A woman who thought her top of the range BMW would be safe at the garage she picked to carry out repairs was shocked to discover a technician had taken her car home which resulted in her receiving a penalty notice in the post.
Laura Philipides took her BMW X1 to the garage to fix a steering defect. A week after picking up her car she was sent a £120 fine, after her vehicle was photographed driving in a bus lane. When the 63-year-old from South Croydon went to the garage she was told the technician had taken her car home for some overnight testing, but she is angry because she did not give them permission to do so. After complaining, the garage offered to pay the fine and pay for half a tank of fuel.
Laura said: :I was very upset when I found out. No one asked my permission to take the car overnight, and it was very upsetting to find out someone had just taken my car home. It is outrageous. If you are handing your vehicle over, you do not expect it to be used in the evening. The car is worth £40,000 and we pay high premiums for the motor insurance quote, plus it is not like I took the car to a little back street garage, we took it to the proper manufacturers.”
The garage claim that it is standard procedure to carry out an extended road test when diagnosing faults that are proving difficult to identify on a vehicle and this was agreed with Mrs Philipides at the time of handover. It was during this extended road test that the technician inadvertently drove into the bus lane and as a result, the vehicle was correctly given a fixed penalty notice. If it was not for the extended test the garage say the fault would not have been found and subsequently fixed.