5 Tips For Finding A Garage You Can Trust
Ensuring that your car is both roadworthy and safe to drive is critical, not only to you, but also to your passengers, other drivers and pedestrians. It’s important, therefore, to have a local garage that you can trust for prices, skills, and transparency. It also helps if they make you a cuppa when you drop by! In this article we offer a few tips on how to find a good garage near where you live.
1. How to Find a Good Garage Locally
Once you find a garage that you can trust, it’s likely you’ll be taking your vehicle into them for years, so it’s worth doing your research before settling on one. Take a look at your options nearby. Check out what each of them offers and think about which will serve your needs best.
Once you’ve got a shortlist, ask friends, neighbourhood groups online, or local social media forums, for their recommendations. Check out reviews on the garage websites (not always the most reliable source) or look for online review in Checkatrade, Google Reviews or Facebook.
2. Check Out the Prices
Different types of garages will charge you different prices, so it’s a good idea to check them out before committing to a particular garage. Dealerships will usually be more expensive than independents, unless you’ve spotted a particular promotion that a dealer is offering on services, for example.
A website like WhoCanFixMyCar.com gives you the chance to get quotes from garages in your area for a specific job. This gives you a ballpark figure. If a garage on your shortlist isn’t on the website, call them and ask for a quote so you can compare prices.
3. If Your Car is Under Warranty
New cars have a warranty which covers repairs and replacement parts for a designated period. Owners are not required to have their cars serviced at dealerships in order to maintain the warranty. A service can be carried out at any approved garage that has been assessed by the Motor Industry Code of Practice for service and repair.
Vehicles under warranty are required to be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule. Any parts, such as air or oil filters should be manufacturer approved, and parts need to be of equivalent quality to the originals. If these requirements are adhered to, your warranty will remain valid.
4. First Visit to the Garage
So, you’ve selected your local garage and you’re booked in for your first visit. Treat this like an audition – you can always go on to the next garage on your list. Here’s a checklist of what to look out for:
- Quote. You should get a written quote before anyone starts work on your vehicle. Check that the quote includes parts, labour, and VAT.
- Warranty. If your car’s under warranty, check that servicing will follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, or that parts will be manufacturer equivalent.
- Invoice. Once the work is complete, be sure to get a detailed invoice for the work carried out.
- Service Book. Ensure that the service is stamped (or equivalent) in your service book or warranty record.
- What’s Been Done? Ask the mechanic to talk through the work they’ve carried out. Normally, they’ll alert you if you need to change your tyres before the service, for example.
5. Schedule in Servicing
Once you have settled with a garage you can trust, ask them to schedule in servicing for you. This keeps your vehicle in good condition, maintains its safety, and minimises the repair bills you can expect on visits to the garage.
Country Vehicles is a Local Independent Garage in South Beds
Country Vehicles is ideally placed for local vehicle servicing in Shefford, Cotton End, Haynes, Shortstown, Wilstead, Cardington, Wixams and all surrounding areas. Since we moved to our current premises in 1995, we’ve built a reputation for being a local independent garage you can depend on for quality services at affordable prices.
Want to check us out? Call Country Vehicles in Shefford on 01234 381555, drop in to see us, or contact us online.