Top Tips for Visiting the Garage

  1. Follow Recommendations

    Ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations before booking your car into the garage. The internet and directories are full of different options so sometimes it's hard to tell them apart. One you've selected a recommended garage, always mention to the garage that a current customer refererred you as they'll want to do a good job to encourage you to also recommend a friend. Reputation is key.

  2. Know Your Garage

    If you're new to the area or no one has a good recommendation, use the internet to research garages near you and read reviews from former customers. Online forums such as Foxy's Ladies Driving Club are a good starting point.

  3. Look for Accreditation

    AAA rating - A good garage should display their rating – try to find a triple A rated garage as standards will be high.

  4. Get a Schedule

    Once you’ve selected a garage and taken your car in, make sure you know what work needs to be done on your car before you agree to it. Ask for a rough idea of prices and make sure they consult you first with any extra problems that arise and give you an estimate including parts, labour and VAT.

  5. Compare Prices

    If the price seems high then ring around other garages for other quotes. If you get a better deal somewhere else then ask your garage if they’ll match the price.

  6. Don't be Oversold

    Some garages will tell you if you need other work done on your vehicle, which may well be true, but the best ones will give you options rather than pressuring you. Beware of garages that give you a long list of repairs when you brought the car in for only one thing, and if in doubt, always get a second opinion.

  7. Get a Name of the Mechanic

    Get the garage to name the mechanic who worked on the car on your invoice: This means you have a direct point of contact for any questions you may have and know who actually carried out the work on your car.

  8. Ask for a Guarantee

    Good mechanics shouldn’t have a problem giving you a guarantee on work completed. Ask for it before the work is carried out – this should give you peace of mind that things have been done properly.

  9. Don't Be Intimidated

    Garages are traditionally male-orientated areas, but that doesn’t mean they need to be intimidating. Most men don’t know what to look for at a garage and it’s all about confidence. If you act like you know what they’re talking about then you’re more likely to be treated fairly.

  10. Breakdown Insurance

    It may be an extra expense, but if you are worried about the age of your car then include a roadside recovery service to anywhere in mainland UK.

  11. When things go wrong
  12. Complaints Procedure

    Make sure the garage has an official complaints procedure and don't be afraid to use it!

Top Ten Breakdown Reasons:

  1. Faulty/lost battery

  2. Lost keys

  3. Flat or damaged tyres/wheels

  4. Alternator faults

  5. Starter motor

  6. Distributor cap

  7. Fuel problems

  8. Clutch cables

  9. Spark plugs

  10. HT leads

Most Common Winter Problems:

  1. Frozen screen wash

  2. Frozen wipers

  3. Frozen engine

  4. Frozen rear brake, drum and handbrake cables

  5. Frozen locks, windows and ignition

  6. Stripped teeth on cambelt

Types of Garage

  • Main dealers franchised by the car manufacturers
  • Independent motor traders
  • Auto centres
  • Fast fits
  • Tyre specialists
  • Mobile mechanics