Thursday, 12 October 2017

Hats on for Mental Health

Hats on for Mental health logo image from BEN
image courtesy of BEN
The Good Garage Scheme is supporting Hats on for Mental Health day on Friday 13th October alongside the automotive charity, Ben.

The day is part of a wider mental health campaign run by Ben and spotlights how mental health can affect anyone, at any time.

The campaign is particularly relevant as recent research shows two thirds of British adults say they have experienced mental ill-health at some point in their lives, according to a survey by the Mental Health Foundation.

In an industry which has a workforce of over 800,000 people, that equates to over 500,000 people potentially affected by mental health challenges!

Last year marked the first year of Hats on 4 Mental Health day – their first ever national fundraising event for the automotive industry. Everyone working in the industry was asked to get involved by wearing a hat to work for a day and an amazing £13,000 was raised! So, hats off to those who took part last year and made the day such a success.

Miles Better wearing a hat to support Hats for Mental Health
The Good Garage Scheme has joined in with a hope to help raise even more this year.

Head office staff will be participating and posting photos on social media to show support and hoping as many member garages as possible will join in to help. Miles Better has already starting to show his support.

Simply text HATS97 £1 to  70070 or visit the justgiving page to donate here.

Ben Logo Here for the automotive industryFor more information about how Ben can help, please visit

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Get set for the school run with a Good Garage Scheme check

With the summer holidays now drawing to a close, many parents are busy preparing their children for
a new academic year, purchasing back to school items such as uniforms, stationery and sports kit.

However, one area that’s often overlooked is the family car and the need for it to be a safe and reliable workhorse for the school run. With this in mind, the Good Garage Scheme is encouraging motorists to get their cars professionally checked as term begins.

Good Garage Scheme workshops across the UK can offer motorists peace of mind by providing an expert 21-point assessment of their vehicle’s condition. All essential areas of the car are examined, including the condition and level of the coolant and engine oil, the tyres, wiper blades, windscreen and lights, in readiness for the wet and cold months ahead. Not doing so can increase the risk of having a collision, especially if a car’s tyre pressures are low, making it hard to maintain grip and easier to skid in wet conditions. Being able to see and be seen is also important as the daylight hours get shorter, making it essential to ensure that all bulbs are working correctly.

The check also includes inspection the operation of the air conditioning and ventilation system and, if required, a sterilising and deodorising service, to ensure effective window demisting and safeguard against nasty bugs and bacteria in the passenger compartment.

Visit and find your local Good Garage Scheme member garage to carry out a Back to School Check.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Drivers Support Diesel Scrappage Scheme

- But drivers say government and car makers can deliver cleaner air together 

Photo courtesy of IAM RoadSmart July2017
Around two thirds of UK road users would support a scrappage scheme for older diesel cars, vans and lorries in an effort to get the worst polluting vehicles off our roads, according to a survey by IAM RoadSmart.

The survey, by the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, asked respondents to rate the various options put forward in the government’s recent nitrogen dioxide consultation but found that only 3% of respondents are confident that the proposed measures solve the problem quickly.

More than 1,400 people across the UK including members and non-members took part in the survey, which was conducted in June.

Some 64% of those surveyed said they supported a diesel scrappage scheme, compared to 27% who did not. Most wanted any scheme to apply to cars over eight years old.

Some 83% of those surveyed by IAM RoadSmart agreed with the government’s view retro-fitting buses, coaches, HGVs, vans and black cabs with new equipment should be the priority.

However those surveyed felt the driver as an individual also has a responsibility to drive in a more eco-friendly manner. Some 75% agreed that encouraging drivers to change their driving behaviour should play a part in the government’s approach to tackling air quality.

UK drivers appear to have been influenced by the ‘dieselgate’ scandal as 67% of them either mistrust or strongly mistrust car makers to sell cars that will match consumer expectations for environmental performance.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is clear to me that the public at large feel the government needs to be decisive and proactive when it comes to making our air quality better. They see strong government direction as key to making sure it happens.

“We must not forget that drivers themselves have a part to play in the way they drive – it is within the power of each of us to become better and more eco-friendly driver and our responsibility to do so.”

She added: “It is however clear that the car manufacturers have some way to go to rebuild trust with the public - it would seem that only when their environmental claims more closely match real world performance that the trust will be on the increase. Reputations take years to build and moments to fall.” 

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website

To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit:

Visit your local Good Garage Scheme member to ensure your diesel vehicle is running well. 
Clean Engines Perform Better ! - It's like having a friend in the know!

IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Tiff Needell Advises on Summer Driving

With new research by the Good Garage Scheme revealing we are nation of motorists unprepared for long car journeys during the summer, Fifth Gear presenter, Tiff Needell will be speaking with radio stations this week on the importance of a Holiday Check for your car and advising motorists to visit their nearest Good Garage Scheme member for a check.
Photo courtesy of Tiff Needell

More than 41% say they have no plans to get their car checked before their next long journey, and this can lead to unwelcome breakdowns on holiday or even while travelling to the airport.

What precautions should you take before a long car journey?
  • Give your car a visual check. Are there any visible cracks or bulges on the tyres, and are they looking as full as normal? Check with your tyre pressure gauge
  • Ensure your fluid levels (namely coolant and oil) are topped up sufficiently. This five minute job may mean the difference between a trouble-free journey and parking at the road side with an overheating car.
  • Ensure you have plenty of water in the car for you and your passengers (including any pets) when travelling in hot weather.
  • Lastly, make sure your air conditioning system in the car is clean. A musty smell from the vents is a tell-tale sign there may be bacteria lurking.

If you are unsure about carrying out these checks yourself and want peace of mind before you set off, visit and look for a garage you can trust for a Holiday Check.

It's like having a friend in the know!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Kevin Toms of FRL Autoservices in Top 5

Kevin Toms stading in front of FRL Autoservices garage
photo courtesy of FRL Autoservices
Kevin Toms from Blackawton has made it to the Final 5 of the the industry's prestigious Top Technician competition in the UK.
The Top Technician competition began in 2002 to find the UK's most skilled automotive technicians and to highlight areas of training. 

Kevin works for Good Garage Scheme member garage, FRL Autoservices in Dartmmouth, where he has been for 32 years. He is a local lad who has worked his entire life with engines of all sorts, from lawn mowers to lorries, tractors to Teslas and has now battled his way through the heats of this prestigious award to the final five.
Out of thousands of entries, Kevin was whittled down from the last 250 to 20 by a series of tougher tests, the last 10 were then invited to the practical semi-final in Bournemouth on Thursday 11th May 2017. They were put through a series of tasks with a twenty minute time limit. The five technicians with the highest score move forward to the next stage in Warwickshire on July 13th  with the final live event in Daventry on September 16th.

He has been overwhelmed that he has got this far. Having previously reached the top 50, he can’t quite believe it. Owner of FRL Autoservices, Ian Gobel and all of the staff, family, friends and customers are all so proud of Kevin and wish him all the luck for the final.

The Good Garage Scheme would also like to wish Kevin the very best of luck as he proceeds to the semi-final round.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Congratulations to Jane Bailey, Woman of the Year

Jane Bailey, Woman of the Year, Foxy Lady Driver, Steph Savill
Jane Bailey presented her award by Steph Savill
The Good Garage Scheme would like to congratulate Jane Bailey of Westgate Tyres in Morecombe for recently being named Woman of the Year by Foxy Lady Drivers Club.  

Jane's history involves working very hard alongside husband, Graham to grow their family business and in recent years sought to create a female-friendly business by encouraging ladies to learn more about tyre safety during regular Ladies Nights.

Congratulations to Jane for the well-deserved recognition.

Jane Bailey, Westgate Tyres, Good Garage Scheme, Woman of the Year
Jane and her family at Westgate Tyres

Westgate Tyres have been a Good Garage Scheme member since 2010 and offer regular Ladies Night courses. If you live in the Morecombe area and would like to book, contact them on 01524 840044.

For more information about Westgate Tyres in Morecome, visit their page on the Good Garage Scheme's website here.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

With many drivers taking to the road this weekend for the May Bank Holiday, we offer welcome advice from IAM Roadsmart on avoiding muscle aches. 

We don't always think about our posture while driving despite spending many hours at the wheel. 
Here are some driving tips from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.


Be mindful of your posture

As a driver it’s important to avoid positions that can cause muscle ache. Before you move off, try adjusting your car seat to a secure position that allows you to stay alert and maintain good visibility.
An incorrect seat position will not only be uncomfortable but may affect your ability to operate the vehicle controls.

Sometimes a nibble goes a long way

Pull over and have something to eat, but try and make sure that your snacks aren’t too sugar loaded – you may experience an energy crash later on.
Stay nourished and hydrated – your brain needs food to maintain concentration.

Wear the right attire

Avoid uncomfortable footwear that provides little sole support, such as high heels and especially flip flops.
In an event where you may need to brake firmly, the support of the soles of your shoes always helps.

Mother and children waving from car in summer sunshine

Travel safe

It’s always a good idea to take out travel insurance so that you're covered in the event of an accident or emergency.

The Good Garage Scheme reminds motorists to have their cars checked at a local Good Garage Scheme member garage prior to a long journey for peace of mind.  Visit to find one local to you and ask for a Holiday Check.

Get the games out!

Journeys do not always have to be dull and repetitive. Plan ahead and get some fun games organised for the younger ones on board. This will make the journey feel miles faster and smoother, allowing you to concentrate on your driving.

Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.

IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit