Choose the right mechanic...

Wheels 24 - 1 February 2019

A car is a big investment. Caring for your investment makes logical sense. But finding the right car 'doctor' can be a challenge.

Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a constituent association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), offers these five tips to help you in the search for a top-notch mechanic…

1. Belonging is better business

The first thing you should do when on the search is to look for logos. Repair workshops should have any memberships or accreditations they have on display. We would highly recommend looking for the RMI and MIWA logos.

Why do you ask? Well, to be a member of the RMI and MIWA workshops need to adhere to strict criteria which are checked regularly. Secondly, you have recourse if you aren’t entirely satisfied with the service you have received. You can escalate your grievance to MIWA and/or the RMI both of which will assist you through a dispute resolution process. 

2. Grading

When choosing accommodation, it’s common to refer to the star rating to make an informed decision about where to holiday. So why not do the same when looking for somewhere to service your car?

A MIWA Graded workshop meets specific accreditation requirements and is subject to random external audits. By choosing a four- or five-star workshop you can be assured of top service. 

3. Equipment

Does the workshop look professional, tidy and organised? Does it look like the staff at work have the correct tools and equipment to do their work? Ask questions and look around. You are within your rights to have all the information before making a decision. 

4. Training

While we are facing a skills shortage in the sector, top workshops are doing in-house and external training to ensure all mechanics are qualified to deal with the tasks before them.

Once again, speak to the workshop owner about training levels of mechanics and any specialisations they may have. For example, some mechanics specialise in one particular car make. 

5. Efficiency

A top workshop will have efficient systems in place to assist customers. Getting a quote should be a quick and seamless process. Communication should be good whether its directly with the workshop owner or an administration person. 

If you are finding the process tedious, look elsewhere. There are many workshops around the country that are highly professional in their customer service approach.

"Remember that the cheapest repair price is not always the best option. Building a level of trust with your mechanic is also important. If in doubt, get references from customers who have used the workshop. 

"Check out websites and social media to see if there have been negative posts. Many workshops are eager for your business and will offer an exceptional service. Look around and compare," recommends Ranft.


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