OK – so the headline is a little dramatic, but that’s exactly what I did.
My lovely Audi A5 had a service (and there’s nothing I like more than parting with Â£400 for that) and when they checked the car they found the tyres were worn low – nothing too remarkable in that, except I had already spotted it and resolved to fix them anyway. After I dropped the car off, I spoke to my colleague Matthew who pointed out that tyres from main dealers were over priced. I know that, you know that… we all know that, but what are the alternatives?
Sitting in the waiting area for any of the main car fitters is at best a roundly depressing experience. It takes forever, there are many cars to deal with and yours is never front of the queue. Even if you book a time slot. It takes two hours minimum, and often quite a lot more. Plus the waiting areas themselves – so depressing, filled with car magazines and tool adverts, with a broken TV and occasionally a spluttering coffee machine. Hardly a dynamic place to while away a few hours! Not even some decent wifi to get online with… you get the idea.
Matt then said – “tyres on your drive”
Not too sure if that was a cryptic message, referring to my car as ‘my drive’… he then said “google it”. Ever talkative, is Matt!
Aha – so that’s what he meant!
Finding the right tyre size was easy, and the price to fit them was a steep (that’s what you get when you drive premium cars and stuff) Â£149 each. I needed two. Sigh.
Around an hour later, the garage phoned and said the car was ready, and that it needed two new tyres (no surprise there). I asked how much it would cost them to fit them, to which I was told “we can do it all in for 199 per wheel”.
I went to pick up the car – all spick and span, freshly serviced and valeted, and they tried again:
Him: “Y’know – we can do those tyres for you right now”
Me: “no, it’s OK – I know they are low – I’ll get them done myself… much as I enjoy giving you guys my money, your price is too high”
Him: “We do price match y’know..”
Me, after getting the website on my phone, and getting the tyre deal in plain view: “Can you match this?”
Him, looking very concerned: “Err… no, we… er… can’t match that. I thought you meant like one of the high street fitters…”
Me: “no, I meant these guys, a hundred pounds cheaper than you!”
So a quick call to the firm and a booking later, and before you know it Daniel was ringing me saying he was in the car park at my office, ready to start fitting tyres. What a decent young man he was too – great to talk with about what needed doing, no mystery, jargon or techie babble… and he said he’d call me when it was done.
30 minutes later – I kid you not, I had not had enough time to go in to the office, make a coffee and finish it before he was back on the phone – 30 minutes later it was done.
The price? Â£100 saving on premium car tyres, compared to Audi. All done at work, no fuss, no drama, no waiting around. Would I use them again? You bet!