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.
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 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
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

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

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!