Car owners with little to no knowledge of vehicle mechanics take a leap of faith every time they head to their local service center. Without that knowledge in hand, it can be really difficult to know if you are receiving fair prices or the correct vehicle services. If you often leave your service appointments wondering if you could have gotten better pricing elsewhere, read our four tips and tricks for securing affordable auto repairs below.
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Tips and Tricks For Securing Affordable Auto Repairs
While it will take you a few extra days to receive your repairs, shopping around at multiple service center locations is the best way to ensure that you are getting a great deal. Instead of calling around and getting verbal pricing estimates, visit the service centers in person to receive written quotes. Not only will these written quotes help you receive the price you were promised after the repairs, but they can also be used as leverage against a competing business to get a better deal.
Research Your Repairs
For a quicker way to see just how much a specific repair costs on average, there are a variety of sites and tools available. We like the Consumer Reports car repair estimator. Simply plug in your vehicle information and your needed repairs and the calculator should show you a range of fair prices. If the estimate you received from your local service center is close to this number, you can feel confident that you are receiving a fair deal.
Understand Your Owner’s Manual
While your owner’s manual can’t tell you what a fair price is for your vehicle repairs, it will give you a maintenance schedule for which services you will need and when. Keeping in mind that parts may wear quicker than expected due to driving habits or conditions and some systems may break unexpectedly, you may be able to reference your vehicle maintenance schedule to pinpoint suggested maintenance items that aren’t necessary at this time. At the very least, with this information in hand, you can have a more informed conversation with your mechanic about why they are recommending each repair be done.
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