Newest Review: ... brakes which could cause a catastrophic accident!! To add to this the front brake discs were also seriously warped and needed replacing.... more
A Very Mixed Bag Indeed...
Member Name: LisaN88
Date: 20/05/10, updated on 20/05/10 (466 review reads)
Advantages: Newsletter offering discounts, knowledgeable staff, helpful.
Disadvantages: Costs of parts and labour.
In the last two years since I moved to Derby and finished learning to be able to drive I realised I needed somewhere to MOT and Service my car, but only at a reasonable price. I came across Nationwide Autocentres by going through a whole range of garages and seeing which had the best rating and which offered a discount for taking the car for its MOT and Service all at once.
It seemed a good idea as they offered the service and MOT for a combined price of £195 and as I was quite naive I didn't know if this was good or not but I believed it to be as it had been recommended both online and in a newspaper, as well as being one of the cheaper garages...or so I thought.
Last year I worked out that I had owned my car for about 3 and a half years and the car had been built for 6 years when I had to take it for its routine MOT and Service. I knew there were some problems with the car but was completely unprepared for what I was about to find out.
Nationwide Autocentre Derby were really good and asked me to drop my car off in the morning before coming back to collect it later in the evening and they also informed me that they would inspect it and give me a call with the damage during the day.
At about 2pm I got a phone call from the centre telling me that they had looked at the car and terrifyingly they had found that both my brake pads and brake discs were worn down, I needed two new gator shafts as one was completely demolished and the other was broken and leaking and the wheels needed balancing along with a new windscreen wiper for the rear window as it was cracked. I was informed that I had to have the work done otherwise it was going to fail its MOT.
Reluctantly I asked how much all of this was going to cost me and he quoted me £600+ (including the £195 for the original charges). I obviously very nearly fainted at the cost of this and had to tell him to go ahead and fit the parts while I flapped around trying to get the money together. In the end it meant I had to make a frantic trip back to where I live using half a tank of petrol, just to get borrow the money. I had some money set aside but was totally unprepared for the amount over that I was quoted.
I paid the money and didn't think anymore of it until I went to another garage to have my replacement gear linkage fitted, as this went quite soon after the MOT and Service was conducted, and they informed me that I had been charged premium prices for all of the parts.
The labour was charged at a pretty standard price of around £70 an hour, which is the amount that most garages around Derby will ask you to pay, though in getting my gear linkage fixed at another garage I was only charged £59. This garage told me that had they been asked to do all the repair work that Nationwide Autocentre completed then it would have cost me about £150 less.
I was shocked and appalled at the charge of the products I had fitted and the cost of the labour so much so that I haven't been back there since and have learnt my lesson, I will be going to the other garage from now on for anything related to the MOT and Service!
After I had one of the parts fitted and was bringing the car out of their garage I managed to make it all the way to the roundabout literally metres down the road, I went to pull away and join the traffic only to hear a loud bang and then I was unable to accelerate away further.
It turned out the gator shaft that they had fitted had come apart from its attachment when I went to accelerate and instead left me with a car uselessly revving and not moving. I was stuck in traffic and inconveniencing all the other drivers around me for a good twenty minutes while I ran back to the garage in the pouring rain and convinced two members of staff to come and help me by re-attaching the part!
Though on a more positive note, the staff are amazingly friendly and very knowledgeable on the subject of automotive repair and very willing to help you out with an answer. Previously to the above incident, one of the times I was having a problem with the gear pedal catching when I was releasing it and the same problem when I was pushing in the accelerator.
I took it to their garage where they got a Vauxhall specialist (or so they said) to look at it and he found nothing wrong with it. I was too shamefaced to admit later on that it was just the car mat getting stuck on the pedals but that time I was very grateful for their help.
Also they do send you a monthly newsletter that gives you all the relevant car information and often offers you the chance to get money off of the price of your MOT or Service, which can be quite useful as they cost a fortune to get done.
Summary: A definite no no for your MOT and Service!
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