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To feel ripped off by Halfords Autocentres MOT

(27 Posts)
NK493efc93X1277dd3d6d4 Thu 06-Mar-14 10:35:25

Halfords Autocentres offer cheap MOTs as do many other places. Usually use Mr Clutch but thought I'd try here as bit closer and only �1.50 more expensive. Have now discovered that �1.50 is far from the end of it.

Collected car at Elmers End just before closing on day before yesterday and was informed that only had 24 hours for free retest if I took the car elsewhere.Got work done by 5pm but (stupidly) thought that as they would be closing by the time I got there I would wait until morning. Called up at 9am this morning to book retest and was asked to pay and couldnt retest until tomorrow.

It's a real Catch 22! They do not tell you this when you take the car in, only when you collect it. It is on their website but the booking was made by phone. So either you pay the �85 per hour labour charge and they do the work and retest for free, or you most likely end up paying for the retest. Complained to manager who simply said he doesn't care!

I know I should have asked! I realise that a free retest is not obligatory but AIBU to expect that a large company like this would offer similar terms to their competitors?

sparechange Thu 06-Mar-14 10:38:55

I think legally, you can only get a free retest if the car doesn't leave the test centre between the tests ie they do the work inhouse to rectify the problems you saw.

So you haven't been ripped off. You've just been using places before which have a liberal interpretation of the law

Shonajoy Thu 06-Mar-14 11:00:14

So they managed to eke out the work "needed" till 5pm therefore ensuring you'd have to have a retest?

I've heard that company referred to meant times as "Halfrauds", you should stick to independent garages, I was in a bind one time as my brake pads were done, and I needed the car for a journey the next day (they suddenly started making a horrendous scraping noise). This company replaced them, apparently put new brake fluid in but then forgot to reconnect the brakes meaning as I drove out of their garage with a 2 year old and a 3 year old in the car, I completely overshot the give way by about two metres.

They denied it was their fault. We could all have been badly injured. They also said they'd need an independent inspector to be the mediator but basically they totally scammed me, I needed the car, and had it towed to another garage as they wouldn't look at it despite having done the brakes an hour before. And we were skint at the time. And they treat their employees like crap.

QwertyBird Thu 06-Mar-14 11:03:22

Call vosa and ask where you stand legally?

MsMarvel Thu 06-Mar-14 11:07:32

I thought they did the free retest if they did the work? Because then they know exactly what has been done and it will take them a lot shorter time to do the retest? If you take it elsewhere for the work they need to recheck everything to make sure nothing that was fine before has been tampered with.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Thu 06-Mar-14 11:11:09

Always go independent. My DH is a mechanic, and they give you 10 working days for a free retest, even if you took it elsewhere to be fixed. Not many people took it elsewhere though as his garage charge labour at £25 per hour plus parts (which included a 20% discount off parts - they passed on their discount to customers from their suppliers) or £25 per hour and supply your own parts. They also offer a garuntee on any work they do.
Halfrauds and the like can never match those independent garages on price and quality. They survive on word of mouth and repeat customers so will often go out of their way to make it as easy for the customer as possible.
My advice would be to ask around your friends and family and see if they recommend any one who is good and cheap.

Binkyridesagain Thu 06-Mar-14 11:11:29

Maybe this will help.

sparechange Thu 06-Mar-14 11:14:47

Here you go, this is what the legal position is:
Your vehicle may be able to have a partial retest for free or reduced MOT fee in the following cases.

Leaving your vehicle at the test centre
If the vehicle is left at the test centre for repair and retested before the end of 10 working days following the day it originally failed, then only a partial retest is needed. There is no fee.

Bringing your vehicle back to the test centre
Before the end of the next working day

You won’t have to pay again if the vehicle is brought back to the same test centre before the end of the next working day for a partial retest

So they are sticking to the legal position. Have they offered you a reduced rate for a partial retest?

MojitoMadness Thu 06-Mar-14 12:38:19

Always better to go independent garages IME. A few years ago I booked our 14 year old banger car in with a national chain for an MOT as they had a deal on charging £25 for the MOT. They did the MOT and then said it needed £2000 worth of work doing! shockhmm The bloody car was only worth around £600. Took it to an independent garage paid £65 for MOT and they did the work needed for £500.

pigsDOfly Thu 06-Mar-14 13:17:03

I use a place that only does MOTs. If the car fails obviously you have to take it somewhere else to have the work done but they still give you a free retest if it's within the 10 days.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Thu 06-Mar-14 13:55:45

Also where possible I would avoid using the dealership garage for car repairs. Dh worked on a car a couple of weeks ago, it needed front brakes doing. The owner had been quoted £800 at the dealership including parts. DH did them for £25 and the owner bought his own parts. The guy said it saved him over £700.
Always shop around, and I think it is always handy to look on parts websites (DH uses Euro car parts) to see how much parts are to check you are not being over charged.

NK493efc93X1277dd3d6d4 Thu 06-Mar-14 20:46:53

Thank you all for your advice. They did offer a half price retest but I am not prepared to pay them a penny more and will take it elsewhere.

I hope this thread helps others avoid the same situation.

Beauty28 Mon 22-Sep-14 00:14:29

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

JulietBravoJuliet Mon 22-Sep-14 07:38:57

Halfords failed my car a few years ago, and quoted me £470 for the work, which included brakes and suspension. I took the car to a little local garage to get a quote for the work, to be told none of it needed doing and it passed that year, and, 10000 miles later, the following year, with the brakes on that Halfords told me were illegal!

Pixel Mon 22-Sep-14 19:42:53

Earlier this year I gave my friend a lift to fetch her car from Halfords after its MOT. They told her it had failed and would cost over £900 to put right. My friend asked the man to run through what needed doing and the costs and I really had to bite my tongue as a few of the things had recently been done on my car and I knew they didn't cost nearly as much as quoted. As soon as we got outside (my friend upset as she needed car for work) I told her not to worry as my mechanic was only 5 mins drive away and took her there in my car. He went through the printout that we'd got from Halfords and then rang the supplier to find out how much some of the parts would be for that particular car. I heard the man say £82 for a part that Halfords had quoted as over £400! Anyway, friend ended up getting her car back on the road for about £250, and that was at an independent garage nearer her home rather than the one I took her to, so Halfords was completely ripping her off.
A couple of weeks later they tried the same thing with an elderly neighbour of my parents who would have had to scrap her car if my dad hadn't helped her find someone a lot more honest cheaper. How many other people are they doing this to and getting away with it?

DaddyBeer Mon 22-Sep-14 19:48:53

Halfords are known to be expensive (and clearly complete wankers too). Advice to find a good local garage is sound. Have a great one near me and I never quibble with them on price because they've always been good to me and MB.

Angryinsider Thu 04-Jun-15 14:58:42

Been on the inside at halfords auto centre seen what they charge and what for I would suggest you find an independent they are not called "HALFRAUDS" for nothing

besttalk Thu 04-Jun-15 15:46:58

I got a qoute for new brake pads from halfords £285, went to local independent £60.

Also went to Halfords to change a front bulb (was a closed unit so had to be taken apart) £95! Plus they said all the rears needed doing and the number plate lights. I said to leave those and guess what, as soon as I start the enging to leave ALL the lights are working.

Recently took car to another main garage dealer for a air con regass, told me the compressor had gone and would cost £600 for a new one. Took it to independent who said it needed no such thing and that the garage hadn't even put the dye around to actually test it!

Tinklewinkle Thu 04-Jun-15 16:02:31

We had issues with Halfords too. I only went to them as I'd completely forgotten the MOT was due and they were the only ones who could fit it in in time (now I know why)

Took it in, got a call to say it had failed and told it needed 2 new tyres and new brake discs/pads and would cost about £400ish. I was a bit shock about the tyres as the 2 in question had only been replaced about 3 months previously.

Picked the car up, and took it to a friend who is a mobile mechanic but unfortunately doesn't do MOTs, who had a look at it and said there was absolutely nothing wrong with the tyres or the brakes.

Went back to Halfords who retested it and passed it

penisland Thu 04-Jun-15 16:38:24

Find a good independent. I wouldn't trust any fast fit monkeys with a push bike let alone my car.

DoJo Thu 04-Jun-15 17:26:01

No idea why this thread has been resurrected, but IMO it's always worth going to the council-run MOT-only centres as they don't do repairs so have no vested interest in claiming that you need lots of work done to pass. Set fee and reassuringly objective.

NSMCKAPrice Sun 19-Mar-17 16:26:23

Halfords Autocentre Caveat Emptor - my letter to them and their reply
I have just had my Cambelt replaced by a local independent mechanic.
On completing the work he phoned to tell me that on the Cambelt he was replacing “the diesel injection pump was 1 tooth out on the timing belt”.
This of course means nothing to me but presumably does to you.
This previous Cambelt was fitted by Halfords Autocentre Canterbury in August 2011 (see enclosed documentation).
Various concerns arise. My car is now a lot quieter than it has been for years, and is performing better. My mechanic says he always thought the car was noisy, even for a diesel, and is professionally delighted (as I am) that it is running so much more quietly and smoothly.
Which brings me to my concerns.
In retrospect it is clear to me that in 2011 your trained mechanics at Autocentre Canterbury would have been aware that my car was not running as it should after fitting the Cambelt;
and further they:
1)Decided against informing me at the time that the belt had been incorrectly fitted, presumably to save themselves the time and effort of having to refit it correctly.
2)Assumed (correctly) that I would not be confident in judging for myself that it had been done incorrectly.
3)And further, presumably, felt that if I had raised concerns at the time they would be able to brush my concerns off, they being the “experts” and me just being a motorist.

It is of some relief that my mechanic informs me that, apart from some noisy years of underperformance, no serious damage to the car has occurred.
I am sure you will appreciate due to the length of time elapsed I cannot investigate this matter in any great depth, we no longer hold our internal paperwork additionally the technician no longer works for our company.
However, I can see from our records that you attended our Canterbury Autocentre 4 times since the cam belt replacement in 2011. I have checked these invoices and there is no mention of a problem with the running of you vehicle. I can assure you that had you raised concerns these would have been fully investigated under the terms and conditions of our National Guarantee and any remedial work undertaken at that time.
I really am very sorry that you feel my colleagues at Canterbury have not acted honestly and professionally and that their workmanship was not to the standard we expect.

Cutleryhands Sun 19-Mar-17 19:06:52

There is a reason why they are cheaper.

More expensive mot testers charge that because they get less and only expect to get a certain amount of the work needed.

The cheaper ones subsidise the labour for the test but have to make it harder for you to get the work done elsewhere as they are more reliant on that revenue than the test revenue.

Want felixibity, pay more. Shit but true.

Raj25 Wed 13-Sep-17 16:46:16

Very very Bed 👹👹👹service I got from

Never go back in hell ( Halfords auto centre )again in my life.

1, 2 & 3A Fishers Ind Estate,
Wiggenhall Road,
United Kingdom,
WD18 0FN
I don't give 1 star they are worse then 1 star just looking for money 👹👹👹

PickAChew Wed 13-Sep-17 16:48:28

Hopefully op has orted out her issues with Halfords by now.

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