There are a few different ways that unscrupulous mechanics can take advantage.
First up is the lazy mechanic. This workshop charges to check over your car during a service but doesn’t actually do the checking. There are ways to find out if this has been done or not. Some questions to ask include:
- Have your tyre pressures been adjusted?
- Do all the vehicle lights work?
- Are there oil leaks that were not reported by the mechanic?
If you notice anything that’s not quite right after your vehicle has been serviced, it’s time to get in touch with a more reputable automotive service and repair company.
Secondly, there’s the “overachiever”. These mechanics love to carry out unnecessary repairs. If your mechanic is recommending a repair, they should be able to clearly explain:
- why the repair is needed
- what the job involves,
- what benefits you will get from the repair (e.g., improved safety, reliability, etc.)
- what the consequences might be if you don’t go ahead with the repair.
Don’t be afraid to prompt them to explain these things. Ask questions and, if you don’t feel you’re getting a straight answer, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion.
Thirdly, there’s the “bull” mechanic; so named because (you guessed it) they charge like raging bulls. The best way to avoid the risk of being overcharged by these guys is to ring around for at least another quote or two on the recommended repairs.
Just keep in mind that (mostly) you will get what your pay for in terms of workmanship, parts quality and after sales support. So, if the price is a bit high, but you know and trust the dealer, it might be worth your while to accept their price.
To be sure of the best deal, get your comparative quotes from only reputable dealers (with good reviews and preferably recommendations from your friends, colleagues or family members).