Life Motoring

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Garage Watch: John Linnane Motors, Rathnew, Co Wicklow

The John Linnane Motors dealership in Rathnew, Co. Wicklow
The John Linnane Motors dealership in Rathnew, Co. Wicklow

They don't just sell cars - they also track them down for you.

John Linnane, who founded his own dealership in 2008, has close to 30 years experience in Fiat dealerships. In 2008 he moved from more modest accommodation into a new purpose-built premises at Rathnew, close to Wicklow Town.

Two years later he scooped the "Fiat Dealer of the Year" award.

Today he is a dealer for four marques, with two -- Fiat and Opel -- taking pride of place in the showrooms. He also stocks Chrysler and Jeep cars as well as Fiat commercials and you'll also spot motorhomes for sale among the new and used vehicles on the one acre site.

We were immediately greeted by Paddy Farrell, a mine of useful and interesting information. We expressed interest in the new urban and urbane Opel Adam.

None of the cars in this segment score top marks for practicality but we were taken aback with the size of the boot in the Adam -- to all intents and purposes, there simply isn't one.

We discussed finance and Paddy was able to offer funding at 7.9pc for up to five years on the basis of a one-third deposit.

It was particularly helpful to be able to walk from one side of the showroom to the other to look at the Adam's arch competitor in the metal, the Fiat 500.

The original of the species, and some ¿2,000 cheaper than the Adam, Paddy Farrell had to concede it was the Gucci of the segment, the "must have" car. He also pointed out just how difficult it was to find used versions and mentioned he'd recently had to pay ¿10,000 for a two year old one when he'd been looking for one for a customer.

That shows the level of commitment at this dealership.

It had another trick up its sleeve. There, in the metal, was the Fiat 500L. The demo model was left-hand drive, which only added to the sense of being let in on the secret in advance, and Paddy was clearly excited by the vehicle.

It is a different animal altogether to its 500 namesake, much larger and much more a family car in the way that the Mini countryman is.

The showroom had comfortable seating on both sides, good quality tea and coffee facilities for customers, as well as a snack vending machine.

It was, as one would expect, absolutely spotless with obvious attention to detail in every aspect of the offering.

Like many dealerships these days, Linnane Motors tries to provide something that will keep younger family members occupied while mum or dad does the business. In this case it's the ever popular table football, presumably designed to ensure that everyone comes away a winner?

Indo Motoring

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