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Client Profile - Robert W Brownlie Motor Engineers

21 June 2012

Have you noticed all those luminous orange, green and yellow vehicle recovery vehicles on the roads around Edinburgh and the Lothians?  You may even have had occasion to sit in the cab of one of these vehicles while being “recovered” by the roadside like one of our partners Carol Wright recently – yes ..... it was the "putting petrol into a diesel car" debacle!!  Well ... these belong to one of our clients Robert W Brownlie who operates a growing and successful vehicle recovery business.  Among his customers are Lothian and Borders Police as well as  AA,  RAC,  and Greenflag.  So if you are a member of the AA for example then it’s probably one of Robert’s team who will be coming to your assistance if the AA are unable to fix the problem by the roadside.

From an early age, Robert was passionate about vehicles of all shapes and sizes, from motorcycles to trucks, and began his training to be a diesel mechanic at the age of 16.  He started his own business in 2000 when he opened a small garage in the Sighthill area of Edinburgh dealing with car repairs and maintenance.  He then quickly added an MOT testing station along with a fast fit service centre.   However, he recognised that if he got involved in the vehicle recovery business, then he could increase the trade going through his garage business – after all, customers who need recovery assistance usually need car maintenance too!  Nowadays, vehicle recovery is the lion’s share of the business representing  80% of current sales.

So from a standing start 12 years ago, Robert now employs 32 people and has a fleet of 19 vehicles.  As his business grew, Robert recognised that it was important to keep control of his finances which is why Springfords were appointed in 2006 to provide outsourced services (processing his books and records, doing the monthly payroll, preparing the VAT Returns, producing quarterly management accounts etc...) so Robert could concentrate his efforts on growing the business.  Robert says “The real proof to me that Springfords was a good move was when I had a routine VAT visit a couple of years ago.  The VAT man spent 30 minutes with me and under 2 hours with my account manager at Springfords.  He checked back 3 years and concluded everything was 100% in order.  This type of outstanding service simply means I can focus my time and energy on the other areas of my business".

For more information about Robert and the services he offers visit  Plus for more information about our outsourced services contact Carol Wright on

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