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In Town Automotive Featured In Professional Motor Mechanic

In Town Automotive are happy to announce that we have recently been featured in Professional Motor Mechanic Magazine.

In the article our Managing Director Terry Dorney explains the company’s journey from small start up garage into thriving technical innovators with the development of our Garage Management System, TechMan.

Developed in house, TechMan has been built by garage business owners for garage business owners, providing a cost effective solution for simplifying management procedures, streamlining the process of vehicle health checks, SMS / Email Communication, Workshop performance monitoring and much more.

The future for In Town Automotive is looking bright, not only for the garage but our many other businesses,

To read the article from Professional Motor Mechanic click here.

Old Cars: Are They Worth The Repairs?

This is a touchy subject for many car owners…

Maybe it was your first car, back when you were a spritely 17-year-old. Maybe it was your first family vehicle when your children came along. Maybe you’ve spent so much on repairs for it over the last few years that getting rid of it seems an impossible and backwards task. Knowing what to do with your car when it gets old, fails MOTs and causes more hassle than you afford, is hard.

It’s easy to become emotionally attached to a vehicle, but it’s also easy to become infuriated and nervous about your vehicle. On one hand, you may love it, and not want to see it become obsolete, but on the other hand, the huge expense of repairs and your lack of mobility in it’s time of failure, make it a huge burden. Each year when the MOT comes around, you cross your fingers and pray to the high heavens than it will pass through with no issues, but each year, your wish is not granted; in fact, it invariably gets worse.

As cars get older, repairs often become replacements, and finding older parts that may have gone out of manufacture is not too hard, but their limited numbers push up the price and make it uneconomical. How often have you heard people say ‘it’s not worth fixing’, well, it’s true. Say your car, which may be chock-full of sentimental memories, is only worth £300 to a buyer, and the failed MOT signals £400 worth of repairs are needed, what do you do?

Car repairs need consistency

In the meantime, while your car is not yet old, you should take preventative steps to offset the effects of old age. Much like people, we must take good care of ourselves to last longer. For cars, one thing you can do is find a caring and trustworthy garage, such as In Town

Automotive. We have been looking after cars, new, used and old, for several years and have built up a great reputation in that time. We know the science of car repairs and our team are well versed in the art. Going to a good garage is only half of it, the other half is going to the same garage every time, and giving the technicians a chance to learn your car and understand how it should run. This is why we have an incredible amount of returning customers, most of whom know that a good garage can increase the lifespan of their vehicle.

Old car repairs = Old car issues

Older cars are likely to suffer long term, serious issues, such as corrosion, steering rack wear, dangerous leaks, ABS braking repairs, catalytic converter faults and serious engine malfunctions. And, with old cars, it’s not only the issues they currently face, but the impending ones too, like tyre wear, brake pads etc.

For many older car owners who are caught in the issue of whether to keep or scrap their faulty vehicle, the life that they’ve shared together is likely to be a deciding factor. Those with fond memories will find it harder to see it scrapped, but once the MOT test is failed and the decision taken not to get it repaired, it will be almost impossible to sell. Quite often, having the cash ready and available to plug up a sinking ship is the deciding factor, and for most, a bad investment is not one that they follow.

Admit defeat, wave goodbye

So, when you admit defeat and concede that the old car is beyond repair, what can you do? Well, you get it scrapped, that’s what you do. Unless your car is particularly valuable as spares and repairs, perhaps as a collector’s edition, it is likely to be crushed and melted for materials. There are businesses out there who will pay you for you vehicle,  and will even collect it from the garage where it failed its MOT test, and do the dirty work for you. You might only get £50, but at that point, many older car owners are relieved to be done with a huge financial burden.


Want to build a long term relationship with a trustworthy garage? Call us today on 01604 666700

car repairs petrol brakes

Car Repairs: Up, Down, Stop!

We’ve found three great UK stories for you that look at car repairs, car brakes, petrol prices and in-car technology. Enjoy!

Up

Remember earlier this year when petrol prices dipped under £1? It was a far cry from back in 2012, when the average price of a litre of petrol was £1.35 and diesel was £1.42. High fuel costs have had a considerable knock-on effect over the last few years, in that people have been forced to drop their annual mileage. Now, a drop in fuel prices means that mileage is back up, people have a bit more disposable income, and we can engage in a bit more consumer spending, which is beneficial to our economy.

Sadly, the same can’t be said of national average prices for car repairs, maintenance costs and insurance premiums. Over the last five years, national costs for car repairs have gone up by 10% on average, and 38% in the last decade. It’s not just car repairs that have risen, in fact, the price of car insurance has gone up, the price of new cars has gone up and the living wage has gone up.

If you want to keep up the quality of car repairs and maintain a consistency for your car in a world of ups and downs, call In Town Automotive on 01604 666700.

Down

It’s not all rising fees and costs, as this next story will explain. It is becoming widely known that cars with ‘smart’ features offer more safety, more security, automated parking, rear view mirror cameras, crash-avoidance systems and stop-start engines. These are just a few of the innovations will you find in a smart car, and the knock on effect they are having is that insurance companies are lowering their premiums for the owners.

As 75% of collisions occur at city driving speeds, of 20-30mph, autonomous braking systems and crash-avoidance technologies automatically detect when there will be a crash and are most effective at these speeds. Cars fitted with these systems had 38% fewer rear end crashes last year, and as a result, the insurance premium will be going down. Fewer car repairs will be needed to fix damaged vehicles, which could be an indicator as to why some garages have increased their prices. We are not one of them, we have consistent pricing for your benefit!

When you consider that a quarter of all claims are as a result of parking or low speed manoeuvring, it can be easily understood why cars with an automated parking system now demand a lower insurance premium.

Stop

The European body for testing car safety, NCAP, has announced that new car functions, such as ‘autonomous emergency braking’ and ‘pedestrian detection systems’ will be included in the next safety tests. This is great news for people who own and drive these cars, as a successful performance in testing means that the car’s safety rating will improve, leading to a drop in insurance premiums.

NCAP have already tested the Toyota Prius and remarkably awarded it a 5 star rating for its ‘Toyota Safety Sense’ technology. If the car senses a collision, it will automatically brake. The second car tested was the Suzuki Baleno, which was awarded a three star rating, although when fitted with the optional ‘Radar Brake Support’ system, it is awarded 4 stars!

The new testing system allows for cars to be given two separate ratings, as has been done with the Baleno above. One rating is given for the base model, and a separate rating is given for the higher spec version, although it does seem a little bit awful that cars should be sold without all of the safety features available.

MOT test header image

Even More MOT Test Knowledge!

Back in January we released this article shedding light on everything you need to know about the famous MOT Test system.

Now, we are back with another article providing even more knowledge, this time giving you all of the preparation you need for your next MOT test!

We will help you:

Be calm about your next MOT test

Find out when your next MOT test is

Learn the best MOT test etiquette!

Let’s begin with why you shouldn’t worry about your next MOT test. Well, it’s immediately obvious that you shouldn’t worry, as it’s bad for your health. Worrying tends to increase anxiety, which can make your sleep less and develop minor health problems. Worrying about something you can positively affect is also counter-productive.

To positively change your mentality about your next MOT test, here are a few preparations you can do.

  1. Wash your car. There could be cracks, scrapes or damages that have been concealed by dirt. Don’t get caught out by a mucky outer layer!
  2. Go to a garage and pump up your tyres. Whilst pumping them up, check the tread with a 20p coin to see whether it is above or below the legal 1.6mm limit (or 3mm recommended limit).
  3. Test all your lights and electrics, seatbelts and the horn.
  4. Unless your MOT test centre offers free fluid top-ups, like we do here at In Town Automotive, you should open your bonnet and add some liquids.

Once you’ve done all these, you should be feeling clearer about the state of your car, and may perhaps have an idea of some things that it may fail on. If you’re worried about when your next MOT Test is, and you want to find out quickly, you can do it online here: https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/

Once you’ve found out and added the date to your calendar, add another date a month before that gives you a month’s heads up! This way you shouldn’t get caught out. For Northampton drivers, add the number 01604 666700 to the note, just to be sure. That’s our number.

MOT Test Etiquette

What a treat, we’ve got not one, not two, not even three, but SEVEN brilliant etiquette tips for your next MOT test. These tips go above and beyond the four tips already given above, and will give you the edge when it comes to looking after your car.

  1. Get an extended warranty. If your car’s manufacturer warranty has expired, you can purchase a policy that covers you whenever your car needs repairs after an MOT or service. Think of it as insurance for the extra careful car owner.
  2. Read the small print. Don’t get caught out on technicalities by insurers, warranty providers or garages, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting!
  3. Half way between MOT tests (every six months), you should consider having a service, which here at In Town Automotive start from as little as £89.99.
  4. When you book your MOT test, ask what perks are included and what sort waiting times you could expect to face. If you have time to sit around and wait, that’s fine, but if you need a courtesy car, make sure you’re entitled before attempting to demand one!
  5. Some garages ask that you bring your V5/Logbook with you, so make sure you have it, if it is needed.
  6. Book in for your MOT test at least a month in advance. This way, you will get a great time and won’t have to risk taking time off work to get your car sorted. We are open on Saturdays…
  7. Missing your MOT test is a huge inconvenience to the garage, but could be an even worse inconvenience for you, especially if you get caught after it has expired. This could land you a staggering £1000 fine!


Well, we are good to you aren’t we! All this extra knowledge should serve you well when it comes to looking after your car and going for MOT Tests. If you want to know any more, call our dedicated reception team on 01604 666700.

volkswagen car repairs

Volkswagen To Pay For Car Repairs & Returns

Whilst the title may initially look like a great offer, it comes as part of a lengthy and ongoing commitment to repair the damage done by the emissions scandal in 2015.

As you will likely have read in the news last year, Volkswagen were caught rigging cars to pass low emissions tests, giving false results to testers. They admitted this in September 2016. Over 600,000 of such cars were sold to new owners, who are now being given the option of selling their cars back to VW, or having the car repairs necessary to make them normal again, covered.

The judge at the head of the legal process, Judge Charles Breyer, did not disclose particulars, but insisted that the compensation would be substantial and that those cheated by VW would end up well off from the deal.

volkswagen badge car repairs

Word from the top…

In a company statement, they said “Volkswagen is committed to earning back the trust of its customers, dealers, regulators and the American public… These agreements in principle are an important step on the road to making things right. As noted today in court, customers in the United States do not need to take any action at this time.”

As well as a fund for car repairs and buy-backs, VW will have to spend millions on research and development for green automotive technologies. To reverse all of the pollution that has been emitted as a consequence of their rigging, VW will have to spend more millions in corrective efforts.

How much could we expect to see VW pay out? Don’t be surprised if it surpasses £20bn. Already a figure of £700m has been quoted for apologetic compensation, and that’s before any vehicle fixes are included! Customers are expected to pay for the repairs using this money, working out at just over £1,000 each. The money will not be shared equally however, and will relate to the various ailments and car repairs needed. Around £13bn could be used to pay Clean Air violations and a further £5bn has been set aside for regulations penalties.

It is a strange legal process to counteract this deceit, but it’s expected that the ruling will begin in the US, before making it’s way to Europe and being dealt with along the same guidelines. And, despite all of this negativity going up, Volkswagen shares continue to rise in price!

Car repairs done right!

This all goes to show, honesty is the best policy. We’ve been practising honesty here at In Town Automotive for many years, and are proud that our customers return time and time again. We don’t inflate prices, and we continually train and educate our staff so that they can do their work quickly and efficiently, so our customers don’t have to fork out for high labour charges. All of this has made us Northampton’s most loved car repairs centre!