Maintaining your car properly is essential for road safety, therefore finding a garage you can trust is a priority.
Many people who buy new cars tend to go to the dealership where they purchased their vehicle for servicing and maintenance. Often, owners of new cars think they need to use the main dealer to adhere to the manufacturer’s warranty, but this isn’t the case.
You don’t need to get your new car serviced by a franchised dealer – generally, the only condition that applies to maintaining a warranty is that the vehicle is serviced as per the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule. The warranty could also specify that parts used are manufacturer-approved/supplied or of equivalent quality.
Therefore, old or new, it pays to look local as you’re going to have to leave your car with the mechanics at certain times – and it’s going to be much more convenient for you if the garage you choose is closer to home.
Finding a trustworthy local garage
It pays to do some research, and for most people, their main source of information is family and friends. Ask those closest to you who they recommend.
Your next port of call should be online reviews. Check out the testimonials of previous customers to find out what they have to say. Facebook and other social media platforms will give you a good idea of how a garage converses with its customers, and you can see how popular they are by the response rate.
A little online research should be able to tell you how well established a garage is and how they’re regarded locally.
Our code of conduct
Just because a garage is a member of a code of conduct organisation, it doesn't guarantee good service. At Foster and Heanes we refuse to join any of these schemes such as The Good Garage Scheme as there’s no policing of standards.
Which? conducted an investigation into the code of conduct organisations The Good Garage Scheme, Bosch Car Service, Motor Codes and Trust My Garage and found none of these four codes resulted in significantly better, or worse, service than garages not affiliated to a code.
Instead, look for garages that are members of organisations like Checkatrade, where reviews are independently provided by customers, so you know they’re a true reflection of the service that has been received.
Ask for pricing upfront
A garage bill shouldn’t come as a nasty surprise. As long as the mechanic knows what needs doing, they’ll be able to give you an idea of the price.
You can ask for a written quote that includes parts, labour and VAT before any work begins. And it’s worth checking how long the work is likely to take as you may be able to use a courtesy car while your vehicle is in the garage.
And if you need any clarity about what’s taken place, ask the mechanic to show you what they’ve done. A good mechanic will be happy to share their knowledge with you and explain exactly how a problem has been resolved and what issues you should be on the lookout for with your particular make and model of car.
Looking for reliable car maintenance and servicing?
We offer car servicing, maintenance and repair for all makes and models of vehicles including classic and vintage cars. Free collection and delivery can be arranged if you live near our Fleet or Dogmersfield service centres.