Feb 142018

A good mechanic can help keep your car running longer and save you money on repairs. However, finding a decent, reliable garage to look after your car can be harder than you might think.

If you are in need of a new mechanic and unsure where to start, Warranty Direct has put together its top tips for finding the best garage in your area.

Get advice

Ask your friends and family members where they take their cars for repairs in your local area and why. If the same business keeps coming up with positive feedback, it’s probably safe to assume it’s both reliable and fairly-priced.

Online forums are a great place to ask for local recommendations. Anyone who has had major problems with a garage may have taken to the internet to share their experiences. Also on specialist car forums, you could also potentially encounter someone who has had the problem you are faced with. Perhaps take advantage of this, if they seem like a reputable source. Ask for advice on how much the problem cost to fix and how long the repair took, to help with your own research.

Research prices

It’s possible to get an idea of how much a service or repair is likely to cost before a mechanic even looks at your car. If you know roughly what needs doing, websites such as ClickMechanic allow you to obtain quotes from garages in your area, so you have a good idea of how much to budget for particular repairs or services.

If you’re unsure of exactly how much needs doing and how long your repairs will take, call around a few garages to ask about their hourly rates, though bear in mind completion times will vary slightly. Always check if VAT is included in the price quoted. Legally, the garage should tell you, but if overlooked you could end up with a heftier bill than anticipated!

Make sure quality isn’t being compromised in return for a low price. The average cost, according to the Money Advice Service, of a car repair is £125, so if the price of a garage seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Many garages now offer deals like free services and ‘service bundles’ to entice more customers. Motorists could see big savings, but what may not be clear is many of these services do not include things such as tyres or brake pads, so you could still be stung by additional costs.

Essential expertise

At Warranty Direct we offer a Preferred Repairer Network, consisting of over 3,000 specially selected garages, helping you find a dependable local business. These garages can either be a main dealer or independent.

For inclusion, all nominated garages must meet and agree to a 43-point service level agreement before they can join our Preferred Repairer Network. These garages are highly professional, experienced and also accountable for work undertaken, so customers can be sure they are leaving their cars in safe hands.

You can also check if the garage is part of any reputable industry schemes, such as The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) who accredits professionally trained technicians or The Motor Ombudsman, which sets garages a code of conduct and operational standard.

Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable and make sure your mechanic shows you exactly what the problem is and the parts affected. A reputable mechanic should be willing to do whatever it takes to put you at ease and gain your confidence.

Warranty Cover is arranged and administered by BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. Warranty Direct is a trading style of BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. BNP Paribas Cardif Limited is a company, registered in England and Wales No. 3233010 at Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 2XX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Register No.309075

Feb 062017

Warranty Direct’s extended motor warranties are designed to help take the stress and hassle out of car ownership. Our customers shouldn’t have to claim over the course of their policy, however things can happen and our customers may find themselves having to use their warranty when an unexpected fault or breakdown occurs.

When it comes to getting a repair sorted, Warranty Direct allows its policy holders to take their vehicle to the garage of their choice for repairs. We allow customers to use either an independent or main dealer as long as they are VAT registered. To bolster choice for our customers, we also offer a Preferred Repairer Network to our customers as well.

Our Preferred Repairers Network consists of specially selected garages to undertake repair work for our policy holders. These garages can either be a main dealer or independent. For inclusion, all nominated garages must meet and agree to a 43 point service level agreement before they can join our Preferred Repairer Network.

It’s not a mandatory requirement for our customers but we believe that the Preferred Repairer Network has some great benefits such as:

Warranty Direct settle insured claims with the repairer directly

Having to pay for the unexpected cost of repairing your car can be stressful. Even with a warranty, there may be some cases where, even though a claim is valid, you may have to pay for the repair up front and then reclaim it from your warranty provider. It could get even more infuriating when trying to get the money back from your provider promptly too.

With Warranty Direct’s Preferred Repairer Network, we can settle the repair bill directly with the garage and cover the approved parts and labour costs for a valid claim. Customers will only have to pay any policy excess they have and any agreed parts contributions directly to the garage. This goes some way to save the hassle of customers having to pay out during a claim.

Preferred Repairers know how Warranty Direct works

The garages on our Preferred Repairers Network know how Warranty Direct’s claims process operates. This makes it quicker and smoother for Warranty Direct and the preferred garage to communicate with one another. With fully trained and qualified engineers as part of our claims team, this ease of communication allows repairs to be authorised and get your car fixed promptly.

Garage Validation

As previously mentioned, any garage whether they are a main dealer or independent must meet our criteria to be part of the Network. There are 3362 preferred garages on our network. 1070 of these are independent garages, the remaining 2292 are main dealer. 60% of our preferred main dealers also charge under the £60 per hour labour rate.

If a customer’s choice of garage isn’t part of our Preferred Repairer Network, they can recommend them to Warranty Direct. We’re always looking to add more preferred repairers and if they fit the criteria then they might be a welcome addition to our growing network.

Ultimately what’s most important is that our consumers are able to trust the garage they chose to repair their car carries out work to a good standard. The Preferred Repairer Network, with its rigorous criteria, helps to ensure this.

If you’d like to know more about Warranty Direct’s Preferred Repairers, then get in touch today on 0800 731 7001.

Warranty Direct provides extended motor warranty cover and can supply GAP Cover Insurance for brand new or used cars as well. For more information, visit us at www.warrantydirect.co.uk.