Check out Inchcape’s High Tech Showroom

Technology buffs and car fans, lend us your ears: the classic showroom is getting a whole new look. Inchcape Volkswagen just launched the largest UK showroom, but save your “wow” for the end of this article. Why? The features are too good to miss. You can see it in person by heading down Capital Interchange Way in Brentford. The facility expanded enough to support 90 cars on four levels.

Inchcape's new Volkswagen West London showroom

The inclusive service philosophy is on display here, where everything is offered in-house under one roof. From quality sales servicing to top notch repair, the 70-person-strong team is waiting to take care of customers’ needs in record time.
What’s driving all of this? According to the Director of Volkswagen UK: growth. In order to drive sales, new projects have to be part of the company’s core foundation.

It’s not all high tech glitz, of course: old fashioned attention to customers’ needs is at the heart of the project. The space covers 1.6 acres and has plenty of places for new and old customers alike to sit and look over the selection, or wait for their car to be serviced.

If you go in person, you have to check out the 11 foot movie walls, where the sales team can show unique features of every vehicle offered. Sometimes the visual touch is needed to bring customers into the full experience. It can be frustrating when you’re shopping for a car to not get to see every angle, but this solution should clear that problem up nicely.

Aside from these huge screens, you have some features that play well towards the industry’s overall focus on green initiatives. There is a vertical garden that is well over 230 square metres and links up solar panels to help with the electricity demands of the showroom. Prospective customers can look at the garden while using touchscreens and tablets to search through the selection. Convenience at the click of a button? More like a swipe of the finger these days!

This showroom isn’t just for new cars, of course: there are two floors fully devoted to pre-owned vehicles and each floor encompasses the spirit of ‘Das WeltAuto’.

This West London location is set to be quite the interesting venue to stop by and truly see what Inchcape Volkswagen plans to do for the growth of the brand and the delight of their customers.

Clocked Cars, The Car Buyer’s Worst Nightmare

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Despite the rise of online shopping and research, there’s a terrible scourge plaguing the car buying marketplace: clocked cars. This is where the mileage reading of the vehicle up for grabs is modified so that thousands of pounds are added to the sale price. It’s a great deal for the seller, but an obviously terrible time for the buyer. OSV LTD, a premier leasing provider, pulled back the curtain on some shocking statistics. They stated that 62% of car buyers are concerned about purchasing one of those badly modified vehicles, but only 13% of that buying group actually understands the dangers of car clocking. Over three-quarters of the buyers surveyed stated that they don’t know how to check for a clocked car.

clocked cars

Debbie Kirkley is the co-founder of OSV and had her own remarks to share. She mentioned that according to prevailing research, there’s one clocked car in every group of twenty cars up for sale. Those are not the type of odds that we look forward to, and she cautions buyers to be careful when they make their purchases.

The company at large is cautioning anyone purchasing a secondhand vehicle to do as much research as possible. But other than inflated prices, there’s a reason why car clocking is truly a buyer’s nightmare: servicing agreements. You see, if there’s a warranty attached to the vehicle, a clocked car will hit those milestones faster than one that isn’t. This means even more money spent on repairs that would have otherwise been covered by the agreement. On top of that, there are times where mileage dictates what parts are taken care of at the garage and which ones come at a later time.

You can protect yourself and stay safe on the road by following a few tips. Make sure that you try to get as much contact information as you can, so you can follow up with any servicing garage listed. Also, check in with the previous owner and see if they have their records. Usually they will record mileage sooner or later. Finally, you can do the HPI check, which will reveal the mileage as well. If you are the potential victim of car clocking, don’t let the seller get away clean. Report these fraudulent transactions immediately.

Mobility-Friendly vehicles give You the Freedom You truly deserve

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If you’re one of the fortunate people that have a circle of friends and family willing to take you anywhere and everywhere that you need to go, Motability probably isn’t on top of your mind right now. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people relying on public transportation, taxis, and flaky handlers to get their day to day errands taken care of. While this works for a while, there comes a point where you want to do more than just exist, living from one shopping trip to another. There’s only so many times where you can get excited about buying milk, for example.

The Motability allowance gives people the freedom to finally take their lives back through consistent, reliable transportation. Having a motability allowance is powerful, as long as you have options in terms of how to spend your allowance. You want to focus on the future, and being able to get something that’s going to serve your needs well. In addition to this concern, you want to take your allowance to a reputable place. Sadly, there are plenty of bad schemes out there that prey on the sick and disabled, which always breaks our hearts when we hear about it.

motability volkswagen

That’s why we were excited to check into Inchcape Volkswagen. They are very used to working within the framework of the Motability program, and they can give you more than just the keys to a leased vehicle. They can give you a solid place to get repairs, handle the insurance and road tax issues, address maintenance concerns, and even give you the structure to get a new vehicle every three years. (more…)

Flex Your DIY Muscles and replace Your Car’s Radiator

Every car buff has a moment where they fall down what we like to call the DIY rabbit hole. In other words, they get so wrapped up in fixing things on their car that they feel like they can ditch the garage and do a lot of things on their own. If you’re itching for a project, you may want to consider replacing your radiator.

Here’s the deal: leaking coolant sooner or later becomes a major problem that can actually ruin that big nice engine that you just had dropped in. Most people don’t think about the radiator, until they start smelling a smoky sweet smell in the air. That’s your coolant leaking out of the vehicle, and you’re going to have to park the car and figure out what’s wrong.

Cars Radiator

Popping the bonnet will almost seem like a silly idea, because you may not see anything noticeable for a while. If you get back to your DIY spot and you need to handle the radiator, here’s what you need to do.

First and foremost, look up the radiator just to be sure you’ve got a good source in case you do have to replace it outright or just apply sealant (you know, if you get lucky to avoid the costs). We recommend Advanced Radiators, because they have just about every radiator you can think of. Not only that, but they helped found the Independent Cooling Experts Group, a national entity devoted to upholding standards across the industry. After all, it makes sense: you want to buy from a company that understands exactly what they’re selling and how important it is to maintain quality. (more…)

Give Propshaft Maintenance a closer look

Propshafts. If you’re a car enthusiast, you already know that the propshaft is what helps bring the drive train to life, and therefore driving in general. It’s all about the torque, baby. But if you aren’t careful, you have to make sure that you keep a good eye on your propshafts, because they are susceptible to a lot of stress. You have not only shear stress, but torsion as well. Everything also has to be weighted properly, because if a driving shaft is too heavy, it would drag on the other components of the drive train too much.

But enough physics. You need to know how to protect your prop shaft more than you need to know about how all of the mechanics work. There are a few tips that you ought to keep in mind when you’re trying to keep the parts working well for a long time to come.

Propshaft Maintenance

What’s the top protector of prop shafts everywhere? Why, grease of course! If you’re working on a vehicle that is going to take a heavy beating day to day, then you need to keep those shafts as lubricated as possible. Remember that so much of your vehicle’s movement is going to depend on how well your drive shafts are working.

By the way, have you considered swapping out one propshaft for another? Changing the angle of your propshaft is recommended before you make other modifications. Going off road is usually one of the top reasons people start looking at how to move the angle of their current shaft. Before you can go off road and get all muddy, however, you need to consider switching to a ‘shaft with a wider angle.

Going to 30 degrees instead of the standard 2-3 degrees will help your prop shafts bear stress better than if you just stick with the stock models.

Part of maintenance is knowing how to replace a shaft gone bad, which means that you need to know how to measure it. The wrong measurement will weaken the entire system, if not halt movement altogether. You should measure the prop shaft while it’s closed, and just move from one end to the other.

Paying attention to the way your car feels as you go on the road will often tell you a lot. If you’re having trouble controlling the vehicle, accelerating, or getting power, it isn’t a bad idea to consider the propshaft might need to be replaced or at least greased up to prevent a breakdown. Speaking of replacements, check out Driveshaft Solutions. They excel at answering in-depth questions about all things torque, muscle, and propshafts.

Stay safe out there, gearheads!

A New Name Fitting for a Regional Leader

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When consumers start to enter the market for a new car, where do they go? Generally speaking, they go back to a company that they’ve already done business with, or one that they trust through the recommendation of a friend. It’s this spirit that is driving a acquisition in the car dealership industry, with Lookers plc acquiring Benfield. The newly-acquired dealerships will now be known as Lookers, and there’s quite the awareness campaign going on.

It goes a bit deeper, of course. Both companies are driven by close customer interaction, family traditions, and a long history. Lookers is focused on easing people slowly into the new name, while maintaining the processes and customs that customers count on as they make their purchasing decisions.

lookers

Nigel McMinn is the Managing Director for Lookers and offered a few choice statements on the acquisition as well as the rebranding campaign, saying, “Benfield is a strong regional brand, steeped in family values and history. It has therefore been essential, since our acquisition, that our name-change and rebrand plans have followed a phased approach to take our customers on a seamless journey to the new Lookers brand and values.”

From a business standpoint, the move to acquire Benfield was a very clever one indeed. Benfield was the company behind over 30 dealerships scattered throughout the UK. There are also some retail outlets, both types of property are located primarily in Northeastern England, West of Scotland and Yorkshire. (more…)

Cancelling Your Travel Plans this Easter – You’re Not Alone

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Everyone loves a good bank holiday, as long as you’ve planned ahead of time. This is usually a great chance to see family and friends, since most will have time away from the office whether they like it or not.

Yet if you’ve been thinking about cancelling your travel plans due to traffic concerns, you’re not alone. It goes without saying that when there’s an increased number of motorists on the road, the chances for an accident increase dramatically. Add to it the usual stress people have of trying to get where they need to go with a limited amount of time, and the risk for accident climbs even higher. Who wants to miss Easter dinner because they were on the road?

Easter holiday

OSV Ltd conducted an interesting survey that revealed some new trends. First off, you’re not alone if you’ve cancelled your plans. OSV, the vehicle leasing supplier, indicated that 53% of us stated they weren’t going to drive on the roads until the chocolate season is over. That’s a huge figure, considering that well over three-quarters of motorists in 2014 said that they would do whatever they needed to do in order to be able to drive over the Easter bank holiday.

Sometimes, you just can’t afford to make the trip, and this is a sentiment that 14% of those that opted to avoid car journeys mentioned. Another big reason to stay home, other than just wanting to avoid the traffic? A lack of urgency. We live in the age of technology, where we can connect with family without leaving our homes. Smartphone technology has come a long way, and videoconferencing is the norm rather than a rare event.

Only 47% of motorists said that they really would fire up the car for a journey over the Easter break, which is a huge drop as we said before. According to Debbie Kirkley, this sounds like a trend that might be here to stay. “It is no surprise that potential traffic delays are putting a lot of people off travelling over the Easter period. A long journey being made even longer can be a very stressful time and can result in in-car arguments or accidents.”

If you are going to be on the road, be prepared for these delays. Keep bottled water in the car so you don’t get stuck without it, and bring along things to keep the children entertained if your journey begins to take longer than expected.