Friday 28 March 2014

Will Your Car Pass its Next MoT?

The MoT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.  An MoT is required when a car is three years old (four years in Northern Ireland) and then annually after that.

As we all know the MoT test fee itself is not the most worrying cost but rather the repairs required in order for your vehicle to pass the test.

Research by What Car? shows that nearly 4% of the 285,236 MoT test failures recorded between August 2012 and August 2013 were on cars having their first test and for items that could have been easily avoided.

According to their research the Top 5 reasons for MoT test failures include:

1 Screenwash not topped up
2 Car dirty or full of clutter
3 Reg plate anomaly (incorrect font/spacing, dirty, missing) - If you have a personalised plate, make sure it adheres to DVLA rules
4 Stickers on windscreen blocking driver’s view - Keep any windscreen furniture, including tax disc and parking permits, strictly outside the area of the wipers’ sweep
5 Warning light on dash - Warning lights have been part of the MoT test since 2012 and relate to anything from brakes to tyre pressures and airbag; if you see one, get it checked out

What Car? has launched a handy new online tool designed to help drivers boost their car’s chances of passing its first MoT test. It offers motorists advice on how to get their car through the test and ranks cars by make and model on their likelihood of passing first time. Find your vehicle here.

To find a local trustworthy garage to carry out your next MOT test, visit the Good Garage Scheme's website and enter your postcode or town name.

Friday 21 March 2014

1 in 14 motorists admit to taking 'selfies' while driving research shows that 1 in 14 motorists (7%) admit to having taken a photograph while driving and 4% also use the social media app of the moment - Snapchat - to send photos to friends while at the wheel. The price comparison website also discovered that in a recent 30-day period, 287 tweets were tagged with #drivingselfie and #drivingselfies.

In addition, 36% of motorists admit to using their mobile phone when driving, mainly to make or answer calls (75%) and send or check texts (43%). Yet, despite so many flouting the law, only 8% say they have actually been caught by police using their phone behind the wheel. And, of those who have been caught, 57% admit to continuing to use their phone while driving after their brush with the law.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) director of policy and research Neil Greig said: "Research shows that it is simply not possible to use a mobile phone in any way whilst driving and stay safe no matter how confident you may be in your driving ability. This seems to be another form of peer pressure to take part in the latest trend and the best way to avoid it is to give young people the skills to stand up for themselves and not follow the herd and post silly photographs online. It is also really worrying that many drivers caught using a phone are not learning the lesson. The IAM want to see more traffic police out there catching bad drivers but this survey would seem to suggest not even that will stop those addicted to using their smartphones."                                                                 

The Good Garage Scheme would like to thank the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) for this week's guest post.

Friday 14 March 2014

Over 5000 Services With a Smile

Good Garage Scheme member, RM Services in Hathern, Loughborough is the first member garage to list over 5000 customer feedback posts on the website with a five star rating to boot.  And if that's not enough to shout about, 97.7% of their customers would visit again and recommend them to friends and family.                This is an outstanding achievement for the staff at the garage and the Good Garage Scheme is very proud to congratulate them all. RM Services has been in business since 1975 and has been a member of the Good Garage Scheme since 2007.

Jane Harrison, who runs the reception of the busy garage, ensures all customers are given an opportunity to send in feedback about the service they receive. Roger Coates, owner of RM Services, says that they monitor all feedback and contact customers if they receive less than 5 stars to find out what they could have done better for them for next time.

Well done and congratulations for an outstanding effort!

The Good Garage Scheme is now offering the opportunity for a lucky customer to Win Back the Cost of their service or repair up to £200. Visit to find a garage near you.

Monday 3 March 2014

Spring is in the Air

As the UK emerges from the wettest winter since records began, the Good Garage Scheme is urging motorists to get their cars professionally checked to ensure they are safe and reliable in the months ahead.

Debris such as mud, stones, tree branches and extra water left behind in the wake of past storms has affected the surfaces of roads most noticeably with the increased number and size of potholes. These combined factors can have an adverse effect on a car’s vital components including the steering, suspension, wheels and tyres, as well as wiper blades, lights and heating systems that have been used extensively in the wet and windy weather. The good news for motorists is that the Good Garage Scheme's Spring Check is available at participating member garages from today.

The 21-point Spring Check provides an expert assessment of a vehicle’s condition, covering essential areas including the condition the brakes, tyres, wiper blades, windscreen and lights, as well as the coolant and engine oil.

With the first day of spring on 20th March and the prospect of warmer weather, the Good Garage Scheme is also recommending that motorists think about getting their air conditioning systems checked and cleansed. Harmful bacteria and mould may have built up in the ducts of car ventilation systems during the recent damp conditions, posing a health risk to drivers by circulating unpleasant bugs into the car.

Visit and enter your postcode to find your local Good Garage Scheme workshop offering the Spring Check to ensure your car is in good health as the warm weather returns. Smartphone users can also download a free iPhone or Android app to help them locate a nearby Good Garage Scheme member anywhere in the UK. 

It's like having a friend in the know.