We pride ourselves that our charge-out rates are amongst the lowest in the industry whilst producing a quality of workmanship that is equal to the best. We also take great pride in our premises and equipment as well as our level of organisation. We hope that equals a great customer experience.
We do have the advantage that we own the freehold of our commercial property and therefore not subject to constant rent hikes. We even cracked a great deal on the mortgage for the property so even the cost of that is quite modest.
Granted our modest rates do have the benefit to us of discouraging fast-buck merchants from trying to get a foot hold in the industry. Although we did recently spot a, presumably, relative newcomer on the south coast with a whopping charge out rate of £50.00 per hour plus VAT. We say, good luck with that.
The fact is that Rowan and I have no desire to be rich and are happy to get by on an average industrial wage with no consideration for the hundreds of thousands of pounds invested in plant, equipment and premises over the last 25 years. To be fair no one would do this job just for the money. Pride, enthusiasm and because it's who we are and what we are good at plays its part. However, we do need to make a living as it is our sole occupation and not a subsidised lifestyle business, at the same time we are very keen indeed not to give the impression that we are some kind of budget repairer.
I am certain that there are still those working in the industry for whom it represents a bit of extra income over and above their regular salary or pension which is great. Indeed when I am approached by somebody seeking major repairs on an obscure lightweight of limited value I recommend that they try to seek these people out. This type of operator does have the advantage that they can afford to estimate a job on largely guess work and not worry too much if the work takes many times longer than expected. That said I have heard too many tales of work being abandoned and much worse.
We recognised years ago that with vehicles that have not seen the inside of a professional work shop in half a century or more repair estimates are at best misleading and at worst down right dishonest and whilst we are quite happy to talk openly and honestly about average costs of similar work completed to date we will not appear to give certainty were there can be none by producing an estimate, we prefer instead to give what certainty we can with our unique pay as you go scheme. In tandem with our modest charge-out rates we believe this affords us the luxury of taking the time needed to get the job right rather than doing a half-baked job in order to comply with a half-baked estimate.
We would highlight the fact that we talk about our charges as being including VAT rather the industry norm of plus VAT. This is an innocuous enough piece of verbal shorthand but makes a big difference these days when VAT is 20%: a £500.00 bill can turn out to be £600.00, this makes the difference between us and the rest even more impressive and all the more tricky to achieve.
To those who will say I will pay cash, I don't need an invoice which we would presume to mean I don't want to pay the VAT I would say don't come here, we don't do cash deals. I would go on to explain that actually we are able to absorb up to half the cost of VAT because we don't bulk out our turnover with dubiously profitable over-the-counter parts sales which allows our turnover to comfortably qualify for what is known as flat rate VAT which is a considerable saving to us which we pass on.
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