Many times we are forced into a sticky situation with our service repair garage because we failed to understand exactly what was involved. By asking a few key questions, you can possibly avoid any “surprises” once your car is ready for pick up.
What if their work is Unsatisfactory?
If you do have a complaint and the garage doesn’t deal with your complaint in a mutually satisfactory manner, you can take your complaint to the right bodies set up to handle such gases.
You’ll often find that trade associations can assist in disputes and some even have a conciliation service to help in such cases. If you do have to seek legal remedy against the garage, a “small claims action” through the County Court may be your final option. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Trading Standards Office will give free advice on whether your complaint seems justified and how to proceed with the action.
My Car was damaged at the Garage
The garage has a general duty of care to look after your vehicle while it is in its possession and on their premises. You should ask what insurance cover they carry, if your car is of a particularly high value, such as a rare classic car or limited edition. If the car is damaged at the garage owing to the negligence of their work force, repairs, or their cost, will be the garage’s responsibility.
Before booking the service you might reassure yourself of the general security measures at the garage by visiting the garage of your choice several times during different hours of the day and evening – are staff taking due car and attention with the cars in their care, when is the garage locked up at night, what, if any, security measures are in place? Is there a night watchman or security officer patrolling the premises or is there an intruder alarm system installed, are the premises fitted out with CCTV coverage?
Local Authority Assured Trader Schemes
You may find that your local authorities have set up an assured trader scheme, usually with the support and assistance of the Office of Fair Trading. These schemes are designed to provide consumers with a reliable way of finding reputable local traders. Before going ahead, contact your local authority to find out if it operates such a scheme in your area.
Finally, your preferred garage should offer to collect and deliver to and from your home and/or office and having your car cleaned. If you are planning to have your car regularly serviced at the same local garage, you should expect around 20% discount on labor, which may represent a saving of up to 50% on main dealer prices and your garage might throw in a complimentary full written health check with every visit.