A GARAGE owner in Bicester is struggling to fix key workers’ vehicles due to bad communication between car dealerships and suppliers who he would usually buy car parts from.

Nigel Siret, who has been running Worldwide Automotive for 23 years in Telford Road, has been stuck with vehicles that he cannot repair because some dealerships have either closed due to coronavirus or not made it clear enough that they are indeed still open.

Mr Siret said: “I don’t understand why some of them are shut because they are classed as an essential service. If you are able to do social distancing, then they should remain open. It’s not like customers are wandering in and out.

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“It started off with one car and now I’ve got more and more cars stuck here because I can’t get them on the road.”

Mr Siret uses dealerships including Motorline Oxford Motor Park and North Oxford Garage.

He says he has contacted them but has not heard back from anyone, leaving him short of car parts.

He added: “I’ve got a key worker with a Mercedes that needs fixing but I can’t get the part from the dealership.

“I’ve got two vans which are needed to take beds to hospitals but I can’t fix them because I can’t get a hold of the dealer.

“If they are open, there’s not much guidance on how to get certain things. I’m trying to keep people who need moving, moving but I can’t.”

Motorline Oxford Motor Park which sells Nissan vehicles and parts said although its centres are physically closed, it remains open remotely and it is helping key workers.

It said: "We are working remotely to fully support all of our customers and key workers with their questions and needs, with these being fulfilled through our team of experts, ensuring every customer who enquires is responded to and assisted during these challenging times."

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Mr Siret said he has had problems trying to contact North Oxford Garage which supplies BMW parts saying he has not heard from them at all after making an enquiry.

North Oxford Garage, however, said although its showrooms are closed, its garage business is still open and has been focusing on supporting key workers.

It said: "Our garage business which included service repairs and parts purchases never closed as this was deemed an essential business by the government.

"Our focus switched to supporting key workers, who needed to continue to make essential journeys and provide them with maintenance repair and breakdown services along with any emergency service vehicles requiring the same.

"In addition we maintained our parts operation to service the requirements and needs of our trade garage repair workshops and bodyshops.

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Mr Siret, who has had to furlough four of his staff due to a lack of work, feels that small garages like his have been left out even though they are classed as essential workers and are also needed to help key workers stay on the road.