We car a lot - Halfords buy Nationwide Autocentres

18 February 2010

Bitterwallet - HalfordsWould you trust Halfords with your car? We wouldn't trust them to sharpen our pencils, but soon you'll be able to have your motor repaired by the folks who sold you your first bike. The retailer has just paid over £73 million for Nationwide Autocentres, meaning over 200 of the outlets will be rebranded as Halfords Autocentres.

Halfords reckon that the car maintenance market is worth £9 billion, with about 33 million cars needing regular servicing and repairs - that's a lot of car accessories and parts, and should mean even more bulk buying to bring those store prices down. No, of course it won't. Halfords also said it plans to open 200 more autocentres, which will create more than 1,000 new jobs. That works out at five staff per centre, so the chances of picking up your car at the time the mechanic told you will still remain slim to anorexic.

187 comments

  • Ross
    Took an old car of mine to Halfords many many years ago for a service and they royally f**ked it up. Didn't tighten the wheels properly so a wheel fell off, didn't put enough oil in, wrong sparkplugs etc etc. Wouldn't touch them with a barge pole
  • Jase
    I'd trust them to buy a bike when I was 12...but not to fix my car! And what becomes evident in this article, you can't trust them with smart maths either! 5 staff per centre?!
  • Tom
    I seem to recall that all the old AA service centres became swallowed up by Nationwide Autocentres. Which in turn royally ripped me off once ... never again!
  • Wayne
    To be fair, my local Autocentre only ever seems to have around 3 - 4 different people in it. There's the guy who occasionally sits at reception, and a few grease monkeys who prick around poking at your car and listening to commercial radio. It's hardly as if they're opening up 200 new particle accelerator sites, so 5 per centre sounds more than enough...
  • Wilko
    This has come full circle. Halfords used to own Service Centres on most of their larger superstores. They sold the service centres for next to nothing to the AA, who kept on most of the Halfords staff. Then the AA sold it to Nationwide, who have now sold them back to Halfords for a huge markup. I used to work at Halfords, and my local store still has most of its original staff in the service centre who are now back as being Halfords staff. To be honest, they would be better off employing more staff in their retail stores. They currently have a redundancy program going on, cutting staff EVEN MORE than the massively understaffed levels they are already operating with. Muppets!
  • Gary j.
    hi i work at one of the branches of nationwide auto centres, i only found out this morning that halfords have now purchased all of the centres, there are only 5 people employed in my centre. yet customers nearly always get their car back on time (apart from the occasional one and thats nearly always down to parts supplyers) and the work is of a high standard. just because it is now to be called halfords auto centre doesn't mean the quality or customer service will go down.
  • nick c.
    I am working at Nationwide in Eastliegh and would like to say that when a company who own over 200 centers it is unlikely they are all going to be good centers yet even the centers that are honest and i would like to think my one is they are going to have problems sometimes after all the staff are only human. Yet people only remember things that go wrong and as they clearly know next to nothing about cars (otherwise they would do the work them selfs) how can they know the difficaultys that can arise. I am suprised that Halfords are buying back there garages but it will not mean that the centers that are perfectly caplble now will suddenly change.
  • Paddy
    I can only speak for the Nationwide Autocentres in Swansea & Bridgend but I made the mistake of taking my car in there to be serviced just under 2 years ago. Never again. They couldn't reset my service indicator light (despite assuring me beforehand that they could) and neither could the Nationwide Autocentre in Bridgend and I ended up resorting to relying on a 'under the arches' type auto-electrician to reset it as VW wouldn't do it as they hadn't serviced it which is fair enough as they're not a charity. The amount of money I saved in getting my car serviced by these clowns rather than VW was soon wiped out by repeated trips to them and to the auto-electrician to get it reset. In fact, I think the service worked out as being about £30 dearer than taking it straight to VW. Halfords/Nationwide/AA Service centre-I don't care-I'll never use them again and I would rather get my car serviced by Kwik-fit and that's saying something....
  • nick c.
    Well i'm sure all the main dealers and kwik fit centers also have customers that have had bad experiances as well who have also sworn never to return and that is fair i would be the same but that isn't to say that every customer will have the same problem. If this was fords or vauxhall or any other dealer i'm sure there would be people writing on a blog with the same complaints they are no better or worse.
  • Brian
    Brian here, when i pass my Test, i will take my vehicle to Halfords.
  • Pizza_D_Action
    Once took my car to Nationwide in Chester for a service.... had a phone call later the same day with a list as long as my arm of things that were wrong with it.... told them where to stick their list and went and collected the car... Took it to my uncle (self employed mechanic with 30 years experience) who checked the car over paying particular attention to the "problems" mentioned.... said that Nationwide were talking crap and there wasn't a thing wrong with the car. Then ran the car for a further 5 years and apart from the usual "wear and tear" replacements did no work on it and all was good. Unsurprisingly would never touch Nationwide with a bargepole again.
  • Halfords C.
    [...] buy Nationwide Repair Centres Blimey, they keep growing We car a lot – Halfords buy Nationwide Autocentres | BitterWallet . . Skyline Parts for sale............. theprojectmoff.co.uk ... Looking for more 2010 Time [...]
  • jonny
    i work for a branch of nationwide in the south west and just this morning found out about the take over, personally i think its a good thing and hopefully will inject a bit of cash into the company, my centres problem is not having the right equipment to do the job as above mentioned vw service light resets and it pisses me off when the technician gets blamed for it, its not our fault we havn`t got the kit to do the work with!! i spend thousands of pounds a year on tools to do my job and nationwide couldn`t even be arsed to buy a 3000 grand diagnostics kit!! its unfair to tarnish all nationwide centres with the same brush you get some good and some bad!!
  • toptech
    Same here Jonny ,i too work for nationwide in the north east, and we are sick and tired of lack of diagnostic gear, have actually had to send family and friends to so called back street garages who have better equipment than us!!!! As an aside i was here when it was previously Halfords! Great at the time as they were owned by Boots plc who had plenty money! we had regular pay rises and great equipment! Then dickhead AA took over, what a bunch of tosser's!!! Lets hope things improve eh?
  • Cole
    I hope their services will improve and be a lot better since they're going to deal with more automobiles now. We will trust our cars to you just prove that you are improving.
  • nick
    can only say couldn't agree more with all the negative comments - returned my today to them under warranty to fix £320 new clutch system they fitted only 15 months and 10000 miles - previous replacement by a small one man band garage lasted 80000 miles. Countless other negative reviews exist on other sites. Don't use them, don't even think about it!
  • nick
    Will leave further on this when they have investigated my clutch - I'm expecting bullshit - chances are if I get any I'll get them to reassemble my car and I'll take it some place else to do the work rather than give any more money to the idiots
  • paul
    Nick, Ross, Jase, Wayne and especially pizza_D_Action.....your all a bunch of fucking idiots, uve all probably had bad experiences because of the big pricks that you all sound like!!
  • Gary
    Hope Halfords take the precaution of sacking all the Nationwide staff and replacing them with competent mechanics. Evry repair Nationwide have made to my car has gone wrong, including not putting a gasket on the thermostat housing after replacing the thermostat. Now my car is scrap due to theirr incompetence. Muppets!
  • Mike
    Ask around and get some feedbacl on NAtionwide Autocentres... I didn't and have paid the price! Took the car for a promoted discount MOT Told me required new Brake pipes Had new brake pipe fitted A ten year old with no experience coul dhave domne a better job! Clips were missing. Pipe had been crudely betn and shaped Car was filthy inside (grease marks from dirty overalls and boots on floor and upholstery Air conditoning was also regassed (only asked for it to be checked) Car havd been taken on extended road test and used (by their admission) for one of the so called mechanics to jump start another car My battery terminal cover had been ripped off and discarded, the wing had a scratch on it too Tasked with all this, got long -winded story, but no apology Had to force them to replace battery terminal cover Only cleaned actual grease marks and that was with brake cleaner! Car smelt awful for ages, due to chemicals Been less than five weeks and aircon not working (no gas) Obviously a leak, but why didn't they test afetr a regas? Odd how it was a little low on gas when regassed and now suddenly a leak? Wouldn't give them a pram to check, never mind repair! Total disinterest for customer service and even less of a pleasant attitude Their work ethics and standards are also clearly questionable If you can... Avoid them, regardless of the brand name over their doors!
  • David
    i worked for nationwide autocentres, they are just focused on getting as much out of the retail customer as possible, they do lots of fleet work but the fleet company calls the shots, everything is measured at site, number of services, Mots, oil flushes, brake fluid changes and so the list goes on, the senior management are just there to bully the centre managers and they basically get paid to burn out the guy and do not care about the manager and care even less for the technicians who range from completely incompetant to very good. i would never wotk for this company again, Halfords or not. i enjoy my job in the motor trade and hate it when i feel my job is threatened unless i sell some Mot guarantees. Crap!!!!!!!!! Dont use them - use a main dealer, they know what they are doing and they will give discount if you ask!
  • Gil
    Put my car in for service at Coventry site, royally stuffed it up, They charged me for oil change and the oil is the same stuff that was in to begin with. They say they did a brake flush but have just found out there is not enouh DOT 4 fluid in the system took it up to main dealer and said it was luck I had not had to brake hard or I would never have stopped. The worst thing is that I had to get a tyre changed and thet tottally trashed an alloy wheel and then smeared grease all over it to cover the damage. I went back up to show them and got a load of abuse for being awkward and accused me of kerbing the wheel and trying to stitch them up I told them that the damage was caused by using something to brace the tyre iron against something on the wheel to lever the tyre off reply was "So you think you are some kind of F****** expert on tyres then?" I spent 4 years in an RAF tyre bay stripping Tornado GR4 and Eurofighter wheel assemblies to bits I might be a bit of an expert. A mate took his car into the same garage to get a service and he explained that he had problems with the alarm system going off and to just use the key fob to shut it off. He took it up to the alarm place (cobra) to get it reprogrammed the same day and they found that the wires to the siren had been cut with a side cutter. Nationwide said that the alarm was not working but my mate remobers them settin off the alarm when the opened the car up toi drive it into the bay. They are liars and incompetent STAY AWAY pay the extra and go to a main dealer
  • jim
    Hi i have been offered a job at a nationwide autocenter as a mot tester/technician. im reluctant to take the job after reading the negative comments on the lack of customer service, but would like to know more on how the techs are treated etc, and if the "bonus" scheme actually works out. thanks jim
  • Steve
    Jim, The bonus scheme is fictional, If its ever achieved it is done so at the cost of quality of workmanship. Should you achieve it, expect it on occasion to ne withheld. This lot cant decide who they want to be. Once called Lex Autocentres Ltd, under Lex Holdings Plc. alongside Lex Autosales (Comparable to Autoplanet). Lex Holdings purchased the RAC with the intent of making RAC Autocentres & RAC Autosales, it fell through RAC closed Autosales & sold unprofitable branches of Lex autocentres to Nationwide Autocentres owned by dismissed director of Lex Autocentres banked by a Greek Bank, whom then dscussed franchising to branch managers and promptly forgot. Ceased all agreements with the RAC once remaining branches were purchased by dismissed directors & sought agreements with AA, along the way purchsed Branches off Halfords & Apples. Sold the company again and earned several million each screwing staff along the way by various nefarious methods such as getting signatures off staff agreeing to working time regulation opt out schemes to effect a 6 day week. Bonus schemes are changed at the directors descretion wthout notice. There s so much to say about these guys which are negative but, there is always a positive side, a management change and guidance from a larger company with some scruples would be of great benefit. Too masny of thier director in the past think they should have monuments to them, little do they know they do......... in the toilets alongside the spineless regional manager.......
  • Angry
    The problem is evident , you go on the internet and there is a huge markup between old nationwide centre and halfords. Full service cost £185 for nationwide and £225 for halfords for exactly the sAmething. I was charged £390 time around for brake and disc set before it was £275. Its just got too expensive and i won't be using them. The time difference was 5 months on two identical cars. For that price your better offgoing to the main dealer
  • Bob
    took my car to Halfords Altrincham for a new clutch, was quoted £395.00, and then charged £625.00. £39.00 for tracking cos they said they had to drop the subframe. Surely that was part of the job. Oil all over the drive, took it back and they said it was just oil they had overfilled and was ok. Took the car home, and gear change was woolly. took it back and they said it was stretched cables. but found they had broke the linkage. took it back again and they want £425.00 to repair it. I WILL NEVER USE HALFORDS AGAIN, THEY OBVIOUSELY DONT KNOW A THING ABOUT CARS.
  • kev s.
    had the car serviced in september also needed new coil total £350.00 3 weeks later oil sensor light came on checked levels they were ok although i had filled the oil up 4 weeks before sevice.went back to them was told it was probably faulty sensor switch but they couldnt check it ubless it was on ? 12 weeks after service i checked the oil there was none in it . took it back and they topped it up and said its probably damaged piston rings and was common on zafiras wtf .we had been getting all our cars serviced by a local independant for 15 years with no probs but he passed away .they service it once and its knackered coincidence ?after reading reviews here i dont think so.
  • Jamie
    I unfortunately had to have my car towed to the hemel hempstead branch because my fan belt went and it was the nearest one. 3 months later fan belt is now nackered again, and regional manager has been asked to call me 4 times and guess what.... still no phonecall! Absolutely piss poor service, I would avoid this company like the plague, and id rather be ripped off by a main dealer and get the job done right first time instead of being ripped off by a bunch of idiots who obviously dont know 100% what they are doing
  • Dan
    They will still be crap at fixing your car! They done even change the oil on full services!! Tell you need brales and disks when you only need break pads!! They are a disgrace why do people go there!!! Some Sh*t different name! Pure rubbish!
  • Gregg
    NATIONWIDE did there best to butcher engine on a routine service on my focus 2008 plate (20k) - fitted a faulty spark plug (and I found later from ford these didnt need doing until at least 36k) - plug broke and part of it entered cylinder head and puntured a hole in one of valves. Nationwide accepted liability and attempted to repair it themselves. Dragged there heels initially when I asked for a courtesy car as I was going to be without a vehicle for a week or 2. Got a hire car in the end but they are nightmare to deal with shocking customer service!!!!!! Anyway here is the best bit. They stripped the engine down, replaced valve, rebuilt engine, replaced timing belt - Drove car away after being assured all was 100% after repair and immediately had problems again. Took car to Ford who hooked up to diagnostics and did checks and condemned the engine. Ford fitted a new engine and amazingly I was covered under warranty - Amazingly nationwide walked away without paying a penny apart from a few quid for my hire car. Rip off merchants, tell you that stuff needs replacing on your car when it doesn't.....all about margins and profits I'm afriad - poor workmanship!!! Will never use this showe of S*** again or Halfrods for that matter. now changed their name to Halfords Autocentre - must have a bad name in the industry......
  • Jamie
    Just to update on my earlier post, Nationwide quoted me £250.00 to repair what they had caused in the first place, but I got it done at my local Mr Clutch instead for £99.00 parts and labour.. So it just goes to show what ripoff merchants these people are! NEVER use them!
  • kevin
    I had my car MOT at Kwik fit. The car failed on a binding offside rear wheel. They quoted me £80 pounds but they couldn't do it that day. Went on holiday next day. when I got back I decided to see how much Halfords would charge for repair of brakes and MOT. £27.50 MOT+ £80 for bracks. Took car to them .They felt a problem for with my ABS. £75. took car back 2 day later .Felt problem With ABS on other wheel. Took car back 4 days later. Bill £600 My car is only worth £700. I refused to pay the bill and asked to see the parts for inspection. When I inspected the parts all of the important bits were not there only the outer casings. So I decided it to be a scam where the mechanics are doing work that dose not need doing.So they get as much money for bonuses. I have sent in the region of 60 letters and I cannot get to any legal people at Halfords. Only regional managers and I can't get telephone numbers either. So today I have taken all have the paperwork and photographs and complained to the police. I believe it's an organized scam. M car has been with them for two month's. I do not know what to do now. If you have any thing you could tell me .Please email me if you have information that could help [email protected]
  • Rebecca
    Took my car for half price MOT at Halfords Guildford last week and they failed it on headlamp and rear brakes, they tried hard to persuade me to leave the car for repair but thankfully I refused. Took the car to my local garage for repair and they said there was nothing wrong with the brakes or light and carried out the MOT and the car passed with no work required.
  • chris w.
    as a customer of nationwide autocenter ,i have to say that their are very good with there service ,i get my car mot,ed ever year with them and luky for me it passes ever time ,last year the guys had to do some work for me via the aa motor group and im very impressed with them.
  • bobcray
    unbelievable!! all the whinging idiots on here, what do you do for a living?? bet you dont have to work with the 'great (whinging) british public' to work in any kind of retail takes a lot of guts these days - mainly due to people who use a service once, have a bad experience- then go on and on and on and on about it for years- its really simple if you dont get good service- dont use them again - but please just SHUT THE F**K UP!! if you complain about something as much as you do on this site about something as trivial as a car repair - god forbid how you would be with a serious illness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET SOME PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE!
  • john
    "Quote, something as trivial as a car repair" bobcray, say that when your brakes fail on you / your wheel falls off, you mow down a kid who suffers for ages dying in pain and you smash into a wall, That so trivial little thing as enough brake fluid that would have taken a trivial few mins to be at the correct level could result in the not so TRIVIAL loss of life to others including you yeah thats the extremes but can happen and its all down to a "trivial car repair"
  • bobcray
    once again - get it in perspective ffs!!! most of the complaints are about cost and attitude - none of them are about ' what if a fly hits my windscreen, windscreen cracks and 400 people die- not about life or death situations - has this ever happened at a nationwide garage duh! NO!!!!!!! in any of the final destination films - YES!!! "qoute get a persepective on life" !!!!!!!
  • alam1ug
    Steve, David, Toptech - Great to have comments from some of you who work at Nationwide. It is clear from experiences in thi spost and my own experiences that Nationwide is a rip-off. I would love to get an explanation from you guys as to how and why this happens. i.e do the mechanics get something out of it or does it just profit the management and do they encourage it??? Thanks
  • Steve R.
    Halfords or Nationwide, however you wish to refer to them are a professional service, maintenance and repair outfit. There are priced below the dealership rip offs and repair to a very high standard only replacing with original/equivilant manufacturer parts. Complaints run at less than 0.35% of more than 650,000 jobs per year. Don't go back to the olden days when the garages were run by the retail manager from the tore next door. ome people write some rubbish on here
  • Stesh083
    Just to clear a few things up here guys as an employee of this company I can give you a true and honest perspective on some of your points rather than just throw shot around with no evidence, yes we all work to targets as does every other business (well successful ones anyway) otherwise how would halfords ensure they pay the bills I'm sure some of you belive you should have things for free, things are expensive and yes you can get them cheaper it's like anything in life just take a look down at your clothes how much do you actually think it costs to make them ??? And if you went to work and was expected to work for free what would you say ???? Or offered a pay rise ???? Thought so !! It is our job and legal obligation to do a thorough inspection on your vehicle and inform you of any defects in accordance with manufacturers guidelines ! Not your bloody mate bob's who let's face it wouldn't know a micrometer from a hd tv ! We report these defects to you and advise you on how much it will cost you to get them repaired by us if you wish to drive your car with defects that's up to you but you can't chastise someone for doing there job properly ! Anyways I hope you all have fun repairing your own cars as it's so easy these days
  • Stesh083
    Oh and encase any of you are wandering I work in Wolverhampton and we see aroun 15 to 20 vehicles per day 90% of which are repeat customers who are more than happy with our service it's a shame only the bad stuff seems to be said about us, I can't speak for others but the centre I work in offers a good honest service to hundreds of customers a week and I hope if your reading this you take note and decided you would like to make your own mind up about the service we offer, thanks for your time and let's hope none of you have any problems with your cars
  • Patriot
    Stesh083. You are right to defend your company, however as a former centre manager for Nationwide Autocentres I can assure you that being pressured to 'sell up' all services and repairs gets tedious. RM's phoning 2 and 3 times a day every day; How many brake fluid flushes/oil top ups/ aircon regasses/Mot guarantees/tyres/batteries/wheel balances/headlamp alignments etc. I also got annoyed when I was first employed there when I was told-not informed-that brake pads & discs were expected to be changed on at least 60% of all vehicles booked in for a service. WTF! It is also company policy that the Senior Technician earns the most bonus(,even if he works for only 3 days due to illness) A brilliant method for motivating staff is'nt it? The only customers they can't overcharge are the Fleet operators as you well know. Within a 20 mile radius from my home I have access to 4 Nationwide/Halfords Autocentres yet not one of them can do 4 wheel alignment,why? because-and I quote- "The company will not invest in the equipment" Neither will they invest in proper diagnostic equipment as was mentioned. I was reasonably well paid but after two years I had enough and went back to being a Parts Manager with the luxury of working alternate Saturday mornings. I wish you well but believe me there are better companies to work for.
  • Stephen C.
    Took my car to my local autocentre for an MOT today after booking it in some two weeks prior. i arrived at the centre in plenty of time for the 1030 appointment. The manager a Mr Bruce Meikle of Halfords Autocentre Hucclecote Gloucester told me he had to have a work sheet filled out i informed him i was here only for a MOT. He said i had to fill it out for accounting purposes so i filled out his form and went to the viewing area to watch my car being MOT'D. There was another gentleman there and he said he had booked some two days prior and his car was being MOT'D. I then approached the manager and he said there had been a double booking and they would do the two cars together ( that would have been good to watch two cars on the ramp at the same time) i said i would wait and proceeded to wait in the viewing area when i heard a autocentre mechanic commenting on my booking saying its tough shit he can wait to which the manager agreed. i then proceeded to collect my keys and took my car elsewhere, after reading the above feedback i think i have had a lucky escape, i have never met such a shower of IDIOTS who have little or no regard for customer services so anyone thinking of taking there car for an MOT to Hucclecote i suggest finding alternate arrangements
  • Sandy
    In dispute with Nationwide Autocentre re incorrect drive shaft being fitted, (well made to fit). ABS light on for the following three years (they knew this), each time i questioned why ABS light still on, told, wasnt reset at time drive shaft fitted would have to pay!!!, why your fault. Four years on decided to take it to different garage, new correct drive shaft fitted, abs light now reset (at last), apparently ABS light on is a fail on MOT, mmmmm wonder why nationwide autocentre passed it for three years running, and on a fail mentioned the ABS light being on!!!! but they still passed it???, complained to Halford who now own this company told because I !!!! cannot produce drive shaft they cannot persue claim, am still gunning, clearly the guy in the complaints dept dont really care that my car was technically unroadworthy, had no legal MOT subsequently my insurance was void, I want answers??? Not a happy bunny to say the least.
  • Tom
    Took my car in for half price MOT; needless to say it failed on several points. Apparently needed new suspension arm and was quoted over £400 for all work required. Also got a HUGE list of advisories. Took my car elsewhere for repair quote and was told £260 total. Was also told there was "nothing wrong with suspension arm, they must just be looking for some business". Fuck off halfords.
  • tom
    Oh, and FUCK OFF stesh083
  • Papi
    Around 10 yeas agi, when halfdors used to do the servicing + MOT themselves I used to take my car to them. Everytime there was a suprise of around £300 on the bill to be paid. Really tired of their money taken excercise I decided to use a local guy for service + MOT. He always used to say after servicing the car: what a lovely litle car! No problem with the MOT. Now it seems like history repeats itself. I used to take my actual car to Autocentre for an MOT only. No complains. No way I will be taking my car to money taker Halffords!
  • Mark W.
    Had £803 worth of work done including a service 3 weeks ago, which included new brake discs and pads on the front, and the front right has now worn down to the metal. Somehow I don't think they have replaced it! Also had the exhaust replaced, which is now noiser than old one. Used to think the Nationwide Autocenters were excellent and did a great job, my first experience of Halfords, never again, please avoid. Cowboys!!!!
  • ian
    I have worked for halfords for 6 weeks now and our center is very busy with very skilled mechanics we have a good customer service record the only complaint is people think they are the most important person they don't realise u have to wait ur turn
  • Lee
    I run a very busy centre in the Sussex area and we do not need to up sell on customers cars we are that busy I'm having to book customers in a week and half in advance. We take pride in all the work we do and never had any major complaints I will not have Halfords autocentres slatted like this
  • Paul
    Took my mondeo to the Cheadle branch of Halfords for it's MoT test. The guy on reception was very friendly and helpful. They seemed busy and had lots of work in. My car passed without any problems and I paid £27.42 as I'd booked the test on the internet. Someone who paid for hers when I was there paid the full £54.85 fee, as she had booked hers by phone. I would use this garage again, but I'd book on line
  • kevin
    Disgusting service ! My ford Fusion broke a cam belt.. halfords fixed it ! 10 months later the head gasket blew ! ...in the last 3 weeks they have replaced the head 3 times ! bunch of cowboys ...the last mechanic fitted the head wrong and bent 6 valves ! complete tossers
  • Michael
    Broke down on M5 last week, A A eventually towed my just 3 year old V W Golf Gt sports model of to a place of safety, put his diagnostics on, couldnt locate problem , advised he should tow me to nearest Halfords Autocentre-Bedminster Bristol, what a mistake that was, hardly any mechanics, filthy toilets,poor premises promised to call me with diagnosis, never did! I called several times, very apathetic, eventually manager told me it could be one of a thousand things, & the car could be with them for weeks before they could fix it, I compained back to A A , they should have never have taken me to a bunch of cowboys, the car then was taken to V W Bristol, fantastic ! they found within hours fault was third injector, & as car was just out of warranty, V W paid for £850 repair, how close was I of being ripped of with Halfords, will be taking my experience up with A A & Halfords
  • Jon
    I have been reading the comments on here. If anyone is any doubt can I just mention the fact that a certain Lex/Autocentre manager near to Swindon was charged and convicted of fraud a few years ago... ie. ripping customers off! I am pleased to say that I was instrumental in achieving this conviction along with 3 other ex-customers all of whom having been fraudulently ripped-off. Unforunately they tried to rip-off a fully qualified, but retired motor mechanic. Never underestimate who your next customer is going to be Halfords Auto Centres it might just turn out they actually are more engineering qualified than you think! I now use a 1 man band private mechanic for my servicing and repairs and in 5 years have nothing but praise for his workmanship and standards.
  • steve
    took vehicle for mot at halfords northampton engine running perfectly,collected car which had developed misfire whilst at garage.told by them new ignition coils were needed art a cost of 232.00,checke connections my self found that a plug lead had mysteriouslly,become disconnected,put back on engine running fine could it have bewen tampererd with?i knoe what i think!
  • melanie n.
    Bought my car to autocentre halford in woolwich for its mot spoke to chris the manager over the phone seemed really nice, said he didnt have no space being fully booked, but happen to be able to fit me in the next morning, told me that he has never failed an honda jazz, also all about his sons had everything that boys could ask for, even a second living room for his sons. a few hours later he phoned me at work to tell me that it wasnt good news that my car had failed its mot and to repair it would cost me £415 i was really shocked as it had just been service by an honda dealership in march. after talking to collegues at work they asked me to query it, i phoned him back he then told me that he will do it for £380. a collegues gave me a number for an independent mechanic who quoted me a £150. I left work confused as to what was going on after telling chris how much i was quoted he imediately told me he would do it for £200, i reported him to head office and taking it further , my car is in a garage because after autocentre had it the lighter stop working and i want an independent report. Now i know how his boys has everything, how many people have they robbed
  • jane l.
    took my car to halfords in lincolnin the town centre for a mot 27.00 wot a surprise not wen it failed on the head lights needed alineing new they wer ok as they said the same thing the year before on trittin road so i took it to vw garage they tested them for FREE halfords wanted twelve pound vw said there fine took it back lee the manager wasnt happy said hed have to check them and guess wot it passed. apparently they do this all tha time a few month before halfords on tritton road tried to tell me i neede a new radiator because hed seen a spot of water where it had been parked husband wiped the floor with him and he just stuttered and gave up dont use halfords there all rip offs
  • Mrs P.
    I took my son's car to Halfords in Winchester. When I told the man at reception that the car was 18 years old he said that they 'destroy vehicles of that age' even before seeing the vehicle. I should have walked away at this point but didn't. Was called to say that it had failed on headlight alignment, emmissions, and rust underneath, requiring a total spend of approximately £500. I took the vehicle away and booked it in to another test centre. The car passed first time with no spend! I have since been told exactly the same from a friend about Halfords Autocentre in Winchester. DO NOT USE THEM!
  • Barney B.
    Not just on Cars. I'm 51, and in the past have worked in retail & used to run my own company. I've been camping since I was 14 and have loads of kit but needed, (another), (to add to my other three), tent. So I got one of the cheap Urban Escape Altai 2 Man Tents, took it home, put it up to "check" it and it promply fell appart. (The webbing staps that hold it together had been cut 8 inches to short so when I inserted the Flexi poles they tore out the retaining rings). So I took it back and asked for a refund, the Manager said, "Oh its been used, we don't do refunds on used kit". I explained that I had not used it, just put it up to see how it went together, but he pointed at the small print on the reciept that said no refunds after tents had been pitched. we went at it for half an hour to the extent that I had the "Sale of goods act" up on my iPhone, but he still refused invoking the clause on the reciept, that was untill I pointed out that that they could write what they liked, I still had my statutory rights. It was only when I was ringing Trading standards that he gave in. So I took the money, left, and will never use them again, so remember keep pushing and they will give in.......
  • ACD
    I can't even begin to tell you the nightmare I've had with Halfords Autocenter in Oxford. The saga runs from lying about taking my car out for a test drive, badly fitting parts AND not fitting genuine parts (which I found out when taking my car to another garage after Halfords in Oxford being unable to fix the loud noise coming from the car after the work they'd done). Lying to me about doing work that I know subsquently they didn't do and finally, when speaking to head office, being agressively shouted out by one of their regional managers. I can't stress this strongly enough - do not take your car to one of these centers.
  • Ray D.
    Thanks a lot. I shall certainly give Halfords a miss and stick to the VW main dealer who sold me the car. So it costs me a bit more, but better safe than sorry. As the saying goes "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is"
  • jb
    former worker for nationwide/halfords autocentre in birmingham and can cant understand how you all got such bad experiences? unless it varies from centre to centre but my centre very very rarely had major complaints and all my colleagues were extreamly good mechanics. although i would agree with peoples veiws on pricing, i used to think it was a tad expensive. we were always complimented in our work. all the centres are septate and run different, so one or even a few bad centres dont make them all bad. id recommend my former centre to a friend any day of the week!
  • Subash
    The experience I have had with Honda Civic Ex is with Halfords centre in New Haw. I took the vehicle for routine MoT and 2 tyre changes, which I was expecting after 5 years of run. They found out that electric motor on power steering was not working and the quoted £650. I had a small idol of lord krishna on the dashboard and the mechanic said it will fail the MoT since there should be nothing on the dashboard. Nationwide never raised it in my 2 prior MoT visits; strange. They removed it and left a mark on the leather covering on dashboard. To make things worse; they said the brake shoe on the front is below the required thickness and needs replacement. It would cost £150. Overall on the top of a major service that I had booked (33K miles and 5 years old) my bill will be around £16K. I am sure; it is a rip off. Not sure; how to get this verified and cross-checked as the local Honda dealer is an even bigger rip off. They quoted 158 for the standard Mitchellen tyre when Halfords quoted 138 for the same car. And for service they quoted £275 and for A/c servicing £118+VAT. Halfords was better there; they quoted £230 and £58. With AA discount the prices came down further. So, in the end it kind of gives you a mixed feeling that; may be I was ripped off and may be I did save some money on some other items. Not sure; !!! Looks like one way or other they are destined to cone you and make some money; no matter who you approach.
  • John D.
    Halfords autocentre, Derby, simply avoid. Expect an incomplete job and a steering wheel fully oiled by the mechanic. Still waiting to hear regarding my complaint...not much hope really.
  • Mike
    I brought my Mercedes for a service to Ha*ford’s west London a few weeks back only to find out while traveling next day the windscreen washer warning low level flagged up. As it is part of the service to have it topped up I became a bit suspicious and had a closer look. One of the jets was also squirting over the roof. When I checked the work carried out the bill showed £30 extra for oil for engines over 2.2cc. My engine is 2.1. Was also overcharged by £20 for mot. The windscreen treatment which I didn’t understand at the time was not done, found out later when someone from another garage explained to me. I had a box in the boot for my sat nav and bits and pieces this was tipped over and everything strewn around the boot may have happened when checking spare wheel, also what looked like rubber marks around the rims of the rear wheels?? What else did they do or not do? I don’t know. Did they change the oil filters etc. I don’t know and I can’t prove. They didn’t even stamp the service book which was inside the car without me having to ask them to do so. I did manage to get a £50 refund for the over charging. W A R N I N G………….. S T E E R C L E A R. If you do bring your car there make sure you stay and oversee the work carried out. I have totally lost my trust in these people and refused a free interim service. I believe innocent motorists are being ripped off by these people. STAY AWAY. Crooks
  • gordon
    Booked an MOT online and was given a confirmation of date and time. Took the day off work and just before leaving, picked up a message to state that the appointment was cancelled and I can have another one the next day instead. No use to me when I have taken a holiday day from work! When I called them back, the manager was completely unfazed by the problem they have caused and stated that the online booking system was a farce, not connected in any way to his paper diary and that he had tried telling head office it didn't work. In any event, they couldn't help me til next week and had nothing else to recommend other than giving me head office complaint number. Completely unacceptable service. Will never use them again.
  • Paul C.
    Oh, the joy of reading similar experiences from many different people regarding Halfords Autocentres - makes my story all the more believable. I went online and booked my car in for a 1/2 price MOT at Stafford's Halford Autocentre (Lichfield Road Island Garage). Apart from the occasional bulb and a water-damaged number plate a couple of years ago, my 53-plate Ford Fiesta usually gets passed without any drama, I expected this time would be the same. The manager MARK O' CALLAGHAN gave me a call to tell me the car had failed on several points, namely the brake pipes on all four wheels which were 'excessively corroded' and would need to be replaced in order for the car to get through the MOT. He quoted a total of £460 for the work to be done. I was suspicious that a half-price MOT would encourage a garage to find things wrong in order to make up the cheap price and was pretty sure that the pipes were ok. I arranged to return the car at the end of that week to have the work done and simply paid for just the half-price MOT - nothing more. This gave me time to ring Arnold Clarke who have worked on the car several times before without any drama or fuss. I explained the situation and although they would not give me a second opinion (stating a conflict of interest?), agreed to look at the car, replace any pipes that were required (quoting £346 - over £100 cheaper) and put the car through a new/full MOT. After about 3 hours they called to say that the car had passed the MOT without problem, none of the brake pipes needed replacing!! All that was required was to clean up the pipes and grease them to prevent further corrosion. Total cost of preventative maintenance and a full-price MOT, just over £113. Maybe 10 years ago I owned a Rover 200. At some point the car overheated and I took it to the same garage which at that time was probably a National Autocentre, maybe with some of the same staff. They told me a new cylinder head gasket was required and they would have to send the head away to be skimmed (the cylinder block may have been distorted due to the overheating), otherwise the same problem may arise again. I remember a figure of around nearly £600 was verbally mentioned. I took the car to a small local garage instead and they found a blocked water pipe which was likely to have caused the overheat - charged me £30-40 and the car ran without problem until it was sold. IN MY EXPERIENCE THIS PARTICULAR GARAGE IS RIPPING PEOPLE OFF - DO NOT USE HALFORDS AUTOCENTRE (LICHFIELD ROAD ISLAND) IN STAFFORD AND DO NOT DEAL WITH MARK O'CALLAGHAN.
  • Jess A.
    I also was lured into taking my car for a half price MOT with the Bath branch of Halfords Autocentre. It seems by reading the posts here to be a similar story. My car failed miserably to the tune of £442 before VAT. I was unhappy to say the least and queried what it had failed on at the time ( wheel bearing, brake pads, tyres, headlight alignment and sidelight bulbs) as i only had my wheel bearing replaced a few years ago. As I only do around 6k miles a year I was suspicious so took the car away to the garage I normally use to be told that I didn't need a wheel bearing, there was slight play in it but certainly not a fail only an advisory. The headlamp alignment was Free as opposed to halfords wanting £13 per bulb! What a bunch of idiots, clearly didn't know what he was talking about as when I said about my bearing he advised me that maybe my hub should also be replaced if its gone that quickly. Now although I'm a woman I know that when I had it done last time you can't buy just bearings for my car it needs to be the full hub and bearing assembly with ABS sensor that gets replaced, was he just ignorant or telling me porky pies? I am of the opinion that Halfords are ripping people off by overcharging and claiming extra work needs doing. Very disappointing service indeed but at least I have learnt my lesson with trying to save £20 on an MOT! In the end I paid to have the work done and another MOT done elsewhere, costing me £270, still a lot less that Halfords wanted!
  • Paul C.
    (update from original posting on September 19th 2011) Just to remind you all, my car failed it's MOT at the Stafford branch of Halford Autocentres due to 'excessively corroded brake pipes' and I was going to be charged £460. In the end all that was needed was a little TLC (cleaning up and greasing), nothing needed replacing and I only had to pay out £58. On the Halfords Autocentre website, I asked for a name and address to which I could send a written complaint/statement about my experience. I was contacted by a regional manager who asked what the problem was - so I retold the story and we had 'an interesting conversation'. His basic opinion and viewpoint regarding my experience:- Halfords have a policy of renewal, rather than repair, therefore if they see something wrong on your car they will simply advise you to have a replacement fitted. They will not try to repair or maintain the existing item even if it is cost effective to do so. In the case of my brake pipes, they obviously took a very quick look at them and did not even try to brush them off or attempt to clean them up, they weren't interested. At no point did they tell me that 'it might be possible to clean them up' or 'if we see a problem our policy is to simply replace the part and we will not try to fix it.' He also correctly stated that all MOT test centres are operated by VOSA and can be visited and inspected at any time without notice, and can be closed down should any malpractice be discovered. If my car had been passed and I was later involved in an accident which was proved to be caused by faulty brakes, the test centre in question could have their licence to conduct MOT tests taken away, potentially affecting 200+ branches. Halfords Autocentres have a reputation to keep up, he stated. I replied that Arnold Clark also have a large number of branches and a reputation at stake and they had no problem with putting the car successfully through its MOT - without even an advisory note regarding brake pipes. They were happy to maintain/repair the offending pipes, a job which took much less time and effort to do and created a much lower bill for myself. They could easily have said that the pipes did need changing and charged me £346 as quoted - the bottom line is 'they were honest and only did the work which actually needed doing'. Halfords Autocentre 'replacement centre' are not a garage in the true sense of the word. In these times of austerity and careful spending, they should be trying to keep the costs down and saving people money by maintaining rather than replacing. Aren't we trying to cut down on the amount of waste we all create? Halfords - your policy is both short-sighted and fraudulant. In this particular case you wanted to replace parts which simply did not need replacing - fact. You have lost my trust and any future business from both myself and probably many more who have read this review page. Many thanks to Arnold Clark for restoring my faith in car repairs - you have my recommendation.
  • d***
    as a former employee of halfords autocentre i can completely understand how you all feel. they are rip off bastards and i walked out because i was made to replace a part which didnt need changing. its management. they target you on how much you can 'sell' on a vehicle. ie how much you can find wrong. most of the mechanics are very good mechanics but i gaurantee you will be ripped off if you go there. cant wait till a trading standards car goes into a centre....worcester would be a good choice. as for MOTS, if you query an MOT fail it is the TESTERS head it will fall on. the tester is virtually an self employed mech when testing and is acting on behalf of VOSA. what he says, goes. BUT they are very pressured to rush them and to fail what should be advisory items. THE FAVOURITES FOR SERVICE AND MOT FAILS IS BRAKES. so be careful. if in doubt get a quote and take the car away to be checked over. there favourite saying is ' they wont make it untill next service or MOT'. this means theres at least 5 mm left on pads and discs are still within spec but slightly lipped. 5 mm depending on how you drive you will easily get another 3-5000 miles out of them!!
  • Debby D.
    The Halfords Auto branch in worthing is the old Nationwide auto place. I hope Halfords changes the staff. Took my car in for an MOT when it was Nationwide, I'd checked it over myself anyway as I always do. The guys managed to find "a couple of faults" which "I maybe overlooked' and needed expensive replacements. They were so obviously hacked and damaged recently. I've looked after my own car for nearly 11 years. I'd notice. Complete rip off and untrustworthy gang. Hope they've been moved on to prisons new.
  • Rebekah E.
    What a Nightmar!e.NEVER take your car to Halfords autocentre Bridgend.Hubbys car broke down, just cut out, recovery vehicle recomended taking it to Halfords as they were well equiped, worse thing could have ever done.They told us we needed new starter motor(which would have to be imported as it was an old toyota) at a cost of £437 plus needed new alternator belt£46,nearly choked but nevertheless needed the car doing so my father in law generously offered to pay so gave them the go ahead.they said it would be fitted the next day and they contact us(thought the next day a bit quick for an imported part???) anyway next day and no contact from them so rang them they said it was running but everytime they took the car out and stopped it stalled but they couldnt figure out why so they werent happy with it so would keep trying to find out why its doing this,another 2 days went by and still nothing so we rung, they said it would be ready by end of day but on arrival said it still wasnt right and they were scratching their heads as to what wrong with it so next day rang them again they said to pick it up end of day,so picked up car father in law paid £483 within half an hour of leaving there bubbing noise form engine and it cut out on busy dual carriageway and water everywhere leaking out of engine,took over an hour to be recovered and Halfords closed by then so next day it went back to Halfords,still no communication from then after 2 days father in law popped down there and was told they fixed the water problem and the car would be ready end of day,rang again later to be told they were doing a compression test,next day went down there told the Head Gasket had gone,found this really strange as it had a new head gasket in 2010,they basically told us to contacted the person who fitted it to see if under warranty,not happy as I'm convinced they have done something to cause this supposed to be getting us a quote but dont think gonna have it done with them somehow,feel absolutely ripped off and gutted paid so much out for nothing,cant wait to get car from there,Never ever again and feel like contacting Head Office!!
  • s88nty
    bunch of jokers rip off merchants never go NEVER
  • former e.
    fuckin robbing twats , i use to work there , i have audio and video evidence of fraud activity with the fleet car s, lying about brake measurements. all retails mot s ,they are told to fail headlamp aims and lye about brake imbalances ...i am goin to report my findings to watchdog
  • m
    And you think dealers are better do you? Cock, shout when you know what your talking about
  • mark
    Took my vauxhall to Halfords Autocentre worthing because some warning lights on. Was told had run low on oil and engine was ruined. It would cost me £1700-2000 for a new engine. I knew this was overly expensive so got a quote from a local garage which was £1200 for a recon engine. Meanwhile Halfords filled up the oil. The warning lights went out and the car was running fine. Took the car to the local garage for a new engine. They laughed when they heard that I had been to Halfords and said that it sounded fine and did not need a new engine. No problems since. Two months later a colleague to her car to the same branch for a service. Was told it needed £800 of work, so I told her to get another opinion. Was told by another garage that all that was wrong was a worn brake pad. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions. We will be reporting them to Trading Standards.
  • Vincent M.
    I took my ford focus to the Cardiff branch for £27 mot. They not only put £25 phoney charges on but damaged my bumper and said it was not them and I know it was its going to cost me £450 to fix it and have written to David Wild the company CEO. The manager at the Cardiff branch is a total scum bag don't ever use them.
  • Malcom
    Lost my trust in halford's. I am an ex mechanic and when I listened to the bull shit they tried to tell me about work needed doing and a windscreen treatment they didn't apply which was part of service they carried out. If you are getting service carried out find a way of marking the old oil/fuel filters as a rub of a cloth will leave them looking like new. This has happened in a London branch to someone I know and they got caught out. Settlement was reached with manager and a promise that mechanic involved would be dealt with, Issue taken no further. I personally class this activity as criminal and anyone who becomes a victim don't leave for head office to deal. GO TO THE POLICE AS THIS IS A CRIMINAL MATTER AND CRIMINALS MUST BE DEALT WITH BY THE LAW. Look out and be alert for people trying to con you. Sometimes its the ones you least expect.
  • Lee
    I took my car to Halfords in Barking, taking up the offer of a half price MOT. I had recently spent a lot of money preparing it having brakes, tyres, shocks, exhaust etc. I thought it would go through fine with maybe something little. I was shocked when the manager Kevin I think phoned me to tell me it had failed on two headlights, 2 bushes and the arms, and other bits and it would cost nearly £500 but could reduce it to £400 for me. My gut feeling was it was not right so next day I took it to a local well known garage who passed it straight through saying my car has been well looked after and in good condition and those parts are fine. DO NOT USE THEM. Disgusting they were going to rip me, and my young family off, all my money is now for my daughters Christmas, not some conman!!!
  • charlotte
    took my volvo to halfords bury st edmunds for MOT left it and when they rang to tell me my car had failed, they told me it had failed on something that i had just had replaced, which got me suspicious. so took the car away and rang a small garage and asked them to do a pre MOT. they did this and there was nothing wrong with the car. passed its MOT the next day with no work needed! they are a bunch of cowboys just out for making your life harder. rip off never go there again.
  • Ben
    Hey all, Kinda wishing I had seen this before I took my car in for a service. Not really clued up on cars so I'm guessing that made me a soft target. My total cost incl service and mot was just over £1000 ! I was told my one front brake wasnt working, which I kinda knew cause i wasnt particularily braking well, and my tyres needed replacing. Here's a break down of what I paid if anyone is able to give it a squizz and tell me what they think? Anitfreeze £35 + £2 disposal cost FR Disc and Pads £130 Slider Clean and Re Lubricate £27.50 Track Rod End £80 x 2 Wheel Align £39.99 Bearing Rear £90 CV Gaiter £108.84 Wiper Blades £20 Washing Motor £46.87 185/55r15 £121.18 New Valve £3.98 Wheel Balancing £13.98 Rear Exhaust Mount Collapsed 28.69 Full Service £158.54 Mot Fee £50.46
  • johnny
    Ben, they obviously saw you coming! Steer well clear!
  • Stewart
    Yesterday I took my 06 Corsa into Halfords, Newcastle, as authorised by Warranty Direct for a replacement radiator. Prior to taking car in I took photos of the radiator in situ. Work was completed on schedule and whilst at garage I attempted to open the bonnet, however, the mechanic had failed to secure the bonnet release correctly and therefore bonnet would not open. Another mechanic then got it on the ramps, disengaged the bonnet lock and secured it correctly. I noticed at this time that the previous long-life geniune Vauxhall Coolant, which was fresh and clean, had been replaced for a 2 year coolant (obviously this will be paid for under Warranty but really was unneccessary). Today I made a closer inspection of the repair and found that the radiator had not been secured to the top radiator/body catch correctly (infact it had been missed completely) and was actually held in place by the tightness between the catch and the radiator itself. I also noticed that whilst the fan shroud should of been bolted to the radiator housing (which it had been previously) , the nearside bolt was missing and it had actually been cable-tied to the radiator. I have complained to Warranty Direct, who just pointed me towards Halford Autocentres complaint office (of course no phone number) and the car is returning to Halford tommorrow for the work to be completed. In summary this is the first time I have used Halfords and as of tommorrow will be my last and of course my renewal of my Warranty Direct policy will be cancelled. The work completed was neither up to standard or in my opinion safe as the radiator was not correctly secure and whilst I could of changed the rad "properly" myself for under £50, it has actually cost me 80 miles of petrol, £25 for the excess, several hours of undue down time and in the coming days a further £20 for replacement Genuine Vauxhall coolant. Of course, had I not also checked the car at the garage, I would not of been able to open the bonnet again so adding a further cost for another garage to open it. NEVER AGAIN!
  • Mazda B.
    Just wanted to say thank you to all the reviewers. Booked my car in to a local Halford Auto Center, thought I would be getting a good deal on £27 MOT, after reading these reviews took it to a local garage instead. Paid £40 for the MOT but it passed with a couple of advisories that i'll sort when I have the money. After reading the above reviews and a special thank you to Paul C (Review posted • September 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm) i'm in no doubt Halford's would've failed my car and wanted to replace the parts. Glad that i've saved £27 and gave the £40 to a local mechanic. This many bad reviews can't be wrong. Just goes to show that big companies/corporations can't do better for less. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESSES!
  • Mark F.
    Halfords are a total rip off, youve failed your MOT before they have even looked at your car, then they hit you with a bill to rectify faults that they have made up. Took my car into the Sutton Surrey Branch, it failed, bill was over £300 to put right, i declined and took my car to another garage the following day and it passed. Dont go to Halfords, i will be reporting them to every organisation i can.
  • kevin b.
    Halfords what atotal rip off, they failed my car on flexi brake pipes at the front, then charged me £114 to fit, the pipes only cost £9 each from Volvo, they did not need doing as i'm a mechanic they then changed both track rod ends which had slight play but not a failure as they put them down as advisory and charged me £65 each, these are priced from GSF as £13.25 each they also put oil in with out asking and charged me £23 in all the MOT cost me £320. THE MANAGER THEN TOLD ME THATS THE PRICE PARTS A TOTAL LIAR, ASK FOR A RESPONSE FROM THE AREA MANAGER AND STILL WAITING FOR HIS EXCUSES DONT USE HALFORDS THEY ARE CRAP AND A TTAL RIP OFF
  • Mike
    Halfords Autocentre in Shrewsbury - same as other stories - booked in for MOT as it was the cheapest on offer. They are desperate for work and came up with brake pads, disks, headlight alignment and even a brand new alloy wheel. The bloke told me my rear wheel was like an egg !! All in on it together - the bloke behind the desk, the manager, the mechanic and the other one sweeping the floor were asking each other ho bad it was and each one mad eit sound worse. So, I took it elsewhere today, paid a bit more fo the MOT, they said it needed brake pads only which they fitted immediately, and not I have the certificate. I lost £27 and plenty of time, but it could have been hundreds. NEVER trust Halfords Autocentre in SHREWSBURY. Dishonest cowboys.
  • Miss J.
    I just booked my older style nissan micra in with Halfords and he said for brake shoes and wheel cyclinder and fitting to get through MOT it would be £337.93!!! I said to the manager are you competitive and decided to call another small independent gagarge the man quoted £120.00 including fitting get lost Halfords !!!!!!
  • not h.
    I took my car in today, Northern branch (would rather not specify) because I lost an indicator and needed this repairing, so thought I would get both done. Assumed they would sort the bulb before the test but no-also failed it on loads of other stuff, £400 I was quoted and told that driving it away and bringing it back another day was essentialyl illegal and I would not be insured, but that they would be able to do it within the hour. I was wary, so called a mechanic friend, who said the parts would be maximum £70 and he could fit them! Went back to Halfords, one last go at 'scaremongering' me about driving it, but when I insisted, they dropped the price by £80! Still wasn't having it though- not happy as have paid £54.00 for a test and bulb, and will have to get it re tested when my friend has done the work, but better than the £400 they wanted!!
  • COWBOYS S.
    Use Eastbourne branch of Halfords Autocentre - Cost £27.50 half price MOT - failed on 3 things as I expected. They quoted over £370 to have two tyres fitted and rear brakes on my 54 plate Astra. I said I would get the work done cheaper elsewhere - they said that was ok. I got the work done for £250 at National Tyres - that included two quality Firestone tyres rather than the cheap ones Halfords tried to offer me! Then I called to book the re-test - they want another £27.50 because I got the work done elsewhere!!!!! RIP-OFFS - not a single person mentioned this at the garage, its not in the small print when you book online either! All it says on the failed MOT letter they give you "there may be a charge for a re-test". Awful service in my opinion. They also tried to encourage me to get a load of other work done, which was not needed - including rear lights being worn! Attitude of the receptionist was awful too, they also changed my booking time by 3 hours. I will stick to using JUST MOTS in Bexhill for the future!
  • Pretty o.
    Halfords autocentre in chesterfield, fixed the fuel injection pump and within 10 miles the turbo blew and seized the engine as it ran out of control and out of oil. They did not want to know, "not our fault", not properly road tested I would say. I am going after them, bunch of bike mechanics, next time I will go to Motec in Sheffield, small is often better!
  • DO G.
    Not sure about the other garages but the one in Welwyn garden city is a waste of time and there a bunch of thief’s. Had my MOT booked with them took it in and they told me had a load of problems took it to another garage which I use on a regular basis and they said everything was fine and just advised me that my tyres will need changing soon. JUST DONT US THEM
  • Warning!
    Took my car to Halfords Taunton for a half price MOT, what a joke! Firstly they commented that I might be concerned about "breaking a nail" - (!) what a cheek, just because I'm female. They then proceeded to fail my car on emissions - even though my emissions test print-out showed it passed on every test! Then they couldnt make up their minds whether it was emissions or a blown exhaust - however when I asked to see the old exhaust (which i took away from the test centre with me) they had to admit it hadn't actually blown, but "was about to" - even though my MOT test certificate cites this as one of the reasons for failure. Then I had to pay for another part which they broke while removing the middle exhaust! Unfortunately for them I have a law degree and work for an international top 30 law firm - definitely wont be letting this one drop!! Just hope I can stop others using them and getting ripped off - watchdog anyone??
  • Can't c.
    Mot half price. Failed on brakes and emissions. The brakes were a surprise but I had a feeling the emissions would be an issue as my car burns a fair bit of oil hence shot cat. New cat fitted and brakes cleaned by me then back for free partial re test the next day. New Mot and another years motoring for less than £100, so I'm happy. Can understand that people get ripped off by these sort of places all the time but think its only fair to comment that I actually had a very pleasant experience with Halfords auto centre Sittingbourne. Very helpful and honest branch manager too.
  • Sun D.
    Great work! This is the type of info that are meant to be shared across the net. Disgrace on Google for not positioning this publish upper! Come on over and visit my site . Thank you =)
  • B
    IF YOU HAVE AN ENDLESS AMOUNT OF TIME AND MONEY TO WASTE THEN TAKE YOUR CAR TO HALFORDS AUTOCENTRE IN CHEADLE!! Recomened by the A.A who should be ashamed of themselves. My car was taken to this garage when my cam belt broke and was lured in by the offer of A.A discounts. 3 months later during my cars MOT an oil leak was found due to the engine not being out back together properly by the "mechanics" in Cheadle. I took my car back for the oil leak to be repaired by Halfords who said the work would be done for free (if it was even done at all). A month later my power steering fails due to a slipped belt caused by the oil leak that was caused and supposedly fixed by the incompetents at Halfords Autocentre Cheadle. When I made a comlaint to the superviser he was rude and dismissive and of course made no attempt to promote the skill and work ethic of his staff as he probably didnt want to come across as a bare faced liar as well as a crook!! THIS PLACE IS AN ABSOLUTE JOKE!!
  • i c.
    leave cheadle alone !!!!!!!!!
  • Kiko86
    I took my car for its MOT at the Burton on Trent branch today and was surprised to get a call telling me it had failed. As a young woman I assume the manager thought I was stupid/naive and that I'd take what he said as gospel. He advised me that my car had failed on 2 clear items - the brake pads/discs and the steering. He continued to explain what good condition my car is in and how it had no advisories at all. He quoted me £87 for the steering and £182 for the brakes which according to him were "worn out". He then told me he could order the parts and do the work that day if I paid over the phone. I decided to get in touch with someone I know who is a mechanic who told me the price seemed excessive so to get the work done elsewhere. I went to collect my car and the manager was clearly not happy that he would not be getting his commission so was quite short with me. He then handed me my failed MOT certificate. When I got home I read this over and was amazed to see that the car had indeed failed on the steering but the front brakes were quite clearly in the advisory section and on the attached invoice it stated the brakes issue was 'Amber' and therefore should be monitored but would not have caused my car to fail. I am absolutely disgusted with how I was conned by Halfords, luckily I am not stupid enough to hand over my card details after being told that all the work was necessary for my vehicle to pass, however had I not sought advice from somebody else I could have quite easily believed what i was told and paid out unnecessarily. I would like a response and your thoughts on this matter.
  • Kiko86
    Sorry the above was copied and pasted from my complaint email to halfords - please ignore the end bit!!
  • Ron B.
    I have used the Halifax branch of Halfords for the last two years for repairs, servicing and MOTs. I have nothing but praise for the manager and his team.All work was carried out economically and efficiently. The whole team appear to be keen on their jobs and after years of searching for a decent garage I have been completely satisfied with my dealings with my local Halfords. I will continue to give them my business.
  • North c.
    I am a current employee of Halfords Autocentres & I would like to say 99% of the mechanics try to be honest & do a good job for the customer. The problem in my case is the Regional Manager! Him & his sidekick instruct the centre managers to get sales no matter if that means selling things that dont need doing, putting MOT's on car that shouldn't pass & failing others that should pass! They both call themselves "The Untouchables" because they can do what they want & customers & our own Head Office cant touch them! He regularly receives tickets for football matches & other "Payments" for using certain suppliers & openly brags about this ! The utter lack of respect he has for customers & his staff is appalling! The sooner Mr Benson & Halfords Autocentres realise what a crook they have working for them the better!
  • Alan R.
    I also work for Halfords Autocentres and mostly agree with comments made by --"Posted by North West Regional Manager is a crook " Since Halfords took over it has got steadily worse I can no longer describe them as a "Place you can trust" It is SALES DRIVEN now, customers are secondary .
  • jack j.
    failed mot at halfords and was told brakes no good so took it to another garage and guess what it passed with flying colours untrust worthy idiots
  • type1carl
    I worked for halfords next to an autocentre, I only worked there as I couldnt find anything else after finishing my degree at university and I must say its an awful company to work for, more or less everything in there is of extremely poor quality as is the way it is run, I was a duty manager and often found myself overhearing managers being dishonest and selling people products they really didnt need to get better sales for the store, I know its the area managers etc who tell them to but still its not on. I had the misfortune of getting my beetle mot'd on saturday at the autocentre next door, they failed it on a repair underneath which was in no way structural, when I questioned them, they took me over and told me as the body and chassis is all one on them like a modern car which is odd as they are separate. also a wheel bearing was gone they said and on fitting a new one I found absolutely nothing wrong with the one they failed it on. I still have it, I might write to vosa and tell them of this as its appaulling. Im steering clear of them and would advise everyone else to in the future.
  • Lulu
    Wish I had read all these reviews before I went to them Halfords, Acton. It was for a mere job of changing brake-pads and discs for the front wheels. 6mths ago the interim service showed nothing wrong with the car barring the recommendation to replace the brakes (an important reason to fail the MOT). Not to be caught out we decided to have that done anyway. Halfords quickly 'sold' me a special price of the brakes, MOT and service which was due two weeks later anyway, and stupid me caught carried away by their great discount and went in for the works--brakes, MOT & Service. Needless to say the car failed the MOT on several grounds and they declared that the car would be illegal on the road in that condition. Then guess what, the costs went up, and the entire 'project' took several days. Fortunately I had extra insurance cover on some parts and that helped a bit. Finally took the car home to find that something was not right with the steering. A warning light would come on each time I started the car. Back to the Centre. Left it for 2 days, no luck with the replacement part, brought the car home. Then back again, no mechanic this time. Why they couldn't get the part and the mechanic in place before they called for the car in, I have not been able to fathom till now. I make a fifth attempt, this time after calling everyday to make sure its OK to bring the car in. Finally, I take the car in on 30th April (yes, few days ago), and till now the car is there---wrong part again. My car is a Chrysler, PT Cruiser. I asked the Manager at Halfords that if the problem was a mere part why couldn't they put the original Chrysler part? No, they can't, its too expensive. If Halfords know that Chrysler parts are exorbitant then why do they remove parts when they have no intention of replacing with the originals. After having written to their Head Office, and all the stress of no car, I am finally offered a courtesy car. Let see what happens now..this is like a horror serial on TV, getting worse and worse. I repeat---all the reviews are right---DO NOT touch Halfords!!
  • Lulu
    My saga with Halfords Acton isn't over yet. It all started when I went in for a change of brake pads on 3rd Mar.... This is my update. Its 17th May. A week of courtesy car later I get my own car back! Can I say "Finally"? NO-- for I drive home only to discover that now the horn is not working. The Manager is informed of this, and he tries to fob it off as a new problem. Halfords are a bunch of cheats who hire inexperienced mechanics expert at taking their customers for a ride. Do yourselves a favour and don't get trapped by their money-making schemes. Remember, it'll all start with a discounted offer for an MOT.
  • Lulu
    To end this whole matter, and with no confidence in Halfords Auto-centre's workmanship or competence anymore, I finally get the repair work sorted out by the car dealer. At least they use genuine parts and not some generic crap! Undoubtedly, they are not cheap but at least it was done within a couple of hours. Now the horn's fine, the diagnostics back to normal AND the fog-lights are working. Wait till BBC watchdog gets wind of this. Need to get some integrity back in their system!
  • amv
    Halfords near crossgates. Absolute looting. Unnecessary recommendation of several part changes. All parts are priced almost double. I recently had my Honda acccord serviced by them. I used to service my old car with them for many years. This time I checked the price of a tyre they replaced. Charged me almost double for the same tyre compared to another local retailer. I had my tyres and brake pads changed recently and ran less than 10000 miles, and still they put a red mark for my tyres and brake pads. I still cant believe that they have been looting me for many years. The way they put it, you will believe them, but make sure that you check it at least online before you commit any repair from them. Good luck with anybody who still want to go to them.
  • EChen
    At my last MOT on my Ford Focus I was advised that the rear brake disks were rusty round the outside and they suggested I have them replaced at £150.00. I declined. Had major service at HalfordsAutocentre in Southampton. Cost £277.00. No mention of rusty brake disks, even on the MOT failure under the new VOSA rules about integrity of ball joint dust covers that required replacement of both front lower suspension arms and a track rod end. Got vehicle home to find Engine oil way over max and the coolant header tank almost empty. I have been a Nationwide Autocentre customer for over 20 years but I will not be going back to Halfords. It is not rocket science to get these simple tasks right and everyone knows the implications of getting it wrong, apart, maybe, for Halfords Autocentre mechanics. Wish I'd read the preceding reviews a week ago........................
  • wayne
    Just found this forum and have to say that my experiences with halfords auto centers is completely different , i have just finished using a main dealer for all vehicle repairs on our small fleet due to all the above reasons , halfords however have been the best we have tried out so far , the prices are always accurate and much lower than others , work always finished on time , booking in is quite quick and nothing else we can fault . the center manager goes that extra mile to help and make sure you get the best price , and is always happy to price match anyone and beat them if possible , not something you get at a main dealer . The branch is Newhaven East Sussex .
  • Patrick
    I am not suprised by the number of adverse comments about Halford's. I run a small business with a good reputation in Camberley Surrey. We have two Vans and a Volvo estate car for the business as we are a mobile business. For the last 2 years we have had a catalogue of issues with the Camberley Halfords Autocentre over repairs not done, work they can't do themselves for lack of equipment and culmanating most recently in releasing a van without road testing following repairs to steering (which hadn't been done)which very nearly resulted in a major accident. The van in question ended up being sent to a Suzuki repairer. We have had problems with their aggressive atitude, a manager who is never there when you need him and no replies to phone calls and so on. Needless to say we have now drawn a line under this relationship as we can no longer afford to continue with these people's code of practise, their unreliability and dangerous poor service and I would suggest anyone reading this do the same. Don't deal with them.
  • jon d.
    Don't use them! They fitted back pads and discs last year incorrectly, and failed them on the MOT this year. They wanted £80 to discover why the back brakes were inefficient. I took the car to an independent who told me that they were incorrectly fitted. Halfords also wanted £25 to replace a bulb on the rear number plate, when I went to their own Halfords parts centre, picked two bulbs up for £3 and fitted them myself (very very easy). I found out that apparently they give the mechanics sales incentives to sell more parts, and give them holiday days as a incentive.
  • Serena
    I have just read the above comments and although Halfords have received some bad press recently it may be worthwhile considering that there are many other companies in the same situation-they need to be customer driven in order to meet unrealistic sales targets. My son works for Halfords and he enjoys his work, yet the managers are complete idiots. They have no experience of reality on the shop floor,so they do not know what the customer really wants. In relation to the above comments,I must mention that I have used alot of independent garages over the years and can honestly say that my experiences reflect the same problems as those mentioned above. I have been over charged for work that didn't need doing, and at one point, my rear brakes fell off while I was driving. I decided to give Halfords a go, and the service which I received was fantastic.I was not charged for any work that was not done, and I had an honest report on the condition of my car. My car has recently had its MOT at the same centre which found a problem with the exhaust. It was spot on as yes, it had started to blow a couple of days before. I was not over charged and it was replaced at a very reasonable cost. I was NOT charged an additional MOT re-test fee and the centre manager delivered great customer service and would definately use them again. Overall, I would say that the service I received was brilliant. The centre in the spotlight here is St James,Northampton.
  • Greg
    For heavens sakes, anybody thinking of using Halfords Autocentres, think again. After taking my car to the Chelmsford branch for an MOT, I am still waiting a month later for somebody to contact me regarding the repair they promised me for the damage they caused. I have made multiple calls and no-one has ever called me back. There attitude to customers would seem to be that they can damage a car and ignore you hoping you will go away. Small claims court and Bankruptcy claim if they fail to pay up for me now.
  • Ian
    Hi.. Ok so i thought id tell my story and give a live review.. Ive always used a independent mot place that my dad swears by ,. However im not so impressed by them and last time saw one of the mechanics with a beer on the premesis. Im not planning on using halfords hull in the future but really didnt have time to ask around friends and family for a good garage so booked it in for mot and service. Honest unbiased review to follow once i hear back from them.
  • Ian
    Ok so, failed on quite a lot ending up in £600 .. Some of the invoice prices look a bit steep ( bulbs) but comes with 12m guarantee on the work carried out so we will see. I do feel it was expensive but my car has 117k on the clock and was last mot'd 30,000 miles ago. Would i go back, nah.. Ill try another next time.
  • Cristian
    Stay away, car failed on mot with a long list, took it to another garage for a retest and guess what, passed straight away.
  • north w.
    just to say , ive worked for halfords from way back in 90's and through the numerous changes , seems to me that some people were treated poorly but some just being petty !! as for those whom claim to be mechanics or ex mechanics why you going to a garage to have repairs done if your that smart you do them,apparently its not that hard ?? as for most of the grage staff there mostly ard working and honest yeah theres a few bad eggs but all buisness has them unfortunatly maybe if people took alittle more time to look and haggle abit more rather than complaining afterwards , as for the poor work that had been carried out yeah thats not right and should be sorted i totally agree , most 90% of us do the job correctly and im proud to say ill stand by that !! and just to say : youd be gobbed smack how often halfords auto centre have helped main dealers out so surley that counts for something arghh !! thats better so remember use your voice shout out haggle get quotes !! but dont moan afterwards
  • Liam N.
    north west----I enjoyed reading your review -- I still work for Halfords-I agree with most of what you say 99% of people don't realise whats involved in repairing cars IT IS NOT EASY WORK - As for Halfords it needs a few things fixing -- YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE PEOPLES MONEY UP FRONT--WE DO NOT NEED TO BE ANOTHER KWIK FIT--STOP FINDING JOBS FOR HIGHLY PAID EXECS-TRY MAKING YOUR EMPLOYEES HAPPIER -THE ONES THAT MAKE THE MONEY!--I could write more but I think I have raised enough issues for now
  • zak
    Had a alternator failure, this part was replaced by Halfords in Manchester back in May 2012, Halfords in Barking suggsted its a smart charge issie on my ford car and told me to take to dealers and refused to swap it out after running through basic tests. Halfords website claim they have computer diagnostics on site and this would have spotted the issue, howver alas no, monkeys they are.
  • Sue E.
    Having had my car serviced as part of the 'Service / MOT' package, I didn't expect it to fail the MOT - and from a fault that Halfords claim to have 'fixed' as part of the service!! .. - I'm off to Trading Standards....
  • Dub
    They are a bunch of monkeys! Would never work for them again! The way the management runs the place is a joke, no respect for their employees! regional manager is an arse O !
  • Jarvelous M.
    I'm an Ex Halfords senior tech (ATA & AMIMI), I totally agree with most of the complaints on here & feel that if Halfords left Nationwide Autocentres alone there wouldnt be a thread like this.. The problem is the Directors, Operations managers & the regional managers... You will find that most of the staff are really clued up and know every nut and bolt on your car.. The management have lost neary 60% of the true trained Nationwide Tech's because they treat them like S**T, push on sales, brakes, powermax products (fuel cleaners etc) Mr Benson really needs to get a grip and keep his Kwik Fit attitude to himself!! let the real boys do their job & F**K brakes & tyre sales!!! Nationwide had a good team of technicians but they lost them & employed run of the mill NVQ-3 wannabes that can only replace a part (as their taught) Not being funny but myself & most of the staff they have lost are old school who can identify a problem (strip it to bare bones & replace the faulty part) I use to pride myself on that happy customers face when I could repair a fault 100% and see them next year for their service/mot, God they even use to buy us lads a crate of beer for xmas!! The biggest problem Halfords have and I quote.. The Management!!! Greedy Effers & they push the little fish to do what they dont wanna do... Halfords wanted Nationwide, They Got it & now their destroying it.... WE FIT??? They dont believe me... 40% of WE FIT customers end up having thier headlamp replaced by the autocentres at a cost of £200+ cos they employ monkeys who havn't got a clue & wreck their headlamps.. Rant over & for a summary on my rant!! regular customers who still get the same teccy to sort their car please keep using him (cos he's a good guy & does his best to earn a crust for his babies, mortgage, home etc) He's the good guy & just does his job to the best he knows how (minus the idiots who got their lavel 3 NVQ of the back of a cornflake box).... Peace out
  • Lazee
    Uh Oh! Should've read this stuff yesterday. Took car to Halfords for service + mot quote = £155. Ended up paying £480. All the stuff mentioned - brakes, ball joints, brake pads and discs £££££.
  • Robbed m.
    Recently purchased a Alfa 147 on a private sale and decided to take the vehicle to the hlafords auto centre in Feltham. Was advised by the manager ( Ralph) that a lot of work on the vehicle was required. Naturally we took his advise as we were dealing with a nationwide brand and planned to get the car booked in at regular intervals for the required works to be done. Within 48 hours the vehicle developed a fault (lost compression in one of the cylinders). A major recovery firm advised me that a spark plug had not been replaced or incorrectly installed (creating a fair amount of damage to the engine) and thus towed the vehicle back to the centre. After numerous heated exchanges "Ralph" agreed to rectify the mess that his centre had created. Although I had originally left a scathing review on the service received (and rightly so) I mentioned to "Ralph" that if he gave me a reference number for his centre I would left a review praising them for there quick resolution, "Ralph" said there was no need. I departed in the knowledge that I would once again consider using Halfords, how wrong was I??? I have since sold the Alfa (due to other reasons aside from Halfords bad workmanship) and have brought a Renault Megane. The electric window device failed on me this afternoon,I returned to Halfords and my wife was informed by "Ralph" that he was reluctant to take the vehicle as we were ungrateful for the works done on our previous car (the Alfa) despite my willingness to rectify the negativity (not to mention the cowboy works by his autocentre). The chump did not want our business for fear of repercussions, does that mean he self admits that he does not trust the works of his own mechanics??? If you want to be ripped of and have poor workmanship on your car, then feel free to take your vehicle to your local Halfords auto centre. They will be sure to knacker it good and proper. Take it to your authorised dealer (expensive but honest) or local independent mechanic. I for sure will never darken Halfords doors, even for a car air freshener ( would rather spray the interior of my car with dog sh£t)
  • Disgruntled c.
    Sorry 1st cant be bothered to read most of the comments here - BUT, but i get the gist. i bought a car 2 years ago from a second hand dealer, i found it had a water leak, warrenty company said they wanted the work done by Halfords Autocenters. Hmm, okay i thought. took it there... 3 head gaskets later, 2 cylinder head skims, 10 oil, water, fuel leaks, 1 new turbo (poss damaged by incorrect re-fit by Halfords - towed home after turbo pipework fell off), 2 new alternators, 1 new EGR valve, 1 new cylinder head - siezed after a month, 3 re-conditioned engines later, 1 engine came away from mounts and dropped on to drive shaft while driving with 2 year old in car, engine covered in silicone selant, 1 mot (as a recompence) only to find weeks later should not have passed by independant garage because rear break had not been working for months and months, plus a whole shed load of other issues Halfords failed to aknowledge, and the lies even from the temporary Area Manager... the mind really boggles. HALFORDS ARE NOT MECHANICS - THEY ARE FITTERS.... DO NOT TAKE A BROKEN CAR HERE>>> YOU WILL PAY THE CONCEQUENCES. After 2 years of this... i still have a f**king water leak, oil leaks.... they should stick to repairing mountain bikes - but then looking at some of the comments above, i wouldnt even suggest they do that... also in addition to this cost of repairs on top of warrenty >£3k... car hire >£2k... in future choose main dealer not a fitters garage. AA take cars there after break downs... says a lot for the AA... Halfords should be banned from MOTs, they fake MOT certs.
  • Unknown
    Feltham Halfords Autocentre, are shit! There mechanics diagnose faults, that I knew wouldn't fail! Got caught, don't use them! Mot failed with them, but passed with a reliable garage. Something not right!!
  • Mr N.
    HALFORDS EMPLOYEE- SELL SELL SELL -NOT HONEST ANYMORE - DIDN'T REALLY WANT TO WORK FOR A MAIN DEALER-BUT THE FIRST CHANCE I GET I'M GONE-STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU GO ELSEWHERE
  • NEVER !.
    I have been in the motor trade for many years working as a Technician. I have owned my own vehicle mechanical repair business for much of that time, out side of the U.K. . I recently took a van to Halford in Worster Street Gloucester solely for a M.O.T.test. I was subsequently told by Halford that the van had failed the M.O.T. test on the following : 1) OFF SIDE track rod end worn to excess, I WAS QUOTED A MASSIVE £104.00 to replace the same, (half an hours work MAX), which then turned out (on collection) to be the NEAR SIDE track rod end that had been changed. (trade price for AFTER MARKET part £8.00 inc of vat) 2)Welding work inadequately repaired to both outer sills (the same inadequate work was carried out by Halford Gloucester at the same branch on previous M.O.T.). 3)Back exhaust box excessively leaking and the strap corroded, there was no mention of exhaust emissions test problems during the test (as would have been the case if the exhaust had been leaking beyond the VOSA requirements), and there is no sign of any soot whatsoever on the under side of the van or on the old exhaust box or strap. There was no mention of excess noise, or any water inside the box. (the back box has clearly been imploded after it was remover). (TRADE PRICE FOR CHEAP AFTER MAKKET EXHAUST BOX THEY FITTED WITH CLAMP/STRAP £35.00 MAX INC VAT. 4) Near Side bottom ball joint boot compromised (seems to have been cut vertically in two places with sharp object) no sign of grease near to, or around the outside of the ball joint, or of water or rust inside the ball joint, even though the van had been driven some distance to the test station in very heavy rain. (AFTER MARKET PART £12.00 MAX). It seems that the Halford Gloucester's modus operandi is one of barter, so if you do not hagel and argue with them you will be charged whatever they please to charge and they have the audacity/ cheek to ask you if you are happy with there service, while you are still in shock !!!. There is a condition to this effect on the invoice/receipt that they gave to me, but only AFTER i had paid with a credit card, this practice is nothing short of a rouse/trick to maximise profits. Halford quote for the M.O.T. test and the work that they said was required on the van started at £450.00 and was then reduced on argument to £380.00, and then on further argument after the work was carried out £350.00. AND THEN ON COLLECTION THE PRICE WAS FURTHER REDUCED AFTER I POINTED OUT THAT THE WORK ON THE STEERING TRACK ROD AND THE BOTTOM BALL JOINT WERE ON THE SAME SIDE, SO ACCORDINGLY, ONLY ONE SIDE OF THE SUSPENSION NEEDED BREAKINGDOWN !!!. I have reported the above to VOSA and to my Solicitor who are investigating the matter. NEVER AGAIN!!! AND BUYER BEWERE SPRINGS TO MIND.
  • Disgruntled c.
    At my local Halfords, they replaced the manager with a sales person! What a joke. After my car had been to the garage many times, the wear and tear was evident - by the staff, the head lights looked as if they had been sandpapered due to the amount of times they had the engine in and out all for the sake of a water leak. i never thought of reporting them to VOSA, I do have a solicitor on the case so maybe he will be in touch with them...
  • Mr R.
    Wished i had read these articles earlier,i took my car in before Christmas wth a road noise problem.Halford checked and told me i needed to replace Rear Disc /and Bearings for both sides i paid nearly £400 and the noise was not any better.I took my car back and they said it was the tyres on the front ? causing the problem and offred me a price to replace .I refused and the basically they drove my car to the entrance and shrugged there shoulders.WILL NOT GO THER AGAIN EVEN FOR AN AIR FRESHNER.
  • Not h.
    Halfords failed my car's recent MOT stating that the brakes were spongy and it needed a new brake master cylinder. They wanted £300 to fit it. They told me I could take the car away, get the work they outlined done and take it back for a partial retest. I sourced a new brake master cylinder online for £90 and had an independent mechanic fit it for £40, only to be told by the independent mechanic that the brakes were still spongy - I didn't need a new brake master cylinder!
  • Mr s.
    Hi guys just a quick one been offered a job at halfords autocentres I know my stuff I do have the qualification nvqs ata mot tester etc but we all know that's just ink on paper iv learnt most of my skill my self as I was dropped in the deep end 6years ago at private garage. Should I take the job!!!!! N??????
  • Mrs K.
    I have just had a clutch replaced on my MR2 at Halford's Feltham branch. May I just say after reading the reviews left on this site I have had two very unnecessary restless nights sleep. The service I received was very polite, friendly and professional! The price quoted is what I paid.
  • bigsmudger
    Kings Lynn branch failed my diesel pug 406 on excessive blue smoke under acceleration? and few suspension joints etc. The suspension parts are true they did need replacing BUT the smoke was a complete and utter lie. I knew for a fact it didnt bellow out smoke when accelerating. When the reception bloke rang me to give me the news he seemed hugely put out by the fact I wouldnt get the work carried out with them to put the smoke problem right (injector cleaner quoted at 20 odd quid) . Anyways picked car up took it to another local garage paid them 10 quid to smoke test it and check for excessive smoke GUESS WHAT Halfrauds had been lying through their back teeth apparently it was very low for a car of its age. BEWARE OF HALFRAUDS
  • Giles F.
    I have just had my Honda MOT'd at Halfords Autocentre in Hendon north London. My experience here was outstanding, I was very concerned having read the threads here. I acknowledge my experience is that of one, but I found the the staff excellent the MOT was thorough - I waited and saw what was going on and the professionalism I saw displayed by all the staff both dealing with customers and working to be of a very high standard. My personal opinion clearly, but I wold thoroughly recommend Halfords Autocentre in Hendon, honest, thorough and customer focused.
  • Honest
    Has any one done full or major car servicing at Halfords Autocenter in Ilford, 573-585 High Road? Have I taken a big risk because I left my car for major servicing to them today?
  • Chris T.
    After working with Halfords Autocentres for nearly 4 years as an MOT Tester at the Feltham branch we were presented with a new "Manger" known as Ralph and what a complete prat for want of a better name. Well within the 3 weeks I was with him he manged to get me moved and accused me of being Racist, 4 months later I was sacked I have never been treated like this in all the garages I have worked in. All the Managers are looking after themselves and treating staff like s--t for a company that boasts that it wants to go forward all it is doing is giving the Motor Trade a worse name than what it already had. They employ fitters not Technicians or even Mechanics the quality of work is poor and Managers attempt to sell extra work that is not needed
  • Mrs H.
    Just a follow up we took our car back to Halfords for a re-test and woe and behold it passed!! Please note that the lights had been adjusted by the controls next to the steering wheel!!! A strong letter is to be sent to their head office DEMANDING a full refund.
  • Amy
    Halfords autocentre newport has failed me my car on a faulty indicator bulb! I asked why they didnt just replace it and charge me? The rude man on the counter said they could fix it but i would have to book in for another day then pay for a new MOT! Cant believe they can get away with this sort of thing. Also i waited outside and my car was only inside for around 30 minutes how long does a mot take?
  • MR F.
    WHAT A MISTAKE!!! We took our car to Halfords Autocentre in Hillsborough, Sheffield on the advice of our warranty company. It went in for three simple repairs central locking not working on one of the rear doors, faulty rear wash wipe and an intermittent fault on the temperature gauge. After having the car for three full days, only one of these issues has been resolved which is that the rear door now locks via the central locking system but in correcting this Halfords broke the door panel and the speaker cover, both of which now need replacing. All of these repairs were supposed to have been diagnosed for which they charged us £49 for a day of diagnostics. None of these diagnostics were carried out properly, they never ascertained the cause of any of the problems prior to starting the work, they just took an ‘educated’ guess as to what the reasons were. They therefore ordered incorrect parts, parts which were not needed and have just ‘played’ at finding out why the temperature gauge doesn’t work! They now want a further day to fix the parts they have broken and no doubt, will charge our warranty company handsomely for their ‘professional work’. We now have a car with more faults than it went in with and no idea how many more days of ‘playing’ they intend to do!! I have emailed our warranty company to advise them of their ill placed loyalty and to find out if the repairs can now be completed elsewhere. I wouldn’t even take my bicycle to them and definitely nothing automotive!
  • S
    I had the unfortunate opportunity to work for them as a centre manager, Comming from an independant repair agent/ main dealer envirioment. This company is not interested in you or your car, profit & more profit is all they want parts are marked up by 80% + and the report system red amber etc is a sales tool to frighten you into extra work which is not required. Needless to say the Ops managers and Arear managers most do not know one end of a car from the other or how to repair, drive the centres to gain as much profit as they can, the poor mechanics are just doing there jobs best they can in a very stressed business.
  • Me
    I have the unfortunate pleasure of still working for halfords. VOSA say there is no set time for an mot. It all depends on the age and state of the vehicle, however halfords want to push an mot through every 45 minutes. They are also looking to make a lot of profit by the end of the financial year and are now sacrificing quality for quantity.
  • Steve B.
    O my god I read these after I had booked my X Trail in for a service if I had read them first it would not have gone to the Cheltenham Branch. It was serviced last Sat, by Monday it was rumbling on the offside, By Thursday I had to get a mechanic to look it over as both sides were making a noise. he drove it a few feet and said your wheels are about to fall off! He got his wheel brace out and all 10 wheel nuts were finger tight or less, be warned Halfords have obviously got a problem with staff not giving a damb
  • Katie N.
    I took my Clio in a week ago as the steering wheel was off centre, the car had a slight judder and veered to the right. I was in the Rotherham centre for two hours whilst they "checked and inflated my tyres and re-aligned my wheels". Two days later with the car still juddering and veering to the right I noticed I had a flat tyre. I went to the nearest garage to my work and they checked all my tyres -all the pressures were much lower than they should have been and my wheel alignment was way off centre. They sorted it in 20 minutes and now the car drives perfectly. I would very much like to know what Halfords actually did with my car for two hours! I will never take my car to another Halfords centre, they either don't have a clue what they are doing, or they charge you for work and then don't do it.
  • jim M.
    had car booked in for mot at solihull depot @1045, arrived at 1030 and asked if they were running to schedule as I needed to be away promptly.i was informed that no delays atall.returned at midday ie allowing an extra 15 minutes.i was told that they were waiting for the paperwork to come through to the reception.after another 20 minutes the manager said that the car was about to be put on the mot ramps.this is now over 1 and half hours late in just starting the mot. I asked why they had not told me when I arrived that they were behind schedule.i was met with a shrug from the manager , who turned his back on me.customer care does not exist at this location.Use at your peril.
  • Susie
    Paid in advance on line in January for my MOT and a full service which I arranged for February at Halfords in Harrow. They told me that my car had passed the MOT but my head gasket was gone, also gave me a huge list of things that needed to be done amounting to £2,000. I've never had trouble with this car so was immediately suspicious so just collected my car as I did not want them carrying out any work. Took the car to another mechanic who told me there was nothing wrong with my head gasket and all the other recommendations were unnecessary. I don't think Halfords even carried out the full service that I paid for apart from changing my oil filter, they didn't even top up the antifreeze. Absolute con merchants, don't go near them.
  • Garilen
    I went to Halfords Auto Center branch in Sunderland I was hoping they will be trustworthy as they are the preferred repair shop for AA but this I discovered that they are crooks saying this and that when I check there in nothing they describe. Stay away from this crooks specially that manager who promise a discount for NHS employee. Shame on you..
  • James B.
    NEVER use Halfords Auto centre’s for any work on your car. They are ripping people off carrying out unnecessary work. I have wasted all day today with them on the “breaks for life” scheme. I had new front breaks put on my Lexus last March and was told I could transfer the warranty onto a new car. When I got my Mercedes in April last year I took the car in as per their T&C’s for a check. The breaks where fine, as the car had just had a major service when I bought it. They allowed the warranty to be transferred onto the Mercedes. A few weeks ago I had a Mercedes specialist carry out and it was brought to my attention the brake pads needed replacing on all sides. They quoted for the front and rear sets, all genuine parts, considerably cheaper that Halfords Auto Centre quoted. I had the Mercedes specialist put the rear ones on and was going to go to Halfords for the fronts doing under the scheme. As soon as I went in with the car and before they even looked at it they mentioned break discs might need replacing. I told them that a few weeks prior the Mercedes specialists had the car and noting was mentioned about break discs. The car has done 53k and the majority is motorway driving so I would expect they might need looking at around 70k mark. An hour later I received a call, just as expected the manager said the break discs needed replacing. I refused and ask them just to put the pads on under the scheme. He informed me that they could not do this without replacing the discs. I have just got home and there is nothing in the T&C’s that states “Halfords will not replace pads if the discs are below a specified thickness”. I will be writing to them and making a complaint. If nothing comes of it I will take this to the Trading Standards.
  • Brian I.
    Halfords area and store bosses need firing. Don't use Halfords for car service or MOT !!! You have been warned!!! The staff are usually good, but they are pressured into extoring money from you for work that does not need doing and MOT failures that shouldn't in order to meet sales targets.
  • Angry #.
    Exact experience as others ....attracted by the half price MOT, knowing full well the car should pass as a service had just been done, so a quick in and out was expected.... But NO, suddenly all these issues suddenly came up about various parts needing to be replaced, total rubbish !! By creating an invoice with the coatings and a silly traffic light system to scare you into following up the work! After agreeing the minor work, I am called by the manager stating the repair taking place had uncovered 2 major problems that needed to be addressed, taking a £100 job to £700! Absolute arsehole who really thought I was some village idiot. I returned and took my car to another MOT centre to be told, my car was ok to pass the MOT and that the problems suggested didn't even exist! AVOID Halfords Autocentre in Crawley , professional jokers! The joke is, the claim to have taken my wheels off to check the breaks and there was no sign of attempts as the dirty wheels had not even been touched! Liars and scammers! VOSA soon to investigate
  • Phill
    I always take my VW Touran to the Evesham centre and have always been happy with the price and level of service I get from the team there. The best bet with all garages is get recommendations before you go there. Sure if all garages had reviews done on them you would get a spread of happy and angry customers. It would seem that Halfords need to ditch the power crazy area managers who probably dont know the difference between a big end and a spark plug and let the branch manager and mechanics do there job and fix people's car for a reasonable price and not rip people off. Bear this in mind rip me off once I go else where don't rip me off and you have a loyal customer.
  • Chasofbrizzle
    Very happy with my local Halfords Autocentre, and feel I have finally found a mechanic I can trust. I have had a major service & MOT - no problems. I was advised to have the clutch & flywheel changed, and after checking around the price was very competetive. We booked it in to have the work done and it was finished ahead of schedule - for all of you thinking that this work was unnecessary, I really notice the difference driving - my car felt brand new again! More recently after an accident they replaced 2 wheels - I was expecting a massive load of suspension work etc, but no, they checked it all and again did an excellent speedy job at a very competetive price. Everything done has been to the highest standard. They quote the price and timeframe, and stick to it. Do you need to know anything else? Options are offered, and all work explained. Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, they are even happy to stay open later than advertised for me to collect my car, even thought the opening hours are excellent anyway. I never felt any pressure to buy anything I didn't want or need - sure they have their value added products they try to sell, but it is in no way a hard sell. I will certainly be taking my car back for any future work. I guess everyone has bad experiences, and I have had many of those experiences in my 30 years of car ownership. Just not from these guys.
  • Rich
    I used my Autocentre a lot in the past, when it was Lex and later Nationwide. They always seemed to do a fair job. Not necessarily the cheapest, but very fair. They always explained what they were doing to my car and why, and they even did a couple of small jobs at no charge. Most importantly, they never say no to work, which is very useful. Since Halfords took over, I think they've gone downhill. I rather suspect they are recommending work that doesn't really need doing, just to get the sales up. The most recent service I had done was very disappointing. A few errors, a couple of done shoddily, and at least one service item not done. I took the car back and gave them a second chance, but they still hadn't managed to complete the service properly. I spoke to the manager, and then the regional manager, and explained that if they couldn't get the tyre pressures right in two attempts, I couldn't very well trust that they'd put the correct oil in and done the other checks. To his credit, the regional manager agreed, and a cheque is promised. I still haven't decided whether or not to use them again. They're not the villains that they're made out to be, but neither are they as good as they iused to be.
  • Freaky s.
    Don't trust them whatsoever, having experienced some of there training there main goal is to hit a stupidly high daily target, there motto being that you will "always find something wrong with a vehicle!" If you are lucky enough to get an mot passed it will purely be based on them making there statistics up! As for the techs, they are a good bunch of people led blindly by targets to make a bonus based on how much money they can make! That again is based on a daily target and they work solidly through the day without breaks to achieve it, there is no consideration for employees, customers or anyone other than the cash flowing in through there bank, whoever is making that money for there own use is not who is dealing with you! The people dealing with you are desperate for your cash just to save there own backsides so its no wonder people are getting huge bills, they have to make there targets somehow and you are just the ticket for that! In all honesty if you want a decent job done with people who are trustworthy with your vehicle and honest enough to give you a fair job go to an independent garage or a dealership, Halfords Autocentres are as trustworthy as the government we operate under!
  • Distraught
    Avoid at all costs. Took a John cooper works in for two new tyres and they wrecked the previously flawless alloys. They did admit liability and offered for them to be repaired but i have decided to live with the damage for fear of them being further damaged. Unfortunately my usual spit and sawdust garage did not have the right size tyres so hence went to Halfords Autocentre. Never had a problem with my usual garage in twenty five years. In future I will risk puncture and a fine and wait. Definitely would never go back to Halfords Autocentre.
  • Regina
    DO NOT GO THERE!!!!!!!!! My car was running smoothly before I went to Halfords in Liverpool to do a routine check. They were suppose to do a visual check, just get me ready for MOT. Surprise surprise, after a check that had to take 40 minutes, but actually took one and a half hours my car started braking down. I have to spend a fortune to fix it now. DO NOT GO THERE!!!!!!!!
  • Harris
    I know that they do the job okay, but do try to find as many faults as possible, inflate the prices and then try to sell it to you. If it wasn't for the tesco vouchers, i wouldn't go to them. Before you pay them, they are very interested in your business, but afterwards they are not interested. I suppose it's the nature of most businesses, but here i felt like being taken for a ride. No more....and it's a shame, as this is how businesses loose customers and then blame recession, time of the year, weather etc.....
  • Barrie
    I always used to use Autocentres before Halfords took over and found them pretty good. Also being able to pay with Tesco vouchers eased the pain of the bill. However since the new regime I get the feeling that profit rather than service is their motivation. I took my Fiesta in last November for a full service and MOT. As expected they found some extra work - a new tyre, wiper blades and a front wheel bearing. Not really surprising until they then told me that a main driveshaft bearing was starting to fail and would need replacing in the new year - £250. Also I needed new disc pads - £100. Anyway a few days later I went into my local independant to get another quote. After exhaustive examination of the car he pronounced it to be in perfect working order and there was nothing wrong with any bearings, driveshaft or otherwise. The noise reported by Halfords as a failing bearing is in fact the quite normal. He also added that in all his years he had never even come across this fault on any Fiesta He then did the disc pads for £45. Presumably if Halfords had done the work and it hadn't solved the supposed problem they would still have charged me. The upshot is that I'll be going elsewhere in future and spending my Tesco vouchers on more fun stuff.
  • RAnt
    All these negative comments know nationally??? (yes i've got suckered into one of them...Half Price MOT) The one that got me running for the hills £24.65 to replace a number plate light. OR do what I did and walk to their Halfords Metro Store less than 100 yards away, buy a twinpack for £2.99 unclick the cover, replace bulb. Hey if I was feeling lazy Metro store would have it for £3.99!!!! They said a headlamp wasn't working, it is (unless there is a secret pop up KITT style light I know nothing about)...and that they wanted to charge £49.99 for a 'diagnostics check' on 'lamps adversely affect by operation of another light', well I had the half the neighbours out looking for that one with every combination in the handbook we could think of... I wish a consumer group would do something to warn others...shamefull con.
  • Dyno
    I just want to share my experience with halfords nationwide autocentre in Feltham , don't trust them because they will just rip you off, I had my car service and mot . They called me and said that my car needs some repairs to pass the mot, I said th them that I have no money to continue with the job. (I have a gut feeling that they are ripping me off) I said to them that just so the basic service and leave it. ( because the expiry date of the mot is two more weeks) . So I took my car back , the following day I went to another mot centre which is runned by the council, they said there is nothing wrong with my car.
  • Mark P.
    Had a bad experience of Halfords Autocentre........Had to change 2 of my tyres and they said they had a mid range tyre that they could put on.....paid the bill of £182 to only find out from a tyre fitter friend that they had fitted 2 budgets(landsail) that should of cost me around £100...After finding out this i was furious and complained....after a week of e-mails i got to speak tot the area manager who agreed to change the tyres.....so i have chosen some proper tyres and im still waiting for the garage to call me back to fit them...nightmare!
  • James M.
    I had my car serviced at the Wrexham autocentre yesterday. I only picked it as I decided to book online and get the discount to keep my costs down (my car is nearly 10 years old and I don't want to spend too much on it) and they could take it in on a Saturday to save taking a day off work which is what I would have done. I picked the car up and was told that all 4 wheels needed balancing and a wheel alignment check needed doing. Utter nonsense was my thoughts and when I queried it with the manager pointing out that in the 12 months of ownership, I had replaced all tyres, he did not say much more other than a murmur of the tyres looking new and maybe I should check for anything unusual. Also told me the timing belt was due for a change. I said it has been done in the past 2 years by the previous owners, who incidentally are my parents who had owned it from new. I left there far from confident as to how much they had actually done and given their website claims a 67 point check, I was not provided with a breakdown or explanation as to what they had done. (The service book indicates an oil change and air filter, no pollen filter change, no fuel filter or spark plug change) I asked as to anything else picked up that may need attention, no comment. I would not use this garage again and wished I'd used the garage my father had used. All I can say with hindsight is once bitten, twice shy. I would never go here again.
  • Derek G.
    Dont use them. I wanted an oil and filter change. My local garage which charges £40 was fully booked so decided to give them a go - in the past Halfords were very reasonable. After 20 minutes they changed the oil and gave me a bill for £73! I felt a right prat having trusted them. I also got a list of faults on may car amounting to £530. I of course didnt ask for this dubious service. Theyre basically con merchants go elsewhere
  • Jake R.
    I am Steaming! paid £205 for a major service...I expected much more went to a private mechanic today for starting issues - he started by checking Filters - fuel filter and air filter were thick black.....I saw both check infront of me so I know they were mine and I was not being mugged off the Halfords service was only 1 month previous to this - meaning that neither were checked or even changed which is part of the major service which I paid for oil filter not replaced as it still had a date print from the date of the previous service before window wipers not check but ticked along with all the other as they do not go to full speed....just stop in the middle on the windows - also reported this to them to look at. rubbing sound which was coming from front passenger wheel area - which i asked them to check when checking around that wheel - told me they did not get this checked also little things like door hinge lubricant not done as it was identical to previous state the private mechanic done more for me for £50 including parts then Halfords for £205 and a full day with the car the only suggestions they gave me was the front tyres need replacing which I already had told them
  • un-satisfied c.
    I took my car to Halfords Auto-centre in Solihull Retail Park, Shirley. Don't take your car to Halfords Auto-centres. Rubbish service and Rubbish reception. Lousy manager. I prefer to pay more and go somewhere else rather than going to Halfords Auto-centre again.
  • Simon h.
    I think i quite honestly have the worst story here Hole you are ready for it Here it comes
  • david
    Had a clutch and fly wheel replaced by halfords garage in Colchester, because they gave a reasonable quote for the job. Two weeks later, noticed oil patch on driveway, and took it back to garage for them to check. Problem identified as inner drive shaft seal, and manager promised to sort the problem at no additional cost. Said part would have to be sent from Saab. One week later chased up by phone, part had not arrived. Phoned again next week and current manager didn't know anything about it. Another personal visit. Two weeks on and I'm still waiting. A call to regional office today was a waste of time. Warn your friends - don't use halfords.
  • me
    how can such a company loose what they had ????? years back staff were good reliable and actually wanted to be there !! from my recent experience I should have just drove my car into the local lake what a cock up !! wouldn't trust them to pump my tyres up as they'd problably cock that up too then send me a bill for work that isn't needed ! con merchants close the doors boys if you cant be arsed !!
  • Gary T.
    First and last time I use Halfords Autocentres Yeovil, I booked my car in for a Major service paid up front online, picked it up and found the handbrake wasn't working they checked it out but couldn't fix it, couldn't be brothered more like. I took my car home the next day I was checking the handbrake it just needed adjusting after which it worked perfectly, it was then that I noticed that one of the engine cover socket screws had been replaced with a shiny new bolt, I was concerned as to what had happened to the original had the mechanic lost it, damaged it but where was it rattling round in my engine bay or worst, I called the centre and spoke to Darrin the manager he immediately became aggrieved and raised his voice to me as if who was I to question him, he called the mechanic in and asked him what he knew about it..the mechanic said it wasn't there when he started to service the car, this is a lie as I know 100% that it was there as the day previous I cleaned my engine in preparation for the service. I explained that to Darrin but he was having none of it and started to get aggressive again..what a way for a so called manager to behave whilst treating a customer. This left me with a problem what else had they botched up on my car I gave it to a trusted mechanic friend of mine who double checked all the work, he said that most of the work was shoddy and redid the service for me. So what to do about halfords I tried to complain further but an even more angry man started getting aggressive on the phone. I will never use Halfords again they are amateurs, rude and intimidating and I wish for once I wasn't disabled
  • me
    do your selfs a favour go to local indipendant garage or main dealer ! it WILL work out cheaper !! plus if there is an issue you wont get some annoying pratt down the phone constantly trying to justify crap work manship or fob you off , such as shame Halfords treat customers poorly they go when will you learn ???
  • Karacredlium
    I also had a severely trying experience with Yeovil branch on my first visit to them. Without going into the details of the particular issues, it appeared that quality and customer service were not foremost priorities which simply means I won't be going there ever again.
  • Jimmy B.
    HALFRAUDS AUTOCON SCAMCENTRE 22/10/2013 Before handing our 59 reg car over to a Devon branch of Halfords we had a little pre-mot done by a friend who just happens to be a fully qualified forensic engineering mechanic, having done all his checks and also left some little tricks in places that only an unscrupulous,unethical,immoral,amoral,concienceless,untrustworthy,shameless, exploitative,corrupt,dishonest,fraudulent,furtive and underhand garage would miss by lying about work carried out. The stage was now set so we booked our vehicle in online for the half price mot and attended early to get in position ,firstly into triage because that is what it is the area where they ask unrelated questions to gauge just how knowledgeable you are about vehicle in order to set their con meter at what load of guff to feed you for maximum cash return. we sat watching our car through reception window MOT tester started but although he checked side lights and indicators failed to inspect alignment of headlights never put anything near exhaust for emissions (perhaps this is why this part of the test is unsigned and no signature on main certificate) all going swimmingly until tester enters triage/receptions and whispers furtively in triage 1's ear who then informs us that we have failed due to a brake imbalance we were crestfallen but heyho onto part two they offered us a FREE brake inspection and found that a brake cylinder was SEIZED (if this was truly the case this cylinder should have been replaced before the car was re-tested and certainly before anyone took this vehicle back on the road.Neither happened) This all came to light after I had been spotted watching our car from out side because they had stuck it on a ramp where absolutely nothing was done to it for 10 minutes (that is at least 10 minutes we as customers pay for) then suddenly some young lad started opening and closing EVERY drawer in one of the large tool cabinets on the back wall I returned to triage where triage 1 tried to baffle us with percentages on wheel imbalance after which I returned outside where I observed that the young lad must have found his too because the rear tyres were in the process of being removed yet still no sign of any work of any kind being done near or indeed to the brakes or offending cylinder. Returning to triage we watched the MOT tester re-test the vehicle still no sign of any emissions being tested nor headlight alignment neither did he spot that the windscreen wash spray on the drivers side did not touch the windscreen and it's obvious he had not even looked at any of the window wipers and then without any of these things being done he took the vehicle for a road test, we knew full well that there was absolutely nothing mechanically wrong with this vehicle when Halfrauds got it and so we waited the verdict from these paragons of virtue .it was up to triage 1 to deliver the coup de grace ,he told us it has now passed but the FREE brake check would cost us £36.00 but as a sign of goodwill he would reduce this to £27.50 now call me an old cynic but with the £27.42 already paid upfront when booking did that not ensure that the half price MOT booked was now slightly over FULL price 7p dearer at a total of £54.92. Kept up the pretense even today when I got a call from halfords customer don't care department when jobsworth Darren called only to defend his lying triage team , I must admit to enjoying playing the bad tempered irate customer got him to say how rude twice,poor little jobsworth bean counter. Had the car re checked by the professional brake cylinders on rear not been touched. No surprise rear brakes untouched in any way. They have not heard the end of this ,trading standards been informed, VOSA being sent incomplete unsigned certificates lights, wipers ,rear seat belts and screen wash all recorded on disk before test and immediately after test all have been returned to how they should be .we now await confirmation as to the validity of this only two thirds completed certificate is still valid and as to who is responsible for the charge of the re-test if needed preferably all signed by the tester this time . DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY FOR ANY VEHICLE .should be a sign out front saying PUBLIC BEWARE SCAM ALERT watch this space as we set up another vehicle for these cheats this time hopefully with full covert cams
  • John T.
    On Friday 18th October I went to Kwikfit to have rear tyres replaced. The Manager said "do you know you have the wrong tyres on the front and one of those is illegal as a result of bad tracking?" This work had been carried out by Halfords Autocentres in June 2012. Yes they were 225 instead of 235 and the tyre loading was incorrect. Over that weekend I carried out some research and when I came across this website I thought I would probably be wasting my time complaining to them but at least I thought let's give Halfords a bit of a kick. At 11.45 hrs. on Monday 21st October I sent an email to the CEO and registered a complaint. At 12.50 hrs. I received a response on behalf of the CEO from his Executive Assistant Emmi expressing regret and assuring me it would be investigated, she copied the Operations Director and Operations Support Manager. The cynic in me said "yeh right, standard brush off". At 12.53 I had an email from the Ops Support Mgr Anita Ward followed by a call from Charles Rennie, the Regional General Manager and by 16.12 hrs. I had an email confirming that Halfords would pay for me to replace the front tyres and have the tracking redone. Like everyone else on this forum (and probably most of those who can't be bothered) I am totally fed up with being dismissed as an inconvenience by large organisations who are driven only by profits and forget that the people who fund their salaries and dividends appreciate good service when they find it, rare though it may be. When somebody is seen to be kicking back against this negative status quo they should be applauded, hence I have taken this time to register my views. I will send my thanks to CEO Matt Davies' team at Halfords Autocentres (in particular Charles Rennie) for this recognition that customers do matter. To Halfords I say: Please don't allow others to devalue my experience so please roll out this culture nationwide. Best regards John. p.s. For the cynics out there, I have never worked for or represented this company nor have I met or had any dealings with anyone associated with them.
  • Chris
    Used to take my car to a Fiat dealer with non stop issues re brakes pulsing. They never managed to sort out the problem saying there was nothing wrong! Took it recently to a Halfords Autocentre who replaced pads, giving a lifetime replacement guarantee and guess what perfect smooth braking. I would trust my car with Halfords over a Fiat dealer anyday!
  • revenge s.
    its bad when a company boss has to write bogus statements on a forum !!! you know who you are !!! cheap advertising ? that's all you after
  • Tomas
    Just had my MOT and full service done on my Civic in Halfords at Pool, Redruth, Cornwall. I don't think I will be using halfords again. I look after my car very well and I know every inch of it. After piking up the car I've noticed that after MOT there was extra 10 miles on the clock, dont know what they were doing. They changed brake fluid... Well overfilled the system and forgot to screw the lid on properly, so after driving 30 miles brake fluid was all over engine bay. I have some doubts if the engine was flushed and oil has been changed, because after 30 miles oil is really black and there is no signs of oil filter replaced. I told them not to touch air con filter, but when i was cleaning my car Ive noticed that panel under the glove box was hanging, so I took it off myself. Filter was changed, but box where filter goes wasnt assembled properly and all rubish from old filter was on the carpet. They had to change brakes bulb, which is easy job to do, but to take the panel off they used something very sharp and scrached it. I told store manager that car is quite low and be carefull while driving on the ramp. They didnt take that into account. Side skirts from the bottom are scratched. And the corner near wheel arch is damaged because car wasnt positioned well on the ramp while car lifted. I know I am being very picky, but I told store manager to be careful. Never ever again. Totally useless and very expensive!!!!
  • Brenda
    Thanks to Halfords (allfarts) my lovely little C2 drives like an old tank. They should not be allowed to trade under the guise of an autocentre. "NO ROAD TEST" done after alignment and front spring supposedly replaced. I obviously have no faith at all in their workmanship. Paid for an interim service at the same visit, which lists road test as part of service, "NO ROAD TEST"carried out. Car returned to me pulling hard to the left then pulling hard to the right. To keep it running true I need to force the steering wheel to stay that way. This was their 2nd attempt at righting this wrong believe it or not, with me footing the ever steeply increasing bill! Oh geez can't wait for the 3rd visit to invest more of my time with the grumpy old "what are you doing here attitude" I'm livid my car has been returned to me in this state. Oh, p.s I was charged again for the 2nd alignment which i was told would be waived...Dear Vosa please act accordingly and look into the ever increasing complaints about this companies ethics, everyone can't be wrong. Thank you
  • Brenda
    Halfords in Cannock is the location of the above customers complaint.
  • ACE
    Brenda, Could you tell us how your problem was finally resolved? Thank you.
  • LOLAMAC
    Are you guys all aware that most of what Halfords are doing is against Trading Standards and Trading Standards is who they are regulated by? Under The Supply of Goods and Services Act Halfords autocentres are obliged to take reasonable care and skill. If they don't you have the right to report them to Trading Standards. You call the Citizens Advice Bureau and you tell them what has happened to you and they tell Trading Standards. Trading Standards have the option as to whether they choose to investigate Halfords autocentres further. And Trading Standards have a lot of power. Way more than we, as consumers do. Although we always have the option to sue in small claims court. If you get an independent vehicle assessment done (it costs you, but if you are a member of the AA you get it cheaper) and that report says different to what Halfords autocentres said, then you have the option to sue - it only costs £35 in court costs for a claim against Halfords of up to £300 (court costs are higher if your claim is higher, but not by a massive amount), and you can represent yourself if you want , so you don't have to pay any lawyers fees. However, you can claim damages, and there is no cap on that figure. so you can claim back the costs of your engineer's report and probably your court costs as well and if it's really bad what they did you might get a decent sized award/payout. If you believe, with the back up of the engineers report from the independent vehicle assessor, that Halfords autocentres were also trying to extort money from you for work that did not need doing then you can go to the police and they should investigate, because extortion is a pretty major crime. I found all this out because what Halfords have done to us and our car put our lives in danger and they tried to extort money from us for at least £865 for work they cannot prove needs doing and which 6 other garages we have consulted said it is not physically possible to be causing the current issues with our car. We now know what is causing the current issues with our car, and it was blatantly obvious all along, and would not have cost us a penny to put right because it was still under warranty with Halfords autocentres. These other garages we consulted say it is a massive rip off and that Halfords autocentres let us drive an unsafe car (that should have been recovered instead) because we didn't cough up the £865 immediately for work we had a very strong hunch did not need doing (and we were totally right ). We reported it to Halfords senior management and they are now trying to cover it up. I am trying to see if I can go to the national press without being taken to court by Halfords autocentres for slander/liable. The general public needs to know about this and our government needs to do an awful lot more to protect car/garage consumers and drivers on our nations roads. If they tried to rip you off teach them a lesson and report it to Trading Standards. All you need to do is look up your regional office, phone them and tell them what Halfords autocentres did to you. If it's bad Trading Standards will investigate off their own back, or they might tell you that you have the option to sue. Halfords autocentres need to be stopped and unless we all speak out people might die - we were really lucky we didn't. You also have the right to go to your MP about it. If enough people do then it can make a difference. You can also set up an online petition and if you get enough signatures then parliament have to have a debate about it, and then this will all come out. It depends how angry you are about what they did to you, and whether their behaviour almost killed you, like it did us as to how far you are willing to go. However, if people just bitch about them and do nothing then they will end up putting peoples lives at risk - there is no question of that. Do you want it to be your friend or family member who is seriously injured or dies?
  • Mrs S.
    Well after reading this I'm not surprised I was nearly stitched up. I have taken my SEAT to Nationwide autos for the MOT ever since I had the car, taken over by Halfords in Norwich I was told that my breaks were in Amber and to replace the back discs and pads would cost over £180! Strangely enough I had taken the car to SEAT to have a service in December and the breaks were fine. Wont be going back there for MOT after 14 years.......... What a rip off!
  • Bob C.
    Had a bad experience at Halfords Autocentre, Nuffield, Poole. Took Ka in with battery light on told it needed new alternator at £200 (more than I expected but unfortunately told them to go ahead). Came back with panels incorrectly fitted and after a few weeks light came on again so took back. They tested the *new* alternator and we were told there was nothing wrong with it so if we wanted to spend more money on diags we could do. Brought it home and now had water leak as well!! Took to another garage where they found alternator to be at fault and replaced it. Also found hose at the back of the car had split in it which could be coincidental but do you know what I think might have happened? Obviously I can't tell you. I will never go there again.
  • Antonio M.
    Beware before you take your car for an M.O.T to your local Halfords Autocentre. They lure you in with a half price M.O.T offer and then they stitch you up any way they can with a number of faults no other garage would list. At my local (Merton Road SW18)they took a week to sort out my car which was then returned to me with brake faults. I discovered (by having it checked by another garage)that any of the brake parts they had replaced were of mediocre quality hence there was a strange noise coming from the undercarriage. I was charged £247 for the privilege and when I complained in writing twice to their Regional General Manager about the lack of Duty of Care and the abysmal service and treatment received, after nearly two months he hasn't even bothered to answer to my last letter. What a shambles. You have been warned!
  • Simon
    Just put my clio in for an MOT after a VERY EXTENSIVE service and inspection (carried out by myself, an experienced enthusiast, and a friend, a professional mechanic). Our inspection indicated a split steering rack gaitor, a defunct washer pump and incorrect headlight image output. Since time was tight between my two jobs, we decided to just put it through the MOT anyway. After all, the parts needed would only amount to £70-80. So when I got the call to say the clio failed, I listened to all the game talk about all the faults and failures, expecting all but one (brake fluid leak). I knew he was going to try to squeeze me for a little coffee and biscuit money. I thought maybe £110-140. So when I asked he said £190 odd. Little bit shocked. However at the time I had no time to take the car home and do the work myself. So bitterly I accepted the charge and told him to go ahead and investigate the leaking brakes. At 15:00 (4 hours after the initial MOT test) the centre calls me up to say the nearside headlamp needed replacing. And this struck me as quite strange since I thought it would just need alignment. So I offered up a slightly used headlamp I had kept as a spare to be used to save costs. At 16:30 they call me to say that my spare headlight has the exact same problem and say they can fit a brand new headlight the next day first thing. AGAIN I am busy with work, so I reluctantly say yes, but at this point I'm a little pissed because, even though a Clio II is a pain to work on, it should only take 10 mins to fit a headlight and test it. The work "needed" could have been done with the paperwork finalised in an hour. The next day at 10:00 (1.5 hours after opening) the autocentre calls to say the work is done and the MOT passed and ready. I asked for a price and got the exact words "four two six zero four". Now maybe I wasn't listening properly or maybe I was rushed to get to work but I simply wouldn't believe I was being charged £426 for such minor work. I got to the autocentre at about 10:50 and now I'm really high strung after losing out on a good 5 hours pay. But instead of deciding to vent at the guy on the front desk, I calmly pay and get the car and go to work. You'd think this was the end of it but no, they continued to surprise me. After a slightly brash and hasty drive to work, I notice a single wheel spacer in the passengers foot well. A spacer I had fitted to stop the wheels rubbing the springs. But I guess two vital components of the car coming into potentially catastrophic contact doesn't phase Halfords finest. They were kind enough to leave the two failed headlamps in the car for me (after charging me to fit and remove one of them). But not too kind to leave any of the two full sets of bulbs. I have yet to inspect the new headlight to see exactly what was wrong with the other two. But its firmly parked at my home now as I'm not confident driving(or touching) it after the spacer ripped the tyre side wall.
  • Sid
    Have been to Halfords Autocentre in Harrow for MOT and Service. It was the worst experience I ever had. Halfords should first train its staff on how to speak with customer and solve their problem. Store Manager Mr. Chris Tydda was so rude. Will never ever visit Halfords again and will not recommend to anyone. I was shown the door by one of the staff. And when I left they were laughing so loud as if they are there to make mockery of their customer. I have to come out without servicing and MOT. Such a waste of time and energy.
  • Salman S.
    Have been to Halfords Autocentre in sutton behind Tesco for MOT. It was the worst experience I ever had. All lies, they said they changed wiper blades none of them changed, i still got the spider web on the old wiper blades, as car parked for a month. They said they changed all the bulbs, I have the receipts of the new bulbs I changed myself, which was bought from halfords month before this MOT test. They charged me around £220 for bits and bobs all lies. I will never ever visit Halfords again and will not recommend to anyone.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment