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Bodyshop near north London

Owlish

Owlish

Messages
24
Location
London
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Hello all, a petrol tanker had an argument with our bike rack, dragging it off while we were parked in a French supermarket car park! It's a testament to the T6 that although the bike rack came off badly, the damage to the Cali is fairly minor. Along with various scratches and dents on the tailgate, and a few scratches on the roof, there's a little nick in the black rubber seal on the pop-top at the back above the tailgate. This one concerns me as it clearly needs to be done well, or the roof won't be weather-tight.

I was going to send it to the dealership that we bought it from (Hatfield), but realised that they don't have their own bodyshop. They used a VW approved bodyshop called Pentagon, which has OK, if slightly mixed reviews online.

We're in North London and so I checked out Citygate Colindale, who do seem to have a bodyshop. But the reviews for the dealershiup and service departments are dire. only seen a couple for the bodyshop and these are pretty awful too.

So now, I don't know who to entrust our precious Cali to! Does anyone have any experience of bodyshops within reach of N London? Any experience with Pentagon / Citygate Colindale? And regards to repairing roof seals - am I right to be concerned about this? We'd rather have a bit of a journey and find the right repairer, rather than go for the closest and risk a bodged job.
 
I had the rear end of our T5 replaced at Peter Cooper Bogner on the South Coast
https://www.petercoopergroup.co.uk/volkswagen/bodyshop
We live in Southampton so a fair way away. They did a 1st class job.
They should be not to far to go for a good job. They offered a loan car but as I had a hire car paid for by 3rd party did not need one which = quicker slot for work.
 
Last edited:
Thanks Meoncoast. I'll keep that one up my sleeve, but a 5-hour round trip might be a bit much, even for our beloved van!
 
Hello all, a petrol tanker had an argument with our bike rack, dragging it off while we were parked in a French supermarket car park! It's a testament to the T6 that although the bike rack came off badly, the damage to the Cali is fairly minor. Along with various scratches and dents on the tailgate, and a few scratches on the roof, there's a little nick in the black rubber seal on the pop-top at the back above the tailgate. This one concerns me as it clearly needs to be done well, or the roof won't be weather-tight.

I was going to send it to the dealership that we bought it from (Hatfield), but realised that they don't have their own bodyshop. They used a VW approved bodyshop called Pentagon, which has OK, if slightly mixed reviews online.

We're in North London and so I checked out Citygate Colindale, who do seem to have a bodyshop. But the reviews for the dealershiup and service departments are dire. only seen a couple for the bodyshop and these are pretty awful too.

So now, I don't know who to entrust our precious Cali to! Does anyone have any experience of bodyshops within reach of N London? Any experience with Pentagon / Citygate Colindale? And regards to repairing roof seals - am I right to be concerned about this? We'd rather have a bit of a journey and find the right repairer, rather than go for the closest and risk a bodged job.
Hi Owlish

Off topic but I’m in North London too. Did you find a body shop? And where do you get services etc done? I’m about to get a second hand Beach and live very close to an AlanDay van centre and not so far from Citygate Colindale. Any recommendations? Thanks
 
Hi Owlish

Off topic but I’m in North London too. Did you find a body shop? And where do you get services etc done? I’m about to get a second hand Beach and live very close to an AlanDay van centre and not so far from Citygate Colindale. Any recommendations? Thanks

We did! We used H&L Motors in Twickenham. I'd read some negative reviews, but quite a few positive ones too. They're also one of the very few bodyshops who've had VW training for the roof warranty issue, and although that wasn't an issue for us, I felt that they would know the vehicle better than another bodyshop. I spoke to them, explained my misgivings, and was reassured by the owner (I think?) who gave me the figures for the number of Cali's they deal with. I can't remember what this was, but it was high enough to convince me. Their forecourt was full of premium cars, so I felt reasonably confident leaving it there!

They were very good, helpful, and thoroughly on the case. It did go back for some snagging that I didn't notice when first collecting it, but again, that was dealt with very smoothly. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend them based on our experience.

Servicing is a pig. Alan Day Southgate is our local dealer. They serviced our Golf when under warranty and they never did a great job. They were very keen to make more money at every possible opportunity though. I was quoted something like £380 for an oil service recently! I phoned around an in the end took it to Inchcape VW Van centre in Chelmsford for £174! All a good experience, apart from them not stamping the service book, but we sorted that out by post. Where are you in N London?

Hope this helps :)
 
Are you claiming through your insurance or doing this privately?
 
We did! We used H&L Motors in Twickenham. I'd read some negative reviews, but quite a few positive ones too. They're also one of the very few bodyshops who've had VW training for the roof warranty issue, and although that wasn't an issue for us, I felt that they would know the vehicle better than another bodyshop. I spoke to them, explained my misgivings, and was reassured by the owner (I think?) who gave me the figures for the number of Cali's they deal with. I can't remember what this was, but it was high enough to convince me. Their forecourt was full of premium cars, so I felt reasonably confident leaving it there!

They were very good, helpful, and thoroughly on the case. It did go back for some snagging that I didn't notice when first collecting it, but again, that was dealt with very smoothly. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend them based on our experience.

Servicing is a pig. Alan Day Southgate is our local dealer. They serviced our Golf when under warranty and they never did a great job. They were very keen to make more money at every possible opportunity though. I was quoted something like £380 for an oil service recently! I phoned around an in the end took it to Inchcape VW Van centre in Chelmsford for £174! All a good experience, apart from them not stamping the service book, but we sorted that out by post. Where are you in N London?

Hope this helps :)
I'm in Muswell Hill so Alan Day is a 15 minute walk away so particularly handy. I was scanning old posts last night and there seem some good some bad views on them. I wonder if there's much difference between between the car and commercial parts of the business.

In any case, I'm thinking knowledge of the vans is important (which they might have), but if mechanics are familiar with Beach/Cali conversions that's better (and they don't seem to tick that box). So, I might try Citygate Colindale.

I've always been wary of main dealers but figure it's best to go with them for the service record (I'm likely to move on to a T6 when the ULEZ swallows me up)! I hopefully pick up my 2014 Beach next weekend, and I'm relying on it being in great condition after chatting with the salesman at Pickups Direct... he seems genuine but then maybe he's just a great salesman...
 
Any update about where to go? I also live in North London and need a new door (accident) so would like it done properly. Nearest dealership is Southgate. Want to look at how much it will cost out of insurance. Would be grateful
For any advice.
 
Our ex demo Beach was delivered with damaged paint work, luckily it was a sunny day and I spotted it. Salesman claimed to not have noticed it. Anyway, they put it back through their body shop within a week, and the paint job included a large area on one side of the van. The repair is very good, cannot tell, I was worried about a metallic colour repair, but seriously would not know. That was VW at Loughton, not far from north London just off M25.


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Any update about where to go? I also live in North London and need a new door (accident) so would like it done properly. Nearest dealership is Southgate. Want to look at how much it will cost out of insurance. Would be grateful
For any advice.
As per my post above, I'd recommend H&L in Twickenham. Bit of a drive but worth it to us to ensure a good job.
 
Has anyone used:
Exan Accident Repair Centre in Camden?
 
We’re in Muswell Hill too and recently had body repairs on our California and Golf by Sean at crashrepairslondon.co.uk over in Tottenham following a recommendation from a mate. Couldn’t rate him and his work highly enough. Awesome job and lovely chap. Read his site too and you’ll see he teaches the trade. Coincidentally after waiting 2 years our Cali is off for the roof cap repair next week at HL Motors through Alan Day Southgate so I’m keeping everything crossed for a good job. Read so many bad reviews if the cap repair looking rubbish, leaking, and not lasting...
 
Hi. Thanks - good to know. My van is waiting for recall work on the roof but sounds like it will take years before it gets to the top of the list! Cheers
 
Also in MH! Do you rate Alan Day?
 
I have been for services and MOTs, mainly for the service record. Mark there seems like a decent feller and has certainly helped me avoid some costs (services/treatments not needed yet, etc and got some tyres for a decent price).

I've had no problems with the services but haven't had anything 'interesting' to do on the van. On the MOTs, they matched the cost of TL Motors where I took my car in the past.
 

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