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Sherlock
The car needs an MOT and service and I was wondering about using the Halfords Autocentre (formerly the Nationwide Autocentre) on Hambridge Road but there are some seriously dire reviews of Halfords Acentres on the web. Has anyone tried using ours and if so how did you get on?
Timbo
Don't take your car anywhere near Halfords. Ever.
I use Millers personally. Around 50 an hour labour, and a good job, not one of those botched jobs, I wouldn't trust Halfords Autocentre to do an oil change let alone major mechanical work.
Sherlock
Thanks for getting back to me Timbo. It's difficult to know what to make of the web reviews - there will always be people who have negative experiences with any supplier and it's impossible to know whether posts are made by competitors. Same applies here, of course!

I guess you haven't actually used them - has anyone else out there?
Timbo
I agree Sherlock. But these reviews are enough to put anyone off..
Use Good Garage Scheme to find somewhere.
Blake
I agree 100 per cent Halfords are total amateurs.

Chris Fiddler has never let me down.
Jayjay
QUOTE (Blake @ May 17 2012, 10:42 AM) *
I agree 100 per cent Halfords are total amateurs.

Chris Fiddler has never let me down.


Second that. He has always done a good job on my cars.
Roger T
He also has a humorous name, that made me giggle.
andy1979uk
QUOTE (Roger T @ May 17 2012, 12:42 PM) *
He also has a humorous name, that made me giggle.



I always use Bryan Ford in Thatcham, always does a very thorough job.
gel
Newbury Instant Motors down near NWN's offices are sound too, in Faraday Rd.
Grumpy
Just a little tip, check your rear number plate lights before you take it for MOT.

I was charged an extra 15.00 by one local company to change this light bulb.
Baffers100
I really wouldn't bother with Halfords. If the guys in the service centres are anything like the kids in Halfords, they're just monkeys with slightly bigger than average pram wheels on their motor.

Newbury Instant Motors are really cheap on labour costs, though my other half and I would always find both of our cars would come back with failed bulbs (when 5 minutes before leaving it parked outside the garage they were working), so I wondered if this was a revenue scam.

I wouldn't touch Millers either. My parents had an awful experience there whcih lost them around 5k as they're a bunch of tyre kickers.

Headley Bodyshop (next to the Halfords service centre) are good, and although they're a body shop they do offer service and MOTs. I go to these guys for tyres (from blackcircle.com) and have never had any probs, so would feel happy getting my car serviced there.

Like you say though, there will always be somebody with a bad review.
Biker1
QUOTE (gel @ May 17 2012, 01:36 PM) *
Newbury Instant Motors down near NWN's offices are sound too, in Faraday Rd.

Do you mean Newbury Motors?
If so I agree, excellent!
Timbo
QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 17 2012, 02:31 PM) *
I really wouldn't bother with Halfords. If the guys in the service centres are anything like the kids in Halfords, they're just monkeys with slightly bigger than average pram wheels on their motor.

Newbury Instant Motors are really cheap on labour costs, though my other half and I would always find both of our cars would come back with failed bulbs (when 5 minutes before leaving it parked outside the garage they were working), so I wondered if this was a revenue scam.

I wouldn't touch Millers either. My parents had an awful experience there whcih lost them around 5k as they're a bunch of tyre kickers.

Headley Bodyshop (next to the Halfords service centre) are good, and although they're a body shop they do offer service and MOTs. I go to these guys for tyres (from blackcircle.com) and have never had any probs, so would feel happy getting my car serviced there.

Like you say though, there will always be somebody with a bad review.


What happened at Millers? I found them on a recommendation on Good Garage Scheme and use them frequently now.
Newbelly
I used Taylors a couple of times (when they were next to Speen petrol station) and they were good. I have also used Kwik Fit for an MOT and service and was pleasantly surprised - they have some good deals on prices. I know some of their branches have had a bad press, but my experience was good at Newbury.
dannyboy
It's difficult to know what to make of the web reviews - there will always be people who have negative experiences with any supplier and it's impossible to know whether posts are made by competitors. Same applies here, of course!

which is why threads like this are pointless.
GMR
QUOTE (Sherlock @ May 17 2012, 08:26 AM) *
The car needs an MOT and service and I was wondering about using the Halfords Autocentre (formerly the Nationwide Autocentre) on Hambridge Road but there are some seriously dire reviews of Halfords Acentres on the web. Has anyone tried using ours and if so how did you get on?




My daughter has used it a few times in the past and she seemed quite happy.
Berkshirelad
Halfrauds have a reputation for finding "necessary" work during an MoT that nets them more income.
badger
Nationwide Auto were rubbish before, I had several problems with a service. Finding faults that weren't there sort of thing. If Halfords have taken over the operation and the same staff are in place, i can't think it will be much different. I'm also more inclined to support local traders at the moment rather than big companies.
Biker1
QUOTE (dannyboy @ May 17 2012, 05:01 PM) *
It's difficult to know what to make of the web reviews - there will always be people who have negative experiences with any supplier and it's impossible to know whether posts are made by competitors. Same applies here, of course!

which is why threads like this are pointless.

Do you not take any notice of on-line reviews then?
dannyboy
QUOTE (Biker1 @ May 17 2012, 05:44 PM) *
Do you not take any notice of on-line reviews then?

You have to take them in context & read between the lines.

Often, ( a bit like that awful 4 in a bed ) places get chastised for the most trivial of things, and for things outside the places / service being reviewed's control.
Andy Capp
QUOTE (dannyboy @ May 17 2012, 05:01 PM) *
It's difficult to know what to make of the web reviews - there will always be people who have negative experiences with any supplier and it's impossible to know whether posts are made by competitors. Same applies here, of course!

which is why threads like this are pointless.

It provides someone an opportunity to embarrass poor service, although it can't be verified of course!
Exhausted
QUOTE (Sherlock @ May 17 2012, 08:26 AM) *
The car needs an MOT and service and I was wondering about using the Halfords Autocentre (formerly the Nationwide Autocentre) on Hambridge Road but there are some seriously dire reviews of Halfords Acentres on the web. Has anyone tried using ours and if so how did you get on?


If you only want an Mot why bother with a national when there are loads of local garages who offer cheaper mot's and free retests even if you take the car away for repairs. I had a numberplate light out and the garage I use charged 50p for the bulb and fitted free. Mot done.
There are strict rules about Mot testing and all garages should offer the same standard. Don't bother paying for a pre Mot inspection, just get it tested, Vat free, and hope it passes.

If you want to know what the Mot test actually tests on your car, there is plenty of information on the web.

Sherlock
QUOTE (Exhausted @ May 17 2012, 09:12 PM) *
If you only want an Mot ...


I'd like it given a basic service as well. There was a day when I wouldn't dream of getting a garage to service my car but those were the days when cars had things like distributors and carburettors and it was pretty much vital to know how to change/fix everything.

Anyway, many thanks for your suggestions everyone. I'll let you know how I get on after I've chosen one of the options.

Incidentally, I've also used Kwik-Fit in the past and have been satisfied with them. One of problems with the chains, I think, is that they're often under a lot pressure from regional/area sales managers to sell things which are unnecessary. I'm tempted to switch to a local business because they rely on reputation and should be a safer bet. We shall see!
Timbo
QUOTE (Sherlock @ May 18 2012, 06:53 AM) *
Incidentally, I've also used Kwik-Fit in the past and have been satisfied with them. One of problems with the chains, I think, is that they're often under a lot pressure from regional/area sales managers to sell things which are unnecessary. I'm tempted to switch to a local business because they rely on reputation and should be a safer bet. We shall see!


Oh dear. After having the mis fortune of going with a friend, who happened to know someone who worked there selling wheels, I'd never take my car anywhere near them. They are all the chavvy type, nearly all of them constantly smoking cannabis.
dannyboy
QUOTE (Timbo @ May 18 2012, 08:24 AM) *
They are all the chavvy type, nearly all of them constantly smoking cannabis.

I am beginning to understand why you were a teacher now.
Timbo
That's a bit harsh - I was stood there in front of them while they were smoking away. They were all doing it.. fine, do what you like at home or in private, but when you are at work I find that totally unacceptable. I hope you trust I am not the stereotyping kind of person, but I would not trust them doing my car.

I am actually very good friends with one of the mechanics at Millers, I trust his work explicitly, he always works on my car when I leave it there, and I've never had any problems. They fixed various on my maladies, often at discounted rates.
Which is why I am genuinely interested in the problem that a previous poster had at Millers, and unfortunately they have been unable to explain what the problem was..
Baffers100
QUOTE (Timbo @ May 17 2012, 02:48 PM) *
What happened at Millers? I found them on a recommendation on Good Garage Scheme and use them frequently now.


My parents brought a carthere about 3 years ago The car went to Newbury motors as my parents went and picked up their second car after a service. My parents both know Chris (one of the mechaics and Newbury motors- they're both full of praise for this chap) and he looked over the car. The car basically needed a new engine (I'm not hugely mechanically minded so am light on the technical details, but they were sold a car not fit for purpose).

The 'rents got a second opinion from another garage, They also said that the car also needed major mechanical work.

Chris at Millers refused to do anything with the vehicle, carry out the work, take the vehicle back, or acknowledge that it wasn't sold honestly and thus the result was that my parents lost a couple thousand on it making the changes to get the vehicle in a useable state.

Their part ex was also on the forecourt for over 5000 more than what they got for it. I know garages generally add on a good margin, but 5k??? Absolute p!ss take.
Baffers100
QUOTE (Timbo @ May 18 2012, 11:12 AM) *
That's a bit harsh - I was stood there in front of them while they were smoking away. They were all doing it.. fine, do what you like at home or in private, but when you are at work I find that totally unacceptable. I hope you trust I am not the stereotyping kind of person, but I would not trust them doing my car.

I am actually very good friends with one of the mechanics at Millers, I trust his work explicitly, he always works on my car when I leave it there, and I've never had any problems. They fixed various on my maladies, often at discounted rates.
Which is why I am genuinely interested in the problem that a previous poster had at Millers, and unfortunately they have been unable to explain what the problem was..


Not quite, I just don't live on the forum! Water under the bridge now anyway, they just don't get our custom, or recommendations.
Baffers100
QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 01:55 PM) *
Not quite, I just don't live on the forum! Water under the bridge now anyway, they just don't get our custom, or recommendations.


In fairness, I don't think it was a mechincal, but the tyre kicker salesman.
Timbo
QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 01:52 PM) *
My parents brought a carthere about 3 years ago The car went to Newbury motors as my parents went and picked up their second car after a service. My parents both know Chris (one of the mechaics and Newbury motors- they're both full of praise for this chap) and he looked over the car. The car basically needed a new engine (I'm not hugely mechanically minded so am light on the technical details, but they were sold a car not fit for purpose).

The 'rents got a second opinion from another garage, They also said that the car also needed major mechanical work.

Chris at Millers refused to do anything with the vehicle, carry out the work, take the vehicle back, or acknowledge that it wasn't sold honestly and thus the result was that my parents lost a couple thousand on it making the changes to get the vehicle in a useable state.

Their part ex was also on the forecourt for over 5000 more than what they got for it. I know garages generally add on a good margin, but 5k??? Absolute p!ss take.


You think 5k is a big margin?
I don't know Chris at Millers. I know Millers have cars outside for sale but I do not know if they are cars owned by Millers themselves. No-one I know (and I know the two guys who run Millers, Glen and Shaun) are called Chris..
Maybe it was an ex-employee.. I think most of the cars are well priced. They had a Passat, 07, 170bhp diesel, with full leather and sat nav, etc for 4750!
Baffers100
QUOTE (Timbo @ May 18 2012, 03:11 PM) *
You think 5k is a big margin?
I don't know Chris at Millers. I know Millers have cars outside for sale but I do not know if they are cars owned by Millers themselves. No-one I know (and I know the two guys who run Millers, Glen and Shaun) are called Chris..
Maybe it was an ex-employee.. I think most of the cars are well priced. They had a Passat, 07, 170bhp diesel, with full leather and sat nav, etc for 4750!


Sorry it wasn't Chris at Millers, I can't remember the chaps name. I've got confused with Chris at Newbury Motors.

It depends on the car as to how big the margin is, relatively speaking. 5 year old BMW M3, 5k margin would be peanuts. But if the car has a book price of 2k, you wouldn't expect a 5k difference between the buy price and sell price! That said, it did sit on the forecourt for at least 2 months before the price had to be dropped!
Exhausted
QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 03:36 PM) *
Sorry it wasn't Chris at Millers, I can't remember the chaps name. I've got confused with Chris at Newbury Motors.

It depends on the car as to how big the margin is, relatively speaking. 5 year old BMW M3, 5k margin would be peanuts. But if the car has a book price of 2k, you wouldn't expect a 5k difference between the buy price and sell price! That said, it did sit on the forecourt for at least 2 months before the price had to be dropped!


I would believe that you are confused about what really happened after the car was purchased and the mark up that you said was put on the car as the information you have provided sounds to me to be well short of the facts. You even managed to get the seller's name wrong.

Just for the record, would you be specific about the car that was purchased and how much they paid for it and what price they got for their trade in plus the make etc. To my mind, the figures do not add up.

When you are attempting to destroy a local traders reputation, either come up with the facts or delete your posts.
Baffers100
QUOTE (Exhausted @ May 18 2012, 05:36 PM) *
I would believe that you are confused about what really happened after the car was purchased and the mark up that you said was put on the car as the information you have provided sounds to me to be well short of the facts. You even managed to get the seller's name wrong.

Just for the record, would you be specific about the car that was purchased and how much they paid for it and what price they got for their trade in plus the make etc. To my mind, the figures do not add up.

When you are attempting to destroy a local traders reputation, either come up with the facts or delete your posts.



It's not the car that was purchased that we were discussing- it the 5k Mark up on the part ex car that I was talking about. Not that it matters, but it was a R reg Toyota Rav 4 with over 75k miles on the clock. It was a basic version but had a weird body kit which made it far wider. The parents got 1500 part ex and it was sat on the forecourt for more than 5000. (The parents came away with a LandRover Defender which was a crock of the proverbial).

I'm not attempting to destroy their reputation. The OP was about the Halfords Auto Service centre, which lead to posters discussing other places they have used. In my opinion I would not use Miller's as I have been put off them by the experience of my parents. All posts here are subjective anyway as they're opinions. Perhaps Millers are quite good, and their reviews online seem to say they are very good, but because of what I have heard from my parents I am reluctant to try them, and cannot personally recommend them.

(btw- this was my parents who were buying/selling the car, not myself, so that should explain why I don't have all the facts recorded in chronological order. Also the event was many years ago, at least 5 I would say and my memory isn't photographic).
Timbo
Fair enough Bafflers. Still I would hope you at least knew the name.. I can't really believe that you wouldn't remember the name. A few things don't add up either..
If your parents were given 1500 for a bodykitted Toyota soft roader and it was up for more than 5000, that would be a 3500 mark up. 5k markup would be 6500?

And OK - it's your choice at the end of the day but you said you wouldn't personally recommend them - you haven't tried them! I won't lie, they have their faults, they will sometimes do discounted labour for me but considering the amount I have spent with them, they can be stingy over small jobs like tyres or brakes. (eg they want over 70 to change 4 tyres)
That said, small jobs they would do free, such as headlight alignment.

Where I think they are worst is over their lack of calling back people. I appreciate things get busy but 70% of the time if you ask for a book in time or a part and price they say they will call you back, and will never actually call you back. You have to chase.
Which is fine for some people, sometimes it's just a bit annoying.

Other than that their workmanship is decent.
On the edge
QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 07:48 PM) *
It's not the car that was purchased that we were discussing- it the 5k Mark up on the part ex car that I was talking about. Not that it matters, but it was a R reg Toyota Rav 4 with over 75k miles on the clock. It was a basic version but had a weird body kit which made it far wider. The parents got 1500 part ex and it was sat on the forecourt for more than 5000. (The parents came away with a LandRover Defender which was a crock of the proverbial).

I'm not attempting to destroy their reputation. The OP was about the Halfords Auto Service centre, which lead to posters discussing other places they have used. In my opinion I would not use Miller's as I have been put off them by the experience of my parents. All posts here are subjective anyway as they're opinions. Perhaps Millers are quite good, and their reviews online seem to say they are very good, but because of what I have heard from my parents I am reluctant to try them, and cannot personally recommend them.

(btw- this was my parents who were buying/selling the car, not myself, so that should explain why I don't have all the facts recorded in chronological order. Also the event was many years ago, at least 5 I would say and my memory isn't photographic).



One man's meat and all that - my better half wouldn't go anywhere other than Miller's who for the past eight years have kept her running - and in spite of her best efforts, at quite reasonable rates. Mine is leased and they do all the 'admin' - so for MOTs, servicing and such like, have experienced Halfords and Gowrings. In both cases, they collect and bring back. Never had any issues - but I don't pay the bill directly! Must admit, even when its my money - always go for a car that's mainstream and cheap. Fords or VW - but suspect even that's subjective!!
Baffers100
QUOTE (On the edge @ May 18 2012, 07:59 PM) *
One man's meat and all that - my better half wouldn't go anywhere other than Miller's who for the past eight years have kept her running - and in spite of her best efforts, at quite reasonable rates. Mine is leased and they do all the 'admin' - so for MOTs, servicing and such like, have experienced Halfords and Gowrings. In both cases, they collect and bring back. Never had any issues - but I don't pay the bill directly! Must admit, even when its my money - always go for a car that's mainstream and cheap. Fords or VW - but suspect even that's subjective!!


Well maybe I'll give them a go. I need a service soon but was contemplating taking the car back to the dealer. Hmm..
gel
QUOTE (Biker1 @ May 17 2012, 02:31 PM) *
Do you mean Newbury Motors?
If so I agree, excellent!

That's their name:

Newbury Instant Motors Ltd.
London Road Industrial Estate , Faraday Road
Newbury
Berkshire
RG14 2AD
01635 41105
Baffers100
[quote name='Timbo' date='May 18 2012, 07:56 PM' post='61391']
Fair enough Bafflers. Still I would hope you at least knew the name.. I can't really believe that you wouldn't remember the name. A few things don't add up either..
If your parents were given 1500 for a bodykitted Toyota soft roader and it was up for more than 5000, that would be a 3500 mark up. 5k markup would be 6500?

And OK - it's your choice at the end of the day but you said you wouldn't personally recommend them - you haven't tried them! I won't lie, they have their faults, they will sometimes do discounted labour for me but considering the amount I have spent with them, they can be stingy over small jobs like tyres or brakes. (eg they want over 70 to change 4 tyres)
That said, small jobs they would do free, such as headlight alignment.

Where I think they are worst is over their lack of calling back people. I appreciate things get busy but 70% of the time if you ask for a book in time or a part and price they say they will call you back, and will never actually call you back. You have to chase.
Which is fine for some people, sometimes it's just a bit annoying.

Other than that their workmanship is decent.
[/quote

Yes apologies but like I said it wasn't my first had experience. I've just called my parents in the hope of a name, and all they could remember is that it was a guy with the surname "Miller" who they dealt with, and that he's a dark haired chap. Anyway was a while ago now so maybe things have changed.
Biker1
QUOTE (gel @ May 18 2012, 08:09 PM) *
That's their name:

Newbury Instant Motors Ltd.
London Road Industrial Estate , Faraday Road
Newbury
Berkshire
RG14 2AD
01635 41105

Fair enough.
This is who I was thinking of. Similar address??
Baffers100
QUOTE (Biker1 @ May 18 2012, 10:57 PM) *
Fair enough.
This is who I was thinking of. Similar address??


Biker1, Newbury Motors and Newbury Instant Motors are the same. I think they must have been called Newbury Instant Motors previously as a few people call them this.
Biker1
QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 11:04 PM) *
Biker1, Newbury Motors and Newbury Instant Motors are the same. I think they must have been called Newbury Instant Motors previously as a few people call them this.

Doh!! huh.gif
Andy Capp
QUOTE (Biker1 @ May 18 2012, 11:38 PM) *
Doh!! huh.gif

Amazing what they teach at uni these days! tongue.gif
Baffers100
QUOTE (Andy Capp @ May 18 2012, 11:58 PM) *
Amazing what they teach at uni these days! tongue.gif


ha ha ha! laugh.gif
Strafin
http://www.halfordsautocentres.com/discoun...hjt0Zf9AyDLm4Yn

There is a 50% off voucher available if you did choose to go there
Exhausted
QUOTE (Strafin @ May 19 2012, 02:07 PM) *
http://www.halfordsautocentres.com/discoun...hjt0Zf9AyDLm4Yn

There is a 50% off voucher available if you did choose to go there


Gives one a warm feeling.

Actually, no it doesn't, my view is that the saving will be made up in other ways, upselling springs to mind.

Cheap filters, cheap parts, cheap oil.
Sherlock
In case anyone's interested I used Newbury Motors in the end and was very pleased that I did. I have no connection with them whatsoever and whoever it was who said that threads like this are pointless - you're wrong.
Strafin
I had my car MOT'd at Halfords this week, it passed (and is 13 years old), they were really friendly, it was done in an hour AND only cost 25.
Biker1
Quote from Halfords Auto Centre for replacement of suspension bush - 245.14
Job done a Newbury Motors - 99.77
wink.gif
Penelope
QUOTE (Biker1 @ Nov 1 2012, 03:48 PM) *
Quote from Halfords Auto Centre for replacement of suspension bush - 245.14
Job done a Newbury Motors - 99.77
wink.gif


Result.
motormad
QUOTE (Strafin @ Sep 1 2012, 07:00 PM) *
I had my car MOT'd at Halfords this week, it passed (and is 13 years old), they were really friendly, it was done in an hour AND only cost 25.


Isn't that more to do with the fact there wasn't anything wrong with your car, than the garage? laugh.gif

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