We’ve all at some point experienced or watched someone we know experience being charged for unexpected and completely unnecessary extras when taking vehicles for repairs or servicing.
The frustrating part is that even after all the added extra expenses the car sometimes comes back from the workshop in a worse condition than it went in, after spending a ridiculous amount of time at the workshop.
Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency shares 5 ways to help you avoid these unexpected and unnecessary extras that are taken from us during repairs or servicing.
Seek a Second Opinion
Or even a third and fourth opinion. When given a diagnosis for repairs as much as you can shop around on price and second opinions for the repairs. Spend some time surfing the net and seeing other mechanics to get information that can save you thousands of naira off your repair bill. Sometimes, with these mechanics the diagnosis for repair might be right, but the price for the repair would have been greatly exaggerated. So, do your research.
Try to Isolate the Problem before Going to the Mechanic
Try to determine beyond reasonable doubt what is NOT the problem with your car. To do this, you should have basic knowledge about your car and its mechanics. When you are able to narrow down what is definitely not wrong with your car and what are the likely things that can be wrong with it, it will be easier for you to shut down a mechanic trying to rip you off.
Also, if you can properly isolate the problem of your car before seeing a mechanic, it makes it easier for them to test the car and get the problem solved without wasting much time or having to go back and forth.
Know Your Car’s Routine Service Items
Your car’s routine service items are usually listed in the car’s owner’s manual against each service interval. If you don’t have the hardcopy of the owner’s manual, you can get the soft copy online. You should check for surprise extra charges on your invoice after servicing and question it before attempting to pay for it. Your mechanic should be able to explain the extra charges or be ready to finance it.
Leave Strict Instructions to Be Notified of Extra Costs
Most mechanics will naturally not hesitate to notify you when there are extra costs, because they naturally would never use their personal funds to pay for your vehicle’s servicing or repairs. However, it is still advisable you instruct them to alert you about extra costs for repairs or servicing, just in case. When they notify you about these extra costs, understand the need for the extra cost and based on the advice of a good mechanic, determine if the repair can wait till the next service or whenever you can afford it.
Look For a Mechanic You Can Trust
It might be a long arduous search but once you finally find one, it can make everything a lot easier for you and eliminate the option of having to go from pillar to post seeking for second and third opinions. Look for this mechanic ahead of time and establish a working relationship with him by having him do your basic maintenance. Then, when major problems arise you will know where to go. You can use referrals for this – ask friends and family about their mechanics and favour the referrals of those that have been using a particular mechanic for a long period of time. You should know that you can have more than one mechanic you trust; it doesn’t have to be only one.