How to find the right garage for your next car service – and make sure you get the best price
LOOKING after your vehicle is an essential part of being a car owner.
But many motorists are opting for the cheapest option when it comes time for a service.
Whether it’s for convenience or to save money, owners will usually stick with their closest garage when booking in for their annual service.
But the common mistake could mean your car isn’t getting the best care possible, and may leave you having to fork out for further repairs down the track.
Research is key when looking for the best place to have repairs done on your motor.
These five tips from Which.co.uk can help you find the right garage and make sure you get the best price.
Do your homework
Just like buying a car, you’ll need to do as much research as possible to locate a suitable garage.
If you’re looking for somewhere close to home, speak to people you trust and ask for a local recommendation.
Before committing to a new mechanic, be sure to search online for independent reviews and testimonials.
You can also check if your local garage is reliable by putting your postcode into the Which? Trusted Traders scheme.
Research prices before handing over the keys
Websites like ClickMechanic and RAC Garage Compare give you a rough estimate of how much a particular service should cost.
These sites also offer a mobile mechanic service to have someone fix your car at home and save you dropping it in to the mechanics.
Many drivers will take their car to a local dealership as they fear taking it to another garage will void its manufacturer warranty.
But the only conditions needed to maintain the warranty are for the car to be serviced by the outlined schedule and for all parts used to be manufacturer-approved.
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Ask for a quote and receipt from the mechanic
Before leaving your car at the garage, it’s important to ask the mechanic for a written quote on the cost of the service and clarify whether it includes parts, labour and VAT.
When it’s time to pick up your motor, ask for a clearly marked invoice and store it in a safe place for future reference.
You can also ask the mechanic to show you what work they have done on your car.
If they decline, this is usually a good indication they have cut corners with the repairs.
Regularly service your car
It’s quite common for drivers to forget when it’s time for a service, but this can be detrimental to the safety of your vehicle.
The car’s service schedule is outlined in the owner’s manual if you forget when it’s time for a check-up.
If your car only needs minor repairs, you can find step-by-step guides online which detail how to fix certain features of your vehicle yourself.
But be careful not to attempt anything that should be left to a professional.
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Beware of aftermarket warranties
Manufacturer warranty usually only lasts three years for most new cars.
And while it’s possible to buy a new third-party warranty, many of these insurers are untrustworthy and provide poor value for money.
In some cases, general wear and tear problems are not covered by these policies.
Source: The Sun Motors – How to find the right garage for your next car service – and make sure you get the best price