How much experience do you have?
It’s important to make sure your chosen mechanic has a satisfactory level of experience for the work required. Newly established garages aren’t necessarily ones to avoid, but make sure the mechanic who will be carrying out the work has sufficient experience with similar work.
Do you offer a guarantee or warranty of any kind?
To avoid any disputes if anything goes wrong after the work has been completed, make sure you’re completely clear on any guarantee or warranty the garage offers. Some will offer guarantees on parts only, or labour only, whereas others will cover both.
If replacement parts are required, what parts will you use?
Mechanics can source parts from different places, and of different qualities. While some will use new, manufacturer approved parts, others will use used or after-market. You may even be able to source your own parts if you prefer. Be aware that while quality may differ, so will the price, so you will need to strike a balance depending on your requirements.
Do you offer free estimates?
Sometimes, some kinds of inspections before work commences will be charged for, especially if in-depth investigative work needs to be done. Asking whether the estimate will be free before you start to get quotes will make sure you avoid any nasty surprises.
Do estimates include the price of parts?
Especially where an estimate is considerably lower than others you’ve received, make sure it includes the price of parts. If it doesn’t, make sure you check that they can source the parts, what kind of parts they will use and how much they will cost (or ask if you can provide your own parts, if you want to).
Can you provide a courtesy car?
If your car is likely to be with the mechanic for an extended period, you’ll likely need a replacement in the interim. Checking that there’s a courtesy car available ahead of time and making sure it will be available for you when you deliver your car will ensure you can still get around!
When will I need to pay?
Some mechanics will require full payment on collection of the vehicle, where others offer longer payment terms. Make sure you know when you need to have paid so you don’t find yourself having an awkward conversation when you want to take your car home!