When the time comes that your car requires massive repairs, asking your car technician for an affixed set of cost estimates shouldn’t be your only option. To maximize the worth of your budget, consider repair negotiation with your car technician. He’ll be willing to reduce some costs and ensure to have your car repaired for a reasonable fee.
While you’re in the process of asking for repair negotiation, you’ll realize that your repair shop has a set price for services deemed regular, in the case of having your oil changed or your tires replaced. Those types of services are non-negotiable, as they don’t involve particularly complicated processes. However, if your car requires specialized attention, expect to receive a bill containing costs for both parts and labor. Depending on the nature of your car’s damage, you can do your own repair negotiation with your car technician to have your repair costs reduced - just make sure to ask for a complete rundown of charges first so you can see which items can be lowered or waived.
Since it’s your right to ask for a detailed explanation of the costs you need to cover for repairs with the view of negotiating for lower prices, it’s imperative on your end to do some research on the kinds of fees you can have decreased or set aside before holding discussions for price reductions. Being well-versed on the essentials and non-essentials involved in elaborate repairs may enable you to hold fruitful repair negotiation tactics with your car technician, who in turn would be happy to help. Keep track of the following tips for car repair negotiation, especially if you’re about to make another appointment with your car technician soon.
1: Keep track of the essentials
· Before you make any move for price negotiations, be sure to get a detailed list of all items included in your car’s repair. Among the mandatory items in your car technician’s price quote include the following: parts cost, labor cost, flat rates for regular services, miscellaneous fees, and a clear and concise summary describing the total cost. In that way, you’d be able to see for yourself the items you can try negotiating with your car technician.
· Always remember that your car technician should be able to offer you different variants for every part of your car that needs to be repaired. If you’re willing to go for the most expensive (although not always the best) option, ask your car technician to provide you with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. If you want to go for the more affordable variants, be open to exploring your car technician’s offerings on aftermarket parts and used parts. More often than not, you’d be able to find the most value-driven options for your car’s repair.
2: Be clear on the repair specifics
· Avoid choking up questions that may give your car technician the idea that you’re not aware of what your car needs for its repair. More often than not, car technicians tend to seize whatever opportunity they have to introduce parts and services that are actually not needed for their clients. Accusing as it may sound, but such is the reality for many repair shops since they’re bent on making money at the end of the day. For good measure, make sure to do a thorough research on what your car needs for repair. Make it a point to monitor when your car’s routine maintenance items are due so that your car technician wouldn’t bluff into telling you that your car already needs those.
· Make sure that you’re keeping track of the progress of your car’s repair as you leave it at the repair shop. Doing so would enable you to monitor your car technician’s activities on your car. Moreover, never give your car technician the free hand to do whatever he sees fit for your car’s repair. Otherwise, you’ll most likely end up having to pay for multiple items that aren’t actually needed for having your car fixed. Giving away ideas that you’re a lax customer would almost always open you to risks of abuse from any car technician. Although that may sound unfair to the honest ones, it pays to protect yourself from such possibilities with constant vigilance.
· Don’t undervalue the need to ask if certain repairs can follow at a later time, apart from identifying those that are immediately needed to have your car running properly again. After all, there are items that need to be addressed in the shortest time possible to prevent further damage, and there are also those that can be done in another repair phase – including those in your negotiations with your car technician can enable you to save more money in one sitting. To have a better idea on what’s necessary from not, categorize the items in this order: internal parts as a high priority, comfort and entertainment components as medium priority, and external issues as a low priority.
3: Pay attention to the prices
· When computing for labor rates, keep in mind that it is charged per fractions of an hour, depending on your repair shop’s rates. Make sure to keep your own computation as you monitor the work being done on your car and compare it with the bill given to you. That way, you’ll know whether you’re being billed properly.
· If you’re still holding negotiations with your repair shop, you may also consider consulting with another repair shop that may provide you with its detailed list of cost estimates. You can use that as a tool for your ongoing negotiations with your first repair shop. Should negotiations fail, you need not worry because you can always have any other repair shop to negotiate with, regardless of your car’s condition.
· When in further doubt, make sure to search for databases containing repair estimates from various repair shops. You may also want to consult car repair communities online or within your vicinity if you wish to be informed further of negotiating repair costs based on other people’s experiences.