Owning and running a commercial vehicle is a significant financial commitment for your business, so it makes sense to look for ways to reduce maintenance costs without reducing the quality of service. In order to do this, finding a trustworthy garage that delivers at a fair price is crucial. The below tips offer some guidance on how to find a good mechanic in your area.
If you have no existing loyalty to a garage or mechanic, or have recently found service at your regular place to be sub-par, the first step is to create a shortlist of local garages you can trust. Look at online reviews, ask friends or fellow business owners for recommendations and check sites such as Which? Trusted Trader to find the most reliable and reasonably priced.
Membership of a code of conduct such as The Good Garage Scheme or Motor Codes doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll benefit from a better standard of care. Independent bodies have found that garages adhering to one of the four main codes in use (which include the above two) offered no better or worse service than garages that didn’t. If you want to ensure quality, it’s best to look at peer reviews, or at least research the methods the rating schemes use before relying on them.
When you have a shortlist of reliable mechanics nearby, it’s time to find out the cost of servicing and maintenance costs at each. You may want to give them a call to outline the size of your fleet (if you have more than one vehicle) and what your needs are. This will help you to calculate the overall budget needed across the year and try to negotiate a discount.
When it comes to getting your van’s annual service or some repairs completed, ask for a quote beforehand and check that they’ll use manufacturer-approved parts if your van is under warranty.
A good garage will not carry out extra work without telling you – at the very least, if a problem needs fixing, they should give you a call to ensure you’re happy for them to proceed before undertaking the repairs.
Apart from this being a specification if your warranty is to remain valid, it pays to stay on top of servicing. This will help prevent any future issues. Check the manual and ensure each vehicle in your fleet is booked for its service in plenty of time, especially if you’re doing a lot of miles.
Remember that, although fluid levels are checked during a service, it may also be necessary to top them up yourself between services.
Vanwise Group has commercial vehicle service centres at our dealerships in Harlow and Maidstone. We carry out high-quality servicing and repairs on a range of makes and models. Contact us today for more information or to make a booking.