Top Tips For Travelling By Car This Summer

How to get ready for summer travel

2020 has been a rollercoaster year so far. But the summer isn’t over yet and most of us are still trying to make the most of it. With many international travel restrictions still in effect, summer travel this year will be very different for many of us. Domestic travel by road this summer is looking like a great option to consider.

Before you head off for a road trip, here are some top tips to keep in mind:

Pre-Travel

  • Packing up all your summer road trip essentials
    Besides your favourite summer hat, make sure you pack things that will come in handy. Some essentials include a roadside emergency kit and first aid kit, reusable bottles of water and snacks, sunscreen and most importantly a playlist that includes all your favourite road trip sing-alongs.
  • Is your car ready for a summer road trip? 
    If your vehicle hasn’t been used to any great extent recently, it is recommended to do a thorough checkup of your vehicle in advance and get any issues fixed prior to traveling. Check our 6 car checks you can do yourself here.
  • COVID-19 precautions you can take
    Once you decide your destination, do your research about local guidelines and policies. Some beaches and tourist locations have rules in place to ensure the safety of both the locals as well as tourists.Along with the mandated face mask, it’s advisable to carry sufficient hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and sprays.

During Your Travel

  • Social Distancing
    With COVID-19 still being a significant threat to our health, it’s important to maintain social distancing especially at high touchpoint areas such as petrol stations, garages or even convenience stores.
  • Sanitising
    Use that hand sanitiser you carried if you come in contact with any public space. When you re-enter or exit your vehicle, it is advisable to sanitise or wash your hands for 20 seconds whenever possible.
  • Eating out
    If you are to dining out, make sure you double down on the preventative measures and take all the precautions needed to protect yourself and the people you interact with. The government has provided more guidance for your journey here.

Once You’re back home

  • Clean Up
    Or even better, do a deep clean! Make sure you separate your clothes for laundry and hop into the shower. Disinfect your car and any other surfaces such as luggage, picnic baskets, coolers, etc.

At ClickMechanic, we offer contact-free car servicing & repairs to help keep customers and mechanics safe. If you are concerned that your vehicle may not be ready to drive or if you are not sure what is wrong with your car then place a booking online for our 28-point Vehicle Health Check.

Book your car repair now

Con-fused? What To Do When Your Car Blows A Fuse

At some point, you’ve probably heard someone mention that their car has ‘blown a fuse’, the reasons why can often be mystifying. This week we’ll break down what fuses do in a car and how you can best deal with a blown fuse.

Fuses are an integral part of a car’s electrical system, and help protect the various electrical components fitted to your car. With cars becoming ever more complex electrically, however, the number of fuses used has also increased. With this has come more confusion over which fuse could have blown and why.

Fuses – What Do They Do And What To Do If They Fail

  • How does a fuse work?
    The main part of a fuse is a thin wire or metal strip designed to melt at an electrical current draw slightly over the standard draw of the electrical component(s) and wiring it is protecting. When this metal strip or wire melts, it does so very quickly, which is why you can see them flash and pop, hence the term ‘blown’.
  • How do I know a fuse has blown?
    The first obvious sign is that the equipment you were trying to use, no longer works. You may also find that a few other items may not work either and that is a very clear indication of a fuse being blown. Many circuits use the same fuse to protect them, so for instance, if your radio, interior light and electric mirrors no longer work, it could be the fuse that covers them.
  • How do I find out which fuse has blown?
    The best place to start is your vehicle’s handbook, if you still have it. There will be a section on the fuses and what they cover. It will also tell you the location of the fuse box and also, more importantly, which fuse it is! Most fuses will be colour coded. The most common ones are 5A orange, 10A red, 20A yellow and 30A green. When you pull out the fuse, you should be able to see if it has blown by the broken strip or even a blackened burn mark where it has burnt.
  • Do’s and Don’ts
    • Only replace a fuse when the equipment, and ideally the ignition, is switched off.
    • If there are a number of items that are protected by one fuse, only switch them on one by one. Otherwise, if it blows a second time, you will not know what item is causing it.
    • Never replace a fuse with a higher rating than the one you are replacing. Equipment may be damaged, or in the worst-case scenario, the wiring loom can melt instead which can cause a fire!

If you are unsure what is wrong with your car’s electrics or need help finding out why a fuse keeps blowing, then book a FREE phone consultation with one of our experienced in-house mechanics or place a booking online for a diagnostic inspection.

Book your car repair now

ClickMechanic Launches its Mechanic in Residence Programme and Expands Career Options for Car Mechanics

Today, ClickMechanic has revealed its Mechanic in Residence programme. With this announcement comes a newfound, alternative career path for car mechanics. It means those that no longer want to, or are unable to, work in the field, can still remain in the industry.

By applying to the Mechanic in Residence programme, car mechanics can now work directly for ClickMechanic from home. In this position, the mechanic will offer free phone consultations to ClickMechanic’s customers, using their skill set and experience to diagnose any problems with the vehicle in question. This means the mechanic will still interact with customers and use their expertise in car repair despite not being based in a workshop. In addition, this position opens up a helpline to ClickMechanic’s customers, offering easy-to-reach and knowledgeable mechanics which are there to help and advise. By talking the driver through the issues they are experiencing, the majority of faults can be detected or at the very least narrowed down, however, on the rare occasion that a diagnosis over the phone is not possible, the mechanic can also book in a direct inspection from an alternative, local professional.

This is strictly a diagnosis and support-based role, and does not relate to sales. It’s also important to note that this position comes with no revenue targets, meaning there is no incentive to book unnecessary work on the car. It is simply an opportunity for car mechanics to cut out the hard labour, should they choose, and work from home while still offering their expertise. This also makes it an ideal career path for any mechanic who would benefit from telecommuting, such as those who live in less populated areas or particularly for those who struggle with the heavy labour involved in the day-to-day activity.

Nigel Bennett, Head of the Mechanic in Residence programme, said: “The main aim of the MiR programme is to assist car owners with understanding the issues with their vehicles and how they can be resolved. By putting technical explanations across in a way that is easier to understand, we give straightforward advice in a non-sales way. We are looking to grow the MiR team by bringing in other mechanics who have strong vehicle repair experience coupled with good customer empathy and an ability to translate issues in a way that the owners understand.”

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said:
“We’re so pleased to bring this programme to fruition. It brings more career opportunity and options to the car repair sector and gives those who are restricted the chance to continue doing what they love. It’s a big step forward for us in our goal of supporting all mechanics.”

ClickMechanic aims to hire one mechanic for this programme every month and all mechanics are welcome to apply via the ClickMechanic Careers Homepage.

50% of Used Cars Fail at Least One Category During a Pre-Purchase Inspection

We have tapped into our pre-purchase inspection data to reveal that 50% of used cars will score poorly in at least one category during a pre-purchase inspection.

Pre-purchase inspections tend to be broken down into several categories which will analyse the working condition of all aspects on a used car. ClickMechanic’s is broken down into twelve categories to include all necessary checks such as the electrics, brakes and the handling of the vehicle. By using our data from the last 2,000 inspections, we have determined which areas often cause the most trouble for motorists looking to buy.

In fact, looking at each category individually, the electricals/controls as well as the wheels and tyres are the most likely to cause an issue with 23% of used cars scoring poorly in these areas during inspection. This is followed by the body exterior with 18% along with the road test and engine compartment categories equally with 17%. After which, the suspension and brakes appear to cause the most problems; 12% of cars will score poorly on inspection of the front suspension, brakes and steering and 11% will do the same for the rear suspension and brakes.

The less likely areas to need addressing after an inspection include the underside condition of the car, with 8% of cars facing issues in this region, as well as the clutch and transmission with 5%. Mechanics will also find faults with the exhaust system in 3% of used cars during a pre-purchase inspection as well as problems with the brake hydraulics and fuel system in 2% of used vehicles.

Given this, pre-purchase inspections tend to reveal more wear and tear in the electrics and the physical state of the car, such as the wheels and exterior, than the actual handling of the car. This includes faults with the clutch, which, despite being one of the most common repairs for every motorist, is not a very common issue to face during a pre-purchase inspection. This suggests that the seller is more likely to repair any mechanical handling issues rather than any faulty electrical components such as the heating or lights, or the wheels themselves. However, it is worrying to see that 13% of cars will score poorly in at least one category involving the brakes.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic said: “Any motorist looking to buy a used car should take care to ensure that it is in full working order – no one wants a surprisingly expensive repair bill, not to mention the importance of safety! A pre-purchase inspection should always be conducted and you should remember to take the additional costs into account before buying the vehicle.”

ClickMechanic Introduces Machine Learning into Its Quote Engine to Offer Newfound Depth and Precision in Car Repair Costs

We’re pleased to announce the introduction of machine learning in ClickMechanic’s quote engine. This addition advances the capabilities of the booking system, making it the first of its kind in the industry. It allows it to generate a previously untapped depth of quotes with distinct accuracy.

ClickMechanic’s quote engine provides instant, industry-standard fixed price quotes for car repairs. It combines car repair times with industry standard labour prices and industry parts prices to produce an accurate figure of cost for any repair. Previously, deficiencies in the data sets, such as miscellaneous missing pieces of information, limited the engine from performing at its best in some instances. However, with the introduction of machine learning algorithms, ClickMechanic can now ensure that these gaps are filled with highly accurate estimates based on the existing data. This allows the booking system to produce quotes for a much wider variety of jobs with even greater accuracy, meaning mechanics no longer need to resort to guesswork if the data is unavailable to them.

This solution offers a newfound level of precision and capability in car repair costs and enables customers to get the utmost out of their car repairs. It is shaping how drivers find and book the best mechanic for the best price. Being acknowledged as a development which has the potential to transform the industry itself, ClickMechanic was awarded the highly competitive Open Competition grant from the UK’s innovation agency recently to support the project. The introduction of machine learning has also been a major influence in the 5 awards we received over the last quarter in 2017 including: Young Company of the Year at the Amazon Growing Business Awards, Product of the Year at the V3 Technology Awards and the Product Innovation Award at the Workshop Power Awards.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “Here at ClickMechanic, we pride ourselves on offering car owners the most reliable and best-value prices possible for car repairs. We are naturally very excited to implement machine learning algorithms, as it brings our product forward by leaps and bounds; reinforcing its position as a market leader. This advanced accuracy and precise quoting will support us immensely in our objective of bringing trust, transparency and convenience to the car repair marketplace.”

ClickMechanic Breaks Workshop Power Awards Record with 3x Awards and Is Shortlisted for Another 5 Awards This Year!

ClickMechanic was pleased to accept a record breaking number of awards at the Workshop Power Awards last month. These three awards included Best Tech Product of the Year, Product Innovation of the Year and the Extra Mile Award. Combined, these awards accentuate the innovation behind ClickMechanic’s design which introduces a technological and disruptive approach to an archaic industry. The Extra Mile Award also reflects ClickMechanic’s dedication to customer service, supporting both car owners and mechanics alike in the UK.

This announcement comes shortly after the online marketplace for car repair was recognised as one of the ‘Young Guns Five to Watch‘, an esteemed accolade which emphasises the fast-growth of ClickMechanic and the success of its young Co-Founders, Andrew Jervis and Felix Kenton. This title also encourages ClickMechanic’s likelihood of featuring in the ‘Young Guns Class of 2018’; a prestigious award presented to a select number of promising entrepreneurs whilst still under the age of 35.

In addition, ClickMechanic has also been shortlisted for a further 5 awards across 4 events to be held later this year. These include Online Solution of the Year at the Retail Systems Awards, Digital Business of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Digital Entrepreneur Awards, Product of the Year at the V3 Technology Awards and Young Company of the Year at the Growing Business Awards.

These awards highlight ClickMechanic’s growth over 2017 which has achieved some huge milestones in the last year alone: it has just provided its 2 millionth quote, which adds up to a total of £300 million in value of quotes given out, it now has half of a million registered users and it’s on track to surpass £5 million in booking revenue this year. As such, ClickMechanic is on track to reach its goal of internationalisation and consequently being recognised as the number one marketplace for car repair in Europe.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “We are truly excited to see ClickMechanic being recognised and shortlisted for so many awards. ClickMechanic was founded to bring trust, transparency and convenience back to the car repair marketplace and these awards reflect our growth, success and impact on the industry. We will continue to deliver our unique services and are eager to see what the future holds for ClickMechanic!”