• How to Get Auto Repair Quotes

    Getting auto repair quotes is easy and should be done prior to having any repairs outside of typical maintenance performed on your vehicle. Most auto repair providers are happy to give you an estimate for the cost of repairs prior to working on your vehicle. The steps below will serve as a guide for how to get an auto repair quote.

    Step 1: Document Your Symptoms

    Before you can repair the problem, you need to know what is wrong with your car. Obviously, since you are thinking of bringing your vehicle in for repairs, you have an idea that something is wrong. It is important to write down everything that seems out of the ordinary, including strange sounds, smells, vibrations or any repairs you are already aware of. You also want to write down the make, model and year of your vehicle.

    Step 2: Shop for a Mechanic

    Take your vehicle to your local mechanic and other repair shops in your area, including your local dealership. Ask for referrals from friends and family if you are unsure where to take your vehicle too. You may prefer one mechanic over another but by gathering several different quotes you can determine what work is critical and if one person is attempting to overcharge you or tack on unnecessary repairs.

    Additionally, you can use an online service, such as Instant Estimator (http://www.instantestimator.com/), to shop for quotes. Ask about a separate estimate if you are willing to shop for parts yourself. Not all shops will allow you to provide your own parts, but if they do and you are willing to take the time to shop junkyards, you can save some of money. Make sure you get a written estimate that includes a break down of what is wrong with your car and the cost to repair each item. Some repairs may be optional or less important than others.

    Step 3: Negotiate

    Armed with this information, you can take your vehicle to the mechanic of your choice and attempt to negotiate a better price for your repair. If the shop you selected was not the lowest bid they may lower their price to make you happy. Not all shops are willing to negotiate and shop labor rates, parts or extra services may not be universal in cost. You should be willing to be reasonable and a good mechanic that you trust may be worth the extra cost to you.

    It should be noted that the estimate is just that, an estimate. The actual repair cost may be different depending on several factors including the amount of time the repairs take and any additional, unforeseen problems. If your estimate is significantly lower than the actual cost of the repair you are well within your rights to complain to the manager.

    Getting multiple auto repair estimates is definitely worth your time and effort. By doing so, you protect yourself from unnecessary repairs while getting the best price available.