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On 4 January, the government announced a new national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus.

What this means for MOT garages

MOT garages can remain open under the new national lockdown. 

A vehicle needs to have a valid MOT if it is being used, except for the journey to a pre-booked MOT.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency thanks MOT centres for continuing to follow COVID-19 secure testing procedures. “This helps to ensure the safety of the public, your staff and DVSA staff,” it says.

Bushey Hall Garage has been a Covid-aware site from the outset of this pandemic and maintains rigorous daily checks and safe systems of work to continue to protect its staff, customers and all site visitors.  The garage is open for business as usual and MOT bookings can be made by contacting Bushey Hall Garage mainline on 01923 237135.  The garage also has procedures in place to provide safe, contactless collect and delivery if customers cannot get their vehicle to Bushey Hall.

GOT A BMW PLUG-IN HYBRID? Your motor could be recalled!

BMW has issued a global recall of all its plug-in hybrid models if built between January 20th and 18th September 2020.  There are concerns that a battery fault could pose a fire risk.

So anyone with a petrol-electric version of the BMW 3,5 and 7 series, the X1,X2,X3 and X5 SUVs, the 2 Series Active Tourer and the Mini Countryman PHEV  built in that timeframe this year– should contact their main dealer for advice.  Also affected is the i8 built this year until production ended in April. 

Around 26,700 new cars are thought to be affected,  with 2930 already delivered to buyers and the rest awaiting delivery. 

Problems have been found with foreign contaminants which may have been sealed into the battery packs during production.  When the battery is fully charged it could lead to a short circuit within battery cells which may result in a fire.  BMW says the PHEV recall and delivery stop is a “preventative measure” and it has been reported in Germany that a solution could be found with a fix rolled out by the end of the month.

Ford has also recently had a  similar recall out on its Kuga PHEV.

Our advice is, if you have one of these vehicles,  do go back to your main dealer and get them checked.  If you have already received a recall letter or notification, act upon it.  Call your main dealer for further information.  You need to be sure your vehicle is sound.  That timeframe of new vehicle builds again- January 20th and 18th September 2020.  Drive safe.


THE 6-month MOT extension is to end early and drivers are urged to book their vehicle test NOW to ensure they have a slot.  As of August 1st  MOT testing is again mandatory. 

Roads minister, Baroness Vere, yesterday confirmed that those vehicles due a test from August 1st will need  to pass the MOT test before being allowed on the road. 

Many motorists have taken advantage of the MOT extension launched on March 30th to put their MOT test back.  But concerns have been expressed by  road, repair and breakdown experts that  this could result in vehicles that were not fit for the road – and potentially dangerous – still allowed to use the public highway.  One in three cars fail their MOT. 

Now, motorists need to ensure that they have a slot booked at an authorised MOT testing station ahead of the deadline and with many having put tests back, there is expected to be a rush for slots at the 11th hour.  Drivers need to be calling their  local garages, like Bushey Hall Garage, on Watford 237135, NOW to ensure that they have a test booked and then have a reminder visible in their car or attached to their car keyring to remind them not to miss the test appointment.  Alternatively, put a reminder on your mobile phone calendar and get it to flag up  the evening before your test is due.  Test slots are for given time frames only. 

Vehicle owners with an MOT date due before August 1st will still be granted a 6-month extension. 

We supported our RMIF (Retail Motor Industry Federation) and IGA’s (Independent Garage Association) call for the extension to end on safety grounds.  Insurers also maintained that cover could be effected if an incident occurs  and vehicles were found to be unfit for the road. Yesterday’s announcement was a victory for common sense.

The MOT extension was put in place as the country struggled to cope with Covid-19 and intended to ensure that those providing an essential service were able to get vehicles tested.  This included vital deliveries such as food and medicines and MOT tests for those who needed their vehicles to get to work.

We are one of the many garages, offering a Class IV MOT test that have remained open during the coronavirus, this as we, too,  provide an essential service – MOT’s, accident and breakdown recovery as well as work on vehicles for those who work for the NHS and other public services.  We offer the complete package for all drivers  – car and van checks, mechanical and bodyshop repairs, tests and tyres.

Transport ministers were originally concerned for the health of those who attended an MOT test station with their vehicles and also for the staff and their families at the testing station. Our company put additional measures in place immediately the warning bells rang on Covid and have maintained those standards which includes daily recorded risk assessments and temperature checks on all staff and sub-contractors who enter our workshops, social distancing on site,  hand sanitizers and regular hand washing. Technicians wear disposable gloves and  have face masks available.  Protective covers for vehicle seats, floorwells, handbrake, gearsticks  and steering wheel are used and all technicians have disinfectant wipes for anything else touched in or on a vehicle  while with us.   This includes vehicle keys and door handles. Contactless collection and delivery of vehicles is available, too.  Other centres have also been taking steps to reduce risks.

Bushey Hall Garage had an MOT inspection last week and this included a section purely on provisions at our centre to protect staff and customers from Covid.   Many other centres  have had or are currently receiving similar inspections.  The health and safety of our staff, customers and site visitors is most important to us. 

An MOT test is  an important vehicle check which should not be missed.  It remains the  vehicle driver and owners responsibility to ensure their vehicles remain roadworthy.                     

IGA CEO calls for end to MOT Extension

IGA CEO calls for end to MOT Extension


Bushey Hall Garage is a member of the Independent Garage Association (IGA) and supports its letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, urging him to end the six-month MOT extension put in place on 30 March 2020.

With the government now encouraging people to return to work , but avoid using public transport where possible, the IGA has said “the time is right” to stop the MOT extension.

 “With approximately one third of cars failing their initial MOT, millions of faults will be left unrectified if the full six-month extension goes ahead,” says  Stuart James, IGA chief executive.

“Small defects that would have been found in the MOT test will worsen, not only leading to an increase in the number of dangerous cars on the road, but an increase in future repair costs for vehicle owners too.”

The IGA states that 580,000 vehicles will have illegal tyres today, which will rise by another 290,000 by the end of the MOT extension – each driver could face a fine of up to £2,500 for each tyre and three penalty points if caught.

 “This is a simple defect which could have been easily rectified if an inspection was carried out, but could now cost the driver dearly and put themselves and others at risk,” Stuart added.

“Stopping the MOT extension without delay will ensure that many more cars are roadworthy, and another major step will be taken in helping the UK economy recover.”

Don’t put the MOT Test off

Don’t put the MOT Test off

The DVSA (Driver Vehicle Standards Agency)  has today issued further guidance for those with a 6-month MOT extension during the coronavirus outbreak.  ‘Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition and drivers can be prosecuted if they drive an unsafe vehicle,’ it says.

The DVSA is updating test certificates to remind drivers that if a vehicle fails its MOT the exemption no longer applies.  A failed vehicle needs to be fixed and pass its MOT before it can be driven on the road.

The six-month extension applies to cars, motorcycles, light vans or other light vehicles with an MOT due to expire on or after March 30th.    But they make it clear that ‘you must still keep your vehicle safe to drive.’ 

Bushey Hall Garage is a leading accident repair and service centre for its area. We are also a Class IV MOT testing station. We first warned vehicle owners/drivers on April 16th  that it was their responsibility to keep vehicles roadworthy and avoid possible loss of insurance cover.  If they fail to do so and an incident happens, their insurance may not cover them. 

If you know that your vehicle has an issue and could fail its test, get it checked out now – it could be something minor, or it could be  a dangerous defect.  By putting the test off, as some are aiming to do, you could  have difficulty finding a slot when the extension ends.

Our own trade association the RMIF (Retail Motor Industry Federation) had concerns from the outset and have been lobbying the government for change.  Now Kwik Fit is urging the Government to remove the extension to prevent dangerous and illegal cars taking to the roads unchecked. 

More than a million vehicles were given the extension.   Many are now not planning on getting MOTs carried out until they have to.  Others are holding back because they believe that something is wrong with their vehicle and it could fail the test.

MOT data and DVSA  failure rates studied indicate that more than a million defective vehicles could be back on our roads as the lockdown eases, 316,000 of them with dangerous defects and 780,00 with major faults. 

If your vehicle is due an MOT and you are able to get it done, book a slot now – you can call our mainline office number on 01923 237135 to secure a slot at our Bushey base.  You owe it to yourself, other road users and pedestrians, to keep your vehicles safe.

Flooded Cars

Last weekend I headed for an area around the Wash for a couple of days R & R. Advancing floodwaters meant 15 to 20miles north of Branston we could be boating!  We saw cars in ditches and radio traffic alerts warned of impassable roads. And we were in the Jaguar not the Range Rover! Stiff British upper lip time! 

If floodwater gets into your vehicle, your insurance company could write it off due to water ingress to vital components such as ECUs, electronic control units! Its very hard to remove the smell let alone get floors fully dry. Carpets and trims need replacing. Then there’s all those components to consider under the bonnet and hidden around your vehicle.  

Check out your destination first, find out where the delays are and areas to be avoided.  Ensure your vehicle is in good working order. Carry a hivis jacket, torch and working mobile phone. Have warm drinks or water on board, high energy foods, such as snack bars and chocolate, a change of clothes, warm coat and blanket. Umbrella, Wellies too!

And finally keep the telephone number of a good garage handy that has the ability to get you out of the drink any time. Recovery is just one of the services we provide. 

Call Watford 237135.

DAWN Ayres.
Director Bushey Hall Garage

Turning the Clocks Back

Do you know we have more than 2.5 million cars out on UK roads that have clocks taken back. Research has shown that on average a clocked vehicle has its odometer wound back by 70,000 miles! That’s shocking! But it happens. A shady exercise to get a better sale and selling price.

There is nothing shady, or underhand at Bushey Hall Garage. We pride ourselves on providing a first class service and quality repairs whatever a vehicles needs and our staff are trained by the best Bosch, using latest diagnostic equipment. We also do it a fraction of the price you will pay at a dealership.

Unfortunately there remain individuals who still buck the system, that do not know enough and who could ultimately cause an accident.
Choosing a good garage not only saves money, it saves lives.

Call Bushey Hall Garage on Watford 237135.

Save money and the planet

Bushey Hall Garage aims to save you money and the planet, too!

We will repair tyres where we can, avoiding the need for a  new one and to reduce the 40m waste tyres produced in the UK every year!  500,000 are shipped out of the country to be landfilled and one site in Kuwait is now so vast it can be seen from space!

One thing our centre will not do is sell you a part worn tyre.  There’s no history and it may have been involved in an RTA, perhaps a contributory factor.  We will repair if we can, replacing with new if we have to..

So how do we reduce that waste!  Put it back on the roads!  Highways England are currently trialing a new asphalt road surface on the M1 between junctions 22 and 23 using granulated rubber in the mix. Up to 750 waste tyres could be used on every  kilometre of road.  They are checking for durability. Watch this space. 

For car or van checks and repairs, call Bushey Hall Garage on Watford (01923) 237135.

Keyless vehicles

Keyless vehicles


Last week three top of the range vehicles were stolen in our area, Mercedes, BMW and Range Rover.  Keyless vehicles.  The key fobs were scanned.

If you have a keyless vehicle get yourself a Faraday Pouch, available online from £3.55 up. Once scanned your vehicle is sadly fair game. It’s a cost effective way of keeping the car thief at bay.

I’ve got one, tried starting the car with the key in the pouch, got an immediate warning message on the dash to say the vehicle could not operate. So it does block signals. Happy with that.

A friend uses hers for her credit cards!

Vehicle Checks by the Professionals saves lives

MOTORISTS are being urged to have their vehicles PROFESSIONALLY checked more often to save lives. Figures show there are more than 1500 accidents on UK roads every years due to vehicle defects.

In one year alone, 32 fatalities, 259 serious incidents, 570 accidents down to faulty brakes and under-inflated or illegal tyres contributing to 472 crashes. Tyre faults – the most common fault in fatals. Steering, suspension, lighting and mirror faults contributed to 400 incidents. This is not work that the average driver is qualified to attend to, so you should use a reputable local garage like Bushey Hall.

We always remind our customers not to miss a vehicle check and send out letters asking them to call when a service or MOT is due. These checks are there for a reason – to keep you safe.

Is your vehicle due a vehicle check?

Give us a call on Watford 237135 or book online at

Got a Jaguar or Land Rover?

44,000 vehicles are being recalled for emission irregularities – emitting more CO2 than they are certified for.

The recall affects the Land Rover Discovery, Discovery Sport, certain Range Rover Evoque, Velar and Sport models and Jaguar E-Pace, F-Pace, F-Type, XE and XF models. The recall affects models sold in the UK between 2016 and 2019 carrying 2.0L petrol or diesel engines. If you have one of these vehicles call your local dealership. Affected vehicles are to be repaired free of charge with the dealerships aiming to minimize inconvenience.

Work mainly consists of software updates, although some Evoque models may need new tyres.

ARE YOU a have-a-go car or van repair man?

A recent survey shows that almost 40% of home mechanics have had to take their car back to a garage to get the job put right after their tinkering left them in trouble!

Many believe buying their own parts, often second hand, is the answer and get cross when they order the wrong part or not all of what they need arrives. Others have ‘a friend’ who does things for them, while the rest don’t trust themselves to do a good job and would rather leave it to their garage. That’s the sensible option.

You cannot tinker with modern vehicle technology, unless you have the correct qualifications. You could end up killing someone!

Sourcing your own parts is a false economy, as home mechanics often don’t know what they are looking for. Leave it to the experts, that’s what they are there for and budget for repairs, perhaps with a Bushey Hall Trust My Garage Car Repair Plan.

Bushey Hall Garage your one stop accredited accident repair and service centre. Call Watford (01923) 237135

Another uninsured driver has been removed from the road – for now!

Drivers were warned to be aware of flat battery wednesday this week with the return to work for the first working day of the new year after many vehicles have been left standing over the holidays.

The car driver veered onto the wrong side of the road, almost colliding head on with a police car  he could not see – his windscreen was frozen over!  His vehicle was seized.

Police who stopped the vehicle added: “Driving like this is unacceptable.” Ofcourse it is!

The driver has been ordered to appear in court over the incident after officers reported him for diving without due care and attention.


Poor visibility is something drivers face in the cold snap.  Do not move off until you can see out of windows and mirrors are frost-free.

  1. Use a window protector – frostshield – to keep the front screen frost-free.
  2. Cover your vehicle at night if possible.
  3. If your vehicle is frozen, do not try forcing open locks.  Run tepid/warm water over screens, windows, door frames and locks before you try and enter the vehicle.
  4. Turn on the ignition, ensuring you are in neutral with the brake on!  Now turn on the heaters to clear screens and warm vehicle.    Do not use wipers until the screen is totally frost free and clear. Frozen wipers and a frozen screen can be damaged.
  5. Do not attempt to drive your vehicle until you have full visibility.
  6. Check that wipers are functioning OK and lights are fully functional.
  7. Ensure tyres are fully inflated and in good order.
  8. If driving in extremely cold conditions carry a  functional torch, blanket, additional warm clothing, a warm drink and something to eat.  You may need to stop your vehicle.  A warm drink and food may come in handy.
  9. Carry a fully charged phone.
  10.  If on a long journey, ensure you tell those you are planning to see the estimated time of arrival.
  11. Stop safely at regular intervals to stretch your legs and stay focused. 

Check your Battery Warning

Drivers were warned to be aware of flat battery wednesday this week with the return to work for the first working day of the new year after many vehicles have been left standing over the holidays.

Its one of the busiest days of the year for recovery crews and flat batteries are the main culprit.

Research shows that 1 in 4 motorists have never checked their battery, while 16% of 25-34 year olds cannot even find it! And 46% do not know how to jump start their vehicle.

Remember lights, heaters and gismos such as dash cams all draw on the vehicle battery.  So if vehicle batteries are getting on a bit and the temperatures dip, we could be shivering roadside.

At Bushey Hall one customer dropped his vehicle into our rear parking area for work to be done yesterday, only for the battery to be so dead it had to be jump started just to get it into the workshops!

Don’t forget those basic motor checks when vehicles have been left standing. Keep Bushey Hall garage’s number handy 01923 237135. 24Hr recovery is just one of the services we provide.

Christmas Hamper Winner

Dawn Ayres, Director of Bushey Hall Garage, presents customer David Cameron with a sweet hamper worth nearly £50, on December 21st.

The competition was geared to drive people to the new Bushey Hall website at to find the answer to the question:

Bushey Hall Garage provides an exclusive service. What is it?

David correctly bounced back with our exclusive PLATINUM service.

Congratulations David. Hope you have a very sweet tooth! Don’t forget to brush your teeth!


All motorists, car or van drivers, have a responsibility out there on the road – to stay alert and drive with care. Never act in haste or assume anything. This 26.11.18 ITV News article is a classic example of what can go wrong if we are too hasty:

‘A driver suffering a stroke was punched after crashing on the M25 because other drivers thought he was drunk. The man started driving erratically … and hit several cars as he careered towards the hard shoulder. Surrey Police were told the man was “drunk and hitting other vehicles”. After crashing into the hard shoulder, drivers restrained him and a passing motorcyclist punched him and drove off. It wasn’t until emergency services arrived that they realised he “was actually having a stroke”. He was taken to St Peter’s Hospital.’

The Police were told the driver was drunk. He may have been acting drunk. We cannot assume he was. Once medically assessed, the driver was found to be suffering a stroke. People suffering in this way often act out of character and my indeed look as if they are drunk. Upon reflection, the motorcyclist should be asking himself what HE can do to ensure HE does not act in this way again. We would suggest he takes a basic first aid course, for starters – something all drivers could gain by. Bushey Hall Garage has just the expert you need – she deals with COMMON SENSE first aid training. If you know anyone looking for a course, contact our company director, Dawn Ayres, for further details. Dawn is one of our company first-aiders and just retaken her First Aid at Work Certificate with Common Sense Training.

People fall sick. Accidents do happen. Our job as responsible drivers is to remain safe and should an incident occur, alert the emergency services and, if we can do so, WITHOUT PUTTING OURSELVES, OUR PARTY, OR OTHERS AT RISK, SEE IF WE CAN ASSIST, while we wait for the emergency services to arrive.

Vauxhall Zafira Fire Risks

Who do you know running a Vauxhall Zafira? More than 235,000 vehicles have been recalled already due to potential fire risks. 168 Zafiras have to date caught fire!

Now a further 47000 are being recalled in the uk – same reason!

It’s the Zafira b models with electronic climate control now causing grief. Vauxhalls say they need to replace the heater blower motor and regulator. Owners affected can expect a recall letter and should respond immediately, getting vehicles put right through their dealership.

DVSA is hitting vauxhall with a criminal investigation and MPs have slammed the company for blaming the fault on ‘improper and unauthorised repairs.’ The transport select committee says the manufacturer has shown ‘reckless disregard for safety.’

If you know anyone running a Zafira b model with an electronic climate control system, get them to call their nearest vauxhall dealership immediately for advice.

Counterfeit Parts

Counterfeit parts are becoming a big problem with parts so easily available online. But there’s no traceability of who manufactured the item, where it was made, the quality of the parts and the durability. Guarantees and warranties are often questionable.

Our advice to all drivers is let your garage source the parts. They know what they need and most will only use original manufacturers parts. The quality is guaranteed and you have a warranty. Its a false economy to source parts yourself. If you get the wrong part, you may not be able to return it and not knowing if it’s genuine or not you potentially put yourself and others at risk. You may even end up having to have the work done again! In many instances, these fraudsters even copy the original manufacturers packaging.

Don’t go there! Our customers always get a quality repair using quality parts and a warranty – guaranteed.

First time using this garage

Customer Testimonial:

First time using this garage. Will definitely recommend them. Extremely kind, knowledgeable and helpful staff. Wonderful atmosphere where everyone is obviously happy to be working there. My car was fixed perfectly and on time. I would love to work there myself!!!!

(Vehicle owner)

Bushey Hall Garage response:

So pleased we were able to be of service Nicky. We always aim to please! Look forward to seeing you when your vehicle needs its next check or fix. Dawn Ayres. Bushey Hall Garage.

Meticulously Mentoring Testimonial

Dear Dawn,

I’m very grateful for meticulously mentoring me with a tremendous amount of attention to details. You allowed me to have a better insight into the BNI consciousness.

I visited your gigantic garage for getting my car MOT’d. Your team were extremely friendly, prompt and reliable. I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to all my friends and associates.

I enjoyed working with you and also the mentorship you offered.

Kind Regards,

Shailesh Vadodaria

Spring Clean

Ok its Spring, although last couple of days makes us think its July-August!

Time to give your cars and vans their own spring clean with our EDT engine detox treatment. The benefits to you and your motor are enormous and it takes the same time as an MOT, or can be tagged on to your vehicle service. Get all the muck out of your vehicle engine.

Let it run like a dream. Emissions go through the floor and fuel economy through the roof. Enjoy a smoother, quieter drive and reduce vehicle running costs.

Call our service reception now, on 01923237135, to book your treatment.

Your vehicle will love you for it!

Winter Motor Care

You don’t like getting up on a cold, crispy morning. Neither does your car or van! At least most of us get covered up and kept warm at night. Not all vehicles are garaged and protected against the elements. So, time to touch basics on winter motor care.

  • USE A SCREEN PROTECTOR when temperatures dip below freezing.
  • USE DE-ICER SPRAY into frozen door locks.
  • START THE ENGINE AND GET VEHICLE HEATING ON, while you are de-icing.
  • DON’T USE WIPERS ON A FROZEN WINDSCREEN, it wrecks them. Scrape the screen clear of ice first.
  • Ensure you have good all round visibility from your motor before driving off.
  • IF THE ENGINE WON’T TURN OVER and it sounds like a machine gun going off under the bonnet, it’s a battery problem with the noise coming from your starter motor. Get your vehicle battery checked. Even a brand new battery will only produce half its rated load below 5 degrees C.
  • CHECK VEHICLE BRAKES, including the handbrake. See your local garage.
  • CHECK ALL VEHICLE FLUIDS, oils, water and antifreeze levels.
  • CHECK TYRES. Tyres should regularly be checked for wear, tread and air. If the snow hits, winter tyres are ideal – we can get those for you, too.
  • THOSE DRIVING REAR WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES consider carrying a few paving slabs in the boot of your car! The added weight improves traction in ice and snow. Can also be placed in front of wheels to help you move forward if stuck.
  • CARRY WARM CLOTHING AND A BLANKET in the boot, plus a pack of biscuits, bar of chocolate and water or a thermos hot drink. If you are on special medication, ensure you carry it with you.
  • ENSURE YOUR MOBILE TEL is working and fully charged up.
  • IF DRIVING CONDITIONS ARE SEVERE, ask yourself, do you really need to make that journey? If you do, tell a family member where you are going. Give them an idea of when you should arrive and that you will call to confirm safe arrival. They will be expecting that call.

KEEP OUR NUMBER HANDY! If you need us, remember Bushey Hall is here for you, offering 24-hr recovery, and service, mechanical, diagnostic repairs, full bodyshop facilities, MOT’s and tyres. Ask our reception about the unique new Bushey Hall Garage platinum service.

Drive safely and a very Happy Christmas from all at Bushey Hall Garage.

TEL: WATFORD (01923) 237135

Electric cars need to sing!

Electric cars need to sing! Electric cars have a safety issue, but not related to the motors, to the public. Because they move along the road surface silently people can’t hear them coming. Nissan has unveiled sound future electric vehicles with the ‘canto’ concept, canto from Latin for ‘I sing.’

Designed with pedestrian safety in mind, the unique sound varies in pitch and tone depending on driving conditions. Now car manufacturers are being told ALL electric cars must make noise by 2019! If you are currently using an electric vehicle and it makes no noise, better start singing lessons or ensure the horn works! Be careful out there.

Hay Fever Sufferers

WARNING: All hay fever sufferers who drive. 2-million drivers are thought to have had an accident, near miss or loss of control of their vehicle as a direct result of hay fever! A sneeze at 70mph can impair vision for up to 100 metres. Keep vehicle windows closed and get your air-conditioning checked.

Air condition units need to be run throughout the year not just when its warm and need decontaminating once a year and the pollen filter changed. Worried about your air-con.

Give us a call at Bushey Hall.

Feeling the Heat?

You feeling the heat while driving? Its hot out there!

How’s your air-conditioning?

If you feel the air-conditioning in your motor is not up to par, give us a call. It may need a quick re-gas. Get it checked out.

Contact Us