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Mechanical Conditions

Get the fundamentals of your vehicle checked by professional mechanics with standard testing kits.

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Get you car oil and engine checked to meet the legal standards of environment safety and car performance.

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Get an in-depth check-up of your vehicle for any defective components, clogged filters, and warning lights.

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Vehicle Leasing

At Prolease, we concentrate on meeting the needs of our customers by arranging competitive finance facilities quickly and easily. We believe that simplicity and speed is key to our service.

Prolease is able to finance any equipment or software product you are wishing to acquire - there is no restriction.

Mot Tester Training

This is a 3 day mandatory course for prospective MOT Testers. It has been designed to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for those involved with the testing of vehicles in test classes III, IV, and VII. Existing MOT Testers may also benefit from this trainin3 Day course content
• Supporting legislation / regulations
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• Reasons for refusing to start a test
• Use of manual
• Standards and procedures

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The Testers manual is used by all Vehicle Testing stations in order that a standard is maintained, it will give you a precise guide to the principles involved in testing each item and all the criteria to enable you to make your own pass or fail decisions.

The Testers Manual

From Our Blog

Truck safety: innovations and impacts projected by 2030

The landscape of truck safety in Europe is on the brink of a significant transformation, thanks to new truck safety ratings introduced by Euro NCAP. This initiative aims to bring heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on par with passenger cars in terms of advanced safety technologies. In an effort to substantially reduce road fatalities, these pioneering measures could save tens of thousands of lives within the next decade.

The imperative for enhanced truck safety

Heavy trucks play an essential role in European logistics, making enhanced truck safety essential not just for drivers but for everyone sharing the roads. When Euro NCAP first implemented crash testing and safety ratings for passenger cars in 1997, their goals were clear: empower consumers with informed choices and motivate vehicle manufacturers to prioritize safety improvements. The results were astounding — by 2015, occupant fatalities had decreased by up to 70 percent. This success highlighted a critical area neglected thus far: the safety of heavy goods vehicles. Trucks are integral to European roadways, clocking extensive mileage annually. Yet, a glaring issue remains: many of the advanced safety features common in modern passenger cars have not been adapted for trucks. Ulric Långberg from Euro NCAP underscores the urgency of integrating such technologies for HGVs to curb the high fatality rates associated with truck-involved accidents.

The new truck safety rating system

Over the past eighteen months, Euro NCAP has been diligently crafting a comprehensive truck safety rating scheme. This program’s core objective is to incentivize vehicle manufacturers to incorporate cutting-edge safety technologies into their trucks, from innovative air suspension such as those provided by to IoT driving technologies. Additionally, it seeks to earn the trust and acceptance of drivers and hauliers regarding these innovations. This rating system is designed to serve a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including hauliers, manufacturers, shippers, insurers, and regulatory authorities. With collective adoption, the implementation of these safety measures could be a catalyst for industry-wide changes that elevate overall safety standards.

Regulatory impact and corporate responsibility

City and highway authorities are expected to base future regulations on these new truck safety ratings. Such regulations will mandate higher safety standards, fostering a safer traffic environment on urban streets and motorways alike. Companies utilizing trucks for transportation can leverage these ratings to impose their own stringent safety requirements. By doing so, they not only protect their logistics chains but also contribute to broader public safety initiatives. Shippers equipped with higher-rated trucks will likely experience reduced accident-related delays and costs.

Projected outcomes and timeline

The anticipated impact of these truck safety ratings is profound, with Euro NCAP predicting the potential to save nearly 40,000 lives between 2024 and 2030. As manufacturers rush to enhance their vehicles’ safety features to achieve high star ratings, swift and tangible progress is expected. Matthew Avery forecasts that, given the exposure-heavy nature of HGVs and their average annual traversal of half a million kilometers, significant reductions in fatality rates could begin to appear within a decade. Such improvements not only promise safer roads but also showcase the power of well-coordinated industrial and governmental efforts in effecting change. The introduction of these new truck safety ratings marks a critical juncture in European road safety efforts. By addressing longstanding technological disparities and fostering multi-stakeholder cooperation, this initiative stands to significantly mitigate the risks associated with heavy goods vehicles. As we progress towards 2030, immediate action and continuous enhancements in truck safety will undoubtedly shape a safer future for all road users.

The Structure of a Vehicle Identification Number

A VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) decoder is an essential tool in the automotive industry that helps decode the complex information contained within a vehicle’s unique 17-character identifier.

This identifier not only serves as the vehicle’s fingerprint, providing details such as its manufacturer, attributes, and unique features, but also plays a critical role in tracking recalls, registrations, warranty claims, and theft.

The importance of understanding and using VIN decoders is paramount for a variety of stakeholders including buyers, sellers, manufacturers, and regulatory bodies for cars, motorbikes, trucks and vans.

These are different to registration number plates, which can easily be swapped. These numbers are unique to the vehicle. Locations vary, often they are on the bottom of the windshield or on the drivers door.

The Structure of a Vehicle Identification Number

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) consists of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. The VIN is structured in a specific format that includes the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI), Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS), and Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS).

  1. World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI): The first three characters of the VIN represent the manufacturer and the country of origin. For example, a VIN starting with “1HG” indicates that the vehicle was manufactured by Honda in the United States.
  2. Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS): Characters four through nine contain information about the vehicle’s model, body type, restraint system, transmission type, and engine code. These details are crucial for accurately identifying the vehicle type and its specifications.
  3. Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS): The last eight characters of the VIN provide information that is specific to each individual vehicle. This section usually includes a serial number and can tell you about the vehicle’s production year and the plant where it was manufactured.

A VIN plate on a German truck chassis

How a VIN Decoder Works

A VIN decoder extracts information from the VIN by matching each section of the number with a corresponding set of data. The decoding process involves the following steps:

  • Input: The full 17-character VIN is input into the VIN decoder.
  • Analysis: The decoder identifies and segments the WMI, VDS, and VIS.
  • Cross-Referencing: Each segment of the VIN is cross-referenced with a comprehensive database that contains manufacturer codes and vehicle attributes.
  • Output: The decoder outputs a report that details everything from the vehicle’s manufacturing year to its engine size.

Uses of VIN Decoding

The applications of VIN decoding are diverse, extending across various facets of automotive and related industries:

  • Vehicle Buyers: Potential car buyers use VIN decoding to verify vehicle details and ensure that the vehicle matches the seller’s description. This is crucial for avoiding fraud and purchasing vehicles that may have been stolen or tampered with.
  • Automobile Sellers and Dealerships: Sellers can use VIN decoders to provide accurate information to potential buyers and ensure that they are compliant with legal and regulatory standards.
  • Law Enforcement: Law enforcement agencies, police or the DVLA use VIN decoders to track down stolen vehicles and verify vehicle registration details during driver stops or inspections.
  • Insurance Companies: Insurers use VINs to accurately assess the risk associated with insuring a particular vehicle, determining premiums based on the model’s theft rates, safety records, and replacement costs.
  • Manufacturers and Regulatory Bodies: Manufacturers may use VIN decoding to track vehicles after production for recalls, warranty claims, or customer service purposes. Regulatory bodies may use the VIN to ensure compliance with safety and environmental standards.

A VIN number on a windscreen

Challenges and Considerations in VIN Decoding

While VIN decoding is highly beneficial, it also comes with challenges:

  • Data Privacy and Security: Handling sensitive data responsibly is critical, especially when decoding VINs that relate to personal ownership or vehicle history.
  • Accuracy of Data: The reliability of a VIN decoder depends on the database it uses. Outdated or incorrect data can lead to errors in the decoding process.
  • Standardization Issues: Although most countries adhere to the 17-character VIN system, there are differences in the codes and standards used, which can complicate the decoding process.


VIN decoders are powerful tools that serve multiple stakeholders in the automotive industry. By providing a deep insight into a vehicle’s identity and history, they play a crucial role in enhancing transparency, compliance, and security in vehicle transactions and management. As the automotive industry continues to evolve with advancements in technology and data management, the functionality and importance of VIN decoders are likely to grow, making them even more integral to automotive industry operations.

Key Safety Features to Consider When Choosing a Car

The process of buying a new car can be tricky. It is an enormous amount of money to spend, it is an important lifestyle decision, and there is an enormous range to choose from. A key factor for any motorist will be safety – you will want to find a vehicle that has good safety features and a strong safety rating. This post will look at a few of the key safety features that you will want in your next car.

Key Safety Features

One of the best features to look out for is autonomous emergency braking (AEB). This clever system will constantly scan the road ahead and can automatically start braking if a crash is imminent and the driver does not take action in time. This can prevent an accident from taking place or minimise the impact.

Adaptive cruise control is another useful safety feature that will automatically adjust your speed based on the car in front. If the car slows down, the system will slow your vehicle down to ensure a safe distance is maintained at all times.

Lane departure warning is a technology that will alert the driver if they drift out of a marked lane without using the indicator while lane-keeping assist can detect when you are drifting out of a lane and then gently steer you back into position.

Many accidents happen on the roads due to driver blind spots. Fortunately, this can be resolved with blindspot warning systems. These systems will monitor your blind spot and alert you about any unseen vehicles when changing lanes.

Another common cause of accidents is driver fatigue or falling asleep behind the wheel. Attention monitoring systems can monitor driver behaviour and alert you if you need to take a break.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6

Top Performing Cars in 2024 for Safety

So, what are some of the top-performing cars in 2024 when it comes to safety? The VW Polo is deemed the safety supermini on the roads with a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and a range of safety features, including automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 also scored a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and is rated the safest large family car. The vehicle scored an adult occupant protection rating of 93% and comes with a range of safety and driver-aid technologies. If you are based in Yorkshire, looking at cars from a selection of car dealers in Leeds will give you a broad choice and allow you to find the safest vehicles.

For SUVs, the Lexus RX came out on top with another five-star rating. The SUV comes with blind spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and much more.

Safety must be a priority when looking for your next vehicle. In today’s technologically advanced age, there are numerous safety features that you will want to enhance the safety of the vehicle.

5 Biggest Challenges the EV Industry Is Facing

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is transforming how people all over the world think about transport. In the UK, the surge in EV popularity is palpable, with more than 950,000 fully electric cars and 570,000 plug-in hybrids gracing the roads as of November 2023. This shift signifies more than just a global trend toward embracing new technology. More importantly, governments everywhere recognise it as a crucial step towards reducing global carbon emissions and reaching net-zero targets.

However, as with any burgeoning industry, the EV sector faces its share of challenges. From infrastructure woes to battery dilemmas, these challenges are significant but not insurmountable. This article aims to cast a light on both the hurdles and the remarkable strides being made to overcome them.

Lack of Charging Infrastructure

One of the most pressing concerns in the EV landscape is the adequacy of charging infrastructure. As of January 2023, the UK boasts 37,055 public EV charging devices, but their distribution is uneven. This disparity is particularly noticeable when comparing urban and rural areas. London and Scotland are well-served, with 131 and 69 devices per 100,000 people, respectively. This figure far outstrips the UK average of 55 per 100,000. But despite a 31% increase in the number of public devices since January 2022, as reported by the UK Government, the growing number of EVs on the road means demand often outpaces supply.

Fortunately, the industry is responding proactively to this challenge. More and more electrical contracting companies are gaining proficiency in Zappi EV charger installation as well as the installation of other EV charging infrastructure. These advancements bolster the existing network and also open up new avenues for charging solutions, including home and destination charging points. The UK government’s financial commitments, such as the £950 million rapid charging fund, are poised to significantly enhance charging infrastructure, particularly along major roadways and in underserved regions.

Battery Cost and Performance

While EV batteries have seen impressive advancements over the years, they still face hurdles in terms of cost and performance. In 2021, the average cost of an EV battery in the UK was approximately £87 per kWh, a steep decline from £763 per kWh in 2010. On the other hand, data from BookMyGarage reports that as of March 2023, replacing an entire EV battery could still cost upwards of £5,378.43.

To mitigate this problem, the industry is continuing to innovate in battery technology, with ongoing research and development aimed at increasing capacity, extending range, and lowering the cost of production. Efforts to address the limited number of companies producing EV batteries are being spearheaded by both governmental bodies and private sector players.

Governments are offering incentives and funding for research and development to encourage new entrants in the battery manufacturing market. This includes grants for battery technology innovation and support for establishing new manufacturing facilities. Simultaneously, private sector initiatives, often in collaboration with academic institutions, are focusing on developing new battery technologies and manufacturing processes. These initiatives aim to diversify the market, reduce dependence on a few manufacturers, and consequently, drive down costs through increased competition and innovation.

Range Anxiety

The term ‘range anxiety’ encapsulates the fear many potential EV owners have: the worry that their vehicle won’t have enough battery charge to reach its destination. This anxiety is particularly acute for long-distance travel and in areas where charging points are scarce. Despite the UK’s expanding EV fleet, charging infrastructure development in some regions lags behind, as highlighted by National Grid Group. This disparity fuels range anxiety, especially in rural locales.

However, it’s crucial to note that nearly 99% of all UK journeys are under 100 miles, a distance comfortably within the range of all current EV models. Government initiatives, such as the aforementioned £950 million rapid charging fund, are also set to increase the number of charging points significantly. These developments, alongside the continuous improvement of battery technology, allow for longer ranges and thus are gradually reducing range anxiety.

Energy and Grid Impact

The transition to EVs doesn’t just affect vehicles and roads. It also has a profound impact on energy systems and the power grid. As EV adoption increases, so does the demand for electricity—a surge that presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge lies in ensuring the grid can handle this increased load without compromising reliability. On the other hand, it’s an opportunity to integrate more renewable energy sources into the grid and thereby move towards a more sustainable energy mix.

A range of different efforts are currently underway to address these concerns. Smart charging technologies, which manage the charging of EVs based on grid capacity and energy availability, are becoming more prevalent. Additionally, the UK government’s investment in grid infrastructure and renewable energy sources is essential to support the growing number of EVs. By enhancing grid capacity and efficiency, the energy sector is becoming more robust and capable of supporting the shift to electric mobility.

Environmental and Ethical Concerns

While EVs are touted as a greener alternative to petrol and diesel cars, they are not without their environmental and ethical challenges. A major concern is the environmental impact of battery production and disposal. Over a third of UK drivers express worries about the negative environmental impact of EVs, particularly regarding battery recycling and the scarcity of resources like lithium and cobalt, as reported by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The process of mining these materials is both energy-intensive and also raises environmental and labour concerns.

In response to these challenges, there is a growing emphasis on developing more sustainable practices throughout the EV battery life cycle. This includes efforts to improve battery recycling facilities and promote the ethical sourcing of materials. The design of EVs is also being re-evaluated to enhance sustainability from the outset. These initiatives are crucial steps towards minimising the environmental footprint of EVs and ensuring that the move to electric mobility is as green and ethical as possible.

The journey towards electrifying transportation in the UK is much more than overcoming technical hurdles. It symbolises a collective stride towards a cleaner, more responsible future. As each challenge sparks innovative responses and collaborative efforts, the narrative of electric vehicles evolves from a novel concept to an integral part of the broader journey toward more sustainable transport.

Should you buy or lease a car?

On the hunt for a new car? Whatever make and model you go for, you’ll need to decide whether you want to buy the car outright or lease it for a set amount of time.

Buying a car means it’s yours to keep and you can do whatever you want with it such as drive it, sell it or part exchange it. Leasing on the other hand is where you pay a fixed amount each month to borrow the car for a contracted period.

It’s believed that enquiries for leasing rose 43% at the start of 2022 compared to the previous year and there are several options for these agreements. The first is Personal Contract Hire (PCH), which is where you just borrow the car and then give it back at the end of the contract. The second is Personal Contract Purchase(PCP), which gives you the option to purchase the vehicle at the end of your contract and Personal Lease Purchase where you become the owner once all lease payments have been made.

If you want to know the benefits of buying or leasing a car, so you can make a more informed decision when you get your new vehicle, our guide below can help. Read on to discover the pros and cons of buying and leasing a car.

Buying a car


  • Low-interest rates when buying on finance
  • Free warranties for a certain amount of time for your peace of mind
  • No restrictions on mileage or wear and tear on the car
  • You can modify the car however you like
  • The purchase can be used as tax deductions if bought through a scheme at work


  • New cars can lose as much as 40% of their purchase value within the first year
  • Driving costs for new cars can be high due to fuel, insurance and maintenance costs
  • You may be locked into long repayment terms
  • Selling the car can take a while
  • If you buy a new car then you may have a long wait time while it’s delivered from the factory

Leasing a car


  • Paying the lease amount on time, every month can be a great way to improve your credit score.
  • Lease payments are usually lower than loan payments when getting a new vehicle
  • You can drive newer models for less money
  • You may be able to get free maintenance with your lease
  • No worries about depreciation


  • You’ll never own the car outright
  • You have no control over how it looks
  • You may have a limit on mileage
  • There can be termination fees if you want to get out of your contract early
  • You may be charged for any damage to the vehicle

Why a Passed MOT Might Not Mean a Second-Hand Car is Safe

Buying a second-hand car is an excellent way to join, or remain a part of, the driving population of the UK without breaking the bank. But, cheaper as second-hand cars can be than new cars, they also bring with them a greater degree of risk. Cars with MOT passes are often seen as safe in this regard, having been checked for issues and deemed road-legal – but this is not the whole story, and such cars may not be as safe as they seem.

MOT and Ongoing Safety

The key logical argument behind MOTs as safety criteria stems from the stringent nature of the MOT itself; the test is a government-mandated one to ascertain a car’s safety on UK roads, with a relatively high bar to pass. Even a car with its dashboard warning lights on the blink can be failed, let alone a car with suspension or braking issues.

But, while the MOT serves its function well, it cannot be an indicator of any vehicle’s current quality – only the condition the car was in at the time of the test. It is unknown to you as a buyer that a given second-hand vehicle, advertised as a recent MOT pass, hasn’t developed an issue or suffered an accident since. Not only this but there are other elements of vehicle reliability that need to be taken into consideration before you buy.

Car and Dealer

Firstly, it is important to recognise the differences in risk that can present between models of car and kinds of dealers or sellers. Put simply, a pre-owned Lexus from a trusted local dealership will inspire much more in the way of trust than a used Vauxhall sold privately.

Larger dealerships are more likely to have a servicing framework in place, wherein additional checks are performed on top of any pre-existing MOT certificate. They are also more likely to provide a warranty, in the event that an issue does occur after purchase.

It is also true that certain brands and models of cars are more reliable than others. Even if buying from a private seller, a more well-renowned brand is less likely to present post-MOT issues than an older car or budget brand.

Condition and History

Of course, these general considerations are just that: general. With more specific regard to cars, you may be looking at, there are some vital checks you should make to ensure all is well. For one, you should be able to view any pre-owned car’s V5C documentation on request. These documents dictate basic information about the vehicle and its owner’s history.

With a unique number from the V5C, you’ll be able to check the vehicle’s MOT history – hence, discover any previous issues that could recur before your next MOT with said vehicle. You should also take the time to check the vehicle’s general service history, to ensure that no major incidents have been logged and that no future problems are likely to arise.

The best way to do this is to take the car for a test drive before you commit. Ask for the car to be started from cold to ensure the engine is in good condition and take the vehicle up to higher speeds, to check out the brakes and suspension.

In conclusion, while a car with an MOT pass is a good sign of its current condition, there is no substitute for a thorough check yourself. Knowing that you’ve done your due diligence can make the process of buying a second-hand car safer, and ensure you don’t end up buying a lemon.

How to prolong the life of your second-hand car

As a result of the cost-of-living crisis, motorists are now more likely to keep using their existing vehicle or purchase a used one at a reduced price. In 2021 alone, 9.2 million cars were purchased, 7.5 million of which were second-hand vehicles. Making sure your vehicle is kept in good condition and checked regularly is key to its longevity and can see you well for many years to come.

So, what can you do to help your second-hand car work more efficiently and last longer?

Be aware of the mileage

Mileage is an important factor when purchasing a used car, particularly since those with high mileage have a higher risk of being riddled with issues and faults. It’s worth considering whether your annual mileage is higher than the average, as it would make more sense to go for one with fewer miles in this instance. If you tend to drive for shorter distances only, a higher mileage vehicle could be a suitable option and one that is likely going to be a lot cheaper.

Always select a second-hand car from a reputable dealer; that way you are made aware of the vehicle’s mileage and any other potential issues from the outset. They can also help you choose a vehicle to suit your driving needs and offer a range of financial options and warranty policies.

If your vehicle already has a good number of miles on it, and you plan to drive long distances, it may be worth considering public transport on occasion or opting for another vehicle with lower mileage.


Get it serviced regularly

Not only does getting your car serviced regularly give you peace of mind, but it ensures that any issues are nipped in the bud before they escalate into something much worse – which can lead to high repair costs. An annual service in the UK typically costs around £125 and should be undertaken by a reputable professional.

Check your tyres frequently

Tyres are constantly subjected to heavy wear and tear, particularly for cars that are fairly old and have spent a long time on the road. Ensure that these are within the legal limits and that you check the air pressure, especially before heading out on a long journey. You may also decide to rotate your tyres to spread out the wear and tear and prolong the life of your tyres.

Underinflated tyres can also increase fuel consumption, which will end up costing you more in the long run.

Keep your fluids topped up

Maintaining the fluid levels in your car is essential for its functioning – failing to do so can have dire consequences. Check the oil level every fortnight, wiping it with a cloth and giving it a dip. The oil level should be between the minimum and maximum markers and should appear as a light yellow-brown colour for a petrol engine. If the colour is quite dark, this should be replaced.

The coolant reservoir should also be replaced if low, which should be a half-and-half mix of water and antifreeze.

Drive smoothly

Driving smoothly is something we should all be practising at all times but isn’t always properly understood. Simple things such as gentle steering and use of the gearbox are key, as well as the use of the brake pedals in good time to avoid harsh braking.

Learning how to drive more efficiently will also reduce the amount of fuel that your vehicle expends, helping you to save money on petrol.

How to ensure your electric vehicle is ready for its MOT

As the owner of an electric vehicle (EV), you can relax knowing you are helping to improve the environment whilst saving money from not having to pay road tax. Despite the many benefits of making the shift to an EV, you still can’t avoid an MOT.

Like all other vehicles, electric cars need to pass their MOT test in order to be considered safe for the road. Here we provide our comprehensive guide to ensure your electric vehicle is ready for its MOT.

When will I need to get an MOT?

If you’re lucky enough to have purchased a new electric vehicle, such as the Mokka e, the first MOT will be due three years after its initial registration date. Following this, an MOT test must take place each year before that date. Once passed, you will receive an MOT test certificate with the date it took place so that you know when the next one should occur.

If you aren’t sure when the last MOT took place, you can check online by entering the vehicle make and registration number, and a spare certificate can be sent to you free of charge. Note that the MOT test can take place up to a month before the expiry date.



How does an MOT test for electrics car differ from non-electric vehicles?

With regards to the overall MOT process, there isn’t much difference between electric and non-electric vehicles. As electric vehicles are powered by rechargeable batteries instead of combustible engines, the emissions test is removed but all other checks will still need to be conducted.

The vehicle will still be checked to make sure that the lights all work efficiently, the steering and tyres respond appropriately, the brakes are in good condition and there are no chips and cracks on the windows.

What can you do pre-MOT to ensure it goes smoothly?

There are a few steps you can take to give your vehicle the best chance at passing its MOT and reducing the risk of any repairs being made. Firstly, try to keep your car clean both inside and out – an excessively dirty and cluttered vehicle may well lead to the examiner refusing to proceed with the MOT. The number plates should also be visible and readable.

Next check that the windscreen has no apparent damage and the wipers are in good condition, including that the screenwash has also been topped up properly. The brake fluid and oil should be topped up as well.

Inspecting the outside of the vehicle is highly important and where most issues go unnoticed. Make sure all of your lights work properly, including headlights and brake lights – ask someone else to have a look around your vehicle for you if you are unable to do this yourself. Also, examine the tyres to confirm they are the correct tread depth and pressure; the 20p test is a quick and easy way to do this.

Finally, make sure that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that is in your vehicle’s V5C logbook is the same as the one marked on the bodywork of the car. If you do need any repairs to be made, try and get a mechanic to carry out any work before your MOT.

The Advantages of Taking on an Apprentice

Motor repair, and indeed the automotive trade as a whole, is facing trouble. The cost-of-living crisis has impacted the budgets of millions of households, while the jobs market faces unique challenges owing to shifting worker priorities. For smaller independents, hiring new staff can be difficult and above all costly – leading many to consider the option of an apprentice.

Taking on an apprentice is not necessarily simple or easy. Indeed, the various requirements that come along with hiring an apprentice can be roadblock enough for some smaller garages, let alone the division of time between hands-on work and sit-down training. There are also logistical considerations to make; for example, your motor trade insurance coverage would need to be comprehensive enough to cover your new staff and hardware needs.

That said, the positives can easily outweigh the negatives when it comes to bringing an apprentice on board. Knowing a little more in advance about what an apprentice can do for you is all it takes. Here are three of the leading advantages to creating apprenticeship space within your own automotive business.

Reduces Costs

The first advantage is the most commonly understood one, and the initial reason for which many businesses start to think about creating space for an apprenticeship: money. Apprenticeship wages are less than the minimum wage, on account of counting towards a vocational qualification and guaranteed gainful employment at a given position. This allows you to fill a role at your business at lower cost than usual, with the caveat that training is necessary.

On top of this, there are avenues available for funding wherein the government can grant cash dependant on the nature of your business and of the apprenticeship. For example, you could get £1,000 towards apprentice support if they are between 16 and 18.


Reduces Employee Turnover

Taking on apprentices can also help you more properly manage your business’ staff turnover. Staff turnover or ‘churn’ can be an expensive thing, and especially so in a febrile employment market where employees are more boldly seeking favourable employment terms.

A recent government study found that nearly two thirds of all apprentice ‘graduates’ remain in full-time employment at the employer with which they completed their apprenticeship. This could drastically improve your situation with regard to staff turnover, further minimising costs and boosting productivity as well.

Builds the Next Generation

Lastly, the sheer importance of vocational study and qualification on a national level cannot be ignored. While the population are more educated than ever before, interest in vocational pursuits has dropped off noticeably in recent decades. With less hands interested in learning skilled trades, there are serious shortages across industries – from manufacturing to motoring and beyond. Simply put, taking on an apprentice is your business doing its bit for the future of your industry.

How can you tell if a second-hand car will be reliable?  

A good quality second hand car can be tricky to come across.

If you’re looking for a trustworthy used car, you’ll need to know a few tried and tested ways to ensure that you don’t end up paying for a faulty vehicle. To help you find a used car that serves you well for years to come, we’ve outlined everything you need to look out for in the process.

  1. Find a used car specialist

One of the best ways to make sure you end up with a good quality second hand car is to go straight to a trusted dealership. Respectable dealers only trade cars they’re happy to sell, and you’ll be able to get quick answers to your questions, too.

It might be tempting to find a cheap deal on a second-hand car website, but you should work with caution if you take this approach. Not all sellers are genuine vehicle owners, and it’s important to be aware of the risks of scams, including fake online car dealerships.

  1. Inspect the bodywork

When you first see the car, take a good look at the bodywork. You should immediately ask the dealer for more information if you see any of the following:

  • Wonky or misaligned panels
  • Mismatched paint on bumpers and panels
  • Small scratches and dents

Even though some cosmetic damage is expected, deeper scratches to paintwork could cause corrosion. If you’re using your savings or looking at car loans to pay for a used vehicle, you’ll need to be proactive in trying to avoid inherited issues.


  1. Check wheels and tyres

Scratches and other superficial damage to wheels shouldn’t be a concern. However, if you notice that the rims are cracked or appear bent, a serious problem could be lurking underneath.

If the car you’re viewing also has little to no tread on its tyres, it’s natural to assume that it perhaps hasn’t been looked after or properly maintained.

  1. Ask to see the service history

Likewise, steer clear if a car dealer or a private seller can’t show you the vehicle’s service history.

While a full service history is preferred, a mostly complete part-history might suffice if you have clear evidence that the car has been well maintained. Make sure you check the car’s records for vehicle tax, MOT, and insurance, too.

On your visit to view the car, ask to see the vehicle logbook. From there, you’ll be able to determine the past reliability of the car along with any past modifications, too.

  1. Go for a test-drive

Lastly, you’ll only get the true feel of a second-hand car if you take it on a test drive.

All reputable dealerships will allow you to do this without hesitation, and from there, you’ll be able to feel how it is to drive and figure out if it’s right for you – or if it’s worth your money.

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