Sending your car in for a service, MOT or repair requires a certain level of trust to be present between you and the mechanic. To some, this trust comes easily and unfortunately they may, unknowingly, be being taken for a ride. The majority of mechanics are decent human beings with morals that place their customers before themselves, however, there are a minority who are not so courteous. We have covered some of the warning signs to look out for when it comes to taking your vehicle to a car garage to avoid you from walking into any cons.
Offering a free service
To be in with a chance of gaining reliable clientele, mechanics first need to get you through the door. If they can’t rely upon positive recommendations or reviews, they may do this by offering free services to entice you in. This will give them the opportunity they may have been seeking for as, once your car is in their possession, they will be able to assess the each area of the vehicle and claim that there are in fact several parts which need a repair or replacement and end up charging more than you had initially expected to spend.
There is nothing wrong with the use of re-manufactured parts and often, they have the ability to cut down that bill total. It is almost an expected fact amongst us humans that these second-hand parts will be cheaper than brand new ones and mechanics can use this in their favour. By taking advantage of your clear assumptions, they can end up charging you the same price as a gleaming new part in the hope that you won’t realise the comparison in costings. It would be beneficial to take the time researching the costs of the parts you require so that you can compare the garages price with those you have seen online elsewhere.
Emotional blackmail is a way of targeting those who appear softer and more vulnerable, or those who knowingly taxi their friends and family around on a regular basis. For example, your vehicle may be driving fine to your knowledge, but after a service, the mechanic may express that they “could never allow my family into this unsafe vehicle”. Comments like this are unneeded and unprofessional. At this point you should leave the garage. If the comment has struck a chord within you and you find yourself worrying over it, take your vehicle elsewhere for a second opinion – ideally a garage who you have received positive recommendations for! Do not tell them about the comments from the previous mechanic until they have assessed your car fully. They may not even discuss this aforementioned ‘fault’, proving that the mechanic was likely trying to take you for a ride.
You may have taken your vehicle in with an issue that seemed difficult to get to the bottom of. A reliable mechanic would assess the possibilities and discuss them with you before getting to work, but others may see this as an open opportunity. If they claim that part X is in need of a replacement, but then inform you that it didn’t fix the issue and that they are going to try the same with part Y, walk away. We know, everyone is entitled to a mistake here and there, but by performing a series of continuous fixes and effectively carrying out guess work throughout your vehicle, they will be charging you unfair costs for work that resulted in no changes to the way in which your vehicle runs and take money from your pocket as they go.
Unidentified labour costs
Once handed the final bill, observe the labour costs. If they are not listed, this is a major red flag and you should be ready to question them about it. It is likely that whilst gaining access to a specific part, they may have had to dismantle another in their path and came across the realisation that it also needed repair work. This would not need its own labour cost as it was found and fixed within the same path and time. However, they may have priced you for the same labour twice, effectively charging additional costs for work that didn’t occur.
To book your vehicle in to a garage that you can rely on, or to book your vehicle in for an honest assessment with our friendly team of mechanics that have over 85 years of experience, contact us at Double Dee Autos on 020 8460 3040 where we will be happy to assist you with any query or question that you have.