The road to success: Eagle Autos in South Wimbledon wins best garage in London award for second year running
A South Wimbledon garage was crowned Best Garage in London for the second year in a row at a national awards ceremony last week.
Eagle Autos, located on Cowper Road, beat four other contenders to win the Best Garage in London category at the annual WhoCanFixMyCar.com awards in Birmingham.
The competition included 99 nominees selected from over 12,200 garages and mechanics registered on the car service and repair website.
Eagle Autos owner Kyle Burke, 30, said: “I feel proud, obviously. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of getting in early and leaving late and obviously I pride myself on reviews and on and making sure every customer that comes in and out is happy.”
Josh Bolt, 22, technician at the garage, confirmed the long hours and said that he starts work at 7am every morning and is often working long after the garage’s 5.30pm closing time.
“We will get the car fixed is the main thing. As long as the customer’s happy we’re happy,” said Mr Bolt.
Mr Burke (pictured above) bought the garage in September 2014 and has completed more than 900 jobs through the WhoCanFixMyCar platform. The garage has a 4.8 out of 5-star customers rating on its website.
First established in 1984, Eagle Autos was also specially selected for the coveted ‘Hall of Fame’ award which Mr Burke will be presented with later this month.
Co-Founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, Ian Griffiths, said: “Eagle Autos is an incredible garage and deserves these awards for the great customer service and work they both provide.
“The Garage Awards demonstrate that there are exceptional garages throughout the UK that deserved to be celebrated. Their dedication and hard work is being recognised and we’re proud of all of the winners.”
Mr Burke has been working in the industry for 14 years and has firm opinions on what makes an award-winning garage.
“Doing the work correctly, no cutting corners, being price competitive. The main, main biggest thing is customer service, that’s something I’ve had to nail into everyone. That’s how I was taught,” said Mr Burke.
As well as Eagle Autos, Mr Burke also owns Westbury Garage in New Malden, which he bought with his friend and business partner Jeff Smith in early 2017.
Mr Burke was left to manage the garage on his own after Mr Smith died unexpectedly of a heart attack in October 2017.
PUTTING CUSTOMERS FIRST: Kyle Burke (left) with Jeff Smith who died in 2017.
“It was a real shock, he was only 48. We’d only had the garage for about 8 months, but obviously from then I had to carry on with the space,” Mr Burke said.
After many years in the industry, Mr Burke said that while he has always experienced high standards at independent setups, this is not always the case with corporate garages.
Mr Burke said: “I’d say stay away from main dealers. The technicians, and it’s probably not their fault, are there for bonus schemes. Basically, when a customer’s car comes in, they have to get enough work out of a car to get a bonus. They use scare tactics a bit, the main dealers.”
Mr Burke’s dedication to his customers meant he missed last Friday’s awards ceremony as he considered finishing his work more important than a boozy night in Birmingham.
With two Best Garage in London awards under his belt, Mr Burke is setting the bar even higher for 2019.
“Josh is talking about the third year, I’m going for national!” he laughed.