Halfords is offering free vehicle checks for ice cream vans this summer

It’s set to be a bumper year for staycations, and Halfords is teaming up with the Ice Cream Alliance to make sure we get plenty of 99’s on our holidays this year after trucks have had 12 months off the roads.

The maintenance and repair specialists are partnering with the industry body to get the nation’s well-loved ice cream vans back on the road – just in time for summer.

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Like the rest of the nation, ice cream vendors have been grounded during lockdown – and between them ice cream vans and parlours have lost a staggering £289 million of business. Now they’re getting ready to hit the road again, with Halfords’ expert teams providing 5-point vehicle checks. The checks will make sure they’re in tip top shape ahead of what promises to be a bumper year for British getaways, and also includes a test of those all-important sound of summer ice cream van jingles.

Free maintenance checks

They’re providing free maintenance checks at their 750 stores and garages, as well as offering support for holidaymakers who need bikes, camping and other equipment, in line with its Staycation campaign to get everyone prepared for their trips this year.

Commenting on the free 5-point check experience, Katy Alston from Pinks Vintage Ice-cream, says: “It was such a boost to receive a free vehicle check from Halfords this year. The Pink Vintage Ice-cream attends lots of weddings, which have sadly had to be cancelled, as well as delivering mobile ice-creams daily, which we had to pause last year as we didn’t want to encourage people to come out of their homes and mix with others. We therefore really felt the loss of income and loss of engaging with others – seeing people’s faces light up when they receive an ice-cream from us is what makes our job so special, so we can’t wait to get back out there this summer.

“That’s why we’re thrilled to have had our van checked with the experts at Halfords – so that I know I can attend weddings again and get back on the road. There’s nothing better than having an ice-cream on the beach or park and with more people holidaying in the UK this year, we expect to be busy. So, having the reassurance from Halfords that we can operate safely is wonderful.”

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Holiday at home

The campaign comes ahead of staycation season here in the UK, and according to Halfords’ recent research, an eager 59% of us would rather holiday at home this year. Their survey also found that less travelling (48%), more affordable breaks (32%) and the chance to vast unusual locations (15%) were some of the reasons for staying close to home.

For holidaymakers, being road-ready is an essential part of summer planning, and Halfords research revealed that more than two thirds of drivers don’t know what causes a vehicle to be deemed as ‘dangerous’. Findings also uncovered that a further two thirds (62%) of drivers are unaware that they could be fined a hefty £2,500 and hit with three penalty points for driving a vehicle which is in a dangerous condition.

Speaking about the new partnership, Halford’s Group Marketing Director, Lisa Bond, says: “Staycations are certainly booming and more of us than ever will be using our cars or mobile homes when we get away. We’re really proud to be teaming up with the Ice Cream Alliance to help them start doing what they do best, after all, summer wouldn’t be summer without an ice cream or two!”

The Ice Cream Alliance’s Chief Executive, Zelica Carr added: “Our sector has been hit really hard over the last 12 months, but our members are now raring to go – and we want them to do that safely – so we’re delighted to be working with Halfords. Vehicle maintenance is a really important part of our business and it feels like we’re in expert hands. Nothing says summer has arrived like the sound of the ice cream van.