Car- Smart: 12 Ways to Save

One of the best advice you could ever get is to ensure your car is always in mechanically perfect condition. This will ensure it runs at its optimum economic performance at all times and offer you years of reliable and trouble-free motoring.

If your vehicle neither has a valid service or maintenance plan, you are at the mercy of the service centre where you drop your vehicle off. If you want to avoid headaches and bankruptcy consider the following helpful hints:

  1. Try to get references for any service station you consider – would you take your child to any random nursery?
  2. Phone around for quotes and find out exactly what a “service” entails. Also find out if genuine parts are used. You can in some instances provide the parts, like oil, plugs, wipers and the lot yourself.
  3. Before you book your vehicle in, get a written quotation for the complete job.
  4. Ask about extra monies for “consumables”. What is it, and what does it include?
  5. Do not book in your car in on a Friday. If the job is not completed for whatever reason. You’re stuck without wheels for the weekend. Also, a “Friday” atmosphere in the workshop is not great for quality workmanship…
  6. Ask the service centre to phone you before starting any job not quoted for.\
  7. If you are not tech savvy and the service centre phones for permission to do a job you don’t understand, first phone a technically minded friend for a second opinion.
  8. Always ensure that the old parts are left in your car and check this when you arrive for collection to make sure the job was done.
  9. Read the small print regarding any damage to your vehicle while under the custodianship of the service centre;
  10. Make a note or take a mobile phone image of the exact mileage and fuel level when the vehicle is booked in to be able to prove should you suspect joy rides and/or fuel theft afterwards.
  11. Remove all valuables from the vehicle.
  12. Take up any dispute with the service manager first. If no joy then you can always try the Ombudsman or fall back on the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) to force your case.

Click here for more advice on ways to save money while motoring courtesy of CAR Magazine South Africa.


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