Thursday 31 March 2011

Do you throw litter from your car? The Good Garage Scheme advises motorists they can soon face prosecution.

Plans are afoot with the new Localism Bill to close the loophole allowing motorists to avoid incurring a fine as a result of littering.

Due to local services cuts, the Government have been asked to tighten legislation to help reduce the £858 million (according to Keep Britain Tidy) spent on road cleaning caused by the dispensing of empty bottles, fast food wrappers, cigarettes and other items on to Britain’s highways.

At present, a fine can be posted to the registered owner of the vehicle, but if they choose to deny the offence, the identity of the culprit needs to be proven via a court case, which is mostly futile and not cost-effective.

The Local Government Association (LGA) are keen to see an amendment to the law enabling them to impose automatic fines to the registered owners of the vehicles, regardless of whether they are responsible for the offence. The system would be akin to those imposed on fly tippers or speeding motorists.

Cllr Clyde Noakes, the LGA’s Environment Board vice-chairman said: "When someone gets a speeding ticket or fly-tipping fine, the keeper of the vehicle can be prosecuted if the offender can't be identified. Littering from a vehicle should be treated in the same way."

Offenders can be given an £80 fixed penalty notice which can be decreased to £50 if paid quickly which is channelled into the road cleaning fund of the relevant authority.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Good Garage Scheme reads buyers showing greater awareness of car emissions.

Car data firm HPI has revealed that there has been a marked shift toward focus on CO2 emissions when consumers have made car purchasing decisions in the last three years. Being “green” is becoming more and more prevalent when deciding what car to buy.

Consumer awareness has also led to many more dealers displaying information for customers concerning emissions, fuel consumption and running costs via a HPI CO2 Certificate, which can be downloaded from HPI.

Daniel Burgess, Director of Automotive at HPI comments: “Our survey results show that car dealers are witnessing a change in car buyers’ attitudes towards making greener choices. Ninety-three per cent of dealers surveyed by the leading vehicle information expert believe that today’s car buyers are more concerned with a vehicle’s emissions than they were a few years ago (72% in 2007).”

Being environmentally conscious is not the sole influencing factor however. The effects of rising fuel prices have been felt nationwide and this has heightened consumer awareness of ways to economise on their motoring spending. Cars with lower emissions and great fuel economy help lower costs because less fuel is consumed and they qualify for lower tax bands.

The result could be a shift toward more electric vehicles or hybrids being purchased in the coming year.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Good Garage Scheme TV campaign driving motorists to website and free iPhone app.

The latest television campaign by the Good Garage Scheme, running from 21st March to 31st March 2011 is being featured on SKY television nationwide and ITV1 in three regions.

Television viewers in London, Anglia East/North and Anglia East/South will see the advertising on the UK’s most popular terrestrial channel in addition to various satellite channels during the same period.

The ITV1 London area reaches over 4.7 million people and the advert will be appearing on SKY over six hundred times during the campaign.

This is expected to generate a record number of motorists visiting the Good Garage Scheme website, searching for their nearest Good Garage Scheme member to perform servicing or repair work to their vehicles.

Early figures are indicating that visiting the website here is increasing interest in the Good Garage Scheme’s free iPhone app launched in January which can be downloaded here.

Good Garage Scheme Marketing Manager, Anndi Sheppard commented:  “If you are away from home, apps are great for finding a restaurant, hotel, petrol station or maps, and the same applies to finding a garage you can trust.

“It will be particularly useful if you have broken down or have a problem with your car and haven’t got access to a PC or a laptop. You’ll instantly be able to find a local Good Garage Scheme member and get all the contact details you need no matter where you are in the UK,” she said.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Good Garage Scheme hears of insurance firm offering a route to cheaper car insurance for young motorists.

Motorists aged 25 or under are being offered the opportunity to slash their premiums by as much as £300 as the result of a new policy.

Drivers would have their motoring monitored by the use of an in-car technology akin to a “black box” that can transmit data to their insurer. A variety of statistics such as the usual time of day the car is driven and data concerning cornering, speed, acceleration and braking can be recorded.

The scheme, offered by Co-operative Insurance, would mean a policy recalculation every ninety days. Motorists deemed to be driving sufficiently carefully could see a fall in their premiums by over ten per cent. However, reckless motoring could see their premiums soar.

A “traffic light” scale can be observed by logging on to a “driving dashboard” and viewing the various measurements recorded with red lights showing areas for improvement and green lights showing good driving habits.

David Neave, director of general insurance at Co-operative Insurance, said: “It is a fact that many young people are simply being priced out of owning a car due to the escalating cost of motor insurance for young drivers. To ensure we do not end up with an entire generation priced out of car ownership we are giving them a chance to prove themselves as responsible drivers, and dispel the assumption that all young drivers will drive badly and have accidents.”

Thursday 17 March 2011

Winner of Good Garage Scheme iPhone app free prize draw announced.

In January, the Good Garage Scheme launched a free iPhone app for motorists. The app was designed to be a portable and readily available source of information that would assist motorists whose vehicles break down in remote locations or in unfamiliar towns or cities.

The app encompasses a variety of functions to assist the motorist. Garages near to the motorists’ location can be found by using the map of the local area or by selecting from a list.

Contact information for each Good Garage Scheme member can be found, in addition to other features such as customer feedback and distances from the driver’s location. The app also provides car care tips.

Any motorists that downloaded the app and registered before the end of February were entered into a free prize draw. Mr Shrenik Chikani of Coventry, West Midlands, became the lucky winner of an iPad after downloading the free app here.

Mr Chikani is seen below receiving his prize from the Good Garage Scheme’s General Manager Rachel Greasby.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Good Garage Scheme launches Spring Check campaign. Enjoy peace of mind after a harsh winter.

This week sees the launch of a national campaign by the Good Garage Scheme aimed at helping motorists avoid problems from appearing as the weather improves after the harsh winter.

The 21-point Spring Check is being carried out by workshops and garages throughout Britain, with vital checks to ensure the efficiency and safety of your vehicles after the cold weather.

Below are some of the checks included in the Good Garage Scheme’s 21-point Spring Check:

- Lights and wipers
- Air conditioning operation
- All under bonnet fluid levels
- Power steering operation
- Exhaust condition and security
- Tyres condition, tread and pressure
- Interior and exterior lights

To view the full checklist for the Spring Check used by Good Garage Scheme members, please click here

To find a local Good Garage Scheme member offering the Spring Check, please visit the Good Garage Scheme Spring Check page here and type in your postcode.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Good Garage Scheme feedback awards winners announced.

The Good Garage Scheme has introduced a new top feedback award to congratulate garages that are striving to promote this cornerstone of the scheme by encouraging every customer that visits their garage to complete a feedback card.

An award has been presented in each of eleven regions. The winner of the North West regional prize, Granville Auto Centre in Lytham St. Anne’s, Lancashire, has also become the overall winner.

They have currently received over 2,700 feedbacks since joining the scheme in 2008. To read the feedback comments received from their customers please click here. It has been operating as a family-run business since 1993. For more information about this garage, you can visit their website

The winners of the other regional awards are listed below.
R M Services
East Anglia
M T Cars
East Midlands
Huttoft Service Station
North East
North London
Empire Garages
Cumming Automotive
Cresswell's Garage (Wokingham) Ltd
South East
Motorforce (Chichester) Ltd
South Wales
Nantgarw Garage
South West
Surecar Ltd

The Good Garage Scheme feedback system is vital to the scheme’s success. Customers of member garages are encouraged to complete a feedback card when visiting to have their car serviced or repaired. It helps ensure these garages are providing the highest standards of service to their customers by asking a number of questions about their visit.

The Good Garage Scheme website has so far received over 400,000 feedbacks from customers of member garages since being established in 2006. 

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Motorists would rather money spent on potholes rather than royalty, foreign aid and defence budget, Good Garage Scheme learns.

Research conducted by Autoglass has discovered that over half of those surveyed in their poll would favour money allocated to funding the Royal Family being spent on pothole repairs instead.

British roads have suffered badly with the harsh conditions over the previous two winters. Motorists would prefer to see expenditure on road repairs increased with spending on foreign aid and the defence budget slashed as a consequence.

Eighty per cent of respondents deemed fixing potholes as the highest priority for road improvements expenditure with spending on road widening, speed camera provision and traffic calming considered much lower priorities.

Matthew Mycock, managing director of Autoglass, said: “Clearly, potholes are the number one issue for millions of UK motorists, both from a comfort and safety viewpoint. Planned cuts in the road maintenance programme will also lead to further deterioration. However, it is clear from the poll that many drivers would be prepared to countenance cuts in other budgets if the money was then earmarked to fix the nation's roads.”

Potholes are a real problem on Britain’s roads. Motorists do their utmost to avoid them but can still incur damage to their vehicles. A website has been set up by Warranty Direct concerned solely with potholes.

The website provides guides and advice concerning making a claim, enables a motorist to report a pothole, provides some facts and figures concerning the issue and gives motorists the opportunity to share stories about their experiences. For more information, visit Also on the website, viewers can read articles from various sources such as the BBC or various national or local newspapers.

Thursday 3 March 2011

Fair Fuel UK petition with superb public response delivered to Downing Street. Good Garage Scheme urges even more to sign.

With the Chancellor’s Budget less than three weeks away, the Fair Fuel UK campaign team, led by former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson, yesterday delivered the first wave of a petition to Downing Street. Over 120,000 signatures have been obtained in under eight weeks of campaigning.

During Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Robert Buckland, South Swindon’s MP, asked: “At a time when prices at the petrol pumps are going up and up, will the Government do all that it can to ease the pressure on hard-pressed motorists?”

Prime Minister David Cameron answered: “I know how difficult it is for motorists, and particularly for small businesses and families, when they are filling up at the pumps and paying more than £1.30 a litre. As we have said, we will look at the fact that extra revenue comes to the Treasury when there is a higher oil price, and see if we can share some of the benefit of that with the motorist.”

The Fair Fuel UK campaign was established to seek an abolition of April’s planned rise in fuel duty and for the introduction of a fuel pricing stabiliser to keep costs down over a longer time period.

Constituents are being urged to contact their MPs to support the campaign and a growing number have been pledging their support over the last few days.

The Fair Fuel UK website provides a variety of information about the campaign and gives an opportunity to sign the petition online.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Government plans to increase motorway speed limit, Good Garage Scheme reads.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has announced the Government are intending to ‘increase productivity’ to stimulate economic recovery by raising the UK’s motorway speed limit to eighty miles per hour.

Road safety charity Brake is opposed to the move for obvious reasons. With increased speed comes less reaction time and harsher impacts. Due to the high speeds of vehicles on motorways, when crashes do happen, they are more likely to involve fatalities than local roads.

It could be argued that the existing speed limit is archaic and out of touch with modern motoring, with many safety features available now that were not present when the speed limit was set in 1965. The Association of British Drivers (ABD) has stated that in 1965, 70 mph represented more than 80% of the maximum speed of average cars but now it represents only 60%.

Also, the speed limits in many European countries are set a lot higher than the UK’s. The top speed permitted in Ireland and on Spanish and Portuguese roads is 75 mph (120 kmh) whereas French and Italian roads have a limit of 81 mph (130 kmh) and some parts of Germany’s famous autobahn network  are 'unrestricted' with no speed limit at all.

There will always be opposition to changes to speed limits, whether they are reduced or increased. Drivers ultimately need to drive more responsibly according to the conditions they face.