How To Negotiate Car Repairs

September 22, 2010 by · 11 Comments 

Everything is negotiable, it just comes down to if you want to put forth the effort to negotiate. In my life I have owned no less than 15 cars , that means car repairs.  When your car is in the shop for repairs it’s a unique situation, you have no control or true knowledge of what REALLY is needed and what isn’t.  There have been several ”special reports” on  news programs with undercover cameras showing mechanics damaging or lying to customers about repairs that are needed.  The fact that it is even possible creates a situation that should also be taken advantage of by the consumer. Chances are pretty good that your mechanic is over charging you for something, if you take a good look at your invoice after you have had a major repair it has to be somewhat of a surprise that the gizmo that controls your anti lock brakes is $1700.00.  There has to be a huge mark-up on the price of an item that is a must have, and you can only get it from the dealer.

Car repairs can be negotiated just like anything else, more so even.  Your mechanic or service manager at the dealer, knows for a fact that you are being over charged, that means that all you have to do is ask for a discount.  If your mechanic is worth his salt he calls you before he does any work on your car, that is when the negotiation should start.  When your mechanic tells you that you need a new “flex capacitor”  and it cost around $800, your first reaction should be “Can you give me a better price?”
Or better yet “Can you do it for $700” .  You need to make it clear from the very beginning that you want a discount. A ten  percent discount  is always a good starting point, you are only trying to get a small discount, which is better than nothing.   The biggest mistake you can make is to wait until your car repair is finished.  At that point he basically is holding your car hostage until you pay him, so that means he is in full control of the negotiation.  The very little control we do have is before any work is done, because we still have the ability to say no thanks I’ll take it somewhere else.

Most people want a discount, but most people don’t like negotiating.  Let’s face it, it’s not for everybody.  The reason car repair  is set up for negotiation is because your mechanic or service manager knows that he can give you a discount but he certainly is not going to offer it.  You’ll be surprised to see how easy they will give you 10% just for asking. The next time your you need a car repair follow these steps to get a 10% discount::

1.  Make sure you tell the service manager or mechanic to call you BEFORE he does any work to your car.

2.  Always ask for an estimate when he tells you what repairs  you need.

3    What ever amount he says, ask for at least for a 10% discount. It’s much better saying a specific price instead of 10%, so make sure you have your math ready.

That’s it.  No one said it was complicated, you just have to be willing to ask. Your’e going to be surprised how easy it is, and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.   Now take your 10% and do something for yourself,…. you earned it.

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