Can You Trust Your Mechanic? Here’s How To Dodge Oily Conmen
by Ed Scott
It is imperative to have your vehicle regularly serviced, not only will this ensure your car is in a good condition, it could also help retain some of your car’s value. However, whether it’s an MOT and service, emergency maintenance or replacement tyres, selecting the right garage to take your car to is no small decision. The difference between a good garage and a bad one could be hundreds of pounds and a whole lot of your time, so it’s imperative that you make the right decision from the word go.
That’s often easier said than done, and factors like loyalty, knowledge and practicality often get in the way of researching a new garage. This is where we can give you a little help.
All too often, you hear complaints where family, friends and neighbours have been charged over-the-odds for some relatively simple work to be done on their motor. Arguably worse yet, you yourself have been overcharged or subjected to bad customer service or shoddy workmanship. On a smaller – but equally as unethical – scale, many get charged over what their original quote was, and worse still, many don’t feel that they can complain to their garage if they are dissatisfied.
It sounds bleak, but there are ways to ensure that you too don’t become subject to bad treatment from a garage – it’s all about being savvy with your selection.
Code of Practice
For peace of mind when you on the search for a garage, be sure to check the garage’s registered with the Motor Industry Code of Practice. Launched in 2008, the Code of Practice is there to help guide your decision when selecting a garage. All garages that sign up agree to adhere to the strict code of practice set by the group. These include:
o Providing an honest and fair service
o Clear pricing which adheres to the initial quote in terms of repair work
o Implementing a complaints management system which makes the process quick and easy for the customer
o Staff should be well-trained and competent to carry out the work required
As well as following steps for best practice, the website (where you can download the entire code) also has a facility for prior customers to rate their garage. This offers you, the potential customer, an easy, clear and unbiased way of researching garages before making a final decision.
o Get a quote before you allow a mechanic or garage to get to work – even if it’s just for a service.
o Ensure that quote includes parts, labour and VAT costs, and establish whether any added parts are new or used. This should be reflected in the cost you pay for them.
o Ask for a receipt and stamp in the log book after you’ve had a service.
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