While the world cannot fully agree on whether owning a car is a necessity or a mere luxury, there is one thing that we can all agree on: owning a car can get pretty unfriendly on a budget. Aside from the usual costs of gas and car insurance, one of the most pressing and most consistent car expenses is the regular maintenance and repairs.
Apart from the costs, one of the bigger concerns of car servicing is the quality of the work done. And bad work is not just a total waste of money; worse, it puts your car and possibly your life at stake.
That is why picking the right company is of utmost importance. So before you take your car for routine or emergency servicing, think about these seven things:
- Ask around and compare the prices of the different service companies before getting your car serviced, especially if your car is not in urgent need of a service. The last thing you want is to get the service from the first garage you find and pay more for the same kind and quality of service you could have got elsewhere. You can also find great deals online and by using a voucher code for a repair shop such as Kwik Fit, the savings will begin to rack up.
- Setting a budget for emergency repairs and post-crash damage servicing can be quite difficult because it all depends on the extent of the damage. Keeping a budget for routine maintenance servicing is relatively easy but it takes some research and knowledge of the types of service. Having a budget and knowing about the exact kind of service that your car needs will save you from the unnecessary add-ons that your garage may try to sell you.
- Services needed. Before dropping your car off at the garage, have a good idea about the services and repairs that your car needs. Some service centers use advanced software such as Xtime to provide you with an accurate estimate, schedule appointments with them and even track the arrival of the parts for your car. This will allow you to get a good grip of the work that will be done on your car, what to expect afterward, and what you’re only supposed to pay for. Don’t hesitate to ask around and get opinions from more car-savvy friends and relatives if you must.
- Accreditation from your car brand. Certain car servicing shops are more specialized in repair and maintenance of specific marques. This specialization is usually affirmed by a certificate or accreditation from the car brand that is earned through special training and testing. While their services cost a little more than your run of the mill, non-brand associated shop, you can be assured by the fact that the people who run it are trained and certified to fix your car by the same people who built your vehicle.
- Referrals and user reviews. Get recommendations from friends and relatives and refer to user reviews available online and in websites like Yelp to know what to expect from an automobile repair shop. After all, the collective opinion of other people’s experience about the kind of service a shop offers should be enough to encourage or discourage you from picking a company’s service – alongside, of course, the other factors that we have mentioned in this article.
Never spend unnecessarily on your car servicing again! Follow these tips for a more informed, more cost efficient trip to the garage.