September 2019


What Does Your Car Need To Have In Order To Pass The MOT Test

All cars that are over three years old must have an annual MOT test in order to ensure that it is roadworthy. If it fails the test, your car must be repaired so that it conforms to the MOT standards. Many of them are very basic checks so even if you don’t know a lot about cars it’s still possible to conduct a pre-MOT check in order to minimise the chances of failure.


Turn the ignition on to ensure:

  • Your horn is working properly
  • The windscreen wipers and washers are working correctly
  • The screenwash has been topped off
  • There are no loose strips or chunks missing out of the wiping edge on the rubber blades of the windscreen wipers. If they do, then it is easy to find replacements motor retailers and easy to fit as well
  • The seat belts need to work correctly and not be cut or frayed
  • The mountings need to be secure and the seat belts must be free of damage and cleanly engage and disengage
  • The inertia reel should lock hen you pull on the belt sharply


Walk around your car and inspect its tyres. Make sure:

  • There aren’t any objects stuck inside the tread or any cuts or bulges in the sidewalls
  • The tread should be 1.6mm deep at least. A tread depth gauge can be used or the rim on a 20 pence piece. Place that inside the grooves that are running around the tyre. The tyres need to be replaced if the rim around the edge of the coin is standing proud
  • Check to make sure that each of the tyre matches that the opposite one that is on the same axle in terms of construction type and size
  • If you have a spare tyre in your car, it also needs to be road-legal
  • Whilst not legally required, you might also want to make sure your wheels are in top condition. This could be done by visiting a specialist in alloy wheel refurbishment in Reading, to get them nice and tidy.


One of the most common failure points is lighting: Check the following:

  • All of the exterior bulbs are working properly
  • Each light lens is free of damage and cracks
  • Headlights (both main beam and dipped), rear and front side lights, reversing lights, stop lights, rear and front fog lights as well as all number plate lights and indicators


There shouldn’t be any sharp edges that can potentially injure pedestrians, all of the bumpers should be secure and you need to be able to access your car from all of the doors – open them from the outside and inside


Although it isn’t possible to accurately check the brakes without having specialist equipment there still are certain things that you can do:

  • Check under the bonnet to ensure that the brake system’s reservoir fluid level is in between the minimum and maximum indicators. Check the car’s handbook for information on where it is located
  • Pull your handbrake on. If you need to pull up on the lever too far through a lot of clicking, then the cable probably needs to be adjusted
  • If you can release the handbrake by tapping on the lever, then it needs to be tightened


Like with brakes, it can be hard to check your steering if you don’t have specialist equipment:

  • The steering wheel needs to be fairly tight on its column. If there are any abnormal movements when it is turned or it is loose, then the column support might have some wear
  • When you turn your steel wheel going full lock to full lock, listen for knocks or excessive whining come from the car’s power steering pump. These sounds can both indicate that there are worn components somewhere

Shock Absorbers

Dampeners or shock absorbers cannot have any leaks or absorbing pressure differences. Bounce on each of the corners of your car to get an idea whether the shock absorbers on your car are faulty or not. Your car should do down under the pressure and then rise up again to full height before it slightly settles down. Excessive bouncing is an indication of worn out or faulty dampers.

Mirrors And Windscreen

If your windscreen has small stone chips in it that doesn’t necessarily mean failure, however:

  • The complete area that is swept by your wipers should not have any chips or cracks
  • The damage outside of that area should not be larger in diameter than 10mm
  • The glass should be in good condition and your mirrors should be fixed securely


  • The exhaust needs to be free of corrosion and secure
  • Rev your engine while the car is stationary, with the doors open and the parking brake is on. Any unusual noises or rattles can indicate it may be on the way out
  • If there is any smoke, it can cause your car to fail the emissions section of the test
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Why Annual HGV Safety Inspections Matter

HGV drivers need to have very good driving skills, because that is what keeps not just them but also other road users safe. For that reason the Government introduced a requirement for retraining in 2009, which drivers can do through CPC training. But, they are also required to keep their vehicle in good condition. A vehicle that is not road worthy could pose a huge safety hazard.

Annual safety inspections serve as an effective way of ensuring that HGVs are in good condition.

Why Are Annual Safety Inspections Necessary?

A HGV is a large and complex machine with a huge range of moving parts and complicated systems. They need to all be fully operational in order to ensure that the vehicle functions the way it should, is easy to drive, and works properly. If something within the HGV isn’t working properly then that might cause issues with how well the driver can control the vehicle, or how efficient the fuel consumption is, both of which could be serious issues. The tachograph, air brakes, and other parts of the vehicle can all cause potential issues, and each component of the vehicle needs to be kept in proper working order.

Just as a car has to pass its MOT in order to ensure that it is road worthy, HGVs need to go through their own inspection process. This inspection considers the roadworthiness of the vehicle, and helps to ensure that it will be safe to drive. Making the inspections annual means that there is more chance of catching any issues that crop up. Any well-trained driver will understand what the testing is for and will appreciate knowing that the vehicle their employer puts them in is safe.

What Do Inspections Look At?

Each day, HGV drivers will perform a quick ‘walkaround’ before they start driving their vehicle, checking the basics such as tyres and lights. This is a routine check that is important for the ongoing maintenance of their vehicle. The annual check will see an inspector take a much closer look at the vehicle, including the topside and underside, to confirm that it meets a strict set of standards for condition and roadworthiness.

The Topside

The top of the vehicle is inspected on a hard-standing surface, and will check that:

  • The identity of the vehicle matches its VTG6 Plate
  • The mirrors’ fairings are in good condition and are fixed securely
  • The doors on both the driver and passenger side work properly and will shut securely
  • The tyres are in good condition and are the right type for the size of the vehicle
  • The spray suppressors are of the correct size
  • The lights, indicators, repeaters, etc. are fully operational and aligned correctly

The topside inspection looks at every visible part of the vehicle to ensure that it is fully operational and in a good state of repair. Everything, including the inside of the cab, will be checked. Most elements of this part of the inspection are things that are usually checked by HGV drivers, so they should have already been spotted in a routine check if there was any problem.

The Underside

Once the topside checks are done, the HGV will be moved over a pit for underside checks including:

  • The alignment of the axle
  • Shaker plates
  • Air brakes
  • Foot brakes
  • Oil and fuel pipes/tubes
  • Bearings
  • Steering

The inspectors are highly trained and will be looking for damage, wear and tear, loose bolts and other warning signs or potential issues. The checks are highly rigorous, but they are doing them to ensure full road safety so it is important that everything is perfect.

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Understanding Car Insurance

Auto (vehicle) insurance is a kind of insurance policy for harm to and caused by a car. Insurance of the type can cover a number of things with respect to the type of car insurance that’s been purchased.

All car insurance policies involve reasonably limited, the payment a person makes to possess car insurance. Premiums for car insurance could be very divergent and therefore are determined by a few factors. Gender may be the major determinant for car insurance premiums. Statistically, males are 80% more prone to engage in any sort of accident, and for that reason possess a greater requirement for insurance. Car insurance premiums for males are greater than car insurance premiums for ladies. Similarly, teenagers are thought high-risk and will need to pay greater car insurance premiums. The car insurance premium could be reduced when the teen requires a defensive driving course. Many states require teenagers to consider defensive driving courses to be able to get yourself a driving permit and car insurance.

It’s customary for car insurance plans to possess a deductible the customer accounts for prior to the car insurance provider offers coverage of expenses. Deductibles can impact the policy available under an automobile insurance plan.

Car insurance is slightly different kinds of insurance since you can purchase car insurance that covers specific needs. Because of this there are various types of car insurance. Car insurance basics are handled by liability car insurance plans. Liability car insurance is often the minimum needed by condition laws and regulations. Liability car insurance is characterized with a set amount of money of coverage for damages caused by accidents or negligence. The policy quantity of liability car insurance does apply to property broken within the accident that isn’t a car.

Vehicle insurance also may come as collision car insurance. Collision car insurance is supposed to cover the price of repairs to some vehicle in an accident, or even the cash worth of the automobile whether it can’t be repaired.

Comprehensive car insurance can also be available. With comprehensive car insurance, coverage of charges for repairs is supplied for accidents that aren’t collisions. Comprehensive car insurance will, for instance, cover hail or fire damage.

Whatever kind of auto/ vehicle insurance you’ll need, Business Medical Health Insurance might help! Most of us have from the info on car insurance inside your condition.

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Learn economics with ease

Mr. Edmund Quek comes across as the best economics tutor Singapore that is most popular in the region. Mr. Edmund Quek holds a Master’s Degree (MSSc) in Economics from the National University of Singapore. He graduated as one of the top students with a CAP of close to 4.5.

He achieved distinction in all the modules which include Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomic Theory, Mathematical Economics, Corporate Finance, Growth Theory and Industrial Organisation. He also obtained a distinction in Advanced Macroeconomic Theory and Advanced Microeconomic Theory at the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) level. He has helped thousands of students to achieve success in the subject for the past several years.

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Business & Trade

The Art of Crafting a Brand Story Made Simpler

The term “brand story” may seem like the marketing buzz phrase of the day, but in actual fact, great brands have been telling stories for a very long time.

Take one of the world’s most iconic brands, Coca-Cola, for example. Its logo has barely changed over its 130-year history. The brand’s heritage, its story of being the original cola, has always been part of its marketing strategy.

It is true to say, however, that brand stories have moved to the forefront of marketing campaigns in recent times. Why is this so?

The importance of brand storytelling is largely due to its social media impact. Social media has encouraged conversations between brands and consumers that weren’t possible with traditional advertising. It has underlined the importance of brand identity.

Brands can, and need, to have much greater interaction with their customers.

Stories make this possible.

What is a brand story?

In simple terms, your brand story is the tale of how your brand began or where it’s going, framed in a way that connects with your target audience. It should aim to give a clear window into the company’s culture and explain its values, its vision and its mission.

Why tell your story?

Storytelling encourages interaction; humans have always told stories to foster connections with another. Indeed, having stories in common are what bind friendships, families, whole cultures together.

Brands can, through compelling storytelling, create a real connection between a brand and its audience. Stories can engage, enrich and inspire.

Stories can evoke a very emotional response: feelings of joy, comfort, reassurance, excitement and many more can all be kindled by a great brand story. Indeed, storytelling is a very powerful medium to utilize.

A good story that resonates has the ability to completely transform mindsets.

The Art of Storytelling

Very few people would argue that they are born story-tellers. Although it is said that there’s a book waiting to be read in each person’s life, very few have the self-belief to try. Perhaps, though, creating a plot isn’t as difficult as one might assume.

Author Christopher Brooker made a compelling case that there are really only seven different stories in his landmark 2004 work, “The Seven Basic Plots.” He argues that all popular narratives, from those created by Shakespeare to EL James, have one of seven recognizable shapes.

Not all the basic plot types are ideal for marketing purposes; needless to say that ‘tragedy’ is not ideal.

However, here are all the other six story types and how they’ve been used successfully by brands. In looking at these plots, you may note that a brand’s identity, or its past, present and future, fits in any one of these narrative styles.

The Quest

These are classic stories of heroes on a mission. They must overcome obstacles on their way to ultimately make the world a better place. You may recognize this plot shape from “The Iliad and The Odyssey” to the “The Lord of the Rings.”

The use of Flo, the popular character from Progressive Insurance’s long-running campaign, is an example of how this kind of story can really hit home with consumers. Flo’s ceaseless quest to provide customers with the safety and security of value-for-money insurance has been hugely popular with consumers.

Overcoming the Monster

This is the classic good conquering evil story illustrated in “Beowulf” right through to “Godzilla.”  It’s the story of one man taking on the might of something horrific for the greater good of mankind. It’s the tale of the underdog, just like in the story of David versus Goliath.

This plot shape makes for an inspiring story that can really influence brand loyalty. Think of Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, which took on the might of the fashion and cosmetics industries and their perpetuation of unrealistic beauty standards; “No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted,” it claimed, to much admiration.

Rags to Riches

This is the classic Cinderella or Rocky story. Against all odds, the inherent goodness of a character means they eventually turn nothing into everything.

Gatorade used the classic rags to riches story in their inspiring 2017 campaign, ‘The Secret to Victory.” A series of world-famous athletes explain how they triumphed over adversity with the tagline, “Make defeat your fuel.”

Voyage and Return

In these stories, the protagonist makes a journey and comes back all the wiser. This plot is a common element in many classics such as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Gone With the Wind.”

Chipotle had an overwhelming reaction to their “Back to the Start” campaign, where a farmer journeys through an imagined future before coming back to the present and changing his course. The ad finishes with the line, “Cultivate a better future.” It has a strong ethical message at its core that resonates with viewers.


The rebirth story is one of an event that forces a character to change for the better. Think of Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol” as a classic example.

In marketing campaigns, there are many successes when stories or rebirth or regeneration are told. Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is a great example. One of its most memorable early ads featured inspirational Walt Stack, who ran 17 miles a day at 80 years of age.


While a comedy story must, of course, contain humor, it is more complex than that. Typically, it shows a situation becoming ever more complicated, silly and confusing but is, at last, made clear with a simple, happy ending. Shakespeare was a master of comedy, but this basic plot structure is still used today in movies and TV sitcoms.

Comedic marketing campaigns are notoriously difficult to do, but when well-executed have the potential to reach cult status.

For example, Budweiser’s campaign at the turn of the century is forever remembered for its ‘Whassup!” catchphrase. Or, more recently, Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign went viral, helping the brand overcome declining sales at the time.

How to choose the right story type for your brand

Today’s consumers are becoming more and more morally conscious in their choices. They want to go with a brand that shares their values. This is why it’s so important to tell the story of where your brand came from or where it’s going.

The story of how your brand has evolved over time may well fit well into the “Voyage and Return,” “Overcoming the Monster” or “Rags to Riches” categories.

Sometimes a startup brand has such a great story behind its conception that it already fits perfectly into any one of the six plot categories. This is often the case when brands are created with a strong stance from the  very start, such as eco brands whose story usually fits neatly into a quest type of plot.

Creative branding agencies will tell you that when your brand history doesn’t have such a strong storyline,  you need to look at your core brand identity and its values. Working these into a story of where your brand is going can work just as well. “Quest” and “Rebirth” types of stories usually hit the right note with customers.

It’s worth noting, however, that brands that take risks and do things a little differently often have the most memorable campaigns.

Take Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign as an example again. Up until then, the beauty industry had tended to tell stories of the quest for perfection or Cinderella-style rags to riches stories. It is precisely because Dove broke the mold that their campaign was so successful.

AUTHOR BIO:- Grace Yacoub is the owner, founder and CEO at Zaman. She recognized the potential to develop brands in Dubai back in 1996. Amongst her first projects were to convert the local powerhouses of Etisalat and NBD into branded entities and engage the nation in the drive for modernity. She has since led projects across finance, family, industry, property, retail and all sectors to convert many of the region’s most important companies into powerful brands.

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Top reasons to provide gifts to employees

Being an entrepreneur, you must have worked hard for building up the efficient team of taskmasters. After shaping them up accordingly to procure high-end quality work and standard productivity, you being the boss can also do something to motivate them. There are many companies that offer bonuses on Holidays or before any other grand occasions. You can plan for personalized Corporate Gifts in Singapore this time to make them trust you more than before.

By receiving the amazing presents, the employees can be more motivated towards doing your work. Always remember, without their hard work and dedication, it’s impossible for you to develop your business and obtain growth.

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