Tuesday 28 February 2017

Garage watch: K & C Garages

Seasoned showroom gives customers time to take stock

K & C Garages,Kia and MG dealers, Breamor Rd, Churchtown, Dublin, 14.
K & C Garages,Kia and MG dealers, Breamor Rd, Churchtown, Dublin, 14.

WE found it heart-warming to find a motor showroom in a shopping/residential precinct and not hidden in a bleak industrial estate.

The likes of this premises can bring life to an area – a bit like what garages used to do in urban Ireland not all that long ago. We went into a busy showroom looking for a scrappage deal on a Kia cee’d small family car. Not for one moment do we think our Ford Focus is for the skip, it’s just that it’s 10 years old now and we wanted to test the waters with our clean, 80,000-mile full service history motor.

We were met by Caroline at reception; she told us a salesman would be with us shortly. That afforded us the opportunity to admire this bright showroom that blends wood and glass.

We noticed a well-stocked brochure stand and individual holders for new and used-car prices and details. All detailed CO2 levels and road tax. A cabinet held coffee-making facilities. Black leather couches provided comfortable seating while we waited. The LCD TV was on and we saw plenty of reading material. Two framed certificates show this dealer was presented with a Platinum Certificate on December 4, 2009. Another showed K & C was awarded Kia Southern District Dealer of the Year 2009.

Salesman Paddy Hartnett came over to us and we got down to business straight away. He showed us examples of the cee’d and invited us down to a basement (underground storage area) to see other colours. Between Kia and MG models, there were at least 40 new vehiclesdown in that custom-built area. Back at his office, he began to consider our car. Paddy told us five Kias came under the scrappage scheme: Picanto, Rio, cee’d diesel, Soul and the new Venga compact people carrier. We asked about the 5-door cee’d with the 1.6-litre diesel engine. Claiming the higher spec EX sells better than the LX model we went along with his advice.

Priced at €20,795, including metallic paint, he said he would give us €2,000 scrappage along with the €1,500 Government’s VRT rebate. For good measure, and seeing the condition of our car, he said he’d give us another €200. That meant we’d be parting with €17,095 to buy the new car.

As he handed us a small folding card showing the most frequently asked questions by customers, he pointed out: “that’s with seven years, warranty”. The warranty excludes normal clutch and brake wear, and radio. The seven years covers 150,000km. We asked for time to think. Telling us to take our time, he handed us his business card and told us we could call him when it suited.

RATINGS

Location/access . . . . . . . . .9.5

Customer parking . . . . . . . 9.0

Signage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9.0

Showroom . . . . . . . . . . . . .9.5

Customer Facilities . . . . . . .9.0

Customer Service . . . . . . . .9.5

Models on display . . . . . . .9.5

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

WE LIKED

Feel-good factor. Helpful down-to-earth staff in a good environment.

WE DISLIKED

We’d need a pick axe to find fault here.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

A garage which shows that selling cars can mix with any streetscape if presented properly

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