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How to get the best deal on car repairs?

(11 Posts)
Borelis Sat 15-Dec-18 15:57:20

Hi all,
Had one of those car checks from Halford and they've informed me of a number of issues, esp. wheel alignment, needing a front wheel alignment, wheel balance and renewal of the lower suspension wishbone arm (front axle-left side), and 2 x drop links (whatever any of this is..)

They quoted me quite a hefty sum total for this. How can I make sure their quoted price is fair?

I've tried ringing a few other local garages stating the comments for suggested repair from Halfords (very basic info as above) and they said they'd get back to me on Monday with prices but I'm assuming that the limited info I gave them is enough for them to know exactly what needs fixing?

Also, came across but does require card details etc upfront and we kind of have to select the repair that needs doing so more room for error I guess.. has anyone had any positive experiences from using that site for any car repairs? Did it really work out cheaper?

Any other ideas?
This is my first car and first time I've taken it to a garage so a bit overwhelmed sad


italiancortado Sat 15-Dec-18 16:13:03

Go to a local independent. Steer clear of Halfords/kwik fit and brand dealerships.

AlletrixLeStrange Sat 15-Dec-18 16:14:35

Independent. Halfords quoted over £600 for a few bits on my DP's car, went to the garage around the corner and paid £112 inc. labour and VAT.

italiancortado Sat 15-Dec-18 16:15:48

No need for using click mechanic either. Just go to a garage.

Borelis Sun 16-Dec-18 17:43:25

Thank you for your helpful replies. Do prices for repairs generally vary from garage to garage or are they fairly consistent with each other?

Greatorb Sun 16-Dec-18 18:31:50

Go for a good quality independent. Most car makes will have an owners group, either as a forum or a Facebook group. Join one of them, and someone on there can advise on costs, and hopefully recommend a place local to you. Many will also offer discounts too.

MikeUniformMike Sun 16-Dec-18 18:34:52

Another vote for an independent garage. Independent Garage Association membership and personal recommendation.

Asdf12345 Tue 25-Dec-18 23:17:14

Prices vary a lot. Pattern vs origional equipment spec vs maker branded parts are hugely different in price, then labour varies a lot also as does the tendency to fix things that don’t need doing.

The cheapest places I have used tend to be a bloke plus his son or another chap working from their own premises. They tell you what parts they want, you supply, they fit. Settle for cash usually £20-40 an hour labour.

The last few I have used get most of their work from other garages taking jobs on, then contracting out to them and making a profit from marking up the parts and labour. This does mean my usual place has a six week wait as the local Landrover dealer sends stuff to them which has to be done quicker. (I bumped into a mates car there, he was paying £120 an hour to the main dealer for their labour whilst I was paying £30 an hour direct for the same chaps in the same workshop).

Ollivander84 Tue 25-Dec-18 23:22:14

What @Asdf12345 said. I have a local garage that's a guy in a woolly hat with his coat tied up with balling twine grin he's v good and I order parts, he fits them. He tells me who to order from so I don't get ripped off too
In return I have my service and MOT done there every year which is roughly £100 (bargain!)

Singletomingle Tue 25-Dec-18 23:38:25

Just a warning I always used independent garages until I started working for a main dealer and i got them to check out my car. Every bit of work done by multiple independents was flagged. I recently used another car from family which broke down. It had been looked after by quote a highly recommend mechanic. Both the AA and my employer stated they had never seen such poor repairs and were amazed the car was still running as the oil filter had rotted away!

MaxTeyon Wed 26-Dec-18 12:06:30

I’d never use a main dealer out of choice, for service work you’re likely to have the lowest paid, least interested kid in the place whilst paying through the nose. A good independent with a proper mechanic who can actually fix things and has a reputation to protect is a thing of greatness. I’ve recently caught out a main dealer doing unnecessary work, claiming a fault doesn’t exist (a hard fault which is present all the time) and breaching GDPR.

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