Drivers typically dread going to the auto repair shop. Â The average person wonders if they are getting ripped off, becauseÂ it’s difficult to tell what is really needed when a car breaks down.Â It is possible, however, to save money, even on the most expensive accidents.
1. Friends in High Places
Find someone that knows more about cars than you to look at your car first. Â There is no need to take it directly to a shop without first getting someone else to analyze the problem. Â If you have a friend that knows something about cars, ask them to do you this favor. Â An auto shop exists just like any other retailer. Â They need to make money. Â They will often attempt to sell customers items and services that are not totally relevant to the problem at hand, but if you know what the problem is beforehand, you can avoid this pitfall. At the very least, take your car to a couple different auto shops to get competing quotes on your car. If theyâ€™re vastly different, ask why. If theyâ€™re similar, you may be able to haggle your way into savings.
2. Â Clip Coupons
If you havenâ€™t heard, the coupon craze has caught on and everyone wants a piece of the action. Â Auto repair shops will not be outdone. Â Even the smallest auto repair shops have coupons in local newspapers, because everyone is trying to lead customers to their shop. Find the best coupons before you go. Even if they donâ€™t offer any deal on a service you need, you might be able to get a free oil change out of it. Careful though, because though you may have a coupon for $10 off an oil change, this only saves you money when you know the total price. If you can get an oil change for less elsewhere, without a coupon, you should take advantage of that.
You may walk into an auto repair shop and have a specific need. Â Coincidentally, they may be running a special that will address those needs and more, but only to those customers who ask. Â Sometimes, certain times of the year are better than others. People that want a radiator flush, for example, can find the best specials around spring. Â Anyone that is looking for discounts on tires will usually see the best prices around Christmas. Â Be alert, because it can really make a big difference in how much you pay in the end.
4. Â Find an Off-Duty Mechanic
You may not trust independent vendors for big jobs, but there are lots of “shade tree” mechanics that can change oil, rotate tires and put on brake pads quite easily. Â You just have to know someone. Â Sometimes, it’s as simple as looking in the phone book or checking out Craigslist. Other times, you may have to put out the ad yourself, but the best thing you can do is find an off-duty mechanic. Â Many of these people actually work in auto repair shops, but they do work on the side for extra money.
Kaitlyn Riley likes to write, save money and frequentÂ www.travelinsurance.org.
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