Government eyes furlough wind-down

Published:  06 May, 2020

 Garages that have put staff on furlough under the government scheme are likely to see the programme gradually scaled back from July.

Hats on 4 Ben supports mental health through COVID-19 and beyond

Published:  06 May, 2020

Automotive industry charity Ben has announced that this year’s Hats on 4 Ben is taking place during Mental Health Awareness Week from 18 - 24 May, and will be a virtual event for 2020.

Autoparts UK and Midwest Motor Factors gradual reopening unfolds

Published:  05 May, 2020

Autoparts UK and Midwest Motor Factors have gradually started to reopen branches. Autoparts Inverness, Newcastle, Stoke, Aberdeen, Trafford Park Manchester and Sighthill Edinburgh all opened yesterday (Monday 4 May).

Webinar from Gates on cooling system hose issues

Published:  05 May, 2020

Gates will tackle cooling system hose problems in a new technical webinar being held on Thursday (7 May).

New car sales crash by 97.3% in April as Coronavirus shuts showrooms

Published:  05 May, 2020

 UK new car registrations fell by a whopping 97.3% in April, the lowest point since 1946, according to figures published today (Tuesday 5 May) by the SMMT.   Just 4,321 new cars were registered in the month, some 156,743 fewer than in April 2019. The last time sales were so low was in February 1946, when 4,044 new cars were sold.

May the 4th be with you: Small business Bounce Back loans go live

Published:  04 May, 2020

Garages can from today (Monday 4 May) take up small business lending 100% backed by the Treasury through the new Bounce Back Loan scheme. Businesses can look to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with the cash arriving within days.

ECP offers swimming pool range for lockdown

Published:  04 May, 2020

Wanting to make sure its workshop customers have all their options open for lockdown, Euro Car Parts’ amazingly wide stock range now includes a collection of pop-up swimming pools.

PM: “Comprehensive plan” on lockdown lift next week

Published:  01 May, 2020

Garages could be able to be open in greater numbers, if the Prime Minister’s aim to begin lifting lockdown restrictions soon is achieved.

DENSO launches online auction to fund PPE for medical staff

Published:  30 April, 2020

DENSO Aftermarket has provided a stock of promotional merchandise, ranging from electrical to clothing items, originally intended for marketing campaigns, to a charity silent auction platform. DENSO employees and customers will be able to bid on bulk or individual items, with proceeds to be distributed to medical organisations in affected areas.  

Execute order 66: Kent mechanic jailed for fake MOTs

Published:  30 April, 2020

 A Kent mechanic who made £10,000 in less than three months by issuing fraudulent MOT certificates for 66 cars, has been sent to prison for a year.

Covid-19 Pre-MOT safety check gets rolling

Published:  30 April, 2020

 The Covid-19 pre-MOT car safety check launched by B2C price comparison website BookMyGarage is being taken up by customers, with garages offering the service seeing a good response.

Ben support through COVID-19 crisis

Published:  30 April, 2020

Ben says it has seen a marked increase in the number of people turning to the charity seeking support for their mental health and money concerns as COVID-19 has unfolded, and the organisation says it is supporting people through the crisis in a number of ways.

COVID-19 causes UK car production fall

Published:  30 April, 2020

IGA calls for furlough flexibility

Published:  29 April, 2020

The IGA has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, suggesting a furlough scheme enhancement that would allow employees to partially return to work as the country prepares for the next phase of lockdown restrictions.
IGA Chief Executive Stuart James said: “As businesses ready themselves for the next stage of lockdown, we are asking the Chancellor for a level of flexibility within the furlough scheme so businesses can be supported throughout their reopening.
“Garages have been classified as an essential service throughout this crisis, however it has been very difficult for many of them to remain open in the current climate. It is common for garages to have staff dedicated to the role of MOT testing who do not repair cars. Due to the drop off in work volumes caused by the MOT extension and lockdown restrictions, garage owners have been left with no choice but to furlough these dedicated staff and, in many cases, close their business.
“Most MOT tests are booked in advance, so if testers were able to return to work part-time with the help of a enhanced furlough scheme it would reduce the costs to the government, help garage businesses reopen in a phased, progressive manner, and help the economy work its way back to normality.”
He added: “We urge the Chancellor to consider a system similar to the French furlough system that gives businesses the flexibility to bring in employees as and when they are needed, while claiming back a percentage of their salary for any hours not worked.”

Apprenticeship Levy rethink urged as COVID-19 impacts on funding

Published:  29 April, 2020

The IMI is warning that COVID-19 could be the cause of a spike in the skills shortage in five years time, due to with employers and training providers currently impacted by the coronavirus being unable to draw down Apprenticeship Levy funding  as usual, and the organisation is urging a government rethink on usage.

Autoglass donates 2,000 protective masks to local care homes

Published:  29 April, 2020

Autoglass has donated 2,000 protective masks to six care homes and hospices to protect frontline staff during the Coronavirus crisis.

NGK’s MO70 Dragmower wins award

Published:  29 April, 2020

NGK’s MO70 Dragmower,  which recorded two unusual speed records last year, was named Best Marketing Initiative at the company’s EMEA (Virtual) Convention.

COVID-19: Brakes start to come off for Brembo

Published:  28 April, 2020

 This morning in Italy (Tuesday 28 April), Brembo has resumed some activities in its Curno, Mapello and Sellero plants. Operations were temporarily suspended on 16 March, due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Garages to gain access to 100% Treasury-backed loans

Published:  27 April, 2020

Garages will from next week be able to access small business loans, 100% backed by the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced this afternoon (Monday 27 April).

Good news just over the horizon?

Published:  27 April, 2020

There could good news waiting for independent garages on the other side of the Coronavirus outbreak it has been suggested, with motorists looking to the sector for support once the pandemic passes.

Coronavirus: PM says lockdown to continue

Published:  27 April, 2020

 Businesses will not see a let-up in the Coronavirus restrictions just yet, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned upon his return to Downing Street this morning (Monday 27 April), meaning garages will have to continue hanging under lockdown conditions.

Toyota First parts distribution moves back to normal

Published:  24 April, 2020

Garages looking to source parts via Toyota First during the current COVID-19 lockdown situation are set to find the process back on a more usual footing, as distribution moves a step closer to normal service from Monday (27 April). This will also be applicable to orders placed from today (Friday 24 April).

Coronavirus test access widened

Published:  24 April, 2020

Garage mechanics are likely to be among the essential workers who can now book an online test for COVID-19, if they display symptoms. This also extends to their families.

Lights, camera, ACTION! The Garage Inspector highlights lighting in Lumileds movie

Published:  24 April, 2020

The Garage Inspector, Andy Savva, has made a series of films for Lumileds.

IGA urges Minister to clarify inconsistencies in business rate relief

Published:  23 April, 2020

The IGA has written a follow-up letter to Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, regarding the inconsistency of local authorities’ classification of independent garages within business rate relief legislation.
The IGA is requesting that retail businesses operating from industrial premises are specifically included on the list of businesses eligible for the Retail Business Rates Relief Scheme.
IGA Chief Executive Stuart James said: “Independent garages are being asked to remain open to support key worker mobility, but a high level of inconsistency remains across local councils when it comes to support.
“We urgently ask the Secretary of State to provide clarity to local councils that garages are retail businesses, and as such are eligible for the assistance under the Covid-19 Retails Business Rates Relief Scheme and Business Interruption Grant.
“Including these local garage businesses specifically will enable them to stay open for the benefit of our key workers and give them the best chance of survival through the crisis.”

Ride of the Valkyries: Free jet fuel for air ambulance service from Total UK during COVID-19

Published:  23 April, 2020

 Free jet fuel is being supplied to both the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) and the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) by Total UK during the Covid-19 pandemic.

No overdue fees: Aftermarket opens digital library

Published:  23 April, 2020

 For technicians looking for reading matter in lockdown, Aftermarket magazine has made almost half a decade’s worth of previous editions available on its website.

TPS donates thousands of protective covers to NHS staff

Published:  23 April, 2020

TPS has delivered thousands of car safety covers to NHS front line workers to protect them from COVID-19 as they do their rounds in the local community.
TPS has been delivering car seat covers to NHS staff through its 82 UK centres,  including community workers and ambulance crew.
One such drop from the Yorkshire centres saw car seat covers delivered to Yorkshire Ambulance service. Staff there showed their appreciation with a Facebook post stating: “Many thanks from us at Yorkshire Ambulance Service for your kind donation. It’s very much appreciated by the service.”
Alongside the car seat covers donation, TPS has also been ‘doing its bit’ during the COVID-19 crisis by prioritising customers such as Blue Light, AA Patrols, government agency and their key worker support vehicles.
TPS has also implemented new measures to protect its staff and customers which include closing the front counters at its centres and introducing contact free deliveries.

Nightingale hospitals running on GS Yuasa batteries

Published:  22 April, 2020

GS Yuasa is contributing to the fight against Coronavirus by supplying power to the NHS Nightingale hospitals and other key medical projects.

IMI receives strong online CPD response

Published:  21 April, 2020

 Free online CPD courses launched by the IMI in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown have proved popular, with more than 200 signing up within the first 24 hours of operation.

Vehicle ownership in the UK passes 40 million

Published:  21 April, 2020

While COVID-19 has pressed the pause button on new car sales, it turns out that the number of cars already on the roads offers garages a bigger market than ever before, with number of vehicles on UK roads exceeding 40 million for the first time.

Vehicle sanitiser kit brought to market by WAI

Published:  20 April, 2020

With Coronavirus in mind, WAI has brought a new non-corrosive vehicle disinfectant cleaner.

Covid-19 Pre-MOT safety check launched

Published:  20 April, 2020

A Covid-19 pre-MOT car safety check has been launched by B2C price comparison website BookMyGarage, intended to help address a predicted surge in dangerous vehicles on the road as a result of the six-month MOT exemption

Furlough funds go live

Published:  20 April, 2020

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live this morning (Monday 20 April), meaning garages will now be able to access support to put staff on furlough.   Through the programme, businesses are able to access funds to cover 80% of an employee’s salary up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The scheme, announced in March, is currently set to run until the end of June.

Garages to benefit from furlough scheme extension

Published:  18 April, 2020

Garages that have shut their doors due to COVID-19 will be able to access funding to pay staff for an additional month, following the government’s extension to the furlough deadline.

Garages to face ongoing lockdown

Published:  17 April, 2020

 Garages and other businesses in the aftermarket are confirmed to face ongoing disruption, following the government’s announcement of a further three weeks of lockdown to as part of the fight against COVID-19.

Coronavirus causes 60% of garages to close

Published:  16 April, 2020

More than 60% of garages in the UK could have shut their doors since the COVID-19 lockdown began, a survey suggests.

Stop MOT discounting to help in COVID-19 recovery garages urged

Published:  16 April, 2020

Garages should stop the practice of discounting MOTs, in order to help recoup revenue being lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the IGA.
Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive said: “Independent garages have faced a sudden, drastic decline in business due to the DVSA’s MOT extension and Government instructions to stay at home.
“Provision of the MOT service is critical to the safety of UK road users, but many garages feel the need to discount MOTs to remain competitive, leaving them struggling to cover their hourly business costs. The industry cannot afford to continue providing MOT tests as a loss-making service going forward.
The time is right for garages to stand united by charging the DVSA’s recommended price of £54.85 for a MOT test. This will help independent garages to remain open, recoup recent losses, and allow them to carry out their vital roles keeping the UK’s vehicles running safely.”
The IGA is supporting independent garages through the coronavirus pandemic with advice and resources, which can be found at

HELLA reassures during COVID-19

Published:  14 April, 2020

HELLA is reassuring customers that it’s business as usual for them throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.

VLS concludes 5W-30 investigation

Published:  14 April, 2020

VLS has announced the outcome of case VLS010163, a complaint against Gulf Formula CX 5W-30 Engine Oil. The product is now in compliance and the case is closed.

‘Business as usual’ at NGK

Published:  09 April, 2020

NGK is continuing to supply customers with its products during the current coronavirus epidemic.

Sector PR/marketing specialists Chicane sourcing safety clothing

Published:  09 April, 2020

Automotive PR and marketing specialists Chicane has stepped up to help support industry by offering face masks and other specialist safety clothing.

IMI launches dedicated COVID-19 hub

Published:  07 April, 2020

The IMI has created a dedicated COVID-19 online resource hub, where automotive industry professionals can find useful information about the outbreak and its impact that is pertinent to them.

Coronavirus: Klarius, Ring Carnation and Schaeffler all doing their bit

Published:  07 April, 2020

Businesses operating in the aftermarket are continuing to do their bit for the fight against COVID-19.

Coronavirus impacts on March new car sales

Published:  06 April, 2020

UK new car sales dropped by 44.4% in March, a month that saw widespread closure of showrooms due to Coronavirus lockdown measures.

Garages ‘more valued’ since start of Covid-19 crisis

Published:  06 April, 2020

Independent garages are now more valued by the general public than they were before the UK’s Coronavirus outbreak, according to a new survey.

Dayco component helping to save lives

Published:  06 April, 2020

Dayco is helping in the fight against Covid-19 by producing a vital component that helps convert a readily available snorkelling mask into a life-saving ventilator.

Access to Coronavirus business loans widened

Published:  03 April, 2020

Garages looking for support from government could now find it easier to access Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, following an overhaul of the scheme.


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