Hard at work under the bonnet. Trouble is, you asked him to fix the suspension. Find out how to deal with a garage that doesn’t do what you asked
Thanks to a few dodgy traders, it’s reasonable to say garages don’t have the best reputation in the eyes of most car owners. The vast majority of mechanics are fair and honest. But over time, a small proportion have tarnished the industry’s image.
There are many ways you can end up out of pocket after dealing with a garage. They might damage your car while it’s in their care. They may charge you for work that you haven’t asked for. Or they might return your car with the problem fixed and another one introduced.
If you’re unlucky enough to encounter a problem with a garage, there are some steps you can take to ensure you don’t end up out of pocket. With the help of Citizens Advice we look at problems and solutions.
The problem: a garage overcharges you
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Many drivers say they find dealing with garages baffling and intimidating
Drivers with a complaint about a garage or car dealer can now go to the new Motor Ombudsman. This is the first time the motor industry has had a dedicated ombudsman. It means drivers who think they’ve been short changed by a motor trader can get impartial advice. And in extreme cases, they will have an unbiased middle man to help negotiate a reasonable outcome to a dispute.
The Motor Ombudsman will deal with complaints over new and used cars. It covers sales, servicing, repair, and warranty problems. It has a code of practice regulated by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and it’s been set up because the number of drivers complaining about their treatment at the hands of the motor trade is still unacceptably high.
Why do drivers need a middle man?
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Keeping kids smiling when you’re on a long trip can be a challenge
Old-style in-car games such as I-Spy are the most popular ways to occupy kids on road trips. They beat smartphones and tablets, which astonishingly, are among the least popular choices to keep young passengers happy on car journeys.
New research by YouGov for garage rating organisation Motor Codes tallied with a recent study by Green Flag which found that travelling together is an opportunity to spend quality time with the family. The increasingly popular driving holiday is seen as a time for families to ditch technology in favour of entertainment that encourages creativity, learning and laughs for the whole family.
Looking out of the window and playing age-old observational in-car games such as I-Spy were cited by more than 60 per cent of drivers as the best way to keep youngsters entertained. This was the particular favourite of 18 to 24 year olds and over 55s.
Great in-car games to play with kids
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It may cost nothing for a dealer to change the headlight bulb in this Renault Captur. Or it may cost you £40. (Picture © Renault)
Changing car light bulbs used to be something anyone with the scantest mechanical know-how could manage. But as cars become ever more complicated, so replacing a broken bulb has become increasingly expensive – for some drivers at least.
A new investigation has revealed a shocking variation in the price charged by motor makers for this simple repair. Some dealers offer free bulbs, some do the actual fitting for free, and some provide both at no cost. However, others can charge upwards of £70. And there’s no uniformity across manufacturers. Continue reading →
Franchised garages know their particular brand intimately (Picture © Mazda)
Having your car serviced regularly and according to the maker’s schedule is vital to ensure you enjoy trouble-free motoring. But how do you find a garage that’s going to do the right job for the right price? Follow these tips. Continue reading →