Receiving car repair estimates is rarely a pleasant experience, especially when the number quoted is much higher than you originally expected when you brought the car in. So how do you know when a car repair estimate is unreasonable?
Compare Prices at Other Shops
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 701,100 automobile mechanics in the United states, and 87,032 auto repair shops. With so many repair options out there, you have plenty of choices. Try to get car repair estimates from a few different places. Even if you decide to go with your original shop, you’ll have a better idea of what the repair costs, on average, and it will be much easier to spot someone who’s trying to rip you off.
Unfortunately, time is usually a factor for most car repairs, and your need to get back on the road fast may trump your need to find the best price. Avoid this problem by investigating nearby auto shops before anything goes wrong. Find one you can trust and save yourself the trouble of comparison-shopping when something goes wrong.
Find Average Repair Prices on the Internet
Though the internet can’t always diagnose your specific car problem, it can give you ballpark estimates for common issues you may face. For example, engine and transmission repair cost estimates are often very high, but smaller problems like routine brake maintenance shouldn’t break the bank. Usually for clear-cut repairs like this, you’ll be able to find some kind of average with a quick Google search or a website’s cost comparison tool.
New Technology Can Help Out
Smartphones are becoming a huge part in our everyday lives, and many of them can diagnose your car now too. Usually these diagnostic tools plug into your car’s computer and send signals to your phone when something is in need of repair. A new app on kickstarter called FIXD will even bring up auto repair shops in your area and compare what the costs at each shop are likely to be.
Remember, the cheapest price won’t always come with the best service. However you find your mechanic, make sure they provide you with the best repairs at reasonable prices.