Be Savvy: How to spot a good mechanic

There is no magic spell to eliminate the cost of repairs, but you can give yourself some peace of mind by finding a mechanic that has credibility and reputation behind them. That way, you know you’re dealing with someone who puts the customer and their safety first.

The vehicle sitting on your drive today is one of man’s most impressive technical feats. Today’s modern marvels are well-built machines with over a century of perfecting the recipe. But with thousands of moving parts, it’s inevitable that something will fail occasionally. When things go wrong, it is, of course, incredibly frustrating. If you don’t have a Maintenance Plan it likely means extra money that wasn’t originally budgeted for.

 The Retail Motor Industry (RMI) provides assurance

Perhaps most importantly, it’s imperative to check that the vehicle maintenance shop you choose to hand your car over to is part of the RMI. The RMI, which stands for Retail Motor Industry Organisation, is a proudly South African national industry body for the automotive repairs and maintenance sector. Businesses can sign up to be a member of the RMI, and with membership comes the benefit of working collectively with thousands of other members. All MotorHappy-recommended auto repairers are RMI members. With a Maintenance Plan through MotorHappy you can better manage the costs of repair with a monthly payment plan, and you can trust that we work with professionals.

To be a member of the RMI, a business must follow the ‘code of conduct’, which includes having a quality service and product, fair pricing, guaranteed workmanship, and fair resolution for disputes. With that in mind, you can be assured that a car maintenance shop with RMI membership is one with credibility.

 SAMBRA for body repair work

More specifically, if your car needs body repair work carried out, look for a member of SAMBRA. Workshops who are members of SAMBRA (South African Motor Body Repairers Association) get strictly graded by a quality system; the better the quality, the more work a business is allowed to carry out. Like RMI, you can be assured that a garage with membership of SAMBRA provides high quality service and workmanship.

If you want to narrow your choices even further, Google offers ratings for every business on its database. Users are free to rate their experience out of five stars, and you can use this as further guidance of who to pick. Simply Google search the mechanic of choice, and a rating should show in the results. Be warned, however, that anyone can make a review, and some may be fabricated.

 Ask friends and family

Finally, sometimes it’s hard to beat good old-fashioned word of mouth. Customers won’t sugar-coat an experience at a vehicle maintenance shop, and if the business can get enough people speaking positively about their work, then it will only give confidence to other future potential customers to try them out.

Realistically, you’re best using all three different methods. Unplanned car maintenance is never a fun experience, but by knowing what you’re looking for, it can be just that little bit more stress-free.

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