Monday, 30 March 2020

Oldfields Temporary Closure - Official Announcement 30th March

Temporary Closure

After much deliberation and consideration, we have taken the decision to temporarily shut from 24th March until further notice. Our plan was to stay open using special measures, but with updated and ongoing guidance we feel we aren't able to do so.

Whilst we are classed as an essential service and specifically excluded from the businesses told to close, we have to consider all aspects of the business along with the escalating situation. As you will appreciate this has been a very difficult decision because we don't want to let our loyal customers down, but we have to consider the severity of the situation and the impact on our staff.

If you are booked in with us, we won't be able to fulfil bookings until we re-open [please see below for in an emergency]. Anyone who was booked in, don't worry we will contact you as a priority in time for our return. 

If your MOT has expired or is due while we are closed...

If your MOT is due please don't panic, there is government guidance on what to do as they have issued a temporary change to MOTs to help us all through the COVID-19 crisis [please see our Coronavirus Temporary MOT amendments post below ]

In an emergency for essential MOTs & repairs...

If you have an emergency and your vehicle is not able to be used under the new temporary MOT guidelines, please contact me directly. We may be able to carry out some emergency work during our closure, so long as it is possible and safe to do so. We also have courtesy vehicles that could be made available. Please though, consider the Government Guidelines on going out during the COVID-19 pandemic and use this to assess if your vehicle requirement really is essential. I can't make any promises, but I will try find a solution for you in cases of need. 

You can contact me by Email tim@oldfieldsgarage.co.uk

Our thanks...

I'd like to thank our team for their commitment and continued support at this difficult time, in return we have paid them in full for March and plan on doing so in April. We'd also like to thank our suppliers for their excellent levels of service to help keep our customers on the road. We have paid all of our suppliers this month in full as usual. 

I'd like to sincerely thank our customers for their ongoing support, good wishes and custom. We understand that everyone is under pressure, but if you have an outstanding invoice or account due to us, payment would be very much appreciated at this difficult time.

Closing comments...

We've made this decision, not to close our business but to protect it. With your support we will be back as soon as we can safely do so. We are initially planning on closing for 3 weeks, however as you will appreciate we we are constantly reviewing this position and changing as required. 

Personally I will be having a rest over the next week or so as it has been exhausting (and not just for me), navigating through all of this. Along with family time and rest, I'll be using it as a chance to plan for the future, whilst there is a huge amount of uncertainty, it gives a great opportunity to consider lots of things including what we do well, things we could do better and to revisit what Oldfields is all about to create the an improved vision for Oldfields in the future.  

Please stay safe and follow the government guidelines on staying home unless it's absolutely necessary to leave the house. Make sure you follow guidelines on social distancing - the 2 meter rule. Please also refrain from contact with friends and family other than your household unit. This is extremely hard and anyone who has a close family (or kids that live away). A nurse friend told me, "the Virus doesn't travel, people travel." If we stand still the virus dies. 

Thank you so much for your understanding and support during these difficult times for everyone. 

We'll be back raring to go as soon as it is safe to do so!


Stay safe and best wishes, Tim x 

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Coronavirus Temporary MOT amendments - UPDATED 27th March 2020

Information on MOT's that are expired and due in the short term...

The government have today made an announcement on what to do with MOTs falling the near future.

"From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus."

For the government information on vehicles falling after 30th March visit https://tinyurl.com/w3wxkcr

There is separate guidance information for those that expire before the 30th March https://tinyurl.com/tc98qaxx

UPDATED INFORMATION 27th March: 
The DVSA have clarified a couple of things that were a little bit grey as to how the 6 month extension would work and we thought we should share that with you. Like all of these things they are under constant review.

How will it work?
DVSA will start moving MOT expiry dates automatically in the MOT system from 30th March 2020. This will initially be done in a few batches, so that after a few days they are working 7 days ahead. That will mean that every Tuesday - the following Tuesday's tests are moved 6 months ahead.

How long will it last? 
The Government will keep this under review to manage the spread of COVID-19.


Friday, 20 March 2020

Corona Virus Outbreak, COVID-19

UPDATE 25/03/2020

We have taken the decision this morning that we will only be doing MOTs for vehicles that are booked in today and already here. We will not be opening until further notice. Please don't panic if your MOT is running out, we know the DVSA and VOSA are working on a solution to this problem and whilst we don't have any confirmation of this, we are expecting something to be announced in the coming weeks.

If you are booked in with us over the next few weeks, we have all of your booking details and will be back in touch as soon as we know where we are. We will have a significant backlog and will be keen to book you back in at the earliest opportunity, but please bear with us while we get to grips with things. If we haven't called you within a week of re-opening please feel free to call us.

Please stay safe and follow the government guidelines on staying home unless it's absolutely necessary to leave the house and refrain from contact with friends and family other than your household unit. Thank you so much for your understanding and support during these difficult times for everyone. We'll be back raring to go as soon as it is safe to do so.

UPDATE Number 3 24/03/2020 After much deliberation and consideration, we have taken the decision to temporarily shut from this evening until further notice. Our plan was to stay open using special measures, but with updated and ongoing guidance we feel we aren't able to do that as we would have hoped. Whilst we are classed as an essential service and specifically excluded from the business told to close, we have to consider all aspects of the business along with the escalating situation. As you will appreciate this has been a very difficult decision because we don't want to let our loyal customers down, but we have to consider the severity of the situation and the impact on our staff. If you are booked in this week, please bear with us and we will contact you shortly to discuss. We aim to complete essential MOT's booked in for this week, however this will be reviewed as things develop. Please keep an eye on this page to keep up to date with what is happening. I'd like to thank our team for their commitment and continued support as this difficult time. We'd also like to thank our suppliers for their excellent levels of service to help keep our customers on the road and finally our customers for their ongoing support, good wishes and custom. We understand that everyone is under pressure, but if you have an outstanding invoice for us your payment would be appreciated. We intend on paying suppliers as normal at the end of the month and have budgeted to do so. We've made this decision, not to close our business but to protect it. With your support we will be back as soon as we can safely do so. We are initially planning on closing for 2-3 weeks, however as you will appreciate we we are constantly reviewing this position. Stay safe and best wishes, Tim

UPDATE Number 2 - 24/03/2020

Please note we will not be taking any new bookings until further notice. Following a staff meeting we have taken the decision to close temporarily to new bookings. We will aim to honour bookings for essential MOT's this week.

UPDATED 24/03/2020

Following last nights announcement, we have all been been told that we should not leave the house without specific reasons as we Lockdown to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Very specific directives have been placed on the only "reasons" that we should leave the house.

We have also been told who should close and the exclusions to this. Garages now have some clarity that we are officially classed as essential services and have been told that we should remain open during this time. Hire car companies also fall within this category. The government guidance document is HERE.


In view of this additional information, we will remain open, taking the steps we have outlined with some additional measures. As mentioned previously this will be constantly reviewed and we will only remain open while it is safe to do so.


Additional measures that have been and are to be implemented: 

  • We are continuing to close our building to public access
  • Arrangements have been made for parts and parcel deliveries to remove the need for them to enter the building
  • We will introduce split breaks and lunches to allow social distancing of staff
  • As of yesterday, office staff have been spaced to work 2 meters apart 
  • Priority will be given to essential work such as MOTs, breakdowns and urgent safety repairs.
  • Routine work will only be carried out if there is time to do so. 
  • We will be reducing available capacity to spread work and allow time for additional required measures
  • Priority will be given to essential work such as MOTs, breakdowns and urgent repairs. 
  • Routine work will be alongside essential work will only be carried out if there is time to do so. 
  • Collection and delivery will continue, but we will only drop vehicles back that allow for single driver returns. In most cases this will be limited to vehicles we have previously collected. 
  • From 25th and where possible today, only one staff member in a car at one time, please be aware this is likely to slow vehicle collection and drop offs 

Please remember what you can do to help our team...

  • Don’t bring your car to us if you might be carrying the virus or have been in contact with someone who has been infected. We will collect your vehicle for you!
  • Do not enter our building 
  • Make sure we have your up to date contact details by emailing service@oldfieldsgarage.co.uk with your reg number and best contact number for the day.
  • Make sure your service book and locking wheel tool is on the passenger seat so we don’t have to search for them
  • Bear with us; we are doing the best we can to get you back on the road with minimum disruption. 
  • Pay for work carried out over the phone or by bank transfer prior to collecting your vehicle (our bank details are on the invoice which will be emailed to you once the work is completed).
  • Please drop your keys through the letter box. Please only leave us with your car key and no other keys.
In view of this additional information, we will remain open, taking the steps we have outlined with additional measures to be  whilst it is safe to do so and we aren't affected direclty

We are sending best wishes to those forced to close and hope you get the support you need to come through this. Please follow government directives for everyone's safety.


UPDATED 23/03/2020


Please can we ask all customers to book their MOT as early as possible to help us manage demand. We are trying to book as far ahead as possible to ensure we can fit them all in. Thanks again for your support.


Due to the volume of work being booked in, we will be prioritising Key Workers during this time. .


UPDATED: 22/03/2020


Firstly, thank you for all of your support throughout these most challenging times. We as many of you are struggling to understand the gravity of this situation, many of our friends and colleagues are also in the same boat.


We understand how important it is to keep your vehicle legal, safe, maintained and mobile, during these unprecedented times, which is why the government has identified us as an essential transport service. We fully intend on staying open, providing it is safe to do so, and with this in mind we have made some changes to how we are operating to try to ensure we can continue to provide our service. We will obviously be reviewing this position on a daily basis.



What we are doing for our staff...

  • As of Monday 23rd March, we've decided to close reception and the rest of the building to all visitors; customers and suppliers, to minimise the chances of transmitting this disease. 
  • We will be holding Daily/Weekly Meetings, to discuss concerns and changes
  • We're monitoring changes and guidance from the government and reviewing how this impacts our staff and our business.
  • We'll support you if you have to self-isolate or if we have to close

What we are doing for our customers...

  • We are providing non-contact transactions. You don't need to have any contact with our team when your vehicle is taken care of.
  • If you are self isolating or in the vulnerable groups, we will collect your car and return it for you.
  • Priority will be given to Key workers, please inform us if you fall into this category
  • We will be sanitising keys, vehicle door handles, steering wheels and gear sticks when entering every vehicle.
  • Our technicians are continuing to wear gloves for carrying out work on vehicles, but we are increasing changes of gloves with a minimum of fresh gloves for every vehicle.
  • Hands are to be washed more regularly throughout all areas of the business
  • Fresh gloves are now to be used for road testing vehicles
  • All reception counter surfaces, door handles and other commonly touched surfaces will be cleaned & disinfected on a regular basis.
  • Card machines will be cleaned & disinfected after every use and as a precautionary measure, we will be disinfecting cars keys when handed over to our counter staff.
  • We are increasing our FREE local collection and delivery service
  • We are withdrawing the use of courtesy cars temporarily to minimise the chance of spreading the virus and also help us increase our capacity for collection and delivery.
  • We're doing our best to get your car back on the road for you
  • We’ve introduced a minimum one day gap between Vehicle Hires as well as extra disinfecting of touch points

What you can do to help our team...

  • Don’t bring your car to us if you might be carrying the virus or have been in contact with someone who has been infected. We will collect your vehicle for you!
  • Do not enter our building 
  • Make sure we have your up to date contact details by emailing service@oldfieldsgarage.co.uk with your reg number and best contact number for the day.
  • Make sure your service book and locking wheel tool is on the passenger seat so we don’t have to search for them
  • Bear with us; we are doing the best we can to get you back on the road with minimum disruption. 
  • Pay for work carried out over the phone or by bank transfer prior to collecting your vehicle (our bank details are on the invoice which will be emailed to you once the work is completed).
  • Please drop your keys through the letter box. Please only leave us with your car key and no other keys.

What we are doing for our suppliers...

  • We'll be communicating how we want deliveries to be made along with returning unused parts.
  • We'll be paying on time, like we always do. We know you've got staff and overheads to pay, just like us. We need you to be here when we all get through this.

What we are doing for our community...

  • We've offered a couple of days Free Van Hire including fuel and insurance (subject to being able to gain insurance), to a community COVID-19 response group, should they need to deliver goods to vulnerable groups. If you have something similar you wish to discuss please call Tim on 01568 612436 or email tim@oldfieldsgarage.co.uk
  • We're offering to collect and return vehicles for vulnerable groups and those self isolating with a non-contact service. Please contact us if you need our help. 

Please bear with us while we adapt to ongoing changes. We'd like to thank ALL of our staff, customers and suppliers for their support through these difficult times.