Category: Mini News

talk business at bowker. Friday 4th September.

At Bowker MINI, we’re committed to providing outstanding service to our customers, which is why we’re ready to talk business. Whether you’re a sole trader, fleet manager, drive a company car or even take a cash allowance, we understand there’s questions you might want to ask.

Join us at our virtual event on Friday 4th September  where our Corporate Expert will be on hand to help.

Discuss everything from company car tax, to alternative fuels for your business and compelling contract hire rates that can be tailored for you, in a no obligation 1-2-1 Zoom call. Simply book your slot and we’ll be in touch to confirm your time.

We’re here to help, so let’s talk business together.

Erin Baker, Editorial Director of Auto Trader, said: “This loveable builder of cool British cars claims Auto Trader’s Most Loved Brand award this year, with a range of great-looking models replete with endless personalisation options. MINI always brings a smile to the face.”

Voted for by 181,000 car owners, the awards are categorised based on customer’s lifestyles including awards for Most Fun Car to Drive and Best Car for Towing.

David George, Director, MINI UK said “This is a fantastic award to win and a very fitting one for the brand.  To be over 60 years old and winning ‘Most Loved Brand’ shows our customers really understand the soul of MINI, something that’s captured perfectly in the new MINI Electric”.

All the winners from the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2020 can be found here. Information on the MINI range can be found at

From Monday 1 June, our MINI Centres are fully open for Sales and Aftersales, in line with Government guidance. We’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone back!

Our main focus is to ensure that we safely and responsibly meet the needs of our customers and staff, while doing our part to keep our community safe.

Here’s what we’re doing and how you can help:

  • The temperature of our staff is being monitored on a daily basis, each morning
  • Social distancing measures are in place
  • Hand sanitiser stations are positioned throughout the Centres
  • Protective screens have been fitted to desks where required
  • Disposable gloves, seat, steering wheel and gear selector covers are being used by our service advisors, technicians and valeters
  • Pre-appointment calls are made beforehand to limit the number of customers in the Centre at any given time
  • Each vehicle that passes through the workshop will be sanitised using a safe disinfecting solution
  • Customers are encouraged to make payments by card or other contactless methods
  • Online sales enquiries are being conducted using video technology where possible
  • Contactless collection/delivery of sold vehicles is available on request

MINI Sales

Our sales team is on hand to assist with your enquiry either within our showroom or from the comfort of your own home. As we anticipate high demand, making an appointment is advisable to avoid any unnecessary waiting in light of social distancing and new hygiene measures.

Bowker Blackburn
Tel: 01254 274333
Please click here to view our opening hours.

Bowker Preston
Tel: 01772 761234
Please click here to view our opening hours.

MINI Service & Trade Parts

Our Service department has now fully reopened to all MINI owners. To make a booking, please call us, Monday to Friday, or you can book online 24/7:

Bowker Blackburn
Tel: 01254 274333  

Bowker Preston
Tel: 01772 761234 

For the time being, we ask that you bring your MINI to our BMW Centre for your planned Service appointment and park in customer parking. Please enter the Centre at Main Reception where you will be met by a member of staff. As a result of social distancing measures and hygiene processes, waiting times may take a little longer than normal.

We will sanitise your keys, wipe down the frequently touched surfaces on your vehicle with a safe disinfecting solution and add PPE to the interior. Likewise, when you return to collect your vehicle from us, we will have done the same.

If your vehicle’s MOT has been due since 30 March 2020, please be reminded of the communication from the Government regarding MOT extension which can be read here.

Our Trade Parts team will be offering a limited delivery service to our local independent workshops. For enquiries or to place an order, please call:

Bowker Blackburn: 0800 919 724
Bowker Preston: 0800 1 957 957

We look forward to welcoming you to our Centres again and want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to promote a safe and secure experience. Thank you for your continued loyalty and support.

Paul Bowker
Chief Executive

To keep the health and safety of our customers a priority, we are pleased to be providing a mail order service for MINI Genuine Parts.

You can make your purchase in four easy steps:

  1. Call our Parts Department (Preston 0800 1957957 | Blackburn 0800 919724)
  2. Choose your products
  3. We will take contactless card payment over the phone
  4. Your order will be posted via a trackable delivery service

We also have a local van delivery service. Please ask for details and availability.

By choosing Genuine MINI Parts, you’re making sure everything runs exactly as intended. Accuracy, a snug fit and durability can be guaranteed. That’s why we’re happy to give you a two year unlimited mileage warranty on every Genuine MINI Part.

The overnight stay is in a luxury cabin at The Cartford Inn. The prize is available Sunday to Friday and is for two people sharing, subject to availability. The prize is valid until the end of January 2021 and excludes Bank Holidays and all major holidays, Easter, Christmas and New Year. The winner will also receive a £70 allocation towards food and drink. Any extra costs incurred in addition to the above, are at the winner’s expense. The stay must be pre-booked, and once booked the date cannot be exchanged, nor any equivalent cash value refunded.

The loan of the MINI Electric is subject to the following conditions:

• Mileage must not exceed 250 miles in total
• The age of the driver must be between 26 and 70 years old
• Any speeding, traffic offences or parking fines will be the responsibility of the Prize Winner
• Smoking is not permitted in this vehicle
• For insurance purposes, the Prize Winner must not have 6 or more points on their licence or have been disqualified from driving in the last three years
• The vehicle must be returned to Bowker in the condition in which it was collected
• Vehicle to be collected from and returned to either Bowker Preston or Bowker Blackburn
• Model subject to availability
• No cash alternative

Entrants must like the @BowkerMINI and @TheCartfordInn Facebook pages, like the post, tag an additional person and also share the post for their entry to be included. Entrants will receive an additional entry if the post is reshared to their Instagram Story from the @BowkerMotorGroup Instagram account.

Bowker Motor Group, WH Bowker and Cartford Inn employees and family members are excluded from entering. The competition closes Wednesday 16 September. The winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on Friday 18 September 2020 and will be contacted via Facebook or Instagram direct message. This promotion is in no way endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook or Instagram.

A big Bowker thank you to everyone who took part in the Bowker MINI Halloween Drive Out this year.

On Sunday 27th October, more than 30 cars and 80 passengers in fancy-dress left Bowker MINI in Blackburn from 10am, before completing a spooky circuit of Pendle and the Ribble Valley.

The annual creepy car cavalcade wound its way to the final destination – Samlesbury Hall – for brews, bacon and prizes, before a Ghost Tour for hardy souls whose nerves can still take it.

Look out for more Bowker MINI events soon.

The Bowker MINI Centre on the docks in Preston has a new manager.

55-year old Peter Turner from Wigan is a familiar face at Bowker. He was originally an employee of Bowker Motor Group between 2002 and 2008. 

Most recently, he enjoyed successful sales management roles with motorcycle retailers Bowker Harley-Davidson from 2014 and then Bowker Motorrad – both also in Preston.

And, during a 27-year career in automotive retail, Peter also managed the Bowker MINI centre in Blackburn between 2007 and 2008.

Away from work, Pete is married to Vicky and has two sons, Adam and Liam. Peter is a keen rugby league player and fan. 

Peter said:

“It’s good to be back with MINI. The Centre in Preston has a close-knit group of loyal customers. We enjoy events and drive outs together. I’m looking forward to keeping up the good work with the kind of motoring retail experience our MINI customers deserve.”

Peter’s first events included the annual Halloween MINI Drive Out in October and a sneak peek at the new MINI electric in November.

The Bowker MINI showroom was opened in Preston in 2001 and extended in 2013. Three years later the centre became the first in Lancashire to complete refurbishment with a new open-plan layout; space for up to eight cars and complimentary coffee bar and refreshments. 

It’s great to get special treatment. Which is why we’re offering you and a guest the chance to feast your eyes on our first electric – way before it hits our showrooms in March 2020.

Get your first glimpse of the exciting new MINI Electric on 17 November. Our Preston MINI Centre will be hosting this exciting event for both Preston and Blackburn customers.

And, if you’re blown away, you’ be able to pre-order your very own MINI Electric there and then.

In fact, we’re so confident you’ll love it, we’ve made it the first car to come with a Feel Good Guarantee.

Ready to feel MINI Electric? Then register today by clicking HERE.

We look forward to seeing you!

Join us on Sunday 27th October 2019 at 10am for our ever anticipated annual Bowker MINI Halloween Drive Out! All MINI owners, family and friends are welcome.

We will be meeting at Bowker Blackburn MINI at 10am and the final destination will be Samlesbury Hall where breakfast sandwiches will be waiting for us from 11.30am with compliments of Bowker MINI. We will also be awarding prizes for the best Halloween fancy dress and best dressed car!

As a part of the Bowker MINI Drive Out, you will be able to participate in Samlesbury Hall’s very own GHOST TOUR free of charge, taking place at 2pm.

Our popular drive outs regularly attract over 50 MINIs. They are great fun so register your attendance today!

We very much hope you can come. Please RSVP via email: or by calling 01772 767335.

Live Magazines Paul Agnew was intrigued by the new PHEV MINI Countryman. We sent him out in our demonstrator model for a MINI PHEV Adventure. Here is how he got on.


The MINI is a motoring icon – loved by the world over with a panache, presence and personality all of its own. A car with a place in history guaranteed.

But this little beauty is not living in the past – far from it.

Say hello to the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) now available at Bowker.
That’s right, the not-so-little PHEV MINI Countryman that is already proving a massive hit with the discerning drivers of 2019 who want a little bit of everything when they get behind the wheel; not least some fun.

Powered by both a combustion engine and an electric motor, it offers “the spirit of an explorer with technology at its heart”, according to those whose job it is to market and sell.
And after test driving the MINI Countryman Cooper S E ALL4 (yes, four-wheel-drive) from Bowker on Preston Docklands, it’s hard to disagree.

The PHEV MINI Countryman is a friend from the moment you meet up. The bond is immediate.
Perhaps it’s the famous badge or the instantly recognisable round central dial – now surrounded by an LED light ring that responds to how you are driving and houses a 6.5” colour screen and displays all in-car infotainment.
Or maybe it’s just the way it looks and the ease in which you settle in … everything just seems very right.
And so quiet. Once the keyless ignition has been activated you’d be hard pushed to hear any engine noise at all. Steering is light, vision excellent and road handling safe and sound.

As for performance, the big-hearted PHEV MINI Countryman packs quite a punch, racing from 0-60 mph is 6.8 secs. That’s down to a combined 221 brake horsepower on offer when the 1.5-litre petrol engine and rear-mounted electric motor work together. Sending power to just the rear wheels, the electric motor also gives it four-wheel-drive status. And then there’s the renowned 6-speed BMW gearbox

Who says sustainable motoring can’t be exciting?

The high-tech lithium-ion battery provides an all-electric ‘range’ (mpg in old money) of up to 26 miles, enough to cover the daily commute of most drivers. Kept at its optimum temperature by an advanced cooling system, the battery excels in both output and service life.

With the PHEV MINI Countryman there is the extra advantage of reducing the official CO2 emissions figure to just 49g/km, making the car a much sought after option for company-car drivers keen to reduce their tax.
Economy, of course, is one of the big attractions.

In terms of fuel ‘consumption’; suffice to say that the ‘range’ is a very impressive 134.5mpg (average) and a full battery charge at home (roughly taking about two hours) will set you back less than 5p!

Whilst driving you can switch between electric and petrol power as you feel fit (there’s even a speedier sports option too) and the transition is smooth and fully automated with no interruptions.

The PHEV MINI Countryman is blessed with an array of helpful and entertaining features including Sat Nav, real time traffic information and hundreds of radio stations (DAB) and music options. What the manufacturers call ‘Connected Services’ include: a concierge phone-line service, online search, weather information, Apple CarPlay®, rear parking distance control, bluetooth connectivity, chargeable battery during driving … the list goes on.

So, who fits the driver profile?
Anyone and everyone.

There are clear advantages for the business user and an obvious appeal for those seeking a nippy, smart-looking, easy-to-park and great-around-town car, while it offers a practical solution for families too with ample room inside.

Safety levels are excellent. It achieved the full five-star score in Euro NCAP crash tests and from an array of available extras you can choose a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and lane-keep assist.

Eight airbags come as standard, in addition to the compulsory anti-lock brakes and stability control. Also standard are autonomous emergency braking and a bonnet that pops up slightly in a pedestrian collision to help cushion the impact.

It is crystal clear that the choice of hybrid cars is likely to increase in the coming years. Indeed, BMW Group plans for 25% of all its models sold by 2025 to be electrified in some way.

The PHEV MINI Countryman has got in early and made a big impact. In the weeks before and after launch, dealers across the land struggled to meet demand. It’s easy to see why. 

To book your 48 hour test drive in the MINI Countryman Cooper S E ALL4, please contact the team at Bowker MINI.

Content courtesy of Live Magazines –


MINI has today unveiled the new MINI Electric at the Oxford plant, the home of the brand where the very first Mini was built 60 years ago. After 15,000 potential customers already expressed an interest in the car, the official order books are opened today. Manufacturing will begin in late 2019, with first deliveries in the spring of 2020 and exports headed around the world. Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production – and previous plant director of Oxford – Oliver Zipse said, “We are entering an era in which electric cars will become a normal choice for our customers. The MINI Electric will kick off our new model offensive for fully electric vehicles. By 2023, two years ahead of schedule, we will have 25 electrified models on the market. More than half of them will be fully electric”.

The MINI Electric will be fully integrated into the production process at Oxford, running down the same lines as all the conventional models.

“This plant builds 1000 cars per day, with a new MINI coming off the line every 67 seconds, so the integration gives excellent production flexibility and allows supplies of the new model to be adjusted according to demand,” explained Plant

Oxford managing director, Peter Weber, “This is such a proud moment for every single one of our team.”

Instantly recognisable as a three-door MINI Hatch, the MINI Electric blends the timeless appeal of the design and go-kart handling with the latest in cutting-edge, zero-emissions powertrain technology and in-car connectivity. It drives just as a MINI should with performance close to that of the hot hatch MINI Cooper S, accelerating from zero to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds.

David George, director of MINI in the UK said, “Now our customers can have everything they love about MINI, but with all the advantages of an electric car – lower environmental impact and running costs and they never have to visit a petrol station again”.

Priced to be widely affordable, many customers are expected to lease the new car and rates will start below £300 per month. The on-the-road list price is from £24,400 after the government’s Plug-In Car Grant has been applied.

Research published today by What Car? magazine and supported by MINI showed that more than 1.5 million UK households which are perfectly suited to running an electric car, are not yet doing so. They have off street parking to allow easy at-home recharging and more than one car in the household, one of which never does more than 100 miles in a day. MINI’s own data shows that the average distance driven each day is 26 miles.

“We believe the new MINI Electric could be a tipping point for those who have been thinking about choosing an electric car, to take that step now,” added George. “We aim to introduce a whole new group of drivers in the UK to the fun and cost savings of electric driving, in a way only MINI can”.

Secretary of State for business, Greg Clark, welcomed the news, “Our automotive industry has long been a source of national pride, and the unique collaboration between Government and industry through our Industrial Strategy has helped put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles with one in five electric cars in Europe now built in the UK.

“The production of the electric MINI in the UK will play a key role in accelerating the adoption of cleaner, greener vehicles and I am delighted this modern British icon will be manufactured in Oxford”.

The original Mini, designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, was born out of the Suez crisis oil shortage and the demand for affordable motoring. The first cars rolled off the line at Oxford in the summer of 1959 and so began a global success story which has spanned six decades. As the world faces new environmental, social and economic challenges, MINI has chosen the moment to launch its first fully electric model.

The MINI 60 Years Edition.

On 26 August 1959, British Motor Corporation (BMC) proudly revealed a car that captured the imagination of the world and revolutionised the compact car segment. Six decades later, in 2019 MINI marks the brand’s 60th birthday and the extraordinary story of a British innovation that went on to achieve iconic status. To kick-start this anniversary year, MINI is introducing a limited run of 500 very special vehicles for UK customers.

Built in the UK at MINI Plant Oxford, the MINI 60 Years Edition is the first of many celebrations planned for 2019 that will champion the brand’s rich heritage in Britain and its continuous dedication to innovation. Much like Alex Issigonis’ first car in 1959, MINI has continued to push the boundaries whilst keeping creative use of space, driving fun, style and individualisation at its core.

The MINI 3-door Hatch Cooper S 60 Years Edition (combined fuel consumption: 39.8 – 43.5 mpg; combined CO2 emissions: 129 – 127 g/km) will be offered exclusively with an automatic transmission in the UK, with acceleration from zero to 62 mph in just 6.7 seconds.

The exterior design features a new British Racing Green IV paint finish and piano black exterior trim, black roof and exterior mirror caps, special anniversary design bonnet stripes and model exclusive 17-inch light alloy wheels in 60 Years Spoke 2-tone. The 60 Years emblem completes the vehicle, uniquely placed on the left-hand bonnet stripe, side scuttles of the turn indicators and LED logo projection from the driver’s door. Further enhancing the exterior design and sporty character, every model in the UK will be sold with an additional set of MINI spot lamps fitted to the front radiator grille.

The limited edition vehicle has a distinctly designed interior with model specific finishes using the 60 Years emblem, including the steering wheel and front seats. The seats are finished with MINI Yours Leather Lounge in Dark Cacao with contrast seat stitching and piping matching the new exterior paintwork– an exclusive leather for this vehicle.

Navigation Plus pack is included, providing a larger 8.8” touch display with Satellite Navigation, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity, concierge service and wireless charging. In addition, a rear view camera, folding exterior mirrors and front and rear Park Distance Control (PDC) can be found on the vehicle, courtesy of the Comfort Plus Pack.

As with all MINI Hatch models, this unique edition vehicle features a high level of standard equipment including LED front and rear lights, intelligent emergency call, ambient lighting, automatic headlights with rain sensor and much more.

A limited run of 500 MINI 60 Years Edition vehicles will be available in the UK from March 2019 at Bowker MINI Centres in Blackburn and Preston, priced at £29,990 OTR.

MINI mishap? Bumped BMW? It’s your call where you send your car to for repair and Bowker have it covered, as Matthew Parkinson explains.

Until it happens to you, you’ve likely never considered what happens next after an accident in your car.  I’d probably do the same as most people and call my insurance company. But what’s the alternative?

In the event of your BMW or MINI needing repair following an accident, the decision lies with you, and not your insurer, as to who takes care of it. By choosing a BMW or MINI Approved Bodyshop, your car will be returned to its original Euro NCAP safety rating,

By making Bowker your first call, their Accident Management team will handle everything with minimal fuss from start to finish, making sure you’re safe before liaising with your insurance company, organising the recovery of your car, arranging a like-for-like replacement car if the accident wasn’t your fault, and even providing medical and legal aid if you’re injured as a result. Your car will then be handed over to their Approved Bodyshop for an estimation of the damage before work begins.

Located a stone’s throw away from Bowker on the Preston Docklands is BMW & MINI Approved Bodyshop, HB Panelcraft. The family business is headed up by Paul Harwood, whose fastidious eye for detail helped forge a partnership with Bowker back in 1996. Paul guides us around cars at various stages of repair, from minor cosmetic jobs to ground-up rebuilds, drawing attention to a gleaming BMW 6 Series that’s nearing completion in the body shop’s paint booth. “You sometimes see cars like this starting to corrode in unusual places, because whoever did the original repair hasn’t used genuine, galvanised parts,” explains Paul. “Everything we do is approved by BMW and MINI Group.” All body repairs come with a lifetime guarantee for the duration of ownership and you are issued with a Guarantee Certificate giving you peace of mind that you and your vehicle are completely protected.

Having earned BMW and MINI national certification, HB Panelcraft are kitted out for all manner of repairs, boasting up to date diagnostic machinery and panels protected with the same galvanisation used on brand new vehicles – even the paint is sourced from BMW Group to ensure a perfect colour match. It’s because of this manufacturer backing that unlike many independent garages, your car’s bodywork warranty will remain intact, no matter how bad the damage was to begin with. If it can be repaired, it can be guaranteed.

The devil is in the detail for the team at HB Panelcraft, who inspect each stage of the vehicle repair process in the same way BMW and MINI technicians would inspect brand new cars on an assembly line. The phrase ‘that’ll do’ just doesn’t exist within these four walls, and for good reason. Like each car that passes through the workshop, Paul and his team are subject to their own set of quality control checks. Each year, they’re assessed by BMW and MINI to make sure that the workshop, its staff, their tools and their attitudes meet the brand’s exacting standards. It’s testament to their hard work that since the start of their partnership with Bowker 22 years ago, they’ve passed with flying colours each and every year.

The phrase ‘good as new’ is often banded around recklessly, but I can’t imagine a more honest description of the freshly repaired cars being readied for their respective owners. The partnership between Bowker and HB Panelcraft has created a one-stop-shop for repairs that BMW and MINI owners can trust from start to fuss-free finish.

There’s no escaping the fact that in an ideal world there wouldn’t be any accidents, and any decent human being would hope that this is a service you won’t need to use. If you’re going to call anyone when your day comes to a screeching halt however, make sure it’s Bowker.


Credit to Live Magazines – 

From September 2018, all cars must have been homologated under the new WLTP (Worldwide Hamonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure) test cycle which is designed to better replicate real life driving conditions.

BMW Group has now published revised fuel economy and emissions data for its entire range of vehicles in accordance with the new test procedure (WLTP). This means the full range of BMW and MINI vehicles sold in the UK is now fully compliant with the new test regime well ahead of the deadline.

The new testing procedure of WLTP is based on an approximation of the test conditions to real-world circumstances, which means that the values determined will also have a greater relevance to reality. Among the changes this involves are redefined, significantly stricter test conditions and higher speeds together with a substantially longer test duration (30 instead of 20 minutes). 

To obtain a more precise determination of CO2 emissions, the new test procedure includes not only standard equipment – as was previously the case – but also all optional equipment of a vehicle. This produces two values for each type of vehicle: the lowest and highest possible standard consumption value according to aerodynamics, weight and rolling resistance.

Thanks to WLTP, you will be able to better assess a vehicle’s consumption and CO2 emissions in the future. In the case of a specific vehicle configuration, the individual standard value will be indicated directly.

Despite the more stringent test requirements, the BMW range has increased on average by just 8g/km while the MINI average increase is just 5g/km.* BMW’s market-leading electric and plug-in hybrid range performed particularly well with the top-selling BMW 530e Saloon increasing by just 3 grams to 49g/km.

Customers can have confidence that the full range of BMW Group vehicles is compliant with the new testing requirements and offers a more compelling value proposition than ever. Buyers can also be sure that the figures supplied for all our vehicles are future-proof providing certainty in terms of future cost.

You can find out more about WLTP and the movement within each Series here.

*For Spartanburg production models (X3, X4, X5 and X6), technical changes are effective from 01 August 2018.

The management team at Bowker Motor Group has raised over £1,000 for Burnley FC in the Community at this year’s Asda Foundation Burnley 10K running race.

Despite eleventh hour injuries to two of the Bowker team, the remaining five – representing Bowker BMW, MINI and aftersales on the Blackburn – all completed the course.

Bowker Blackburn managing director Chris Eccles said: “We’ve all trained hard. And the last minute injuries to two of the team members made us even more determined to successfully complete the challenge.

“It’s the first time we’ve entered a running challenge as a group, and everyone in the management team mentioned what a great event it was. We supported each other and we’re all especially grateful for everyone who supported us and donated.”

The sixth annual Burnley 10K race took place on Sunday July 15th, beginning and finishing in Towneley Park, outside Towneley Hall in Burnley.

Bowker Motor Group enlisted the help of Jamie Kennedy at Burnley-based Fitness Experience with some assistance with training and nutrition. All the competitors were monitored using a digital smartphone app and offered tailored advice in the build up to the race.

Earlier this year Bowker Motor Group became official vehicle supplier of Burnley FC in the Community (BFCitC); sourcing a fleet of four vehicles. Bowker Motor Group also sponsored the charity’s annual fundraising dinner in April.

Bowker 10K fundraising page can be found at

July 2018


Soon we’ll be giving you the chance to book a test drive in the MINI 1499 GT. But you’ll have to act fast because there’s only 1,499 limited editions available. Don’t miss out on your chance to get behind the wheel of this exciting, sporty new MINI that’s set to be a future classic.

Act fast. Get on the list. Complete the enquiry form on this page & we will get back to you or alternatively you can call Bowker Preston MINI on 01772 761234 or Bowker Blackburn MINI on 01254 274333.