GB Autos is an independent garage offering a wide range of vehicle services including general mechanical and electrical repairs, servicing, MOTs, tyre, exhausts, and battery repairs. They also use the latest diagnostics equipment and techniques to conduct diagnostics on modern vehicles. The garage can work on any kind of vehicle including classic cars. GB Autos founder Gary Barlow gave Herts Review a run-down of how he has established GB Autos to be the go-to local garage in the area.
GB Autos from its base in London Colney provides automobile repair services to St Albans and the wider Hertfordshire area. They cover everything from windshield repairs, chip repair, vehicle bodywork amongst others. The business started in Jan 1988, when Gary got a recommendation from a friend that the current site of the business was up for sale. It was a local garage at the time, but the owner was ready to retire. Gary has always had an interest in cars and was working with the Newgreen Service Station but had the desire to set up his own business. He therefore made the arrangements to purchase the garage and transform it into GB Autos.
He recalls “the key challenge when I started out was getting customers”. Although the garage was well known, the previous owner had been working part time for a while so a lot of business was going to other garages. However, with years of honest hard work and excellent customer service, business has picked up over the years and the garage is always busy. “Most of our business is based on recommendations from people we have provided services to in the past. There is also a lot of repeat business as I have serviced some customers’ cars over the years”. We are different because we provide personalized services and go the extra mile for each customer.
The covid-19 pandemic was a tough time for the business due to the social distancing requirements, but it also gave the business the opportunity to give back to the local area. “We were open throughout, observing the social distancing rules and also providing services to our key workers – nurses, care workers etc”. It is important to help them get back on the road as they do exceptional work looking after our community. Before the pandemic, GB Autos provided services to key workers and even offered them discounts.
So, what does the future hold? “I really enjoy what I do. I love being out here working on people’s vehicles and getting them back on the road”. We have a lot of relationships with other local garages and even insurance companies, so no two days are ever the same. Would he be retiring anytime soon after 32 years doing this? “Of course, at some point. Hopefully, Aaron Barlow takes over the business” We would see. If you are in the London Colney or St Albans area and you need a garage you can trust call GB Autos on 01727 822 432.