Autocheck Chiswick open for business

“Many of my customers are surprised to find we’re still open” says Les Magiera, owner of Autocheck Chiswick.

Garages are allowed to remain open, as they provide an essential services, but the Government has given drivers six months lee-way on getting their MOT done and since very few people are driving anywhere, he’s had very few customers over the last month.

“We’re not closed, but we’re not open every day” says Les, “We only open when we build up enough work and then we don’t open with a full staff”.

Before the lockdown the garage was always very busy, working six days a week. A well-established car servicing and body repair specialist, Les, who opened the business in 1983, specialises in German cars, including BMW, Audi, VW and Mercedes Benz. The business has grown a strong reputation for reliability and service quality, undertaking all manner of car maintenance and body work as well as MOTs.

“Business has halved”

Since the lockdown his business has halved.

“A lot of people don’t realise we’re still open” he says. “To be honest it’s a bit of a mess. Nothing is a hundred percent clear. The Government has told people to stay home, so that means less work for for us. I think the Government should have done a proper lockdown so that everything stopped. A stricter lockdown would have been better. Spain and Italy have had a stricter lockdown”.

I asked Les whether they are able to maintain cars and practice social distancing, with one mechanic working on each car.

“No, not really” he tells me. “Very often you need a hand from another guy and you have to work closely”. His mechanics come to work by public transport, one from east London, another from Hanwell, so they are at risk.

Line many other businesses he has had to make the decision whether to furlough his staff or keep going and bring in enough money to pay them. “Everyone has taken a cut” he says.

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