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Lexus Dealers


fil4362
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Sorry to ask this guys but i read many of the threads on here. I still cant understand why some of you rely on Lexus dealers. Or ex Lexus mechanics for that matter. Why some of you are hapy to pay over the odds for work thats done by a "Lexus mechanic " is beyond me. The diffrence between a Lexus mechanic and an "inde", as some of you call them, is the badge on his overalls.

I know one garage near me they used to be Rover agents, when Rover went bust they took on Nissan and Subaru. They now have 3 diffrent labour rates. £73 and hour for Subaru. £58 and hour for Nissan, and £43 an hour for Rover plus vat. Funny thing is the guy in the back wears the same overalls and uses same tools and ramp no matter what car hes working on. Before any of you start saying this isnt allowed or fair i never said it was i just said this is what they are doing.

If i shut my garage an "inde" and went and got a job for Lexus, does that mean i am a Lexus mechanic then. When do i become worth £70 an hour instead of £37.50. I know dealers run their own in house training, but a lecture run by a dealer for a dealer mechanic is sure hard to pass.

I have been in and around the motor trade 25 years and worked at some dealers myself and believe me my time spent working for a Ford dealer was some of the most corupt time ever, hence my leaving. I was an aprentice back then and cleaning oil filters and checking brakes through the spokes in the wheels was comman place. The Ford escorts back then never had the front wheels took of until the pads had worn out.

I work on many cars all day, just because they dont all say Lexus on the boot does this make me a lesser mechanic than the guy down the road. If you turn it around a guy who works on Lexus cars all day leaves a Lexus dealer and goes to work for an "inde" first job in at new place is a Ford does that make him a crap mechanic??.

Forget the dealers fellas go find an experianced mechanic who charges realistic prices for a fair job. Find a guy(or girl for that matter) whos been working on cars for years and use them. In its simplest form a car is a car its 3 boxes one for the engine one for the driver and one for your shopping. They stuck together with nuts and bolts. Any decent mechanic will repair your car for you and if its a complicated job he cant do he will tell you he cant do it. Dealers tell you that you have to take your car to them for service to keep your warrenty ANY and i mean ANY dealer that tells you this should be reported. This practice is now illegal and telling a customer this is a crime. Theres a new garagweb site running now called the "good garage scheme" look them up read the customer reports on these garages and pick one save yourself some money guys

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i totally agree with what your saying there.

my friend has a vw golf mk4 and it had piston ring problems with it last year, we took it to vw and they said their labour charge is £1000 + parts + va.t comes to about £1800 then they said we cannot fix it here as our mechanics have not done it before and they then said we will take it to another garage which in an independant one near me, but still charge you our rates! i went to the garage that they said they would take the car to and the garage said it will cost £800 alotogther! these MAIN STEALERS will rip off anyone off!

in the end took the car to a vw specialist who has 30yrs experience and build racing cars...got the job done for £550.

i am due for my service which is a basic one...oil,air filter.....Lexus have quaoted me £280!

i will do the service myself which will include Oil+filter, air filter, spark plugs and topping up all fluids. to buy all the parts will cost me about £100, not buying any cheap oils...... and to change oil it will only cost me £15 and the rest i will do it myself.

still a huge saving for me.

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I also agree the fact why i use an independant garage mostly because i like to supply my own parts, which usually is equal or above OEM lexus specification. A lexus garage themselves won't fit for political reasons even if it is brand new. This is what i stick to and the advise and knowledge in this forum as far as im concerned is all i need and im greatful for this, i mean who knows better then the people who actually drive the car with tried and tested parts. So far everything i have asked about on different aspec of the car has been correct, in some cases even lexus themselves got it wrong after the advise answer was given to me from this forum! I remember the reason why i personally stopped using my local lexus garage in the first place was the fact they would not give me a courtesy car when i took my car to their garage for a £400 service and found out a caliper had to be replaced and i had noway to get home (17 miles away, 6pm in the afternoon) and i was basically left stranded and ended up phoning a friend from further away to pick me up at a very short notice. Final bill i paid was over £1000 and car was not even cleaned, i expected a bit more from lexus as i did ask for the car to be cleaned when i took it in for a service. When they phoned back for a feedback i basically told them what had happened and i won't be using them again. I have not used them ever since then over 3 yrs ago, about same time i joined this forum infact.

I remember lexus wanting to charge me something like £400 (inc VAT) for a cambelt change, so i took it to a garage and they charged me in a region of £220 (Inc Vat). But i have to admit a good garage is hard to find and there will be cowboys out there, but you can spot them a mile off, just take a look into their workshop and if it's a mess then i won't take my car there. But this is down to my own opinon and as you say if there is now a good garage guide than that will be a good indication which garages carry the job correctly with good customer satisfaction. Please note im not saying everyone should go and use independent garage because you know by taking it to a lexus garage the staff there will be fully qualified and it's that peace of mind and reinsurance. I can never understand why different lexus garages charge different prices, maybe living cost in the area perhaps?

I can think of another reason why people use lexus garage is for re-sale value, a log book with lexus approved service will be more attractive selling point than one without (again my opinon). A lexus with any more than 60k on the clock is not really worth having further service by lexus themselves as the price and replacment parts will get higher as time goes by.

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I bought my is200 with no service history i didnt even road test the car and it had done 145,000 when i bought it. I will always by a car with my ears and eyes. I had a mercedes c class a few years back it had 200,00 on the clock, but had 2 stamped up service books. The garage on the stamp didnt exsist the phone number was dead.Someone had a stamp made up and spent some time with a pen making the service history up. The car was right and must have been serviced at some point in its life i think probably by the guy i bought it of but as you say a fully stamped up service book makes the car worth a few more quid.

As for qualified staff i have qualified staff i also have 2 apprentices any work done by the apprentice gets checked and a watchfull eye is kept on them at all times. I cant how ever say the same for all garages, all mechanics have to start some where as does any tradesman so dont expect your car to be worked on by a fully qualified staff member every time you take your car in.

I for one have been in the trade 25 years or so i dont count myself "Fully" qualified. i sat exams and 5 years of collage, but theres always something new on the market always a new engine or new model car thats out so no one and i mean no one has ever done every job on every car. Experiance is what i look for theres never anything that new that it cant be related to something else simular.Changing a timing belt is pretty much the same on any car. In its simplest form you undo stuff until the cover comes of,time up the engine, change belt and tensioner and any idlers, bolt all bit back together. I dont need to have Lexus on my overalls to work on a Lexus i draw on my experiance (and an auto data cd for timing marks, specs and setings) when i do any job.

As for a clean car, any car that comes in my garage for service gets a wash and hoover no matter how dirty it is when it comes in.

Have a look at "good garage scheme" on the internet gives an out line of what garages in your area do what, and more importantly customer feedback. The feed back cards are given out to customers and a filled in and sent back to the good garage scheme and not the garage, and the good garage scheme do spot checks on garages to check that feed back forms have actually come from customers and not the mechanics families!!

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This is exactly why I service my IS200 myself.

I am confident of doing small jobs myself such as engine oil/filter changes, replacing spark plugs, replacing brake pads etc. Anything out of my depth I get a local garage to do the necessary work, whose labour rates are a lot less than Lexus.

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To balance the argument slightly, I've had my car 7 years from new, always serviced at Lexus and no reason to go elsewhere.

The service at Lexus (mostly) is impeccable, my car has been trouble free and it hasn't really cost me a penny more than routine servicing.

I realise it's quite old now, so if I bought a 7 year old car now I may not be so bothered, but buying a car like a Lexus is in part down to the whole ownership experience. I don't mind paying a little more, to not have to wait around in a cold dirty garage, and to get a brand new Lexus courtesy car when mine's in - it might sound snobby but that's what Lexus is all about, more so due to the way it was created.

Another more practical point to add, is that for every decent independent, there are probably 20 con artists - and without quite serious praise from other users, I'd never trust my car anywhere. At least at Lexus I know that either the job will be done properly, or if not I won't need to take them to court to get it sorted.

It really isn't as simple and clear cut as you seem to be suggesting :)

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I agree about using a good indie when you can but, how easy is it to find a good indie you can trust? Not always that easy Im sure there are some very good guys out there my bike gets done by an indie that I trust 100% but then ive know him for years. When it come to the lexus I dont know a good indie car mechanic and as far as Im concerned its too good a car and way to expensive to fix if anything does go wrong and being my only real transport atm as the bike is in storage I cant afford to run the risk.

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To balance the argument slightly, I've had my car 7 years from new, always serviced at Lexus and no reason to go elsewhere.

The service at Lexus (mostly) is impeccable, my car has been trouble free and it hasn't really cost me a penny more than routine servicing.

I realise it's quite old now, so if I bought a 7 year old car now I may not be so bothered, but buying a car like a Lexus is in part down to the whole ownership experience. I don't mind paying a little more, to not have to wait around in a cold dirty garage, and to get a brand new Lexus courtesy car when mine's in - it might sound snobby but that's what Lexus is all about, more so due to the way it was created.

Another more practical point to add, is that for every decent independent, there are probably 20 con artists - and without quite serious praise from other users, I'd never trust my car anywhere. At least at Lexus I know that either the job will be done properly, or if not I won't need to take them to court to get it sorted.

It really isn't as simple and clear cut as you seem to be suggesting :)

agreed

The entire experiance when you take it in = you are god

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Priced a timing belt kit today, good quality make £58. Thats a 3 piece kit belt tensioner and idler.

As for experiance it shouldnt be an experiance. Drop car of collect when ready. What experiance.

My company has a courtesy car if required, we also have a collect and drop of service we even have a heating in our reception area and a coffee machine that i dont know how to work (too many buttons and i just want a black coffee) all this and i am only an indie. Oh and i have a cleaner who comes in once a week so my reception area is clean as well, we even have a plastic plant in the corner,just to add a little colour.. my staff have clean uniform every day the workshop is clean and all cars serviced get a full valet before collection.

So i offer the same service for half the parts cost and half the labour cost, personal choice?? or wasting money?? the choice is yours.

My point when starting this thread was at what point does a mechanic charging £36.75(my labour rate) an hour become a Lexus tech charging £73 an hour. Why does a denso spark plug costing £38 for 6 become worth £70 for 6 when it says Toyota an the box.

My mate owns an is200 navman sport. He rarely services it and only repairs it when its broken and or despratly needs doing. Its got 145,00 showing on the clock hes owned it from 12 months old. Other than a bloody good wash and polish the car is still mint and as tight as a drum to drive. This is due to build quality of the car not the maintainance.

Dont expect great things from dealers, in my experiance there just as dodgey as any other mechanics can be. i have worked for dealers and know many people that still do. I even know of one certain dealer chain that pays a cash bonus to their staff for selling "additional proceedures" above what the car was booked in for. Just because the garage has a nice reception area with courtesy cars (that they later sell as ex demonstration models) doesnt make them a good garage.

As for word of mouth check out the good garage scheme on the internet. they recomend garages in every area and have a feed back rating for each garage based on customer testamonies, which cant be cheated or faked as they check.

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I'm not knocking your service one bit, there are very good independents out there and I'm sure you're one of them.

I had my car serviced at Lexus a few weeks ago, and it cost me just over £200. How much would it have been if I had it done at an indie like yourselves - maybe £150?

It's my personal opinion but I don't mind paying the extra £50 for the "experience" and the peace of mind that there is reasonable backup should something go wrong.

It really isn't fair to imply that everyone who uses Lexus to look after their Lexus is an idiot who has more money than sense - in many cases it may be quite the contrary.

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if i was to buy a BRAND NEW CAR FROM THE DEALERS then i probably would get the car serviced at the main dealer because if i can afford to buy a new car why cant i afford to get it serviced by them? and it also looks good on the service book for a new car.

but as for buying a second hand car like i have, i would not get it serviced at main dealer i would just use an indie an do the easy bits for myself.

like myself i am one of them person who will compare the price of parts with main dealers and if its reasonable price i will buy off them, if not i will buy a better quality part for near enough the same price.

for this topic, there is many different views and opinions, end of the day it is down to the owners wealth and stabilty of finance, if they have the cash to spend at main dealers then so it be, but there are others who want value for their money not just paying for the brand name.

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I think some people are missing my point on the parts. There is nothing in it quality wise whatever the name on the box. You cant buy non o.e. spec parts in this country. Every part for sale in this country is or was origianal equipment on a model of car some where at some time. If a brand of part is good enough for Volkswagen Ford or even Rover its good enough for Lexus.

Any one heard of Puralator filters. In this country no i dont think so but in truth they are the second biggest selling filter company in the world. They have vertually cornered the entire U.S market. If they make filters good enough for 100 million cars in the states and there £15 cheaper than a filter with Toyota wrote on it then its good enough for my Lexus.

As for getting a proper job, there is still no diffrence betweent he job i do and the job a guy with Lexus wrote on his overalls does. Why is he worth twice what i am worth just because he works in a a garage with Lexus onthe front door. There is nothing at all stopping me opening my garage in the morning and declaring myself a "Lexus specialist" would you be happy in my labour rate doubled over night ??

My point is a guy working for me last week doesnt suddenly do a better job if he leaves my place and goes to work for Lexus or any other dealer so why is he worth twice as much. Its the mechanics with the spanners not the name over the door if hes going to miss somethng or leave a wheel loose it doesnt matter what name he has across his back

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i get my car serviced at a Toyota center as they also have trained Lexus mechanics and the price is cheaper. but i also work for toyota so friends help out and i just pay for the parts. service stuff but i know that they are cheaper for customers so we get a few Lexus in for service. check it out

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The OP is obviously touting for work, and that's not a bad thing I suppose.

My take on this is; I want to see Lexus stamps in my service book and I also like to have the knowledge that my car is being taken care of by Lexus techs. I enjoy the Lexus service experience, sad things like taking a Lexus courtesy car. I like sitting in the clean reception, drinking good coffee and having a friendly chat while looking at Lexus models in the showroom. It's all part of being a Lexus car owner.

It's almost like why I don't drive a Vauxhall diesel. Sure they're cheaper to run but I'm not bothered about cheap. I didn't buy a Lexus for the car's fuel consumption or the cost of servicing it. I bought the car to enjoy it everyday. With this sort of car there is a cost element, and one I don't mind paying for.

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I'm not sure why you seem to be quite bitter about main dealer servicing, but I have a simple question - yes you're probably fine and you and your mechanics may do exactly what a Lexus tech would do, but how on earth am I supposed to know that when I pick a garage near me?

I don't know how much Lexus charge in Manchester, but surely if you are really that good and your service area is that good, you're underselling yourself?

In an industry with no regulation, manufacturers provide their own form of regulation by way of their approved main dealers. And as I said, I don't mind paying a small amount extra for peace of mind.

Having said that, I have my geo done at WIM, and also had them do my brakes not because they were cheaper, but mainly because I really trust them working on my car. Not everything comes down to money, I just want to be comfortable that my car is being looked after.

I simply don't have time to try and save a few pennies and then have to keep taking it into the garage to have problems rectified.

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quick question about OE spec parts though - I don't agree that that are always as good as the original manufacturers parts.

For example, brake disks can vary wildly in quality. Still OE spec (i.e dimensions all the same) but quality of materials used is not the same.

Same goes for other items. Not always, especially for EU made cars, yuo can go to Eurocar parts and buy parts from them, made by the same manufacturer as say merc use, but just doesn't have the merc box and logo on. Part numbers are even the same!

I think some people, who have paid 10's of K's for their car, like the experience they get from lexus and the perceived trust etc. And if they are not short of a bob or two then thats fine.

As people have said, its hard to find a decent reliable trade for anything these days unless word of mouth spreads etc. Same goes for main dealers mind, but at least you have some backup and recourse through the brand if you need it.

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I am a Mercedes Van and Truck technician who has qualified with them and done various training courses. I challenge an independent mechanic to do a job as efficiently as I can. I can do the job in much quicker times keeping the labour charge down, okay, they charge more per hour but when there is much less time on a job savings are made.

I understand that some people don't realise that servicing is fairly straight forward and they could probably do it themselves, but why risk having something done wrongly? Would all independents know that some newer vehicles require low ash engine oil? If they used normal oil and the Diesel Particulate Filter got blocked up would they pay the £800 for a new one? Does the independent garage know to check everything at set intervals?

This is a two sided arguement, I will always service my own vehicles, but for big jobs, the dealers do know what they are doing as they have probably done the job countless times before.

Mark.

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On servicing, if you don't use a main dealer and there is a grey area type problem of any kind, you may not get any goodwill from the manufacturer. The value of the goodwill could be quite substantial. I suspect, with Lexus, that goodwill gestures are quite common because of their high JD Power rating. Perhaps with some other manufacturers goodwill gestures are few and far between. In those cases I wouldn't go dealer servicing.

On OEM items, it staggers me how long original Japanese bulbs last. As soon as you have to replace one with a reputable make at a car spares place they seem to last about 2 years max.

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I get routine services done at dealer + supply oil etc to avoid some rip off bits. Make sure I fill washer bottle just before it goes in too.

Remember them trying to charge for washer fluid once and when I said it was already full they said they used some testing the washers :lol:

If they find a problem that needs some extra work doing then I get that done at my local garage who also do my MOT's

TG

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I don't know how much Lexus charge in Manchester, but surely if you are really that good and your service area is that good, you're underselling yourself?

Got a quote today from one of the Lexus dealers near Manchester as it happens, see HERE

I def think the OP is underpricing himself if he says he can do the job for less than half the price!

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I am not underselling myself i mearly charge a fair price for a fair job. I charge labour rates as set down by Auto data who collect their information from the dealers. If the auto data says 3 hours for a service then i charge 3 hours. If it takes me 4 then thats my loss. I have never rang a customer to tell them that "the job is taking longer that i thought i will have to charge you more"

If i undersell labour then thats my luck out. This very rearly happens and i usually find the labour rates excesive.

As for doing the job frequently and knowing the job so i can do it quicker, the experiance i have with dealers is they do work thats unrequired. I know for a fact on the new model Focus, Ford techs remove the offside head light to give better access. Ford work from a standard set of tools so to remove the timing cover you may well have to take out the headlight, personally i have a very extensive tool kit and have never had to remove the head light yet and get the job done in time. I also know that the new focus doesnt come with a pollen filter as the techs refuse to replace them as to access it your required to remove the fuse box. both of these facts i was todl about by a Ford tech.

With regards to low ash oils and particulate filters yes i know what they are i also know of the pig urine is used in diesel engined cars they used to call it Add Blue. I keep abreast with most manufactures and if theres still something i dont know i use the good old internet or the telephone and ring the dealers and ask.

As an example of dealers not knowing or having it all, a few years ago i serviced a 206 gti. It was 2 years old but the girl who drove it was at uni in sheffield and traveled up and down every weekend she did 30,000 a year in it. I couldnt get plugs on the aftermarket so i had to get the from Peugeot. I was amazed to be told they didnt have any and would have to get them in. A two year old car i asked and you dont stock the plugs. We havnt had one in yet that has done that kind of mileage so we havnt had a use for them yet. Two days later my plugs turned up. Of course to the customer it was my fault, i actually rang the dealer and put her on the phone so they personally could confirm it wasnt my fault i had her car 2 days. It shouldnt really have mattered as she had a courtesy car with a free tank of fuel in it.

My point that no one has addressed yet is when does a mechanic become a tech. I dont understand this tech thing. does he fix cars?? then he is a mechanic. If the car has a fault that he diagnoses then repairs hes a mechanic. If some one tells him "thats broke" and he replaces the broken part then hes a fitter. If he services cars all day including timing belts air con regas brake lining changes brake fluid changes then hes a mechanic. All the jobs i have just listed are service jobs as far as i am concerned Even quickfit fiters do this kind of work are they now to be known as techs.

Maybe its just me, i am rarely quite if ever. I dont advertise anywere except yellow pages i have only recently signed up to the good garage scheme. I am a memeber of the retail motor industry and a memebr of the local fair play charter. when i was an apprentice i was the most qualified mechanic in the country for years as i did every exam and course there was to do when most people did just what was required. i dont advertise this except on the inside of my garage were my qualificatios are displayed. My work is repeat custom and word of mouth.I am not drumming up bussiness,Have i once mentioned which garage i work at?. i wouldnt mention it or even tell people if thed messaged me and asked. Good trades men are hard to find i agree maybe this is why i am always busy. Or maybe it just because i do a fair job for a fair price.

There is no reason at all not to use an "indie" as long as they are vat registered and carry out the service to "dealer spec" then it doesnt invalidate any warrenty. Today i serviced a 09 plate sciroco. my Auto data cd doesnt list this car so i requested the service specs from my local vw dealer and by law they have to send them. The car got the required service to the required specs.

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I have read through this thread and being a (Lexus tech) i understand why people use indies to save money and yes they are very compitent. I also, working in a lexus dealer understand the reason for the labour rate difference

These are only some of the factors affecting labour rates

1 Training we dont get free training from lexus or free accomodation while on overnight courses a indie will not have to under go so much training because they dont have a fixed brand ie product launches, new hybrid systems ect

2 the obvious gas and electric bills which affect most garages also equiptment maintenance.

3 Average of 3 or 4 curtisey cars worth 26k to 50k each are not free they have to be paid for.

4 pay for a driver to collect and deliver

5 Pay for 3 - 4 reception staff

Thats just some of the things that cause a elivated labour rate.

As for the Good garage scheme is concerned im all for it it will filter out all the (cowboys) in the trade and im all for it to be honest.

The word technician is a generation thing i am a mechanic at the end of the day but todays wording is technician.

There was mention of dealers having low standards. And i agree they are people who will do anything for a sale and as far as im concerned the same things happen in indie workplaces too so i wouldnt just assume than everysingle dealer is set on targets causing miss selling.

I know that toyota/Lexus are focusing more on aftersales next year which has already began to roll out fixed price servicing and repairs.

And we dont just work on lexus we have vairious makes everyday and we are all compitent on all makes (a car is a car at the end of the day)

Also the AtA licence is manditory in toyota and lexus which is aimed to be Similar to (Corgi) registerd but for motor vehicles.

Also hybrid training a average mechanic will not fully know the do's and dont's on hybrid systems i.e safety and setup after for example a flat battery you need to calibrate a lot of sytems and the unfortunate customer will suffer via poor mpg of a constantly running engine.

Also electric power steering resetting the cetral piont ect

Some of these finer pionts is why people use main dealers because we specialize in a brand and we have all the tools, computers, books to hand so there is no guessing.

This is all my opinion and a insight into a dealer we do not rip people off we get a job carry out the work required. We produce a vehicle safety report, service tick sheet, brake evaluation forms ect because every job will be quaility controlled prior to hand over.

So as far as im concered were i work standards are very high and yes i have worked in a indie garage before so its not just a one sided view from me

Sorry for the rant guys

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      With the Great British holiday getaway on the horizon, drivers of BEVs (battery electric vehicles) will be considering where to recharge on their journey.  While motorway service stations are an obvious choice, Lexus has researched some more interesting alternative locations
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