Garages provide both goods, such as parts, and services, like repairs or testing.
Look for an established business with a good reputation. Find a member of a trade association – this should mean the garage follows a code of practice.
A reliable garage will do some or all of the following:
Before getting any work done, you should:
In addition to the above, you'll need to know what the service covers. Ask whether it covers engine, brakes, electrics, steering, bodywork, suspension and the parts that will be replaced as part of the service.
Get a written quotation. If you want to accept it, mark it with the word 'accepted', sign and date it, and return it to the garage owner. If a quotation is accepted, you're not obliged to pay more and will be within your rights to pay the price you agreed. Avoid estimates as these are just an informed guess.
If you don't know what's wrong, first get a price for a diagnosis and make it clear that any further work will need your approval.
After the work is finished ensure that you:
Contact the garage as soon as you can, explain the problem and give them the chance to correct it. Keep a record of all contact, including dates, times, and what was said.
If you don't get the outcome you want, put your complaint in writing to the garage manager and send a copy to any trade association the garage belongs to. The association may be able to resolve the dispute.