You’ve probably all got your local trader stories.... | MDB files

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It was half eight on Tuesday morning. The booking-in system didn’t involve a book because it never does. My car needed attention. I’d agreed the time with my local garage the day before. They knew I’d turn up; I knew they’d be ready. A cup of coffee at a nearby bar later, and it was done. The cost was under half of what it would have been at a main dealer’s garage. I’ve used my local garage for years. I get cars there. They service them. Loyalty works both ways.

I wonder how they survive. Prices for their hire cars were being lowered when I’d nipped in on Monday. Sales are spasmodic. One of them was off for a couple of months with Covid. It may not be long before they retire. I hope not, but I couldn’t possibly blame them.
I heard about the mounting difficulties with supplies, as I also heard about why main dealer garages would have a booking-in system that would entail a wait of a couple of weeks.
A lack of qualified mechanics is one reason.

You’ve probably all got your local trader stories. It doesn’t have to be a garage.
It could be a bakery, an electrical goods shop, the hairdresser.

There’s a security with local traders that stems from those years of knowing each other, from the periods of small talk, from the knowledge that they are close at hand.

Covid has been just one of their problems. They don’t need more. Where would we be without them?