Award-winning workshop with family/community at heart

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Drew, Alice, Mark, Katie, Stephen and Tait. (Supplied /Melanie Alford)

Since the mid-2015 launch of Drive Safe Centre in North Geelong, the husband-and-wife owners Drew and Alice McKee have seen their VACC-accredited workshop become a leader in the region and a winner of significant industry awards.

Drew brings 20 years’ trade experience to Drive Safe, as well as a business management diploma which has proven vital to making strong decisions, agrees Alice, the office mainstay for three of the past five years.

“I’d been doing Drive Safe bookwork at home after work, but Drew and I knew if we wanted to grow our business I needed to be on board full time,” Alice says. “Since then, we’ve had a baby who ‘grew up’ at the workshop, got his own hi-vis vest, and dubbed ‘site supervisor’. Our business has grown along with him.

“And working with my partner? It’s turned out surprisingly well!”

The family-friendly workshop employs four auto technicians and specialises in services and repairs to early and late-model vehicles. The team has extensive knowledge in diagnostics and electrical problems in petrol, LPG and diesel-fuelled vehicles.

Drew says Drive Safe is a one-stop service shop.

“We do everything, from general services, including log book servicing that doesn’t affect warranties; minor and major services and lube services; and licensed LPG installation and repairs. We provide full inspections and reports for customer peace of mind.

“We’re also a Vic Roads Roadworthy Centre for light commercial, including LPG, and motorcycles, as well as licensed ARC air-conditioning specialists.

“And we’re proud to be widely used by other mechanical business in the Geelong and Colac areas for our expertise in mechanical and LPG faults, as well as provision of stock and trade roadworthy certificates.”

MEET THE OTHERS AT DRIVE SAFE

MARK MILLER: Joining the team in October 2016 at a senior automotive technician, Mark has 20-plus years in the industry and holds a licence for roadworthy testing. Second in charge, Mark’s vast knowledge includes a special interest in motors and steering.

TAIT CARTER: On the same day Drive Safe opened its new workshop, Tait became a valuable team member in February, 2019. Currently completing his fourth-year apprenticeship, he as experience in servicing, wheel alignments and electrical repairs.

STEPHEN HOBBS: As a first-year apprentice when he signed on with the team in October 2018, Stephen took on his new role under the guidance of Drew and Mark. He’s really enjoyed learning the ropes, including in services and repairs.

KATIE HAINES: Mark’s partner, Katie stepped in two years ago to help Alice in the office while awaiting with the arrival of her baby. Katie has continued on as a valued casual team member in the office.

KUDOS FOR DRIVE SAFE CENTRE

Drive Safe Service Centre proudly won the 2018 VACC Industry award for Best Mechanical – Light Vehicle – Regional Small Business.

“This was an amazing achievement for our business and we’re still proud of it,” Alice says.

“Then in 2019, we were a finalist for the VACC Award for Best Mechanical – Light Vehicle.

“To be a finalist in such a prestigious award, recognised throughout Victoria, has been a tremendous opportunity to be a part of.

“And of course, we are so thrilled to be a finalist in this year’s Geelong Business Excellence Awards!

“And to think this was achieved in just five years of business really encourages us to continue our commitment to our amazing customers for years to come.”

Drive Safe Service Centre, 87 Douro Street, North Geelong. Opens 8.30am-5pm Monday-Friday. Inquiries: 5272 1510 or www.drivesafeservicecentre.com.au

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