Taking your car to the garage is always stressful. After all, as well as leaving you without that much-loved vehicle, this leaves you wide open to sometimes excessive repair costs that aren’t always expected. And, unless you’ve got plenty set aside, the chances are that your finances will feel the full force of that blow.
In large part, this is an inevitable part of being a car owner, and repairs will ultimately almost always be more affordable than waiting it out and experiencing escalating problems and roadside breakdowns as a result. Still, that’s not to say that you should pay every single large-scale service bill that comes your way without question.
In fact, as any car owner will tell you, ensuring a fair price for repairs that your car genuinely needs is often a case of keeping your wits about you and not being afraid to speak out. Luckily, that’s a simpler goal to achieve than you might expect if you simply keep the following pointers in mind throughout your car’s stay in any garage.
#1: Take Someone Experienced With You
While it isn’t right, many repair garages will base their pricing on things like how much they think you know. As a millennial still at the start of their car ownership journey, you’re unfortunately at particular risk of scam merchants who assume you wouldn’t have a clue whether a bill was fair or not.
Hence why your first step towards saving on car repairs is to simply take someone more experienced, like a parent, along with you who can prove that you won’t be pushed around. That person doesn’t even need to do the talking, but simply having them along for support could see many professionals changing their tunes.
Not to mention that it’s always helpful to have a second set of eyes look over any large bill before you part with your money.
#2: Always Seek A Second Opinion
For the sake of ease, many of us make the mistake of accepting the first repair quote we get. Yet, when you consider precisely how much prices can fluctuate from one garage to another, even paying the tow costs between facilities could still see you saving.
This is because, as well as having different ways of operating (some garages will charge more for labor, for instance), everything from supplier proximity to the size of a company can change how much you pay.
Even aside from those fluctuations, ensuring that the same diagnosis is reached from a second opinion, even if overall costs are around the same, can help you to rest easy that work is genuinely necessary and worth paying for.
#3: Consider An Affordable Alternative
For obvious reasons, a garage owner will always tell you that only they can possibly help your vehicle, but often, there are more affordable alternatives to repair if you’re willing to look for them. Regardless of your car knowledge, even engine trouble shouldn’t be too hard to fix at home when you simply seek accessible options like crate engines for sale that are unlikely to ever exceed garage repairs costs if you look in the right places.
On the same note, buying things like brake pads and new tires could save you a great deal on things like labor costs, and should be easy enough to install with the help of a quick YouTube video. Admittedly, you do need to make sure that you feel confident here before you do more damage than good. But, if you’ve thoroughly researched these fixes, then there’s no reason why they can’t serve you equally as well as whatever a garage might do.
#4: Talk About Payment Plans
Sometimes, the sad fact is that car repairs can be so urgent or intricate that you may simply need to cough up. Still, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to clear out your bank to make this possible. Instead, always discuss the option of payment plans that are far more manageable in the long term.
Even if they don’t openly advertise this benefit, this is something that most garages will at least consider, and it could just see you covering even hefty car costs without having to worry about doing so.
Cars cost a lot and there’s no way around that, but make sure you’re not paying more than you need for your latest trip to the garage by getting savvy with the help of these pointers.