What we’ve been up to over the last few months. The first 3 months of 2020 go off to a fantastic start for us. So much so we got ready to start 2 new members of staff in April.
Then boom a major setback as everyone was faced with the uncertainty due to Covid 19 in the last few days of March. March had been a great month for us over 300 hours sold in the workshop & 68 MOTs done.
April started we had to postpone the employment of Laura in Front of House & Craig was furloughed by his previous employer which meant he could start with us.
Then came the news of the MOT extension which led to cancellation after cancellation the bookings went from approximately 40 jobs booked in in the first couple of weeks in April to 5 I recall look at those 5 jobs thinking where do we go from here?
We continued to work throughout April keeping in touch with our customers via Social media video and being there to answer any motoring questions. We ended April with only 135 hours sold in the workshop & 11 MOTs done.
May arrive still with uncertainty cars had been sitting for 4-5 weeks. The calls started to come in with flat batteries brakes sticking/ noisy brakes due to rust on the Brake Discs. We offered to collect car from home address for people isolating so they couldn’t leave the house. We also noticed an upturn in calls from people who’s DPF light had came on due to short journeys. When speaking to them they had been working from home the last few weeks only using the car to go to the supermarket. This wasn’t enough for the regeneration process to complete and keep the DPF Clean.
We did also notice that a few people that had taken the MOT extension were now having trouble with brakes, suspension etc thing that would’ve been picked up on the MOT and rectified. It’s still the drivers responsibility to make sure the car is roadworthy.
During May the DPF problems we saw were mostly due to a change is driving style ie people not travel to work daily & maintenance issues ie missed an annual service. Servicing is important to DPF health blocked filters or bad oil can cause the DPF to block up.
We finished May with 170 hours sold and only 16 MOTs.
Towards the end of May we were getting inundated with phone calls. Which led us to finally start Laura a few weeks later the expected but it’s allowed me to free up some time.
We are now into June where has the time gone the diary it looking a lot healthier currently sitting with 35 jobs booked in or on the go. Some parts have proven difficult to get a hold of with main dealers being closed.
We can now plan moving forward a bit better. I have been in touch with Craig just this week he is still furloughed by his previous employer at the moment so still can’t start him but positive we’ll get in onboard as soon as possible.
Are people keeping their cars longer?
I have certainly seen people spending a bit more on repairs the last few weeks. Normally at this time of the year customers will have a problem with the car and when confronted with the cost of repairs they say “Can it wait a few weeks I’m just about to go on holiday?“ . So, with no holidays planned the repairs are getting done which in turn usually leads to people keeping the car. Just this week a customer was in for a service… we reported items on the Vehicle Health Check, he authorised all the work to be carried out and added “The pubs are closed so can’t spend the money there so may as well get it done“.
The DPF problems we are seeing. They’re defo coming in so it’s a great time to be in The DPF Doctor. These vehicles are coming in if you’ve done the training and follow the process you’ll find the fault. We are seeing most of them in due to driving conditions faults. So we can get the DPF cleaned and back on the road the same day in 90% of the cases no parts are needed. Straight forward bread and butter problem.