AvailableCar first opened its doors in 2002 at Castle Donington, East Midlands. Today the family-run business operates across four sites, with some 90 technicians playing a key role in the success of the group.
“Our sole objective is to make the customer experience world-class and completely hassle-free,” said Michael Hitchcock, Head of Technical and Training at AvailableCar. “Our technicians are massively important to the overall success of the business.”
The dealership group sells hundreds of vehicles a week, each one having been processed through its workshops with all the necessary servicing and repairs completed. Changing market conditions has seen the nature of these jobs evolve over the years.
“When we first opened, we thought we’d never do timing belts or clutches,” said Michael. “They’re now commonplace alongside many other advanced diagnostic and repair jobs, which we’re now able to complete in-house thanks to this training investment. We’re currently doing our first-ever hybrid engine change, which is a big milestone.”
Six members of staff have already achieved Master Technician status through Delphi’s tailored training with many more currently on route for IMI qualification. Other accredited Delphi training paths include Service Technician and Diagnostic Technician, with AvailableCar also benefitting from Delphi’s bespoke training routes made possible thanks to its expert trainers.
“This training is giving us much more than the obvious skills and improved workshop efficiencies,” said Michael. “I’ve had staff come up and thank me for the training. Our technicians feel valued and motivated, and we’re rewarding their increased skillset with pay rises too.”
Andrew Rayner is the latest AvailableCar employee to qualify as a Master Technician. Petrol and Diesel Management, Exhaust After Treatment, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Hybrid Electric Vehicle modules were among his favourite modules covered.
“It’s been a really great journey,” said Andrew. “All of the trainers are spot-on, easy to get on with and very knowledgeable. Things like EVs, they’re scary if you don’t know what you’re doing but they’ve given me the confidence to do these jobs.”
Since enrolling on the development programme, all four AvailableCar workshops have reported significant improvements in performance, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
“AvailableCar is a widely recognised brand, renowned for its high standards,” said Luke Garratt, UK Technical Services Manager at Delphi. “We’re delighted to be able to help their technicians maintain these standards through our comprehension training offering, and thrilled to see them achieve those gains when it comes to first-time fixes, vehicle turnaround time and staff retention.”