• Car Craft Queensland Chairman Chris Manteit with his wife and business partner Angela.
    Car Craft Queensland Chairman Chris Manteit with his wife and business partner Angela.

We’ve visited this amazing facility before, when they had newly set up, it’s great to see the vision coming to fruition.

rive Accident Solution is a huge family owned business that is beautifully presented. Chris and Anthony Manteit are second generation repairers. New life began at 40 for the business, which was formerly know as Toowong Milton Body Repairs. The team moved into their newly purpose-built shop back in October 2017 in Pinkenba. With the move came the renaming and branding of the shop, to Drive Accident Solutions. 

There was a certain element of ‘build it and they will come’ and it has taken a while to generate enough volume so that the business can reach its capacity potential, but all the hard work has paid off. The team now repairs around 70-80 vehicles per week.

It was a big move from the outskirts of the city to an industrial site near the airport. However husband and wife team Chris and Angie Manteit reckoned on two things – one picking up a lot of fleet work from their surroundings and two picking up some OEM approvals in the dealer standard facility they had built. Tick and tick.

Another cunning ‘honey trap’ has been the cafe Espresso@Drive which was built into the new shop plans from the start. Apart from it always being Angela’s dream to own a coffee shop, there is precious little competition around the area. “We’ve actually gained a reasonable volume of work just through the coffeeshop association.  We’ve got a regular customer base. It sounds funny, but it’s probably one of our strongest marketing investments, and the place where we picked up most of our new customers,” Chris says.

“In the last three years, we’ve really focused on not having all our eggs in one basket – we’ve been burnt by that before. We’ve focused heavily on good relationships with fleets, and with that comes the connection with the insurers. And on top of that, we try to procure work wherever we can,” Chris says.

”We do a lot of private work too. We’re close to the airport, so there’s a lot of business that I don’t think were being serviced very well until we got here.

“There are also a lot of self-insured companies and companies with $15,000 or $20,000 excesses coming in. We’ve tried different forms of marketing since we’ve been here to get our names out there. We did a fair bit of Facebook Advertising, which worked out to be pretty effective and inexpensive. Word of mouth has also helped us.”

The main workshop is beautifully lit with wide work bays. Each technician has one or two bays so they can work on more than one vehicle at a time if they want to. The pulling is at the back of the shop with a Celette system and a new Car-O-Liner, as well as a hoist. On the opposite side is the Junior paint shop. Everything is primed and painted inside the booths which have three prep bays either side of them fitted with dust extraction. The paint crew keep a tidy mixing room which is air conditioned. The business is dedicated to bringing on the next generation and has five apprentices with the plan to train their own staff. The couple is passionate about seeing more females to join the industry – last time we visited they had a female panel beater apprentice but she left to work in a supermarket. Still, they’re not giving up.

From the paint shop the fitted up cars move into the next workshop which is visible from the reception and cafe. There’s a wash down area and then the cars go to detail and final inspection and then to the customer handover area – which again is excellently lit which in turns shows off the beautifully treated concrete floors.

The Tesla approval has been great for business with the Drive repairing at least 10 per week. The Tesla customers then hop onto forums and they have had a lot of referrals. With the mix of fleet, private, insurance and OEM work the future is looking bright for the Manteits.

Judges' comments

Sam Street

The business has really come into its own, it’s always had great potential but now that is realised. With over 100 cars on site most of the time, two OEM approvals and an eagle eye on which way the industry winds are blowing, the business is looking great.


Judge Powell

This is a state of the art workshop both in appearance and standard of equipment, catering for a wide market from the everyday family vehicle to the prestige automobile and also having the capacity and flexibility to handle fleet.

Shop Stats

size: 3000m2

staff: 23

type of work: All types

Cars per week: 70-80

Other services: Mechanical, tyres, detailing, windscreen

OEM approvals: Tesla, Subaru

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