Happy Easter from FastFit Station!

Whatever you’re up to this bank holiday weekend, the FastFit team wish you a very happy Easter! Harry and June have been collecting eggs, so to be in for a chance of winning a chocolate-filled Easter prize, go and visit Grippy, our mobile tyre fitting team, on Facebook and click the ‘like’ button!

 

FastFit station car servicing MOT Milton Keynes

Remember if you’re driving to see family this weekend, make sure your car is in good condition – if you need a quick checkover or need to book in for a service or MOT, give us a call on 01908 280 720 or book online.

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Does Your SatNav Make You Swear?

 

Do you turn the air blue when driving with your SatNav? A recent study by Direct Line showed that 55% of drivers end up swearing when using a SatNav compared to 31% who felt the need for profane language without!

And women are worse offenders than men, with 48% of women losing their cool while behind the wheel compared to 40% of men. The study used eye-tracking technology to monitor their driving behaviour to find that only 22% of the participants were actually aware of swearing more than usual.

Unsurprisingly, younger drivers were more susceptible to four-letter words whereas only 15% of motorists aged between 40 and 49 using profanity to make themselves feel better…

It seems that even mild-mannered people are as likely as any other to use expletives when behind the wheel, especially during stressful and irritating situations like being tail-gated or driving behind a slow driver. One of the most annoying instances for the male participants appeared to be when another driver used the outer lane when not overtaking, which was more than twice as likely to cause a man to swear than a woman. For women the worst offender was being cut up by another driver.

Direct Line offered a few tips for avoiding getting irate when driving, such as:

* Making sure you’re comfortable while behind the wheel – having a sore back or neck because of a badly adjusted seat can make you more irritable than usual.

* Plan your journey and make sure you know where you’re going and how to get there – getting lost or accidentally taking a wrong turn is likely to make anyone annoyed.

* Try to rise above it and avoid letting bad or aggressive drivers get to you. You’re more likely to drive recklessly or dangerously if you’re angry.

* Keep distractions to a minimum, including listening to music, eating and drinking.

We can’t help you drive completely stress-free but we can help you to avoid an irritating flat tyre or technical failure while driving – get your car checked out at FastFit Station for your MOT or car service to ensure that breaking down isn’t one of those moments that makes you say something like *************!!!!

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How to Appeal a Parking Ticket

how to appeal a parking ticket

 

Sometimes even with the best of intentions we end up parking somewhere we shouldn’t. If you’ve ever found an ominous yellow envelope on your windscreen you’re certainly not the only one! Over 6.8 million parking fines were issued during 2011, according to statistics found by Swiftcover, raising £234 million in revenue from drivers illegally parked. However, a quarter of those tickets was appealed, with almost 40% being successfully overruled. So if you find yourself with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and don’t believe you were in the wrong, it might be worth appealing the decision! Here’s how to do it:

1) Record the evidence

Take a picture of your vehicle and its parking space – look for unclear road markings, signs, faulty ticket machines or anything else that could help you revoke the charge. If there are any witnesses, take down their details and ask them to provide you with a signed statement.

2) Appeal formally in writing

Send a letter or email formally appealing according to the guidelines on your PCN. You will need to provide information about why you’re challenging the charge and any relevant evidence along with your address, registration number and PCN reference. You will need to do this within 28 days, although if you appeal within 14 days and you don’t win the appeal you will pay a discounted fee.

3) Rejection or success

If your appeal is successful, celebrate! If not, you have a further 28 days to appeal the decision with the Independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

What are the grounds for appeal?

It’s useful to know in what situations you can appeal a PCN. Of course, it’s better to ensure you park legally at all times but if you find your car unfairly plastered with a charge notice then keep the following grounds for appeal in mind to see if you can appeal the ticket:

* Unclear or misleading signs or road markings

* The penalty charge is higher than the applicable amount

* The council issued a new restriction without following appropriate procedures

* The PCN doesn’t contain the required information

* The vehicle was stolen, taken without the owner’s consent or the driver was not the owner when the charge occurred.

* The council claims the charge notice was issued via post (perhaps because the traffic warden was unable to give the ticket in person) but this did not happen

* The vehicle is a hire car

* The charge has already been paid

* Extenuating circumstances such as an emergency or breakdown

 

We hope you don’t need to use this information but we hope it helps if you find yourself with a PCN in the future! And of course if you have any worries about the condition of your car or need a quick and efficient MOT or car service, drop into a FastFit Station near you soon!

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Booking a Car Service and MOT in Milton Keynes

MOTs and car servicing at FastFit Station Milton Keynes

Why not cut costs and save time and book your car in for a service and MOT at the same time – just contact any FastFit Station in Milton Keynes or book online with our easy booking system. All you need to do is enter your vehicle details (make, model and engine size) and we’ll calculate your savings according to the type of service you choose! We offer a range of services, including major car services, interim services and oil and filter changes so that you can decide on the right option for your car and your budget.

Our technicians are fast and efficient and always take the time to explain any recommended work to you so that you can make the best decision possible. If you want to wait in our warm and comfy waiting rooms you can enjoy the latest magazines, fresh tea, coffee and biscuits, and there are even toys and games to entertain your kids. Or if you’re too busy to wait but need a courtesy car you can take away one of our nifty little FastFit Minis!

And with half price services and MOTs throughout March, you’d be mad not to book your car in with FastFit Station this month!

 

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Advice from FastFit Station to keep you safe and motoring through the snow and ice

FastFit Station – your local garage in Milton Keynes wants to help keep you moving this Winter. With the abundance of snow and ice we’ve recently encountered, along with below freezing temperatures it looks likely that poor driving conditions are here to stay for a while. Read on for some winter driving tips and stay safe.

Make sure you allow plenty of time for your journey and let someone know the route you are taking. Drive at a reduced speed in poor visibility and poor road conditions. Use your headlights and fog lights in thick fog, remembering to turn them off when the weather has improved. Ensure you keep a good distance from the vehicle in front and be extra cautious of what other vehicles around you might do. Be vigilant of the tell-tale glistening on roads in icy conditions. Brake lightly when stopping to avoid skidding. Drive as smoothly as possible and don’t make any sudden manoeuvres.

  • Ensure you’re fully prepared for the journey ahead by checking your battery is fully charged and all your lights are working. The windscreen wipers need to be in full working order with a winter additive added to your screen wash to help keep your screen clear and clean. All your windows should be clear as the glare of the winter sun can make it difficult to see through a dirty windscreen. Any snow or ice should be fully cleared off the roof and around your vehicle. It can fly off during driving causing a hazard to other road users. You should check the tyre pressures are correct and have plenty of tread depth. If you’ve had winter tyres fitted you will really see and feel the difference. Make sure your car has had it’s service to keep it well maintained. We are currently offer half price car servicing in Milton Keynes on all makes and models of vehicles until the end of January.

Compile an emergency kit to keep in the boot of your vehicle consisting of essentials such as an ice scraper and de-icer, a torch, warm clothes and a blanket, food and drink, boots, a first-aid kit, battery jump leads and a small spade.

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Working wiper blades this Winter

They are a crucial component to your vehicle yet they are one of the most neglected. Having efficiently working wiper blades are a necessity all year round but particular so in the winter.

We advise you to check your wiper blades regular and if they start making unusual sounds, are not moving smoothly or leave smears and streaks then its time to have them replaced. It is important to check them regularly in order to help maintain the best visibility in poor and hazardous driving conditions. Working windscreen wipers will help to keep your screen clear from rain, sleet, debris and steam that can restrict your view. Driving in these conditions is bad enough as it is without making the situation worse by having a screen that you are unable to clear and barely see out of.

Be cautious of turning on your windscreen wipers on a cold frozen morning. You could potential rip off the runner on your wipers or possibly blow a fuse if they are frozen solid to the screen. Ensure you use a scraper and de-icer fluid beforehand to remove the frost. Never use boiling water from the kettle, even if you’re running late – unless you want a cracked windscreen! You should also clear off heavy snow prior to using wipers so not to put too much strain on the blades.

For more car advice and tips check out Fastfit Station’s blog page. Our garages based in Milton Keynes can help keep your screens clear whatever the weather. We also think that you should have a clear view of the price too. All of our prices include both the wiper blades and the fitting and are guaranteed for 12 months! For a free quote simply enter your vehicle details via this link.

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Essential driving tips in the winter – Part 2

  • In our previous blog - Essential driving tips in the winter – Part 1 we discussed the importance of having your vehicle regularly serviced and maintained and listed some useful items you should ideally store in the boot prior to setting off on your journey. So how should you drive in certain wintry conditions. For some new and inexperienced drivers the thought of getting behind a wheel in the snow or ice is truly terrifying. Read on to discover some useful tips when faced with snow and ice on the road and adept your driving as required.

 

Reduce your speed – the chances of skidding are much higher and your stopping distance will increase hugely.

  • Drive only at a speed of which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. The speed limits set are usually much too fast in hazardous conditions.
  • Try not to brake too harshly nor accelerate too quickly.Avoid sharp steering.
  • Ensure you reduce your speed smoothly, judging and allowing enough time on slippery surfaces.
  • Allow plenty of time to slow down before bends and corners.
  • It is very dangerous to brake on an icy or snow covered bend. Your vehicle could end up spinning due to the centrifugal force which will pull you outwards causing the wheels to be less grippy.
  • To avoid your wheels locking when braking on ice or snow select a lower gear than normal and allow your speed to fall before applying your brakes very gently.
  • As you may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking ensure you leave a big gap between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Make sure you keep your vehicle well-ventilated. An overheated car can make you feel sleepy and cause you to lose concentration.
  • During snowy conditions stop often to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
  • Use dipped headlights when visibility is poor.

 

Should you find yourself stuck in the snow avoid revving your engine to try and get out of it. This will inevitably make the situation worse. Instead select the highest gear you can and move your vehicle slowly forwards. If this proves to be unsuccessful you may have to ask for someone to give you a push or start digging with your shovel!

 

For all your winter car servicing needs look no further than Fastfit Station. From winter tyres to MOTs your friendly local garage in Milton Keynes can help keep your motoring all year round.

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Essential driving tips in the winter – Part 1

Driving during the winter is very different to any other times of the year. With the clocks going back the nights become darker for longer and the adverse and typical British weather can make driving more hazardous. As the last two winters have seen flooding and heavy snow we thought we’d share some essential driving tips to help keep you safe and moving this winter. You should be prepared for your journey to take you into different weather, road and traffic conditions and adapt your driving as necessary for each one.

Having your vehicle serviced fully serviced before Winter and your anti freeze checked is the best start for both you and your vehicle. It will help keep your car on the road and reliable and keep you warm and going places too. Fastfit Stations have several garages in and around Milton Keynes and offer competitive prices on car servicing as well as MOT’s and tyres.

Before you set off on your journey spare five minutes to run through these checks:

  • Lights are clean and working
  • Windscreen, wiper blades and other windows are clean and the washer bottle filled with screen wash
  • Check all of your tyres condition, tread depth and pressure, not forgetting the spare.
  • Fluids are kept topped up, especially windscreen wash (to the correct concentration to prevent it freezing), anti-freeze and oil

Ensure you have a good supply of de-icer, windscreen wash, oil and anti-freeze at the start of the season.

In the event where very bad weather is predicted it is a wise idea to store an emergency kit particularly if you have a long journey ahead of you. You’re then prepared should you get into a tricky situation for example becoming stranded in your car overnight due to heavy snow. Items listed below could really help you out in that spot of bother:

  • Tow rope
  • A shovel
  • Wellington boots
  • A hazard warning triangle
  • De-icing equipment
  • First aid kit
  • A torch
  • Blankets
  • Warm clothes
  • Emergency Food supply
  • A fully charged mobile phone

Prior to setting off to your destination check out the latest weather and travel updates and keep yourself regularly updated just in case you may need to take an alternate route. When the emergency services advise you against travelling you should really take into consideration whether you’re journey is necessary.

If you are looking to get your vehicle serviced this Winter, need to book in for your yearly MOT test or its time to change those tyres then look no further than Fastfit Station. With several garages located in and around Milton Keynes we pride ourselves on good old fashioned service.

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Winter Air Con Service

Believe it or not but properly functioning air conditioning is just as important in the winter months as it is in the summer. One of the first things you will do when you get into your cold car is turn the dials upto full with the vents directed to the windscreen to help it demist. Many manufacturer’s list it as being a safety feature which is another reason to have a regular air conditioning service.

When you book your vehicle in for its service in Milton Keynes at your nearest Fastfit Station you can request to have your air conditioning recharged. Each year an air conditioning unit will lose up to 10% of its refrigerant gas. Imagine if its been many years since a recharge and how poorly your unti must be working!

Not only will the car benefit from an air con service in that it will be working more effectively to help keep you comfortable all year round it can also be more efficient as systems that are not functioning correctly can significantly increase your fuel consumption. Bacteria can also build up in the unit which in turn can trigger allergies and cause illness

If you’re having your vehicle serviced or MOT carried out at one of our Milton Keynes garages why not ask for the air con to be serviced too and feel the advantages a clean working air conditioning unit can do for you and your motor.

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It’s not too late to change over to Winter Tyres

If you have been contemplating for a few weeks over whether or not to change over to winter tyres then its not too late. Generally most people have winter tyres on their vehicle from around October through to April so you would still have a good couple of months use out of them. With the weather forecast continuously advising off the big freeze on its way and comparing the past couple of years sub zero conditions it is highly advisable to do so in order to assist your in keeping safer during these cold and wetter months of the year.

Many motorists think that winter tyres are designed just to be used in heavy snow, this is not the case as drivers will benefit from using winter tyres on slush, ice, frost and even wet roads. You are in fact better off with winter tyres as soon as the temperature falls below +7 degrees centigrade. Unlike your everyday tyres these specifially designed tyres feature a unique rubber compound and do not harden at lower temperatures which means they provide you with a much better grip on the road and the ability to stop in a shorter distance. On a set of standard tyres the compound loses its flexibility which results in tyres being less grippy in colder temperatures.

Your local Fastfit Station holds stock of winter tyres at their garages located in and around Milton Keynes. Alternatively we can come to you with our mobile tyre fitting service that covers a 50 mile radius from Milton Keynes. Don’t delay, call us today!

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