Just moved to a new area? Feel like you’re getting short shrift from your current mechanic? Finding a new one can be tricky.

We all want someone honest and reliable, who gets the job done with no fuss. We also worry about getting stuck with a cowboy or, even worse, paying an arm and a leg with a national chain of garages.

Here are our top tips for finding a good new mechanic.

Ask for a recommendation

Word of mouth recommendations can still be worth their weight in gold when searching for an honest mechanic. Ask your friends who they use, then figure out whose judgement you trust and give them a call.

Remember, some mechanics won’t treat all their customers equally. Your friends might be getting ‘mates rates’ or the mechanic might treat them favourably because they have been loyal customers for a long time. It is probably worth doing your own research to support any recommendations.

Research online

Make sure you do your homework. Your next mechanic could be your mechanic for the next ten years. Put the time in now to make sure they are right for you.

There are all sorts of car websites and local forums where people discuss garages and mechanics that they have used. You can also check a garage’s Facebook and Twitter profiles to see what customers say about them on there.

Five-star garages

You can get a snapshot of how trustworthy a garage is by looking at online reviews of the company. There are lots of different places where customers leave reviews, including on the Good Garage Scheme, on Google and on Facebook.

It is always worth drilling down into the reviews to see if they are genuine. It is also worth reading some of the comments to find out some of the context behind the review.

Convenient for you

Even if a mechanic is highly recommended and has dozens of five-star reviews, they won’t be much use if you have to drive miles out of your way sit and wait while they work on your motor.

At Duffy Motors, many of our customers like to bring their cars into our city centre garage on a weekday morning before completing the last mile of their journey to work by taxi, public transport or bike. They leave their cars with us all day while they are fixed and then collect them on the way home from work.

Have a chat

Sometimes the best way to get a measure of a new mechanic is to phone up or head down and have a chat with them. Most reputable mechanics will be happy to talk about the condition of your car and what work needs doing.

You can also speak to the mechanic about what work you are happy for them to carry out without your permission and what work you want a say on first.

And if you head down to the garage, it also gives you an opportunity to check out if the garage is tidy and clean. It’s a bit of a myth that garages are untidy and a clean and well-organised site is often the sign of a well-run garage.