Friday, 30 August 2013

Back to School - Drivers Take Care

Many schools will start their new academic year again after this week and the lighter traffic that motorists have enjoyed over the summer will change dramatically. In fact, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM),the school run brings with it approximately 20 per cent more rush hour traffic.

The Good Garage Scheme would like to remind all drivers to plan for extra journey times from Monday and take extra care when driving near schools.

Children can be easily excited and distracted when crossing roads and it is advisable to show extra attention, especially during drop-off and pick-up times of the day.

In some places, there may be a flashing amber signal below the “School” warning sign which tells you that there may be children crossing the road ahead. Drive very slowly until you are clear of the area.
According to the Highway Code, you MUST stop when a school crossing patrol shows a “Stop for children" sign.
When passing a stationary bus showing a ‘School Bus’ sign, please drive carefully as children may be getting on or off.

Is your car ready for school?
Why not have your car checked before the school year begins to ensure it is in tip-top shape and less likely to break down and make the family late for school and work?
Visit and find a local garage you can trust.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Don't suffer from Bank Holiday Blues

If you plan to drive this bank holiday weekend, the Good Garage Scheme recommends you carry out a few simple safety checks on your vehicle before setting off.

  • Make sure you have enough fuel
  • Check the oil
  • Check your lights
  • Check your coolant level 
  • Check your windscreen wash and refill if necessary
  • Make sure your windscreen is clean and clear
  • Check your tyres

If you are in doubt about how to check any of the above, or if something seems worryingly low, simply contact your local Good Garage Scheme member garage and ask if they could check it for you.

As well as making all of the necessary checks, don't forget to download the free Good Garage Scheme app before you set off. If you have any motoring worries while you are travelling or visiting family and friends away from home, you can locate a reliable garage using the app no matter where you are.

Over 13,500 motorists have already downloaded the app and The Sunday Times listed it as one of the Top 500 Apps in their App List two years in a row.

Here are some of the comments received from those who have already downloaded the App:

"Can't believe it's free!"

"A genuinely useful app, simple to use and the kind of app that gets you out of a hole when you need it."

"Very helpful"

"It’s a great application I found especially when you are on the move and you don’t know where you can get your car fixed. It’s so easy to use. I don’t remember if I have found something as useful as this recently."

‘This is a very useful App especially when you’re on the road a lot, off on holiday around the UK or just on the move’

Friday, 16 August 2013

Warning to motorists about new fraud tactic

A new car insurance scam tactic, dubbed "flash for cash" has been devised by organised gangs of criminals, again targeting innocent motorists.

The gangs lie in wait near exits for fuel stations, shops and car parks. The innocent motorist is given the impression they are being offered a way back on to the main road, only for the driver of the other vehicle to accelerate into the side of it and claim no such signal was given, which is very difficult to prove in a court of law. This shifts the blame to the victim for seemingly cutting off the other motorist's right of way.

The Asset Protection Unit (APU), a specialist anti-fraud firm that work closely with the police and insurance companies warned those most at risk are the more vulnerable such as mothers on the school run and elderly motorists. Others targeted have included those driving new, expensive vehicles.

The Highway Code says: "Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users. Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully."

Unfortunately, what was once seen as a rare, friendly gesture,  is now being abused by criminals and will now be viewed with scepticism and caution.

The Metropolitan Police's Traffic Command Detective Inspector David Hindmarsh told Sky News: "Organised criminal groups can set up claim management companies with the sole purpose of defrauding the industry. Insurance costs would then be claimed for recovery of the damaged vehicle, storage while awaiting repairs and car rental during the period. The advice would be if someone flashes you, make sure they are either stopped or don't risk pulling out. Always make sure it is safe to move before you do so."

Monday, 12 August 2013

Well Done Cat

Derby College has officially recognised the hard work and dedication of students and staff at the 10th annual Peak Awards event held at The Roundhouse vocational campus.
Catherine receives her award from Graham Schumacher of Rolls-Royce plc.  Photo courtesy of Derby College
More than 70 students and staff were presented with awards at the glittering ceremony which was organised as the climax of the annual College’s festival to showcase the talents of students across all campuses.

Among the winners was motor vehicle apprentice Catherine Treanor (19) from Duffield who won the Manufacturing and Engineering Apprenticeship award in recognition of her achievements and her work to raise the profile of the industry amongst young women.
Catherine at work at Station Garage Belper

Catherine has done presentations to school pupils and as part of International Women’s Day and has also recently returned from Germany where she spent two weeks working for a VQ Audi dealership in Gera as part of a work exchange programme involving Derby College and other European learning providers. Catherine, who is an apprentice at Good Garage Scheme member garage, Station Garage in Belper – attending Derby College on day release – was chosen for the exchange because of her work ethic and willingness to learn German.

She said: “It was an amazing experience and has definitely given me a taste for working abroad.

I was really honoured to be chosen for this exchange and took this opportunity very seriously – working hard to learn as much German as I could and getting the most out of the whole experience.”

Catherine has continued to educate women about how to look after their cars during a recent Ladies' Evening at Station Garage Belper where over 40 ladies attended and were shown how to check the oil and what is not included during an MOT inspection.

The Good Garage Scheme would like to thank Derby College for permission to post this blog.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Don't Let Car Trouble Ruin Your Holiday

The Good Garage Scheme would like to thank the Institute of Advance Motoring (IAM) for sending along the following advice for drivers setting off on a summer holiday.
This year, as you prepare to drive to the airport – as well as making the usual checks for your passport, flight tickets and travel insurance, spare some time to check your vehicle is ready for the journey too. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way.

You should do a thorough check of your vehicle before the big day, including fluid levels, tyres, mirrors and windows – you’ll be on a tight schedule on the day, so the last thing you need is a breakdown.

Make sure you check your luggage packed into the boot of your vehicle. If you do need to put some belongings on the back seats, make sure they do not obstruct your view out of the rear window and secure them in place before setting off.

Leave in plenty of time – if you feel rushed on your way to the airport then you are likely to make silly mistakes or even creep over the speed limit.

Plan your route to the airport the day before, and check travel reports for any disruption or road closures before you set off.

Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before you travel to ensure you’re alert from the very beginning of the journey. And if you have to travel a good distance to get to the airport, leave enough time to schedule in a rest stop to fight the onset of fatigue.

When parking up at the airport, try to find an area which is not too crowded – the fewer cars around you, the less chance there is of someone clipping your vehicle with their luggage. Nobody wants to return from a relaxing holiday to a damaged vehicle.

The last thing you need on the day you start your holiday is unwanted stress from a lack of preparation and a shortage of time. Preparing yourself and your vehicle before the big day and setting off nice and early will remove the obstacles to you taking full advantage of Duty Free.

Enjoy your holiday.