How To Make sure your vehicle is in safe hands, guide to selecting the correct garage for you
Finding the right garage is essential if you want to make sure your car is safe and roadworthy without paying over the top for any work done.
Once you have done your research and found a garage you trust, you know your vehicle will be in safe hands. You can ask family, friends or colleagues at work for recommendations, especially if they have the same make as you. You can also look online for reviews or ask for recommendations on social media, such as Facebook.
However, take these with a pinch of salt because the person writing the review could be related to the garage owner or could work there.
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If you know what work needs to be done on your car, such as a new clutch or full pre-MOT service, check online to get a rough idea of how much this work should cost. You can get quotes from garages in your area and then book online to have the work done. Alternatively, you can pop into the garage and get a quote from a mechanic, who will usually have a quick look over your car for free. If you aren't sure about what work needs to be done, but are concerned about costs, ask a few garages for their hourly labour rates or fixed-price servicing. Weigh up the cost of parts against labour when comparing these quotes.
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Reputable garages will offer free checks, so you can get your car looked over if you think something is wrong. These free checks could be a six-point seasonal safety check to look at lights, wiper blades, oil, battery, windscreen wash and tyres. Other checks could look at the brakes, tyres, batteries, exhaust or alignment. If your car is due its MOT, you can also book an MOT test check, at garages such as Protyre. If you are booking a car in for a service, ask what is included as this can vary from garage to garage. Also, ask to be contacted before any major work is carried out which would bump the price up significantly.
Before work starts on your service or for parts, ask for a quote and make sure this includes VAT. After the work, make sure you get a invoice showing all the work carried out, parts and labour. Ask if there is a guarantee for parts too. Some garages will also keep the old parts, so you are confident they have done the work they agreed to do.