5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Mechanic

5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Mechanic
Car Repair
Car Servicing
Trusted Garage

Choosing A Mechanic

Anyone who owns a car understands that you never truly know what you are buying or what can be expected. Having your car regularly serviced will prevent a lot of problems or issues from happening, and it will also highlight any potential future issues so you can resolve them before they happen. 

Choosing a mechanic or garage to service or repair your car can be difficult if you don’t know anyone locally or have any recommendations. When you find a good garage, it is a win-win, as you will know you can trust them to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive, and they won’t do any unnecessary repairs or overcharge you for them. 

There are lots of garages and mechanics all over the UK, and this actually makes it more difficult when you are looking for one.

So, how do you know if a mechanic or garage is right for you and your vehicle? Here are our hints and tips to help you narrow down your options and find someone or a garage you can trust.

Types of Garages

Service and Repair

Vehicle maintenance and repairs are done at this kind of garage. They will have sound mechanical knowledge and the appropriate diagnostic equipment, such as lifting tables, ramps, etc.

Body Shops

Body shops specialise in fixing cars that have been in accidents, minor bumps, or scrapes that have only sustained minor damage. A body shop garage repairs paintwork, beats panels back into shape, and ensures vehicles are roadworthy. They use specialist equipment, including paint spraying booths, ovens, lifting tables, etc.

MOT Stations

An MOT station has to employ a qualified MOT tester to operate an MOT station. They will have the relevant diagnostic tools for a full range of vehicles and be a certified MOT garage. An MOT Station must have a business manager (sometimes called an ‘AE designated manager’) who is in charge of all MOT testing by the business

The MOT business manager must have taken an approved course, e.g., the former 2-day DVSA course or a level 3 award in MOT Test Centre Management.

You should always use an approved car garage for work on your car, such as a service, repair, or MOT. These garages are all approved by the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair.

What is the Motor Industry Code of Practice?

The Motor Industry Code of Practice was launched in 2008, and its aim was to improve the general image of the trade by encouraging garages to raise their standards and rebuild customer confidence.

Their purpose and aim are to help customers identify garages that will deal with their cars properly and provide good service. The Code of Practice addresses every facet of garage work, including staffing, billing, and handling complaints. It also addresses booking work and performing repairs.

5 Essential Questions To Ask When Looking for a Mechanic

Look for a Motor Codes garage

The Motor Industry Code of Practice was launched in 2008, and its aim was to improve the general image of the trade by encouraging garages to raise their standards and rebuild customer confidence.

Their purpose and aim are to help customers identify garages that will deal with their cars properly and provide good service. The Code of Practice addresses every facet of garage work, including staffing, billing, and handling complaints. It also addresses booking work and performing repairs.

Look for a Good Garage Scheme Registered Member

The Good Garage Scheme is dedicated to improving standards when it comes to servicing and repairing vehicles in the UK. The Good Garage Scheme enables you to find a garage to fix your car and leave feedback on your experience.

If your car is still under warranty, a Good Garage Scheme member can service it without voiding the terms of the warranty.

Fully registered Good Garage Scheme members have to adhere to strict terms of conduct, including some of the following:

Mystery Shops

Regular mystery shop-style audits are carried out

Code of Conduct

They have to adhere to strict terms of conduct and perform servicing work according to an Industry Standard Check sheet, always having a customer’s best interests at heart

Work to agreed-upon Industry standards


All servicing work carried out includes the use of an oil flush to remove contamination and deposits

Customer Pledge

They have to agree on what work needs to be done with customers before it is carried out

They must supply each customer with a feedback card allowing them to give their views on service directly to the Good Garage Scheme, which operates a stringent complaints procedure.

Are they licenced and certified?

Every car mechanic operating a garage business must have the required qualifications and licences to operate in the UK. Different licences are required for every service activity carried out. For instance, you must apply for a trade licence if you are a new or used car trader or dealer. Additionally, garage businesses require a Motor Vehicle Repair Business Licence to prove their legitimacy.

These demonstrate that they are in the proper line of work and have the legal right to provide the requested services. Additionally, it gives you reassurance that you are dealing with a trustworthy company.

A certified mechanic will have gone through enough training to impart the skills and knowledge needed to work on your vehicle. If the mechanic you’re considering can’t produce a licence or prove that they are qualified, you should probably continue your search. Leaving your car with a novice who is still learning the ropes is the last thing you want to do. 

What is their experience?

Experience is important for any service provider, as it limits the probability of making obvious errors. When searching for a mechanic, ask how long they have been in business. Ask them about the types of vehicles they work on and the types of services they offer. 

Use a search engine to look at their website and look for customer reviews so you can see the experience other people have had. 

Give them a call and see what reception you get from them, and ask them what their advice would be and what services they offer.

Ask them for a quote and check their prices and how much it will cost you before you book your car. 

Ask them what guarantees and warranties they offer on servicing, parts, and repairs.

What qualities should a good mechanic or garage owner have?

The right auto body shop or garage should have the following characteristics:

Integrity is among the first qualities that a mechanic or business should demonstrate. This way, you are sure that your car is in good hands and that the mechanic won’t do anything that doesn’t need to be done on your car that will cost you money that you don’t need to spend.

Mechanics should be good communicators who keep you updated on the progress of repairs and any additional repairs, as well as any additional costs during the process. 

They should be trustworthy and show they can live up to their word. This means that if they assure you that the repairs will be completed in two days, there should be no incidents when you go to pick up your vehicle. 

Good mechanics should advise you on the best course of action when multiple options exist to repair the vehicle. This includes suggesting repairs that are more urgent than others. 

Finally, should you hire a mechanic to fix your car, they should be professional enough to handle your vehicle with the utmost respect and complete the services as expected without cutting corners.

In Summary

Your vehicle is a valuable investment that needs the best care to maximise its efficiency and safety on the road. Finding a good, trustworthy, and professional garage will mean you always have someone you can ask for advice from and trust that they will always do the right thing for you and your car. 

It doesn’t matter how skilled or experienced the mechanic working on your vehicle is; you can’t be too sure about the car parts they’ll use. This is why you need to know what is covered under warranty and what parts will be installed before anything is done. Always check the warranty duration, and keep the paperwork and receipts safe in case you need them in the future. 

Always ask for a written estimate with a breakdown of costs for both labour and parts before any work is carried out. Automobile repair fees vary from one auto body shop to another, depending on the amount of quality work carried out. The written estimate process will allow you to make comparisons before selecting a mechanic that you feel offers the best value for money. A reputable garage will have no problem providing a written estimate and will always contact you if this changes when they are servicing or repairing your vehicle.

When you leave your car at a garage, you should have a clear timeline of when it will be ready for you to pick it up.

AP Autocare in Bristol

AP Autocare was established in 1976, and since that time, we have developed into one of Bristol’s most reputable independent city centre MOT, repair, and service facilities for all sizes of vehicles. Temple Meads Train Station and Bristol City Centre are both accessible by foot from our location. Ideal for people who need a train home or work in the city. We have a variety of courtesy vehicles, including cars and vans, which we can offer to all our customers with prior arrangement, or we can also collect and deliver your vehicle from your home or place of work.

You can rely on us to provide you with trusted, reliable, and professional services at a reasonable price without the expense associated with main manufacturer dealers, saving you up to 30% in comparison. Our reputation has always been and will continue to be very important to us, and our customers are at the heart of what we do.

The Good Garage Scheme

We are honoured to have won the most prestigious award for customer service, “Top Feedback—National Winner,” as well as the “Top Feedback – Regional Winner.”

    • Helpfulness and attitude of staff  99.1%
    • Quality of contact about vehicle  98.3%
    • How pleased are you with the standard of our work  98.7%
    • General satisfaction overall  98.7%

We are the largest independent service centre in Bristol, specialising in BMW, Mini, Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Porsche, Citroen, Peugeot, and Land Rover. Based in Bedminster, Bristol

We have the ability to work on all makes and models of vehicles, from small cars to light trucks up to 3.5-tonne class 7, and we can accommodate motorhomes and campers. Our in-house body shop can handle small- to large-scale bodywork repairs, such as minor dings and scrapes, accident repairs, wheel refurbishing, and classic vehicle restoration.

Our Services

    • Brakes
    • Clutches
    • Engine Diagnostics and Repair
    • Winter Car Checks
    • Servicing (Annual and Interim Services)
    • MOT’s
    • Servicing
    • Bodywork & Paint Repairs
    • Air Conditioning Servicing & repair
    • Tyres & Exhausts
    • Remapping
    • Suspension & Steering
    • Welding
    • Battery Testing & Replacement
    • Wheel Alignment
    • Tyre Replacement
    • Remapping

Customer Feedback

  • Very helpful team. First time I’ve used them – happy to return and recommend them.
  • Have used this garage for over 10 years. Always polite, efficient and friendly service. I have confidence in them.
  • I have been using this garage for four years. Always helpful and they give you all the details you need to make decisions about your vehicle.
  • Always good and reliable work. Professionally run garage.
  • Very friendly, competent garage and has been for the past 40 years. Many thanks to all.
  • Helpful and efficient. My first visit, and only for an MOT. I look forward to returning for my next service.
  • Always excellent service 10/10.
  • These guys always do a great job. They are so helpful. It was great to have a courtesy car so I did not have to take the bus home.
  • Great staff and excellent communication throughout. The mechanic explained the whole issue in detail and further feedback on the collection. All in all, a great experience and half the price Audi would have charged.
  • The staff are very helpful, polite, and friendly.
  • Reliable and confident service over many years.
  • Booked in very quickly. Excellent service as usual. Professional service was received. Trusted garage I would recommend to friends and family.
  • As always, very good service.
  • Good overall service. I had a major engine repair (crankshaft oil seal) and was kept informed on the vehicle as it was there for 3 days. I was offered a courtesy car but declined. Overall excellent.
  • The guys at AP Autocare went above and beyond to fix my Range Rover headlights after another garage had messed around with them. I would recommend this garage to everyone! Most importantly, they didn’t try and rip me off because I am a woman.
  • Excellent standard of work and a very good price compared to others. Highly recommended.

If you are looking for a reliable, trustworthy, and professional garage, please call us on 0117 911 8719 and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and will arrange an appointment for you.

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