Worried about your brakes? Hearing strange sounds from your engine? It might be time to take your car to the shop, but if you’re low on cash, even a simple repair can turn into a major financial strain. Thankfully, you don’t have to break the bank to get your vehicle the tune-up it deserves. Here are five ways to save money on a mechanic.
1. Know Your Needs
If your carburetor is constantly on the fritz, what use will you have for a place that sells cheap tires? Don’t be blinded by the promise of “everyday low prices” or “deals for your entire car.” Look for a garage that very specifically offers affordable service for the repairs that you need most.
2. Use Your Memberships
There are a number of insurance organizations that provide discounts if you’re willing to go to affiliated auto repair shops. You might also find deals through memberships with local, specialized groups, the kind that offer savings for seniors, families, low-income individuals, et cetera.
3. Do Some Research
It’s a sad truth that many mechanics will take advantage of ignorance when they see it. They’ll talk you into upgrades you don’t need or replace things that don’t require replacing. If you want to walk out of the shop with the lowest possible bill, know your stuff before you enter. Know what needs repairs and why. Know how much they typically cost.
4. Go Local
Try not to give yourself a lengthy commute when choosing a mechanic. For one, you’ll be that much further away in the event of an emergency; you might also miss out on local and unadvertised deals in terms of maintenance, repairs and even collision coverage. If you’re looking for, say, Wake Forest car insurance, make sure you stay in Wake Forest.
5. Read Reviews
You should know what you’re getting into before you lay any money on the table. How long is the shop’s turnaround? Should you be worried about hidden fees and surcharges? Are they always as polite as their first meeting, or will they get belligerent and rude the longer they have your car? Form a better picture of their business by reading reviews, rankings and recommendations from your fellow drivers.
When your car starts making ominous noises on the road, these are five ways to save money on a mechanic. Remember, it’s better to have it serviced right away than let problems accumulate!