Way back in 2013, there was a staggering 35 million registered vehicles on the roads in Great Britain alone. Let that sink in for a moment. 35 million vehicles!
As incredible as that number sounds, in today’s world in 2017, there has to have been a sharp increase on that figure. If I had to guess, I would say that we are now closer to the 50 million mark.
With so many vehicles registered on the road, which leaves a lot of work for car servicing centres and garages across the country.
This got me thinking – What do I expect from a servicing centre? During this article I will go through what I would expect from a garage near me, should I pay for an annual service.
Popular Expectations at a Service Centre
#1 Location, location, location
As a car owner/lover, I regularly have my vehicles tested and serviced by a local garage – or if I have the time, I will do it myself as a registered mechanic. However, if, and when I do need to book into a service centre, I will never use the main dealership unless I have purchased a servicing plan.
Local garages can save you up to 50% on servicing costs. Many car owners assume that they need to use the dealerships mechanics in order to maintain their warranty. Absolutely untrue.
When I do use a garage – I will always try to find a local car service in Milton Keynes. This saves me money on fuel and I can usually get a lift to and from the garage from my partner, or in some cases they may even have a pick up and collection service available.
#2 Communication is key
If you own an older vehicle – let’s say that is more than 10 years old. Chances are, you will need to have some repairs completed along the way. However, this may not be the case for newer vehicles, but it hasn’t been unheard of – it does happen.
However, if you do need a repair or if I ever needed to have a spare part fitted, I would want to know exactly what is happening and when. I always try to stay in regularly communication with my garage – especially if it is going to be an expensive repair.
Make sure that you check the part prices, use comparison sites to get an idea and have a shop around to know if they are trying to charge you more than the normal value. In most cases, parts through a garage will cost approximately the part price + 20-30% of the part value.
For example. Say we have a part that costs £20.00 to the garage. To you, a reasonable price to pay would be between £24 and £26 plus any VAT.
If I am paying money for a car servicing centre to complete a repair on one of my vehicles, I want to know that they know what they are doing. However, just because your preferred mechanic has a few grey spots, doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she knows what they are doing.
A good way to gauge an idea would be to ask a couple of questions about the work that is due to be completed. If they stutter and hesitate a lot, they may be inexperienced and not 100% confident in their own ability. However, if they are able to answer you confidently, and explain the work in greater detail – this is sure to give a good indication of what is to come.
Now then, from a consumer’s perspective, being let down at the last minute by a garage is one of the worst things that can happen. Especially if you are relying on the work that is due to be completed. Of course, things happen that cannot be helped – family emergencies, sickness etc. However, when you are let down at the last minute due to a mistaken booking or incorrect entry – that’s when people start to get frustrated and I am exactly the same.
As a business owner, I want to be able to book an appointment and be 100% confident that I will not be let down.
We touched on this part briefly when we went through the importance of communication. However, honesty is key and plays an important role in my decision making process.
Unfortunately, due to rogue traders and mechanics, technicians that provide a car service in Milton Keynes can often have a bad reputation before any work has even been completed. However, it is important to trust your chosen mechanic. Talk to them and get an understanding about them and the way they run their organisations. 99% of mechanics will be genuine and be able to help you no matter what.