5 Easy Ways to Dispute Your Mechanic Bill

Worried about getting a bloated bill for your auto repairs? Here’s advice on how to reduce your auto mechanic bill and negotiate with your mechanic.

How to Dispute Your Mechanic BillPhoto: Shutterstock

Repairs are one of the costs that come with car ownership, but it sure is confusing when you don’t speak the lingo. How do you make sure you’re being billed fairly? Here’s some advice for those who aren’t so mechanically inclined.

Check to see if your car is under warranty.

If it is, you’ll need to take it to the dealer or an authorized repair facility.

Plus: When’s the Best Time to Buy a New Car? 5 Savvy Strategies

Find a good auto shop.

Ask co-workers, friends and neighbours where they take their vehicles for repairs. Is the shop affiliated or does it have technicians who are certified? Do you like the look of the place (clean, organized, etc.)?

Plus: 20 Secrets Your Auto Mechanic Won’t Tell You

Ask for a written estimate before the work starts.

It’s not uncommon for the actual bill to be 10-20 per cent higher, or more if the mechanic finds that the problem is more complicated.

Plus: 7 Ways You’re Completely Wasting Money on Your Car

Ask for the mechanic to review your bill with you.

It might seem tedious, but it can save you money. Mistakes happen all of the time. Compare the charges with your estimate.

Plus: 9 Strange Car Sounds—And What They Could Mean

If you have a bad feeling about the work performed, dispute your bill carefully.

If you can’t find a resolution, ask for the old parts (should you need evidence) and take your dispute, in writing, through the chain of command. If necessary, you might turn to the Better Business Bureau or, as a last resort, legal action.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest