Monday, 4 December 2017

New Driving Test Takes Effect Today

Britain’s biggest independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart says the new look driving test, which it helped to design and evaluate, will deliver ‘big safety benefits and save lives by including more real life situations and introducing new drivers to the latest technology.
Driving instructor, driving test assessor with student in car during driving test
photo courtesy of IAMRoadSmart December 2017
The plans were announced by the Government on 30 December last year and will take effect from today (4 December). The new format was test driven by thousands of learners before its final implementation. Those who had taken the new test were more confident and crucially, for IAM RoadSmart, had undertaken slightly more driving on country roads and dual carriageways.

It is well known that learners who practice more in a wider range of traffic situations make safer drivers in the long run.

The changes include the following:
  • Independent driving part of the test will increase from 10 to 20 minutes
  • Following directions from a sat-nav
  • Reversing manoeuvres will be changed (reverse around a corner and the three point turn will no longer be tested), but drivers will be asked to do one of three possible reversing manoeuvres instead including parking in a bay
  • Demonstrating vehicle safety knowledge while  driving
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Experts from IAM RoadSmart have helped to design and evaluate the new elements of the test, and we are very excited about the road safety benefits it could deliver.

“Our key aim was to ensure the test reflects the real world as much as possible and also encourage learners to gain experience in as wide a range of traffic situations as possible. By doubling the independent driving element of the test and introducing a sat-nav for an unknown route, new drivers will have to practice more.

“A common criticism of the old test was that it always used the same well-known routes which Learner drivers could learn by rote! The new reversing manoeuvres replace the three-point turn, which no one ever used, and dealing with a bay is much more like everyday parking.

“Finally, asking questions whilst driving can help the learner to multi-task and deal with passengers. New drivers with relevant skills and more experience can only be good news for road safety.”

iAM RoadSmart organisation logo text

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com


The Good Garage Scheme supports the work of IAM RoadSmart and thanks them for contributing this week's blog.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Motorist Wins £200 Good Garage Scheme Prize

Presentation photo with Good Garage Scheme regional manager and winner at Saunders Abbott
Good Garage Scheme winners find it hard to believe that they have won money back on a car service or repair for simply filling in a feedback card, but that's exactly what happened to Mr Fitzsimons recently at Saunders Abbott garage at Sidcup, Kent.

Mr Fitzsimons' feedback was chosen from over 9000 entries in the Good Garage Scheme's national prize draw.

He awarded the garage with five stars for the service received and commented:
"Your garage fixed a reoccurring fault on our previous Fabia. Other local Skoda agents where not even able to diagnose a problem and twice charge me £27.00 to report "no fault found". I will not use them again as they could not fix a problem I had described in detail. You fixed it easily first time!"

The Good Garage Scheme has awarded three lucky motorists with this prize so far this year with one more prize draw before Christmas.

The next time you need a service, repair or MOT,  visit www.GoodGarageScheme.com and read the feedback from previous customers.

It's like having a friend in the know!








Monday, 20 November 2017

Speed Down to Save Lives


Speed Down Save Lives, Brake, Road Safety Week 2017
Road Safety Week is the UK's biggest road safety event, coordinated annually by Brake, the road safety charity.

Dept of Transport infographi on road casualties, 2016, fatalities, Great BritainAccording to Brake, speeding is still a major problem in the UK causing needless crashes, untold suffering and life-changing accidents.

Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions is recorded by police at crash scenes as a contributory factor in one in four (23%) fatal crashes in Great Britain and a recent survey by
Brake found that four in 10 (40%) UK drivers admitted they sometimes drive at 30mph in 20mph zones.

We all lead busy lives and are often in a rush, but taking extra care while driving and slowing down will lead to safer roads and fewer accidents.

The Good Garage Scheme joins with Brake once again to encourage all motorists to Speed Down Save Lives. Hopefully the good habits we put in practice this week will remind us to drive with care throughout the year.
red Brake charity logo
For more information about Brake, please visit their website.












Thursday, 9 November 2017

21st Century Winter Car Advice from IAM

car, road, autumn, tree, leaves, dazzling sun
Photo courtesy of IAM Roadsmart
Modern cars need a different kind of attention to make sure they are ready for safe winter motoring. The Good Garage Scheme shares some sound advice from Tim Shallcross, IAM RoadSmart head of technical policy.
Washers
Yes, fill the washer reservoir with washer fluid and check the spray nozzles are clear, but don’t forget the headlamp washers. 
If your car has Xenon lights (also called HID), there will be high pressure washers, usually under a flap in the front bumper. These must be working, otherwise you risk dazzling other motorists when the lens gets dirty. 
To check them turn on the headlamps, operate the windscreen washers and get a friend to watch the lights or look for the spray which you’ll see over the front of the bonnet.

Light level switch
Talking of dazzling other drivers, if you don’t have Xenon lamps, you will probably have a headlamp level switch, usually numbered 0 to 4. 
You’re supposed to turn the switch according to how the car is loaded. Many of the complaints about dazzling headlights are because people forget to adjust the level. 0 is usually just the driver and no luggage, 4 is for a full load, but check the handbook for your car.
Leaves 
Leaves never used to hurt a car but they can now! Lift the bonnet, look in the engine bay around the area of the bonnet hinges. You’ll see a chamber on each side that collects water as it drains from the windscreen. These chambers have drain holes in the bottom to keep them dry, but leaves can block the drains. 
If water stays in the chambers, it can leak into the car, often soaking sensitive electronic bits, leading to very expensive repairs. Get any leaves or other debris out of the chambers and if water is present, root around until you find the drain holes and unblock them.
Steamy windows Get some soapy water and kitchen roll or a clean microfibre cloth and clean the insides  of all the windows. Getting them squeaky clean will dramatically reduce the glare from the low autumn sun on morning and evening drives and it will make the windows much less likely to mist up in damp weather. It also means you’ll waste less fuel because you won’t need to turn on heated windows and air conditioning in a bid to clear them.
Cabin air filter Today’s cars have a filter for the air entering the car through the heater. Often called the pollen filter, it can often get overlooked at a service and if it’s full of dirt, your heater will be much less efficient. 
Worse still, if it’s wet – which can happen if you don’t clear those leaves out of the chambers– your windows will constantly mist up as the heater pumps damp air into them. 
Changing the filter is usually a simple DIY job - look in the owner’s handbook – and the filters are quite cheap and widely available online.
If you are unsure about maintaining any of the above, don't risk it and hope for the best. Visit your nearest Good Garage Scheme member for a some help and advice.
  To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com
IAM Roadsmart logo

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

We launch our new look website!

After months of hard work behind the scenes we’re delighted to unveil an all new website for The Good Garage Scheme.

Our updated site has been redesigned to offer visitors much improved usability and navigation, allowing you to find a trusted garage near you with just a few clicks.



The website continues to offer motorists the same great range of information on garages across the United Kingdom, including:

● Full listing of accredited garages in your area
● Motoring advice and tips including information on MOT’S, oils checks and car repair
● Service plans to help spread the cost of your MOT and Servicing
● Seasonal checks - one in summer and one in winter to enable cars to be ready for the changes ahead!

Importantly, the website provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to give feedback on our member garages and provide recommendations that can be viewed by other users when choosing a local service to use.

The site is fully optimised for use on mobile phones and other handheld devices such as the iPad and users can also download our easy to use mobile app directly from the website, enabling you to locate trustworthy garages wherever you go!

Don’t forget that you can also find lots of interesting information, opinion and updates here on our blog page at www.goodgarageschemeblog.com.

If you’d like to find out more about The Good Garage Scheme and our range of services and membership benefits, please contact our friendly team on 02476 474069 or visit our new website here.

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 www.ben.org.uk




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