Friday, 17 February 2017

County Durham business, Pulman ŠKODA, celebrates award win for excellent customer service

Motability customers in County Durham can be sure of receiving award-winning customer service when they visit local dealer Pulman ŠKODA, who have won a regional award for their work with the Motability Car Scheme. The accolade is part of a programme of awards, launched last year by Motability Operations, to recognise and reward outstanding customer service provided by local Motability dealerships. Pulman ŠKODA won the award from over 600 dealers a fantastic achievement and dedication from everyone involved.

The Dealer Awards programme is designed to reward best practice and ensure all Motability customers receive exemplary customer service across the Motability Scheme’s national dealer network. The Awards are judged on how a dealer delivers the Scheme to customers, which is assessed by customer feedback and reviews of their performance. All winners of the quarterly awards are automatically entered into the national, annual awards which are announced at the beginning of the following year.

Peter Wilson, General Manager – Dealer Relations at Motability Operations, explains:

“The focus of these awards is to thank our dealer partners for providing a consistently positive customer service experience, after all, they are often the first point of contact for our customers. It’s important for us to recognise our dealer partners who go above and beyond when representing the Motability Scheme and highlight those who are setting a great example of how to do it well, like Pulman ŠKODA. Many congratulations to them on their award.”

Celebrating their Motability Dealer Award win, Elizabeth Walton from Pulman ŠKODA, said: “All of us at Pulman ŠKODA are incredibly proud to win this Motability Dealer Award. Last year we have moved into our new Pulman ŠKODA showroom at Belmont Durham, along with undertaking a training programme to ensure that everyone in the sales team are qualified as Motability experts. Offering the very best service and experience to our customers. We want to thank Motability for this fantastic award. We look forward to continuing our award-winning approach to business and customer service and to welcoming many more Motability customers through our doors in 2017”

Anyone who receives the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment, War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement or Armed Forces Independence Payment can exchange their weekly payment to lease a new car through the Motability Scheme. Insurance, servicing, RAC breakdown assistance and replacement tyres are included in the cost of the lease.

For more information about the Motability Scheme and to find your local dealer, visit or call 0800 953 7000.

For more information on Pulman ŠKODA please call 0191 300 6130 or visit

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Top 10 Alternative Driving Songs

Something that’s never gone away as car technology advances is the desire to listen to great music while driving, especially if it compliments the scenery or relaxes you mid-traffic-jam. 

As a Guitar teacher I’ve been exposed to an enormous amount of Music of all styles and popularity levels. So, presuming that you already know the clichéd motorway big hitters from The Eagles, AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen, here are my Top 10 Alternative Driving Songs. All by bands you may’ve forgotten, or haven’t heard of at all.

Here’s the accompanying Spotify playlist - Get it saved and get in the car!

1) Everything Everything - To The Blade
Everything Everything are one of the most exciting British bands of the last few years, and what’s more, the 3 founding members were born and raised in Northumberland. This track, “To The Blade” starts unusually, with a rambling solo vocal, but the huge crescendo/drop at 0:54 takes the song in an amazingly energetic direction.

2) Mark Knopfler - Sailing To Philadelphia
You already know Knopfler, arguably the finest Guitarist the North East has ever produced, as the man behind Dire Straits (Sultans Of Swing) and composer of film score / NUFC anthem Going Home/Local Hero. This hypnotic acoustic ballad refers to “Durham and Northumberland” in verse one, conjures up visions of Northumberland’s scenery, and is a collaboration with Folk legend James Taylor.

3) Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World
This 1985 hit definitely fits the category of “Forgotten Classics” - revived as a fantastic driving song by Peter Kay’s recent BBC sitcom “Car Share”. The typically huge 80’s drum beat and fluctuating melancholic melodies make this song perfect for our driving playlist.

4) José González - Crosses
José González is an Argentinian-Swedish artist known for his moody, evocative folk songs. “Crosses” is one of his best, with a drivingly rhythmic undercurrent and a reflective vocal that lends itself to looking out the window at the world flashing by

5) New Radicals - You Get What You Give
This one made New Radicals something of a one hit wonder back in 1998. It’s a perfectly constructed pop song with a lot of energy, making it a great driving song and one that’s sure to bring back memories of the late 90’s when for a brief moment, this song was everywhere

6) Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat
Glasgow-born Al Stewart released “Year Of The Cat” in 1976 (and instantly moved to L.A. following its success!) - It demonstrates his great storytelling lyricism and the melodic talents of the band around him. The song manages to simultaneously be upbeat and have an edge of sadness. You’re going to find yourself singing along to this one.

7) Nitin Sawhney - Breathing Light
Nitin Sawhney is a British-Indian composer and producer who has worked with just about everybody, won multiple awards for his film scores, and even originally worked with actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar on the concept that later became BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me. “Breathing Light” is a beautiful genre-mixing instrumental full of interesting violin, piano and percussion parts.

8) Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Grizzly Bear emerged from Brooklyn, NY in the early-mid 2000’s.  “Two Weeks” is one of their best songs, full of amazing, swelling vocal harmonies that create an epic, scenic soundscape. This is another one well-suited to the more scenic routes, and another one that’ll get you singing along, with some painfully high-pitched (but very fun) Oohs and Aahs. Enjoy!

9) Porcupine Tree - Trains
What starts as an acoustic ballad later becomes another huge soundscape, that won award after award for its surround sound mix in 2002.  This was the first song I thought of for this driving playlist, such is the dynamic of the song (you’ll see what I mean - remember to listen to the spotify playlist). It’s also probably one you’ve not heard of, as Porcupine Tree have remained relatively obscure.

10) Mutual Benefit - Not For Nothing
Disillusioned US banker turned hippy-songwriter Jordan Lee formed Mutual Benefit to realise his Folk music aspirations. “Not For Nothing” is typical of his writing - bare, emotional lyrics, luscious strings arrangements and a reflective mood that is made for a night-time drive.

That concludes my playlist of the Top 10 Alternative Driving Songs. I’d love to hear your own driving playlists so be sure to share them. Happy listening!

About the author:

Alex Bruce runs Bruce Music - Guitar Lessons London.  Bruce Music provide expert, friendly Guitar Teachers to students all over London.  You can find Alex and Bruce Music on Twitter here

Monday, 23 January 2017

The new ŠKODA Kodiaq drives into 2017 winning WhatCar Best Large SUV

ŠKODA launch their brand new large SUV – Kodiaq - in quarter 1 of 2017. Already it’s rave reviews and awards from the motor industry for it’s affordability with high level of spec included

Opportunity for Fleet companies:

The Kodiaq reimagines what is possible with an SUV (ŠKODA  UK). It’s cutting edge technology and lavish interior makes it an ideal car for any professional. As ŠKODA’s first seven seater SUV, it introduces a new level of value and practicality that will benefit any business. 

Boasting an unparalleled 2,065 liters of storage space (with the rear seats folded down) there is enough space to fit even the largest professional equipment in - from camera apparatus to delivery boxes the ŠKODA Kodiaq has got you covered.

And it is not just space that makes the Kodiaq so perfect for business professionals, sporting ŠKODA’s renowned “simply clever” features the Kodiaq is perfectly adapted for wherever your business takes you. If you delve into the options list “you’ll find the Kodiaq deals more in opulent luxuries than bare necessities” ( SmartGate and MAXI-Dot Trip allow you to keep an eye on what’s happening with your car, while Smartlink allows you to keep an eye on the office. The Infotainment Online system provides you with up-to the minute information to give you everything you need to know while you are on the road. While Google Earth and Street View mapping gets you to your meetings, live updates such as parking information and traffic updates help you get there on time.

If you’re looking for a car with more space, more seats and more standard equipment then the Kodiaq is your ideal business partner. 

Here at Pulman ŠKODA Fleet we have some fantastic contract hire rates both for buisness and personal contact hire. Why not chat to our friendly fleet advisor Simon Rayner who will take the hassle out of managing a fleet.   

Contact Simon via Linkedin: 

or email:

 Call Simon on 07921852359

#SKODA #Kodiaq #ContractHire

- Pulman Skoda - Delivering a fantastic customer service -

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Make your vehicle's safety a priority this winter by 'booking' in to Pulman's Hotel4Tyres

We all know winter is a time to put on sensible clothes and boots... but it’s just as important to tread carefully in our cars by putting on appropriate tyres.
Now, being geared up for all that snow, rain and ice is just a car ride away at Pulman’s aptly named Hotel4Tyres.
And there’s no need to stress about keeping your ordinary tyres in tip top condition in a damp garage – Hotel4Tyres will take care of them for you.

Indeed, as part of its first-class service Hotel4Tyres will:
  • Supply, store, and fit winter tyresSupply you with winter tyres and store them until you are ready to have them fitted (free of charge).
  • Store and re-fit summer tyresWhen the winter tyres are fitted, staff also fully check and store your summer tyres. After the winter period, they then re-fit your summer tyres.
  • Store used winter tyresWhen the summer tyres are re-fitted, as part of the package, Hotel4Tyres will check and store your used winter tyres
And with weather preparing to do its worst, here are some of the reasons why this service is a must:
For a start, the temperature is crucial to the performance of your tyres. When the temperature drops below 7 degrees standard tyres give less grip, compromising the performance of your vehicle.
Unlike normal tyres, winter tyres are made with a higher natural rubber content that keeps tyres soft and flexible even in colder weather conditions.
They have a different tread pattern which maintains their highly effective contact with the road for greater traction.
Winter tyres significantly improve grip and reduce stopping distances in temperatures below 7 degrees - unlike standard tyres they don’t harden.
This enables them to maintain better traction in low temperatures as well as in the wet and snow, slush and ice, reducing the risk of aquaplaning and improving braking distance.

“It’s so important to choose winter tyres,” said Danny Martin, service manager at Pulman ŠKODA.
“It gives safer driving in winter conditions; more control in the rain, snow, and ice and improved grip to the road enabling safer braking distances.”
Indeed Pulman Group, a family-run retailer which represents Volkswagen, SEAT and ŠKODA, is justifiably proud of its across the board premium service.
“We are proud of our heritage, we have grown over the years and boast four locations across the North East and recently have just opened a purpose-built ŠKODA site in Belmont, Durham,” said Mr Martin.
“The Pulman promise is to deliver a fantastic customer experience every time.
“Whether you’re searching for a new or used car, servicing your car or inquiring about a car in any way, rest assured you will receive a fantastic customer experience.”
Pulman offers its customers:
  • Free courtesy cars
  • Free lifts and collection and delivery service
  • Complementary refreshments at Café Dafte
  • Free wash and vacuum after service/repairs
  • On-site waiting appointments
  • Free wifi connection
  • Price match guarantee
  • Free MoTs with a Pulman Service plan

  • Pulman ŠKODA on the Belmont Industrial Estate in Durham City
  • Pulman Volkswagen at Abbey Road, Durham, just behind the Arnison Centre
  • Pulman SEAT Sunderland, Burntland Avenue, Southwick
  • Pulman Volkswagen, Newcastle Road, Sunderland
  • Book online at
  • Call the service priority line on 0191 383 7500.
  • For any enquiries email –

Friday, 9 December 2016

The New SEAT Ateca light’s up Sunderland

The New SEAT Ateca light’s up Sunderland

Pulman SEAT has celebrated the arrival of the New SEAT Ateca in partnership with Sunderland AFC at the iconic Stadium of Light.  The award winning SUV took centre stage for the Premiership tie between Sunderland and Hull City on Saturday 19th November 2016 featuring on the stadiums jumbo LED screens, crowd facing advertising boards and in the match day programme.
SEAT Ateca’s positioned outside the Hilton Garden Inn at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Working with the football club Pulman SEAT were the co-match sponsors. Two SEAT Ateca’s were proudly positioned at the stadium outside the fantastic new Hilton Garden Inn and the dealership management team hosted 20 SEAT Ateca customers as guests. 
Pulman SEAT’s retail ATECA customers pitch side at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Chris Slater, Brand Manager at Pulman SEAT said “It was fantastic to showcase the stunning New Ateca to thousands of Sunderland fans, it received glowing praise and we’ve got a number of leads from the event.  It was also fitting to thank our New Ateca customers for their business.” Guests were taken on a tour of the venue and pitch side with time to meet players pre and post-match. Chris continued “Everyone had a fantastic day which culminated in a 3-0 victory for the Black Cats.”
The product placement gained coverage across social media channels and the dealership is looking at further events during 2017 with the club.
SEAT Ateca’s positioned outside the Hilton Garden Inn at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Michael Buckle from Pulman SEAT with SAFC club mascot Samson and the SEAT Ateca’s
To find out more about Pulman SEAT and the New SEAT Ateca, please call 0191 549 2926, email or visit

Friday, 2 December 2016

Café with a twist that's winning rave reviews and is a must-visit this Christmas

Shopping? Socialising? Looking for a great place to eat? It's time to head to Café Dafté in Durham

Enjoy Christmas Lunch at Cafe Dafte
Christmas is fast approaching – and that means shopping, socialising... and delicious food.
If you want to do just one of the above - or even to combine all three - then head to a concept cafe with a twist that’s been winning rave reviews from customers.
Treat the family or friends to a delicious turkey Christmas dinner at a price that won’t put a dent in your wallet. Or tuck in to a pigs in blanket breakfast bun or even a hot festive drink. Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 11am weekdays (8am Saturdays) so it’s perfect way to start a busy shopping or work day.
Café Dafté, within the Pulman ŠKODA showroom at Belmont Industrial Estate in Durham City (and, of course, Café Dafte in the Pulman Volkswagen showroom, Abbey Road, Durham) is justifiably proud of its food, and has now launched its Christmas menu which will run throughout December.
The menu is gluten free, the majority of ingredients are sourced locally and everything is freshly prepared on site by head chef Jonny and his team who are kept in check by the café manager, Samantha Gilholm.
Enjoy pigs and blankets breakfast bun 
There’s certainly plenty of choice. Tuck into such delights as a hearty full English breakfast - with two rashers of bacon, one sausage, black pudding, baked beans, half tomato, two slices of toast and two eggs (£4.95); a light English breakfast (£3.95); pigs in blankets breakfast bun (£2.20); potato pancake with smoked haddock (4.50); porridge (£1.50); toast (£1.50).
The lunchtime menu (noon until 2pm) is just as impressive. Choose from such delights as the baked cod served with creamy dill mash and mustard sauce (£4.95); the rolled roasted turkey served with seasonal vegetables and all the trimmings (£5.95); braised mutton pie with honey roasted vegetables and red wine jus (£5.95) or wild mushroom Wellington (£4.50).
Throughout the year there’s a wonderful selection of cakes, scones, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, wraps and paninis are available throughout the day.
Delicious... a sweet treat from Cafe Dafte
If you just want a coffee to set you on your way Café Dafté has a wide range of reasonably priced drinks too including latte (regular £1.95) espresso (single £1.60) and cappuccino (regular £1.85).
And if you need to catch up with some work, utilise the free wifi, or keep up with the news by flicking through a selection of newspapers or watching Café Dafté’s TV.
What makes this cafe even more remarkable is its location.
Pulman launched the Café Dafté concept several years ago at their Volkswagen showroom next to the Arnison Centre in Durham.
And when Pulman opened their £3million pound ŠKODA showroom on the opposite side of Durham City in Belmont, the Café Dafté concept was included in the showroom.
It certainly isn’t there purely for customers who are interested in buying a new ŠKODA or Volkswagen, or choosing from over one hundred quality used cars, or having their car serviced or MOT’d.
The concept was for it to be available for anyone who either lives or works in the area, or happens to be passing through Durham, who fancies either a snack, a cuppa or a restaurant quality meal.
Of course, there is the full range of ŠKODA cars on show at Belmont and Volkswagen at Abbey Road.
But with rave reviews on such sites as TripAdvisor, Café Dafté is making its mark as a must-visit restaurant in its own right.
As one customer wrote after a visit: “It’s a meal worthy of any of the top restaurants in the North-East, pleasant atmosphere, great staff , will be back.”