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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

Owning a Vehicle


Garage Pitfalls

There are a number of things you should know first is that 80% of garages are according to a BBC report are charging excessive repair and servicing fees.

In the London Area they are as high as 170 an hour and elsewhere in the country 80 % of garages were charging 100 plus, franchise dealers charged on average of 66.35 an hour and peaked at 117.45. The cheapest independent garages charged just 23.50 an hour for labour,does this mean that the more you pay the better the service not necessarily. Surveys into the standard of car servicing regularly highlight the following problems
Delays in carrying out the service,

Charging for work which is not carried out

Excessive differences between the final price and the initial estimate

Poor, substandard, unsatisfactory or even dangerous workmanship.
Choosing a garage can be a bit of a lottery.personal recommendation is usually the best. The Retail Motor Industry Federation is the trade association for the retail and servicing arms of the motor industry. Their members subscribe to the Motor Industry Code of Practice, drawn up with the Office of Fair Trading, and have to abide by set standards. Although this code also contains a disciplinary procedure, it is purely voluntary, which still leaves a bit to be desired

There are also garages with AA or RAC approval which will give you a bit of security but with all these garages you should take certain precautions unless you have a good relationship with them. Remember once you give them your car to service you will have to pay whatever bill they give you to get it back and if not satisfied with the work they have carried out negotiate or sue

You cannot refuse to pay garages they have the right to keep your car until you settle their bill and as said before you may have to sue for work that has not been done or was not authorised or badly repaired. Removing your car.stopping cheques or credit cards are criminal offences you should pay the bill and write on it under protest.

There are a number of things you can do to try and avoid problems

Make sure that the garage understands what work you require and preferably get something in writing that shows this.
Do not be afraid to ask the garage what is included or excluded in the service.
Tell them what you want and make sure that they are able to provide it.
Obtain a quotation in writing giving you an exact cost of the service including parts, labour and VAT.

Find out the length of time the work will take and when you will be able to collect your vehicle.

Check what means of payment is required to settle the bill.

Leave a phone number or means of contact so the garage can ask you permission before doing any extra work.

Obtain a detailed invoice listing price of parts and labour costs individually.

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