There are often two things that enter your mind when you find problems with your car. First, you want to get it fixed as soon as possible, and second, you want a shop that won’t overcharge you. The second one is a bit more tricky.
So how do you find an auto repair shop that is both competent and trustworthy?
This may seem obvious, but a shop that has been in the industry for 30 years doesn’t mean it’s the same mechanic behind all the work. Contact local prospects and don’t hesitate to ask about the experience of their head mechanic or mechanics. The more experienced they are, the bigger their knowledge and the better their skills.
All companies want more profit, but this can be a problem if they keep changing employees all the time. Hiring new people means allocating resources anew for training. The head mechanics are usually in charge of training new hires.
If a company can’t accept its normal workload because some of its workers quit, or because the lead mechanics are training new employees, the shop will be forced to operate at a slimmer margin. It then has to find ways to make up for the difference, and sometimes, this is done in the form of higher charges.
People today troop to the Internet to find almost everything they need, including trusted auto shops.
Indeed, online has become the go-to place for those who want to read reviews on a particular company they’re considering.
But keep in mind that not all reviews here are to be believed, especially if you’re reading them from a marketing website which, in most likelihood, is owned and maintained by the business itself.
Instead, visit well-known independent websites, where reviews are mostly authentic and objective. And check your prospective shop’s Better Business Bureau records to know if they are or have been involved in customer complaints.
Deciding Between Dealer and Local Shops
Between a dealer garage and your usual car repair shop, there can be lots of differences. Deciding where to go depends on the particular issue you’re dealing with.
If your problem for example is unique to your brand and model – let’s say you misplaced your smart key – then only a dealer that caters to your brand will make sense.
Definitely, you should expect them to charge bigger, since they are specialists and they may even be the only choice you have in town.
On the other hand, if you want a shop that will provide regular maintenance to your car, or even if you need some heavy-duty work done, you should consider your local garage.