How to make your drives as efficient as possible – five top tips from chauffeurs.

Chauffeurs drive important and rich people around, usually in expensive cars, and thus they must ensure the highest possible quality of service. Their drive must be smooth, quick, and spend as little time in congested roads as possible. Let’s look at their 5 secrets to the smoothest possible journey.

The first piece of advice: planning. To avoid ending up in traffic, plan a route that will be the least busy by looking at possible places for traffic jams. Calculate how long the journey will take, allowing extra time for unplanned problems. Look for toll roads and shortcuts beforehand, give your car a quick once-over to check the essentials, and keep a small bag of fundamentals in the boot in case of emergency. This isn’t exactly a huge secret, but it’s so easy to leave for a journey without knowing completely where you’re heading, without sufficient fuel? Furthermore, if you’re caught with a flat tire, a bag of essentials in the boot would make the whole experience a whole lot easier.

Secondly, always prepare a Plan B. Check the roadworks and traffic online before you leave, and have a second route ready to take if your primary route is congested. Furthermore, if you leave the house and stumble upon a problem, having an alternative route at your disposal can be endlessly helpful and save your time and money.

Next, it is very important to look ahead when you’re actually driving. Chauffeurs look much further ahead than most drivers, allowing them to spot problems quicker than other drivers. This means they can change lanes with plenty of time, keeping up average speed and avoiding last-minute lane changes – which can be especially difficult with a large WAV. With some practice, looking further ahead will become second nature, and will ensure your drive is the most comfortable and safe for your passengers.

The smoothness of the journey is one of the most noticeable things for a passenger when being driven somewhere. This can be partially remedied by looking ahead while driving, but it is also a portrayal of driving technique. Ease on and off the accelerator gently, and steer your WAV round bends with small, gentle movements, to avoid jerking the car and making the journey uncomfortable for passengers. Feather the breaks when you come to a stop – this is a technique worth practicing, as it will remove harsh stops and jerking from your journey.

Finally, it seems obvious, but remember to always focus. While we are in no way implying that you don’t focus when driving, nor are we suggesting that you sit with a blank face for the entire journey, maintaining high focus throughout an entire journey can be very tricky. Road rage is a difficult thing to overcome, but to ensure you remain focused and safe in situations it must be done. Always stay totally aware of your surroundings, so as never to put yourself and your passengers in danger.

Five things you must do if pulled over by the police

A very important question that is asked a lot is, how do you know if the person pulling you over is a fake, especially if they’re in an unmarked police car?

Firstly, if you are unsure as to whether it is a police car, don’t pull over. The police do use unmarked vehicles, but they are always wearing a full uniform when they pull you over. There have been incidents where people impersonate police officers in order to pull over vulnerable people, so the advice if you’re unsure is to slow down but keep driving. If necessary, put on your hazard warning lights to let them know you’ve seen them and aren’t trying to avoid them. If you’re with a passenger, you could ask them to phone the police to describe the situation, but if you’re on your own, wait until you reach a petrol station to pull in to. Then, ask to see their warrant card before you roll down your window – you can explain your nervousness to them once you have proof of their ID, and they will understand.

If a police car with blue flashing lights signals you to pull over, you should only do so when it is completely safe. Do not slam your breaks on in a frantic panic – assess the situation and only pull over when it is completely safe. They’re trying to get your attention, not scare you into a dangerous situation.

Next, stay inside your car. It might be tempting to get out to speak to them, but don’t. If you stay in your vehicle, the officer knows you won’t try to make a run for it, and if you turn on your light and roll down your window it will ensure to the police officer that you aren’t hiding anything and will therefore stop them from being defensive. Traffic stops are very dangerous for police officers, so by proving you are in no way a threat you will avoid any nasty situations, as they will definitely be on their guard.

Make sure you are completely polite. If you’re polite, they will most likely be polite back, and will make the whole experience as painless as possible. It’s perfectly possible you won’t be being pulled over for any reason other than to inform you of a broken brake-light, so don’t work yourself up into a panic that could come out as rudeness or aggressiveness. Be open and honest; most officers would rather let someone off with a warning if possible, so apologise if necessary – the police officer is only human. Furthermore, if you are issued a ticket, do not argue back to the police officer. Your chance to say your piece will come, but arguing with the officer is extremely unlikely to save the situation. Also, always give your name and address if asked, so they know you aren’t hiding anything and aren’t tempted to arrest you if they suspect you have committed an offence.

Lastly, when leaving the scene, you might be nervous or shaky after being stopped due to the adrenaline. Take your time pulling away, making sure there’s enough room and only doing so when you’re completely calm.

Flash for cash scams – how to avoid being tricked

Flash for cash scams are common and dangerously easy to be fooled by. Even if you’re thinking ‘there’s no way I’d be tricked into this’, it’s much better to be safe than sorry, and to know exactly what to avoid.

This scam is a variation of the ‘crash for cash’ con that has been attacking motorists for years. It words by criminals flash their car headlights to let you out of a junction or petrol station, then deliberately drive into your car. Then they will make a claim on your insurance policy for the damage you apparently caused their vehicle, and for the ‘injury’ they have suffered.

The tricky thing about this scam is that according to the insurance companies its one driver’s word against another – and you have no way of proving what’s actually happened. Furthermore, according to the Highway Code, flashing lights are not a valid indicator to proceed, so even if the insurance claim assessor believes you, it doesn’t stand up as a defence.

Therefore, the sad truth is that although it may be a genuine act of kindness, never enter a road until you can be confident the way is clear. Proceed with caution – always. All flashing headlights prove is that their bulb is working.

If something like this does happen to you, our advice is to treat it the same as any other accident; pull over when it is safe, exchange details with the other driver, do not admit liability, and try to get the name and address of any other witnesses.

Furthermore, if you want to take extra precautions, you can fit a dashcam for the ideal witness. This might also deter the criminals, as they probably would like to avoid being caught on camera.

WAV in Snow

How to prepare your WAV this autumn

As Autumn begins to wind down, and we move into winter – and the weather. Snow and sleet and freezing rain introduce a number of challenges to everyday life, not the least of which is simply keeping your car operating safely.

There are several things you can do right now to ensure your car operates successfully throughout the winter months as well as maximize your WAV’s ability to keep you and your family safe should a winter weather problem occur.

Here are five key strategies to follow;

  • Put a “winter supply” box in your WAV. This is the single most important thing you can do for your WAV and for your personal safety. Having a box full of winter supplies in your trunk can make all the difference when something goes wrong while traveling on a cold winter day.Here’s a quick list of items you should include in that box: a flashlight, road flares, a first-aid kit, a few blankets, a change of warm clothes for the driver, a few extra pairs of gloves, a radio, a charged cellphone for 911 calls, a bag of sand (for traction), an extra ice scraper and some high-energy snacks (like nuts or jerky).Obviously there are some very specific things you may need, due to the nature of any mobility issues. We would recommend that you make a full list and keep a supply in the vehicle.
  • Check your engine coolant and antifreeze levels.
    A kit for checking your engine coolant levels is available at almost every auto supply store. Using that kit can let you know quickly if you have an appropriate coolant mix. You can also directly check your antifreeze levels by following the instructions in your car’s manual. Adding more antifreeze is very simple, too, if you need to do it.
  • Check your tire pressure and tread depth. Good tires are the key to staying on the road and keeping safe when the weather is questionable and snow and ice are falling from the sky. You can do your part to ensure your tires are in good shape with just a few simple steps.
    First, check your tire pressure with a simple gauge. Follow your manual’s recommendations for pressure level, and if your tires need air, fill them up.You should also make sure your tires have appropriate amounts of tread on them.If you live in a particularly wintry area , you may want to consider installing winter tires before the season begins, as they will make all the difference when it comes to getting around.
  • Use winter windshield wiper fluid. Not all windshield wiper fluid is the same. Ordinary fluid that you use in the spring, summer and fall often becomes worse than useless in the winter, as it freezes quickly upon contact with your windshield.When winter comes, switch out your fluid for “winter” fluid. Winter fluid is designed for the rigors of winter weather and won’t freeze on your windshield. In fact, it actually helps loosen ice and snow from your windshield, making it much easier to keep things clear.

All these changes are useful for operating a WAV in the winter months, but if you do nothing else, include an emergency box in your car. That one goes beyond keeping your car running well and actually keeps you and your family safe in the case of a winter car emergency.