Thursday 28 July 2011

Good Garage Scheme iPhone app added to “The App List” created by The Sunday Times.

This week, The Sunday Times chose to include the Good Garage Scheme iPhone app in its definitive, easy-to-use guide to 500 of the best apps worldwide, entitled "The App List”. 

 This is in addition to being recognised in the InGear supplement to The Sunday Times on 10th July as a ‘Money Saving App for Motorists.’ 
 The App List guide enables users to search by app category, price and platform and is compiled by a team of both regular Sunday Times app reviewers and experts in the relevant fields. 
 Online access to “The App List” can be found on the website of The Sunday Times at:
To gain online access to the list you need to subscribe at a cost of £1 for the first thirty days and this includes access to the websites of both The Sunday Times and The Times.

 The free Good Garage Scheme iPhone app is a useful tool for motorists that incur car problems while out and about with their vehicle and can be accessed here:

It enables the user to access either a map or a list of the nearest Good Garage Scheme members plus contact details, feedback and star ratings for each of those garages shown. Car care tips such as how to check the oil are also available within the app.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Apprentice scheme launched by the Good Garage Scheme

While Lord Sugar has made the headlines following his successful hiring of a new apprentice, the UK-wide Good Garage Scheme has launched its own search for apprentices to work with garages in the independent motor repairs industry.
The Good Garage Scheme, in conjunction with leading automotive apprentice and automotive customer services trainer Skillnet, has developed an initiative to find new apprentice technicians for its membership of independent garages and workshops. They can register their interest via its member benefits website which immediately puts them in contact with Skillnet to ensure apprentices are found as quickly as possible.

With fierce competition among 16-year-olds to gain an apprenticeship, garages are being urged to act quickly to recruit the best. Skillnet handles everything from recruitment to delivery of apprentices and all garages have to do is pay their wages as apprenticeships are fully funded by the government for 16 to 18-year-olds.
Garages can also benefit from significant returns on their investment with a recent report suggesting that on average apprentices can typically earn a business six times the amount invested in them. David Moran, Business Development Director of Skillnet Limited said: 'We are delighted to be working with the Good Garage Scheme in developing the talented technicians of the future and urge employers to give young people the same opportunity they had when they first entered the industry.'
Anndi Sheppard, marketing manager at the Good Garage Scheme, said: 'One of the key aims of the Good Garage Scheme is to make sure our members are well trained and we want to encourage them to gain Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA). There’s currently no legal requirement for someone to work on your car but we believe it’s important for people working on cars to be as qualified as possible.'

Thursday 21 July 2011

Good Garage Scheme Hit the Beach to raise funds for BEN.

The Good Garage Scheme has today been in summery mood by holding an office party with a beach theme.

With the aim of raising money for a good cause, the automotive charity BEN, the team have been donning a variety of clothing including Hawaiian shirts, leis, sunglasses and shorts and even placing beach towels on their chairs, to show their support for this charity.

This week (from 18th – 24th July) has seen the BEN charity’s 106th birthday and is the UK’s only charity that provides help to those who work or have worked in the automotive and related industries, as well as their dependants. This includes their range of care centres nationwide to care for older members of communities.

Good Garage Scheme members have been encouraged to take part and win a hamper full of goodies. For more details of the competition, please see here. The entry fee for these garages is £1 which is payable directly to BEN at

Please e-mail all photo entries to All photograph entries received for the competition will be posted on the Good Garage Scheme facebook page. The winner will be chosen from all entries received by 31st July 2011.

More information about the BEN charity can be found here.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Life’s a Beach

Sun, sea and Sangria..... and hopefully sunglasses are the theme in the Good Garage Scheme offices this week.  Coventry is the last place you would expect to see any sand, and you would be right.  But it doesn’t stop the guys and girls at the Good Garage Scheme getting into the swing of things to raise money for a good cause. 

BEN is the UK’s only charity which helps those who work or have worked in the automotive industries.  This week is National BEN Week (18-24 July) and celebrates the charity’s 106th birthday. 

We are encouraging our 3,000 plus Good Garage Scheme members to join the party to win a summer hamper full of goodies.  All you have to do is send us a photograph of your beach-themed garage scene. The entrance fee for this is £1 payable directly to BEN at

Here in the office, we will be enjoying our beach day by putting beach towels on our chairs, wearing summery clothes, and enjoying a picnic lunch.  Hopefully, the sun will shine.

You can find more information about BEN at

We will post some of the best photos received next Monday on our Facebook page and in the blog. 

Happy Holiday.......

Thursday 14 July 2011

More motorists gear up to avoid holiday havoc

More and more motorists are gearing up to avoid the potential holiday horror of vehicle breakdowns, according to industry experts.

A recent poll by the UK-wide Good Garage Scheme at has revealed that 58 per cent of drivers do not have their cars checked at a garage before setting off on a motoring holiday.

And with ‘austerity’ prompting many to look at holidaying at home this year, experts at the Good Garage Scheme said the importance of checking vehicles before setting off is more vital than ever.

Phil Dugmore, technical manager at the Good Garage Scheme, said: “The results of our poll show that motorists appear to be taking risks by not checking their vehicles before going on holiday. Of course checking your vehicle is important at any time, but none more so than when you are using it to take family and friends on an anticipated holiday. After all, nobody wants the aggravation and stress of having to deal with vehicle repairs during what should be a well-earned relaxing break.”

A comprehensive 21-point Holiday Check has been launched by the Good Garage Scheme to its 3,000 plus members to give motorists more peace of mind about the state of their vehicles ahead of taking to the UK’s roads on their holidays.

The 21-point Holiday Check includes:

•    Air conditioning operation and cabin comfort
•    Fluid levels
•    Lights and wipers
•    Tyres and exhaust

Phil added: “Our 21-point Holiday Check covers all of the areas that can help ensure motorists’ vehicles are in the best possible condition before heading off to the UK’s holiday hotspots. Taking preventative measures to avoid potential problems before they happen is certainly the best approach. Our member garages and workshops carry out work of the highest standard, giving motorists peace of mind for trouble free motoring.”  

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Good Garage Scheme’s iPhone app appears in Sunday Times article and is downloaded over 700 times!

The Sunday Times newspaper on 10th July contained a two-page article in its Ingear section about how families are being required to economise on their motoring costs and are giving up the luxury of a second car.

The article highlighted a typical two-car family that reassessed their finances and realised they could make do with one car and thus eliminated half the costs of tax, insurance and fuel in one go.

As a further benefit to consumers looking to save money on motoring costs, the article listed four money saving “apps” under a section entitled, “Money-Saving Apps for Motorists”. The Good Garage Scheme’s iPhone app was highlighted as the first of four recommended choices.

The free Good Garage Scheme iPhone app was recommended for motorists hoping to locate an independent local garage and offering a significant saving to that of a main dealer. The Good Garage Scheme member will follow a Code of Conduct and also offers a complaints procedure.

The app, launched by the Good Garage Scheme in January 2011, is a useful tool for motorists that incur car problems while out and about with their vehicle.

It enables the user to access either a map or a list of the nearest Good Garage Scheme members plus contact details, feedback and star ratings for each of those garages shown. Car care tips such as how to check the oil are also available within the app.

Please click here to find out more and download the app.


Thursday 7 July 2011

Continuous Insurance Enforcement affecting all UK motorists is now in force.

As many as around 160 fatalities and 23,000 injuries are estimated to arise as the result of the actions of either uninsured or untraced motorists annually. Premiums of law-abiding motorists currently include an additional £30 annually to cover these actions of the irresponsible.  

Continuous Insurance Enforcement was introduced on 20th June 2011 to tackle this problem and was enforced throughout Great Britain.

This law applies to all motor vehicles on British roads, regardless of their frequency of use, with two exceptions.

1)    A Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) has been made for the vehicle by contacting the DVLA.
2)    Vehicles owned that have been kept off the road longer than the SORN has been in existence (since 31st January 1998) and remain off the road. Vehicles that were off the road at that time and at some point since have been reinstated to use on the road, need to be insured.

Vehicles cannot be taken off-road temporarily to avoid insurance unless you make a SORN simultaneously. At the point when you wish to return the vehicle to use on public roads, the vehicle must be re-insured.

The UK’s Motor Insurance Database (MID) is compared with the DVLA’s records to ascertain if your insurance details are correct and valid. Some insurance brokers are able to amend or update this for their customers so please check to see if yours do as some pass the responsibility of this to their client.

Alternatively you can check your MID details by clicking here.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Good Garage Scheme provides some basic advice on the use of oil in the modern motor car.

One of the key ingredients in a car’s continued smooth running is oil. Cars need oil to lubricate the engine and prevent premature wear of its components. Numerous additives found within the oil can help lessen friction of moving parts and keep the engine cooler, while also being able to clean the interior of the engine of contaminants.

Have you ever wondered about the combinations of numbers and letters on oil containers, for example, 5W30? This is part of a standardised scale created. These numbers and letters help indicate the viscosity levels of that oil grade. 

Viscosity indicates oil’s ability to flow. For example, if a spilt bottle flowed out quickly, it would be less viscous than if it flowed out slowly. There are eleven grades of oil, six of which have a W (winter) grading. This means these grades are good at cold temperatures.

Low viscosity at cool temperatures is needed to help oil travel quickly to the top of the engine to start lubricating its parts as it trickles down. A higher viscosity is favourable once engines have warmed up in order to keep the oil thick enough to keep parts separated and lubricated.

For more basic advice from the Good Garage Scheme, please click here.

Important: always check the right grade of oil for your car by referring to your owner’s manual.

Friday 1 July 2011

Good Garage Scheme member’s Ladies Day proves a great success

Last Saturday saw Good Garage Scheme member AMK Gatwick run a Ladies Day aimed at demonstrating basic car maintenance to ladies in their area. This is the latest Good Garage Scheme garage to see the benefit of running these events in their communities.

The Ladies Day was run in two sessions which included on-car demonstrations being carried out by technicians Mark and Richard. Among the topics demonstrated were water and oil checks. There was plenty of interaction with lots of questions being asked during the checks.

Later during the session the ladies were shown the procedure for changing a wheel and this resulted in one lady volunteering to take part and fit one herself. The sessions were concluded with a small prize draw and everyone leaving with a goody bag and a certificate of attendance.

Sarah Brown commented: ‘Mum and I had a brilliant time at AMK Ladies Day yesterday, very informative. If you get the opportunity ladies, do go.’

Fiona Buchanan added: ‘Sorry so late a reply but been meaning to write in and say thank you for the very informative and fun morning - I really learnt a lot and it was lovely having a behind the scenes look. Please let me know if you have any more informative mornings!’

The owner of AMK Gatwick, Justine Lawson, has said she intends to run another event in the future. For more information about AMK Gatwick, please click here.