Finding a good garage that lets you look after your vehicle properly is kind of like searching for a trustworthy builder. Getting a reliable garage scheme is a more difficult task that you would think since there is a broad range of schemes that aim to offer the best impartial advice. If you have got an all-new car, you will presumably entrust its maintenance and service to a reliable local dealer. But if you have got a relatively older vehicle, you are more likely to look for a nearby garage.
A garage plays a vital role in keeping a car well maintained. After your home, it is the most worthy property. Many people decide to maintain their cars at an agency. While this can give you a peace of mind, those services tend to be very costly so that you can easily get ripped off. Non-agency garages are a good alternative for cost-conscious people as they come easy on the wallet.
Though, with thousands of different garages to choose from it could be a time-consuming process to select the right one. Here are a few useful tips that will save your time and increase your chances of finding a good garage as per your own convenience and your car’s needs.
What Kind of Work Will Be Done in That Garage
First, try to find out what types of work the mechanic is going to do. Before a technician starts servicing or repairing your car, seek a written quote from him. Be sure that it includes value-added tax, parts, and labor. In addition, check if the garage uses equivalent or approved parts. You’re also advised to inquire about the evaluated duration of work.
Once you’ve collected the car, ask for a straightforward invoice or receipt that clearly marks all the parts used and the interventions carried out. The garage is supposed to have a service book where you should get a stamp, which will be beneficial when you need to prove you have looked after a certain car.
Don’t shy away from asking the technicians to explain in detail the work they have done. If they refuse to show and explain it to you for some reason, consider choosing another garage.
Check the Price in Advance
Finding a good garage usually means finding an affordable deal, so it’s a good idea to check out the prices in advance. Before a repairman even takes a look at your automobile, try to find out how much a repair or service will cost you to avoid expensive rip-offs. Ask for a detailed breakdown of all the charges for both labor and parts. Call around numerous garages (at least the five ones) and go for those that are flexible and give the discounts on their parts or labor prices.
If you are not sure what to do and where to look for, narrow down your choices to several garages and ask about their service/repair hourly rates. In most cases, the independent local garages offer the more affordable labor rates than franchise car dealerships. However, keep in mind that fixed-price servicing from the main dealers is a more profitable solution in the long run.
Stick to the Service Schedule
In order to stay on top of servicing, find out whether the garage you’re looking for is an integral part of any well-known industry scheme and stick to the service schedule of your car. A good garage is one that offers convenient opening hours to their clients, allowing anyone to pick one according to his schedule. Don’t choose a garage with short working hours since you may have a tough time getting an appointment which works with your preferential schedule.
There are a lot of basic servicing tasks you can perform by yourself like changing the battery or air filter. For this purpose, you may use manuals and step-by-step guides.
Otherwise, you can leave all the work to the staff and technicians in an agency garage. If you choose this more expensive option, make sure to ask for work guaranty. A garage has to provide a full warranty on any job done on your car, which is performed by their mechanics. No matter they’ve worked on the tire, brake, or exhaust, the labor guarantee means the agency has a confidence in their services. That will inspire confidence in their clients as well.
Check for the Recommendations and Reviews
There are quite a few websites that let you obtain quotes and reviews from garages in a given city or area, so make use of them. It’s always wise to ask for quotes to get a better idea of how a particular garage works and to compare it to others. Exclude all the garages that offer unusually high quotes because they’re likely to charge you a considerably higher price. Also, avoid those that quote below average, as they will probably carry out the work poorly.
Search online to make a list of the neighbor garages that aren’t too far away. Then visit the official website of a garage you have picked and see if there are any recommendations and references from the previous consumers. This is particularly recommended if you have never used that garage before. Bear in mind that testimonials or reviews on their own sites often don’t give a genuine view. You can also ask your friends and acquaintances for references.
Stay Away from Aftermarket Warranties
As you already know, a manufacturer warranty is included in all new cars. Most of those warranties last 3 years, but there are also 5- or 7-year warranties offered by some brands. The majority of manufacturers will allow you to extend the warranty when it runs out. Nevertheless, many people are inclined to purchase one from a third-party. We recommend that you avoid aftermarket warranties because they often provide confusing small print and offer poor value.
If your car is still backed by a manufacturer warranty, investigate if the garage used the original parts in case of a repair. You should check out the quality of all the used parts even though your car isn’t under warranty.