2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Jack Shepherd

So I've been driving for 7 months now and in the new year I'll be doing my first ever long distance drive from Chelmsford, Essex to Glasgow. My plan is that I'm working New years Eve and I finish just after 1 o clock new years day and I plan on leaving work then driving straight up to Glasgow as I doubt there will be anyone else on the road. My car is a 2010 1.4 vw Polo dsg. So I would just like some advice on planning and doing such a long journey, any advice would be grateful. Cheers

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - expat

Go home and get a few hours sleep before you set off. Stop every two hours, take a break and walk around a bit. As soon as you start feeling tired get off the road and take a nap. Nodding off at the wheel is your biggest danger. That and drunks on the road. You have picked the worst possible night for drunks. Oh and take lots of podcasts, music etc. Boredom on a long drive like that is a big problem. As for the car - just the usual oil, water and tyres.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - gordonbennet

Unless you are used to it, the wee small hours which will last till near enough 8am till daylight are the killers, especially as you are working the night before.

Yes you could get some sleep before hand, but if you feel fresh enough after work it might be worth getting going and put a couple of hours under your belt, which should take you well up into thenorth whichever route you take, M11 A14 A1?.

Take a flask of boiling water and tea/coffee ingredients, and a blanket or two, cos by about 3/5am you may well be flagging, if you feel tired stop and make a drink, scoff some food, garages with microwaves and ginsters pies will be open so you won't starve, if you feel dog tired bed down for a few hours, preferably at a service station not in a layby in the middle of nowhere, low life's exist in real life.

Warm clothes, gloves, work type gloves in case of puncture etc, hi viz vest or work coat, stout pair of boots just in case, brolly always handy to have, good torch, head torch never out the way, spare batteries, drinking water, phone and charger, emergency breakdown cover in place and numbers/cards handy.

Car wise, yes make sure all is well now and before you leave, washer bottle full of strong mix, oil and water topped up, tyres good, pressures checked, spare tyre pumped up, wheel changing equipment on board (make sure the wheelbolts are undoable by you today cos emergency cover will be skeletal that night), check hoses and auxilliary drive belts for condition, does it need a new cambelt soon change it, brake fluid ok, all lights working, spare headlight bulb wouldn't go amiss no a few assorted other bulbs espacially stop and tail lights and check now in daylight how to fit them, few basic tools, spare oil, spare water, spare screenwash concentrate, rubber squeegee blade and water spray bottle to keep the salt down on the windows.

Start of with spotlessly clean windows inside and out, headlight lenses dull? polish them now with autosol or similar then wax them, buy a can of Holts Mixra off the internet, when the screen gets greasy and the wipers won't shift it this stuff works wonders.

Take care, have a good trip.

Edited by gordonbennet on 19/11/2017 at 12:43

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - DieselBoy

Unless you are used to it, the wee small hours which will last till near enough 8am till daylight are the killers, especially as you are working the night before.

Yes you could get some sleep before hand, but if you feel fresh enough after work it might be worth getting going and put a couple of hours under your belt, which should take you well up into thenorth whichever route you take, M11 A14 A1?.

Take a flask of boiling water and tea/coffee ingredients, and a blanket or two, cos by about 3/5am you may well be flagging, if you feel tired stop and make a drink, scoff some food, garages with microwaves and ginsters pies will be open so you won't starve, if you feel dog tired bed down for a few hours, preferably at a service station not in a layby in the middle of nowhere, low life's exist in real life.

Warm clothes, gloves, work type gloves in case of puncture etc, hi viz vest or work coat, stout pair of boots just in case, brolly always handy to have, good torch, head torch never out the way, spare batteries, drinking water, phone and charger, emergency breakdown cover in place and numbers/cards handy.

Car wise, yes make sure all is well now and before you leave, washer bottle full of strong mix, oil and water topped up, tyres good, pressures checked, spare tyre pumped up, wheel changing equipment on board (make sure the wheelbolts are undoable by you today cos emergency cover will be skeletal that night), check hoses and auxilliary drive belts for condition, does it need a new cambelt soon change it, brake fluid ok, all lights working, spare headlight bulb wouldn't go amiss no a few assorted other bulbs espacially stop and tail lights and check now in daylight how to fit them, few basic tools, spare oil, spare water, spare screenwash concentrate, rubber squeegee blade and water spray bottle to keep the salt down on the windows.

Start of with spotlessly clean windows inside and out, headlight lenses dull? polish them now with autosol or similar then wax them, buy a can of Holts Mixra off the internet, when the screen gets greasy and the wipers won't shift it this stuff works wonders.

Take care, have a good trip.

Wow. This is certainly taking preparedness to another level.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - RT

Wow. This is certainly taking preparedness to another level.

The journey will be up over Shap and Beattock in the middle of winter - you wouldn't want to break-down there.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - RichardW

Never mind the car, what about the Driver? OP says he has been driving only 7 months, I wonder what his M-way experience is? If none, then a 400 mile trip in the dark up over Shap and Beatock is not the place to start. I would think twice about tackling that journey at that time of day after work. It'll probably be very quiet, which won't help with the staying awake at 4am!

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - SLO76
At this stage I’d ensure your car is fit for the journey and that any routine maintenance is up to date. The belt driven 1.4 petrol engine in your car requires a new timing belt at 48,000 miles or 4yrs whichever comes first so if it hasn’t been done already then it’s well overdue. It’ll cost around £300-£400 to have it changed along with the water pump and tensioner both of which should be done at the same time.

The DSG gearbox is I’m sorry to inform you an absolute nightmare on these as they age with an extremely high failure rate, it’s highly complex and thus cripplingly expensive to repair or replace so it’s absolutely vital that the gearbox oil is changed every 40,000 miles along with the filter as well.

Beyond this it’s all basics that any driver should check on a regular basis and especially before a long journey. Lift the bonnet and check your oil level, check the coolant level mark on the tank, check for leaks both of oil and coolant, take a look at the radiator checking it’s basic condition but most importantly you’re looking for leaks. Fill up the screen reservoir, making sure you use screen wash as water on its own isn’t enough in winter. Then check all tyres for tread depth, pressure and look for signs of cracking or bulging. Check all lights are operational and I regularly take a look underneath at the condition of suspension components and bodywork looking for serious rot but that’s unlikely to be an issue on a Polo of this vintage however do take a good look at the condition of the exhaust which could well be the origional and may be heavily corroded. Check it looks solid enough despite the surface corrosion and that it’s secure.

Stock up with snacks and drinks beforehand to keep you alert and fuel up before hitting the motorway to avoid rip-off service station prices. Take some warm clothes in case you do break down and if you don’t already know how to change a wheel (and you should) then learn in case of a puncture. Plan your route and check for roadworks or accidents before setting off if possible. Above all stay safe.

Edited by SLO76 on 19/11/2017 at 13:05

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - RT

A quick Autoroute calculation shows about 6 hours going up the M11, A14, A1, A66 and M74.

Plan a decent break just over half-way - Leeming Bar on the A1(M) looks about right but check they're opening on New Year's Day - as your driving overnight after work on your first long journey allow enough time for a sleep, coffee and loo and then carry on.

Add in a couple of brief stops at Colsterworth on the A1 and Gretna on the M74 - just 5mins with eyes shut works wonders at combatting tiredness, then coffee and loo.

That's about 7 hours total.

And no alcohol on New Year's Eve!

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - badbusdriver

I really don't like the fact that you intend to take on this run right after finishing work. How long will you have been working?, and how long will it have been since you last slept?. I have no problem with your reasoning for leaving at 1am (I have done that myself in the past), it is sound, and you are right, the roads are likely to be very quiet indeed. But my honest opinion would be to leave it 24 hours and go at 1am on the 2nd of Jan. The roads will be just as quiet, but you will, at least in theory, be properly rested. Trying to do what you are planning to do is a recipe for disaster with the chances of you falling asleep behind the wheel extremely high.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - RobJP

As others have said, the 'wee small hours' are the most dangerous for driving. You will be tired, the stress of work bleeding off, before you know it you're nodding off and (if you're lucky) waking up from hitting the rumble strip. If you're not lucky, you don't wake up at all.

I'd seriously recommend getting home, a few hours sleep, and then starting the trip at 5am.

Better to be Jack Shepherd and late, than be 'the late Jack Shepherd'.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Engineer Andy

As others have said, the 'wee small hours' are the most dangerous for driving. You will be tired, the stress of work bleeding off, before you know it you're nodding off and (if you're lucky) waking up from hitting the rumble strip. If you're not lucky, you don't wake up at all.

I'd seriously recommend getting home, a few hours sleep, and then starting the trip at 5am.

Better to be Jack Shepherd and late, than be 'the late Jack Shepherd'.

Not excatly great having to drive through very rural areas at the crack of dawn (maybe, given the location, I should've employeed the term 'wee hours' too!), possibly with the added risk of suddenly sharing the road with farm animals and bad weather when absolutely cream crackered.

I wonder what the price of flights going from Stansted or even a coach trip up that way would be on that day, not cheap I suspect! Worth a thought. I'd definitely try and get some rest first and during the trip - I find my driving (by myself) from a similar area (Hertfordshire) all the way down to Cornwall in the daytime in summer tiring enough (only the last bit on anything like rural roads), let alone large chunks on unfamiliar rural roads in the middle of the night, in cold, likely rainy or snowy conditions as a novice driver.

I'd personally take the previous day as a holiday as well and travel up (whatever the method - drive myself or via train/coach/plane) during the day. Its not as though much useful work ever gets down in the day or so before (staying overnight with freinds/family or in a hotel/guest house) everyone breaks up for Christmas (which will be a Friday this year, as Christmas and New Years day will be on a Monday).

As others have said, better to get there in one piece than in a pine box.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - corax

Most has been said above, and this is a personal thing, but I take a wet flannel in a plastic bag or wet tissues, and give my face a wipe on the break stops. You will get a layer of road grime on your face with a journey that long. That and a flask of coffee really helps to freshen me up for the next stint.

Make sure you wear some comfortable loose fitting clothes. I also wear some thin soled slip on shoes to keep my feet in a more relaxed position on the pedals.

You'll need more concentration once you approach Glasgow.

Edited by corax on 19/11/2017 at 16:58

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - daveyjp
Google maps shows it at 6.5 to almost 7 hours (400 miles) and would say this is about right, but that ignores breaks.

We do Leeds to Glasgow regularly and it takes about 5 hours with a break.

The A66 is a decent road in daylight, but at night needs to be taken at a steady pace. There’s also a chance of bad weather at that time of year so plan your route accordingly. I did the A66 in very high winds and heavy rain last year and it was frightening in daylight, at night it would be horrendous.

Getting onto the M1 and M6 at Birmingham to avoid the A66 could be a better option as a new driver.
2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Manatee

It's all been said I think.

On thing I have learned is that being well prepared, knowing you always have plenty of fuel (aim to keep it more than 1/4 full at all times), plenty of warm clothing/waterproofs on board, snacks and drinking water etc, a plan for if you have a puncture or a breakdown and above all as much time as you need makes all the difference to how much you can enjoy a long drive. I even carry a telescopic shovel in winter.

Regardless of season, I plan routes and options in advance, look up unfamiliar destinations on streetview and save the coordinates into the sat nav/phone the night before.

People think it's because I worry. Not so - it's so I don't have to worry. I set off in plenty of time, relax and enjoy it.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - KB.

Yes, it's all been said ... and I would think you're much younger than some/most here (certainly younger than myself, I''m sure). The older you get the harder certain things (lots of things) get.

It was 12 years ago (I was 54 then) that we moved from Essex to the West Country ... about 230 miles. The day of the move was long and busy and we didn't leave Essex till quite late in the day. We each drove our respective cars and travelled close(ish) to each other. We even had little those little two way battery powered radios so we could contact each other on the move (agreed might not be entirely advisable, but hey ho).

I have to say it was an absolute nightmare. What should have taken about 4 hours turned into at least 8 hours. Possibly 10. ( it was certainly WELL into the early hours by the time we arrived). We simply couldn't stay awake and had to keep stopping in garage forecourts and motorway service areas. Yes, it was inadvisable but it was far worse than anyone would have imagined... the stress and work of leaving the old house and saying goodbye to people plus the actual move itself was tiring but to then to drive 230 miles was too much for us. Yes, we got there without mishap but a lesson was learned. Trying to stay awake between little mini snoozes was horrendous - and dangerous.

Think carefully before going all that way after work!

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Bromptonaut

As others say leaving striaght after a late finish at work is a bit of a worry but I guess there's a reason to be in Glasgow early doors on 1st.

My standard route to NW and Scotland from Northampton is M1/A50/M6 but at that time of year/night I'd use M6 all the way. Not even worth paying for the toll road. Certianly avoid A66 as it's hard work to drive and vulnerable to both snow and high winds. M/way all the way also has advantage of certianty that services are 24/7/365 and if you're fatigued you're guranteed never to be more than 20mins or so from a stop with coffee and bogs although I never seen anything worse than Killington Lake (IIRC) at 02:00 in June 2010 when main building was closed and all services were delivered by a guy with very limited English in the fuel station.

The loos were an absolute disgrace - seen better in a night club at that time of day.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - bazza

The loos were an absolute disgrace - seen better in a night club at that time of day.

Interesting---- pulled in there during the day back in September, the whole place was an absolute disgrace, litter, half eaten food everywhere, disgusting. God knows what our European friends think of this kind of thing when they're travelling in UK, it's embarrassing.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Bromptonaut

Interesting---- pulled in there during the day back in September, the whole place was an absolute disgrace, litter, half eaten food everywhere, disgusting. God knows what our European friends think of this kind of thing when they're travelling in UK, it's embarrassing.

We were on our way home from a family holiday on the Western Isles. By that time kids were mid teens and we'd dropped a homebound night stop in favour of just driving off the ferry and straight home from either Ullapool or Uig arriving at daybreak.

Blokes could paddle through the p*** on the floor and go so lad and I were OK. Mrs and Miss B found the ladies beyond pale ' worse than worst French campsite' and hung on.

Was really sorry for extended Asian family ranging from babe in arms to Gran with women in Sarees. How can you change, never mind feed, a baby in those conditions.

Complained on return home and got £25 of vouchers but I doubt it'll be any better in June next year when we're off to/from Harris again.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Andrew-T

It's all been said I think.

One thing that occurs to me, which hasn't been said, is that it may be a bad idea to drive in a very warm car. You may be tempted to do that in the middle of a (possibly cold) night, but remember the TV programme about the railway staff managing the train taking Liverpool and Everton fans back home from Wembley? First they were relieved of any undrunk booze, then when they were settled on the train the staff turned up the heating to make sure they dozed off. You don't want that happening if you can help it.

When I started work in Cheshire 50 years ago, and before I had a place to live, I commuted at weekends from Cardiff (mostly A49) getting up at 4:30 for a 4-hour drive. It had its plusses and minuses, but at least I had had several hours sleep, and I didn't nod off.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Avant

You should never need to go to Killington Lake, as the excellent Tebay / Westmorland services are the next ones north from there (and unlike K. Lake, open both sides of the M6).

This and Gloucester services on the M5 are privately owned by the same people, and although the public are no doubt just as disgusting there as anywhere else, they employ enough staff to keep the place clean.

That apart, Jack, I agree with all that's been said above. For your own sake and others', do get some rest between work and that long jourmey. The wet flannel idea is interesting: I find that sipping from a can of Red Bull from time to time works for me on a long run.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Bromptonaut

You should never need to go to Killington Lake, as the excellent Tebay / Westmorland services are the next ones north from there (and unlike K. Lake, open both sides of the M6).

That would be my normal principle. On this occasion though we were hi-tailing for home with stops driven by time/bladders. Previous stop had been either Annandale Water or Gretna.

Our Daughter lives in Torpoint and the 'Hobbity Services' at Gloucester (the grass roofed buidings apparently resemble a Hobbit Hole*) are a mandatory stop en route.

* I'm the only member of my household not into Tolkein - I was put off by The Hobbit being a set book at school.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 19/11/2017 at 21:49

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

As above is all good advice. The A66 is bad enough in the day time and the weather up there can be bad. 440m above sea level IIRC and I've seen snow there, but on no other roads, driving up to Dundee. Set off in daylight would be my advice, New Years day is still quiet on the roads.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

duplicate post

Edited by Glaikit Wee Scunner {P} on 20/11/2017 at 13:24

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - John Boy

I've done something similar, Jack, a couple of times - London to Perth, which is a little bit further than your trip. I went overnight on a weekday to avoid traffic and set off after a relaxing day at home. The route was M1, M6, M74. On both occasions, I only got as far as the Preston area before I had to stop and sleep for an hour or so. I had an estate car which, with the rear seats down, was long enough to stretch out in. Nevertheless, I woke up feeling dreadful and did the rest of the journey with a (very unusual for me) headache. I wouldn't do it again. If you must do it after a day's work, be very careful.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - gordonbennet

Good point John Boy, add ibuprofens or your choice of headache tabs to the inventory of must takes.

Its a long drive whatever time of day you do it, you can make much better and IMHO safer progress at night, so if the OP feels up to it i would have no qualms about setting off soon as finished work, but i trust the OP to have the good sense to take immediate action when tiredness sets in, which i reckon will be about 4am.

I've been at work on Christmas and New Years Eve nights, it's been wonderful to travel on wide open roads, much like every night was when i started driving, it's almost a romantic feeling the adventure of the dark open road, being able to get a move on whilst taking care to avoid the speed cameras and keeping an eye open for any car pacing you..

Oh thats something else OP, will you be using a sat nav?, if so make sure its loaded with the latest database of speed camera locations you might not need directions but make sure the volume is up so you hear the camera site warning bongs, i daren't tell you the speeds that lorries of the 80's could maintain on empty roads like this, the best years of lorry driving the 70's thru to 90's, it all went downhill after and the removal of the gearstick to be replaced by a switch has utterly ruined the industry.

Getting a move on where able keeps you awake, its pedantic speed limits that cause boredom and deadly tiredness.

Remember folks the OP is young, he's not going to be half crippled by spending a couple of hours under a blanket curled up on the seats when he's got a couple hundred miles under his belt.

The A1 A66 route is now quite a pleasant drive, i'd much rather that than the endless miles of blasted roadworks the M6 has.

Edited by gordonbennet on 20/11/2017 at 16:49

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - John F

Getting a move on where able keeps you awake, its pedantic speed limits that cause boredom and deadly tiredness.

Remember folks the OP is young, he's not going to be half crippled by spending a couple of hours under a blanket curled up on the seats when he's got a couple hundred miles under his belt.

Agreed. But beware speed cameras - keep the speedo at an indicated 75-80 and you will be OK. Also, I usually put about 2psi more in the tyres for prolonged high speed journeys. (not that that is a high speed - my father's old Rover 105S handbook said increase by 4psi for sustained speeds above 90mph.) Such is progress...half that speed is often the case on today's busy m-ways half a century later...

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - corax
Remember folks the OP is young, he's not going to be half crippled by spending a couple of hours under a blanket curled up on the seats when he's got a couple hundred miles under his belt.

:-)

"The A1 A66 route is now quite a pleasant drive, I'd much rather that than the endless miles of blasted roadworks the M6 has."

I agree. The A66 is a good road during the day at least with splendid views. You just have to watch the speeders who want to get past everyone at all cost on the passing places. I've driven it very early morning (better standard of driving before the lunatics have woken up) but not at night.

Funnily enough GB that was the road (on the narrowing section) where I was 'hounded' by an unhitched tractor unit before the days of speed limiters. It was a bit like the film Duel. I would speed up and build the distance, then he would appear over a crest in the road like the clappers homing in on me. Quite surprised by not just the speed, but by how well it handled, and I am not a slow driver.

Edited by corax on 20/11/2017 at 17:56

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - gordonbennet
Funnily enough GB that was the road (on the narrowing section) where I was 'hounded' by an unhitched tractor unit before the days of speed limiters. It was a bit like the film Duel. I would speed up and build the distance, then he would appear over a crest in the road like the clappers homing in on me. Quite surprised by not just the speed, but by how well it handled, and I am not a slow driver.

In 1986 i was issued with an MAN artic (or rather the devil one i'm talking about was swapped for the one i originally had, I believe one of our posters here investigated the tragedy at the time this particular vehicle was involved in) , was fitted with the Eaton Twin Splitter manual gearbox, a box that took some learning but once learned it was amazing, my friend had a Cortina Savage and he could only just keep up with it when tractor alone, he described it as Scalextric car like in acceleration because the gearchanges were so lightning fast that it was constant full power with the only rev drop to engage the next gear, it would also accelerate at that rate right to up its genuine 95mph max, if one so wished.

There was something about that lorry, it was the vehicle i was in when i had my one possibly supernatural experience, one that still sends shivers up my spine now, still don't know what to make of it, some things maybe are best left be.

Edited by gordonbennet on 22/11/2017 at 11:04

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - David Pidcott

Is the end of your shift the end of a long shift?? Never ever start a long haul tired. Make sure you at least have had a good sleep prior tp your shift at work. If you insist on leaving at 1am then drive until 3am pull into a service area, set your alarm for an hours sleep/eye rest, then have a strong coffee. By the time you get going again you will be soon driving in daylight and long drives in daylight are deffinitely more preferable to long drives overnight. I used to regularly drive from the Midlands down to Villach in southern Austria in a van with no restrictions to hours, except common sense and the night driving was always the hardest.Your vehicles lights on the road in front, hardly any traffic to keep you on your toes and the repetative blackness around you can deffinitely cauise drowsiness even if you are not actually tired. At the first sign of drooping eyelids take a fifteen minute cat nap at least, it can work wonders. Drooping eyes lead to closed eyes which leads to sleep. Good luck

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - JEREMYH

I run a small courier company here in Devon and all I have ever done is high miles

I did 2000 last week and it looks like I will be hitting that again this week !

If this is your natraul awake time then I would say plough on It appears you may be used to being awake these strange hours so you are not going to feel it if this is the norm for you .

As already said if you feel tired pull over and have a sleep I would stop for a couple of hours then drive on

You are wise to take advantage of the time and have the road to yourself I always find that I might feel tired but as soon as it gets light I am wide awake

Make sure your motor is upto it if it runs OK normally it should be just check the levels Have plenty of screen wash this time of year you can use it every miles on the motoway if they have been gritting

Dont eat any big meals this makes people more tired than any thing else lots of water and a bunch of grapes !

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Smileyman

I recall when I was 19 I drove to Paris and onto / across the Alps in Switzerland - I had navigated similar routes for my dad to drive but this time I did the driving myself ... this was in the 1970's, no such things as sat nav instead lots of paper maps and hotels booked by letter - a few key points

Prepare your car

Prepare yourself

Plan the route (paper maps)

Plan stops - many places may be shut, motorway services will be open, wahs your hands & face when stopped, very refreshing!

Eat/drink something at these stops (perhaps take with, overnight opening causes prices to be high)

Consider alternatives if any road is closed

Take a passenger, to help with navigation and keep you company!

Plan to drive at 50-60mph (but not slower than HGVs or they will be right behnd you)

Check your range, don't want to run out of fuel en route

Be alert for drunk drivers travelling home after midnight celebrations

Mid winter - plan for difficult weather & driving conditions, driving between 1am and dawn you may well experience frost as it is the coldest time of day

If it's snowing or foggy change your plans - perhaps don't travel!

Take some sucking sweets, ideal if you need a pick me up whilst driving (but get passenger to unwrap them) and

Finally, if you feel drowsy put the radio on / play some music and sing ... or stop somewhere safe and have a nap

Edited by Smileyman on 21/11/2017 at 23:04

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Happy Blue!

Just remember that if parking at a service station, they charge you to stay more than two hours. You can buy time when you arrive, otherwise there is a hefty 'fine'.

So if the OP wants to kip, he needs to set an alarm for 100 minutes to allow time to visit the loo and fill up.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - John F

So if the OP wants to kip, he needs to set an alarm for 100 minutes to allow time to visit the loo and fill up.

'Fill up' ? At M-way prices??!! He's young, and probably poor-ish. A Polo apparently contains 40-45l of fuel. If he brims it at a Chelmsford supermarket it should just get him to Glasgow (400m at 40+mpg). He might want to check opening times if planning a pit stop just off the M-way on NYD.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - gordonbennet

Very good point about the parking time limit at MSA's, usually 2 hours then anything up to £25 or large charges if you don't pay (avoid the hell holes), most decent sized filling stations will be open NYD i would have thought, it's Christmas Day when many more are closed, as said though be sure to have a full tank to start with.

The Markham Moor A1/A57 service area i would have thought would be open, large Shell filling station (on the right as you go north but access from/to all directions) and a large McD's beside it which has always been open when i go by, thats the sort of service station i meant for the OP to have a well deserved kip and possibly a bite to eat at and possibly refuel at, and a decent distance to have driven in the first hit, not one of the rip off MSA's.

Have we lost the OP, he hasn't been seen unless i've missed something.

Edited by gordonbennet on 22/11/2017 at 10:42

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - RT

Very good point about the parking time limit at MSA's, usually 2 hours then anything up to £25 or large charges if you don't pay (avoid the hell holes), most decent sized filling stations will be open NYD i would have thought, it's Christmas Day when many more are closed, as said though be sure to have a full tank to start with.

The Markham Moor A1/A57 service area i would have thought would be open, large Shell filling station (on the right as you go north but access from/to all directions) and a large McD's beside it which has always been open when i go by, thats the sort of service station i meant for the OP to have a well deserved kip and possibly a bite to eat at and possibly refuel at, and a decent distance to have driven in the first hit, not one of the rip off MSA's.

Have we lost the OP, he hasn't been seen unless i've missed something.

It's not black vs white - but there is a change of culture at the border - Christmas being more important in England and Hogmanay being more important in Scotland.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - gordonbennet

there is a change of culture at the border -

Lord preserve us, not wee Jimmy Krankie busy trowelling breeze blocks down as fast as she can go on the old Hadrians Wall route :-)

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - corax
Have we lost the OP, he hasn't been seen unless i've missed something.

Poor guy is trying to remember that he's got to sleep for a few hours, drink coffee, suck sweets, set his alarm clock, change the timing belt, clean the windows, sing, ask someone to be a passenger, check the DSG box. And that's before he's looked at a map.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - KB.
Have we lost the OP, he hasn't been seen unless i've missed something.

Poor guy is trying to remember that he's got to sleep for a few hours, drink coffee, suck sweets, set his alarm clock, change the timing belt, clean the windows, sing, ask someone to be a passenger, check the DSG box. And that's before he's looked at a map.

I too was waiting and waiting, hoping the OP would come back having asked the question .... he's had over thirty helpful replies and not been seen since Sunday, when he posed the question. I know Avant will, helpfully, say that everone benefits from the advice given ... which is true - but is it just me who finds it irritating when so many people start a conversation and get a shed load of advice and can't be bothered just to acknowledge the help given?

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - gordonbennet

No its not just you KB, hopefully the OP in this thread won't be another.

This happens on another forum i'm a member of, some new people ask a question, they get detailed advice and encouragement from some who have been doing the job for many years often enough all their working lives, and then.....er.....nothing, not a single ackowledgement of that hard gained knowledge so freely given, fortunately the forum concerned has a system where you can put such people on ignore and their future post are unreadable on your screen.

No one wants or expects fawning or adulation nor do we want them to follow in our footsteps, but some of these bods can't even be bothered to say thanks for the replies, not a problem they can find out the hard way in future which is what we usually did sometimes at physical mental and financial cost, they want to bypass the learning curve mistakes but lack the wit to acknowledge those have helped them to do so, so pray carry on..

At the end of the day, we didn't ask them, they asked us.

Edited by gordonbennet on 22/11/2017 at 15:41

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - badbusdriver
Have we lost the OP, he hasn't been seen unless i've missed something.

Poor guy is trying to remember that he's got to sleep for a few hours, drink coffee, suck sweets, set his alarm clock, change the timing belt, clean the windows, sing, ask someone to be a passenger, check the DSG box. And that's before he's looked at a map.

I too was waiting and waiting, hoping the OP would come back having asked the question .... he's had over thirty helpful replies and not been seen since Sunday, when he posed the question. I know Avant will, helpfully, say that everone benefits from the advice given ... which is true - but is it just me who finds it irritating when so many people start a conversation and get a shed load of advice and can't be bothered just to acknowledge the help given?

No, it aint just you who finds this irritating!,

but hey ho!

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - SLO76
Probably bought a train ticket instead and flogged his car in terror...
2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Smileyman
Probably bought a train ticket instead and flogged his car in terror...

You've forgotten .... when does he want to travel? Bet there are no trains ... all the staff on holiday leave, perhaps National Express will be working?

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Avant

I'm not sure which is worse - the silent type of OP who never comes back to us, or the ones that I usually classify as 'Arthur Punter' who come back and whinge when they don't get the advice they want to hear.

One of us, usually RobJP and/or SLO, can be relied on to give Arthur Punter some good plain common sense, which annoys Arthur even more and provides amusement for the rest of us.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Dogfuzz

Plenty of good advice here and may I add the following. Just remember that if it snows--and i mean only a few small or large flakes-the whole country comes to a grinding halt for several days while councils decide what excuses they can make.

"The wrong kind of snow"

"Lack of grit"

"No snowploughs"

"The wrong forecast"

"Traffic jams impeding salt/gritting "

"Operational difficulties"

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - SkodaIan

It's ok as long as it doesn't snow south of about York. North Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria, as well as all of Scotland deal with it pretty well.

When the high part of the A66 is blocked due to snow, it usually really is ... to the point of not knowing where the road is any more were it not for the snow poles down each side.

In that really heavy snow of late 2010, I drove several times between Yorkshire and northern Scotland, and only got severely delayed by the snow once ... though even that was mostly caused by BMWs hopelessly spinning in circles on a snowy slight incline on a 2 mile stretch of the M90. We got up it fine in a large van, albeit needing a to get the shovel out a couple of times when the spinning BMWs blocked our path and we had to stop.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - John Boy

gordonbennet said:

"There was something about that lorry, it was the vehicle i was in when i had my one possibly supernatural experience, one that still sends shivers up my spine now, still don't know what to make of it, some things maybe are best left be."

What a tease you are, GB! Spill the beans!

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Big John

...... when the spinning BMWs blocked our path and we had to stop.

We've not had bad snow for a few years here in East Yorkshire but when the white stuff is bad there is a hill on my comute that ends up with a line of stuck rear wheel drive BMW's and Merc's. I nearly got stuck last time this happened in my Skoda Superb so vowed to have a set of winter tyres/wheels when I next changed my car.

I have since done this and now have a set of winter Continental TS850's fitted - of course now I've done this we'll never have snow!

Edited by Big John on 24/11/2017 at 09:00

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Bilboman

Garlic for vampires and that's pretty much it, I think!
One more thing comes to mind: I don't know how popular the Waze (app for smartphones) is in Britain but I use it on long journeys in Spain and the real-time traffic warnings are fantastic, even if you just keep it on in the background with bongs only on for new warnings.
Waze will warn you if other Waze users have come to a halt some way ahead, as this is usually the warning of a hold up of one kind or another. It's also very useful for location of petrol stations - and their prices.
Bon voyage!

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - KB.

Given we've probably pretty much exhausted the original topic - and given it's pretty clear the OP isn't troubling to return, then may I just pursue the Waze theme, mentioned above?

My understanding is that you need to have access to the internet (WiFi or somesuch) in order to get going with Waze ...maybe to plan a route? ...but what happens when your underway and don't have "Mobile Data" connectivity ? I'm Pay As You Go and suspect it would run up a major bill if "Mobile Data was left on. Presumably you don't get updates like traffic etc? Someone just go over the basics for me please. Furthermore, I see Google maps is a similar thing to Waze (is one owned by the other?) when you select the "Driving" option on your (Android) smart phone ... what's the situation there when you're underway and don't have "Mobile Data" switched on?

Ta.

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - gordonbennet

I don't even have a smart phone so mobile Waze is out for me, though i sometimes use it on the desktop.

KB, an alternative for you, and no it isn't as fast responsive as Waze, i use a fleet edition Garmin sat nav in my lorry, it has a stand alone 'traffic' page, where you can scan the whole country in seconds and see by colours any traffic hold ups, i've caompared notes with SWMBO who has been watching Google maps traffic and Waze at the same time and 9 times out of 10 the hold ups reported are very similar.

Now according to Garmin technical, the lad at Halfords phoned them for me when i was considering a new Garmin, 'traffic' doesn't work without a destination being entered, which is plainly wrong because i never enter a destination and my traffic page works fine.

So, it might be worth investigating a modern Garmin, but you want Digi Traffic and on most of the better units its free for life, which isn't usually the case with Tom Tom's traffic service..though its several years since i investigated this and things light have changed.

I was an original user of the old Trafficmaster YQ units, and was very very disappoited when TM went off the rails and discontinued broadcasting, i have searched for a long time to find a replacement, and i recommend Garmins Digio Traffic as a worthy replacement and in improvement on the original.

Lots of satnavs offer traffic on your route, but the canny road user needs to know about traffic on other routes as well, because if another road is jammed then you can work out if the diversion is going to affect you.

Similarly i take no notice of sat nav alternative routes, because everyone with a sat nav will be using that diversion, so a bit of lateral thinking and early warnings are very helpful.

If this is of interest, just make sure yourself that any satnav you might look at has the facility to use traffic on its own, as i found out the sales people and even the maker's tech dept don't seem to know what their equipment can do.

Edited by gordonbennet on 26/11/2017 at 19:04

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - Bilboman

Happy to pursue the Waze theme!
I've had a quick flick of a few websites and data usage seems to work out at very roughly 5 MB per hour of driving, so work out worst-case scenario of data usage from that. It would be nowhere near a whole month's data (1 MB?) unless you spend 90% of your working day at the wheel with Waze permanently on.
You can pre-load a route on free WiFi to reduce data usage; ditto, switching off some features such as non-essential voice alerts, 3D mapping, etc. Check data usage each time you stop and you'll see a pattern emerge.
With Google Maps (*Google bought up Waze 4 years ago) you can pre-load an entire map area and navigate on plain vanilla GPS-only, but I much prefer Waze for the features, most importantly knowing that information is "live" and in real time.

Edited by Bilboman on 27/11/2017 at 00:23

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - oldroverboy.

I use "Here we go" which was the old Nokia maps then "Here" and now here we go. You download it and then the maps you want and then use it online or offline as you want.

wego.here.com/?x=ep&map=51.8828,1.0046,10,norm...l

2010 VW Polo - First long distance drive advice. - KB.

All the above noted with much interest and many thanks.

I do have a Garmin sat nav. It's a fairly old 2595LM and, to be honest, whilst the actual navigation is generally fine, the traffic bit has never been reliable enough to be of any use. ... so I shall look at the suggestions with interest.

Ta.

 

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