How to find the best car servicing deal
PUBLISHED: 14:36 22 April 2016 | UPDATED: 14:36 22 April 2016
Keeping your car in tip-top condition is essential to ensure it's reliable and holds its value.
Finding the best servicing deal for your car can be as simple as taking it back to the dealer where you bought it, but you can also save money while getting the best care for your car. Here are our tips.
With the hourly cost of garage labour now at around £100 on average in the UK, shopping around is the first thing you need to do. Get on the internet and phone to find garages within a reasonable distance from your home or work, and don’t be afraid to travel a little further afield to get a keener price. Ten or 20 miles will make little difference to the overall cost. Ask family, friends and colleagues for recommendations too.
Know Your Onions
Make sure you know the make, model, engine size and type (petrol, diesel, hybrid), the year and registration number before calling a garage. Many will ask for these details to help them order in any service items ahead of the car arriving to make sure they have the right oil, filters and anything else required. You should also know how old the car is and what mileage it’s covered to help decide what sort of service is needed.
The more knowledgeable you are about your car, the less likely you are to be ripped off even before your car has reached the garage. If you want to know even more, there are DIY workshop manuals available for most makes and model to help you learn.
While searching for a garage, check out if there are any independent specialists in your make or model nearby. A lot of the time they can spot potential problems before they cause trouble as they have the experience with – and sometimes even the enthusiasm for – your exact model that other garages might not.
If you think you’ve found the right garage, check out its credentials on websites such as the Good Garage Scheme and the Independent Garage Association. Also be sure the garage has signed up to Motor Codes, which means they agree to abide by a set of rules for quality of work and customer service.
When you do find a garage that fits the bill, ask them as soon as possible whether all work is covered by a guarantee. All reputable garages will be happy to confirm this. Should any work be needed other than routine servicing, ask the garage to keep the old parts so you can see what was wrong with them – and to prove they’ve actually been changed.
Be sure to agree all work to be carried out in advance, so you don’t get a nasty surprise when you come to settle up. Always tell the garage in advance that, if the car does need more work, you want to be informed before they go ahead so you can authorise the work and know what the price is going to be.
Spread the Word
After your car has been serviced, if you’re happy with the garage and its work, tell others about it. Word of mouth recommendation is the best sort and it can help friends and family save time on checking out the best garage, as you’ve done all the work. That might even earn you a bottle of wine from a good friend as a thank-you.