Monday 27 March 2017

Garage Watch: Diesel do nicely as demand fuels an unexpected scarcity

Liam Cleary Autoworld, Kia, Landrover, Daihatsu dealers, Kilrush Rd, Ennis, Co Clare

ALONG with a handful of other garages, Liam Cleary Autoworld is one of the last dealerships one sees before reaching the Atlantic coast of Clare.

It is something of an eyecatcher on the Kilrush road. Unfortunately it is also cluttered with signage and that takes from the overall effect.

We suggest someone takes a close look at the need for so many signs. This is, first and foremost, a dealership site.

Anyway, there was no need to signpost the wide selection of used cars displayed outside. There was a good mix and included anything from used Kias to a Mazda MX-5 and a Tata pickup. We were there in search of a used average-sized diesel saloon or hatch and our budget was flexible.

Inside the showroom we noticed that, unlike the used display outside, the four new Kias within carried prices. Really all cars should have prices on them.

We were no time inside when Adrian McMahon came to us. We told him what we were looking for.

We were to realise just how scarce your average-sized diesels are these days, which is understandable considering how much demand there is for a good diesel. It should nevertheless serve as a lesson to diesel owners considering selling their cars.

A well-cared for, documented diesel, especially one carrying the low road-tax rate, is worth the money. We turned our focus to new models and learnt from Adrian that there is value out there, especially if scrappage is taken into consideration.

We played the scrappage card and found that they would give us a 1.5-litre diesel Kia Rio for €12,500, a 5-dr 1.6-diesel Kia cee’d for €16,950, or a 1.4-litre diesel Kia Venga for similar money as the cee’d.

All, as Adrian explained, carried a road tax premium of €104 a year. Inviting us to his desk, Adrian wrote all details on individual brochures and invited us to view the cars. He highlighted the importance of Kia’s seven-year warranty.

The open-plan showroom display was neat, brochures were plentiful and toilet facilities well maintained.

Above all, they had time for a visitor and this was much appreciated.

Ratings

Location/access . . . . . . . . . 9.0

Customer parking . . . . . . . 5.0

Signage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.0

Showroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.5

Customer Facilities . . . . . . 7.5

Customer Service . . . . . . . . 10

Models on display . . . . . . . 9.0

Deals offered . . . . . . . . . . . 9.0

We liked

The welcome, homely atmosphere and the knowledgeable, helpful salesman.

We disliked

Too much signage confused us. No prices on used cars.

Overall impression

A garage of two halves: cluttered outside, lovely inside, with a fine salesman.

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