Having bought an Alfa 147 2.0 Lusso back in the summer, and recently having a full service & belt change with a new workshop, I simply have to sing his praises and make a post here...
The company is called Alfa Net, and the proprietor is Duncan Slade (mobile: 07968 488942). Many forum users will have used his services! His experience, reputation & excellent high service level means he doesn't need to have a huge online presence or marketing campaign to keep him ticking over... his customers always return, and those who do search for good Alfa or Fiat mechanics in the southwest will find mention of him around the discussion forums online.
When I was first looking into buying one, I had viewed the car I eventually bought, but had a couple of items of concern. I joined the Alfa Romeo UK Forum and did some digging around, finding plenty of people pushing the services of Duncan. I decided to give him a bell, out of the blue and ask him his opinion on the issues I had with the viewing. He was extremely polite and helpful, and set my mind at ease. I found similar opinions on the forum to his on the specific issues, and decided to make an offer on the car. After doing the deal and collecting it, I popped it round to Duncan to see if he could indeed check one of the issues out for me. On the phone he said it would be a turn of a bolt with luck, or a new part if not, but he could tell quickly upon seeing it.
His place is quite tricky to find, but worth the effort! Duncan was extremely pleasant, and immediately demonstrated his experience with this car. He made a few adjustments for me for free, dropping what he was doing to help out this stranger and his new car!
Whilst I was there I got chatting to another customer of his who was dropping his Alfa in for servicing, he'd used Duncan for years and for various makes and models, not just his Alfa's.
I bought the car knowing that it would soon need a major service, so was pleased to have found someone knowledgable locally, who had a good reputation and a no-nonsense, honest approach.
Last week I popped down to see Duncan to book the car in for the service, and had him check another couple of things out for me. The power steering had started making noise, the suspension was squeaking in the cold weather and the variator was rattling on start-up. He quickly confirmed the variator, and allayed any fears that it would suddenly break causing a major failure (explaining that it simply controls the revs before the engine is up to full temp and if it broke it would not cause the engine to fail), I decided to get it changed anyway, seeing as it was in for a full belt service. He also found the problem with the power steering in seconds, and showed me the leaking pipe, and the several jubilee clip 'bodges' that had been clamped on it to try to stop the leak. It could only be stopped with a new pipe... a bit of an 'ouch' with the price (which he got on the phone whilst I was there). The squeaking wishbones are a well know Alfa thing (which I confirmed with a search on the forums), and I decided to go ahead and get those changed on the front too, seeing as I intended on owning this car for a few years, it was worth it...
On the day of the service, Duncan gave me a loaner car to use and I only heard from him once during the day to ask if I wanted to change the water pump while he was doing the belts... I asked him what he recommended, and he said it all looked fine, so I left it (very honest and decent of him). When I collected the car, the total bill was cheaper than quoted, as the price of the power steering fluid pipe was cheaper than they quoted him on the phone. It seriously impressed me that he passed that saving on to me. That gesture went a long way towards me writing this endorsement, as it showed total honesty, trust and respect for his customers, and exactly why I found so many endorsements in the first place. A lot of garages would not have mentioned that and could have pocketed the difference. Instead Duncan values the repeat business and loyalty more, and he will get exactly that...
So, if you live near Bristol, love your Alfa or Fiat and need a highly knowledgable, reasonably priced and no-nonsense mechanic, I cannot recommend Duncan Slade (mobile: 07968 488942) highly enough!