Friday 12 December 2014

What's in your favourite Christmas drink?

Did you know a glass of mulled wine contains the same calories as three pieces of chocolate orange?

Whilst Christmas is all about enjoying yourself, it’s important to keep an eye on what you’re drinking during the festivities so that you don’t regularly exceed the daily unit guidelines and put on any extra Christmas plump in the process.

Here is a handy guide to some popular Christmas drinks to help you stay within the guidelines and stop you from piling on the pounds.

Units: 1.5 units in a 125ml glass
Calories: 89
Equivalent to: 2 pigs in blankets

Units: 0.9 units in a small (50ml) thimble glass (17.5% strength)
Calories: 77
Equivalent to: small slice of chocolate log

Mulled wine
Units: 2.3 units in a 175ml glass
Calories: 134
Equivalent to: three pieces of chocolate orange

Irish cream liqueur (Baileys etc)
Units: 0.9 units in 50ml measure
Calories: 175
Equivalent to: two mini mince pies

Units: One per (25ml) measure of 40% brandy
Calories: 61
Equivalent to: 3 cocktail sausages

If none of the above are your usual tipple and you'd like to know how many units and calories are in other alcoholic drinks, this unit calculator has all the information you need.

Still not sure about alcohol units? Watch this short video from Drinkaware.
 based on an average adult

This blog has been written with permission from Drinkaware, an independent charity working to  reduce alcohol misuse and harm in the UK.

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

If you are drinking alcohol,
please do not drive. 
It is not worth the risk.

Friday 5 December 2014

Lucky Motorist Wins Back the Cost of His Service

Mr Andrew Hendry has won £200 towards the cost of his recent car service at Good Garage Scheme member garage, Budget Auto Centre in Stirling. Mr Hendry’s feedback card was picked at random from over 47,000 customer feedback forms submitted by member garages throughout the UK in the first part of the year. Good Garage Scheme customers are encouraged to provide their feedback about member garages to help drivers visiting make an informed decision when choosing a local garage to service or repair their vehicle.
Mark Marshall of Budget Auto Centre and Martin McNulty of the Good Garage Scheme present Mr Hendry with his cheque.

Mr Hendry lives in the Borders but insists on booking his car in for a service at Budget Auto Centre as he trusts them. He awarded the team at Budget with a maximum five-star rating for work carried out and in his feedback commented: “The repairs were shown and explained, also the parts to be replaced were kept and shown where they were faulty. I have never had that quality of service anywhere else. They repair faults, but don’t create ones for more work – give them six stars!”

The Good Garage Scheme will award draw its next winner on Monday, 22nd December in time for Christmas. If you have visited a Good Garage Scheme member garage recently for a car service, car repair or MOT, ensure you have filled in a feedback form with comments for your chance to Win Back the Cost of Your Service! If you don't have a postable feedback card, please add your feedback online here or via the free Good Garage Scheme app.

Please visit and enter your postcode to find your local Good Garage Scheme workshop and view customer feedback. 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.

Monday 1 December 2014

How to drive safely in foggy conditions

Outbreaks of mist and fog are a common occurrence during the British wintertime, but they can make driving conditions very challenging.  Reduced visibility causes hazardous conditions and nervous drivers can compound the problem.  Here is some advice to help you stay safe when travelling in foggy conditions:

Use your lights wisely

fog, road, winter
When driving in misty or foggy conditions you should use dipped headlights – not full beam as this will impair your visibility further.  You should only switch on your fog lights if visibility is less than 100 metres and remember to switch them back off again once visibility improves.  Drive at a speed you can comfortably stop at, given how far you can see.  If visibility is really poor you can wind down your windows at junctions to enable you to listen for traffic that you might not be able to see. 

Keep your windows clear

Damp, foggy conditions can cause your car windows to mist up, which can further reduce your visibility.  Use your wipers, heater and air conditioning to clear the screens before you drive off.  Keeping your windows and wing mirrors clean means they will be less likely to mist up, so this is one good reason to clean your car regularly!
You’ll also find that fog causes moisture to sit on the windscreen so you will need to clear this off with the wipers at regular intervals.  If the fog is freezing don’t use your windscreen washers unless they have non-freezing washer fluid in or your screen will ice over. 

mechanic checking tyre tread, winter checkBe prepared

When driving in the fog it is best to assume a steady pace as this will ensure you can slow down gradually, rather than suddenly which could cause the car behind you to run into you.  Fog patches will be of varying densities so you need to be prepared to slow down if the situation appears to be getting worse.  Equally, you should increase your speed when conditions improve, but only when the road has cleared significantly and it is safe to do so.

Keep your eyes peeled

Extra caution needs to be taken when driving in foggy conditions as pedestrians and cyclists may be extremely difficult to see.  The best course of action is to slow down, particularly in urban areas, to ensure you have time to stop.

Exercise caution on the Motorway

The movement of vehicles on busy roads such as motorways can temporarily cause the fog to clear, or at least look like it is clearing.  The driver at the front of the queue, however, may be faced with dense fog, so don’t be in a rush to overtake as you may find conditions are much worse further up the road.

Be seen when stopping

If you do have to stop, perhaps to wait for help to arrive, make sure you and your car are visible to other road users.  Put the car lights on, using hazards and display a red triangle if you break down on roads other than the motorways.  Wear a high visibility jacket as it will enable you to be seen by other motorists.
We hope the weather won’t be too harsh this winter but by reading our tips you can be prepared and safe whatever the driving conditions.  If you are worried about how your car will cope in the winter you can use our website to find a reliable garage in your area and book in for a Winter Check.