How to Choose a Repair Shop
What Should I Look For When Choosing A Repair Shop?
- Ask for recommendations from friends, family,
and other people you trust.
- Look for an auto repair shop before you need one
to avoid being rushed into a last-minute decision.
- Shop around by telephone for the best deal, and
compare warranty policies on repairs.
- Look for a neat, well organized shop with modern
up-to-date equipment in the service area.
- Look for a professional and courteous staff who
are willing to answer all your questions.
- Ask to see current licenses and certifications.
Also, your state Attorney General's office or
local consumer protection agency may know whether
there's a record of complaints about a particular
repair shop. So check them out.
- Make sure the shop will honor your vehicle's
- Look for shops that display various
certifications - like an Automotive Service
Certification indicates that some or all of the
technicians meet basic standards of knowledge and
competence in specific technical areas.
Make sure the certifications are current, but
remember, certification alone is no guarantee of
good or honest work.
- Ask if the technician or shop has experience
working on the same make or model vehicle as
- Ask how the shop prices its work. Some shops
charge a flat rate per hour for labor on auto
repairs. This published rate is based on an
independent or manufacturer's estimate of the time
required to complete repairs. Others charge on the
basis of the actual time the technician worked on
- If you need expensive or complicated repairs, or
if you have questions about recommended work,
consider getting a second opinion.
- Find out if there will be a diagnostic charge if
you decide to have the work performed elsewhere.
Many repair shops charge for diagnostic time.
- If you decide to get the work done, ask for a
written estimate. It should identify the
condition to be repaired, the parts needed, and
the anticipated labor charge. Make sure you get a
signed copy. And read the fine print!