Friday 30 November 2012

Female-friendly garage recruits female apprentice

MECA Car Services, a Good Garage Scheme member based in Exeter, Devon, have recruited a new apprentice, helping support their position as a female-friendly garage in their area of the south-west of England. 
Penny Brown with Jennifer Riach, owner of Meca Car Services  (photo - Meca Car Services)

Penny Brown, new apprentice and mum of three, was keen to combine her interest in the motor industry with her wish to develop new skills after time spent raising her young children. Thanks to MECA Car Services, Penny is now developing her skills by both college training and practical experience in the workshop. 

In what is still a male-dominated occupation, Penny is keen to help disprove outdated stereotypes, advising: "If anyone wants to do something like this they should definitely go for it because I'm really enjoying it."

Jennifer Riach, the owner at MECA Car Services, on making her selection during her recruitment of a new apprentice, said of Penny: 

“She is slightly older than the other candidates, and because she has done the family thing first she has that life experience, and her more mature approach to the job has convinced me my decision was the right one.”

She added: "It's heartbreaking when you hear about apprentices who have signed up to start their training and can't find a placement, so the college is the best place to see who is available.”
The team at Meca Car Services   (photo - Meca Car Services)

Generous support had been given through the process by both the National Apprenticeship Service and Exeter College and Jennifer hopes other businesses follow suit in helping young people into work.

To read the full article, from the Exeter Express and Echo, please see here.

Monday 26 November 2012

More Rain Predicted...Wet Weather Driving Advice from the Good Garage Scheme

Most of us have seen some heavy rain over the past few days and the weather reports warn of more to come with flood warnings in various regions. If you do need to drive, please check the weather first and take extra care.

Here are some wet weather driving tips from the Good Garage Scheme :

Slow down
One of the fundamental parts of conquering the wet roads is to reduce the speed at which you travel. The three main controls of steering, braking and accelerating are all less effective under wet conditions so slowing down and gentle use of these controls will enable you to manage the car more steadily.

Increase your following distance
The usual 2-second rule should at least be doubled in wet conditions. Brakes are not as responsive in the rain; therefore this will allow you more time to think and react and will greatly reduce the chance of a collision.

Be aware of floodwater
Make sure you show great caution to any water that has collected at the side of roads as this can cover up potholes as well as creating further risk of aquaplaning.

On approaching deep water on the road
Don’t panic! When driving through deeper sections of water you should always keep your engine revving, moving at a constant yet slow speed without endangering other drivers or pedestrians.

After passing through deep water it is important to check your brakes, as they will probably be saturated and may not function properly.
If you have driven through deep water and your car is not performing well, contact your nearest Good Garage Scheme member and ask a professional to check it for you.

Friday 16 November 2012

Emergency? Keep calm and pull over

Drivers need to be alert and ready for anything, whether it is a football rolling into the road, confused animal or emergency services vehicle. The sudden sounds of sirens and the flashing lights in the rear view mirror can cause your heart to race. It’s easy to panic, but the key is to tackle the situation calmly.

If you are not sure of what to do when you see approaching flashing lights, you are not alone. In the latest survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), thirty-five per cent of respondents admitted that they did not know the rules on how to deal with an approaching emergency service vehicle.

According to The Highway Code, "When it comes to Emergency and Incident Support vehicles, drivers should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or Highways Agency Traffic Officer and Incident Support vehicles using flashing amber lights. 

When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road. Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you."

Here's a reminder of what to do when you see an approaching emergency vehicle:
  • Keep calm.
  • Consider the route of the emergency vehicle and take appropriate action to allow it to pass.
  • When moving out of the way, ensure you continue to observe all traffic signs.
  • Don’t pull over on kerbs, verges and pavements. This may endanger pedestrians or other road users.  
  • Avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of a road.
  • Do not endanger yourself.
  • Do not brake harshly on approach to a roundabout or junction as the driver behind may not see what you can.
  • There may be more than one emergency service vehicle that needs to pass.  Take your time to check before moving off safely and indicate your intention to drivers around you.
Download the free Good Garage Scheme app so that you are able to contact a garage you can trust no matter where you are in the UK.

The Good Garage Scheme would like to thank the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) for sharing research for this blog.

Friday 9 November 2012


Over the past eight years, November has become a time when men (or "mo bros") cultivate a moustache to raise awareness of men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer.

Miles Better would like to participate this year and has set up a donation page for the Prostate Cancer UK Charity. For more information about the charity, please visit - we'll be updating the progress of  his moustache on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

Help him decide which style to grow. He'd like to encourage fellow Good Garage Scheme members to send their own photos to post on the Good Garage Scheme Facebook page as well.

This is a great opportunity for all Good Garage Scheme members and their customers to give generously to this worthy cause.

To support Miles Better, please visit
Here are some of the moustaches Miles is thinking of growing. Help him decide by choosing your favourite.
Mo 1

Mo 2

Mo 3

Friday 2 November 2012

A Bit of James Bond Fun from Good Garage Scheme

Without giving too much away for those who have not yet seen the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, the famous Aston Martin DB5 makes a welcome appearance. According to those in the know, this is its sixth appearance in a Bond film.

The Good Garage Scheme thought we could have some fun this week and list a few of the famous Bond cars.

Aston Martin DB5: appeared in Goldfinger, Skyfall and On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Aston Martin DBS V12Casino Royale
Sunbeam AlpineDr No
Toyota GT 2000: You Only Live Twice
Chevrolet Impala Convertible: Live and Let Die
BMW Z8: The World is Not Enough
Citroen 2CV: For Your Eyes Only

The great news for anyone who owns one of the makes above is that you can find a Good Garage Scheme member that can service it near you. Simply visit and use the filter to choose the make after entering your town or postcode.

It's like having a friend in the know!

Give a shout for your favourite Bond cars on Facebook and Twitter now.