Friday, December 31, 2010

Why European Cars Are Better

Why are European cars better than those from other countries? This is a video to remind us a-bit what European car makers are offering us and that they invented most of the stuff related to the automotive world.

Please note that this is a relatively old video (around 2 years old now)...I'm doing a new version with more cars; if you'd like a particular car to be shown, do not hesitate to post a comment.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

US Foreign Car Companies Get By

US car makers are shutting down factories in a bid to avert collapse, but foreign firms operating in the southern US are managing to keep their heads above water.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

European Car Rental - Top Ten Tips For Europe Travel - Tip #1: Car Size and Type

More often than not, a person will base his or her entire decision on the price. This is especially true when one is on-line creating their own itinerary without the help of a travel agent or trained professional, something that within 5 years from now will be standard practice. While price is undoubtedly one of the most important things to consider when making a reservation, it is not the first priority. The first priority should be to determine what kind of car you will need, based on a few different factors.

To begin, you must know how many people will be accompanying you on this trip. Remember that the European equivalent of a rental category will be smaller than its US counterpart, so make sure that you take notice of the model that they are quoting you for, along with the supposed size. Once you know what the model is, look it up on the internet and make sure that it will work for you. Some companies will quote you for what they bill as an intermediate car when it is in reality a compact size. Usually for 1 or 2 people, an economy will suffice, provided you have one suitcase apiece. In the event that you have more luggage than this, you may opt to put it in the back seat or upgrade to a larger vehicle. Keep in mind that if you are planning on stopping at any places where your luggage will be visible from outside the car, it is best not to keep it in the back seat.

For 3 people, a compact should be suitable. Sometimes, if you do not mind being a bit cramped on shorter trips, this will also accommodate 4 people. You may have to put some luggage in between the people in the back though. A car this size should be roughly the equivalent of a Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla here stateside. If you can afford it, I would definitely recommend an intermediate 4-door vehicle for 4 people.

For anything above 4 people, it is best to get a van, or more than one car. Once again, if you don't mind being cramped, then get an intermediate wagon. This will allow you to seat 5 people and have room for the luggage. However, luggage for 5 may not fit under the pull-shade most wagons are designed with to eliminate luggage visibility, therefore increasing your chances of a break-in if you leave the vehicle unattended. Vans are typically much more expensive and use a lot more gasoline, which is a commodity in and of itself in Europe (current average of about $4.00 USD per gallon, less for diesel) and sometimes even more expensive than two compact vehicles.

There's nothing less embarassing than trying to squeeze too many bodies and suitcases into a car that's not designed to take them. That is, unless you get a stickshift vehicle and don't know how to drive one. Americans (myself included) have generally been spoiled with unlimited access to automatic transmission. Most of the rental cars in the States are automatic as well. The opposite is true in Europe. While most major locations do stock automatic vehicles, you will not get a very good selection to choose from and those that are there will cost anywhere from fifty to one hundred percent more than the manual version. On top of that, you will lose 5 to 10 miles per gallon in gas efficiency. However, if you are uncomfortable with a stick, it costs a lot less in the long run than taking a chance in getting in an accident, which costs you time, money and overall enjoyment of the experience. This is especially true in countries like England, Ireland and Cyprus, where the cars (and drivers) are on the opposite side.

In conclusion, remember that in most cases you are planning for a vacation. Sometimes in order to enjoy it, you have to be willing to spend a little bit more. Keep an eye out for my next installment, when we discuss the best way to get the car you really need for the price you really want.

Murdoch Morris has worked in the European Car Rental industry for 4+ years, helping drivers to find the best way to get the most out of their itinerary for the least amount of money. Feel free to contact him with any questions you may have specific to your next trip to Europe.

Europe Casual Car Rental []

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Choosing the Right European Car Parts for a Volvo

European car parts, for maintenance or upgrading, can be purchased and installed in most automotive service centers. For instance, Volvo owners go to Volvo repair centers to get correct, quality Volvo parts. There are some situations where one has no access to an auto center or would rather get the parts they need for a cheaper price, since official auto centers will cost car owners more money. Car owners would then have to look for an alternate resource for car parts; the question is, "Who can be trusted for quality, long-lasting parts?"

There are many resources that one can find online when searching for online European car parts distributors and one will just have to consider which one, out of the whole lot, is the best one to use. Car owners should consider the following when deciding on an online resource for Volvo parts: pricing, product range, delivery speed, and positive company feedback. Pricing dictates how well and how competitive an online resource is doing. The lower the price, the more competitive the company is. This can attract many buyers since price is one of the main reasons why many of them go shopping online in the first place.

Product range can tell online shoppers how connected, and how trusted, a European car parts distributor is. Most online resources that deal directly with big companies, like in this case, Volvo, can tell shoppers that they are licensed to sell these Volvo parts. People should also make sure to check if the product in question is brand new or secondhand. It is always a big plus when one can get online purchases right away. Online companies that promise fast delivery should be top of the list when choosing who to buy; the sooner one gets the parts, the sooner he can get back on the road.

With European car parts retailers, it is also best to go through online reviews and forums to make sure about the quality of service that the company provides. Usually typing the company's name in a search engine, coupled with key words like "review" or "feedback", will lead to articles one can refer to. Finding the right online resource for Volvo parts is important in ensuring buyers quality products. By following these tips, one can be more confident when purchasing their car parts online and get their Volvo in top condition.

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