A CLEVER new tool could stop you from being ripped off by dodgy car mechanics.
The online cost calculator will tell you exactly how much repairs on your car should cost – so you will know if a garage is taking you for a ride.
Getty Images – Getty The cost calculator could stop you from being ripped off by a dodgy mechanic
Created by WhoCanFixMyCar.com ahead of the MOT changes introduced on Sunday, the tool can provide tailored prices for full services, MOTs and a range of essential repairs.
According to the online car marketplace, the cost of servicing and repairs, parts and labour can vary depending on the car you own and where you live – meaning it is hard to know how much you should be paying.
All drivers need to do is input their car registration, mileage and postcode to find the average price for each type of service in their area for similar motors.
You can then search the website to compare prices across a range of providers and find the best deal, which could end up saving you hundreds of pounds if your car needs more than one repair.
How to avoid being ripped off by your mechanic
Next time you take your car in for a service, remember these tips:
Overcharging: If you don’t know how much parts are, you’re giving the garage a blank cheque to charge what they like. TIP: Use WhoCanFixMyCar.com’s Repair Cost Calculator for research before you take your car in so you have a rough idea of what you should be paying.
Car jargon: Mechanics might try to confuse a customer with technical language to try to get them to pay for things they don’t need. TIP: Be sure to ask them to explain it to you. If they won’t, you should be suspicious. Replacement parts: Some garages might play on the fact that drivers don’t know much about their car’s parts, and sell you a used part or not replace it at all. TIP: Ask to see your old part to make sure they have actually replaced it. Also make sure the part says “new” on the invoice if you bought a new part. Unnecessary repairs: Some mechanics might go ahead and perform additional repairs on top of what the car originally went in for, even if they aren’t really needed. TIP: Ask the garage to call you before they do anything on top of the initial work. Automatically changing flat tyres: Often a flat tyre does need replacing – but not always. If the tyre is in good condition and the puncture is just in a tyre’s tread then it can sometimes be repaired. TIP: Ask to see the location of the puncture and assess the damage. If it does need replacing make sure you don’t overpay for new rubber, too, by researching prices online.
Getty – Contributor Changes to the MOT could see more cars fail
The online tool was primarily created to help drivers figure out how much they might have to fork out to make sure their car passed new MOT regulations – but it can be used for any type of service.
Al Preston, co-founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, said: “Stricter MOT guidelines will ensure the safety of all motorists in the UK, which can only be a good thing.
“My advice would be to have your car checked over by a professional before the MOT, so you’re not surprised by any defects that can leave you car-less for a while.
“We’re hoping the MOT test cost calculator will serve as a really helpful tool for drivers, so they can plan for how much various repairs will cost in their area, and more importantly, they have the knowledge on what it should cost.”