With the news just before Christmas that Kmart Tyre & Auto Service has been sold to an overseas company, Australia has lost one of its biggest mechanical repair service providers. KTAS was the country’s biggest employer of apprentice mechanics.
So many Australian businesses are being swallowed up by huge corporations, many of them foreign-owned; it’s no wonder more and more people like to ‘shop local’.
Everything goes in cycles and, over recent years, there’s been a return to the ‘corner shop’ and village butcher and baker. Australians are now far more likely to support independent businesses over chains and corporations.
It’s the same story in the mechanical repair service industry; independent and local workshops are finding their customers really appreciate the more personalised touch.
Mechanical Repairs Sunshine Coast
A couple of years ago, all the major political parties agreed to review the voluntary repair agreement established by the car industry, giving smaller workshops the same access to technical data as dealerships. This was a great day for independent mechanical repair service providers, like SVS Autocare, and not so good for the dealerships.
The fact was, however, that it was only fair, and the dealerships couldn’t possibly service and repair all the vehicles in Australia! As of January 2018, there were 19.2 million registered motor vehicles in Australia; I’d say that’s plenty to go around!
The fact is, people like dealing with local mechanics, as long as they are friendly, communicative and well qualified. And as more people released the independent mechanic could do their car service just as well, if not better than the dealership, they swapped allegiance.
Mechanical Repair Service
Contrary to what some dealerships would have us believe, local workshops can very often do the job for less. Their overheads are lower so businesses like SVS Autocare, choose to pass on those savings to their customers.
Mechanical repairs on the Sunshine Coast have changed a lot over the years. There are now many more mechanics, and some of them have the most technically advanced diagnostic tools in the country.
With today’s hi-tech vehicles, the right tools are essential; but there’s still a place for good old-fashioned customer service, too.
Last July, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) conducted a massive survey to determine what drivers looked for in a mechanic. An astonishing 86% of car owners were loyal to their local mechanic, because they knew and trusted them.
In fact, survey respondents rated personal relationship, trust, skills and expertise above cost and prestigious premises.
It gets better: car owners admitted to having a much higher level of satisfaction with mechanical repair services provided by independent repairers than dealerships. They were also sceptical about capped price servicing and extended warranty claims.
When looking for mechanical repairs on the Sunshine Coast, you have a good choice of both independent workshops and dealerships. Some independent providers offer workshop facilities in Brisbane, too, making it more convenient for their customers.
You can tell a lot about a workshop from the very first contact, which is usually a phone call to find out prices or book a service. If the voice on the other end of the phone is friendly and helpful, you can pretty much guarantee that the same culture runs throughout the organisation.
There’s a myth that log book servicing can only be done by the dealer service centre; this service can actually be offered by any qualified registered mechanic. Not only that, but some independent workshops guarantee all their work.
Some vehicles, such as European cars, require specialist skills and tools but again, these are available from independent workshops. In fact, one of the best mechanical repair service providers in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast specialises in European vehicles, including Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Landrover. Not only do they have the right tools for the job, but their mechanics are European-trained, too.
Building a Relationship
Your mechanic is definitely somebody you need to trust. Unless you have extensive mechanical knowledge yourself, you must be able to rely on the information they give you and the advice they give.
An independent workshop is generally more helpful when it comes to budgeting, too. Understanding that car repairs can be expensive and unexpected, they will generally work with you to plan a schedule. For example, they will do the urgent jobs first but highlight what will need doing in the future.
Not only is your car one of your biggest investments, you also rely on it to keep you safe on the road. When it comes to brakes, steering and suspension, wheels and tyres, you want to be sure everything is perfect. That’s where trust comes into it again.
Next time you need a mechanical repair service, don’t just drive into a big impersonal dealership; give your local independent mechanical workshop a go. When you see what they offer and meet the team, you’ll know you’ve made the right move.