Car servicing centres – how to find a car repair garage near me

By Julia Freeman

Getting the best performance and value from a car depends on regular servicing, and so too may your livelihood and wellbeing, so finding a good garage is crucial if you want to keep it in tip-top condition. When you decide it is time for a car service it is tempting to Google ‘local garages near me’ and take your chances but finding a good local garage can be harder than you think. Asking the right questions will help you make the right choice every time.

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There are three main types of garages described below, along with their pros and cons.

Dealer garages

Car manufacturers always recommend that you get your car serviced at your local franchised dealership - often the same one where you bought the car. In their favour, you have the reassurance of knowing they are experienced with your particular model and your service may be tailored to address your vehicle’s known weak points. You can also be confident they will fit genuine OEM replacement parts. The main downside is their high charges. Some also look upon you as a captive market and don’t feel compelled to provide decent customer service.

Small independent garages

A small local garage might be honest and highly competent - or they might not. Because they work on fewer models they probably have good knowledge about some and poor knowledge of others. The things they almost always lack include specialist diagnostic equipment, bigger tools like wheel alignment machinery, and a decent range of tyres and spare parts. Small garages are often cheap but you are risking inaccurate diagnoses, poor quality repairs and the fitting of cheap or counterfeit spares.

Independent garage chains

To belong to a garage chain like Protyre, every garage must achieve high standards of training, equipment and customer service. That means they can match the skills of franchised dealerships but with broader experience, competitive prices and better customer service. They can offer a wide choice of parts and accessories, such as tyres, because they aren’t tied to particular manufacturers.
 
Before you book a service ask the following questions
 

  • Can they offer a genuine full service? Your chosen garage needs to have all the equipment and specialised knowledge needed to deal with any issue. It helps if they keep good records about their customers and can refer back to previous service checks.

  • How long have they been in business? Established garages are more likely to have industry certifications and a valuable reputation to protect.

  • How convenient are they? If they are not in your area, make sure they have a comfortable waiting area.

  • Do they have the technical expertise to work on your car? Each marque has its own service requirements, tools, software and diagnostics. Check the garage is used to working with your make of vehicle.

  • What spares do they use? Check that any spares won’t void your warranty and come with a warranty of their own.

  • Does the garage do preventive maintenance? Prevention is always better than cure and can extend the lifespan of your car. A good garage does a range of preventative checks even when you don’t report a problem.

Ask for recommendations

Whenever you are making a buying decision it pays to do your homework. Check online and social media for reviews or ask around among family and friends. However other people’s opinions are often anecdotal. The best endorsement is membership of good garage schemes and a respectable chain. You can use the garage finder on the Protyre website to find your nearest garage and check the services it offers.

Good garage schemes

There are a number of industry schemes that check garages for codes of conduct and operational standards, including Michelin, Pirelli and the Foxy Lady scheme that vet for female-friendly customer service.

Protyre the local garage you can trust

When you’re relying on experts to do a great job, you can always rely on Protyre. Our tyre professionals and technicians are experienced at servicing all makes and models and are always happy to discuss and negotiate exactly what your service should include. Many of our garages also offer three types of service package;
 

  • Bronze service: for peace of mind between annual services especially for those with high mileage

  • Silver service: a comprehensive intermediate service for trouble free motoring

  • Gold service: a fully comprehensive annual check, ideal for newly purchased vehicles

 
Protyre provide all the services you need to keep your car on the road, including MOTs and tyre fitting from a choice of great tyre brands like Bridgestone and Pirelli. Our friendly experts are happy to provide free advice about the right maintenance and servicing for your particular vehicle. Book in now for one of our free vehicle checks, or for your annual service with Protyre, the local garage you can trust.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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