How to save money on auto repairs in 2011

We all know that the economy has come to a screeching halt and everyone has to do what it takes to survive during tough times. Now we all have been through tough times in the past but this one sure seems a lot worse. What is important to remember when it comes to auto repairs is that you don't have to always pay what the repair shop quotes are has listed on their standard price sheet. You can call before you take to get your car that required 75,000 mile service maintenance. They might tell you that it is $500.00 initially but ask them if they have any specials or coupons before bringing your vehicle. I can almost guarantee you that they or another dealer have at least one coupon they have sent out recently or put in the local newspaper. Every business is hurting this year and that means special offers and coupons. If they say that they don't have any special offers or any discounts then let them know you will most likely take your vehicle to the other Toyota dealership up the road. In this economy I can almost guarantee that if you call three Mercedes Benz service centers and ask for any service maintenance specials that at least one of them, if not all three, will have a special deal available.

What do you do if you have a 1999 Toyota Camry and you know that you will get charged too much if you take your car to a local repair shop? We all have our opinions and I think the most important thing to do is to get more than one opinion. Very often the mechanics are on commission and it is their job to find work to perform on your car or truck. Be up front. Call the repair shop before hand and ask them if their mechanics are on commission. Your local Toyota dealership by seem more expensive but they are more likely to do a better job on your Toyota because they are very concerned with their customer satisfaction scores. Now, don't me wrong. Your local repair shop that has been in business for 20 years has not survived by providing poor service or by ripping off his customers, but it is not always that easy to know who has own a particular garage by just calling up.

Like any other service provider, ask your friends and family for recommendations. Look for local reviews on web sites that have real testimonials. This will help you narrow down the 2 or three places you bring your car or truck to get an estimate on repairs.

In addition to all the above advice, don't forget to look for coupons. Check the internet for coupons. Check your local papers for coupons. One of my favorite places to find coupons are those big coupon books. This is not a plug at all. Those books always have valuable coupons and if your car repair is over one thousand dollars than you know how valuable a 10% coupon can be in 2011. That is a months worth of lunch money for one child.

So here is a bullet point to do list:

  • 1. Ask the service manager up front if there are any specials or coupons available.
  • 2. Do your best to get 2 or 3 estimates and opinions.
  • 3. Don't be afraid to get an estimate from an authorized dealership service center.
  • 4. Look for coupons. They are out there in 2011.
  • 5. Ask friends and family for recommended auto repair shops.

I know this all sounds pretty simple and basic, but most of us fail to follow our own advice.

Good luck and if you have any stories to share please let us know.