Category: Ribble Valley

A young apprentice, originally from Iraq, has been confirmed as the Preston College Apprentice of the Year.

Didar is in his second year of the automotive technologies course whilst working for Bowker Ribble Valley in Osbaldeston. Didar came to the UK from Iraq six years ago. Unable to speak any English, he enrolled onto the Preston College ‘English for Speakers of Other Languages’ course.

Working from Entry 2 to Entry 3, he then enrolled onto the Level 1 Automotive programme. He started his Level 3 apprenticeship with Bowker Ribble Valley earlier this year. Didar will continue his studies at Preston College for another year. Away from work, Didar is a keen footballer and supports Manchester City.

Preston College Apprentice of the Year, Didar Hussain, said: “I was very surprised and proud to win the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ award. When I enrolled at Preston college I could barely say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’. But everything has taken off since then. I chose automotive technology because I hoped it would offer me important transferable skills.

“I am studying a practical course. The support I enjoy at Preston college helps. But it makes a big difference when you combine it with the first-hand experience at Bowker. It is a great way to develop my learning by watching and speaking to colleagues too.”

Earlier this year Bowker Motor Group entered into a long-term partnership with Lancashire further education provider, Preston College. The new automotive technologies partnership will help apprentices learn a breadth of knowledge, skills and behaviours in their specific area.

The partnership with Bowker Motor Group has already led to apprenticeship opportunities within customer service and various automotive pathways within their prestigious dealerships.

For Bowker, Richard Rawlings said: “Congratulations to Didar. Bowker Motor Group have dedicated their time to involve learners in valuable work placement opportunities, with the potential to move to an apprenticeship programme.

“The development of our partnership enables learners to capture and experience industry, combined with underpinning knowledge, skills and behaviours. Students are getting a fantastic opportunity to learn bespoke engines to help with their understanding of the automotive industry. Didar is a great example of the difference our partnership can make.”

Mark Taylor, Head of School for Engineering and Automotive Technologies says: “We could not be prouder of Didar. What this young man has achieved in just 6 years is remarkable and truly inspirational.

“The relationship with Bowker ensures we are able to give young learners like Didar a real opportunity to learn the technical skills in the automotive industry. The skills he’ll learn alongside Preston College’s industry-experienced staff and the professional technician team at Bowker, will set strong foundations for a fulfilling and successful career. A huge well done from all of us at Preston College.”

Preston College is currently the largest apprenticeship provider in its local area.
Bowker Motor Group’s automotive retail franchise portfolio includes BMW, MINI, BMW Motorrad and Porsche, with centres in Preston and Blackburn. The group also operates Bowker Ribble Valley in Osbaldeston.

INEOS Automotive has appointed Bowker Motor Group as its nominated partner in Lancashire.

Bowker Ribble Valley will be the sole Lancashire partner for the new INEOS Grenadier 4X4, when it is launched later this year.

The agreement will see Bowker operate in partnership with INEOS from the automotive retailer’s existing Bowker Ribble Valley dealership on the A59 in Osbaldeston near Blackburn. It is one of 24 UK sites that are among the first 160 locations to be confirmed in markets around the world.

New signage has already been installed and the Bowker Ribble Valley dealership will offer a full INEOS aftersales facility to complement their partner status. The Bowker partnership with INEOS Automotive will be overseen by managing director Chris Eccles, supported by the existing Bowker Ribble Valley team. 

Bowker Motor Group already operates seven prestige car and motorcycle dealerships in Blackburn and Preston.

Paul Bowker, Bowker Motor Group chief executive, said: “It is a huge privilege to be chosen by INEOS to be their nominated partner in Lancashire. We have already established award-winning motor retail experiences in Preston and Blackburn with some of the world’s most prestigious motoring brands. The partnership with INEOS is the next exciting chapter for us. 

“INEOS brings a fresh perspective to 4X4 development and manufacturing. The Grenadier combines rugged British spirit with German engineering rigour; a truly uncompromising 4X4 built from the ground up. We look forward to building another successful partnership worthy of the Lancashire motoring community.”

INEOS will work with Bowker to establish the new partnership. The process includes an intensive INEOS training programme for sales executives and workshop technicians – beginning in May.

“We have worked tirelessly for over a year to find retail partners that share our enthusiasm and excitement for the Grenadier,” said Jack Stanley, regional business manager UK and Ireland for INEOS Automotive. “We have so far established a global network of over 160 partners who understand 4X4 users and their requirements, and have a proven track record for exceptional customer service. We are working with these partners to ensure they are ready to offer Grenadier customers and owners the advice, guidance and support they need.”

By the end of 2022, INEOS plans to have a network of 200 sales and service sites for the Grenadier in over 50 countries, including established dealer groups, 4X4 specialists and agricultural equipment dealers. The aim is for the majority of customers in the UK to always be within 45 minutes of an official sales and service location.

For full information on pricing, specification and ordering process is available from

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    Get your Towbar professionally fitted and guaranteed at Bowker.

    Did you know, Bowker Ribble Valley supply and fit high-quality Witter and Westfalia towbars for all makes and models (subject to availability), including full wiring and programming (where required) to your vehicle’s on-board computer.

    Selecting a Towbar
    Before selecting a towbar you should check:

    – That your vehicle has sufficient towing capacity and nose load for your requirement. If you are unsure, our specialist are on hand to assist.
    – That your driving licence supports your towing requirements – find out more here.
    – That your trailer or caravan is roadworthy! Again our team are happy to assist.

    There are three main types of Towbar; Fixed Flange, Fixed Swan Neck and Detachable.

    – Fixed flange towbars are suitable for the vast majority of towing requirements. It has a towball bolted to a faceplate and is therefore compatible with accessories that are fixed between the towball and faceplate. For example, Bumper Protectors, Leaf Spring Stabiliser Brackets and Bracket mounted Cycle Carriers.

    – Towball mounted Cycle Carriers can also be used with Fixed Flange Towbars.

    – If your vehicle has parking sensors it is generally advisable to have a detachable towbar to avoid interference.

    – Fixed Swan towbars are ideal for many towing applications and are considered by many to be preferable in appearance. 

    – Towball mounted Cycle Carriers can also be used with Fixed Swan Neck Towbars.

    – Detachable towbars are predominantly available as a swan neck, however for some vehicles detachable flange towbars are available.

    – When the towing neck is detached the towbar will, depending on your vehicle, either be completely invisible or only slightly visible.

    – As a detachable towbar allows for the towing neck to be removed it is possible to avoid interference with parking sensors.

    – Towball mounted Cycle Carriers can also be used with Detachable Towbars.

    Selecting your Towing Electrics

    – Single 7 Pin 12N – Road lights only excluding reverse.
    – Double 7 Pin 12N/12S – These kits usually have 2 options, all road light functions and a permanent live feed or available with all road light functions and full charging system.
    – 13 Pin – These kits usually have 2 options, all road light functions and a permanent live feed or available with all road light functions and full charging system.

    In the past fitting an electric kit to a vehicle involved simply connecting to the rear lights and that was all what was required.

    Today, modern vehicles have complex wiring systems built with advanced safety features which are computer controlled. Therefore, fitting an electric kit is no longer a simple process.

    Modern vehicles electric systems mean fitting a towbar electric kit can be a very difficult process. It is essential to choose the right electrics to suit your towing needs, whether you are towing a caravan, trailer, cycle carrier or anything else. We recommend speaking to one of our members, to confirm your requirements before making a purchase.

    There are 2 main types of electric kits for vehicles, Universal or Dedicated (vehicle specific). Universal kits are available for all vehicles, whereas Dedicated are vehicle specific. Fitting a dedicated kit protects the vehicles warranty, works with the vehicles built in safe features and more.

    Dedicated Vehicle Specific Wiring kits, sometimes known as ‘dedicated wiring looms’, ‘VSKs’ or ‘plug in kits’, are becoming ever more popular for towbar wiring installation. These kits in most instances, where the features are present on the vehicle, interact with the built-in safety features on the vehicle whilst towing. Also, they can disable factory fitted parking aids.

    These kits are manufactured for the specific vehicle and connect to the manufactures correct fitting points.

    Please note: Re-programming of the vehicle with correct software may be necessary to gain these functions where applicable.

    Each kit is designed specifically for the vehicle that it is fitted to, and rather than soldering or using ‘Scotch Locks’ to connect the towbar wiring, which is the case with universal aftermarket wiring, these kits interface with the vehicle systems in the same way as the vehicle manufacturer intended.

    Universal towbar electric kits used to be the standard method for supplying power to trailers or caravans. This is the lower cost option than dedicated “vehicle specific” towbar electric kits. Although universal electric kits do compromise on some features as a result.

    Universal kits will provide all of the lighting functions required to keep your vehicle legal while towing your trailer or caravan. However, it does not provide the additional benefits of vehicle specific towbar wiring.

    As an example, with universal electrics, wiring your vehicles parking sensors and fog lights would not be disabled whilst you are towing as they would when using a dedicated “vehicle specific” system. Also this kit will not interact with built in stability programmes when towing like a dedicated system will.

    Visit us in-store to discuss with a member of staff, or use the enquiry form below:

      We’d like to keep in touch with you to share news on products, services and events which are relevant to you. We will not share your details with any third party organisation. If you’d like us to keep in touch with you, please tick the relevant boxes.

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      Protect your vehicle with Bowker.

      Bowker Motor Group are offering a range of vehicle trackers offering another level of protection for you and your vehicle. The Thatcham Approved Trackers supplied by ScorpionTrack offers drivers the security of being able to track their vehicle by using the Smart App.

      Thatcham Approval is often a requirement of vehicle insurance policies for high value, sports, classic and prestige vehicles plus valuable plant and fleet vehicles but it is also sought after by those concerned with losing their vehicles as a result theft by use of sophisticated devices or of key theft or hi-jacking.

      ScorpionTrack Driver S7.

      Designed to respond to the growing trends of vehicle theft.  ScorpionTrack S7-ALS is an advanced vehicle tracking solution with 24/7/365 theft monitoring delivering you security and peace of mind.

      Total including fitting & VAT £249.00


      ScorpionTrack Driver S5.

      Designed to respond to the growing trends of vehicle theft including instances where the owner’s keys are cloned or the vehicles’ on-board computer is hacked.

      ScorpionTrack S5-VTS is an advanced vehicle tracking solution with 24/7/365 theft monitoring delivering you security and peace of mind.

      Total including fitting & VAT £399.00

      The S7 Thatcham approved tracker replaces the CAT 6 Tracker. If you have a CAT 6 Tracker installed, this is still valid and active if your insurance policy is now requiring an S7.The S5 Trackers provides all of the features and benefits of the S7 with the addition of the below:
      Both the CAT 6 and S7 are the same level of GPS tracking technology and service, this is why some insurers have not updated the terminology for the S7 categoryADR (Automatic Driver Recognition)
      The S7 Tracker is the standard requirement for the theft recovery systems, resulting in it being the most commonly fitted tracking device.This system is effective against key theft and key cloning. You will be provided with a small ADR fob which will identify you as the authorised driver. The fob is not attached to your car keys but is kept with you whenever you use the vehicle.
      24/7 Control Room MonitoringIn the event, the vehicle is moved, by starting the ignition or without your key while the fob is not present. A silent alert is instantly raised to our Control Room. We will then quickly determine if a theft is taking place and work directly with the police to recover the vehicle.
      In the event of a theft or unauthorised movement, our fully staffed control room are trained to guide the police directly to the vehicle, utilising advanced real-time tracking technology that is a standard feature of the S7 Tracker 
      European Coverage 
      Normally, if your vehicle is logged as stolen it will be recovered within minutes. With global coverage, even if the car leaves the country it can still be found. This also allows you to use your vehicle abroad and be provided with the same level of protection that your S7 Tracker offers in the UK. 
      Motion Alert 
      In the event your vehicle is moved by thieves without turning the ignition or attempt to tow your vehicle, an alert is raised in our control room. 

      Visit us in-store to discuss with a member of staff, or use the enquiry form below:

        We’d like to keep in touch with you to share news on products, services and events which are relevant to you. We will not share your details with any third party organisation. If you’d like us to keep in touch with you, please tick the relevant boxes.

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        There are a number of different subscription options with both the S7 and S5 Trackers, they are as follows:

        Subscription Type ScorpionTrack S7 ScorpionTrack S5
        Monthly Subscription £9.95 £12.95
        1 Year Subscription £109.00 £129.00
        2 Year Subscription £195.00 £219.00
        3 Year Subscription £279.00 £299.00
        4 Year Subscription £329.00 £349.00
        5 Year Subscription £369.00 £389.00

        From Monday 12th April, our showroom is fully open for Sales and Aftersales, in line with Government guidance. We’ve enhanced safety measures in place to keep both you and our team protected at all times.

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

        – The temperature of our staff is checked
        – Social distancing measures are in place
        – Hand sanitiser stations are positioned throughout the showroom
        – 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 showroom 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

        Our sales teams are on hand to assist with your enquiry either within our Centres or from the comfort of your own home. Making an appointment is advisable to avoid any unnecessary waiting in light of social distancing and hygiene measures.

        Tel: 01254 769069

        Click here to view our opening hours.


        To make an MOT, Service or Repair booking, please call us or you can request an appointment online 24/7:

        Tel: 01254 769069

        Click here to view our opening hours.


        We ask that you bring your vehicle to our dealership for your planned Service appointment and park in customer parking. Please enter at Main Reception where you will be met by a member of staff. Your keys will be sanitised and we will wipe down the frequently touched surfaces with a safe disinfecting solution, adding PPE to the interior. Likewise, when you return to collect your vehicle from us, we will have done the same.

        We look forward to welcoming you into our showroom 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

        Michael Smallbone from Live Ribble Valley Magazine visits one of the region’s most prestigious car showrooms, where he spots a magnificent ultra-rare Lotus Exige.

        With blossom on the trees, the days lasting longer and spring lambs in the fields our minds begin to fill with thoughts of the approaching summer time. Here in the Ribble Valley we are able to see the signs of summer everywhere and what better way to enjoy them from the exciting driving seat of a sports car?

        The now well established Bowker Ribble Valley dealership on the A59 at Osbaldeston offers a wide selection of vehicles from a range of prestigious manufacturers such as Porsche, Land Rover, Mercedes, Lotus and Aston Martin. Plus, the recent addition of the Maserati dealership that operates in perfect harmony at the same premises. Each car that Bowker Ribble Valley supply is more than likely to be something you don’t see every day, for instance when I was there I got the opportunity to see a magnificent, ultra-rare Lotus Exige in the showroom.

        For extra peace of mind when you buy a car from Bowker Ribble Valley it will come with a comprehensive 12 month warranty through Warranty Wise – who have recently spent two days at the Osbaldeston showroom filming their latest national television commercial with Quentin Wilson.

        As part of the larger Bowker Motor Group, Bowker Ribble Valley since its launch in October 2012, has built on the already high standard of customer care that has become synonymous with the Bowker name. A relaxed and enjoyable experience with a no pressure attitude will greet you when you arrive at their dealership allowing you to browse the various models for as long as you want – but remember a member of the team will not be too far away to answer any questions or to arrange a test drive. The expanding work force all have at least one thing in common – a passion for all things motoring whether it be on two or four wheels meaning they are more than happy to talk to any fellow ‘petrol head’ both male and female! Jim Gregory, sales manager at Bowker Ribble Valley, explained that they have established relationships with customers, who have now become friends and there are various people who have bought as many as three consecutive cars from them.

        In many respects buying a car is the easy part but for many the wide choice of servicing options can be quite daunting. However, Bowker Ribble Valley can take care of all aspects of vehicle maintenance and enhancements. The services they offer include valeting using AutoGlymproducts, servicing of all makes and models without compromising the manufacturer’s warranty, plus tyre fitting – all of which is carried out by factory trained qualified technicians with many years of experience.

        Moving away from the stereotypical traditional used car dealership, Bowker Ribble Valley has created something unique. Visitors can browse and purchase some of the most interesting and desirable cars available today from a member of the family-owned Bowker Motor Group, but without the, sometimes overwhelming, franchised dealer experience.  Put a smile on your face ready for summer with a car from Bowker Ribble Valley – it could be a sports car, a convertible, a luxurious four wheel drive or how about one of each?

        Bowker Ribble Valley Servicing

        Free local collection and delivery service
        Complimentary valet and health check with every service
        Free courtesy cars available
        Spring Check including air conditioning refresh £35
        All makes and model servicing from £85
        Lease car drivers catered for
        Vehicle upgrades including wheels, body-styling and interior
        Tyres at very competitive prices.

        For information on servicing, please call 01254 769 069 or write to our dedicated service e-mail,