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Tips For Choosing An Auto Repair Shop

For most car owners, choosing an auto repair shop can be a challenge. People are usually worried about the quality of the service, the reliability of the shop, the skills of the mechanic and of course, the cost. But since repairs are an inevitability and an important requirement to ensure the safety and functionality of the car, there are times when it's really up to a professional to get the vehicle up and running once again. If you want your car serviced by a reliable repair shop that can provide both excellent and trustworthy work, here are tips for choosing an auto repair shop that will offer a fair deal for all your maintenance needs:

1. Ask For Referrals

Someone who has had their car serviced before will be able to tell you whether or not a particular auto service shop is reliable. When choosing an auto repair shop, a word-of-mouth referral is usually more reliable in that it is an indication of the shop's ability to deliver on services as agreed upon. If your friend, relative or co-worker was happy with the job performed by the auto repair shop, they will let you know. If they're unsatisfied, they will let you know, too. When choosing an auto repair shop, be aware of complaints against staff and their service, so you know which businesses to avoid.

2. Ask For Specializations

When choosing an auto repair shop for domestic auto repair, you will probably find many skilled mechanics to do the job for you. But for a foreign car repair, make sure to ask auto shops if any of their staff has the training and experience to perform the repair. Not every mechanic has specialized knowledge in fixing a foreign car of a specific brand, make and model, so when choosing an auto repair shop, it pays to know what your mechanic can and cannot do.

3. Pick Your Mechanic Carefully

When choosing an auto repair shop, pay close attention to the way the business is run. Whether you're just coming in for a regular checkup, an automatic transmission repair, a paint job or a major overhaul, you should be aware of certain industry practices. Business permits, mechanic certifications, industry memberships, citations and other proof of service quality and staff expertise should be displayed prominently for customers to see.

4. Place Value On Customer Service

Before choosing an auto repair shop, keep in mind that your mechanics work in the service industry and as such, should be able to show you good customer service and professionalism. Pay attention to how they handle their business and talk to their customers. If the shop is good, it will show in how well they treat people who come in to get their cars checked. If they are rude, dodgy, dismissive or generally unhelpful, you may be better off choosing an auto repair shop that will appreciate your business more.

5. Look For Clear Policies

Honest auto shops will not hide how much they charge; instead, they will provide cost-conscious customers with information such as how much they charge for labor (flat rate or per hour) and for specific repairs. When choosing an auto repair shop, look for one where pricing and service policies are clear-cut and openly discussed. Should you decide to do business with them, make sure any service you have agreed upon is included in the contract. This will serve as a reference and a form of protection should you have any complaints later.

Print a copy of the tips when discussing your auto repair needs with an Auto Repair Hub member.

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