Created by: Dave Harland | 8 July 2019

Car mechanic tricks and how to avoid them

If you need a repair or service carried out on your car, it’s important that you understand that there are a few operators out there who don’t exactly play by the rules.

It’s unfortunate, but it does happen, which is why we want to help you avoid the small tricks that some car mechanics use when repairing and servicing cars.

But remember, there’s only a small percentage of mechanics out there who try to rip people off. The vast majority are hard-working people who are highly skilled and dedicated.

The hard part is being able to tell which is which. But there are things to look out for and question if you have your suspicions.

Here are some ways you can avoid the most common car mechanic tricks.

1. Get your old parts back

If you‘ve been told that your car needed new parts, make sure to ask the mechanic to keep hold of the damaged ones for you to collect and inspect when you return to the garage.

This will mean you won’t be charged for the removal of perfectly good parts, as you’ll be able to see the damage caused.

A faulty electrical part can often be exchanged for a reduction on a new part. Some mechanics do this without passing on the saving, so if you have an electrical issue with your car, make sure to mention this.

2. Avoid the cheapest price

It’s common practice for businesses to offer lower prices than their competition in order to win work, but when it comes to car repair, cheap prices can be dangerous.

This may be because a car mechanic will choose to fit badly made parts, or parts that have been remanufactured, which means they’ve been put back together after being broken.

Though it may be tempting, it’s never a good idea to choose a mechanic with significantly reduced prices compared to the rest of the market.

3. Get written proof of work

If you’re planning on leaving your car with a mechanic, make sure to get written proof of both the repairs being done and the price of them, before the mechanic begins the work.

Some mechanics will try to get you to leave without signing off on the exact work, so when they do more and you return, you have no choice but to pay.

A mechanic should always get your permission before carrying out any kind of repair, so be weary if you haven’t been asked to approve work before it’s completed.

4. Ask for insurance documents

If you walk into a garage, it’s a legal requirement that their public liability insurance documents are on display for you to see.

But if you have asked for a mobile mechanic to come out to your home or place of work to carry out a repair, this can be an issue.

Some mechanics don’t get insured and simply carry out repairs without actually owning a garage, which means they aren’t liable for any problems that may happen after a repair.

So if you ever decide to get a mobile mechanic, ask to see their public liability insurance before anything is done.