The Volks Autos Story: One mans ambition for excellence

David Rowley a technician for over 25 year's left Epsom Audi a local main dealer in 2009 to set up Volks Autos. David's ambition was simple he loved working on cars and wanted to use his skills and experience to offer a more personal service to customers.

David Rowley at Work
David Rowley, founder of Volks Autos.

We did not expect the business to be the size it is today. Volks Autos started up in the height of the recession with no website, just relying on word of mouth to generate customers. Today Volks Autos is well established and the largest VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda & VW Commercial specialist in South London. Employing 15 people and recently relocating to a new 6,500 sqft workshop with 6 in ground vehicle lifts including one 5 tonne lift suitable for larger commercial vehicles, such as VW crafter's and VW Transporters. With space for a MOT facility and diagnostic equipment and tooling you will find in any local main dealer.

My wife Lynsey left her sales management job in 2011 to help run the office side of the business and since then we have not looked back. Although the business has grown the basic principles remain the same. We offer a real alternative to a main dealer, with a much more personal service, we can carry out the same work, use the same parts, and you can have a skilled VAG technician working on your vehicle at a much more competitive rate.

We have invested heavily in tooling and equipment, everything from the computer diagnostic equipment, air conditioning machine's to the various tools required to complete operations set out by the manufacturer. All of which is compulsory to us as it is to a main dealer.

VW's server in Germany, this is necessary inorder to carry out software updates and much more. Something only ourselves and main dealers undertake in the local area.

We like taking a different approach in other areas of our business. We are one of the first independent garages to have a customer feedback page on our website. We also published prices on our website even before the main dealers. The whole reason behind these ideas is so that the process is more transparent, our aim is that customers know who is working on their vehicle and how much it will cost. When it comes to paying your invoice there should be no nasty surprises, you can even watch your car being worked on through our new customer viewing panels in our reception area.

We are not a large corporation or chain, but a family run business employing other locally VAG trained technicians, offering a level of service which is expected but not normally delivered.

Word of mouth has been a big element in growing our business, we discovered there were many forums of which people were writing reviews on about Volks Autos, and we found people recommending us to other people which had a snow ball effect. In 2011 we could not keep up with demand, and then employed a VAG trained technician from the local main dealer and launched our website. Since launching our website and as our reputation has grown it has been a constant cycle of demand for our service resulting in us employing more and more VAG trained technicians. In April 2014 we finally moved into our new workshop and are now in the process of finishing off the works. As a company we are incredibly proud and thankful for what we have achieved and very excited about the future.

Our technicians unlike with most main dealers are not paid a commission to up sell work, we are friendly, helpful people and when you pop in for a chat or get in touch you will experience this for yourself.