Car Repairs: How To Check A Repair Bill Is Fair
When is a car repair is needed?
Car repair bills can be terrifying. How much should a car repair bill come to? Is the repair advised by the garage appropriate to you? We understand it can be difficult and stressful, so have put together a car repair service to help put your mind at ease.
MotorEasy members are never left making a difficult decision without the advice, support and guidance of a professional technicial. Our repairs team use a series of checks & lookups, as well as mechanical understanding and experience, to help you decide whether a car repair bill is appropriate.
We've seen examples, in order to solve an emissions problem, we have come across garages wanting to change five parts all at once. But changing one or two at a time, in the right order, was a less expensive way of solving the problem - and getting a result for our member.
If needs be, we will send in an experienced mechanical inspector at this point.
As a lay person, you can call another garage for a 'second opinion' - but without seeing the car they may not be able to give accurate advice.
So your other option is to find and pay an inspector to look at the car.
This might be worthwhile on a big bill because some decisions are subjective. For example, when a suspension component fails, some garages say it is essential to change the matching part (or mirrored part) from the other side of the car. We have found many cases where this has been proven to be unnecessary. But it is a judgement decision rather than a clear 'right' or 'wrong' like labour times.
Performance Level Indicators
Garages rarely volunteer all the data from an MOT test that is available. For example, our technicians always ask for the braking performance statistics as they indicate how badly the car has failed, or how marginally it has passed the MOT test. You can ask for this information too if you are trying to make a decision on your own.
There are industry databases which advise garages how long changing parts should take. As part of our service, that we offer when you book online, we check the time (and therefore the price) of the labour for the repair.
Every day motorists can only really call other garages and hope that one will spare them a few minutes to tell them how long they think it should take to complete that repair and compare.
Parts condition and prices
The final thing to check is the parts. Our technicians frequently find parts that were declared unrepairable by the garage, are repairable. Again, as a lay person, you will need to pay an engineer to do this. But you can also ask the garage to answer these questions first:
1) Have the parts definitely failed? Can it be repaired?
2) Have these parts reached the manufacturer's recommended minimum?
If the part definitely needs changing, the last issue to check is the price. While garages have access to other parts suppliers, and some repairs may require parts from the nearest main dealer, in most cases, you can find equivalent parts prices online. The garage's price should be similar to the parts prices found online.
If they are not, ask the garage what options there are to use other parts. The garage may say some parts are unreliable. This may be true or it may just be an excuse to allow them to use the more expensive parts, on which they earn a greater commission.
MotorEasy Car Repairs
So in summary, when you book a car repair, MOT Test or car servicing with MotorEasy our engineers deal with the garage on your behalf. This includes requesting proof of repairs, analysing photos, measurements or videos and discussing with the garage to ensure they are necessary, getting a second opinion and also passing on trade discounts to our consumers.
So when your car next requires routine maintenance or repairs don't hesitate to book online or get in touch.
For more information head to the Lost In Translation hub.