6 basic dos and don’ts of dealing with a garage

Even if you’re buying a second-hand vehicle from one of our online car auctions, a car is generally one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. So, given the relatively high costs involved, and how much you probably rely on your car in your day-to-day life, it’s no wonder that dealing with a garage is often an inherently stressful experience, if only because it frequently means there’s something wrong with your car. However, there are a couple of key tips you can bear in mind to save yourself a bit of stress – we’ve collected six of the most important dos and don’ts in our post this week!

Do: Make sure to do your research

Whatever work you need the garage to do, it’s always a good plan to start by looking for a garage that’s signed up to a Trading Standards approved code of practice, as this is a pretty surefire indicator of quality. Even so, before you authorise them to make any repairs, take care to get a firm quote or a written estimate so you know exactly where you stand.

If it gives you extra peace of mind, you could even get several quotes from different garages. Just be aware that the garages you don’t choose can potentially charge you for the work they put in to prepare an estimate, if they’re not ultimately selected for the job.

Do: Be patient

When you can’t see what’s going on behind the scenes, it’s easy to assume that any unexpected sums of money mean you’re being taken for a ride. But it’s not uncommon for problems to arise and costs to increase, even when the mechanic is making sure to work carefully on your car. Intermittent faults can be especially problematic as they can be hard to find a definitive cause for, and some components are liable to break when they’re being dismantled, regardless of how careful your mechanic is being. If they’re keeping you informed as they go, that’s generally a pretty good indicator of trustworthiness!

Do: Give the garage a chance to fix any mistakes

Sometimes people can make mistakes – even professional mechanics – so if that happens, try not to make any rash decisions, and give them a chance to fix the issue. Depending on the terms of your contract with them, if you’d prefer then you can arrange for the work to be carried out elsewhere, and then claim the cost from the first garage. If you have reason to suspect you might have been the victim of unfair trading practice, then you may ultimately choose to contact your trading standards department – but keep it aside as a nuclear-button option!

Don’t: Stop payment

Even if you’re in the middle of a dispute with the garage, you should never stop payment for work you’re not happy with, unless you’ve taken legal advice. That could ultimately cause you more problems down the line, and potentially give the other side ammunition in any subsequent legal proceedings. For similar reasons, don’t remove your car from the garage while payment is still outstanding, unless you’ve been specifically authorised to do so.

Don’t: buy parts from another supplier

Well, we should clarify this one: you can feel free to buy parts from whoever you’d like, but it’s generally a good idea to do so all through the same merchant, i.e. your local garage. What you should definitely try and avoid is buying parts from one company, and then expect another to fit them (again, unless the first party is the one ordering them on your behalf, in which case they take some of the responsibility).

It might be possible technically, but it’s risky, because involving two separate companies independently of each other means two separate contracts, and if the part from the supplier is faulty then you may end up having to pay the fitter a second time to remove it. That’s a net loss that the supplier is not guaranteed to cover!

Don’t: lose your temper

Let’s be honest, it’s very tempting when there are large sums of money at stake, or significant disruption to your life, but while it can momentarily feel a lot better, it causes far more problems in the long run. If the garage is honest and up-front, then it means essentially shouting at them for nothing. In the very rare instances they are being malicious, it’s the kind of outburst that could then be used against you in court proceedings.

Sure, most of this is very common-sense stuff, but sometimes it helps to have a reminder! And if you’ve decided that your car has seen the end of its days – or if you’re a professional mechanic looking for parts – that’s where we can help here at RAW2K. We’ve got a huge range of salvage cars to choose from in our online car auctions, including many from world-famous brands like BMW, Nissan and Ford. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always bargains to be found. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?