No matter how new or reliable your car is, sooner or later you will need the services of a mechanic. Proper maintenance is vital to ensuring that your car runs as smoothly as possible, so how do you go about finding a local mechanic?
Firstly, make sure you choose a mechanic who has the knowledge and experience to work on your particular vehicle. Most repairs will be the same for any kind of car, but as technology increases, different types of car can need very different types of repair. This is particularly important if you have a luxury car or a four-wheel-drive, so look for mechanics that specialise in your car.
Next, see if your friends or family have any recommendations. People who have had good experiences with a mechanic will be only too happy to spread the word, and you will be able to see for yourself how good a job has been done. It's also worth looking for online reviews — although you should bear in mind that some people don't have a good word to say about anyone and that reviews are not always trustworthy.
You should also bear in mind that a local mechanic is likely to be more convenient than one a bit further away. If the repair is likely to take some time and a courtesy car is not available, you will have to arrange alternative transport to get you home. This will be much more expensive and inconvenient if you have chosen a mechanic some distance away.
Make sure you choose a mechanic who will give you an estimate of the price in advance — and who will contact you before proceeding if something unexpected is likely to increase the price. You don't want any nasty surprises when you get the final bill.
Finally, check the warranty. A mechanic who consistently does a good job will be happy to guarantee their work. You should find out what kind of warranty is on offer before you choose your mechanic so that you could rest easy that any mistakes or reoccurrences of the problem will be swiftly put right.
The right mechanic will be someone you are happy to return to again and again. Choose carefully and you will build up a relationship with someone who understands your own needs and those of your vehicle.