Today modern cars are so complex that the days of doing your own car repairs are well and truly over.
There was a time when you could buy a car and a few days later buy the Hayes manual and do your own repairs.
But now even changing something like the headlights, which used to be very easy, is impossible for your average motorist.
Car manufacturers have relegated us to topper uppers and checkers. You’re allowed to top up your oil, your coolant and check your tyres and that’s about it.
Left to the mercy of rip-off garages
I remember when I was younger and feeling really proud when I did my first oil filter and oil change. You try doing something like that now on a modern car, you’d be lucky if you could even find the oil filter, let alone change it.
So where has that left us.
Well for one thing if you need any kind of car repair you’re going to have to pay a garage a ridiculous amount for labour for very small jobs.
And what’s most upsetting is that the parts might only cost a couple of quid yet with labour you could be looking at paying £50 - £100 for a small repair.
Now as bad as that might seem, that’s what you’d be paying at a reputable garage.
This could happen to you
Heaven forbid you find yourself at an unscrupulous garage hell bent on ripping you off. End up at one of these places and you could end up paying hundreds of pounds for a small repair.
And don’t think this is something that couldn’t happen to you. Garages know you know nothing about cars and the cost of parts or even how the car actually works.
Here’s a classic example
You take your car in for a service and they tell you your brakes need changing which is why your brake warning light has come on and you need new brake pads and discs.
You accept this and pay them £500.
What you don’t realise is all that needed to be changed were the brake pads, there was nothing wrong with your brake discs.
And because they can now see you know nothing about cars they probably haven’t even changed the discs. You’ve just paid hundreds of pounds more than you needed to.
Asking the garage questions is often enough
You see soon as people hear there's a problem with brakes, they don’t really question it. They want to be safe so they pay up.
But to avoid rip-offs like that happening all you have to do is ask them a simple question, do you mean the pads or the discs.
That will tell them you’re not as naïve as you look and could be enough to save you from the rip-off garage.
Rip-off garages are still going strong
It’s was because of all these various scams that rip-off garages do that we started the car repairs auction service at CarBidOff.
The fact is rip-off garages will probably always be with us to some extent, so that you don't get caught out sign up for our newsletter.
Also if you haven't already, take a look at our car repair auction service.
What are your thoughts?
Are main dealer garages better than independent garages or are you suspicious of all garages? Leave your comment below.