"As Image Clean had contacted PoL to help in our quest of getting the motoring public a fair deal from the industry, I thought that this would be an opportune moment to get my car valeted by professionals.
For the lazy that do not want to read on, I found the organization good and the outcome impressive.
My car is 4.5 years old and needed a good wash and brush up inside and out. I am like most owners who care for their cars with the normal stuff from Halfords and experience gained over XX’s years of car ownership.
So off I tootled to Chelmsford one Friday and let them do their best.
I found the place easy enough due to the good map supplied on their web site.
First impressions were of a competent organization that care and are good at what they do despite the smallness of the front desk and office space and the location right on top of the entrance door. I would like to see that area looked at in a more ergonomic way.
The building is reasonably huge and they are in the process of alterations to the place when I was there. I was treated courteously at all times and my car was given even better treatment, which has to be the right way.
Personally, I prefer a workshop to be functional and basically clean but not overdone clean if you see what I mean, and this fitted the bill nicely. It shows me that my money is being spent on what is necessary to get my car up to scratch, so to speak, and not on fancy expensive gizmos that do nothing except to impress the customers. A functional and practical workshop is the one for me.
I was offered a cup of tea and my heart sank when it was from a machine. Being a teapot, I was not looking forward to it, but was pleasantly surprised, as it really did taste of a cup of tea and not some putrid apology of tea. Clearly then, men after my own heart.
The staff were friendly and offered advice when none was asked for and appeared that they were happy in their work and seemed to be treated well by their manager and I believe, owner Gary.
That’s the first impressions taken care of and now to the nitty gritty; how well did they do with my car?
Mark was the man that assessed my car and also valeted it. He was polite and told me of all the things that needed doing to bring my car looking good. He explained that certain things did not warrant doing because it is not a show car but an everyday worker. I was never once pushed into something I did not want and at no time was I promised the earth, just given options.
I deferred what I needed to Mark and it was agreed that a clay rub down and two buffings with a receding grade of compound along with a Supaguard coating should get most of the hairline scratches out and bring the paintwork to a good standard.
The interior was also steam cleaned, waxed and buffed to an excellent standard. When you consider that the interior, especially below the seats really do take a hammering, I was surprised how good it came up.
As I have said before, in 4.5 years of hard work, but looked after, I did not think that my car could look so good. Most of the scratches
were gone, as promised. The paintwork was flat, no lumps or bumps and the shine was incredible to the point of amazement. Remember, I could have had the Gold Service but opted for the Silver Service instead which I included a few more jobs to be done.
As for the
alloy wheels, I’m speechless. I hate these alloys as they are so awkward to clean so I have neglected them big time. How they have come up is nothing short of sensational. Yes there are still some marks on them, but they are only noticeable up very, very close. Mark, you are a star, and he doesn't even drive!!
The paintwork has still got a few imperfections, i.e. a few small stone chips and a couple of deeper
scratches on the bumpers, but this was pointed out to me beforehand. It did cost me a few bob mind, but the result has probably justified the cost, only time will tell. I was also advised on how to care for my car in the future.
A couple of days afterwards, guess what? A damn bird the size of an Albatross decided to dump on my shiny car! The red mist of incandescence anger just melted away when I cleaned it off with ease with just some water, (and a cloth)
Would I recommend them? Of course, for without a doubt, skill and pride will always win for me."