Although your town may have several car repair shops that you can take your vehicle to, it may pay off to become loyal to one. If you always bring your car to the same shop, they may give you perks like discounts and shorter wait times. In order to pick one shop to patronize, you'll first need to do your research to figure out what one best fits your needs. In addition to getting recommendations from friends and family members, look into what specific services the various local mechanics offer.
Here are four things to consider when choosing a car repair shop:
1. Most importantly, make sure that the shop services your specific make and model of vehicle. If you drive a rare or vintage type of vehicle, you may not have as many choices compared to drivers of popular car brands.
If there are several shops that service your specific car type, consider who has the most experience and the best resources for getting the rare parts your car may require. The mechanics may have to have custom-made parts for your car shipped in from other locations, so check to see how long that typically takes.
2. Compare hourly mechanic labor costs, as that is how most of the repair charges accumulate. If cost is a major factor for you, you may have to consider taking your car to a less well-known or "fancy" shop. The less staff, such as a receptionist or front-office workers, that a shop has, the cheaper the car repair labor charges may be.
Also, don't overlook repair shops in the less desirable parts of town, since the less rent the owner pays for his or her building and other charges, the less the labor costs may be.
3. Ask whether a shop has theft and fire damage insurance before giving them your continued business. If they don't carry this type of insurance, you may lose your vehicle and not be reimbursed for it in an event of an emergency. Also, that fact that a shop is insured shows a lot about their level of professionalism.
4. Simply just visit a few shops to get a feel for the business and its workers. Make sure that the shop is professional, orderly and that there aren't angry customers waiting to speak to the mechanics or owner. Ask how long typical repair times are, and if they waive the price of the estimate if you end up using their services.
Check out repair shops like Soundside Automotive to get started.