Tuesday 28 June 2011

Fuel Saving Tips from the Good Garage Scheme

With petrol prices at such a high, the Good Garage Scheme offers some sound advice on best ways of getting the most of your fuel.

Pump up to cut down
Check and adjust your tyre pressures regularly and also before long journeys. Under-inflated tyres increase CO2 but over-inflated tyres can be unsafe. Check your car manual for the correct tyre pressures.

Less clutter in your car means less CO2
Removing extra weight could reduce your engine's workload. Burn less fuel and cut your CO2 emissions by unloading any items you won't need before your journey.

Driving at an appropriate speed reduces CO2
Staying at or within the speed limit not only increases driver safety but also reduces CO2 emissions and saves money on your petrol costs. At 70mph you could be using up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more fuel than at 50mph.

A clean engine works more efficiently and uses less fuel

Having your car regularly serviced and ensuring that the fuel and oil system is cleaned will make the engine work more efficiently, use less fuel and produce less CO2.

For more tips visit http://www.goodgaragescheme.co.uk/driving or look for a Good Garage Scheme member near you who can give you further advice.

Friday 24 June 2011

Good Garage Scheme to offer insurance protection for damage caused by misfuelling blunders

It is estimated that misfuelling incidents – where motorists fill their diesel-powered vehicle with petrol, or less commonly, put diesel in their petrol-driven vehicle – happen every three and a half minutes.*

Of over 1800 consumers recently surveyed by the Good Garage Scheme, 51% said they or someone they knew had put the wrong type of fuel in a car.

It is very easy to do, especially when sharing cars within a family or using a different car for business travel.  A moment’s distraction can cause an error that could damage your vehicle and leave you with hundreds of pounds worth of repairs.

The Good Garage Scheme is now offering an insurance policy to all motorists to offer peace of mind for less than £2.50 a month.  The insurance policy not only covers for misfuelling, but also includes MOT and Alloy Wheel insurance cover.

For further information about the insurance and to purchase this fantastic offer, please visit http://www.goodgaragescheme.co.uk/insurance.

* Figures as result of a recent study carried out by the British Insurance Brokers Association.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

What about my warranty?

Prior to 2003, motorists who took their vehicle for a service or repair at any garage other than a main dealer were at risk of invalidating the vehicle's warranty.

In October 2003, the European Commission Block Exemption Regulation 1400/2002 changed all of that and gave motorists more flexibility. Independent garages were given access to technical information from the manufacturer including diagnostic equipment and software allowing them to service and repair cars.

As a result of the legislation, motorists are free to take their vehicles to any garage for maintenance or service work provided Original Equipment 'Matching Quality' (OEM) parts are used and recorded as such. The garage must also follow the manufacturer's service schedules.

How does Block Exemption Regulation (BER) affect the motorist?

Block Exemption Regulation is good news for the motorist because it allows more choice in the vehicle servicing and repair market leading to lower costs and higher standards without invalidating the vehicle’s warranty.

According to a study of garage servicing prices carried out by Which?, franchised dealers consistently charged the most and independent garages were 18% cheaper.

If you are still unsure, just ask your Good Garage Scheme member garage.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Olympics infrastructure plans threaten three months of road blocks and delays.

Plans set out for London’s travel infrastructure during next year’s Olympic & Paralympic Games have led to fears of a hundred days of chaos for the capital’s motorists and other travellers.

Transport for London (TfL) who have initiated the plans are faced with a widespread outcry of the scale of their proposals which include 108 miles of routes classified as no-stopping zones for vehicles and only permitting deliveries in some areas between the hours of midnight and six o’clock in the morning.

The aim is to provide smooth running of the Games with undisturbed access for athletes, the media and other VIPs between various events over a total period of competing lasting around twenty eight days. 

As part of this, Games lanes are also being created which are off limits to non-Olympics traffic, with penalty charge notice fines of up to £100 for those who are caught travelling on these routes without authorisation.

The Olympic Games will take place between 27th July and 12th August 2012 and the Paralympics will follow just over two weeks later, commencing on 29th August and finishing on the 9th September.

However, the logistics involved in organising the two events has meant that TfL has earmarked changes to be commenced well before the Olympic Games opening ceremony in late July and to continue until well after the closing ceremony of the Paralympics in early September.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Looking for your next apprentice? The Good Garage Scheme can help you find the right recruit for you.

This summer will see a fresh influx of school leavers seeking placements either in full-time education or in apprenticeships. With the highly-publicised hike in university admission fees, many may decide to choose apprenticeships over degrees or diplomas. Competition is intense and in order to stay ahead you need to act quickly.

Skillnet are working with the Good Garage Scheme to assist with the recruitment and training of apprentices. A wide variety of apprenticeships are available.

What are the benefits of hiring a new apprentice for your business?

You are giving an opportunity to a young person to become a technician in a highly skilled field. With the increasing complex developments made to vehicles every year, quality technicians are in great demand. Hiring an apprentice can also help you gain profits for your business. The additional revenues and productivity of your business can reap great rewards.

Skillnet seek to match apprentices with your business to help you find the right candidate. They train the recruits in the most up-to-date procedures and innovations. Each potential apprentice is put through a stringent application process.

For sixteen to eighteen year olds, apprenticeships are Government-funded so your only contribution is the apprentice’s wages. If you would like further information on recruiting an apprentice, Skillnet can be contacted directly by telephone on 01923 216165 or on their website.

Thursday 9 June 2011

RAC and Willson urge Government to scrap VAT on electric cars

The Government is being asked to suspend VAT on electric vehicles in an effort to increase demand and therefore stimulate sales of vehicles and aid investment in green motoring. The request has been highlighted by Quentin Willson, formerly of Top Gear and more recently one of the leaders of the Fair Fuel UK campaign, and the RAC.

Mr Willson, in attendance of his Drive the Future Show, located at the 2011 Canary Wharf London Motorexpo this week, said: ‘While the Government gives £5,000 grants for electric vehicles they're still far too expensive. Clawing back thousands of pounds of that grant in VAT isn’t helping. We need to create demand among consumers and confidence for investors.’

Adrian Tink of the RAC added: ‘This is about making green cars more affordable, creating jobs, cleaning our air and giving drivers' confidence to make more fuel-efficient car-buying choices.’

Coupled with the grant, suspension of VAT charges would give potential savings of up to around £10,000 which would bring purchasing costs more in line with vehicles a lot more commonplace in the market.

The Drive the Future show gives visitors the opportunity to drive and ride in a variety of vehicles at no charge. These include environmentally-friendly cars, Electric Vehicles (EVs) and hybrids. Vehicles on display include the Nissan Leaf, the VW Polo BlueMotion and the new Vauxhall Ampera.

For more information on the London Motorexpo, which runs until June 12th, please click here.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Annie Othen discusses trusting garages on BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire

Having taken her car in for an MOT yesterday, Annie Othen raises the question on her programme, “How can we trust a garage when we know so little about cars?” and asks listeners about their experiences at garages.

The Good Garage Scheme was invited by BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire to participate in Annie’s programme. Angelo Chillari, representing the Good Garage Scheme, explained why Good Garage Scheme garages can be trusted. They abide by a Code of Conduct and provide customers with a 50 point Industry Standard Checklist when servicing cars. Motorists can have a look at the checklist prior to taking their car in for a service by visiting www.GoodGarageScheme.com and downloading it from the website.

Angelo said, 'It is vital to build a relationship with the garage. Help your garage to build the relationship. Ask for old parts. Good Garage Scheme members won’t mind showing customers the parts because it shows you are interested in your car and interested in finding out how it works.'

He added, 'The Good Garages Scheme’s Code of Conduct is just very good, basic business practice.  It encourages garages to look after their customers.'

Angelo told Annie and her listeners that the best way to learn more about the Good Garage Scheme was to visit www.GoodGarageScheme.com and enter a postcode to “find a garage you can trust”.  There is information on the website to help motorists learn about their cars and when to have a service.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Motorists urged to make vital vehicle checks ahead of potential surge in ‘staycations’

Motorists looking to holiday in the UK this summer because of concerns over ash clouds or flight disruptions are being urged to make vital vehicle checks to avoid ‘staycation’ disasters.

The call has come from the UK-wide Good Garage Scheme ahead of holidaymakers taking to the nation’s roads this summer in vehicles which could leave them stressed and stranded.

The Good Garage Scheme has launched its summer ‘Holiday Check’ campaign with a comprehensive 21-point checklist for over 3000 member garages aimed at ensuring their customers’ cars run as smoothly as possible during the holiday season.

Common problems on unchecked vehicles include failing to check coolant levels to avoid overheating engines and driving on tyres with the wrong pressure to cope with the increased weight of luggage and passengers.

Other checks that can be made before taking to the roads include brakes, clutches and power steering, fluids and oils to help prevent breakdowns on busy roads which could potentially ruin a holiday before it even starts.

Motorists still concerned about what to check on their vehicle can find their nearest Good Garage Scheme member offering a ‘Holiday Check’ by visiting www.goodgaragescheme.com

Phil Dugmore, Good Garage Scheme Technical Manager, said: 'The recent problems with the volcanic ash cloud have prompted many people in the UK to look closer to home for a holiday this summer. For those heading to the coast or other UK holiday hotspots this summer, making sure their cars are in the best condition possible can’t be stressed enough.'

'Power steering fluid and brake fluid are particular areas to look at, especially when you consider how much more work the brakes need to do with the additional weight on board. Statistics have shown that one in three vehicles needs brake fluid changing while around 3.5 million motorists in the UK are driving on illegal tyres. These are all potential problems that can be avoided, making sure motorists are driving safe vehicles that are less likely to wreck their family holidays.'