Wednesday 29 August 2012

Lollipop Lady Language Lesson

September is synonymous with "Back to School" and lollipop ladies (and lollipop men) will be donning their high visibility caps and coats to help children safely cross the roads. But how many drivers understand the signals they use?

Here's a Back to School test courtesy of the Good Garage Scheme.  

What are the lollipop ladies below telling drivers with their signs and hand signals?


1. Not ready to cross pedestrians
2. Ready to cross pedestrians, vehicles must be prepared to stop
3. Barrier to stop pedestrians crossing
4. Vehicles must stop

How did you do?

If you weren't aware of the lollipop signals, the Good Garage Scheme hopes that you will now be well prepared when they begin signalling to drivers again next week.

Please remember to use caution when driving in school zones and keep your eyes open for all pedestrians during school drop-off and pickup hours.

For more information about signals by authorised persons, visit

Friday 24 August 2012

Registration Plate Change Time

Today's Good Garage Scheme blog is courtesy of IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists)

new car registration, handing keys over to new owner  Six months have already passed and it’s that time of the year again. The release of the number plates see 62 make its way on to the number plates of new cars in the United Kingdom. But before you’re taken in by the excitement of a new car, prepare yourself before you walk into that car dealership.
The prospect of a shiny new car is exciting. But don’t make a hasty decision. With advances in the latest road safety technology and the latest technical features in new cars, try to get the most out of your money.
Firstly, decide on the type of car you need. Do you need to ferry the children around and make the school run? Or do you want a car with enough luggage space for the numerous long trips away you have planned. It may be your car is simply a means to get from A to B. Just make sure your choice fits the purpose.
While we’re often led by the way the car looks, it’s important to be clear on your budget from the start. Make sure you know how much you are able to spend. The price displayed often isn’t the total price of the car. There are other costs to factor in such as insurance cost and other running costs too.
Don’t forget to check for hidden extras. There’s nothing worse than to finalise the details of the car and then learn that there are additional charges for number plates and delivery.
It’s often the question on everyone’s mind. Petrol or diesel? Check out the running costs before you buy. Diesel cars offer better fuel economy but are more expensive. It’s important to factor in car depreciation. Think about how much the car will decrease in value in its first three years and how this will affect the price of the car if sold second-hand. VED is related to carbon emissions, so the lower the emissions, the better.
Once you know your budget, work out how you will be financing
Photo courtesy of IAM
 the car. Whether you’ll be taking out a loan, asking family and
friends or using your savings, it’s important to plan a budget.
Don’t be swayed by the prospect of a new car, stick to your budget.

Most importantly, test drive it. There’s no other way of knowing if you’ll like it without driving it. Remember, if you’re going to spending a long time in it commuting, you need to make sure it’s what you want.

For more information about IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), visit



Thursday 16 August 2012

Star of the small screen wins social media popularity vote

Good Garage Scheme's Miles Better characterMiles Better, better known as the friendly, animated character from the Good Garage Scheme’s TV campaigns has taken the social network by storm.
With a rapidly growing social media following, Miles is already attracting many Facebook fans and has built a strong Twitter profile with nearly 1000 people following his every tweet, giving valuable words of advice.  Miles has become increasingly popular for posting top tips for car drivers, advising them how to keep their vehicles performing well whatever the driving conditions.
Miles Better was born out of a nationwide television advertising campaign across the Sky network and DAVE TV for which he was the face of the Good Garage Scheme, explaining to motorists why they should use an independent garage for their servicing needs. He was given his name after the Good Garage Scheme asked members of the public to take part in a naming competition through social networking websites.
The Good Garage Scheme already has a widespread social media presence itself, with over 4,500 Twitter followers and over 1,000 Facebook likes.
Anndi Sheppard, Marketing Manager for the Good Garage Scheme said: “The growth and development of Miles Better has been phenomenal since we introduced him to our brand. He has become an instantly recognisable friendly figure for motorists that represents the quality service that drivers can expect from independent garages. His driving tips and advice have made him a really popular figure on social networking websites and he is a great addition to the Good Garage Scheme team.”
Miles Better can be followed on Twitter at @MilesBetter_GGS and liked on Facebook via

If you missed Miles Better, you can catch him again on SKY in September or have a look at the ad here.

Thursday 9 August 2012

Are We There Yet?

"Are we there yet?"

 We all know how hard it is to keep children entertained in the car and with the school holidays upon us, the Good Garage Scheme would like to offer some tips to keep your younger passengers happy.

 Oldies but Goodies

  • I Spy with my little eye... most of us have played "I Spy..." and this is still a firm favourite for many families and sure to take up a little time on the journey. 
  • Sing along...why not try something different. If you are travelling to France, play some French music. The children may pick up a few new words.   
  • Number Plate Games...there are many varieties; count the number plates with a particular letter, make a word using the last three letters, see who's quickest to add the numbers

New ideas

  • Alphabet game:  Pack a shopping bag with plastic alphabet letters. Pass the bag around and ask each child to choose a letter without looking. They can then can say a word or country that begins with the letter.
  • Name the capital: Print a page from the internet listing countries down one side and the capital cities down the other. Fold the page in half and take turns guessing the correct capital cities
  • Make up a story: Each person takes a turn to add a sentence to story. If someone can write it down as you go, even better!
  • Audio books...most local libraries have a good selection of books read by fantastic actors. Everyone can listen and you can even have intervals to stop and talk about the story.
  • DVDs..a popular choice these days with the option of a portable DVD player. Make sure everything is charged before you pack.
  • Little Geographers...print a colourful map of the journey with landmarks noted and give a copy to each child. Let them follow along and make their own notes. 

Food and Rest

Pack snacks and drinks in smaller packets using different containers especially for the holiday. This helps with rations and squabbles over quantities.

Plan to take more frequent rest stops and allow for a few extra minutes to play outdoors if possible.

The Good Garage Scheme wishes everyone a happy summer holiday and safe driving.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Good Garage Scheme Advice for Long Car Journeys

Summer is here and most of us are looking forward to a well-earned holiday.
Part of your travels are likely to involve a long car journey and we'd like to share some tips to help avoid any stress and allow you to enjoy your holiday from the moment you drive away.

Prepare for your trip
Is your car or caravan ready for the journey? Giving your vehicle a good check could help avoid an unnecessary breakdown. It is essential to check the following items, but if you are unsure, any Good Garage Scheme member garage would be happy to help you.

  • Tyre pressure  -  You are likely to carry more passengers and luggage than normal.
  • Tyre tread  -  Worn tyres affect your ability to control the car in wet conditions.
  • Oil and coolant levels
  • Windscreen wipers and lights
  • Spare wheel and first aid kit   
Visit your nearest Good Garage Scheme member offering a Holiday Check.

Pack carefully

Make sure all passengers have enough leg room. Loosely packed items may injure a passenger should you need to brake suddenly.

Child safety
Ensure all children are seated in correct car seats and as comfortably as possible. In 2006 it became illegal for any child under the age of 12, or less than 135cm tall, to travel in a car without a booster seat. If you are unsure about the correct car seats for your children, please read more at .

Stay Alert and Take Breaks
We all want to get to our destination as quickly as possible, but it is best to plan breaks into your journey time to make sure your concentration remains at the level it should be when driving. Take regular breaks and share the driving if possible. Aim for at least a 15 minute break at least every two hours. It will give you and your passengers a chance to stretch your legs.

The Good Garage Scheme would like to wish everyone a safe and happy summer holiday.