How to Find a Car Mechanic You Can Trust
Taking your car to a mechanic is a bit like going to the doctor. No one really wants to do it, but it’s a necessary requirement – and you absolutely need to have a good one. Otherwise, there could be a misdiagnosis or improper care taken to get you back in tip-top shape. It’s the same with a car, only you need to pay for a great mechanic, and finding one can prove difficult. To help you source a good garage that can fix your car, we’ve put this guide together for how to find a mechanic you can trust.
Don’t wait until there is a problem with your car
It’s best to be proactive rather than reactive, which means finding a mechanic when your car is working just fine and dandy. Leaving it until there’s a problem to find a mechanic puts you in a difficult situation, and you end up paying over the odds out of desperation because you just want to get your car back on the road.
Do your homework
Don’t opt for the first garage you come across, as it could all end in tears. Instead, research the options available near you with a handy Google search. Fortunately, today’s landscape is one of transparency with online reviews and the like. That means you can have a good old browse online and read customer reviews to see if they were satisfied with the service. Make a shortlist of garages and take it from there.
Word of mouth is usually the best type of recommendation, so make sure to ask your friends and family if they can recommend a mechanic. You will feel much more comfortable using a garage someone you know has already tried. With friends and family recommendations, you can remove the guesswork involved with finding a good car mechanic.
Who said you need to settle on one garage? Getting multiple quotes will give you a better idea about each mechanic’s pricing structure, and you’ll be well placed to know if you’re getting a good deal. If one garage is hundreds of pounds more than the others well, then you’ll know they are probably ripping you off. Likewise, if a mechanic is considerably cheaper, you may want to ask yourself why and if they’ll do a good job on your car.
Look for certifications and memberships
It’s all about the documents, so ensure that you check a mechanic's certifications and if they have memberships to professional bodies. Are they part of the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which is awarded to mechanics rather than auto shops? Having an ASE doesn’t guarantee honesty, but it most likely means the mechanic is more compliant.
Get a full price breakdown
Even when you settle on a mechanic, it’s worth getting them to provide a full breakdown of the quote before the work starts. Ask them to include parts, labour and VAT, so you know what you’re paying for. And if any issues arise during the repair, ask the mechanic to call you before they go and fix anything that wasn’t initially agreed on.
Examine the premises
There’s a myth that garages are messy and unkempt, but that’s just not true of a modern garage. Therefore, it’s worth looking at the site to see how professional the set-up looks. You might feel more confident after spending some time looking around the garage. Of course, you’ll need to ask the owners and those working there before you go nosing around.
Indie repairs versus dealerships
Dealerships will always be more expensive, so you may want to look for independent car garages. Yes, it's true that an independent doesn’t come with the same seal of approval as a dealership. But there are plenty of excellent ones out there that can fix your car and get it in tip-top shape again.
Don't be afraid of a little Q&A
Don’t be afraid to ask a ton of questions, getting the mechanic to detail precisely what’s wrong with the vehicle. They are the experts and should tell you everything there is to know about the issue. Even if you don’t know anything about cars, you’re within your rights to ask as many questions as you please until you feel comfortable with the service.
Ask for a warranty
Before the garage commences with the work, you should ask if any warranty is included once the repairs are complete. Warranties may be subject to the garage, but it’s still worth enquiring to see if they will provide one once the car is ready for collection.
Never feel pressured
It can be daunting trying to find a good mechanic if you don’t know much about cars, but you should never feel pressured into a decision by the garage. At the end of the day, they want your business and won’t turn you away if you want some time to think.
The best around
There are some truly excellent mechanics and car garages out there, and you can easily find them by putting the work in. By doing research and asking the right questions, you can use a mechanic who’s always got your back with a five-star service when your car is having issues.