Micheldever’s retail director has called the shortlisting of four Micheldever/Protyre tyre centres in the annual Motor Codes Garage of the Year competition as a “fantastic achievement.” The entries represent the largest number of finalists from an independent tyre centre group; the Micheldever locations shortlisted in the independent garages category are Micheldever Station (near Winchester), Harris Brothers (near Swansea), Thistlewaites Tyres (Bolton), and Barry and Wilkinson (Winsford, Cheshire).
Motor Codes, the OFT-approved garage scheme operator, has announced the shortlist of businesses in the running for its Garage of the Year title. Thousands have voted in the annual initiative that helps uncertain motorists know where to turn for top-class customer service. Over 7,000 garages from across the UK, all subscribers to Motor Codes' government-backed code of practice, put themselves up for public scrutiny.
Responding to the warning from Citizens Advide, Chris Mason, managing director of Motor Codes, said: "Despite the vast majority of garages and car retailers upholding the very best service standards, these figures are impossible to gloss over and demonstrate why some consumers are nervous about buying used cars.
Thousands of motorists have voted in a nationwide contest to seek out the UK's best car service centres and Motor Codes, the operator of OFT-backed codes of practice for the motor industry, has revealed which were voted the most trusted large and small garages in the UK. Garage of the Year, backed by Havoline, is an annual initiative, highlighting to motorists those garages that are committed to providing consistently high customer service standards. In being awarded the title, the winning garages have beaten off competition from a huge field, open to entry for all garages.
Empty pockets? Strapped for cash? Being short of a bob or two can make life unpleasant, but it is never a reason to risk the safety of yourself and others. TyreSafe, the UK campaign group dedicated to exactly what its name suggests, says that hard-up motorists who opt for part worn tyres are doing exactly that.
Motor Codes Ltd is the self-regulatory body to oversee standards in the car and garage sector, set up by the SMMT. Motor Codes relies on feedback from customers to rate various aspects of the service they have received from participating garages across the UK. In October, 1,822 service or repair customers completed surveys and the results are encouraging, particularly in view of recent negative publicity in some parts of the press.
Recent growth at the Micheldever Group has driven the firm up to 90th place in the prestigious Sunday Times Top Track 250 list of the most successful mid-market privately owned companies. With just the Top Track 100 of the biggest private companies in the UK above it, this puts progress in the business into context. Micheldever first entered the Sunday Times list in 2006 in 184th position and in the intervening three years has jumped an amazing 94 places with the group’s sales in the last financial year reaching over £275 million.
Over the coming 12 months motorists visiting any of garages utilised by Blackcircles.com will gain the added assurance provided by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders subsidiary Motor Codes. The online tyre retailer is taking steps to ensure each of the more than a thousand garages and fast fit outlets it uses subscribe to the Motor Codes ‘Service and Repair Code’, a decision it says will ensure greater peace of mind for motorists.
Micheldever Tyre and Auto Services has signed-up to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair. The company, which sells about six million tyres a year, has subscribed its 50 ‘Protyre’-branded outlets to the Code aiming to enhance the company’s profile and reach while reinforcing its high customer service standards.
“The decision to subscribe to the Service and Repair Code was taken after extensive research into both our customers’ requirements and the need for the whole industry to raise its standards,” said Simon Hiorns, retail director at Micheldever. “We recognise that in many cases the motor industry needs to build trust with its customers, as over the years, this has been eroded by ‘cowboy traders’. Protyre has built a reputation for providing exceptional service, something that Motor Codes allows us to promote to our customers.
The British motoring public has spoken – Motor Codes has revealed the top ten garages in the UK as voted for by more than 8,000 motorists as part of its nationwide ‘Golden Garages’ competition. The ten favoured establishments receiving the most votes, in alphabetical order, were:
It is a sad fact that many motorists automatically distrust the garage trade and there are frequent stories in the press of rip-offs and shoddy service. The fact that the vast majority of garages do a good and efficient job time after time is frequently overlooked. But no longer, as Motor Codes is working in association with the Daily Telegraph and honestjohn.co.uk to seek out Britain's Golden Garage.
According to the findings of a study commissioned by Motor Codes, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders subsidiary established to act as the self regulatory body for the automotive sector, more than an estimated 14 million motorists feel short changed by their local service and repair garages. A sample survey of 1,194 UK motorists shows some 45 per cent of drivers have experienced this ripped off feeling, Motor Codes reports. Those living in the East of England have saw most cause for complaint, with a third claiming to be short changed, compared with just 17 per cent of Northern Ireland motorists. A quarter of motorists considered themselves between £51 and £150 out of pocket, and five per cent felt their wallets to be at least ₤300 lighter following an encounter with their local garage. In total, Motor Codes estimates that some ₤2.4 billion in motorists’ money is being lost in this way.
The competition to find the UK’s best mechanics, Top Technician 2010 has opened for entries and nominations at the website www.toptechnician.co.uk. The winner will be announced after three competitive assessment stages at Workshop 2010, the industry’s own parts and equipment exhibition, at the NEC Birmingham on 15 April, 2010. S/He will be awarded £2,500 tax-free, alongside thousands of pounds’ worth of prizes and – a press release for the competition states – “priceless publicity for you and your business.” Entrants must complete the initial online test by 8 January, 2010. The prize is sponsored by Blueprint, Comma Oil & Chemicals, Delphi, Euro Car Parts, Lemforder and Motor Codes.
Motor Codes has published a YouTube video explaining that using a business which subscribes to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair offers enhanced consumer protection above the minimum levels required by law. The short file, “How to avoid cowboy garages…” offers a consumer-orientated explanation of what the code means to customers who take their cars in for service or repair to a subscribing workshop.
The garage sector is said to be succeeding in raising customer service levels. Figures released this week by government-funded advice service Consumer Direct suggest that the number of concerns with workshops is falling, reporting that it received 8,047 calls between January-June 2009 about service and repairs carried out by independent garages – a fall of 4.16 per cent over the same period the previous year.
“These latest figures indicate that there has been an improvement in the performance of independent garages over the past few months. The more businesses that recognise the benefits to be obtained by subscribing to this Code, the better the overall consumer experience will be,” said Motor Codes director Chris Mason. “By working with the sector to provide real benefit for consumers and raise standards across the industry, Motor Codes is best positioned to help motorists identify who they should be doing business with.”