Sometimes at Great Escape we imagine simpler vocations. Herding cats or counting leaves. Because while hiring classic cars feels like a vocation more than a job, there have been times when the combination of special occasions and recalcitrant classics has resulted in more than one splurge of expletives.
Over the last couple of years the swearing and general gnashing of teeth has reduced, along with our consumption of strong spirits. This is mainly due to the creation of our own workshop to service and maintain our fleet of 60 classic hire cars. This facility has significantly improved the reliability of our cars and also enabled us to quickly and efficiently rectify the typical niggling faults that beset old cars. Now that we’re happy with how our workshop runs, we’re offering the same service to all classic car owners.
It wasn’t always like this. For the first five years of Great Escape all of our servicing and maintenance was done by 3rd party specialists. This proved to be something of a trial by fire and a very costly exercise. Although the cars were repaired, often they would go wrong again quite quickly and the logistics of transporting the cars to and from local garages was expensive and time-consuming. We lost hires because the garages let us down turning repairs around. The garages were focussed on maximising the value of each repair and since we usually need repairs in a hurry we weren’t in a position to argue. Crucially, although we generally used the same garages each time they weren’t building up a knowledge and affinity with each car. This, we have discovered, is crucial to turning an unreliable car into a reliable one.
Over the course of five years I used a huge variety of specialists and spent hundreds of thousands of pounds. I learnt several simple lessons that have informed how we run our workshop:
1. The quickest repair is not always the best repair
2. Knowledge of the type of car is secondary to knowledge of THIS car
3. A lack of honesty, transparency and fixed pricing are the biggest nuisances when dealing with garages
4. There are often clever and inexpensive solutions that garages are not incentivised to offer you
So we have set up http://www.geworkshop.co.uk, our dedicated classic car servicing, restoration and repair business. It offers classic car owners the experience and skills we apply to our hire fleet. Where most garages rely on telling you how good they are, we have the proof – the reliability and quality of our hire fleet.
When you deal with GE Workshop the idea is simple. We work on a huge range of high mileage classic hire cars so we have the knowledge and experience to work on your car. We are already busy servicing and maintaining our own cars, so we aren’t desperate for work. We want it but we won’t rip you off to get it. The hire business covers most of our costs so we can afford to be competitive and efficient.
Taking a lesson learnt the hard way dealing with classic car workshops myself, I want GE Workshop to be different. We will give you an honest assessment of the job. We’ll tell you if we think there’s an inexpensive solution. And we’ll work to a fixed price where we can.
We also offer a collection and return service nationwide and provide a courtesy car from our hire fleet, subject to availability. To find out more visit http://www.geworkshop.co.uk or call 01527 893733.