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Driving Jobs From A Different Direction

Published: Monday 19th June 2017

Hands holding a steering wheel

If you like cars then you might be interested in traditional driving jobs, such as chauffeur, taxi driver or vehicle delivery driver. But if that kind of work isn’t for you then perhaps a job at a car dealership might fit the bill. That doesn’t mean that you have to try your hand at being a car salesperson, because there’s a lot more to working at a car dealership than wearing a suit and selling cars.

Some of the staff at a dealership will, of course, be employed as showroom sales staff, but lots more will be working away in a variety of other roles that are equally vital to the success of the dealership.

The Workshop

The workshop of a car dealership is a busy place. Cars that have just arrived from the manufacturer or distribution centre need to be given a pre-delivery inspection to ensure that there are no obvious faults before being handed over to the purchaser.  Meanwhile, other cars will be undergoing routine servicing and fault diagnosis, having repairs carried out and being put through MOT inspections.

In order to carry out this work, the dealership will need to employ vehicle technicians trained to diagnose and rectify mechanical and electrical faults, supervisors to ensure that the workshop is functioning smoothly and at least one manager who will oversee workshop operations and report to the person in overall charge of the dealership. A technician will also carry out pre and post-repair road tests of cars, so although it isn’t a driving job as such it’s still likely to offer the prospect of driving different makes and types of car.

Vehicle technicians employed by dealerships are expected to develop a detailed technical knowledge of the car range sold by the driving job and must also possess strong general fault finding and repairing abilities, as they can be called upon to service or repair any make of vehicle. Although the advent of modern diagnostic equipment has been of great value to technicians, it has not supplanted the need for traditional mechanical aptitude.

The usual route to a career as a vehicle technician is through undertaking an apprenticeship and will involve on-the-job training combined with college study.

A vehicle technician is a skilled job ideally suited to people who have an aptitude for practical work, good analytical and communication skills, can work diligently without constant supervision, possess the ability to learn and apply new techniques and have a responsible attitude to health and safety. Normal colour vision and a driving licence are also required.

The Parts Department

Every component on a car is designed to be replaceable when it ceases to function through wear and tear or damage. Fitting replacement components is, of course, a duty that’s left to the vehicle technician in the workshop. However, the technician needs to have the relevant parts to hand in order to perform their job. And that’s where the parts department comes in.

Contrary to what you might think, the parts department of a car dealership doesn’t hold every conceivable car part in stock. Apart from the amount of space required to do so, the cost of holding so much stock would be prohibitive. So that means ordering in some parts on an ‘as necessary’ basis, either from the car’s manufacturer or from specialist motor factors. Trade and retail customers will  also order and purchase vehicle parts through a dealership’s parts department.

The parts department will usually work on a similar management structure to the workshop. Depending on its size, there will usually be at least one manger and senior parts person or supervisor along with one or more junior parts persons. No formal qualifications are needed to become a parts person, although apprenticeships are available.

Reception

The reception area is the hub of any car dealership. It’s often the first point of contact for telephone callers and an information centre for customers calling in person. As such, that impression is highly important in the competitive retail environment of car dealerships.

Receptionists usually also perform certain administrative and support duties, and may in addition be called upon to collect and deliver courtesy cars to and from customers.

No specific qualifications are required to work as a receptionist. A smart appearance coupled with a helpful and friendly manner is important as are sound administrative skills. A driving licence will also usually be required.

If you’re looking for a job in the automotive industry why not search our site, or download the Zoek app on iOS or Android. Zoek matches jobseekers and employers with our new technology in a smarter, faster way than traditional job boards.

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