Choosing an Auto Repair Shop

One of the trickiest aspects of owning a vehicle is finding the right auto repair shop. Generally speaking, there are three types of repair facilities: dealerships, independent repair shops, and chain stores. While there is no best shop that applies to everyone, it is very important to know what you should be looking for in a shop before you get your vehicle serviced there.

Before you get your car serviced, always ask the shop for a repair estimate in writing. A detailed estimate allows you to be financially prepared when you receive the final bill. If there were questions regarding the repairs that were made to your car, you can always check the estimate and confirm what repairs were originally agreed upon. Again, be sure to receive the estimate in writing. If the mechanic gives you an estimate verbally, you have no proof of what was included in the original scope of work or if the prices are the same.

One of the most frequent questions I hear is, “why do auto repair shops charge such high prices?” The answer to this question is that there are many expenses that contribute to running a reliable auto shop: labor, equipment/tools, parts, rent, insurance, taxes, etc. After considering these components, most shop owners are left with little profit at the end of the day.

Many car owners believe that it’s a good idea to settle for an auto shop that offers the lowest prices for vehicle repairs. I believe that it is in your best interest to find a shop that offers fair prices for quality service.

Generally speaking, facilities that offer the lowest rates tend to not have the proper equipment nor training. They often do not take the time to properly train their employees, leading to high employee turnover and inconsistent results. Instead, find a shop that does good work (ask for referrals), gets good reviews, and treats their employees well. Chances are they will also treat you and your vehicle better.

And when you do have a problem, have your car checked out as soon as possible. Auto repair costs can get exponentially more expensive the longer the problem is allowed to persist. What might have been a small easy fix can lead to additional problems in other parts or systems of the vehicle.

One last maintenance tip: One quick and easy way to keep yourself on top of your auto maintenance, is to refer to your owner’s manual as it comes with a recommended maintenance schedule designed specifically for your vehicle. The schedule will tell you which parts of your car needs to be serviced at pre-set mileage intervals.

If you have an older car and you want to protect yourself from future maintenance expenses, consider getting a used car warranty from Trustmark Warranty. They offer industry leading coverage at competitive pricing at terms that fit your budget.

24 thoughts on “Choosing an Auto Repair Shop

  1. My wife really needs to get her car looked at before it gets too cold, but we weren’t sure where to take it. I really like that you say to find some place that has a warranty on the work. It would be nice to know that they will fix it if something goes wrong.

  2. I like the recommendation to get the car checked as soon as possible if you notice a problem. It makes sense that there could be a good chance of one problem leading to another if not taken care of effectively. It’s something to remember to make sure my car will run for a long time and won’t give me any major breakdowns.

  3. Finding an auto repair shop that offers fair prices for quality service is excellent advice. Making sure that the facility is able to hand the job you require and fix your car properly would probably help your car last longer. I would imagine that having your car properly taken care of by a trained mechanic will help you keep your vehicle in working condition.

  4. Thanks for mentioning to always ask an auto repair shop for a written estimate in advance. That way, you should have a pretty good idea of what the cost will be and there won’t be any surprises. My wife and I recently got into a fender bender, and we have been looking for a shop to help us fix the damage. I will definitely be asking for a written estimate, thanks for the tips.

  5. My son has been having some car problems and doesn’t have any experience taking a car into an auto repair shop. I like how the article mentions what you should do when taking your car in for service at a shop. I especially like how it mentions that you should always ask for a repair estimate in writing before getting your vehicle serviced. That way you know what costs to expect when your vehicle gets fixed beforehand.

  6. That’s a good point you make about how facilities that offer the lowest rates tend to not have the proper equipment nor training. I’ve heard that it’s best to look a company up on Google and to read the 3-star reviews about the shop to get an honest, unbiased opinion. I’ll have to keep this great information in mind as I try to choose a great shop to take my car into to get it fixed.

  7. I agree that one of the most complicated things when owning a car is finding somewhere to take it for checkups and when problems arise. I agree that a shop that gives quality repairs is the best shop to choose and hope they charge you reasonable prices. Because you will have to take your car in frequently it would be important to make sure that you get to know the people working at the shop. The more you know them the easier it will be to go in and the more willing they will be to help you out.

  8. Thanks for your comment about how many expenses there are involved in running a reliable auto shop and how that contributes to the raised price. I think it would be unreasonable to think you could find a shop that would do a repair job for the same price that it would cost you to do it yourself. Finding an auto shop seems like it shouldn’t be about saving the most money, but rather about finding the people who have the best qualifications to ensure that your vehicle is well cared for and that the job will be done right.

  9. I like that you encourage people to not pick an auto shop based solely on the price. After all, if you pay too little then you’re only going to get shoddy work in return. You want to make sure that you choose a repair shop that has decent prices for quality service.

  10. I agree that, if you do have a problem come up with your vehicle, you should try to get it serviced as soon as possible. It’s important, I think, to find a car repair shop well ahead of time before you need their services. That way, you will have enough time to look into good repair services that you are comfortable taking your car to.

  11. My car has been having some issues lately, and I want to find a good repair shop that will be able to take a look at it. It’s important to find someone that will provide quality service at a reasonable price. As you said, it’s a good idea to get the problem checked out as soon as possible so that the issue doesn’t worsen and end up being more expensive. Thanks for sharing!

  12. My son got into a little fender bender the other day. Thankfully no one got hurt, but now we need to get the dent on the back of his car fixed. I really like what you said about not choosing a shop based solely on price. We will be sure to do lots of research, and find someone who provides high quality work.

  13. I like that you recommend to use referrals to find a good repair shop. I can see why this would help you find a place that people are generally pleased with. A couple days ago my son ran into a pole while driving home from a game. I’ll have to ask my neighbors and friends who they have used to repair their cars.

  14. We just got a car and it looks like it needs a few things repaired or replaced. Thank you for talking about the importance of getting estimates in writing every time your mechanic works on your car. It is important to remember that doing this can help you plan your finances better and make sure you have an accurate price for the services your car needs.

  15. I like that you mentioned to be sure you get a written repair estimate before you take your car in. That way, you can be prepared for the price and you won’t be taken by surprise. I recently damaged my car in an accident, and I have been trying to find the right shop to get it back in tip top shape. I will keep these tips in mind.

  16. I particularly liked what you said about how you should read the manual in your car to see what regular maintenance it’ll need. I’ve noticed that my car hasn’t been handling quite right, and I was curious as to what I should do. I’ll have to find a service that is ready to work on my model of car, as they will have the proper equipment for my car and I can follow the manual as closely as possible. Thanks for the great article.

  17. I like your tip to find a shop that gets good reviews. It’s always good to check for different opinion on multiple websites as well. Doing so can prevent you from reading only biased reviews.

  18. I like how you talked about getting an estimate for car repair in writing before you have the service done. I’ve been looking at options for my car repairs, and I think that getting an estimate before picking one is smart. I’m going to have to find a few car repair places to give me an estimate!

  19. I’m thinking of buying a used car this summer, and I’ll need to repair the car as needed. I’m not handy with cars, so I have to keep a budget for repairs and love the idea to get a written estimate, so I can be prepared. I agree that the shop should be high quality and not only judged on their prices. With that in mind, I’ll be sure to keep the owners manual for the things I can handle and start the search of a dependable auto repair place.

  20. It really helped when you talked about getting estimates in writing when looking for a good auto repair shop. I can see that doing this can not only help you compare several ones but also know how much the repairs on your car will cost. We just moved to a different town and are looking for the best company to help me properly maintain my trust and provide me with useful tips on how to keep it running right.

  21. That makes a lot of sense that labor, equipment/tools, parts, rent, insurance, taxes effect auto prices. But that also means your dollars pay for that good of a service when you need repairs. Driving a well maintained vehicle is paramount for safety on the road, so the cost is moot point anyway.

  22. My wife and I recently purchased a car so we won’t have to keep using the bus system by our house. We want to make sure that we have an auto shop that we can use and count on so that we can keep our car running as well as we can. Like you mentioned, it is important to get multiple estimates from different companies on repairs so I will make sure to do that. I will also look at online reviews because those tell a lot about the service at the company.

  23. My wife’s engine has been giving her issues lately, and we were curious about how we would find her the right place to take her car in. I really like that you say to make sure that the facility you go to has the right equipment and training. I know that I would want to see that everyone knows how to maintain and use the machines they are given.

  24. I noticed my car has been making a rattling noise, but I haven’t taken it to get looked at yet. I didn’t realize that auto repair costs increase exponentially the longer a problem is permitted to exist! I’ll be sure to get it taken care of right away so I don’t have to spend more money than I need on it.

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