Garage Bargains – 4 Ways To Avoid Paying Too Much


It happens to all of us. We buy a car, and we like it. And then after a while something goes wrong and we have to repair or replace an item. Oh no. But I paid so much for this car. But it was from such a well established brand, how could something possibly go wrong? Today, we’re going to focus on how to avoid being ripped off at garage, and grab some garage bargains.

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Brand Is Not Everything:
First thing to get into our heads is that the car brand is not the only important aspect, and does not necessarily dictate how reliable a car is going to be. Sure, there are some trends to be aware of. Buying a Japanese car has long been a guaranteed path to not needing to visit the local kwik fit as often. Buying an Italian car has long been assumed as a sure-fire way of getting to know you mechanic on first name terms.

Some garages might charge many pounds for removing this headlight
Some garages might charge many pounds for removing this headlight

In truth, there have been some reliable cars from Italy, and I personally have seen more than a few Japanese cars broken down at the side of the motorway. So I’m afraid it’s not that simple, and each car should be selected on its own condition and merits. You could find yourself in a situation where you’re comparing two cars, one of which goes wrong a bit more often, but is simpler and cheaper to repair when it does. It’s all a balancing act, and we’re here to help with this.

Do Some Research:
If a fault occurs with a car, try to get an idea about the sort of thing that it might be. Or better still, ask us here at Motorkwirks, with our years of experience at keeping garage bills to a minimum. Unfortunately, some garages still have a reputation for exploiting the lack of knowledge that some people have about their vehicles. So it’s always best to have a rough idea as to what the issue could be before committing.

The other advantage of this is that you get an idea of cost. Again, unfortunately, some garages have been known to charge for work that didn’t need doing. I don’t tend to personally visit too many of these garages. However, I have fallen victim to this once myself, many years ago. We will do all we can here to make sure that you are fully armed with any information. This could involve directing you to cheaper but no less capable locals. It could also be shops selling the parts you need at a discounted rate.

Make Friends In The Industry: The car world is full of helpful people who are all constantly itching to show off their knowledge. How do you think I got this job? If we share a problem, we’ll likely halve it and solve it more effectively. It is very unlikely that you are the first person to encounter your particular problem. So why not share it and garner information from someone who may have been there before? We at Motorkwirks have become quite good at working out which garages are worth pursuing. As well as which ones are worth binning. We, for one, are always happy to share this information.

If you're really cheeky, and know what you're doing, do some basic checks yourself while other faults are being mended.
If you’re really cheeky, and know what you’re doing, do some basic checks yourself while other faults are being mended.

Have A Go Yourself:
I wrote a piece about this previously. It focused on saving money on maintenance, and it’s still relevant. If you have the space, and the car is relatively cheap and easy to work on (like mine is), then there is nothing stopping you having a go yourself. You’ve worked out what needs doing, and have bought the parts anyway, so why not have a go? If it goes wrong, you still have the parts. You can then nurse the vehicle to the garage for them to just pay for the labour. Money saved and experience gained. There are few better combinations in life.

What other tips have you learned from the years of running cars (and bikes)? Are there any tips that have really haven’t worked for you over the years? Share the knowledge if you like, join the family and let me know. Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts?