Car garages leave over half of drivers confused and with a ‘raw deal’ when getting repairs11/13/2020
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Garages often use complex terms to describe vital car parts which leave many drivers apprehensive and unsure. The confusion has left half of the drivers surveyed feeling they had been overcharged or ripped off by a garage.
Meanwhile, one in ten revealed that a garage had carried out work they had not agreed to as they had hidden its real meaning behind confusing terms.
According to the RAC, garages use acronyms to describe certain terms such as DPF (a filter which helps clean diesel exhausts) and TPMS (a system which checks tyre pressures).
RAC Consumer roadside managing director Andy Baker said failing to understand what mechanics were saying could be “frustrating” for road users.
He added that drivers may be getting a “raw deal’ with owners likely to approve any work before deciding if they really need it.
Mr Baker said: “These figures show there’s a sizeable gulf between what garages say, and what the average driver actually understands.
“At best, this can be frustrating for drivers who need their vehicles repaired, but at worst it could mean they get a raw deal – with baffling language making it much more likely they approve any work, at any price they’re quoted.
“And at the end of the day, getting the right repairs at a fair price shouldn’t come down to how well drivers understand industry terms and acronyms.
The RAC report found a quarter of road users felt the cost of repairs ended up being far higher than they had predicted.
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One-fifth of motorists said the garage could not repair their vehicle with almost half admitting they felt uneasy using garages they didn’t know.
Confused.com has previously warned drivers not to be afraid to ask questions while your car is being repaired.
It said that if a garage is not happy to answer questions, drivers are urged to get the repairs conducted elsewhere.
Confused.com warns that some mechanics may try and alert you of extra work which may be needed by claiming vehicles will run better.
Mechanics may try to charge drivers for new parts but then install a second hand used piece instead.
To avoid this, drivers can ask to see the part before it is installed and ask for an itemised bill to check what you have actually paid for.
Likewise, some dodgy mechanics may fail your car in an MOT test and include a long list of repairs that they say are needed immediately.
This will encourage desperate divers to agree to the upgrades without first checking whether this is legitimate.
Drivers should ask to see their fail report immediately and remember that a vehicle is still roadworthy if there are only advisory failures reported.
But drivers are warned that not all garages are out to rip off drivers with many just passionate about cars and helping out struggling drivers.
Justin Smith, Founder of BreakerLink said: “It pays to evaluate the appearance of the garage before you engage them.
“If their workshop is clean and tidy then it’s a safe bet that they probably extend this mindset to the rest of their business.
“Also, the best way to build a relationship with a mechanic is to try a small job first before jumping in with something like a gearbox change.
“Start with something small like a service or MOT and see how they perform. If you’re happy with the results then this can serve as a good indicator of the quality of their workmanship.”
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