New research reveals that British drivers are overspending about £90 per vehicle on unnecessary repair work and garage up-sells.
A general lack of knowledge about car repairs and servicing contributed to the overspend, which costs nation’s car drivers a collective £3.4 billion annually, according to roadside fixers Green Flag.
Green Flag also revealed the most common unnecessary work and up-sells that some garages charge for.
They found that changing the brake fluid was the number one cause of extra cost. Most car manufacturers recommend changing brake fluid every 2 years or 20,000 miles, but this research suggests that some garages are changing the brake fluid unnecessarily.
The research also says that Brits are paying for anti-freeze, fuel and oil cleaning and new brake pads and disks when brake wear is within safety limits.
The most common unnecessary work
- Brake fluid change
- Anti-freeze drain and refill
- Fuel/oil cleaners
- Brake pads and discs (when wear is within safety limits)
- Wiper replacement
- Battery replacement
- Tracking (Wheel Alignment)
- Oil top-ups
- New tyres (when tread is well within legal limit)
- Pollen filters
Lee Atkinson of Duffy Motors said: “You hear stories about some garages overcharging. I think things have improved. But you still have to watch out for some operators. The new MOT test hasn’t helped. You can argue that it has made it easier for dodgy garages to cheat customers.
“At Duffy, we always try to agree a fair price before any work takes place. If anything crops up we’ll try our best to speak to the customer before charging for any extras to avoid unexpected bills.
“Drivers can avoid dodgy repair shops by using trustworthy garages. Ask your friends for a recommendation, look at reviews or check on the Good Garage Scheme.”
Green Flag found that many British drivers lack the knowledge that they need to challenge drivers on services and prices. Two-thirds didn’t even know what MOT stood for (Ministry of Transport).
Only one in five men and one in ten women said that they were confident about choosing a rough price they should be paying.
They also found that a third of drivers feel apprehensive about negotiating with garages and 40% of Brits underestimate the cost of car servicing.
The research also found that Manchester was the seventh most expensive UK city to get your car repaired in, with an average spend of £414.46.
Londoners paid the most for car repairs, with bills averaging £507.62 in the capital. Drivers in Nottingham had the cheapest costs, spending an average of £348.84 on repairs.