Here are some tips from the Good Garage Scheme for driving abroad this summer.
1. Don't assume all road laws are the same. Familiarise yourself with the highway codes in the countries where you will drive. You will be driving on new roads with signs in foreign languages. The more you know beforehand, the more relaxed you will be, especially if you are concentrating on driving on the left.
2. Check if there is any compulsory equipment you need to carry in the car. Some countries require items such as breathalysers, high visibility jackets and warning triangles by law.
3. Make sure you have all required documentation including a check code. The check
code was introduced after the paper licence was no longer required and is valid for 21 days. It allows a hire company to check your
If you need to apply for one, please visit the Gov.UK website link here.
Before you go, ensure your car is in top condition. Visit your local Good Garage Scheme member to have a Holiday Check and ensure your tyres and fluid levels are good to go.
Euro 2016, Wimbledon and the the British Grand Prix are all a distant memory and the weather is finally starting to get us in the mood for Rio.
Your car's engine may be working overtime in the heat and you and your passengers may be a little hot and sticky inside it as well. If you are turning your air conditioning on for the first time or using it more than normal these days and notice a musty smell, it may be a sign to visit your nearest Good Garage Scheme member garage for a Holiday Check.
A 21 point Holiday Check will determine if your air conditioning system is behaving as it should. During winter months, bacteria and mould may have built up in the ducts of the ventilation system and a tell-tale sign is a musty smell in the cabin.
A Good Garage Scheme Holiday Check will also check the condition of the tyres, wiper blades, windscreen and lights as well as the level of the coolant and engine oil.
Why not stop in for peace of mind before the long summer days driving the family begin?
To find your nearest Good Garage Scheme member garage offering a Holiday Check, please visit the website.
IAM RoadSmart has taken the wraps off its latest video advising of the consequences of drivers getting distracted behind the wheel of a car.
The light hearted video stars former McLaren Formula 1 test driver and current Aston Martin GT racer Darren Turner, and shows him at the wheel of a racing simulator trying not to get distracted by a small child, a dog and a ringing mobile phone as he tackles a challenging race circuit.
IAM RoadSmart's video highlights an issue which is proving to be an increasing problem.
The new video aims to highlight a serious issue but present it in an
amusing way, showing that even a professional racing driver could lose
concentration and potentially have a crash.
Darren said: "I
thought it would be easy to ignore a child or a barking dog, and easily
be able to take a phone call and keep driving safely. But this isn't the
case. Losing concentration for even two seconds could lead to pretty
If a professional driver can have their attention diverted, anyone can.
Figures from the Department for Transport in 2013 found 2,995 cases where distraction in the vehicle was listed as a contributory factor to accidents.
The most recent Department of Transport study shows 1.6% of drivers in England and Scotland were observed using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving.
IAM RoadSmart surveyed 1,500 drivers with one in ten admitting to causing a crash because they were distracted.
The survey found the most common distractions were:
Children in the car
Changing the radio channel
Back seat drivers
Mobile phone use
Attractive pedestrians, drivers or passengers
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, added: "No matter how good a driver you are, it is very easy to have your focus shifted away from the job in hand.
"We all have things on our mind, places to go and things to do. It's only human. But it is so important to realise driving is a full-time task and not one to be combined with other things.
Multi-tasking is expected in many walks of life, but it simply doesn¹t apply on the road no one can do two things at once if one of them is driving.
Book an Advanced Driving Course with a discount and chance to win simulator time at Base Performance Simulators.
To book an Advanced Driving Course, normally £149, with the 10% discount call 0300 303 1134 quoting reference RACE10.
The 10% discount applies to IAM RoadSmart's Advanced Driver Course only booked by 31 August by phone.
All those booking on this course during this period will be entered into a free prize draw to win one hour of simulator time for themselves and a guest at Base Performance Simulators in Banbury. Date of session is subject to availability.
IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK¹s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart¹s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com
The Good Garage Scheme would like to thank IAM RoadSmart for this week's guest blog and encourage motorists to find out more about the Advanced Driver Course.
Using the Good Garage Scheme, you'll find local independent garages you can trust. Be assured every garage listed on the Good Garage Scheme performs car servicing to a strict standard and will have your best interests at heart.
Car Servicing Nationwide - What you should expect.
Car Service - What you should expect ?
When organising a car service, it's important that you establish what the service includes.
Some garages will change only your oil filter, others will carry out a full service. A good garage will follow a service checklist and give you a copy of that completed checklist as confirmation of a job well done. Good Garage Scheme members carry out your service incorporating the Industry Standard Service Checklist.
Does your car need a service?
Most modern cars only need a service once a year, but older cars require a service once every six months. The manufacturer's service handbook will set what is best for your car. The type of service you need will also be affected by how you use your car. For example, lots of short journeys where the engine does not have a chance to warm up properly will probably mean more frequent oil and filter changes.
Running faults and repairs
Ask to speak to a mechanic or technician about the problem. Explain the problem in as much detail as you can. If you can, include when the problem occurs, for example only when engine is cold, or after the vehicle has been left standing.
Collecting your car
Ask to view the old replaced parts and check that
• The bill is for the amount agreed, or is not significantly more than any estimate you were given.
• The work and parts are fully itemised (this will be proof of purchase if a problem occurs as a result of the work or replaced part fails)
• The service record book has been stamped with the garage stamp
Rather than replacing parts that are not fully worn out, a good garage will advise you when they will probably need replacing, based on the way you use your car.