Gararge Watch: Autostation Ltd, Dublin 8
A 10-week waiting list . . . things must be looking up
As we entered the forecourt a woman was taking delivery of a new Skoda Octavia.
We could see a salesman showing the controls and patiently answering questions.
That's a good introduction to any garage.
There were 25 or so used cars on display outside. They varied from 2003 to 2009.
We were hardly in the showroom when Barry Tracey introduced himself.
We told him we were interested in a Skoda Octavia 1.6 diesel -- preferably in Ambiente trim. The garage had a beige one on display but it was sold.
There is a 10-week wait on this car, we were told. Ten weeks! With road tax at €104 and a fair spread of equipment, you can see why it would be in demand -- but 10 weeks?
So Barry went to his computer.
There was a higher spec Elegance 1.9-litre diesel available with road tax of €156. He went to check on it.
While he was away, we had a look at eight well-presented cars in the showroom. There was a new Yeti, Fabia, Octavia and Superb displayed along with some Mitsubishi models. A divide or separation of the marques might be advisable.
We saw packed brochure stands with used car lists, newly price lists and accessories documented. There was a nice customer waiting area. The toilet area was clean, apart from a bin which was overflowing with used hand towels.
When we went back to the showroom, quite a number of other callers were examining the cars. The interest almost entirely focused on the Skodas. The place was buzzing at this stage -- something to enforce the feeling that things might be looking up. Barry arrived back.
The car was changed for a black 1.6-litre Ambiente. He was certainly trying -- without being pushy. We almost felt compelled to buy.
Priced at €21,540 plus €449 for metallic paint, it could be ours for €20,279.
He asked if we'd consider a Combi (estate). There was a beautiful wine-coloured version outside. We could buy it for €21,354 -- €1,800 off the list price. He invited us to sit in it, opened the boot to show its size and demonstrated the way the seats folded.
This man knew his stuff.
We thanked him for his time. Excellent work.