How to Avoid Auto Repair Ripoffs

August 01, 2017

When it comes to car repairs, the best way to know if you are getting a good deal is to be informed and prepared. While knowing about cars and how they work is a good thing, it’s also important to know how to choose a mechanic, what your rights are as a consumer and what questions to ask. Before getting any service work done to your vehicle, Better Business Bureau recommends a few tips to make sure you drive away with everything in working order.

First, check your warranty. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding repairs, as failing to do so may void the warranty moving forward. When choosing a mechanic, ask around. Find out who your trusted friends and family use and check out how those businesses are rated with BBB. A BBB rating is determined by several factors, including how long the business has been around, how many complaints they have and licensing. A high rating implies that the business you are interested in is in good standing.

Don’t be too embarrassed to ask questions about the suggested maintenance. Get a full explanation and ask for details before agreeing to a price. Having a good understanding of what is being done to your car will make it easier for you to shop around and comparison shop. You should also ask about warranty policies on repairs to make sure you are covered if the work being done does not hold.
Once you have agreed to the work, get it all in writing. In accordance with North Carolina’s Motor Vehicle Repair Act, consumers are entitled to a written estimate prior to the start of any work. Additionally, if the repair costs exceed the estimate by more than 10%, your permission is needed before work can continue.

To see a list of local Better Business Bureau Accredited Businesses, visit And to read more about your rights regarding auto repair in North Carolina, visit