Finding quality used vehicle parts is difficult?

Finding quality used vehicle parts can be difficult for many reasons.

Here are a few points which may help you understand the process  before you are able to lay your hands on ‘that part’ from a  Dismantler’s yard.

  1. Vehicles which are suitable for recycling are generally sourced from Insurance companies who write them off following accidental damage, and in some cases older vehicles which don’t pass their NCT are sold to Dismantlers by individuals and Motor Dealers for the purpose of recycling.
  2. When a vehicle is bought by a Dismantler it may have crash damage on a portion of it therefore the area of the vehicle which is damaged does not yield up any parts for resale.
  3. The vehicle may have had flood-water damage and the Dismantler may not know whether the engine is working or not.
  4. The dismantler decides depending on the age of the vehicle and his knowledge of the business which parts to remove.
  5. The saleable parts are then shelved awaiting a call from customers who need them.
  6. It costs money in terms of time to remove parts, so the Dismantler only removes  parts which sell quickly.
  7. The remaining shell of the vehicle is left whole in the yard for a period of time in the hope that some parts might be sold from it, without going to  the expense of removing slow moving parts, which may not sell.
  8. The Dismantler decides when the time is right to bale up the shell and sell it for smelting all over again for new steel.

This is complex business and in general the customer has to do the leg work in searching for parts which may include:

  1. Looking at Websites where Dismantlers have uploaded the cars which are being dismantled by them. This information is sometimes out of date as the dismantler has to update the site regularly. This is not always doneThe customer must then contact the Dismantler to see if the part is still available, sometimes it is already sold.
  2. Contacting a number of Dismantlers by phone, asking them do they have the particular part which they are looking for? Invariably this leads to another phone call between the parties after the Dismantler has checked his stock for availability.
  3. Emailing directly to Dismantlers websites with a request for the part. This only works if the Dismantler sees and opens the email, but sometimes they do not. Dismantlers will only respond if they in fact have the part, this can be hit and miss.
  4. Using third party Websites who send out alerts to their members for parts needed. You are not guaranteed any answer from this system, as only if some Dismantler responds positively does the information get returned to you.
  5. Calling into Dismantlers yards on spec and asking if they have the part you are looking for. This is very time consuming as you may call to a yard or yards which doesn’t have the part, so you have wasted your time. 

Generally the same parts are being requested for the same Makes and Models from Dismantlers most all of the time. This means popular items are always in short supply!

What to do?

  1. Get as many Dismantlers as possible to see your request  as soon as possible! This will enhance your chances of finding the correct part.
  2. Give the Dismantler good information about what exactly you want, with proper description, engine code  and part numbers where possible.
  3. If you have difficulty in describing the part  send a photograph of the part ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’
  4. Try not to request very small items of low value,Eg. nuts, small rubbers and wear and tear items as it will cost the Dismantler more to find the part than they can charge you for it. They will probably not reply in these cases.
  5. When you get a reply or replies from Dismantlers, contact them right away to buy it,  its ‘first come first served’  in Dismantler yards.
  6. Discuss the age and condition of the car which the part has being salvaged from with the Dismantler. In the case of engines, gearboxes or drive train, if the vehicle had low mileage it is always the best buy.
  7. Agree price, warranty, delivery and  return policy with the seller before agreeing the deal and parting with your money.
  8. Dont waste the Dismantler’s time as they are very busy. Normally 7 out of 10 calls they take daily are for parts they don’t have in stock. can help you!

Having been in the Motor Industry all my life I understand the problems both Customer and Dismantler have in finding parts. So I set up  This system will help you find the parts you require through the use  of modern technology as it ‘connects those who want with those who have’ In essence it takes the hassle out of finding quality used parts in 3 simple steps.

  1. Enter your Registration Number: (the system will get exact details of your car including, Engine code, Car Colour, Make and Model etc.)
  2. Choose your part or parts from the dropdown menu, add a description and photograph if you think it would help the Dismantler to identify the correct part for you
  3. Your request will be sent to all the Dismantlers who work with There is a guaranteed response by email and text within 1 hour.

Dont go to the trouble of calling or emailing Dismantlers on spec: USE  Save yourself Time and Money




Save Time and Money – Use quality recycled parts

Why should you consider using used parts when repairing your car?

The real reason why people consider using ‘Recycled used parts’ is mainly because of the enormous value which you can get if you really know where to look and who to buy from. The average saving between using a new part purchased from a Main dealer and sourcing one in a Dismantler’s yard is about 80 to 85%, depending on what the part is required and where you decide to buy it.

The problem with non trade people using a Dismantler’s, Breaker’s yard to source any part is that they don’t always  know exactly what they are looking for or how to describe it to the ‘Man in the Yard’  and car models change all the time even within the same Registration year.

Here are  few tips which may help you with your search for quality used vehicle parts:

  • Know what you need for your car. Dismantlers don’t like when people call them without their facts. It wastes both your time and their time.
  • Get your mechanic to write down exactly what you require to repair your car, explaining how to describe and discuss it accurately with the ‘Man in the Yard’……….. The vehicle Dismantler.
  • Before you start phoning any of the yards ‘ad hoc’, find an a GOOD Website on-line who can do the searching for you. This will save you a huge amount of time making phone calls looking for parts which may not be in stock in the yards which you choose to call.
  • Try and find a website which has the facility to allow you input your Registration No at the start of the search. . This function will display the accurate Make, Model and Engine Code to the Dismantler who needs this correct information to pick your part/s.
  • Describe exactly what you are looking for in the space provided on the site. The more description you give the more chance you have of locating the correct part, first time every time.
  •  Attach a photograph to the request if possible. A picture speaks a thousand words! This option will be available on good Websites who operate in this space.
  • Wait a while and see who replies to your request. If you get some replies then call them to discuss the Price, condition, and terms of sale.
  • You may find that some Dismantlers will reply with a price already attached, but you should always call them to discuss the terms and conditions of sale, before deciding who to buy from.
  • Always ask the Dismantler to agree that if the part is faulty or incorrect, you can return it and get your money back.
  • If possible try to buy from a Dismantler closest to where you live as it is easier to bring the part back if something goes wrong with it.
  • Dismantlers are very knowledgeable about vehicle parts and they may be able to advise you about some alternative part which could be used.
  • Don’t’ buy any ‘wear and tear items’ from dismantlers E.G brake pads, clutch discs, brake hoses etc. These parts should always be purchased new, either from a Main dealer or spurious from a Motor Factor.
  • If you cannot find your part today…try again tomorrow as Dismantlers stocks are constantly changing.

Buying good quality used vehicle parts  is good for our environment and good for your pocket too. It keeps lots of people gainfully employed in the recycling business and

How is the motor industry in Ireland in 2015

After many years of sales decline there is a lot of good news  around the Motor Industry in Ireland – 2015.

For those who are in the new Car and Van (LCV) business , there has been a marked increase in sales.

  • New car sales were up 33% (19,046) in March compared to (14,297) in March 2014, and up  30% for the first 3 months on the same period last year.
  •  Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV)  up 54 % (2,846) compared to March 2014 (1,852) and are up 59% for the first 3 months compared to 2014.
  • Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) are up this month 5.5% (241) when compared with March 2014 (236) but  are still down -15% year to date. (Source for all stats SIMI)

This is all good news and shows that consumer confidence is getting better, added to the availability of credit…. people are changing their vehicles. 

Petrol and Diesel prices have also decreased over the past year which adds to the disposable income available to consumers. This feelgood factor is allowing people consider changing their vehicle and in turn giving a much needed boost to the Motor industry which has been in survival mode for the last 6/7 years. Nobody can begrudge anybody in the Motor Trade a change in fortune having hung on in business while sometimes losing money since 2008. Hopefully lessons will have been learned by all concerned Banks, Manufactures and Dealers. To stay in business you don’t just need sales, you also need profit. That profit should come from the core trading business and not be overly supplemented by interference from Manufacturers to gain market share at all costs and also from  Banks pushing credit on Dealerships in return for the introduction of customer vehicle finance from them.

Pre 2007 the risk to reward in the Motor Industry was bordering on the ridiculous with few looking at ROI (Return on Investment), opting rather to look at ROS (Return on Sales). When the sales and availability of finance slowed, panic set in and used car prices tumbled which brought many good business down as they had invested in their premises to meet Manufacturer standards and the Banks wanted their money back both for stock and premises.

There are still some problems ahead for the Industry.

  •  There has been no recruitment in the Industry over the past number of years  and there is now an acute shortage of trained personnel.This problem cannot be sorted out overnight as it takes 4 to 5 years to train a technician.
  • Vehicles are now complex pieces of machinery and on going training is needed to keep the technical staff up to speed with the new models which are launched by all manufacturers on a very regular basis.
  • Training is very costly on the dealerships as invariably the training is done away from the dealership which incurs extra expense and lost productivity.
  • With the decrease in  new vehicle sales over the years quality used cars were not being traded in and there will be a scarcity going forward.
  • All  Dealerships depend on getting a good supply of used cars to sell and make a contribution to profit.
  • Traditionally some cars were imported from Britain to fill the void if necessary, but now as the  Sterling/Euro exchange rate is very  poor so there is no real value for either Dealer or Consumer.

While we are seeing a welcome respite for Dealers and the Motor Industry generally we must be acutely aware that it can change very quickly. It is important that the lessons learned are not forgotten and a balanced approach from all stakeholders involved in this very important business sector is adopted by all which also includes the Government to safeguard jobs and businesses into the future

The Industry employs about approximately 42,000 people in Ireland and collects almost €2bn in taxes for the exchequer annually. 

Save Money and be safe!

Driving properly and keeping you car serviced will save you money and keep you safe. Consider the following points. 

  •  Aggressive driving: Increases tyre wear, is harder on your car which in turn will lead to replacing tyres and parts earlier than normal.
  • Driving at speed: Increases tyre wear, uses considerably  more fuel. Keep within the speed limit – it is cheaper and  safer!
  • Weight: Only carry what you need  in your car. Extra weight uses more fuel and is harder on tyres. If you don’t need it, leave it at home.
  • Tyre Pressure: Over inflation  or under inflation increase tyre wear. Tyres are costly so keep your tyres at the correct pressure. Check them approximately every two weeks when they are cold using a good pressure gauge.
  • Wheel Alignment.  Incorrect wheel alignment causes your tyres to wear unevenly. Have the alignment checked regularly. It saves you money.

You could expect a  front-wheel-drive car to do  minimum of 20,000 miles for front tyres, and double that for those on the rear. Keeping them rotated is the best way to get the most out of them.  For better and more even wear, move them diagonally between front and rear: i.e. R.H front to L.H rear. L.H front to R.H. rear. This should normally be done if you get your car serviced by a Garage or a mechanic, but keep an eye out that it is done.

In Ireland the legal minimum limit for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm.

Tyre performance, particularly in wet weather gets worse as the thread wears down and can be very dangerous leading to accidents. The greater the wear on your tyres the worse their grip will be in wet weather.  Thread depth should be checked more frequently once it reaches 3mm.  Tyres should be replaced before their thread depth wears below 2mm.  This is especially important when heading into the autumn and winter months.

Regular self checking your car will save you money as you will spot changes as they appear which in turn allows you to take it to the Garage in time.

There is an abundance of good used parts to be found if you need some replacements. On average a good used part will cost 80% less than a new one.

So when you are told that you need a new part check and see if you can source it from a good Car Breaker it is definitely the cheaper option.

Some parts which you should think about before deciding to buy secondhand:

  1. Brakes: Pads should always be new and you should buy the best quality that you can afford!
  2. Shocks:  Normally you should invest in new shocks. They are important for comfort and  play an essential role in stopping your car properly when braking, however your Mechanic will know if a used shock is worth the effort in fitting it.
  3. Clutch: Changing a clutch can be an expensive repair so  be careful if using a secondhand one, weigh up the costs before deciding.
  4. Bearings: These are parts that wear over time so it is probably not advisable to replace them with something that’s already half worn.
  5. Batteries: New batteries will come with a warranty and will sometimes work out cheaper than buying 2ndhand.
  6. Tyres: Partly worn tyres may appear to be cheaper, but look closely at the amount of tread mm you get for your money. New tyres will have 8 mm of tread. So weigh up how much tread you are getting. Always check if the tyre has any lumps or bumps on it, if so don’t buy.
  7. Air Filter: Is not an expensive part, so always buy new. A clean filter makes you car more fuel efficient, and will save you money on fuel.

Get into the habit of checking your car over every week. It will save you from breaking down and costing you money. A few tips:

Lights: Keep your indicators and headlamps clean and ensure all bulbs are  working properly. Be able to see, and be seen.

Fuel: Stay out of the red, always have a good amount of fuel in your tank. If it runs out while driving,  it may suck up some dirt from the tank which will cause even more trouble and expense for you. Not to mention the hassle.

Windscreen water:  Make sure the windscreen water reservoir is filled up and put some wash aid into it. It is very annoying if you are driving and cannot wash your screen. It can also be dangerous as your view could be severely restricted with a dirty windscreen.

Engine water/Coolant:Visually inspect and top up the reservoir if needed to ensure it is up to the correct mark.  If the coolant runs out you will severely damage your engine, which is a very costly business.

Oil: Check levels when cold and while the car is on level ground. Top up if necessary. Keep an eye out for leaks on the ground underneath the car.

Electrics : If any warning lights appear, check your drivers handbook if you don’t what they mean. If they are red and staying on don’t move!

Windscreen and Wipers: Clean them regularly, it helps you see out. Put some additive into your screen wash solution, it prevents smearing.

Tyres – Make sure to check tyre treads and walls for excessive wear and damage.

In Summary, care for your car and you will reap the rewards financially and from a safety viewpoint.



NCT – Information and news.

At the moment, there is a real problem getting your car tested. It seems that there is  a huge backlog of tests and the NCT centres are not able to cope with demand . A lot of people are complaining about being unable to get appointments in a timely fashion despite NCT Centres’ extended opening hours and working 7 days a week.

The notice on the NCT website today reads:

There is currently heavy demand for NCT appointments on-line. If the only dates available fall beyond the expiry of your current NCT, please contact our booking helpdesk on 01 4135992′.

Some points worth noting:

  • You must not drive a car which does not have a current NCT certificate. Its the law.
  • The Gardaí can impound your car if they stop you while  driving a car with an out of date NCT cert.
  • You can also be given 3 penalty points on your driving licence.

Some tips and Stats which might help you.

  • Prepare properly for the test by having your car serviced .
  • A lot of Garages now do a Pre NCT inspection. This can save you money and time.
  • Check all of the simple items by visual inspection like, all lights working,  tyre thread should be 3 mm min. depth. Seat belts etc.
  • If your car fails the first time the re-inspection costs you an extra €28 on top of the original €55 you paid.
  • Visit the NCT website where there is a lot of useful information which could help you.
  • Stats below from 2014 show just how many cars have to return and be reinspected.

Year   2014


      Fail       Refusal

Fail   Dangerous


Full Tests

609,575  (48.3%)

       648,106   (51.3%)

     4,542 (.4%)



581,977   (91%)

    57,187   (8.9%)

        770  (.1%)


Statistics from full year 2013

               The Main failure items for 2013 were:


   Front Suspension


   Tyre Condition


  Brake Line / Hoses


   Stop Lamps


  Steering Linkage

  • 2009 Reg Vehicles: First time Pass Rate was 73% and Re-test Pass Rate is 96%
  • 2007 Reg Vehicles: First time Pass Rate was 65% and Re-test Pass Rate is 95%
  • 2005 Reg Vehicles: First time Pass Rate is 53% and Re-test Pass Rate is 93%
  • 2003 and older Reg Vehicles: First time Pass Rate is 37% and Re-test Pass Rate is 89%

As  you can see from the above stat., as your vehicle gets older the fail rate increases, so preparing for the test is very important.

  • Car testing is not just another government imposition. It is very important that the vehicle you drive is in a roadworthy condition.
  •  Keeping your car in good condition makes driving safer for you and other road users.
  • A well maintained car is less likely to breakdown or be involved in a crash.
  • This could save your life or avoid injury to yourself or other road users.

For People involved in the Motor trade business, note:

You can now avail of the NCT trade scheme for Main Dealers, Independent Garages and sPSV Industry. This entitles you to:

  • Quick and smoother check in process, no need to produce identification as your details are already saved.
  • A monthly statement of your activity emailed directly to you containing such information as a full breakdown of the number of cars brought for inspection by your company during the month, where the vehicles were inspected, the dates of the inspection, the registration numbers  etc.
  • Receive regular updates regarding important information for them on NCT test criteria and other NCT related data that we feel will be of use to them.
  • The possibility in the future of been informed of cancellations/slots available in the centre nearest to you. 

You can sign up on line at choose the TRADE button. You will need to provide them with a copy of the following documents:

  • VAT Number – The Tax Clearance Certificate
  • TAN Number – For TAN numbers they do not require any documentation
  • Company Registration Number – Company Headed Paper
  • Personal Insurance Policy Number – Personal Car Insurance Policy
  • Motor Insurance Policy Number – Motor Traders Policy

The worry for  all going forward is that as the car parc gets older, as it has been doing for the past few years during the downturn the present NCT set up may not be able to cope with the increased demand for testing. It will be interesting to see how it will be handled by the Department of Transport and Applus+ Car Testing Service Ltd. At the very least in the short term a lenient view should be adopted by the authorities and the Gardaí if a motorist is driving a car which doesn’t have a current NCT cert, provided of course that the motorist can prove that they have applied and are waiting in the queue which seems to be getting longer by the day.

For more about NCT visit









Buying yourself a secondhand/used car?

Buying a second-hand/used car can be a daunting prospect for you where you may encounter a lot of pitfalls during the process. To buy your new set of wheels you will be spending your hard earned cash, so be wise, do your homework before you enter the fray!

Always remember if you are buying a car it may be advisable to have it checked to see if there is still finance owing on it. If you purchase a car which still has finance owing, then you will also inherit it’s debt. The finance company could repossess the car even though you paid your good money for it. For peace of mind you could  use a specialist company to check it out: I would recommend This could save you a lot of money!


Before you decide to buy, plan ahead!

  • If you are a first time buyer be aware that owning a car comes with a lot of on going costs.Get quotes on Motor Insurance and how much it is going to cost for Motor tax.
    • Work out how many miles you will drive and what average MPG the car could achieve.
    • If you are borrowing some of the money, get a quote on how much it will cost to borrow.
    • You can get this information on line. Banks and Finance companies show the rates per thousand, depending on the term of the loan.
    • When the dealer quotes you on finance you will know if he is getting good value on your behalf.

Research prices and integrity of the seller!

  • Do as much research on line about asking prices as possible before you attempt to go shopping for your car. This will save you time and money as you will then only go visit the Dealers/sellers who  fit your budget.
  • Be warned a low price does not guarantee good value. If it seems to good to be true, it normally is! ‘Buyer beware’
    • Always view the car in good daylight or  in a well lit showroom.
    • Check for previous crash damage which would be evident from misaligned panels and different paint shades around the bodywork.
    • Ask the seller a straight question: Was this car damaged? If so how much damage did it have?.Some cars get slight damage over the course of their lifetime which may not necessarily be detrimental to the car, but you need to know.
    • Always check the carpets and the rubbers on the pedals for wear. Too much or too little wear could mean the mileage is not correct.
    • Never look at a car in the rain, because when it dries off there may be some scratches and dents which you will have missed.
    • Ask about the Service History and if you could  view the Service History book.
    • Ask the seller could you have the contact details of the previous owner? Previous owners normally  tell the truth about the car’s history.
    • Inspect all of the relevant documents, Registration, NCT/MOT and the owners handbook.
    • A test drive is very important. If you could bring along a Mechanic or a friend who knows about cars, this would be a real help to  you in choosing a good car.
    • Ask the seller what are the warranty terms, and what it covers? Some warranties exclude lots of items. You need to know what is covered as you could end up with a bill for repair soon after buying. If this happens it will certainly put pressure on your Motoring budget.
    • Don’t be pressured into making a snap decision.
    • Don’t fall for sob stories about why they are selling the car.
    • If you don’t feel completely happy, walk away. There will always another one for sale!

You’ve  decided to buy, so agree a collection or delivery date and time!

  • You are about to collect your car now, but before you hand over your hard earned money and drive away:
    • Check around the car  to ensure that all the agreed presale repairs have been carried out to your satisfaction.
    • Check in the boot to ensure that the tools and spare wheel are there.
    • If the car has alloy wheels, make sure the  adapters for unlocking wheel nuts are there (you cannot remove a wheel without them).
    • Have all the agreements regarding warranties etc. clearly written down by the seller.
    • Get all the paperwork signed by both you and the seller. This is critical if any dispute arises later.
    • Beware of anybody who is not prepared to commit the agreement to paper.

Safe driving and enjoy your new car!

Fuel prices – who gets what!

Oil prices have being dropping recently so now we should all be looking forward to much cheaper fuel for our cars. How does the reduction in the cost of the crude oil transfer to us ordinary people? Crude oil now costs $70 a barrel, but a little over a year ago  stood at $140 per barrel.

Where did this reduction go?

The truth is we don’t get the the % drop in the price at the pumps which we think we should .


This is the breakdown in % terms, on where the money goes!

  • 57% – Duty and tax: Paid directly to the Government . (The monetary amount per litre does not drop as the crude price drops. This is a set amount by Government)
  • 36% – Oil exploration Company: To source and refine the crude oil to make it usable.
  • 4% – Oil Company: To Market and Distribute the fuel.
  • 3% – Retailer: To stock and sell fuel to the end user. (Source:

The price of crude oil is not set to rise anytime soon, nor can we expect to see a huge drop in fuel price at the pumps due to the fact that the tax take is set by Government as a fixed monetary amount per litre and not aligned in % terms to the price of crude oil.The reduction will only come from the portion which is dependant on the crude oil section  which is 43%.

Ever country adds tax and duty to the sale price oil as it is a necessary source of tax revenue to help run the state.

This may vary from country to country depending on where you live, but it is quite standard in most European countries, some take more than Ireland and some take less.

The fact that our VAT rate here in Ireland  is 23% also contributes to the high price of our fuel at the pumps.

Unfortunately tax is a necessary evil, so if the government reduce the take on fuel, have no doubt but they will add it on to something else.



How does car recycling work?

Car recycling is a complex business with many useful spin offs which help us reduce our carbon footprint and  makes our environment a much cleaner place. It also provides many sustainable  jobs in the process.

How does car recycling work?

  • When a vehicle is scrapped for recycling, it must be taken away by an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). All these facilities are licensed by the Government.
  • All such facilities depollute the car by removing all oils, fuels, anti freeze, brake fluids, air conditioning gases and any other environmentally harmful contaminants.
  • All of these contaminants are then disposed of in an environmentally friendly way  by the ATF.
  • The car is then stripped of the good parts which in the main are mechanical, (engine, gearbox,  suspensions etc.). These parts are labelled and shelved awaiting resale.
  • The body of the car is mostly left in tact until a part is needed to be removed for sale as space is always at a premium and it costs money to remove parts.
  • The operator constantly monitors the amount of unsold parts which have been in stock for quite a while.
  • The operator makes constant decisions about what stock to keep and what to put into the next phase of the recycling process.
  • Any parts which are not going to be retailed for repairing cars are separated into different bins, (metals, alloy, copper, plastics,batteries etc).
  • The panels and chassis of the cars are chopped up into small pieces or in some cases squashed into a small size for ease of transportation.
  • All this material is then sold  on to individual buyers who recycle it  and sell  for use all over again.

On average 84% of a vehicle can be recycled, and whilst re-use of the parts for repair is the first option for Dismantlers, they are doing a very impressive job in the recycling process.

One person’s junk is another person’s treasure’

To learn more about recycling visit:

Winter is here, make sure you are safe while driving.

There are many reasons why accidents occur, and most can be avoided. Below are some points which may keep YOU from having an accident.

  • Leaves falling  on the roads at this time of year can make stopping your car very dangerous.
  • You should always keep an eye on the outside temperature (most cars have a readout on the dashboard). If the temperature shows + 3c then the road might very well be icy.
  • Temperatures can change very rapidly while driving from one place to another and consequently the road conditions can change to a dangerous state in a matter of  minutes.
  • Keep your distance from the car ahead of you. In winter conditions many more  accidents occur  by cars slamming in to the vehicle in front while trying to stop.
  • Dark and wet conditions make us want to hurry home, but slow down and get home safely.

Prepare your car  for the winter conditions.

  • Your car tyres should have a reasonable depth of tread. The legal tyre tread limit is 1.6mm, (in Ireland). It would be more preferable to have at least 3 to 4 mm when heading in to the winter period as the better the tread on your tyre the better your car will stop when braking.
  • Tyres should have  tread evenly over each tyre otherwise they are not legal, and will not allow you stop your car safely.
  • Make sure the wheel alignment/tracking is checked regularly  as this will ensure even tyre ware and longer life.
  • Have your brakes checked to ensure the car’s braking system is braking evenly between all  the wheels.
  • Check all your lights are correctly working as you may be doing a lot more  night time driving. Keep them clean to be seen!

Don’t be caught napping during those cold dark winter days – be prepared!

  • Check that your battery is good enough to give you that extra power needed to start your car during those cold days ahead.
  • Have all the engine hoses and belts checked for cracking and leaks as the frosty conditions can cause serious damage to your engine if the coolant leaks out and your engine overheats.
  • Ensure the engine coolant  is at the correct level. If your car has a cooling system which uses antifreeze, make sure the correct amount is in the system.
  • Check and replace wiper rubbers if necessary. You need a clean windscreen and good visibility during the these dark days to stay safe.
  • Put some antifreeze solution into your windscreen washer reservoir and always keep it topped up. You use it a lot more due to the mucky roads in winter.
  • Try and keep your fuel tank as full as possible at all times, you never know when you might be stuck in bad weather and might not be able to get fuel when needed.

Winter driving is less fun and more dangerous than summer driving, so be prepared with your car and take a little more time to get there safely.


Should people repairing cars be properly licensed by the Government? 

In Britain the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is calling on Government to license the automotive retail sector, as it releases new consumer research that shows an underlying ignorance about the qualifications required for anyone to work on a motor vehicle.

  • 71% of Motorists surveyed believed that anyone working on a car commercially, should be licensed.
  • 80% of today’s consumers choose a garage because of it’s convenient location without ever questioning the professional abilities of those who work there.
  • Only 10% of consumers actively check whether car mechanics are properly qualified to carry out the work on their car before putting it into the garage.
  • There is no Government licencing Authority which recognizes professional qualifications held by Qualified Mechanics.
  • Anyone can work as a Mechanic in the Motor industry without any qualification.
  • The industry is totally unregulated by the Government when it comes to Mechanic’s qualifications.

IMI says ‘UK consumers are completely unaware of how vulnerable they are. They believe the Government is taking care of their safety and their rights, but they have a level of trust in their service provider, which may be entirely groundless’.

This is a serious cause for concern as data from Brake, the road safety charity, reported that over 3,000 crashes in Britain were caused by vehicle defects as a result of inadequate maintenance in 2011.

All vehicles are very complex machines and need a high level of skill and training to properly carry out maintenance in a safe and efficient manner.

The IMI have said “The template for licensing already exists, with IMI Accreditation and our Professional Register, which is  already in place, so there is no excuse for the Government to delay’.

IMI suggest that ‘148,000 mechanic’s  skills and current competence cannot be verified’. It is vital that this issue is addressed as quickly as possible.” (source IMI report)

With 90% of the trade in favour of licensing, the IMI is seeking meetings with the leaders of all the main political parties ahead of the General Election in order to push forward the case for licensing.

The above statistics were drawn from research conducted through Vital Research & Statistics to 2,000 adults with a driving license – September 2014 and by BMG Research** to 600 adults in July 2014.