Purchasing a home is usually a person’s most expensive expenditure, but a car is typically a close second. Due to periodic maintenance and a little too often repairs, having a car can really add up. That’s why it’s so important to choose a car repair workshop that will give you the most bang for your buck. It can be hard to know which to choose and why, so here are some things you can look out for when making your selection.
Especially for those who drive foreign import cars, it is absolutely critically to make sure that the repair shop you choose is experienced and knowledgable with repairing your exact car. It should go without saying, but it’s the same deal with sports cars.
Most repair shops know their way around a Ford or Honda, but not all of them have to correct tools and parts to fix cars like Fiat and Lexus. You are totally allowed to ask for certifications that the techs have as well as their experience before handing over your vehicle for repair. Typically, the shop’s manager is not the one doing the actual work on it.
You can also check about what types of repairs the shop does. Obviously you don’t want to take your car to a shop that is known for oil changes after an accident. Look at what type of work they are known and recognized for and make your decision based on what you need.
Like with everything else, make sure you check out reviews before choosing any repair shop. Obviously, look for a place with a lot of 5-star reviews and few complaints. When you do see complaints, read them. If a place is often accused for overcharging or being unfair, check the five star reviews and try to assess whether they’ve been planted there by the company. Also make sure to check their Better Business Bureau rating.
Always, always, always ask for an estimate before agreeing to get any work done on your car. This way you can feel out how much the work will cost before committing, and you’ll be able to compare the cost versus the cost at other shops. Get several estimates to get a better idea of how much it should cost you. Avoid places that are way overpriced but also way underpriced. There’s no such thing as a price that is extremely low for no reason, as you tend to get what you pay for.
You don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the work in order to save money in the short term, since you’ll probably end up paying for more repairs and perhaps it’ll cost you more than it needed to. After getting the estimate, ask what work will be done and why it needs to be done. If you don’t like their explanation or attitude, look elsewhere.
Ask for the estimate in written form, so you can avoid getting any surprise fees after the work is done. You can also ask about the price and also ask for other options. Never sign a contract or make a payment before the work has been done. Once you sign an invoice, the shop has the freedom to add on any extra fees and say you approved it without any proof.
Added Value Services
It is extremely helpful if a repair shop offers a loaner car while yours is being worked on. It is also very helpful if they offer tow services at a reduced rate. Just make sure that you know that not every combined service is value-added.