Category Archives: British Culture

Are You Thinking of Buying a Thatched Property?

Thatched roof properties are fairly rare in the UK yet many people dream of owning one. There’s a unique charm that thatched properties have that just cannot be replicated with a standard roof. There are many great things about owning a thatched property but also things you need to be aware of before you take the plunge. Below are some of the main things you need to think about when considering a thatched property – Cost – The cost of a thatched roof property is one of the biggest things you need to take into account. Thatched properties tend to be located in desirable areas and when you take this into account along with the cost of the property, they’re usually not cheap. Be sure to have an expert assess the property for you so you have a good idea of what its actual value is. Safety – Safety is a big issue for thatched property owners. As great as a thatched roof looks, it can pose a significant fire hazard if you don’t take the right precautions. In order to ensure the property is safe, you should have the chimney and flue inspected regularly. At least one smoke alarm is also a must. Insurance – When you own a thatched roof property, a standard home insurance policy usually won’t cut it. This is because the rebuild costs for a thatched property are significantly highers due to the special expertise required. Luckily there re specialist providers of insurance for thatched properties. Sites such as Thatched Insure are great for getting thatched property insurance quotes since you can get quotes from multiple providers with minimal hassle. Getting multiple quotes is always recommended as it can save you a good deal of money. Restrictions – Thatched properties are often listed, which means you’ll need to obtain permission from the local council if you want to alter or extend them in any way. ‘Listed’ simply means that the property is of cultural or historical significance. Location – The location of a property that you’re considering is always important. You should think about your lifestyle and what type of area you would be suited to living in. A lot of thatched roof properties are in the countryside but that’s not always the case so you should be able to find one in a location that’s ideal for you.…

Why Have Coffee Shops Become So Popular in the UK?

If you walk down any high street in the UK these days then it will become immediately apparent just how popular coffee has become in this country. Britain is often associated with drinking tea but coffee has become the drink of choice for millions of people across the country.  There are many reasons why coffee, and in particular coffee shops and cafe culture have become so popular in the UK. Shows like Friends in the 90s had a big impact on the popularity of coffee shops in the UK as many people sought to emulate the lifestyles of the main characters. Another big influencing factor was the surge in popularity of mobile digital devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops. Most coffee shops now provide free wifi and as a result they’ve become a very popular place to work, socialise and relax for millennials. Have you ever thought of starting a coffee shop? Given how popular coffee has become in the UK, a lot of people think of opening their own coffee shop. Of course, the popularity of coffee shops alone is no guarantee of success. In order to run a successful coffee shop there are many things you have to consider such as – A good Location – A good location is essential for any type of shop and this certainly applies to coffee shops. A good location can be the difference between a business thriving or going under after just a few months. This is why most coffee shops are located in prime areas where there’s plenty of other shops around and therefore plenty of foot traffic. Good staff – Well-trained and friendly employees are another essential component of a successful coffee shop. It’s important to remember that people go to coffee shops not just for the coffee but for the experience too. A good insurance policy – One of the most important things that any coffee shop owner has to think about is protecting their business. This is done by getting coffee shop insurance.  A coffee shop insurance policy will provide protection for the building itself as well as things like liability claims, theft and tools and cash.…

5 Ways to Make Your Shop A Success

Running a shop comes with a lot of challenges. As well as the day-to-day running of it, you need to think about how to stay competitive as well as protecting your business against risks such as theft and vandalism. If you feel your shop could be doing better then below are some of the best ways to make your business a success.  1. Use social media effectively When it comes to advertising your shop, you have a number of different options available to you. Real world advertising such as leaflets and print ads can be very effective but you should also make use of the internet and social media. Social media marketing can be very effective when done correctly.  2. Get the best insurance quote possible Getting the best price for insurance is something that every shop owner should aim for. Thankfully there are now many sites that enable you to get shop insurance quotes quickly and easily. http://www.shopinsurances.net/ for example, allows you to get quotes from a panel of shop insurance specialists by filling out one form. When looking for shop insurance, you shouldn’t just base your decision on price however. You want to ensure that your business is properly protected for risks such as structural damage, liability claims, theft and accidents. 3. Make your storefront attractive 4. Run promotions regularly People love bargains so one of the best ways to get new customers to your shop is by running special promotions and offering discounts for new customers. Social media is great for advertising promotions and special events so you should bear this in mind when using social media to advertise your business. 5. Consider re-locating This might seem like quite a drastic step but the location of your shop can make a huge difference to its success. If you’re currently located in a spot that’s remote and doesn’t have much foot traffic then it’s not a surprise that your shop is struggling. If you re-locate it doesn’t necessarily have to be far from where you’re currently located. Simply moving closer to other shops and businesses in the area can help to improve the success of your business.  …

The Steps to Becoming a Landlord

Many people in the UK are now choosing to rent rather than buy. This is due to a combination of factors, including higher mortgage rates and an unstable job economy amongst others. If you’ve ever thought about investing in property to let then now is a great time to do it. Letting property isn’t something you should jump into without being aware of what it entails though. Bearing this in mind, below are some of the key stops involved in becoming a landlord. Invest in your first property The first step to becoming a landlord is to invest in your first property. Factors to consider when choosing your first property include – Location – Location is always important when purchasing your first property. Properties in locations that have low crime rates and lots of nearby amenities are always easy to find tenants for. Property type – The type of property is another key consideration. If you want to get the most income from your investment then an apartment building or large house that can be separated into 2 or more flats, is a good idea. Educate yourself on landlord law One of the most important aspects of being a landlord and letting property is to educate yourself regarding landlord law. This is incredibly important since you need to know both your own rights and those of your tenants in case any problems arise. If you’re not well educated about landlord law then you could do something rash that results in a liability claim being filed against you. Getting landlord insurance When you let property, having the right insurance is a must. In addition to getting cover for structural damage, you also need to protect yourself against risks such as loss of rent, liability claims and legal expenses. A good landlord insurance policy will cover you for all these things. Your first step is to get landlord insurance quotes so you can compare them and pick the best policy at the most competitive price. Finding your first tenants Once you have your property you want to find tenants for it so you can start receiving a return on your investment. It’s important to be selective when it comes to tenants since they are often the biggest source of problems that landlords have to deal with. Be sure to ask for references for previous landlords and also do an employment and criminal…

A Guide to Owning a Horse

Go anywhere in the countryside in the UK and you’re likely to find plenty of horses. Considering they’re not what you’d consider traditional pets, horses are incredibly popular in the UK.  Horses have played a key part in British history and remain a favourite with people up until this day. If you’re considering buying a horse then there are certain things you need to take into consideration. Below are some of the things you need to think about. Practical considerations of owning a horse  Space – The most fundamental requirement of owning a horse is having enough space. You of course need a stable as well as a decent sized field for it to get exercise. It is possible to own a horse without having your own property in some areas, with renting a possibility. This can be very expensive though and isn’t always practical. Expense – In addition to the space required to own a horse, you also need to think about regular expenses such as bedding and feed. Horses eat a lot so the cost of feed alone can soon add up. These expenses aren’t even the biggest cost however. There’s the initial price of a horse, including its transportation. There’s also the equipment you’ll need for it, such as a saddle, bridle, leading rope, grooming equipment etc. When you take all these things into consideration, it starts to become clear why owning a horse is so expensive. Time commitment – Owning a horse is a big time commitment. Before you decide to purchase a horse you should think about how much time you’re able/prepared to put into it. A horse will typically require a time investment of at least a couple of hours each day. Transport – If you need to transport your horse for any reason then you’ll need the right transportation, either in the form of a horsebox or horse trailer. A horse trailer is the cheaper option and the vast majority of vehicles are capable of towing a horse trailer. If you decide to invest in a horsebox then you’ll want to get the right level of insurance. Click here to get horsebox insurance quotes. 

What’s Involved in Running a Taxi Firm?

Taxis are something that nearly all of us use at one time or another. They’re also a key part of the UK’s image, especially the iconic London Black Cab. If you’ve ever wondered what’s involved in running a taxi firm, either because you’re interested in starting one yourself or you’re just curious, then below are some of the main things that taxi firm operators have to contend with. Insurance Getting the right insurance is extremely important for taxi firms. Some taxi firms will hire owner drivers who they expect to take care of their own insurance. However for taxi firms that own their own cabs, they need to protect them with a good insurance policy. Most taxi firms will protect their vehicles with a with a taxi fleet insurance policy.  This gives them the ability to protect all their vehicles in their fleet for road risks as well as liability claims and breakdowns. Hiring drivers Hiring reliable drivers is another key aspect of running a successful taxi firm. Most taxi firms will look to hire drivers with a lot of experience who are at least 25 years old. Drivers under 25 are statistically much more likely to be involved in accident, meaning they cost more to insure. This is one of the reasons why you hardly encounter very young taxi drivers, if at all. Hiring good drivers isn’t just about their age and experience though. A good taxi firm will take other factors into account. Good character and a clean driving history are two other extremely important factors when hiring taxi drivers. Regulations Taxi firms must abide by their local council’s regulations. The main rules around taxis depend on whether they’re public hire or private hire. Public hire taxis – Public hire taxis can be hailed from the street and can display a ‘taxi’ sign on the vehicle. They are typically more expensive to insure than private hire cabs since drivers are subject to more risk, such as picking up drunk and aggressive passengers outside of nightclubs and pubs. Private hire cabs – Private hire cabs must be booked in advance by phone or online. They cannot be hailed from the street and they cannot display a ‘taxi’ sign on the vehicle itself.    …

How Old Do You Need to Be to Drive a Lorry for a Living in the UK?

If you love driving then you might be currently thinking about becoming a Lorry driver. In order to drive a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) in the UK, you need to meet certain requirements and have done the necessary training. The training for becoming a lorry driver can be quite tough and not everyone is up to the task. Before looking at the requirements to become a lorry driver, let’s first look at the pros and cons of the job so you can decide if it’s right for you. The pros You’re out on the open road and not stuck behind a desk all day You get to see a lot of the country You can make good money if you’re prepared to put in the hours The cons It can be very stressful at times You’ll be away from home a lot The minimum requirements The minimum requirements in order to become a lorry driver in the UK are as follows – You must be at least 18 years of age You must be eligible to work in the UK You must hold a full Cat B Driver’s licence You must undergo Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training with a licensed company The reality Although anybody over the age of 18 who holds a full driving licence can train to become a lorry driver, the truth is that just 1% of lorry drivers are under the age of 25. This isn’t necessarily just because so few young people want to do the job (although that is a big factor) but also because a lot of trucking companies will not hire drivers under the age of 25. There are couple of key reasons for this. First drivers under the age of 25 are often perceived to be more reckless behind the wheel. This is obviously something that is not appealing to trucking companies who are trusting drivers with very expensive vehicles that cost a lot to insure, run and maintain. The main factor that makes getting work for young lorry drivers difficult though is the difficulty of insuring them. Lorry firms usually insure their vehicles as a fleet and the named drivers will make a big difference to the cost of the policy. Younger drivers are much more expensive to insure (if they can get cover at all) and this alone is enough to put a lot of companies off…

How Common is Drink Driving in the UK?

Close to a thousand people are killed every year as a result of drink driving incidents, with many more seriously injured. It’s a big problem in the UK, in no small part due to the drinking culture that’s prevalent in this country. Drink driving is something that many people have done at one point or another but few would like to admit. Below are some of the main stats about drink driving as well as the consequences Drink driving stats 940 is the average number of people killed each year due to drink driving incidents 3,681 people are seriously injured on average each year as a result of drink driving Roughly 85,000 people are convicted in England and Wales each year for drink driving related offences These statistics might make for grim reading but the good news is that drink driving related deaths and injuries has been falling steadily each year for a long time now. For example, in 1979, there were 1,640 drink driving related deaths and 8,300 serious injuries whereas in 2014, there were 240 deaths and 1,070 serious injuries. Click here for a full breakdown of stats for each year from 1979 to 2014. The consequences of drink driving for individuals Drink driving is not only a very selfish thing to do because of the risk you pose to your fellow passengers and other road users but it also comes with some severe consequences if you’re caught. Harder to find employment – One of the biggest negative consequences of being convicted of a drink driving offence is that it makes it considerably harder to find employment. Even a conviction that only comes with a fine or community service will still be something you’re obligated to declare for 5 years from the date of your conviction. Even when you’re no longer obligated to declare the conviction yourself, potential employers will still be able to do a background check and find out this information. Harder to get car insurance – Having a drink driving conviction will certainly make it harder to get car insurance. Insurance providers will now consider you ‘high risk’ and as a result you can expect to pay considerably more for your car insurance. Getting convicted drivers insurance from a specialist provider is certainly an option but it’s something most people would rather avoid if possible.  …