Driving success in Cupar …
CuparNow is all about showcasing businesses in the town – and we’re delighted to be able to profile some on these pages. When you head south along Crossgate and, before heading into Millgate, take a left onto South Bridge, you can’t help but notice the garage opposite. Aptly named Southbridge Garage, this small, family-run business is a great example of the independents that make up much of our town’s traders. We visited and met with Andrew Thomson to discover more …
Southbridge Garage’s main business is to sell used cars, but as Andrew explains, they also have an offshoot that undertakes all grades of valeting work on site called Showroom Shine @ Southbridge Garage.
Many will remember the business when it was run by Richard J. Finnie who owned and ran it for three decades. In 2018, new owners took it on and Andrew came on board soon after. Andrew says: “I stay locally and have been in the motor industry for 30 years this year – starting in Glenrothes as a trainee and then in Kirkcaldy, Dundee, Arbroath and Dundee again.”
Andrew says that when the opportunity to work 10 minutes from home came up, he “jumped at the chance“!
But it wasn’t just the proximity of home that made him take on Southbridge. Andrew explains the motivation saying: “When you work for a large organization, sometimes you and the customer are nothing more than a number. Good, professional customer service pales into obscurity. When it’s a company like Southbridge Garage, then the spotlight is on you to provide great, professional customer service. I think we do that well.”
And the proof is in the pudding. The Garage is becoming known for selling well-priced motors. When we visited, there was a collection of second hand vehicles – all in great condition – that were destined for owners in need of either small run-arounds or as a first car for someone who has just passed their test.
Andrew says: “We are not a major showroom – and we’re not selling cars with a high price ticket. Our cars are great value, in excellent condition and provide their new owners with real value for their money.”
In addition to the garage and the valeting business, they also have a sister company, Cupar Tyre & Auto Centre, based 500 yards down the road in Cupar Mills, just off Millgate. At their second premises, they do MoTs, servicing, repairs and tyres for cars and light commercial vehicles. Andrew is proud of the fact that they are the only Cupar-based registered member of The Good Garage Scheme … and one of only a handful in the whole of Fife.
The Rally Cry
What makes the garage unique? Andrew adds: “We are small company of only two employees. That makes everything we do very personable. We aim to take the hassle out of buying a car by guiding you through all the options in a professional, friendly, courteous way whilst trying to be completely transparent about what we do – and all in a no pressure environment.”
We discussed Andrew’s greatest business achievement: “Getting it right and seeing customers drive away happy. Judging by the reviews we have on Google, we’re doing a good job of that on a regular basis!” And away from the garage? What makes Andrew tick?
“On a personal level -putting things like children and family to one side for a moment – my greatest personal achievement was playing the very last shot in the very last end of the very last match of the season to give Hercules Curling Club, from the East Neuk, their first Duncan Miller League Championship in 36 years. As Club President that year it was a very fitting end to a Presidential Term.”
Finally, we always ask those featured in our profiles what their advice would be for anyone visiting Cupar for the first time – or for the first tie in along time. Andrew says: “Explore the town and see all that it has to offer, especially the plethora of small businesses with all that they have to satisfy the most avid shopper.” He adds: “Escape the hustle and bustle of the bigger towns and cities and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in some of the wonderful places for food and drink that Cupar offers. Enjoy the fantastic train and bus links to leave the car at home, but if you have to drive then there’s loads of free parking nearby.”
As they say on their Facebook page …
Local Cupar family owned business offering good old fashioned customer service! All cars serviced where necessary, minimum 6 months MoT with some ready to drive away the same day. Full dealer facilities on site. All cars come with a warranty and RAC Cover.
They are Car Gurus Top Rated Dealer 2019.
Pop in to see them, call 01334 656746 or check out their website for more information.
Thanks for reading!
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