Extending the life of your car 

November 29, 2017 8:18 am

Many people never wash and many never have it washed despite the multitude of places that offer this service.

All too often cars whose body work has been neglected are brought to me for repair and I invariably have to clean the damaged area prior to starting the repairs. However, that is a relatively minor issue. Keeping your car clean isn’t simply about pride of ownership: it can significantly extend its life, too.

  •       Grit and grime gets into moving parts and the chassis, leading to accelerated wear and corrosion.
  •      Winter road salt is especially corrosive, while bird droppings play havoc with paintwork.

Take your car to a hand wash, or simply do it yourself. Automated car washes have stiff brushes that may leave fine scratches – plus they miss bits, too.

Use a proper cleaning solution rather than washing-up liquid and dry the car using a soft chamois.

Polish the paintwork at least once a year to provide a layer of protection and attend to stone chips promptly to prevent rust spreading. I offer a mopping service that will restore much of the damage but there is no substitute for regular attention.

It’s also important to keep the inside of your car clean.

  • Using a protective spray on the dashboard plastics reduces the likelihood of cracking or discoloration. Placing a sunshade in the windscreen on bright days helps here, too.

Many of us have garages, but how many actually use them? OK, we’ll rephrase that: how many actually store cars in them?

As cars become larger and more corrosion-resistant, most are left on a driveway or road, with the garage effectively becoming an extension of the loft or garden shed.

Well, consider this your excuse for a clear out. Parking your car in a garage keeps it dry, clean and safe, reducing the risks of accidental damage, vandalism and theft.

It’s likely to cut your insurance premium, too. If you don’t have use of a garage, consider buying a high-quality car cover instead – particularly if you leave your car parked for long periods of time.

Working with Bumps & Scuffs

We can repair almost any damage to your car body and alloy wheels. We also offer a paint restoration service that will help restore the pride in your car. Being positioned on the busy A325 not far from Bird World we are easy to find and have extensive coverage from Bordon and Alton through to Aldershot and Farnborough as well as Farnham and district.


Telephone: 01252 217087                                                                             [email protected]

Child Seats In Cars – Do You Know The Law?

October 13, 2017 9:16 am


I am frequently surprised at how little understanding parents, and grandparents, have of the laws concerning child seats which were updated in March.

Selecting the right car seat will give your child the best possible protection in the event of a crash. It is also worth noting that you’re risking a £500 fine if you’re caught using an unsuitable or incorrectly fitted car sea.

What are the new UK laws on using child car seats?

Previously, children who weighed as little as 15kg could use backless booster seats  but concerns over safety resulted in a change in the law.

  • From March 1 2017 all new-to-market backless booster seats are only approved for children weighing more than 22kg and taller than 125cm.
  • It’s important to note that the regulations affect newly designed and manufactured booster seats sold after March 1. The older rules still apply for seats manufactured prior to this date.
  • Only seats approved by the EU are legal in the UK: these will have a label with a capital ‘E’ in a circle.

Adults can choose child seats based either on a child’s height or weight.

  • Height-based child seats are called i-Size seats.
  • Weight-based child seats offer a range of options: 0kg to 9kg or 13kg, 9kg to 18kg, and 15kg to 36kg.

Children must use a rear-facing seat until they are 15 months old. Never fit a rear-facing child seat in the front if there is an active airbag on the passenger side of the car.

When a child reaches 15 months, their neck will be stronger and it’ll now be safe to mount their car seat facing forward.

  • Children weighing more than 22kg and taller than 125cm can use a backless booster seat.
  • Children of 12 years old taller than 135cm do not need to use a child seat, but have to legally, before then.
  • Child seats must be fitted either using ISOFIX mountings or a diagonal seat belt strap.
  • For smaller children, a highback booster seat is recommended.

Why did the law change?

Experts warned that backless booster seats are not secure which renders them unsafe for young children.

In the event of a side-on crash, a standard seat belt offers little protection for a child as it’s not guided across the body in the same way as a booster seat.

When can kids legally travel without a car seat?

  • UK law dictates that a child must use a child car seat until they’re 12-years-old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. Children over the age of 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt.

All car seats used in the UK must be European-approved. Look out for a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle – this indicates that it complies with the latest regulations.

And spare a thought for your dogs. Although not covered by any law (unlike in France) do think about what would happen if you have to stop suddenly and consider some form of restraint.

Working with Bumps & Scuffs

We do not fit car seats . What we do is fix any damage to your car body and alloy wheels. Being positioned on the busy A325 not far from Bird World we are easy to find and have extensive coverage from Bordon and Alton through to Aldershot and Farnborough as well as Farnham and district.

Modern Driving – Our Thoughts On Potholes, Parking Spaces and More

May 22, 2017 7:33 am

Driving was once a pleasure but these days almost every aspect is fraught. The reasons are almost limitless:

  • More and more people using heavily congested supermarket car parks.
  • Accident management companies exploiting every accident that is routed through them
  • Pot holes appearing like the spread of teenage acne
  • Road works that appear to go on for days on end with little sign of work being done
  • The loss of schoolchildren’s ability to walk to school.
  • More and more cars crowding onto the roads.
  • Uncertainty over the future of diesel cars
  • More younger drivers on the road due to affordability of cars
  • And, on the horizon, driverless cars.

I could go on but I would run out of space and there is a limit on anyone’s attention span. Let me simply focus on a few of these examples.

More and more people using heavily congested supermarket car parks

As well as supermarket car parks becoming increasingly congested, to the detriment of the High Street, today’s cars are simply too big.

A study found that while parking spaces are no larger than they were 20 years ago, cars are 16 per cent bigger. It means that the average car is now two inches wider than the 5ft 11ins (1.80m) minimum recommended by Whitehall.

So drivers of a standard car like a Ford Focus at 6ft 7ins (2.01m) will struggle to get into the space without pulling in the wing mirrors. And, despite the increase in the price of fuel, the number of “Tonka Toys” also seems to be growing.

Having squeezed into the space, getting out of the car without scuffing the door is proving too much for many motorists.

Car doors have accounted for 50 per cent of car park mishaps, bumpers 14 per cent and wings a further 13 per cent.

At Bumps & Scuffs we see the result of many of these issues. Sadly, the number of times that the offending motorist simply drives off is also on the increase.

Pot holes appearing like the spread of teenage acne

Until I drove into one and damaged my alloy wheel I had not appreciated what a nuisance pot holes were. Increasingly I had noticed more and more of them appearing. Like teenage acne they just popped up at the most unexpected times but I had managed to avoid them.

Until now! I was driving from Bordon on the way to take my children to Alice Holt when I had the misfortune to hit one of these pot holes.

I damaged one of my alloys and the tyre was leaking air. I subsequently discovered that there are sites that you can log on to report pot holes, though this was not high on my list of priorities.

Thankfully, the technicians at Bumps & Scuffs were able to fix the alloy wheel and the disruption was relatively minor.

Working with Bumps & Scuffs

The incidence of minor bumps and scuffs is on the increase. Being positioned on the busy A325 not far from Bird World we are ideally situated to help with most of the issues that arise from modern driving especially as we have extensive coverage from Bordon and Alton through to Aldershot and Farnborough as well as Farnham and district.

We look forward to hearing from you

Telephone: 01252 217087                                                                                               [email protected]

Buying or Selling Used Cars

April 6, 2017 3:26 pm

An increasing number of customers come to us when they are in the process of:

  • Buying a car
  • Selling a car
  • Returning a lease hire car

They come to us for a quote to repair body work but we end up giving general advice. Here are some tips based on some real life situations.

Buying a Car

Most new cars lose around 40% of their value in the first year. Buying a used car is, therefore, a great way of cutting the cost of your driving. However, it is only sensible to ensure that the cost of making good any damage is known before making the purchase.

We were approached by a lady from Bordon who had her heart set on a nearly new VW Golf. However, there were several bumps and scuffs and one particularly deep dent on the driver’s door.

She had taken loads of images of the car and we were quite comfortable in providing an estimate for the scratches and scuffs. However, we were not as comfortable in doing the same with the door as, in many cases, the internal mechanisms can be damaged. Often the damage is not revealed until it is opened up.

At her request we provided two quotes but also gave some tips on how to inspect any potential damage to the door. It turned out that there was more than just a superficial dent but the lady was more than happy to add the cost of making good all of the damage to the car in considering the final purchase price.

For good measure she asked us to mop all of the paintwork and she ended up with an almost as new VW Golf

Selling a Car

A customer from Frensham Ponds popped in to see us as they were selling their car. It was a very nice BMW 5 Series SE GT or, more accurately, it had been. The nearside had been driven against a hedge and it was looking a bit sorry for itself.

The customer had been advised that a relatively high discount would have to be offered to have the damage made good and to compensate for the now unattractive appearance.

Not all of the damage required painting as some would polish out. We discussed what the essential repairs that would be required and provided a quote for them to use.

They decided to have the repairs carried out before selling the car and later popped in to tell us they were happy with the outcome.

Returning a Lease Car

This is always problematic as the attitude of lease hire companies in assessing fair wear and tear varies considerably. Whilst we are pretty experienced in this area there are some common sense approaches that will pay dividends.

Do remember to have the vehicle assessed well before the return date – we suggest 12 weeks and not the 12 days that often happens.

Whatever is judged to be beyond fair wear and tear will, if the repair is carried out by the lease hire company, be significantly more expensive than having it done by a body shop such as Bumps & Scuffs.

A few additional tips:

  • Choose a time and place with good light. This is how the leasing company will examine your vehicle. Appraisals carried out in poor light invariably miss some faults.
  • Before appraising the vehicle, make sure that it has been washed and is thoroughly clean but remember to allow time for it to dry. Water on the paintwork can mask faults.
  • Walk all the way around the vehicle and examine each panel including the roof, bonnet, doors, and body for significant damage. Observe where the light is reflected differently from dents and scratches.
  • Crouch or kneel down at the front and rear of the vehicle and look along the bodyline on each side. This will help you see scratches and dents that may otherwise be difficult to spot.
  • Inspect lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for chips, cracks and holes.
  • Clean and valet the interior.
  • Check upholstered areas for odours, tears, burns, stains and wear.
  • Inspect all controls, including audio equipment and accessories – they should be present and fully functional.
 Working with Bumps & Scuffs

Whether you are buying, selling or returning a car we are happy to provide advice and guidance. As well as serving Farnham we have extensive coverage from Bordon and Alton through to Aldershot and Farnborough.

We look forward to being of assistance to you

Telephone: 01252 217087                                                     [email protected]

Motor Car Insurance – Premiums on the Rise Again

February 14, 2017 9:50 am

Motor premiums are on the rise again

The average annual cost of a new policy rose to almost £600 last year. The AA said premiums were driven up by continuing problems with whiplash claims and consumers’ growing tendency to shop around for a new policy each year.

Other reports have suggested that the cost of motor cover has been pushed up by advances in technology.

Additions to cars such as parking sensors on bumpers have increased the cost of repairs after accidents. Insurers have warned that they may have to increase premiums after the cost of accident payouts rose.

The cost of cover rose most steeply for 60 to 69-year-old drivers, with best-buy policies up by 5.4% in the third quarter 0f 2016 to an average of £366. However, their premiums remained lower than other age groups.

Younger drivers continued to pay far in excess of other motorists, with the cheapest policies averaging £1,287, an increase of 3.6% since spring this year.

How Bumps & Scuffs can help

We can help in two ways.

  1. Even relatively minor knocks are expensive to repair. However, if you are thinking of utilising your insurance policy then discuss the level of your policy excess with us and we will do our best to provide a discount that allows you to have it repaired without recourse to your insurer.

This will also allow you to protect your No Claims Bonus which is becoming increasingly valuable

  1. If even after discussion with us you do decide to go down the insurance route then you do not need to collect any more quotes.

We have a tried and tested process that takes most of the strain from you.

  • We will email the detailed quote to you.
  • You should present it to your insurance broker, or company, and simply state that you wish us to carry out the repair.
  • Once the insurer has authorised your entitlement to claim under your policy ask them to contact us to agree the cost of the repair.
  • We will work with the insurance assessor and finalise the claim. This will involve breaking the quote down to show labour and materials and agreeing with the assessor.
  • Once agreed we will book you in and carry out the required repairs.

The other advantages of working with us include:

  • We are local and happy to discuss progress at any time.
    • As well as serving Farnham we have extensive coverage from Bordon and Alton through to Aldershot and Farnborough.
  • If there is any damage that has not been agreed by the insurer we will carry out these repairs at the same time and apply our multi-panel discount.
    • The old saying “every cloud has a silver lining” was never more apt.
  • Whether or not your insurer agrees to you having a courtesy car we will use our best endeavours to supply one.

And now for a little bit of bad news: some insurers, mainly the online ones, will attempt to penalise you if you nominate any body shop not on their panel. They do this by doubling the excess on your policy. If this proves to be the case do please contact us as we can normally arrange a mutually satisfactory outcome.


We look forward to being of assistance to you

Telephone: 01252 217087                                                                                               [email protected]

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