Friday 30 April 2010

Planning on visiting London for the bank holiday weekend? Good Garage Scheme recommends Park-Up website to find parking

This free and easy to use parking site has a comprehensive list of parking options for any area within or bordering the congestion charge zone in London.

The website lists tariffs, number of bays, opening hours, whether it’s manned, height restrictions and also additional information such as deals on free parking hours by spending a certain amount at shops.

Park-Up features an easy to use map and distinguishes between car parks, on street pay & display spaces, disabled bays, motorbike spots and places where you can pay by phone. You can also view council parking restrictions, fine costs and car crime levels in the area.

Park-Up is professionally researched and kept updated, so if you’re traveling to London this bank holiday weekend check out this great website for the best price on parking. A Park-Up App is also available for iPhone.

Friday 23 April 2010

Good Garage Scheme mechanic Stuart White is named Top Technician 2010

After an online test, eight 20-minute practical and written challenges, and a one-to-one interview, Good Garage Scheme member Stuart White has been unveiled as the 2010 winner of the annual Top Technician competition.

The boss of Complete Car Maintenance in the village of Ewhurst in Surrey has been a regular finalist in the search for the UK’s top car mechanic but had never taken top spot before. “It’s fantastic,” he said after receiving more than £12,000 worth of prizes. “I felt that I had the best chance of winning I’d ever had this year. All the finalists were absolutely brilliant,” he said.

Runner up of the competition was another Good Garage Scheme member, technician John Tinham, of John Tinham Motor Engineer in Chelmsford.

Angelo Chillari, Administrator of the Good Garage Scheme, commented “It’s good to see dedication and skill rewarded in this industry.”

The competition ceremony, which recognises and rewards the best automotive technicians in the UK, was attended by scores of automotive industry figures, including technical experts Frank Massey and James Dillon. Technical expert Frank Massey said that Stuart had a winning combination of enthusiasm and knowledge. “They say that often a technician makes a bad businessman and vice versa but Stuart can do both. It’s great to see him win because he’s come so close so often before.”

Congratulations to both Stuart White and John Tinham, excellent examples of Good Garage Scheme members.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Looking to reduce your insurance by 40%? The Good Garage Scheme recommends i-kube device for under 25s

The i-kube is a high-tech device which records the time of day a car is on the road. It logs journey data enabling insurance companies to offer policy conditions which encourage motorists not to drive between particular hours. Drivers who agree to have the i-kube fitted will have their premiums reduced by up to 40%.

This small but innovative device is set to reduce insurance premiums for young drivers between the ages of 17 to 25. Its makers hope the device will dramatically reduce the number of fatalities involving young people on the roads between 11 pm and 5am.

The i-kube works using a small hand-sized GPS device, which is installed on the car in around 10 minutes behind the dashboard. It sends out a signal to advise the insurance company when the car is driven between the hours of 11pm and 5am. If the car is driven during this time, known as the 'red hours', the policy holder will be charged £45.

A spokesman for i-kube said: "We know that driving between 11pm and 5am is the most dangerous time for young drivers. So, by discouraging drivers from being on the roads between these hours, we reduce their risk of accidents, and therefore can significantly reduce the cost of their insurance."

The i-kube was produced after it was revealed 17-25 year-olds made up more than a quarter of deaths as a result of road traffic accidents between 1999 and 2008. And of the fatal accidents involving that age group, more than one in three happened between 11pm and 5am.

For all the facts visit

Friday 16 April 2010

Good Garage Scheme help garages fight back with the after-effects of the Scrappage Scheme

An estimated 330,000 new vehicles were sold through the scrappage scheme, protecting thousands of jobs and providing a boost to the economy. However, despite the many successes, the Good Garage Scheme has found that the scheme has caused problems for independent garages.

Many small, independent garages rely on a daily influx of old cars to MOT, service and repair to keep their businesses running. By scrapping old, perfectly serviceable vehicles and replacing them with brand new vehicles, the scrappage scheme has caused a reduction in the workload of older cars. This has meant less servicing and repair work for mechanics to carry out, resulting in job losses and other cutbacks. It has also caused a knock-on effect on Motor Factors as they are selling fewer parts.

These problems have been ‘brushed under the rug’ and glossed over by news reports, adding a further sting to garages. Jan Lord posted on the Good Garage Scheme’s Facebook page, “No one seems to mention the number of MOT testers and mechanics who have all lost their jobs as part of the car scrappage scheme.”

Jane Morris further commented, “We are feeling the effects big time this year and together with ever increasing overheads it is getting harder and harder to keep going.”

Despite the challenges, garages have been fighting back with the help of the Good Garage Scheme. With upwards of 330,000 vehicles scrapped, garages are becoming increasingly creative and consumer-aware when attracting business from the remaining circulation of vehicles.

Good Garage Scheme Facebook Page:

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Drivers opting out of service a worrying thought - the Good Garage Scheme recommends regular servicing to save money

Hard-up motorists are putting themselves at risk by failing to take their cars in for their annual services - because they can't afford the cost.

A leading fast fit network has revealed that 36 per cent of drivers opted against paying for a service, relying instead on their cars passing MOTs in a penny saving measure. But in doing so, they are often being hit harder in the pocket and leaving themselves in danger, because many vehicles fail with serious faults.

The ongoing economic downturn was playing a big part in motorists' decisions to opt out of taking annual services. Instead, motorists have been relying on the MOT to judge their vehicle performance. As a result of this, garages are seeing a lot more vehicles arriving with major faults and minor faults which would have been picked up on a normal service.

Good Garage Scheme recommends motorists locate their nearest garage using the Good Garage Scheme website, and agree on an amount before commencing work. Regular services could save a significant amount of money in the long run.

Thursday 8 April 2010

The Scrappage Scheme may have ended, but the Good Garage Scheme finds optimism with new ‘Swappage Scheme’

The government‘s Scrappage Scheme officially ended on March 31st, 2010. At least 330,000 cars have been sold under the scheme; accounting for a fifth of cars sold and helped the recession-hit motor industry cope with falling sales.

The UK scheme, which offered new car buyers a £2,000 discount if they scrapped a car older than ten years, was a resounding success. The scheme provided a much-needed boost to the motor industry and helped save an estimated 4,000 jobs. However, as the scheme comes to an end there are fears car sales may fall sharply in the UK.

Paul Newton, an automotive analyst for IHS Global Insight, said: "The ending of the incentive is bound to have a deadening effect on car sales. If it happens when the economy is starting to pick up, you've caught it just right and the scheme would have done a cracking job. But if the economy is still in the doldrums when the scheme ends, there could be a very large drop off in sales."

However, many manufacturers are making the most of this opportunity by launching their very own ‘Swappage Scheme’, which will basically follow on with the same principles of offering a large discount in return for trading in an old car. There are no guidelines for how the new scheme will operate, so you can expect varying terms and conditions between each manufacturer.

Some of the manufacturers involved with this new scheme include Toyota, Skoda, Volvo and Peugeot, with many offering up to £2,000 for a swap.

Monday 5 April 2010

R M Services reach Good Garage Scheme milestone

Loughborough-based garage R M Services has reached the 2,000 customer feedbacks milestone – a first ever for a Good Garage Scheme member.

Established in 1975, R M Services has provided 35 years of excellent service, including recovery, body repairs, and MOT testing. Since joining the Good Garage Scheme in October 2007, R M Services have received numerous glowing feedbacks including:

  • “I've moved a lot and had many garages. I can say this is easily the best”

  • “I have always had complete confidence in R M Services. The staff take great trouble to explain matters carefully and are always courteous and friendly”

  • “Literally saved my life - my brake lights had gone and although I didn't have an appointment they took the car straight in to sort it out”

R M Services believe customer service is paramount and have placed customer satisfaction at the heart of their business. Roger Coates said “Without feedback I have no idea what my customers thoughts are on the service I offer. How then can I improve? It shows customers that I have a commitment to customer care”.

The Good Garage Scheme would like to congratulate R M Services for reaching this important milestone, and look forward to the future supporting them.

R M Services Good Garage Scheme Page
R M Services Website

Thursday 1 April 2010

David Cameron visits Good Garage Scheme member MECA Services in Exeter

Last week David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, visited Good Garage Scheme member MECA Services South West, Exeter’s only award winning lady-owned garage.

Writing on her blog, owner Jennifer Riach explained: “Whilst touring my workshops (along with the media frenzy that shadowed us wherever we went) I also talked to David, predominantly about the issues surrounding small businesses, the impact the recession has had on us, and how support from the community - from other small businesses as well as from the local media such as the Express & Echo and Exeter FM - have been paramount to our survival through hard times. Up in the privacy of my office we talked about other matters such as when I was a civil servant, the small business support needed in order to be able to offer apprenticeships, the community events I run for charity - this year being for the Devon Air Amubulance Trust, and my forthcoming climb of Kilimanjaro for Sparks charity, the latter of which he took a particularly personal interest in.”

After showing the potential future Prime Minister around her garage, Riach said: "Hopefully he will take away a better understanding of the struggle for small businesses and what will help our survival. He seemed to be very supportive and understanding of how we support each other in the community, and he seems to be genuinely interested in what he can do."

MECA have been members of the Good Garage Scheme since November 2007 and have received high praise from their customers. They are also the FSB 2009 Small Business Employer of the Year.

Meca Services Website
Meca Services Good Garage Scheme Page

Climbing Kilimanjaro for Sparks