The UK’s ‘Independent Garage of the Year 2007’ – Dorking Service Centre on South Street – has put an iconic London black cab on the road to transport its customers in style.

Dorking Service Centre is part of the Bosch Car Service network – the UK’s leading group of independent garages with over 400 members.

The highly distinctive Fairway cab has been fully refurbished and carries eye-catching all-over advertising for the company. It’s being used to take customers to their homes, workplace or even to the railway station after they’ve dropped off their cars for servicing or repair and to collect them again when the work is completed.

“With this London black cab we’ve brought a classic piece of British culture to the streets of Dorking and it’s certainly making heads turn,” says Sid Swaine, Managing Director of Dorking Service Centre.

“It’s quite a novelty to see one of these cabs in the leafy suburbs of Surrey and our customers really appreciate the comfort and convenience of travelling in it, saying it makes them feel special.

“An added bonus is that it gives us free advertising whether outside the railway station picking up a customer, collecting them from their place of business, or simply parked outside our own premises. We’ll also put it on display at local fetes, school events and other public events.”

Putting the cab on the road is typical of the innovative approach that Dorking Service Centre takes to customer care and which won it the title ‘Independent Garage of the Year’. Since opening in February 2004 the company has introduced numerous imaginative ideas to make it easier for customers to get their cars serviced or repaired and to reward them for their loyalty.

As a result it has attended to more than 7,000 vehicles in just three and a half years and given back to customers more than £20,000 in loyalty discounts since January 2007. It has targeted local businesses, schools and other organisations offering free vehicle collection and return so that the customers suffer little or no disruption to their working day, and it sends all customers a Christmas card with vouchers they can redeem during the year to help meet their car servicing costs.

“Now that EU rules allow car owners to get their cars serviced at a place of their choosing without compromising their warranty, they can come to us and save money, compared to a franchised dealer,” says Sid. “The Bosch sign over the door means they can be sure of quality work and value-for-money prices.”