Driving: The post where I go on an MOT, Servicing & MINI adventure courtesy of HR Owen

by Sasha Wilkins on May 30, 2014 · 7 comments

sasha-wilkins

I think it’s fair to say that I am extraordinarily accident prone. Dyspraxia doesn’t help, as it means my spatial reality is Not Good, but it can’t be blamed for the more annoying things that seem to happen on a daily basis. Like, for example, when my car registration plate fell off on the way to the MOT Test Centre. (That’s an automatic fail, if you didn’t know.)

 

So a big thank you to HR Owen, who came to my rescue, with not just an offer of an MOT and service, but the loan of a MINI whilst my car was in the garage. Last summer I got to hang out in an HR Owen Lamborghini Aventador, and they are known for their luxury car sales, but I had no idea that they provided MOT tests and servicing too.

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So the next morning I made use of their collection and car return service, with an extremely nice gentleman managing not to look as though he was going to cry when he swapped a jazzy, box fresh MINI (above) for my filth bucket convertible. Sadly there wasn’t a Lamborghini on offer, although upon reflection I don’t think Camden is *quite* ready for that.

(Although I could have taken advantage of their Service While You Shop offer at Westfield London, which strikes me as an excellent multi-tasking option, as well as avoiding the extortionate Westfield parking charges. They also offer a 90 minute Pitstop option for MINI servicing.)

And, speaking of charges, where one might expect a purveyor of such glorious car shininess to charge the earth for its services, I was sent the standard invoice for the work done on my car, which was the same – and in a few items less, than my local garage charges.

Given that my father is a car obsessive, I’ve spent most of life around cars and car people, and can spot a patronising ‘girls don’t know about cars’ attitude at a hundred paces, which unfortunately happens regardless of whether I am in a car, with my father, or on a press trip – where you’d really think they’d get the message, wouldn’t you?

I’m pleased to say that at no point did a single person from HR Owen make me feel anything other than a valued user of their services. I also particularly liked that they flagged work that would need attention in the future, but that they didn’t think was necessary at the service: I’ve had garages that have sworn that everything was essential NOW, putting the fear of God into me and my bank account, so this was a refreshing change. I thought it was intelligent to note, for example, that there was no recent evidence of a timing belt change, which I’ve never had pointed out to me before.

I’m adding the list they compiled, as those who knows my car will snigger:

Roof leaking and in poor condition-replacement recommended (as anyone who has exited my car with a wet bottom will testify)
Aerial bent (downside of living in Camden – vandalism from drunk passersby)

Bodywork damaged on various areas (that lamppost has never recovered either)

So a BIG thank you HR Owen for all their help: I had huge amounts of fun driving the MINI. It was my first time behind the wheel of one, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was nippy, responsive, really economical on petrol, and fitted into the tiniest of parking gaps all over London.

I’m so used to driving my two seater, with its inconveniences (tiny boot, no places for a supermarket shop, no room for the Baddog to stretch out), that it was a complete treat to have a car with a back seat and spacious boot for all my stuff.

HR Owen specialise in BMW/MINI (Acton, Central and West London centres); they also specialise in Audi (from Central and SW London), and would like to offer LLG readers a 10% discount to all BMW, Audi and MINI new customers on their service and/or MOT. Just mention LLG when you book in.

There’s a map of HR Owen centres in the UK here

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

james May 30, 2014 at 14:01

The Mini is a great car.Every since I’ve seen “The Italian job”,I admired the car’s versatility. A co-worker just purchased the new 4 door and the car is still compact enough to handle the mind numbing traffic of Manhattan while offering great comfort and storage space inside.I am sure you made good use of the loaner, “Motor Head” ;-) although, last year’s post about driving the Lambo was quite another level of thrilling! Mmmm ice cream or cake!!
All the best
James

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Fashion Follows Her May 30, 2014 at 22:35

In love with my Mini, so nippy and sporty- I’d forgotten how much I loved driving untill I bought my Mini. Great service, although I have to admit I’ve always received great service from Mini- the lovely lady at my local Mini garage picks up my Mini & takes it for it’s MOT, leaving hers behind for me to drive.

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Carrie Kitkat May 30, 2014 at 22:36

1. Accolades to HR for treating a woman with respect

2. I think you need a mini :)

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Samantha Heathcock May 31, 2014 at 09:58

I did have to chuckle when you said your number plate fell off on your way to your MOT. Bless you! That’s the kind of thing that would happen to me! Glad you had fun in the mini. I’d love a mini, but need to save some pennies first!

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khuram May 31, 2014 at 19:36

i loved reading your blog and i’d like to share my website as well that is http://www.braindirector.com

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Joshua Greenwood June 1, 2014 at 16:51

Love your blog soo much! Keep up the good work :D

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latesttrendfashion.com June 9, 2014 at 12:31

lovely car – love Mini Cooper very much , if you ask me it is the perfect car in my opinion!!! It is perfect for a girl , no matter you live in a big town or in a small one…

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