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Maud at holy island 2

Our latest Blog Is about a revival in the good old fashion British holiday ‘The staycation!’

Holiday’s abroad whilst lovely! Can occasionally feel rather counterproductive in the ‘stress release’ department, from agreeing where you want to go, booking the time off, saving an arm and leg, packing and then you have to get to the airport in time! AND make it through security! Christ… I STILL don’t even have a beer in my hand!

Over recent years we’ve heard more and more talk of ‘the staycation’ and with some fantastic programs like ‘George Clarks amazing spaces’ and ‘Coast to coast’ showing us not only the beauty of our own glorious coast line and the UK’s natural wonders, but how to customise your very own mobile home to take you there! Additional to all this is the saving of Penny’s AND Pounds! #winning

Who doesn’t get massively curious and slightly green with envy when they see peoples little mobile homes at festivals and camp sites! There’s a Den making child lurking in all of us! The Freedom of hopping in your wheels and taking to the road on a Friday night after work when the weather forecast rolls in some decent weather …and dare I say how cosy it feels when you have to snuggle up in your little camp when a skiff of rain arrives!  It’s win win!

I myself don’t own a camper van but I often borrow my brothers! My girls squeal with delight when it pulls up to take them on holiday! I just stuff all our belongings into the hidey holes, nooks and crannies without giving a second thought to luggage weight or limit!  I don'teven need to pack food!  I can pull up at a local shop when we get there!

I feel inspired this month by our Sales manager ‘Emma’ and her NOW Fiancé Nick!  They recently returned from their first UK holiday in Scotland with ‘Maud’ their newly converted Camper Van!

‘Maud’ was a gift for Nick from Emma last Feb (for a big birthday) …. rather generous…YES!  But let’s face it, she benefits as well!

They have lovingly converted her piece by piece as their budget and time have allowed, for little more than the cost of an average yearly family holiday. Now us girls would liken this to average cost per wear (often done to justify a pricey pair of shoes) Over time this will equate to free holidays and a broader knowledge of the country they live in with some awesome memories thrown in along the way!

Even better is the fact they have customised her themselves! Maud is unique to Emma and Nick, ...built with their personal needs in mind. They have opted to convert her with a pop top for sleeping and whilst she if fully insulated and carpeted, with full power hook up, they have kept her internally sparse as it houses all their luggage and bikes. Instead they have invested in a bar to make fitting an awning simple and as well as carrying a portable kitchenette and porta loo which sets up outside giving them all the mod cons and space!   For more pictures on all the various stages of the conversion, check our Gallery page!

Another good reason for my blog is that I often post the ‘VW Transporters’ that we have for sale as our ‘Van of the week’ and I mention that they would make a fantastic Camper conversion.  This is because they have a rear tailgate and high BHP making them ideal for heavier loads!  Further-more they are LEZ compliant and generally well specked including air conditioning!  If we don’t have one here already, chances are we can source one for you! Check out our vehicle sales page for our current stock lists.  Now you can see from our pictures of Emma and Nicks ‘Maud’ how infinitely possible it is to convert these Vans and what endless Joy they can bring!

Carry on Camping!


From 1st April 2017 VED (Vehicle excise Duty) or Vehicle tax is changing…

Who is affected?

Anybody buying a newly registered vehicle from 1st April 2017.  If driving in a vehicle registered before this date you will be unaffected by the changes.

…thinking of buying a new car after this date?  Read on…

What are the main criteria for the first licence?

The First year rate for any new car registered from 1st April 2017 will be calculated according to CO2 emissions as currently, however…

The biggest difference here is that all vehicles will be applicable unless it falls into the Zero emissions band (see table 1 below)

What happens after the first year?

Following the first year all vehicles will revert to a Standard rate with one new addition…read on to find out more

Vehicles with a listed price of £40,000 at first registration will pay the standard rate of £140 plus the additional amount of £310 a year for the first 5 years post the first year of registration.  Hereon after those 5 years they will revert back to standard rate of £140.

What are some of the biggest differences?

Firstly, vehicles with a CO2 emission of 1-130 used to be zero in the first year - they will now be taxable (based on what band of emission if falls in)

Secondly, you are now being charged an additional tax on a vehicle worth more than £40,000

See the table below detailing the new banding…

CO2 emissions (g/km) First year rate Standard rate *
0 £0 £0
1 - 50 £10 £140
51 - 75 £25 £140
76 - 90 £100 £140
91 - 100 £1,320 £140
101 - 110 £140 £140
111 - 130 £160 £140
131 - 150 £200 £140
151 - 170 £500 £140
171 - 190 £800 £140
191 - 225 £1,200 £140
226 - 255 £1,700 £140
over 255 £2,000 £140

*Cars with a list price of over £40,000 when new pay an additional rate of £310 per year on top of the standard rate, for five years.

Remember, all new vehicles registered before 1st April 2017 are unaffected by the changes!

Cold weather really does present some tricky and challenging driving conditions. From starting your vehicle in the first place to ensuring you have visibility and grip whilst moving.  The trick is to make like a Brownie or Scout and be prepared!

During such inclement weather your vehicle is being asked to work a great deal harder than normal, not dissimilar to dragging our own cosy selves from our warm and snuggly beds!  It is important therefore, when the weather man warns us a cold snap is coming, to check our four wheeled friend is cold weather ready!

First up is your Battery! Simply put – the cold and damp just drains it!  If it is already struggling and taking a few goes to kick start in the morning, then that situation will not be getting better!  It’s possible to buy a little battery tester yourself (some start from as little as £3) or swing by your local garage whom in most cases will offer this test for free – I know we do as part of our free winter check!  If your struggling to turn it over, try pouring hot water over it to give it the extra help it needs.

A Handy investment for all drivers is a Jump start pack or some Jump leads.  A good friend of mine broke down a short distance from my house not that long ago, I was able to get to her and jump start her car in little under 5minutes because I had a pair of leads handy!

Check all your levels, Antifreeze is an obvious one, you can buy a simple gadget (again from as little as a fiver) that will tell you whether it’s quality is good enough and if it does need replacing, there are lots of ready mixed solutions available, just remember to drain out the old before you pop in the new!  Screen wash is perhaps the most annoying one to run out of! Your wipers will be moving frequently during our wonderfully regular wet spells and without actual screen wash all the wipers will achieve is to move salt and grim in a smeared fashion all over your line of sight…..Irritating AND dangerous. Screen wash also has a lower freezing temperature than just water so it’ll help to ensure the washers don’t block when you need them most!

…and whilst we’re talking about visibility let’s not forget our dear old headlamps! Days are shorter and we’re often driving in wet & foggy conditions, add to that a build-up of salt and grime on your headlights and even those with the best vision would struggle to see. Give your lights a weekly check to make sure all the bulbs are working and a quick wipe wouldn’t go a miss either!

Lastly for those of you lucky enough to be in your vehicle covering a lot of miles regularly it would be well worth investing in some Winter Tyres, whilst they cost a little more, they offer exceptional grip when the temperatures drop. The bare minimum you should ensure is that the tread depth is above the legal limit and your Tyre pressure is topped up, remember the better the tread depth the more grip you can count on!

My final tip is for when the snow really does fall (not very often in our case and just a mere hint and the roads and public transport dissolve into chaos). A decent set of car mats not only protect the cars carpet but can be wedged under the car wheels to get you moving should get really stuck in the snow!’

pot hole road

According to an article I read recently, the state of the UK’s roads has become a popular talking point, somewhere up there with our other favourite subject ‘The Weather!’ which is handy seeing as the two generally work in unison to make our motoring lives more challenging!

How? You may ask can the council spend so long closing roads, filling in holes and re-surfacing them, for all these craters to open!  Seriously! Sometimes driving down our local ‘A’ road it feels more like a country lane, and don’t get me started on those…. they aren’t fit for a horse and cart let alone a vehicle!  

First let’s get back to our good friend the great British Summer…. when it does decide to Grace us with some warmth, it also likes to dry out the Bitumen in the Asphalt which leaves us with Cracks in the tarmac.  Enter Autumn & winter.  The sheer weight of the vehicles pounding the road force water into the tiny cracks or holes in the road or pavement.  When temperatures drop that water freezes, expands and forces the asphalt to move, crack and crumble, cars continue to drive over this area and the fragments break off…. ‘a Pothole is formed’.

 It’s a vicious circle really, which continues seasonally and gives us lots of reason to moan or indeed make a game out of whom can find the biggest pothole?

This problem is exacerbated further by increased traffic.  Figures released by the department for transport show that Britain’s roads are at their busiest ever in 2015 with Vans accounting for most of the growth as online shopping and home delivery become more popular and, particularly Rural roads which appear to be taking a bit of a bashing!

For us drivers it can present quite a problem.  Hitting a pothole is one thing, to some it’s merely a rather bumpy and unpleasant ride, at the wrong speed its downright dangerous!  Further-more so many of us are unaware of the long-term damage it’s doing to our vehicle and indeed the knock-on effect it has to other components.

Not only can it knock your suspension out of line causing your car to handle very differently but if you don’t get that checked you could be wearing out your tyres prematurely and in turn burning more fuel.

The answer of course is to drive with more caution, this problem is not going away! but for those times when you do hit a pothole or curb there are new technologies available in the motor industry that can help greatly. 

Garages are now able to invest in ‘3D wheel alignment’, which, can provide a fast and simple computer generated print out of your vehicles wheel position and where correction is needed.  It then allows them to adjust this position much more accurately than previous methods would allow.

Here at Pressbay we have invested in a Hoffman 3D alignment system and offer a check for Free!  This allows you to see for yourself the correction needed and decide if you would like the work carried out!  It’s quick and could form part of your regular service to ensure your car is running at its most efficient.

For further information please feel free to call in and speak to one of our skilled Technicians.