Thursday, 27 November 2008

Kingshurst Automotive

As ever, we're looking out for the most impressive uses of subscription to the Code - and every now and then one jumps out at us.

Have a look at this from Kingshurst Automotive in Birmingham, they've put a little thought into demonstrating what they've signed up to and incorporated it within their offer to customers.

Click on the image or here and have a look. The logo looks great on their homepage and when you click on it, there's a further surprise - but you'd better have a look and find out what they've done.

I fully support and encourage this approach to using the Code for marketing purposes and bolstering your competitive position locally, so thanks to the team at Kingshurst Automotive and well done to you.

I'm sure others have/are doing similar, but if not - take the initiative and then show us what you've done!

To remind you, the images are available from the subscriber area of the website to download, so follow the link and enter your login details

All the best

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

An award nomination!

Well, can't say I expected this...

It appears I've been nominated for the person of the year in CAT magazine. My summary of this is development is that we have been nominated for an award in recognition of the work and commitment we have all made over the last few years in bringing the Code to the sector and the manner in which the sector is now embracing it.

If we were to win this award it would be a significant achievement and endorsement of what we are doing and how we are doing it.

Clearly, now we are in it, we should have a go at winning it - if we do it'll provide some fantastic coverage for the Code.

Vote now!

All the best

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Motor Codes at the Palace

I was asked to speak about the code at the parliamentary All Party Motoring Group on Tuesday, at the Palace of Westminster, that's the one - the houses of Parliament. Which I was of course very pleased to do. It's a real sign of how importantly the code is being taken when this kind of thing happens.

I used my time to explain what the code is and what we're looking to achieve with it. The MPs and Lords in attendance were very interested and keen to help in raising awareness of the code.

Steve Brooker from Consumer Focus (formerly the NCC) was the other speaker and used his speech to acknowledge the work the industry has done in developing and launching the code. He praised the industry and the 5,000 garages that have subscribed to date, for showing their commitment to self regulation but also used this event to issue a warning to the independent sector, which now needs to display a similar commitment to the code as we've seen from the franchised sector.

Clearly we need to remember that Consumer Focus still hold the threat of a super complaint over the sector and we need to ensure that we continue to add subscriber numbers and we'll continue to meet with the independent garage chains and work with the Independent Garage Association along with other organisations and using other methods and approaches to get the independent sector on board.

If you are an independent garage owner, sign up now. If you're a responsible business operator you should be showing your commitment to this industry wide initiative and sign up, do it today - here's the link.

All the best

First look - signs and stickers

Thought I'd show you the thinking for signs and window stickers as they appear to be the most sought after on the poll.

We'll be offering some smaller sizes on the sign - 2 metres might not be for everyone!

We'll get these sorted out and I'll let all subscribers know when they are available from the online shop - shouldn't take too long.

As, ever if there's any feedback for me - best to get me directly

All the best

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Signs, stickers, posters and things

I've been told by the team on several occasions recently that we've had emails asking if we can get some signs, window stickers etc developed for you.

We've been having a talk with our people and we'll be able to get some ready made signs on the web site shop for you (as cheaply as we can get them made and delivered to you) in the next couple of weeks.

I'm really keen for you to be able to ask us and where we can, we'll arrange it and help out.

So, I thought we'd start off with window stickers in various sizes, along with weather proof signs and a counter stand. If you think of other things we could add to the list, let me know and we'll ask the others (that's well over 4,000 subscribers now) and where there's a demand, we'll do it.

So have a look at the side of the screen and tell us what you would be interested in by using the poll - we'll keep it open for a couple of weeks and then tell the printers what we need to get making.

Seems like the way forward to me, we'll do it if you ask for it!

Get voting!

All the best

Code ads

This week we began the paid for online advertising of the code to consumers looking for a local garage. On, as a skyscraper - I know, that's what I said too. It's the advert that stretches up the side of a web page. We've also bought 'adwords' on Google so when motorists are searching for a local garage to use the web link to our site features on the first page.

As an initial gauge of how effective it will be we have also placed an ad on the Daily Mail web site - it's one of the most popular, so let's see how it performs in terms of generating hits on our site for you.

So, here's the thing. We need you to get using the logo within your ads. Our ads will only begin to impact on consumer awareness if you, the subscribing garages are also displaying the code logo and pushing the strap line 'don't risk a rip off'.

So it would be great if you can help to get some real visual awareness going and make your sign up to the code count for you commercially. If we all get involved in promoting the code, then more customers will be looking for it as their reference point as a sign of reassurance - so there's the plan, we'll be building on it and developing further awareness, which I'll tell you about as we go.

As a code subscriber, I'm happy for you to use the exact same ads as us, but you'll have to download them from the subscriber area of the website, so only garages that have committed to the code are accessing it - so get on to the website via the link below, enter your login details and get downloading the images and get them to your marketing people and let's get cracking on promoting our code.

Also don't forget to vote on the poll at the top of the page - a week left before we tell the printers what we need..

All the best

Ford poster

I didn't think it'd be long before the VM's got involved in demonstrating how they are promoting their commitment to the code. This is the poster they have produced and is being used in all their dealer customer areas.

Ford have used our bulk subscription process to sign up their dealer network, so they're all in - and promoting their support for the code in a very impressive way. Thanks to Ford and the Ford dealer network.

If you're interested in using our bulk subscription process to get your network registered, drop me a line at and we'll arrange it for you, it's easy for you and your network and no problem for us at all. It's good to get into the discussion and work out what works best for you, so just ask and if we can, we will.

So, we've got another contender for picture of the month, this time from one of the big boys - I'm still sure you can do better though - let's be having you!

All the best

Thursday, 13 November 2008


Friday 14 November

The Blog is launched! Thanks for taking a look.

I've posted some news over the last couple of weeks to give you a flavour of what we're looking to achieve, so scroll down to the foot of the page and read up.

The intention is to provide an informal method by which I can keep all interested up to speed on what we're doing here at Motor Codes and importantly, find out what you think.

I hope you find it of some interest.

All the best

Friday, 7 November 2008

the bar is raised!

Onger Bridge Garage took the challenge and have won the best use of the logo competition for this week - apparently it's the talk of Ongar!

Now, as impressive as this is, I'm sure you're going to want to beat it...

So, get your pictures sent into me at

If you haven't seen it, all Code subscribers can download the logo images for your printers and marketing teams to use from within the subscriber area of the website, follow the link below and enter your login details.

Remember, it's for you to use wherever and whenever you like as a part of your subscription to the Code, on letterheads, business cards, advertisements, garage signs, vehicle signs etc.

It's the sign of reassurance and confidence for your customers, so you need to make sure you're getting the best use out of it.

I'll be looking for the next one to highlight on the blog, so get your thinking caps on and get the pictures in to me.

All the best

Haggis and hedges...

I was invited to attend the annual dinner of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, which was held in Glasgow on Thursday evening.

An excellent evening was had in true traditional Scottish style, the picture above is the master of ceremonies addressing the haggis, tasted good too..

My reason for telling you this? SMTA President Mr Sandy Burgess used his dinner speech to confirm SMTA support for the Code - significant support indeed.

Sandy was very clear in his words to the Scottish motor trade, so thank you Sandy and Douglas Robertson, your support is most welcome.

Wednesday and an invitation to speak at a regional meeting of the RMIF, held at the Williams F1 Conference Centre just outside Oxford, who I'm sure you'll agree posses the best hedge you'll ever see!

The conference was pretty good too. We discussed the Code and RMIF support for it and had a good session with around 50 members, who were keen to know more.

Each time I speak at this kind of event it strikes me how important it is for people to be able to hear about the Code first hand - there are always lots of questions and good debate - most people have an opinion and we need to talk it through and allow people the opportunity to understand why it is so important.

So all in all, raising awareness through talking and meeting people was the flavour of Wednesday and Thursday this week - oh, I also managed to pop in on the team that run the consumer advisory and conciliation service while I was in Glasgow.

It's great to be around the place for a while and listen to them advising motorists and helping people. The majority of calls we are receiving are from consumers who need to get some good solid advice regarding a particular circumstance, or people who need to know more about what they are entitled to - sure we are receiving some valid complaints and addressing them through the conciliation service but to date this has been very few, which is the way it should be, I'm sure you'll agree.

The team in Glasgow have also started calling potential subscribers as well now, so if you haven't already signed up - do so or they'll be after you!

All the best

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Best ad to date

Congratulations to Bartley of Southampton, they are the first to send a copy of an advert they're using.

As you'll see, they've applied some thinking to the best use of their subscription and guess what, they cracked it first time - it's an excellent example of using the Code as a marketing tool.

There you go, Bartley have set the bar!

Think you can do better, or are doing something similar - let me know about it and the next post might be yours!

All the best