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Getting your car repaired can be a daunting experience, especially if you do not know what to look out for, or how to avoid the costliest rip-offs. Whether your car is still under warranty, or you have paid for your own insurance, it is vitally important to shop around before getting a car repaired. This will help you save money when getting repairs and also cut down on stressful situations that arise from poor workmanship.
When choosing a shop for your auto repairs, find two or three places that do good work and have good ratings online. Get estimates from each shop, and then decide which one offers the best value for your money. You may also want to check with friends or family members who’ve had similar repairs done before; they may be able to recommend a good shop in your area.
Get another opinion. If a shop is recommending expensive repairs, get a second opinion – and a third if you must. Don’t automatically trust the first mechanic you visit either, no matter how trustworthy they may seem. They may not be aware of an alternative repair method or they might be trying to sell you something in order to make more money off of you.
Check to see if your car is covered by an extended warranty that you bought or came with the car. These warranties often cover certain repairs at no charge, so check the paperwork before doing the work yourself or taking it elsewhere.
You don’t have to have the autobody shop buy the parts. The mechanic can recommend the specific parts you need, you can purchase them elsewhere, then take them back to the shop to have them installed. If your mechanic is honest, this is a great way to save money on repairs.
Mechanics often suggest more expensive options than necessary in order to make more money off their customers. Be wary when they try to sell you something that sounds like a great deal — it may not be worth it in the long run. Be sure that any recommended service makes sense based on the age and condition of your car; otherwise, they may just be trying to upsell you on work that doesn’t need doing right now.
Here’s the takeaway: do your homework on the repairs you need, and have a conversation with your mechanic. Shop around, ask questions, and know your options. You might just see big savings coming to you if you’re proactive with your car repairs.
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