Look at your car and it will look after you

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WITH the long autumn and winter months ahead of us, it is now that motorists should be considering having their cars serviced and prepared to cope with possible more severe weather conditions that this season usually provides.

But where is the best place to have your car serviced and will the best turn out to be the most expensive?

Taking the cheap route of skimping on regular servicing or avoiding it all together can be a false economy in the long run.

Cars these days are generally very reliable. Certainly much more so than say 30 years ago when motorists accepted that if you owned a car it was very likely to let you down at some stage during the life of ownership, and often more than once.

Cars are much more dependable now and motorists have come to expect them to continue working and be reliable.

This built-in reliability, however, will only be retained if a vehicle is regularly maintained by people who know what they are doing and use the proper equipment to service a car.

Most garages and dealerships these days have recognised the need to provide customers with cost effective servicing and repairs and the competition between them to secure a regular customer base has meant that the motorist now has a variety of choices available for vehicle maintenance.

What is more, many don’t realise that most service centres now offer their customers a host of different options and services to make having your car maintained at their centre as inconvenient and stress free as possible.

Many offer free courtesy cars or a pick up and delivery service from your home or place of work.

Competition in this sector of the market is so keen that many centres offer special rates on servicing to retain customers. So it is worth 
looking around for the best deals to help reduce your overall motoring costs. Many centres now offer fixed price servicing so you know what the bill will be before the bonnet is even lifted.

The high street express-fit centres led the way in menu pricing, but main dealers and other service outlets soon caught on to the fact that customers liked knowing what they were set to pay in advance, and the practice has now been taken up throughout the industry.

Some servicing centres even operate finance schemes that allow you to spread the cost of your service over the 
ownership life of your car.

However, at the end of the day the bottom line is often money. Main dealers are regularly perceived as being much more expensive than local garages but this is not the case any more.

Competition has brought costs down and improved quality throughout the market.

Having your vehicle maintained at a recognised service and repair centre has never been so compelling or important. With autumn here and winter on its way make sure your car is ready.

Even aspects of driving as basic as using the accelerator could stand review.

The accelerator is a key factor which affects tyre grip, among other things.

Its two main functions – acceleration and deceleration – are critical to every aspect of your driving. Yet, excessive speed and violent acceleration are the most common causes of skidding.

By developing a sensitive touch on the throttle, you will enable your vehicle to be better balanced in all situations, especially during the dangerous winter months.

Choosing the correct gear, too, is important – many people are guilty of driving in too high a gear, which labours the engine and pushes up fuel consumption, but also can reduce the car’s response when you accelerate or decelerate.