Times are harder nowadays. Your top priority should be staying in control of your paycheck by saving money. One way to do that is to not let go of your old car just yet. However, keeping your old car entails careful maintenance. You still have to shell out some cash to be able to continue using your vehicle smoothly. Once you have decided to keep your old car, the next thing to do is to look for a service shop that will best suit your needs. But with so many choices, you get trapped in convincing sales talk and glossy advertisements. So which car workshop is best for you and your car? Should you go to your car dealer? Or can you go to an independent car repair shop?

Find The Best

Your best friend’s favorite car service center could be the one that you are looking for. Or maybe not. Finding the best car shop for you does not mean going to the most popular. Here are reminders that can help you in your search.

  • Location.  It will be to your best interest if your service center is near your home or your workplace. The location should be somewhere that is accessible to you. Pick out around 3 best candidates that are strategically located. But if you found one that you think is ideal for you and location is 100 miles from your vicinity, that car shop should be worth the travel.

  • Certification.  Ask around for the car shop’s certifications. The shop should be a member of service center organizations and the like. Being a member of trusted organizations means that they have credentials that were thoroughly checked. You may also ask the shop itself if their mechanics have certifications as well. One piece of advice: if they are dodgy about their training and certifications, cross it out from your list. If they had training and certifications, they will proudly show it to anyone who asks.
  • Mechanics.  You have to try out different car service shops before you can decide which will be “your” car shop. Observe how the mechanics in the car shop relate to you. They should be giving you a clear estimate of the car work to be done. If after the repairs there are additional jobs done on your car that you have not given your nod, cross out that car shop from the list as well.
  • Clean Surroundings.  This may sound like you are being finicky but this is a sure sign if the service center has a sound work ethic. How does a clean surrounding have to do with their work? If they can give extra attention to cleanliness, they are also going to give the extra mile to be honest, courteous and fastidious about their work.
  • Price.  This is probably the main reason that you chose not to buy a new car and opt for repairs instead – to save on costs. The range of prices that they quote for their services should be reasonable considering the parts that need replacement and the amount of effort and time required. Of course, you shouldn’t expect amounts that are so cheap. After all, good mechanics place value on their skills and time. The price, however, should not be too expensive. You could try and compare their price with other mechanic shops though. You can even haggle.
  • Word of Mouth.  References are important. Ask around. You can check the internet or much better, ask your friends for recommendations. More than any expensive commercials, customer experience is the best clue if the car shop will suit you.

When You Have Found the One

The best car repair shop for your friend may not be the one for you. You have to have experienced their kind of service. This is one way of knowing if the shop is the one you want. And when you have found the one, stick to it. This is that one relationship that you need to hold on to.