Written by: ERNEST674
As car servicing costs can be high, you want to get the best value for money. It's also important to get to know your car well so that you are aware of what maintenance it requires and when. If you employ a regular mechanic who is familiar with your particular vehicle model, then this may not be as necessary. Cheap Car Service Reading
However, if you're looking for somewhere cheaper or feel uncomfortable entrusting your vehicle to just anyone, then there are plenty of places where you can find a cheap local mechanic. These tend to be service garages that don't have the overheads of larger companies and so can charge lower prices.
There are several things to consider when trying to find the best deal:
Location: If it's out of your way, the cost of traveling there may outweigh any savings you make.\
Price: Find out beforehand what service and parts they charge for and how much it will cost to fit your chosen parts. Make sure these prices are quoted before the work is done, as getting a bill at the end can be quite annoying and potentially costly! The garage might even try to convince you that certain replacements or repairs should be carried out straight away, but this cannot always be justified. Taking advice from forums such as Money Saving Expert's Car Service forum could save you money in the long run as mechanics often recommend particular garages.
Established: Choose an established business over a fly-by-night outfit if possible, as they usually offer a warranty for their work. Reputable garages are usually big chains that have built up a good reputation over the years.
Specialist: If you need repairs or parts that are specific to your model, then there is little point in wasting time finding cheap car servicing when you could just take the car in for repairs somewhere closer to home. However, if your car is more of an "everyday" type, then specialist garages may be cheaper than main dealerships. It all depends on what you need.
Reputation: Ensure that they have not received any bad reviews online - check out their Google Reviews, Money Saving Expert forum, TrustPilot, and even Yell Reviews. You can also find out how many people have submitted a review and whether they had a positive or negative experience.
Customer service: Before you commit to using any garage, speak to someone over the phone. Get their full details, including business name, address, landline number, and mobile number, as well as how long they have been around, etc. The person answering your call should be polite and answer all of your questions without being too pushy with sales talk. For example, if you are looking for a cheap car service near me, then if they don't offer this service, then they shouldn't try to convince you that they do! They may try to sell you services that aren't necessary at this point, but it is up to them not to pressure you into buying anything until you are ready.
Price: Find out what parts and labor they charge for. You could find that other garages offer a lower price for the same service. Some may not include VAT in their prices, so you should ask whether this will be added to your bill before committing to any work.
Recycling: Some garages will dispose of old/worn parts which are taken off engines, whereas others may try to sell them on to you as spares. This can sometimes result in an unexpected repair bill at a later date, especially if there is only a small fault with the part or it fails shortly after being fitted. If your garage provides fully-fitted parts, then make sure all the old ones have been disposed of properly – otherwise, you could face a fine.
Inspection: In some cases, garages may actually fit faulty parts, which you have been quoted for when they should know better! Make sure the garage manager or mechanic inspects your car before any work commences to make sure that it really does need certain repairs and replacements.
Time scale: If it is going to be a long job, then make sure you will not be out of pocket due to lack of transport. Your mechanics should let you know in advance how long a job is going to take and also provide a courtesy car in case the work takes longer than expected.
Repairs vs. maintenance: Maintenance usually involves replacing worn items such as filters etc., whereas repairs are more substantial and can include replacing parts of the engine. Some garages may try to replace items that do not need replacing in order to make a bigger profit, so always get a second opinion for major jobs if you are not sure about the suggested work.
Post-Mortem: Finally, after any repairs have been completed, then ask your garage manager to go through everything that has been done with you before going ahead. This way, you can be sure that nothing has been missed off or changed at the last minute without your permission, etc. Always check over anything that has been written down on paper as it might be easy to miss things out when writing up an invoice.