There are plenty of things to contend with when it comes to car ownership. Choosing the right make and model is just the first hurdle – after that there’s tax, insurance and fuel to think about, not to mention maintenance.
You’re required by law to get an annual MOT check, which is designed to ensure your vehicle is up to scratch and legally roadworthy. But what about when you need unscheduled work done? All cars -whether they’re brand new, a quality second-hand motor or a rusty old banger, need adequate care and attention, which is why we place our trust in qualified professionals to carry out those repairs.
It’s estimated that there are around 45,000 maintenance and repair businesses in the UK, so there’s plenty of choice, but how can you spot one who’s trustworthy from one who’s not? Knowing your vehicle and its history is a good place to start, and the below should act as warning signs of a bad mechanic when you’re visiting the garage.
1. They refuse to show you replaced parts
The majority of customers have a limited knowledge of cars, and some mechanics may take advantage of that. Upon your return, if you find they’ve replaced certain components, ask to see the old parts to check they definitely needed switching out. If they refuse, challenge them, as it might be they’ve done work that wasn’t required in order to charge you a heftier bill.
2. Their customer reviews are mixed
Before you choose your garage, take the time to do a little research. Look around online at those that are closest to you and find out what other customers have had to say about their service. If the one around the corner has a rating of two or three stars but there’s another 10 miles away with five stars and several glowing reviews, it might well be worth the extra journey.
3. They’re forever suggesting new things to fix
Often, you’ll head into the garage because your car has a specific problem that needs addressing. Most auto mechanics will take care of that with a minimum of fuss and you’ll be back on the road in no time. But if yours is always suggesting other areas that need looking at and you don’t agree, it might be time to take your custom elsewhere.
4. They’re reluctant to elaborate on why repairs are needed
What you’re looking for in a mechanic is clear, jargon-free explanations about what they’ve done and why it needed fixing. If yours is vague and tries to blind you with lots of technical language that you could never hope to understand, it might be a sign that they’re trying to fob you off and justify repairs that weren’t necessary.
Not every auto mechanic is out to scam you, but there are a few out there that will try and pull the wool over your eyes. By taking our advice into account and doing your own initial research, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re getting the service you deserve during every trip to the garage.
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