Once the process of buying a new or used car is complete, and your latest set of wheels stands gleaming in the driveway, you’ll want to take care of your purchase. A well-maintained car is likely to be safer, more reliable and last longer than a vehicle that is not properly serviced. It is important, therefore, to find a mechanic that will do a good job, but keeping the costs down means doing your homework.
Car dealerships and franchises will argue with some validity that their in-depth knowledge of your make and model of car gives them an advantage over their independent rivals. They could be able to source replacement parts more easily and they might offer guarantees not available elsewhere.
When it comes to price, though, recent research estimates that franchised dealer workshops are 57% more expensive than independent garages.
It is a condition of some warranty agreements that your vehicle is serviced at a named dealer, so always check this before making the initial purchase. If your car is still under warranty it is well worth reading the agreement thoroughly before every visit to the mechanic, to check that you are not paying for repairs covered by your contract.
If you decide to go with a dealer, do shop around as prices vary even between franchises selling the same brand of car.
You might decide to opt for an independent mechanic but, if so, how do you know who to trust with your car? A word-of-mouth recommendation can be worth its weight in gold but, nevertheless, standards can vary. Try looking at customer review forums online, to see how other customers rate the service.
One of the chief advantages of going with a local mechanic is that they could have expert knowledge across a wide range of different makes and models of car. Therefore, when you change your vehicle, you are less likely to have to change garage as well. Building up a personal relationship with a mechanic you trust can give peace of mind in the long term.
If you can do a job yourself, you’ll save money – but do you have the knowledge? A read though of your vehicle handbook should equip you with enough knowledge on how to top up engine oil, coolant and other fluids.
For more advanced maintenance and repair work, you might consider taking a course at your local adult education college. Always put safety first. If you are at all unsure of your ability to fix a fault, it is much better to leave it to the professionals.
Whoever does your servicing, you need to know that you are being treated fairly and that your car is getting top quality attention.
Motorcodes is a government-backed, self-regulatory body for the motor industry, and its members are committed to driving up standards across the sector. Use the online search tool to find an approved garage in your area, or rate a garage that you have used by completing the requisite form.
Peace of mind
Choosing the right mechanic will give you peace of mind that your car is in good hands. Also look for car insurance that gives you adequate cover for you and your family in case of accidents and unfortunate incidents.
Posted as I am part of the Sainsburys Blogger Network