Unfortunately, it’s common knowledge that some mechanics are known for ‘ripping off’ customers by overcharging, performing poor quality work or recommending repairs which aren’t necessary. Unless you’re a car expert, it can be difficult to know whether the bill from the garage is legitimate or if you’d be better of going elsewhere.
If you want to make sure you’re paying the best price for your service or routine repairs, then it pays to shop around. Try and find a trusted and reasonable garage before you need an MOT or service to avoid a lot of hassle and a hefty bill down the line. Here are some top tips to make sure you’re not a target for a rip off mechanic.
Ask for recommendations
A personal recommendation is the best sign that the garage and mechanics can be trusted. Ask family members or friends if they know of a reliable mechanic who offers a good service and doesn’t overcharge. If they’re happy with this local garage, then you should be too. You’ll find that most people recommend an independent garage rather than a franchise as they are generally cheaper and offer a personalised service. People who are often unsure of which garage to trust will head to a national franchise as it’s a big brand.
Read the car manual
Dodgy mechanics are good at their jobs – convincing drivers that car parts need replacing when they don’t. Get clued up by reading your vehicle manual, as this will tell you how often most of the parts should be replaced. Don’t just take somebody’s word for it and pay up.
Get a second opinion
If a mechanic has suggested some work but you’re not sure it’s necessary, there’s no harm in getting a second opinions (and a second quote). Unless the garage thinks the car is dangerous to drive, why not ask another mechanic at a different garage to do some checks and see if they come up with the same conclusion.
Take someone with you
Unfortunately, dishonest mechanics often target a certain group of people who they presume are easier to rip off. For example, they presume that women and younger vehicle owners don’t know much about cars. If you’re not really sure how cars work or understand the mechanic’s jargon, then take someone with you to the garage who is a bit more clued up. There’s safety in numbers – a mechanic will have to convince two of you and you’ll have back up if you feel pressured into carrying out repairs.
You shouldn’t have to worry about overpaying at your garage – do some research into local companies and never be scared to ask for a second opinion.