Did you manage to solve most of our 12 Cars of Christmas? Here are the answers.

12 Cars of Christmas


  1. Geddo Arm
  2. Lwiysl Epje
  3. Rnldvraoe Eeendrfd
  4. Tsano Itnarm
  5. Verhctelo Tteervco
  6. Siormor Niorm
  7. Muphitr
  8. Skvlwaeong Ebetel
  9. Verro Niim
  10. Befridri
  11. Nirbo oodh
  12. Rfdo Natmsug



  1. Dodge Ram
  2. Willys Jeep
  3. Landrover Defender
  4. Aston Martin
  5. Chevrolet Corvette
  6. Morris Minor
  7. Triumph
  8. Volkswagen Beetle
  9. Rover Mini
  10. Firebird
  11. Robin Hood
  12. Ford Mustang

We’d love to know how you got on.

Green Card

From the 1st January 2021 you will be required to carry a ‘green card’ with you when driving in the EEA remember that includes Eire, Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland. You are required to carry a green card to evidence that you have the correct insurance. Green cards are usually valid for 15 days, however if your trip is longer than this it can be extended, just speak with your insurance provider.

It is also important to let your broker or insurance company know your travel plans, they normally like to know the dates or travel, countries you are visiting and if you are towing. For clients wanting to take a trailer or caravan – A separate Green Card is required for any towed vehicle.

How to get one?

Simply call your broker or insurance provider and explain to them about your plans to drive abroad. They will be able to advise on the necessary steps and provide you with a Green Card. We recommend doing this before your date of travel to ensure you have received it prior to your trip.

European Breakdown Cover.

It is also a useful idea to check that your breakdown cover is extended to driving abroad. This can be a crucial element of travelling outside of the UK.  European breakdown cover as some great benefits including Emergency overnight accommodation, alternative travel and much more.

If you are looking for a breakdown policy to cover you whilst driving abroad call us on 01395 255100. We also provide specialist breakdown cover for non-standard vehicles.

Useful links:


Buy Breakdown & Recovery Online


Military Vehicles A to Z.

  1. Abbot FV433 Self Propelled Gun
  2. Bedford QLR Signals Vehicle
  3. Centurion ARV Mark 2
  4. Dodge WC9 Ambulance
  5. Excelsior Welbike
  6. Fox Armoured Car
  7. Gaz 67
  8. Humber Pig
  9. Indian 741
  10. Jackson M36 Tank Destroyer
  11. Kaiser M151
  12. Land Rover 101 Forward Control
  13. Matchless G3 L
  14. Norton WD Big Four
  15. Opel Blitz
  16. Pinzgauer 710MK
  17. Quad (Nickname of Morris C8 Field Artillery Tractor)
  18. Reo M109 A3
  19. Stuart M5 A1
  20. Thornycraft MK9
  21. Uaz 452
  22. Volvo BV 202
  23. White M3
  24. XM 1216 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (ok, not quite what we were thinking but it is an “X”)
  25. YW750 ambulance based on the YW531
  26. Zil 131

We’d also love to see and hear about your military vehicles, head over to our Facebook page to share them with us.


A Guide to Protecting Your Unoccupied Property During The Winter.

  1. Heat – It is a good idea to heat the property daily during the winter months, this can be done by either setting it to come on at a certain time or kept on throughout the day at a low and sustainable temperature.
  2. Water – If the property is due to be unoccupied for a lengthy period of time, you may wish to consider turning off the water supply at the stopcock or draining the radiators, be sure to check this isn’t shared with anyone else though.
  3. Council Tax – Unoccupied Properties You may still be required to pay council tax on your unoccupied property, however speak to your local cancel as a discount may be offered.
  4. Safe and secure – The Security of the property is important, locks, alarms and security measures can be put in place but it is also a good idea to ensure the exterior of the home is kept in a good state to deter intruders or burglars from noticing it is an unoccupied property.
  5. Regular inspections – It is important to ensure your unoccupied property is checked regularly. If you are lucky enough to be enjoying some sunshine somewhere then ask a friend or family member to check on the property. We recommend weekly checks so that any potential problems are picked up on quickly.
  6. Insurance – Double check your property insurance is suitable for empty or unoccupied property. Insurers will provide terms and conditions for you to follow during the period of the property being unoccupied.

Car Modifications an A to Z – Modifications Made Simple

A – Alloy Wheels: Often made from Magnesium or Aluminum. Alloys have less weight in comparison to standard wheels and can improve acceleration and stopping. They look pretty cool as well.

B – Body Kit: A modification made to the exterior of your vehicle, including side skirts, bonnet scoop, front and rear bumpers.

C-   Cold Air intake: Aftermarket cold air intake is usually fitted to allow cool air into the cars internal-combustion engine.

D-   Donor engine: removing the vehicles original engine and replacing it with one from another vehicle.

E-   Exhaust Upgrades: Creates more power to the vehicle and can improve the running of the engine.

F-   Fenders: Usually located on front and rear wheels. Its main functionality is to prevent the body of the car being damaged from any debris or liquid from the road.

G- Gear Modifications: Changing your Gear Shift Knob may compliment the interior of your vehicle, but will add little change to its performance.

H- High Performance Brakes: Usually has a good friction level and pedal feel, also increases braking performance.

I – Induction kits: An air filter that can also increase the volume of the air intake of your vehicle.

J – Just can’t stop Modifying: When you can’t get enough of making those special changes to your vehicle.

K – Knock Sensor: A sensor that monitors the engines performance.

L – Lowering Kits: Lowering your vehicle can enhance handling performance and is often done to improve the body of your car.

M – Mapping (Re mapping) – Also known as ‘Chipping’ involves adjusting your Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to override the original factory setting of the vehicle.

N –   NOS: Also known as Nitrous Oxide System, NOS allows the engine to burn more fuel and boosts the horsepower.

O – Oh Wow!: The kind of response you get when others see your Modified vehicle.

P –   Port Head: Port and polishing helps the engine to produce more power. It helps to reduce the amount of work the engine has to do when the engine intakes the fuel and air mix and then getting rid of the exhaust gases.

Q – Quality Race Seats & Harnesses: Replacing your seats adds a sleek appears to the interior of the vehicle but can also protect the driver in an event of an accident.

R –   Roll Cage: A Specially constructed frame which is either built in or around the vehicle, this protects the driver in an event of a road traffic accident.

S –    Suspension Modifications: Suspension Pads, Shock Absorbers, Spring Rating (to name a few).

T –    Turbocharger: Increases the engines efficiency, performance and power of your vehicle.

U –   Upgraded Brake Discs: Allows for more accurate braking and improves stopping power.

V –   Vortex Generator: Usually found on wing surfaces, this can disturb the airflow running over the bodywork of the vehicle.

W – Window Tint: Some people choose to do this to enhance the appearance of their vehicle, however window tinting also block UV rays.

X-  E(X)haust – Okay we’ve cheated a bit there, but you get the point ?

Y –  Wh(Y) – Why do it? Because you can and it makes your vehicle that little bit more special.

Z – We’ve been wracking our brains trying to think of one, think you can out smart us? Please do let us know!  (Could be – Zzzzzz, the need for sleep after all the work to make your car bespoke, just the way you like it)

P.S. Thanks to Terry for allowing us to use a picture of his vehicle ?


Did anyone predict 2020 to pan out like this? We certainly didn’t!

With the nation working together to protect the NHS, work forces working remotely, daily Zoom calls, DIY projects, virtual birthday parties and weekly quizzes, its safe to the say the event and hospitality industry has been greatly affected.

Here at Graham Sykes Insurance we work with a vast range of Event and Festival organisers and whilst we are sad to see these wonderful events postponed, we can’t help but be fascinated with people’s positivity, creativity and innovation.

We may not be heading out to enjoy these occasions together as a community but that doesn’t mean we can’t get involved. Covid – 19 has encouraged all of us to think outside of the box, work differently and come out of our comfort zones to achieve the impossible.

So, if you are an Event or Festival organiser and you are racking your brains about how you can keep things ticking over during this pandemic, then we might just have an idea for you…

  1. Online Concerts and Performances
  2. Virtual Workshops
  3. Fundraising quizzes and competitions
  4. Online subscriptions for Dance or Yoga classes
  5. Online comedy nights
  6. Baking and cooking demonstrations 
  7. Online forums, meetings and discussion groups
  8. Virtual Dinner Parties
  9. Gardening or floristry tutorials
  10. Online music lessons or workshops

So, whilst the world around us changes, and we get to grips with ‘The New Normal’, we’d love to hear from you to capture your thoughts, ideas and plans for your virtual or online events.

If you are also looking to discuss your insurance needs for these types of events then please do not hesitate to contact the team via email, online chat or calling us on 01395 255100.

All the best and happy event planning!

Coronavirus Covid-19 and Cancellation Insurance

Due to the recent outbreak of Covid–19, we are aware that a lot of people are concerned about their upcoming Events, Gatherings, Festivals and Weddings. We have seen an increase in enquiries about cancellation policies and wedding insurance packages.

Here at Graham Sykes insurance we are here to help find the right cover for you and your events, however some schemes and packages have been withdrawn momentarily whilst we await further guidance. At present we do not have any policies that cover Covid-19.

We are still able to help with the following:

  • Public liability
  • Employers Liability
  • Stock
  • Money cover
  • Property cover
  • Cancellation cover (excluding Covid–19)

A little bit more about Cancellation Cover:

Whilst we can still offer Cancellation cover for your events to protect you from any losses due to adverse weather or non-appearance, this currently excludes Cancellation due to Covid-19.

If you have already purchased a cancellation policy or wedding insurance policy then your policy will remain in place and unchanged.

Please note not all cancellation policies include communicable diseases, we recommend checking your documents to see what you are covered for.

For further information regarding the Coronavirus please go to the NHS Advice web page.

Festival Insurance is designed for anyone organising a festival or an event that is looking for annual insurance cover. Whether you are planning a Festival for a small local community event or something on the larger scale with thousands of visitors then it is likely you are going to need insurance.

Here at Graham Sykes we love working with festival organisers, getting to see the weird and wonderful things you clever bunch are up to really makes our day. We have put together this snippet of top ten tips for sorting out Festival Insurance,  so you can ensure you are well on your way to ticking that off of your ‘to do’ list.

1. Start the job early – Your Festival may be a year away; from experience we know that talking about it and getting things in motion will save you stress as your Festival approaches.

2. Share your vision of the Festival with us – We not only love to hear all about your plans, but we also want to ensure all elements of your Festival are covered.

3. Be prepared to answer some questions – When we have a thorough understanding of your needs, we can provide you with a bespoke quotation that suits.

4. Keep your committee up to date – They may think of something you haven’t or have additional questions you may want to ask us.          

5. Don’t worry about asking your broker for help – We want to support you and guide you in the right direction, so do not hesitate to ask for help.

6. Check you have got it right – If you are uncertain about something, it is best to ask before you finalise the policy.

7. Examine your quotation carefully (and read the policy wording) – Our quotations are easy to read and show you exactly what you have been quoted for, but if you are unsure about anything, please just shout!

8. Check with your committee before finally agreeing the terms- Making sure your team understands the level of cover you have chosen will make renewal processes simpler (especially if someone else is in charge of insurance the following year). 

9. Ask any last questions you may have- Those last minute or ‘quick’ questions you have may prove to be more essential than you thought. So, it’s always best to double check if there is anything you are unsure of. You can call, email or chat to us online and our dedicated Festival team will be happy to help you.

10. Pay your premium and double check your documents carefully – With straight forward payment methods you can have your documents within minutes, then you are ready to go!

Need to know more or totally confused and not sure where to turn? Click here for some more information, call the Graham Sykes Insurance team on 01395 255100 or chat to us on live chat @ www.graham-sykes.co.uk

Wedding planning top tips:

  • Start planning early! With so much to think about it can seem overwhelming, but with help from your other half, friends and family, making plans and assigning duties to people at the early stages will definitely pay off (and help you keep calm).
  • Set the budget!  Deciding on how much you want to spend on the whole wedding is a must, you don’t want to get carried away with the bills stacking up. You can then break down the budget for each individual element such as entertainment, flowers, favours and decorations.
  • Keep note!! There are tons of wedding planning apps available which help you to keep track of the planning process, these are available on your smart phone so you can update the ‘to do list’ when you are out and about. If pen and paper is more your thing then a chunky notepad will do the job, be sure to write down any light bulb moments, important dates and keep your eye on that budget!
  • Get Creative! Whether or not you have a creative eye or love a bit of arts and crafts, small homemade touches can really personalise you special day (and also save some money). Check out site such as www.pinterest.com for inspiration overload.
  • Take time for yourself. It’s easy to get wrapped up in everything wedding related, but make sure you have time for yourself. You will probably be feeling a mixture of emotions during the build up to the wedding, so be sure to step away from it all now an again and relax.
  • Wedding insuranceit’s not just the financial element you want to cover, this is a very special day for you, that you want to run smoothly. With general cover often including (dependant on level of cover) :
  • Cover for adverse weather
  • Loss of or damage to gifts
  • Rings, flowers and wedding cake
  • Ceremonial attire
  • Cover for financial failure of wedding service suppliers
  • Why not ask Graham Sykes Insurance ??

Planning a wedding in the UK or even abroad? Then contact us on 01395 255100 for a Wedding Insurance Quotation.

Has the January blues got you dreaming of Sunnier days? Check out our travel top tips to make your holiday planning a breeze.

Counting down the weeks until your summer holiday? Do not fear, January is nearly over and you will be feeling the sand between your toes in no time.

Whether it’s a family get away, a once in a lifetime cruise or a short city break, make sure you are beach ready with our Travel Top Tips holiday guide.

  • Write a packing list: It may sound disciplined but writing it down and being able to tick items off will ensure you don’t forget any essentials (or over pack). This will hopefully ensure that you have some room in your suitcase for those ‘Must have’ Souvenirs.
  • Do your research: Going somewhere new? Then browsing the web to find exciting things to do will help you to make the most of your time away. Using apps such as Pinterest or Instagram will lead you to breath taking new sights and original places to eat and drink.
  • Get Tech Savvy! What a world we live in, with reservations, boarding passes and tickets accessible via your smart phone – who needs to print? There is no need for folders, binder or paper documents falling out at the check in desk. Saving your documents to your smart phone makes for a smooth transition through the airport.  Although, we would recommend printing anything that’s super important such as Visas or Esta (just in case of any technical faults).
  • Take out that all important travel insurance: It may not be the most exciting part of your holiday planning, but don’t leave it to chance when it comes to your travel insurance. Medical emergency? Flight Cancellation? (we could go on), being uninsured will be sure to wipe out your spending money…and much more.
  • Have a Blast! Switch off, unwind and enjoy every minute of it, you deserve it.

Safe travels and happy holidays from everyone at Graham Sykes Insurance!

If you’d like to chat to someone about your travel insurance then please call us on 01395 255100, or email info@graham-sykes.co.uk.