Friday 27 February 2015

Avoid a Bumpy Ride This Spring

Spring is on its way - which can only mean lighter evenings, warmer days and of course the launch of our Good Garage Scheme Spring Check. However, whilst we are keen to ensure your vehicles have survived the winter and are in good shape for spring, there is one thing you will be lucky to avoid - potholes.

Estimated to cause as many as one in ten mechanical failures and costing motorists over £730 million every year, potholes are at the root of much motoring misery.

Although this winter has been relatively mild, the condition of the roads appears to have worsened - and a bumpy journey is an all-too-frequent occurrence.

How are potholes created?
Potholes occur when the asphalt road surface becomes brittle and starts to absorb more rain water, causing cracks to develop. The pressure of car tyres driving over the surface will weaken it and as frost and ice thaw, this deterioration process is sped up, causing chunks of road surface material to become loosened. Once formed, a pothole will generally increase in size as more and more cars drive over the weakened area.

How can potholes damage your vehicle?
Driving over a pothole, or in some cases into and back out of one, can cause damage to a vehicle’s axle and suspension. Potholes are at their most dangerous at night, and in wet weather when the extent of the hole may not be evident, due to it being filled with rain water. 

How can we help you?
Our Spring Check launches on 1st March, which means that by visiting one of our participating member garages you can have your car checked over, to ensure it has not been damaged by the unavoidable winter potholes or cold weather motoring. Your local garage will test your vehicle against a stringent 21-point checklist to ensure that tyres, brakes, power steering and other vital elements are in good working condition, ready for spring motoring.

If you believe your vehicle has been damaged by a particular pothole, there are steps you can take to report the issue, namely:

· Collect evidence – location, timing and photographs

· Report the pothole to your local council or Highways Agency

Presenting your case as if you are trying to help other motorists avoid such damage may help to support your claim.

If you are worried by the impact of potholes on your vehicle, simply ask your local Good Garage Scheme member garage to check.

Monday 23 February 2015

Get Ready for Your MOT Test

An MOT test is required by law to check that a vehicle is roadworthy and safe for the environment. It is due once your car is three years old and then annually.
MOT Logo, Test Centre sign,

According to the Drivers and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) the top three items to fail an MOT are:

1. Headlight Aim

2. Tyre Tread Depth

3. Windscreen wipers

Headlight aim might have been off if you replaced a headlight since your last MOT and it is higher or lower than the other. Check your lights before your test. All lights will be tested so ask a friend or neighbour to help you check your lights are working and replace any if possible beforehand.

mechanic, tyre, tread, depth, checkingTyre tread depth is easy to check with a 20p coin. If you can see the outer rim of the coin when you insert into the tyre grooves, they may need changing. Visit any Good Garage Scheme member garage to check if you are unsure.

Windscreen wipers do a tremendous amount of work and may need changing. This is something you can easily check and replace should they look worn. You can probably tell if they are not clearing the screen as smoothly as possible in bad weather but best to run your hand along to edge to check for cracks or wear.

Other items you can check before your test are seat belts, fluids in the car and bodywork.

Remember, an MOT is not a service. If you are looking to buy a car that has recently passed an MOT, ensure you also check when it was last serviced.

For more information about MOTs visit

Monday 16 February 2015

Three Time Winners on Way to 5000 Feedbacks

The Good Garage Scheme would like to congratulate member garage Lockwood & Greenwood in Ashton-under-Lyne for once again winning the national prize for top number of feedback received in a year.
Lockwood & Greenwood, Feedback prizes, 2014, team photo at garage
The team at Lockwood & Greenwood celebrate highest number of feedback in 2014.

The garage received over 900 customer feedbacks in 2014 with a phenomenal star rating of over 98% with over 99% of their customers ready to recommend them to a friend or use them again. Lockwood & Greenwood have also picked up the regional prize for Top Feedback in 2014 as well.

Bryan Langton who runs the service reception ensures every customer receives a feedback card and lets them know how important their response is to the garage's membership of the Good Garage Scheme. He also ensures they receive a thank you in the post for using the garage for the service, repair or MOT. The email addresses collected with the feedback helps the garage remind their customers when the MOT or service is due on the vehicle.

Lockwood & Greenwood are currently on 4820 feedbacks and well on the way to reaching the next milestone of 5000, which will make them the second Good Garage Scheme member to do so. We look forward to celebrating later this year.

Congratulations to all of our Regional Winners for Top Feedback in 2014:

R M Services in Hathern, Loughborough
Surecar in Bristol
G & J Starkey in Stourbridge
Budget Autocentre in Stirling
Car Care of Kensington in London

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Motorist Wins in Feedback Prizedraw

Good Garage Scheme, Feedback prize, winner, Kate Lawlor, Mimram Service Centre
Kate Lawlor receives £200 cheque at Mimram Service Centre
Lucky motorist Kate Lawlor has won £200 towards the cost of her recent car service at Good Garage
Scheme member garage, Mimram Service Centre in Hertford.

Kate’s feedback card was picked at random from over 25,000 customer satisfaction surveys submitted by member garages throughout the UK since September 2014.

Good Garage Scheme customers are encouraged to provide their feedback to help drivers visiting make an informed decision when choosing a local garage to service or repair their vehicle.

Ms Lawlor awarded Mimram Service Centre five stars for the helpfulness and attitude of the staff and the quality of their contact about the work being carried out on her car. Five stars were also awarded for their standard of work and her overall satisfaction with the Good Garage Scheme member.

Kate Lawlor commented: “I would definitely recommend John and his team at the Mimram Service Centre. Customer service is exceptional and before any work is commenced, it is always discussed with you before proceeding. I’m always satisfied with the work carried out and will only use this garage in Hertford.”

John Souidhou, owner of Mimram Service Centre, added: “We are delighted that one of our valued customers has won the Good Garage Scheme’s feedback prize and were equally pleased to have received such a glowing review. This positive report shows the importance that everyone at Mimram Service Centre places on providing our customers with an excellent service, as well as the hard work and dedication that’s needed to make this happen.”

The Good Garage Scheme awards two lucky motorists each year with a prize for filling in a feedback card after a service or repair. For your chance to Win Back the Cost of Your Service*, simply leave feedback on your next service or repair at a Good Garage Scheme member garage.

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.