So you’ve heard an unusual noise, which you follow with a sigh; you’ll need to find a garage. Let’s be honest finding a garage you trust is always a chore! Even taking your car in for a simple service can be a daunting prospect and pulling up at the dealer does not necessary guarantee good service.
I once took my car to my local dealer for a service and as I went to drive off the forecourt a warning light appeared! I dropped it off without a fault and collected with £300 worth of issues, which they didn’t pick up in the service! Needless to say I wasn’t happy.
Garage etiquette from the motor industry
It’s hard to know if you’re choosing the right garage for your needs, but there is help out there. In 2008 the ‘Motor Industry Code of Practice’ was developed by the industry itself to improve the general image of the trade by encouraging garages to raise their standards and rebuild customer confidence.
You’ll find a list of reliable garages and advice at: www.motorindustrycodes.co.uk, but of course do ask friends and family for their opinions and personal experiences.
There are a few other simple things you can do to cut down on risk; it’s called Garage Etiquette and it could help reduce the chance of something going wrong. So, here are a few simple tips that will help you get the best from your garage.
Pick a quiet time:
If you need to discuss anything with the mechanic/garage chose a quieter time, so late morning or early afternoon, avoiding the early morning and late evening rush.
Before calling or visiting a garage, know what it is you want/expect. If you want a service make sure you know your car’s basic details, such as age, model, mileage etc. For repairs or faults give as much detail as you can, even write it down for the mechanic.
Treat staff with respect, most mechanics are skilled professionals and should have your car’s best interests in mind. The easier you are to deal with the easier it is for them to help you.
Get an estimate:
Labour is normally the biggest cost and hourly rates vary massively. Whatever the work always ask for an estimate, that way you’ll avoid any nasty surprises.
The car manufacturer will pay the garage for fixing a fault if your vehicle is under warranty, but not for hours of diagnosis, so again give as much as information as you can to avoid a large bill.
Not every repair is a simple quick fix and when dealing with new cars a mechanic may have to consult the manufacturer.
If you’re not happy with the service/work you’ve received, speak to the garage foreman or customer service manager, but remember keep calm, you’ll be more likely to solve the issue if you’re clear and calm.