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As with many events, appointments and everyday goings-on, even the mandatory annual UK MOT, for vehicles over 3 years old, has had some interference and adjustment. Due to lockdown and many workplaces being shut down, minimised and having to adhere to social distancing, it has been recognised that vehicle MOT’s for certain time periods needed some sort of extension to give car owners a chance to get their MOT accomplished safely.

Therefore, any MOT’s that expired on or after 30 March 2020 through 31 July 2020 have been extended for 6 months. Please be aware that if your MOT was due from 1 August 2020, there will not be an option to extend and you must complete a MOT as normal. If you ever forget or lose track of your MOT information you can visit https://www.gov.uk./check-mot-status and enter your vehicle details in order to see if you have an MOT certificate and when it expires.

Connected Services are increasingly prevalent in modern vehicles, and once you understand what they are, it’s very easy to see why – they’re an excellent revenue-generator for the manufacturer and their dealer network.

Originally only present in the premium marques, these are now filtering down to the more middle-of-the-road manufacturers like Vauxhall. Essentially Connected Services entails your vehicle having an in-built telematics system, that transmits data about your vehicle directly to the manufacturer for use by the dealer network.

On the face of it, this does have a number of key benefits for the end user, particularly in terms of safety and convenience. If you get into an accident, the car calls the emergency services and transmits your location. If the car breaks down, it informs the breakdown service where you are, and what’s wrong. If you have a fault with your vehicle, the car transmits that to the manufacturer so you can book into a dealer for repairs without them having to then waste time doing diagnostics when you get there.

However, it’s important to remember that this service will always direct you to a dealer network, and as we’re well aware – that may not be the cheapest or best way to go, particularly if your car is out of warranty.

As small businesses go, car garages give you the opportunity to set up a really profitable venture. After all, most families now have at least one car, and cars are always going to require work. For someone with experience in cars, this is going to be a very good business opportunity.

It will also benefit you to have business experience behind you. If you don’t personally, think about having an investor or employing someone to help with the running of the business. If you do this, it is important you listen to their recommendations and are willing to follow their advice.

You need to be strategic about where you set up a business. Make sure it is in the right kind of area, where there is the potential to get plenty of business. Carry out market research and make sure there isn’t too much competition in your immediate local area.

Drivers need to be aware of low emission zones and the policies to reduce pollution. It is the shared responsibility of all of us to keep the UK and especially big busy cities, as healthy for people as we possibly can. This means reducing emissions from vehicles and ensuring we all play our part.

Many places now have low emission zones, and may also charge more to park diesel cars in certain areas. Diesel cars may also be taxed more and charged more to drive in certain London boroughs.

These are some of the ways you can reduce emissions as a driver:

  • Walk, cycle or take public transport when you can. Of course, this won’t always be practical, but every little helps.
  • Car share. Drive to work with a group of people and share fuel costs.
  • Choose an electric or hybrid car. This uses electricity, at least in part, reducing harmful emissions.

A number plate that you have specifically chosen and bought for your vehicle is called a personalised number plate. They are popular in the UK, especially at this time of year when people may buy them as presents. Quite often, people won’t necessarily be looking for a personalised number plate – they may just see one that is appropriate for them.

A personalised number plate will usually be one that has something appropriate on it for you. If you have a nickname, for example, you might be able to find a number plate that has your nickname on it. The ‘words’ will usually be made up of various numbers and letters, put together to make other numbers and letters. You won’t be able to create your own but you can look out for one that is apt for you. It can be nice to personalise your car and make it mean something to you by using a personalised number plate.