First time I had to change a tire. Well it was half way off when I got there but I had to kick it off.

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Car repairs are often expensive. However, you could be making each trip to the mechanics that little bit less costly by avoiding some all too common mistakes. Here are some of the most common blunders.


Accepting the first quote


Every mechanic will charge a different rate. You could be missing out on a better deal by not shopping around. Some mechanics will offer loyalty rates, but that shouldn’t stop you getting quotes elsewhere just to see if you can do any better. There are comparison sites for mechanics that can help you find the most affordable repair service. Try ringing around and asking for quotes too. In many cases they may have to inspect the vehicle first before giving a detailed quote, but they may be able to give a rough estimate over the phone.


Ignoring car repair reviews


Whilst you should shop around, it’s also important to look at reviews as the cheapest deal doesn’t always mean the best deal. A car repair service with a bad reputation may do a botch job which will only cause more hassle in the long run. By choosing a trusted mechanic, you know that you’re getting top quality service. Read reviews online and also look on their site for testimonials as well as certificates to show that they’re fully qualified for the job.


Protecting a no claims bonus


Your insurance provider may offer a no claims bonus. This is rarely worth protecting. Yes, you may get a slight deduction off your next insurance payment, however you’ll have to fork out for repairs out of your own pocket. In the case of small damage from a car accident or vandalism this may not be so much of a concern. However, if it’s major damage you may end up paying more than you would get as a discount from a no claims bonus. Let your insurance company take away some of the costs by making a claim.


Not seeking legal action


There are many cases in which you may be able to cover repair costs with a legal claim. This could be something as serious as compensation from wrongful death in a car accident. However, it could also be compensation as a result of a faulty part, a wrongful insurance claim rejection or an unmarked obstacle in the road. Consider whether the damage was someone else’s fault and why you shouldn’t have to pay. There are plenty of solicitors out there that specialise in car accident claims. It may be worth choosing one of these specialist lawyers over a general law firm – they may be more knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to such cases and therefore be more likely to win you the right amount of compensation.


Buying partially worn tyres


In some cases, you may not even need a mechanic. There may be parts that you can buy and fit yourself such as window wipers or new tyres. There are lots of places to buy these parts, some of which will sell second-hand options. When it comes to tyres, you should be careful about buying second-hand partially-worn sets. Whilst they will be cheaper, they’re likely to wear or blow quicker, so you could be looking for another replacement in a couple of months. If you’re buying from a seller abroad, the tyres may also not meet the same legal requirements in terms of tread depth. It’s often much more sensible to pay the extra money on a fresh pair of tyres that you know will last and be road legal.


Forgoing preventative repairs


When going for a service, many of us will often only pay to repair the problems that require mandatory repair. There may be other issues that don’t warrant obligatory repair just yet such as worn brake pads or a crack in the windscreen. However these issues could become bigger in the future ad result in more costly repairs. A worn cam belt may not be a problem now, but it could have disastrous effects later if left to wear away and eventually break, causing further engine damage and potentially making your vehicle a write off. If the mechanic recommends fixing something, even if it’s not a mandatory requirement, it may be worth getting it fixed there and then to save you more money in the long run.


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