alvinlwh 4


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Member since:07.08.2005



I had good(ish) experience with Nationwide

28.02.2007 (02.03.2007)

They went out of the way to help you

Not the cheapest

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Speed Of Response


Level Of Cover

Customer Service

4 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (60%):
  1. raclub12
  2. korova_blue
helpful by (40%):
  1. gaunts
  2. Marans

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First off, I do NOT work for Nationwide and this review is only for the branch at Trafford, Manchester.

As I only moved to Manchester recently, I do not know where to bring my car in for a major job. I do most of the servicing and minor jobs myself, so I do know quite a bit about cars. It will be hard for Nationwide, or anyone else for that matter, to try and rip me off.

My first experience with Nationwide is for my MOT. Brought it in and it failed on 5 items.

NS Headlight not bright enough
FS Headlight not bright enough
NS Sidelight wrong color
FS Sidelight wrong color
Cannot adjust driver's mirror from driver seat

Let me run through each of the failing items.
-Headlight not bright enough
My fault, I swapped some fancy 110/120w H4 bulbs in and forgot to switch to regular ones before the MOT. The electrical system could not power the bulbs bright enough to pass the test.

-Sidelights wrong color
Again my fault, I swapped some fancy blue LEDs in and forgot to switch back to boring ones for the MOT.

-Cannot adjust driver's mirror from driver seat
Now this is something new to me, I had a jammed electric window on the driver's side. But I never knew this is actually an MOT item.

Now how did they help me?

The car that I have is a fairly rare car, only 1313 imported in to the UK between 1996-8. So there will be about 700ish existing now in the UK? They said I have to replace the window motor, and I asked them what if the part could not be found? They said if that happen, they can just remove the whole window as having a window is not an MOT requirement! Turns out that it is. Pass the MOT on that, and put the window back on! How is that for not trying to rip me off? HOWEVER to qualify for the free retest (which takes place in a week's time due to sourcing the part for the window motor) I have to have my bulbs changed by them. Now usually I can do this easily myself, but they charged me £18 total for the 4 bulbs. Well still beats the price of a retest. They did managed to source out the motor required, fitted it and the car fly through the MOT with no additional work.

Now they did charged me quite a bit for changing the bulbs right? BUT they forgot to charge me workmanship for fitting the motor, which I have to say is a pig of a job. How did I know they did not charge me extra but just for the motor? Because I know the price of the motor (I had tried to get one myself before) and they also showed me the receipt they got for it.

Then few months later, my car hit 60000 miles, time for a timing belt change. Again I went back to Nationwide, same branch. They did the job for me, and when I went back to pick up the car, I asked them if there is anything else that needs changing. They told me no, nothing, the car should be OK. Now how is that for not trying to rip me off? They could have claimed I need this filter replaced and that sensor changed.

Now bad point? I would say price, I could have gotten the job done elsewhere for maybe 20% less (except the window motor job which anywhere else would have charged me labour). And another problem is time, they seem to take a long time to get the job done. I booked my MOT 2 weeks in advance, sent my car in at 9am, and it was only MOTed by 4pm. Surely they could have planned the time better so my car need not be off the road for a whole day? Luckily my office is just across the road (150 yards) from them, so I just drop it off before getting in, and make sure I will not be needing the car for the day.

Would I go back to them again? Yes, in fact my exhaust back box had just fallen out, and I will need them to source the part for me again. Kwit Fit qouted me 3 times of what it should be.

So to sum it up

Speed Of Response - Slow, need a whole day for a 1 hour job or a 4 hours job

Cost - More expensive than some, but I still go to them because of the services mentioned above.

Level Of Cover - I usually only need help with major jobs that some people would have never heard of, such as changing of transmission fluid (which I do not have jacks to get my car up high enough) or changing of timing belt (which can be screwed up badly by a a DIY job) and they do provide all these services, so I would say comprehensive. But they would not be able to weld my exhaust back on, so they do not do EVERYTHING. The services provided by National and Kwit Fit are too basic for my needs.

Customer service - Some may disagree, but they never did once tried to rip me off. They even tried to save me money if possible by offering a work around for a MOT failure item.

Recommend to potential buyers - Now this is a touchy one, I know what I want and what I need, so they served my need. I think yes, if you know what you want and need.

Overall rating - Good, one star taken off for price and speed.

A footnote:
They did not try to rip me off because I seem to know more about my car than them.

Went to them again about my broken exhaust, got a qoute of £80 fully fitted from them. That beats the qoute from Kwit Fit by a full £50. The part from ebay will cost £70 although I think they got it for £48 w/o VAT. Will I let them change it? You bet!

Got my exhaust fitted today, when I went in to have it booked yesterday, they wanted the car in the morning today. I told them I will not even be in Manchester in the morning, and told them I can only get it in by 1pm the soonest. They said ok. Sent it in at 12:50pm and was told it will take about 2 1/2 hours to fit. But I got a phone call at 1:50pm telling me it was done! A full 1 1/2 hours below the estimated time! Makes me want to review the 'Speed Of Response' for them. And they have not found another 'fault' with the car that will cost me money. In fact they did honestly tell me they did not look for any faults I did not tell them to!

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Comments about this review »

korova_blue 13.04.2007 14:24

Good review, just goes to show if you know what you are talking about you will get good customer service! Everyone else seems to just be seen as a walking wallet! Sue

gaunts 28.02.2007 14:08

nice review with some good opinion. gaunty

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Review Ratings »

This review of Nationwide Autocentre has been rated:

"very helpful" by (60%):

  1. raclub12
  2. korova_blue

"helpful" by (40%):

  1. gaunts
  2. Marans

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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