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Proud to be female friendly garage

PUBLISHED: 18:23 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:08 03 July 2010

CLEAN, crisp white walls, comfy leather sofas with bright pink cushions and a selection of women's magazines - not the usual image conjured up when thinking of a garage.

CLEAN, crisp white walls, comfy leather sofas with bright pink cushions and a selection of women's magazines - not the usual image conjured up when thinking of a garage.

But this is what greets you at Great Yarmouth's latest garage Karen's Motors - which prides itself on being a female-friendly garage.

The office is decked out more like a café complete with coffee machine, juke box, football table and children's corner - all aimed to make the female motorist feel at home when her car needs a little love and attention.

The business based at Sidegate Road in Runham Vauxhall run by brother and sister Karen and Anthony Taylor had its grand opening this month.

Karen was inspired to set up the business following a string of “bad” experiences at garages. The mum-of-three said she had almost been “ripped off” on several occasions but fortunately had her mechanic brother Anthony, 34, to ask for advice.

Karen recalled that on one occasion when she took her car in for a job she was quoted £300. “I called my brother to run it past him and he said it should have been no more than £75,” she said.

The siblings came up with idea

of opening a female-friendly garage around Christmas-time when Anthony fell out of work.

Karen, 40, said: “We were just talking one day and I mentioned that there was nowhere a woman could take her car and not feel intimidated. I don't have a clue about cars and could quite easily be ripped off so we came up with the idea of this garage.”

The garage has been operating for just over a week and had its official opening on May 17.

The premises was purchased in March and Karen and her family have been working non-stop to transform the derelict and decaying yard into a bright, welcoming garage.

The new office, decorated in white and pink, has women's and men's magazines as well as children's toys, a football table and a Playstation.

“We want to cater for everyone,” said Karen. “The response we've had so far has been great - people who have come here think it's a great idea. We want women to feel they are being treated equally when they come here. Our mechanics will explain to them what needs repairing and even show them. Customers will have the chance to go into the garage and have a look at their cars to see what we are actually doing.”

While Karen is no mechanic, she does admit to being a tomboy.

“As a girl I always preferred cars to dolls,” she said.

However, there is still one element missing from the perfect female friendly garage - a female mechanic.


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