26 September 2023

Consumer office warns on dodgy car repairs

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Consumer Protection has offered advice to car owners worried about being overcharged or quoted for work that’s not needed when they take their vehicle for service or repairs.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Gary Newcombe said it was important to do checks before choosing a repairer, including asking for recommendations or searching for online reviews.

“One of the best ways you can protect yourself (and your vehicle) from dodgy backyard or bush mechanics is to always choose a repairer that is licensed,” Mr Newcombe said.

“Choosing a licensed repairer business means you know they have been vetted and declared fit and proper, and you should be guaranteed a high standard of work with warranties available.”

He said consumers should always look for the Licensed Motor Vehicle Repairer symbol displayed on the shop, mobile-van or website.

“To avoid being overcharged, get multiple quotes from different repairers,” Mr Newcombe said.

“How they quote, whether it is in writing, how much information they give and how many questions they ask will tell you a lot about them,” he said.

“If you receive a call from the repairer saying they’ve found more issues that need fixing, ask them to justify the additional work and provide you with a written report or quote, including parts and labour.”

He said that in these cases it might be wise to get a second opinion and another quote.

“Once the agreed work is complete, make sure you receive an itemised receipt, which will help if you’re not happy with the work and need to follow up on any issues,” Mr Newcombe said.

“Under Australian Consumer Law, a repairer cannot charge for doing repairs or other work that you have not authorised,” he said.

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