Got talking to the proprietor of my local garage while waiting to collect my wife's car from its annual service and found myself asking somewhat tentatively how business was going.

alclass Turns out he's doing brilliantly.

Armed with a good site and a decent name he's invested heavily in a bunch of decent mechanics and some impressive looking equipment, and can now service anything from our ancient Merc A140 Classic all the way to some very mechanically complex AMG offerings; and the same goes for Porsches, BMWs and Audis.

It seems that many people are struggling to pay main dealer labour rates and know a good job can be done for fraction of the price down the road. It's not ideal for the service history, but for slightly older cars some at least appear to think this is a price worth paying.

Back down at my end of the scale, he's also getting good business from customers deciding to hang onto their old nails a little longer rather than blow a wad of cash on a new car in uncertain times.