"Hi, I'm Paul Montagu, creator of Car Helpers; a division of The Deal Maker Nationwide. Car Helpers came to me as some what of an epiphany due the gap in the market for honest advice based on experience and a passion for cars. It all began for me at the Ford main dealer in Gloucester, which at that time I worked there was called Lex (the class of 94)! But more about that later!
I have worked within the best car dealerships and specialists in Gloucester and beyond all my working life, and car sales has been a passion of mine for many years. I would like to share insight on how it all began and what brought me to where I am now so far, both personally and professionally.
I was born in Liverpool and my love for vehicles developed from my uncle owning a car garage. It was a Mobil petrol station - a big workshop, and sales area. I used to love being sat behind the cashier's desk helping while pushing the buttons on the till, and the familiar smell of petrol now seems to catapult me back to my fondest childhood memories.
My cousin was also a motor-trader and I loved to watch him doing deals. He used to store his cars at my uncle's garage, much to my delight. I still remember being there one evening and being in awe of the what was before me. There was a Sierra XR4 I, a Toyota Celica Supra and a Renault 25 V6 Turbo. I'm sure there were a few Fiesta's and Escort's too, but these three sporty cars had me transfixed! Of course I sat in all of them and pretended to drive them, with so much excitement! I remember it like it was yesterday. Strangely enough my son does the very same now, it was heavenly for me as a boy and he enjoys it just a much! My future and passion was shaped there I'm sure and it encouraged me to work in the motor trade.
We moved to Gloucester when I was eleven for my father's new Headteacher position at St Peter's High School. I have now lived here for the past twenty nine years, and am now settled with my own family. Inevitably I began selling cars in Gloucester at the age of eighteen (I am now forty one), much to my late father's disappointment! A place at university to study Hotel Management was the preferred route. I can still hear him now in his best Scouse accent, "You wha?? You wanna sell cars?!" Seeing as my father was a Headteacher I'm sure it looked as if my schooling had been in vain!
Initially, I started working with Lex Group at their Ford dealership and I remember wondering why they would pay me for it when it didn't feel like work - I loved it! It was like being in a dream world! It was a baptism of fire to in those days and you either sank or swam. There was very little real training but that also added to the thrill! You could either succeed or fail. Luckily, I grasped the art of the sales process naturally and did very well whilst gaining some great recognition.
I went on to to work for various national volume and prestige dealerships from sales to leadership level, my favourite being Lexus. They were (and are still) awesome! By aged thirty I had hit my goal of running a large dealership with 12 sales people, it was great experience and only a few employers followed until my passion for working for dealers began to dwindle. I was never very good at taking orders from people either and I couldn't hide my lack of enthusiasm - I was too free-spirited and wanted to work with clients and stay in touch to hear about their cars, not just 'get a sale'. I loved dealing with people and helping them, but being swamped with paperwork and politics was killing my love for the job. So I called it a day and haven't looked back since!
It is amazing now how my life has altered in ten years and taken the right course. I am now married to Jo have a little boy Theo and a Labrador, Chen. Jo does the 9-5 job and I look after Theo (and Chen of course) and fit my work around him (with Grandmas help) until he goes to school. It is great fun and very rewarding emotionally. Everything definitely happens for a reason. It was from here I had the time to reflect and get creative.
I wanted to help people and realised that there a lot of people being sold to, but were they getting help with buying and selling? I loved selling but ethically I had changed. It's all about the sale, the targets, and usually with little concern and compassion for people at a dealership. Although it may be dressed up differently! I had grown out of this morally. In my earlier days I can honestly say it didn't bother me really. You see the nice car, good money and all that material stuff. In my later years though it definitely does matter, people come first and I couldn't do it again.
I started to think, 'wouldn't it be of great help to people who needed it, if I could use my knowledge of best sales practices to guide them, so that they don't feel on their own and vulnerable or uncertain anymore? Whether that be in a private or a dealership environment. There must be lots of people in this position and many others that need my help and are in need of someone they can turn to who they trust?'
So Car Helpers was born and I have been lucky enough to help a lot of people to find the car of their dreams, as well as to sell their unwanted car. Within The Deal Maker Nationwide, I also own Little White Van Man, a local transportation and removal service working to collect and deliver your items locally throughout Gloucestershire and The Negoti8ors, a purchasing and sales negotiation service.
There you have it a snapshot of my life and how Car Helpers was born - to help with car buying and selling from dealership or sales environments. Whichever service you require, you come first. Join me on my journey, as I join you on yours. I look forward to meeting you!"