes with a better engine, more recent models are cheaper to run and more reliable. Although, it was still pretty darn good in the early days.

Motability customers can opt for a range of models. The 1.0 Ecoboost is one of the cheapest to run. And, at least according to early results, one of the most reliable engines on the market.

The only drawback is rear leg room. The back of the car tends to be a little cramped. This is because Ford wanted to open up more boot space. If you're planning on using the back seats regularly, there may be better options for you. These include the Seat Leon and the Peugeot 208.

Best Supermini: VW Polo

The supermini category is a difficult one to call. The problem is that the cars are so small, it's hard to recommend any of them. However, within this class, there are a few standouts, one of which is the VW Polo.



The Polo is the winner for me because it embodies all of VW's build quality. Though it is only an entry level car, that does not mean that VW has skimped on attention to detail. Under the Motability scheme, the car is very affordable. And the car does well regarding handling, fuel economy and reliability.

Of course, if you're looking for something that's a little more interesting to drive, you'll probably want to opt for the Fiesta. The Fiesta perhaps falls down a touch on the reliability front, compared to the VW. But it picks up points when it comes to the drive.

Creating The Ultimate Crib

Are you a big fan of MTV Cribs? Are you eager to follow in the footsteps of rappers, baseball players and reality stars and create your own unique home? If you’re desperate to take your crib to the next level and live in the lap of luxury, here are some design ideas.

Perfect pools
Nothing sets the scene for a house that dreams are made of like an outdoor pool. If you’re desperate to impress, and you are channelling celebrity style, go for a pool with a difference. Inject some colour or go for a whacky shape. Personalise your pool with mosaic tiles, or add a slide or two. Dot some sun beds around the terrace and plant some palms. Add a custom-designed bar with sumptuous loungers and hammocks for a laid-back Caribbean vibe.



Grand gardens
The pool may be the star of the show, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go grand in the gardens. Think water features, monuments and ornate flower beds for a romantic Italian theme. If you’re a sports lover, turn a boring backyard into a football pitch or a basketball court. Add a hot tub and some neon lights to your decking area if you love to entertain. After partying the night away, head to your tranquil Japanese oasis, complete with floating lily pads and outdoor yoga mats. Take some time out to rest and recover.

Movie night
With your own home theater, you can invite all your friends round for a movie night with a difference. Install some cinema-style seating and decorate the walls with vintage posters for the full effect. Lay out some bowls of chips and popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show.



Home gym
If you’re a fitness fan, but you’re not keen on exercising with a crowd, a home gym is a must. Convert a standard spare room or create a new outdoor suite. Invest in some gym equipment and enjoy pumping iron in style. Add a vending machine and a changing room to finish off your custom-designed workout area.

Oversized bathrooms
You often see bathrooms that are bigger than bedrooms on reality TV shows. If you’re a fan of a hot bubble bath, why not invest in an oversized tub? Go for opulent vintage designs with wrought iron feet for a vintage French feel. Or opt for a Jacuzzi bath with a wall-mounted TV and coloured lights for a more modern vibe.



The closet
A crib is not a crib without a walk in wardrobe that’s big enough to house racks of shoes, bags and clothing. Carry the theme of your home into your closet and try and be as organised as possible. Stick to a system and keep on top of tidying. Clear out your wardrobe on a regular basis and donate anything you no longer want to charity.

Over the top designs are not for everyone, but Cribs has definitely inspired a movement. If you want to take your home to the next level and live in 5-star luxury, these ideas may inspire you.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Considering Buying A Mercedes Benz? Here's Why You Should!

Mercedes Benz vehicles are associated with luxury, and in life, you get what you pay for. Just as that expensive iPhone will work perfectly and last you ages, a Mercedes car will undoubtedly be worth every penny. Of course, some brands just aren’t for everyone, and that is true for any piece of technology. Regardless, they’re still worth considering!

Whether you’re looking for your first vehicle or next vehicle, Mercedes Benz should be high on your shopping list. Mercedes’ all-wheel-drive technology is now standard for all its models, so if you’re after a smooth ride, look no further.



They’re super environmentally friendly

Those consumers who value an eco-friendly vehicle will not be left in the dark here. Cars do damage the environment, but certain manufacturers are doing everything in their power to decrease this impact. And Mercedes Benz is one of those manufacturers.

In fact, the Mercedes Benz B200 CNG was awarded the most eco-friendly car, destroying the competition. In terms of CO2 emissions and miles per gallon, they’re unparalleled. If you want to see your lifestyle take a turn toward the green, you’re in safe hands with a Mercedes.

They’re incredibly reliable, whether you go new or pre-owned

The big price tags attached to many Mercedes vehicles isn’t put there lightly. When you slap down the cash, you can be sure that your purchase won’t be made in vain, whether you go with a new or old ride. Used dealers, like Mercedes Benz, will ensure a used ride is just as functional as a new one! In fact, used Mercedes brand vehicles frequently top the lists of the most reliable used cars money can buy.

You don’t have to just stick with a standard car

While Mercedes are primarily known for their road cars (Formula One success aside), they also create a whole host of other vehicles. The Mercedes Benz A-Class, a hatchback, is the standard car you’d expect, complete with a rear boot and four passenger doors. For the more sporty drivers out there, the luxury roadster SLK-Class is a stylish way to get from A to B.

In short, you won’t just be limited to luxurious, basic cars. You can shop around a little and pick a vehicle which matches your needs. If you’re set on the Mercedes brand, it’s nice to know you have a lot of options. Families, singletons and couples can easily find something that suits them.

When all is said and done, the car you buy will be a long-term investment, not something you give up on in a few weeks! We have to be sure of the integrity of the vehicle, and we have to be sure it’s right for us. Just like taking out a mortgage, it’s an expensive endeavour that’s hard to reverse - so make the right decision from the outset. Hopefully I’ve helped you make your mind up a little, but if not, happy shopping!

Once you’ve made your purchase, why not check out our top tips for keeping your car tip-top!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Renault Twingo: A Worthy Alternative To The Fiat 500?

When the first generation Renault Twingo came out in 1992, I had one thought at the time. Who on Earth would buy such a car? Well, it turns out millions of Europeans and South Americans did!

Today, the Renault Twingo is now in its third generation. It looks a world away from the original model that got unveiled. And boy does it present an attractive proposition to consumers! In fact, it's fair to say that the Renault Twingo also targets people that buy the Fiat 500.

Still, is it a better buy than its Italian competitor? In a word, yes. Let me explain the main selling points of the car:


Image Source: Flickr

Fresh, urban styling

Walk up to a third-generation Renault Twingo and you'll soon realise one thing. The car looks trendy and modern! The French car maker has no doubt taken on board feedback from previous owners and the motoring press.

What they've done is come up with a car that looks amazing. The thing that surprises me about the Renault Twingo is that it doesn't look "French", as odd as that sounds. Anyone that has followed the styling of Renault cars over the years will know what I mean.

The current Renault Twingo is more cosmopolitan and urban. What it doesn't do is align to a particular country's style of vehicle. This fact alone gives Renault an advantage when it comes to selling the car in different markets.

One can expect to see the latest model in countries like the UK, a place where such models were seldom seen in the past.

It defies convention

One thing you'll notice about the Renault Twingo is that it's not a "typical" city car. For example, take the location of the engine. You would expect it to be at the front end of the car, right?




The latest generation is a rear-engined model. Renault have no doubt taken some tips from the Renaultsport design team when it comes to space saving! The only difference is the Twingo still has a usable boot. To access the engine, you simply remove the cover.

If you're a mechanic, you will no doubt curse the location of the engine. Still, it's not a large unit to work on. And it's less complicated than other rear-engined cars like the Porsche Boxster, for example.

So, what's at the front end of the car? The only things you'll find there are fluid reservoirs such as for the windscreen washer. One downside to the Twingo is the fact there's no usable space up front. The bonnet just slides down so you can check or refill various fluids. Still, that makes simple maintenance quick and easy for most people.

It's affordable

For some reason, many of the Twingo's competitors are expensive to buy brand new. The good news is you've now got an affordable city car that you can get new.

If you want to save even more money, there are models available on the used car market. You can expect to see some for sale at places like Autoworld, for instance. And, as time goes on, I'm sure there will be more used examples for sale.


Source: Flickr

One thing Renault does well is build cars that are affordable to both new and used car buyers. And there's no sacrifice or cost-cutting involved!

Two efficient petrol engines on offer

With a car so small and light as the Twingo, there's no reason to fit a diesel unit. Renault offers two petrol power plants. The first is a 0.9-litre turbo engine that has 88 brake horsepower. That might not sound like much, but the car only weighs 943 kilograms! It also boasts a combined fuel economy of 65 MPG. Plus, CO2 emissions are just 99 g/km.

The other petrol option is the 1.0-litre. It's got less power at 69 brake horsepower, but the car weighs even less at 864 kilograms. Fuel economy is reasonable at 60 MPG combined while CO2 emissions are 105 g/km. If making a choice between the two, I'd recommend the smaller 0.9-litre unit.

Plenty of standard kit - even on the basic Expression trim

One point that will attract many new owners the most is the level of equipment offered on the Twingo. The Expression is the basic trim and offers DAB digital radio and Bluetooth. It also comes with remote central locking, hill start assist and electric front windows.

The range-topping Dynamique trim boasts cruise control, front fog lights and start-stop technology.

If you're in the market for a small city car, don't just assume you should opt for a Fiat 500. The Renault Twingo is a real worthy alternative. Don't believe me? I invite you to take one out for a test drive. You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Online Activities All Women Should Try If They Get Bored

Internet users tend to spend a lot of time scrolling through Facebook and Twitter these days. However, there are many better ways to keep yourself occupied online. If you don’t want to turn into one of those social media geeks, there are plenty of other websites you could use. I’m going to make some suggestions today that will hopefully point you in the right direction. Just remember that new sites and companies are appearing every day. So, you will always benefit from following relevant blogs and internet news portals. Even so, the ideas on this page should be enough to keep you entertained right now.


Stream Movies

Netflix, LoveFilm and other streaming services have become popular in recent times. They don’t charge a lot of money to access their services, and there are thousands of movies available. Most of those sites also include TV series and documentaries. So, there’s something for everyone, and you should never become bored. Indeed, they could even help to enhance your life will new perspectives and information. Of course, you might want to read reviews before making your selection. As you will discover, opinions are split on the best streaming service around today. Netflix is regularly updated, but LoveFilm is associated with Amazon. That means both have their perks, and you just need to look at the facts before making your decision.

Gamble

I’m not saying that gambling is a sensible way to spend your time. However, thousands of people access casino websites every single day. In truth, if you set spending limits, you should have no concerns. You just need to find a list of accredited and certified casinos. You could spend your evenings placing bets on horse races, sports games, or political outcomes. Some websites even offer novelty opportunities based on TV shows or recent events. The only people who should steer clear of gambling sites are those who struggle with overspending. Even so, most people know when it’s time to stop risking their money, and so it could become an excellent way to spend your free time.


Freelance

If you have writing or graphic design skills, you could earn some extra cash online. Just search Google, and you should find many reputable freelancing websites you can join. Employers post jobs, and you bid for the contract. In most instances, you can receive payments fast, and the service is reliable. Maybe you like the idea of writing blog posts just like this one? Well, you should find plenty of opportunities to do just that. As with any service of that nature, it’s sensible to read reviews before opening your account. Some freelancing websites have too many members, and that means finding work is difficult. So, you should opt for a reasonably new domain that is just starting to find its feet. That will help to increase your earning potential.

Research

Are you interested in a particular event from history? Would you like to trace your family lineage to discover if you’re related to any famous people? Then you have the best tool at your fingertips right now. The Internet contains almost every piece of information in existence. So, it’s the most sensible place to start any research projects. There are websites you can join for creating a family tree, and Wikipedia is an entirely free encyclopedia. Use your time online wisely, and you could come away far more educated than you otherwise would have been. Just remember to check and double check everything you read. Some people publish false information on the internet in the hope of gaining attention. Don’t fall for it!


Dating

If you still haven’t met a life partner, the internet could solve all your issues. There are hundreds of dating websites you can use to meet someone special. While there are free services, it’s usually wise to opt for something where you pay a subscription. That is because the other people using the site are more likely to remain honest. At the end of the day, they will have paid the same money, and they won’t want to waste their investment. Also, you know for a fact that paid users are committed to finding a partner just like you. They’ve wouldn’t have spent cash on the service if they weren't taking the process seriously.

Some of those ideas are sure to stop you from spending all night on Facebook. So, give some of those websites a try before logging into social media today. With a bit of luck, you’ll keep yourself entertained and improve your life. Some dating websites are better than others, and so it’s worth asking friends if you’re unsure. Don’t sign up for anything that offers illicit encounters as a filter choice. The people using those domains probably aren’t looking for love.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

How to Free Up Time in Your Busy Schedule

Whether you’re a working professional, a parent, a stay at home mom, or anything in between your time matters. And that means you need to do what you can to get as much of it back as possible. There always seems to be something that needs to be done. Some area of our lives that requires time and attention to deal with. And that is why you’ve got to come up with as many solutions as possible.


Think about all the areas in your life where you need to take the time to do things. There are so many of these that you might be making quite a long list. Once you know what these areas in your life are you will know how to prioritise the important elements. Then you can work on coming up with ideas to get them done more quickly, and save yourself a lot of time and effort in the process. Here are some of the best things you can do to free up some precious time in your busy schedule.

Get Yourself a Maid

One of the biggest time-sapping things we encounter is household work and chores. If you have kids, this is going to be even more of a problem for you. There seems to be a never-ending stream of housework to do. So, the best way of combatting this is to make sure you hire a maid to do this for you. Sorting out your home is important, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to do it. So, you need to make sure you bring in a maid or housekeeper who can do it all for you. This is the best way to free up time and ensure that the important chores around the home still get completed.

Work From Home

If you are a working professional think about how much time you could save working from home. Of course, this might be dependent upon the rules your company has. But, if you work for yourself you should have no problems with this. Make sure working from home becomes a staple part of your working life. By running a business from home, you can work more effectively, and you cut out the journey to work which is very time-consuming. Think about how much time you spend commuting or traveling to work. It’s even worse if you have to rely on public transport to help you. Working from home removes the time constraints of having to travel to and from the office every day.


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Best Limited Edition PS4 Consoles Available


The PlayStation 4 is the latest console from Sony and is capable of playing all the latest games. It's a very powerful games console which can display high resolution graphics. When buying a PS4 you can buy the console by itself, or as part of a bundle. Some of the bundles come with special limited edition consoles which are customised for a specific theme. This guide will look at the best limited edition PS4 consoles available at the moment.

Batman PS4

Batman is one of the most famous superheros of all time. That's why the batman special edition PS4 is such a popular choice. The bundle includes the latest Batman Arkham knight game and a very special looking PS4. The console itself is finished in steel grey with a nice batman design on the side. It also comes with some really nice bonus features including an amazing limited edition comic book.

Call Of Duty Special Edition PS4

Call of Duty is a very popular PS4 game and if you're a fan you will want to buy the special edition console. The bundle includes the latest Call of Duty Black Ops III game. The console itself looks great, it is finished in a blacn and orange design to tie in with the game. It looks quite a retro console with this style.

Starwars Limited Edition Playstation 4

If you are a starwars fan then you will simply love the limited edition starwars PS4 console. The console itself is decorated with a Darth Vader graphic and a lovely starwars logo etched onto the console. Even the Dualshock controller has been customised and features the starwars etched logo.

These limited edition PS4 console bundles make owning the latest PlayStation even more special. They are available from all the leading retailers, including Game, Argos and Amazon. These retailers offer many different payment options from buy now pay later to pay weekly on a PS4. Don't delay though, these are limited edition consoles and won't be around for long.

The Best Tablets Available



Tablet computers have made it extremely easy to access the internet without needing to sit in front of a computer. Most people now surf the internet on tablets while watching TV or traveling on trains. This guide will show you some of the best tablets available so that you can make an informed decision.

Apple iPad

The Apple iPad is regarded by many as being the best tablet currently available. This of course depends on whether you love or hate apple devices. Personally I think the devices are nicely designed, but are generally overpriced. The iPad has a nice bright and clear screen. You can choose between the iPad mini and standard iPad depending on the size of screen you desire. The iPads run Apples own operating system which is more restricted than Android. It's also worth noting that there is no expandable memory on current iPads which can create a problem.

Microsoft Surface

If you are a Microsoft fan then you can't go far wrong with the Microsoft surface. This is a really nicely designed tablet, but is extremely expensive. As it runs Windows 10 it can run all regular desktop applications. You will also be familiar with the windows interface if you have used a computer running Windows. There are also several other cheaper tablets available which run Windows 10 which might be worth looking at.

Galaxy Tab

The Samsung Galaxy tab range of tablets run Android which is a free open source operating system. The galaxy tab can use micro SD cards to expand the internal memory of the tablet. The galaxy tab is much cheaper than the iPad or Microsoft surface, but is still more expensive than other Android tablets. If you are looking for a good quality and dependable tablet then you will love the Galaxy tab.

All tablets work in a similar way but you do get what you pay for. Cheaper android tablets are easy to find but many have less responsive touch screens which can make them infuriating to use. Always make sure you read reviews online to make it easier to choose the right tablet computer. You can view a large selection of finance options on tablets at catalogues247.co.uk.

Top 5 Inflatable Hot Tub Accessories



Hot tubs are excellent features for any garden. They help you to relax and unwind in complete comfort. This guide will look at the top 5 hot tub accessories you can buy. These accessories will make the most of your hot tub.

1. Hot Tub Cover

Filling your hot tub with water takes a very long time, which is why you will want to keep the water as clean as possible for as long as you can. A hot tub cover is an essential accessory every hot tub owner needs to purchase. They stretch over the hot tub to prevent leaves falling into the water. The cover also provides protection and prevents animals or children from falling into the hot tub by accident.

2. Gazebo

A gazebo is a structure which covers your hot tub with a permanent roof like structure. This provides shelter and also makes your hot tub much more private. A gazebo is quite an expensive accessory, but it will make your hot tub look much more like a permanent feature in your garden.

3. Steps

Climbing into most hot tubs isn't very glamorous. To make it easier, consider getting some hot tub steps. These steps are available in metal, plastic or wood depending on which you prefer. They are also available in different heights which makes them suitable for any hot tub. Steps make it very easy to get in and out of your hot tub without looking silly.

4. Towel Rail

You will want to keep your towels close to hand when in the hot tub. Consider getting some inexpensive towel rails and installing them on the sides, or near to the hot tub. This will keep your hot tub looking tidy and organised.

5. Waterproof headphones

If you want to listen to music in the hot tub then a pair of waterproof headphones are a must. You might also want to invest in a waterproof case for your phone or MP3 player, just in case it falls into the water.

These accessories should make it even easier to fall in love with your hot tub. You should be able to spend hours soaking all of your troubles away. If you are looking to purchase an inflatable hot tub you can visit www.inflatabletubs.org.uk. They provide numerous reviews on all sorts of hot tub related products including enclosures, filters, chemicals and more!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Top Travel Tips That Will Save You A Fortune



Travelling is one of the most amazing experiences that you could wish for, but it is expensive. The fact is that you are away for a long period and not working. As such, you are bound to spend a lot of money and not recoup your losses. If you have the cash, that isn’t a problem. But, if you need to be more frugal, you have an issue. Fortunately, it is an issue you can solve if you know the tricks of the trade.

Travel At The Cheapest Times

The time for travelling is when the demand is low. Like every industry, airlines, trains and buses have times when the demand is high. As the result, the price is high also. If you book to travel when the demand is low, you will get a far lower price. Obviously, this might be out of your control as you might have a deadline. If you do, that is tough luck. If you don’t, that means you have more flexibility.

Book In Advance

One sure-fire way to save money is to book in advance. You might know that you have to be somewhere at a certain time. If that is the case, you can book well in advance and save a fortune. This tactic is always a good one to use if you are booking flights. Because flights are a big deal, you tend to know when you are going to need one. And, that puts you one step in front. However, this method also works for trains, buses and even car hire.



Use The Budget Option

As a skinflint, the budget option is your best friend. The budget option can vary depending on your needs, so ask yourself what is the cheapest way to travel? You might find that the cheapest way to travel is free if it is within walking distance. If it isn’t, you will need a cheap taxi like Uber or Lyft. And, you can make it cheaper with an Uber promotion code. For the most part, public transport is the cheapest way to get around. As long as you don’t care about sharing your space and you are not in a rush, it is a great way to travel.

Scour The Internet

Think of the Internet as the best places to find the cheapest deals. Almost every deal that you come across is on the cyber highway, and that is the place you need to start. With the help of budget travel sites, you will never have to fork out again. In fact, if you use them in conjunction with the tips above, you could save a wheelbarrow full of cash!



Travel In A Group

Not only is travelling in a group safer, but it is also cheaper. With more people, you can split the costs more ways. Although it doesn’t work for single tickets, it does work for things like car hire. A group of people is much better than an individual when you are on the road.

Please don’t let the cost of exploring get in the way.