Opinion: Cost of living crisis here to stay but it’s not all bad for workshops

GW columnist, Luke Robinson considers what garages can do to help motorists avoid racking up big bills from delayed repairs

Opinion: Cost of living crisis here to stay but it’s not all bad for workshops

Reading the recent article regarding UK motorists delaying repairs over cost fears makes sad reading, but only reiterates something we already know.

Luke Robinson of Marchwoods Motor Engineers in Folkestone.

Whilst we can’t directly help with our customers finances, there are some small things that we try to do to alleviate some of the reasons for delaying repairs.

Some of our more cost-sensitive customers simply cannot afford all of the recommended repairs at once.

But by having a priority list matched with some quotes, we give them the opportunity to budget for upcoming repairs armed with an understanding of what needs doing, by when, what improvements they may see and most importantly any implications there may be if the items are left too long.

I do wonder if this is only the tip of the iceberg though, many people haven’t really felt the rising cost of energy as much as they will in October with the next price rise.

And what about the seasonal increases in energy consumption that will follow through autumn and winter?

At a time when money is already tight for many households, inflated fuel costs are just cutting into budgets even deeper.

The biggest concern I have is road safety.

The brakes are grinding, the tyres are bald but it needs to wait until pay day – we’ve all heard this before.

Other concerns that immediately spring to mind are delayed cambelt replacements.

A few months quickly turn into a year and with many VAG vehicles only running four-year intervals and replacements costing upwards of £500, how many will stretch the schedule one journey too far?

Other consequential damages that spring to mind are brake pads unnecessarily cutting into discs, fuel filters turning into breakdowns etc, all turning a small repair into a large repair.

One thing I don’t think will change however is the volume of work coming through our doors.

We currently run at a minimum two to three week lead time, so if we take a few less bookings and that drops to a one to two week lead time, we should still put the same volume through.

Ultimately though these delayed repairs are exactly that, delayed and they will still need to come in eventually.

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