A car repair shop that works with care and invoices its services correctly is not easy. In this article you will find tips for choosing a good garage.
First impressions are important, even in an auto repair shop
You probably wouldn’t want to eat at a seedy fast food joint with sticky floors and a waitress behind the counter wearing a stained blouse. You should be equally critical of a garage. The first impression is important. The floor doesn’t need to be shiny, but it should be clean. If tools and auto parts are piled up on workbenches or lying around, that’s not a good sign.
Even a garage in an old building can be clean and tidy. A tidy workshop is a sign that the mechanic has everything under control. Well-maintained salesrooms and a tidy repair receiving area are also signs of a well-run workshop. You can then assume that the work on your vehicle will be carried out and invoiced correctly. That’s why you should always take a look at the workshop room.
Competent and comprehensive advice and friendly service
In a good garage, the mechanic is there for you. he explains the necessary repairs to be carried out on your vehicle and discusses them with you. It tells you the problem and what is needed to fix it. If you have to deal with a mechanic who accepts your car for repair and sends you back without further explanation, look elsewhere. The points you discuss with the mechanic will be recorded in a written estimate and a repair order in a good garage.
Quotation, repair order and invoice in due form
Of course, you do not need an estimate to have the wiper blades changed . However, for larger repairs, you should request a cost estimate. This quote will contain everything you discussed with the mechanic. If you accept the quote, you can order the repair immediately. Cost estimation often pays off. Especially if you take it home to compare different offers. However, once the work has been completed, the cost of the estimate will be deducted from the final invoice.
The estimate also serves as the basis for establishing a repair order. Make sure a written copy is given to you. The repair order is the contractual commitment of the mechanic. He is therefore bound to respect the prices and repair times mentioned therein. The mechanic guarantees the agreed price, he cannot exceed it. Once the work is completed, you must of course receive an invoice in due form. The invoice must indicate the complete list of spare parts used and the hours of work.
Unfortunately, it’s not obvious that an auto repair shop will show you the parts removed after the repair is complete. And of course, it is not always possible to determine whether these parts actually come from your car. However, be sure to have the replaced parts shown to you. As far as possible, check whether everything has been done as agreed after the repair work is completed.
No additional repairs without prior consultation
It often happens that one only realizes at the time of the repairs that additional work is necessary. A good garage informs the customer and asks for their authorization before carrying them out. Also in these cases it is important to have a repair order. Otherwise, a dubious garage could charge you for work that you did not order and the cost of which is significantly higher than agreed. If you want your car returned to you, you have to pay.
Authorized repairer or independent garage?
Motorists have the choice between an approved repairer and an independent workshop for the repair of their vehicle. An authorized repairer is linked to a car manufacturer. An independent workshop repairs cars of all brands and is often much cheaper than a garage in the manufacturer’s network. This is why many motorists opt for an independent workshop to have their vehicle repaired.
However, it is not always possible to choose an independent workshop. All new cars are covered by a two-year legal guarantee of conformity and hidden defects. If you notice a defect during the first two years, for example a defect in the air conditioning system or the engine control unit, the manufacturer will be held responsible and will have to pay for the repair free of charge. You must then entrust the repair to your dealer.
The manufacturer’s warranty, on the other hand, is an optional additional coverage provided by the manufacturer of the vehicle. The duration of this guarantee often exceeds that of the legal guarantee. Some car manufacturers require that servicing and maintenance work be carried out by a repair shop in the manufacturer’s network. However, such a restriction is illegal. You can choose any garage for maintenance and overhauls of your vehicle while preserving the manufacturer’s warranty. Any contract clause imposing the use of workshops approved by the manufacturer for the maintenance of the vehicle cannot be valid.