Categories
Audi Car rental Car service Motorcycle and Bicycle Race Scooter Transport travel Yamaha and Suzuki

Some important new activities soon to be ready…..

Ok so its about time to change up a gear or two. We have recently made three VERY significant purchases so Service is getting ready to sprint. Here we go with a quick description of what we will very soon be offering:

Carbon engine clean device. From Epoch in South Korea. Arrived at last!!! The company in Seoul basically invented this very special device which cleans an engine from inside WITHOUT the need to dismantle anything! I contacted them many months ago and they sold me a device which is I think the FIRST and so far only one in Italy. See https://www.oxy-hydrogen.com/en for more info, plus the photo above. The first tests will be made on my two engines, diesel V6 TDI Mercedes and then my old Audi V8 petrol 4.2.

Exhaust gas analyser. From Capelec France and this arrived within 30 minutes of the Carbon clean system, amazing, having ordered them about 6 weeks apart. The idea here is to measure and record the exhaust gases before and then after the cleaning process so I can clearly show the (hopefully) positive results and so show the difference.

Industrial steam cleaning machine. From Menikini in the north of Italy. JUST arrived. The manufacturer is one of the best in Europe and specialised in these devices and especially important in these COVID19 times.

WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

Categories
Amalfi Coast Audi Car rental Car service Repairs travel

I found a new car-wash and the S4 finally starts to looks like the elegant car she is….

We have been locked-down at home since early March and it is just now starting to be eased, 3 months later. So the old S4 has been locked in the garage gathering dust and looking rather sad and sorry for herself. Now finally I have been able to take her out for a drive and wow she goes great!

I guess that she no longer has all of the starting 350 ish horses as she has more than 190k kms under her wheels, but she still goes very well indeed. (I have a plan for an engine carbon clean, more to follow). As I drove recently to buy some wine at our favourite winemaker (see https://www.facebook.com/cantineiovine/) I saw a car wash which was open and in operation, so I stopped for a chat with the owners.

Well the Audi was second in the wash queue and for 15 Euro they cleaned her very thoroughly inside and out, happy days indeed. Here follow a few pics to show just how good she now looks: In the coming few days the wheel centres will be painted and refitted too.

Categories
Audi Car rental Car service Transport travel Vintage cars

Well, the S4 requires some good ol’ TLC…

As previously reported, I recently took delivery of a 2005 B6 Audi S4 with that wonderful V8 4.2L engine and the Audi Quattro 4WD system. She has been very well looked after and has a full Audi service history (Audi Switzerland) so I could not ask for more and I think that the dreaded timing chain problem has also been sorted, that is a killer cos to change the chain requires the engine to come out of the car!!

The car arrived just before the dreaded virus lockdown so I have not yet been able to drive the car almost at all, just one very quick motorway trip up to Roma and back to flex her muscles. Since then she has been shut in a garage and even walking or cycling the 400m between house and garage has been difficult as the Police patrolled the town centre. So I have been visiting the car as and when I can, and I have taken a few photos just to show what I have been up to.

The car is 15 years old, she looks really good and everything seems to work from the lovely electric sunroof to the satnav to the memory seats (Audi in this case showing very good build quality, like my previous A5) BUT as she has spent most of her life between Switzerland and the UK then I assumed that the underside of the car would show some signs of the dreaded rust, which cars here in sunny Italy tend not to have until they are much older. Plus, I noted that the car battery was not the correct one (much smaller) so that needed changing, and I also saw that the alloy wheels had some scars so I planned to have them refurbished and found a local place that would do that.

When I removed the wheels my theory was proved half right and the wheel arches, suspension, brakes and all did have some signs of corrosion but not as much as I had feared, so far so good. I don’t have a ramp available so I removed the wheels one at a time and put axle stands under the car while I took the wheels away to be reworked. Some pics follow to show you the work in progress, loads more work to do but this lockdown slows deliveries down to a crawl…….UPDATE pics of my wheels being repainted just added…and a new set of Continental Sport tyres just arrived too, plus Brembo discs and pads all round!!

Categories
Amalfi Coast Car rental Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B Repairs Scooter Transport travel

We have some great cars for sale here in Ravello and…we can organise storage as well as long-term “rental”…..

Here at Autocioffi (see us at www.autocioffi.it) we have a super premises which used to be a paper mill (so it is next to a small river) and we have 3 floors of covered parking space. We generally have about 20 of our own cars here and we have space for at least another 30.

Our 20 ish cars are all up for sale on our website and we also do servicing, tyre fitting, maintenance as well as bodywork repairs and painting so we are fully equipped to look after all makes of cars and vans, and we even collect and return cars in the surrounding area. We are well-known by all of the local hotels so many tourists come here too, if they need any car-type help.

We have recently devised a really cunning scheme. If you plan to visit Italy for an extended length of time (minimum for instance 6 months) and you need wheels, we can help. See our list of cars for sale, we specialise in small Fiat, VW and Renault but we generally have a variety of cars from a 2 seater up to a SUV. The retail prices are all shown. So what can we offer?? You come and see the car and try it, see what you think. Try more than one or two, no problem.

If you find a car you like, you buy it, simple no? Well sure, but here is our proposal. You tell us how long you wanna keep it, you must insure the car, and when you bring the car back to us PROVIDING OF COURSE THE CONDITION IS AS IT WAS then we buy it back, LESS an agreed rental fee. How much? Well that will depend on the value of the car you choose plus the proposed rental period. Contact us for a quote.

Check out Avis and Hertz, of course they will provide a much newer car BUT they will charge you about 1200 Euro per month (category F), and from Ravello you must go and get the car from Salerno. And we can also offer car or motorbike storage here at very reasonable rates too.

Clever idea number two: We have plenty of secure parking spaces where you can leave your car (or motorbike or scooter or whatever) on a daily weekly or even monthly basis. Parking in this area (Ravello/Amalfi) is VERY hard to find as well as expensive, so contact us for a quote!

Categories
Amalfi Coast Car rental Car service Repairs Transport travel

Car repairs, painting and selling used cars on the Amalfi Coast…

I recently discovered an amazing reality, only a few kilometres from Amalfi about halfway between Amalfi and Ravello. The company is called Auto Cioffi and their web site is www.autocioffi.it and their Facebook page is here https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=auto%20cioffi&epa=SEARCH_BOX.

But the web site and the Facebook page really tell very little about the company and their activity. These guys are amazing. The boss Luigi has been working now for 45 years and he is still the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave, as well as the hardest worker, he almost never stops. What do they do?? Kind of everything.

The main activity is car sales and car repairs, so they have usually about 20 to 25 cars in stock to sell. In addition they have a paint shop with a massive computer controlled paint mixing system. Plus an oven for painting the cars which is big enough for the biggest SUVs and which gets up to about 80 degrees C. Plus they also have a Blackhawk Car Straightening System, an amazing machine which enables you to realign a car after a heavy smash and or just to check that a car is straight.

And I have now seen all of this in action!! The main man (Luigi) is truly amazing, his panel beating skills are worthy of a YouTube film, and he employs a guy (Paolo) a full time spray painter with talent. They are an amazing team and Manuela (Luigi’s daughter) is the office lady who coordinates their work and tries to keep them more or less under control.

The results?? Well, these guys offer more or less a complete “servicenolimits” service to car owners in Ravello and along the Amalfi Coast! Luigi’s son Leo has a tyre business next door, so they offer a total car service. They collect a car and fit new tyres, change the oil and filter, repair some body damage and return the car. Stunning. Some photos below.

Categories
Amalfi Coast Car rental Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B travel

Don’t take your car to Ravello or Amalfi, avoid driving the Amalfi coast at all costs!!!! (unless you drive a battle tank maybe)…


Why, you may ask. Well, consider these points:

  • The traffic along the coast road becomes just one long hot queue in the summer months.
  • The coast road is very narrow and winding, two buses cannot pass easily.
  • Overtaking is generally impossible.
  • If two coaches or buses or trucks meet then one must reverse.
  • You can easily damage your rental car and/or the wing mirrors.
  • Parking charges are in the region of 25 to 30 Euro per day.
  • On-street parking is between 2 and 3 Euro per hour IF you can find it

So, leave the car at home and let the bus or ferry boat take the strain!!!

Categories
Amalfi Coast Car rental Motorcycle and Bicycle Scooter travel

Why you should never rent a scooter or a Quad when you are on holiday (unless you are a regular biker and you dress with at least jeans and gloves)…

I saw an article on the Independent web site recently discussing the dangers of renting when on holiday overseas, see here. The Guardian reported almost the same sad facts. The articles report that of course when you go on holiday your defences are down and you are vulnerable to accidents given that you do not know the local road uses and customs and on two wheels you are very exposed to everything.

This was evident to me without reading these articles. On the Amalfi coast there are many scooter rental companies and so in the summer months you can see the visitors buzzing around the place. In all cases the uses are given a helmet of course, and then because of the heat they dress for the beach so shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. And of course these small scooters are either 125 or 150cc so they can get up to 80kph, and given also that most renters are not experienced riders then you have a dangerous and explosive mix, bringing great danger.

The roads along the Amalfi coast then make their own contribution, as the roads are narrow, potholed and in the summer months carry alot of visitors as well as commercial and local traffic. And if it rains they become very slippery of course.

I therefore suggest that only experienced riders should rent these bikes and then of course wear at least jeans, gloves plus a jacket so that a small spill does not have serious consequences!! If you fall off at just 10kmh you will naturally put a hand down to break your fall, and your hand will bear the scars for weeks to come……

Categories
Amalfi Coast Car rental Car service Motorcycle and Bicycle Repairs Scooter travel Yamaha and Suzuki

Our new property!!!! Finally we have the keys

We have been searching for a suitable property for about two years, on and off, and we have finally found the property of our dreams!!! Last month we exchanged contracts and took possession of a stunning garage in lovely Polvica, which is one of the 13 small towns which make up the area called Tramonti. The location is perfect for the Amalfi coast, Tramonti is 6 kilometers inland from Maiori, which is them 6 kilometers up the coast from Amalfi.

The properties are actually 2, one very small “house” which is actually a single room with an outside toilet, plus nearby the amazingly modern and large garage. The house was purchased only to enable the purchase of the garage as only a resident is allowed to purchase the garage. The garage is amazing!! It is large and almost new, about 6 metres wide and 8 metres long PLUS it has a bathroom with a shower too. And upstairs on the garage roof there is a garden with a lemon tree plus a kiwi plant, and plenty of space for a BBQ and sunbathing!!!

We have already started to have work carried out by some local builders to ensure that both of the properties are in perfect condition, then I will take some pictures to add to this blog. Great news indeed!!

 

 

Categories
Amalfi Coast Appartments and B&B Car rental Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B Transport travel

Visit the wonderful Amalfi coast with a guide or just some practical guide-lines

We all know that the Amalfi coast is stunning and well worth a visit. Nothing new there. But the best way to get there? The best way to get around? What to avoid and why? All of these important points and more are not always obvious as the coast is very long, winding and varied and each town along the coast has its own quirks and characteristics.

Here follow a few insider tips and guidelines for you to consider before you visit and/or I am happy to offer more precise guidelines for specific visits:

  1. Avoid August. Period. Unless you love sweltering heat, massive overcrowding and traffic queues then it is better to leave well alone. July is also very hot and slightly less crowded. August swells the 3,000 Amalfi population to 30,000 per day.
  2. Do not bring a car unless you have to. The coast road is very beautiful but also very crowded and narrow. Driving in the area is not easy even out of season, and from May through to October is really slow and hard work. Or get a local to drive you.
  3. From Roma you can take a fast train from Termini station to Salerno station and this takes two hours or a bit less. Then from Salerno station a walk of only about 300 metres takes you to the ferry port.
  4. The wonderful ferry service works from April thro’ to October and covers the entire coast from Salerno to Sorrento. It is not expensive and hops along the coast, the ferry is probably faster than any road transport and you also get to view the coast from the sea as well as enjoy the sea breeze.
  5. Book early, as last minute is very complex and expensive and generally you will find only out of the way places. Folks still book the same room for next year when they leave their favourite hotel, like in the old days!
  6. Be very cautious of the giants like Booking, TripAdvisor and the rest cos they are not reliable on the coast. Simply put these giants cannot get the percentages they want here as the hotels and restaurants are generally full anyway, so often they seem to publish rubbish. Use the direct web sites for better information.
  7. Avoid taxis as they generally charge you a fortune, I guess because there are so few of them. If you have to then ask then to know the fee before you go and you can negotiate. Ask the hotel to book for you for some protection and always ask the fee in advance.

Any other information you require, just ask.

Categories
Car rental Car service France Motorcycle and Bicycle Race Repairs Transport travel Vintage cars Yamaha and Suzuki

European deliveries for you….I have the superb Vito 3.0L van plus a twin-axle car trailer

You need a car or a motorbike delivered from the UK to France or Italy?? You wanna bike holiday in the south of France but do not fancy the 1000km down from London?? No problem. I can come to you, collect the car or motorbike or bicycles plus your panniers or luggage or whatever and take it for you, you pay the fuel plus motorway plus a charge but I aim to keep the costs as low as possible cos I can sleep in the van!!! Perhaps you wanna buy a bike from France or Italy or the UK but dont wanna ride it home???

Ask me for a price and dates!!!! I can be fairly flexible and I have winter tyres on the van for the cold and wet months so I can travel most of the year round.