Can Auto Repair Charge More Than Written Estimate

Question

Answer

What is a written repair estimate?

A written auto repair estimate is a contract between you and the repair shop that describes what will be done and how much it will cost. Getting this information in writing can help prevent problems down the road.

Can a mechanic keep my car if I refuse to pay?

Can a garage keep your car? A garage that has repaired your car has what is known as a ‘lien’. This is the right to keep the car until they’ve been paid for all work done. If you take your car away without authorisation you risk both civil proceedings and criminal prosecution.

Do you need a written estimate?

Under California’s Automotive Repair Act, you are entitled to: An estimate – Before beginning any repairs, the auto shop must provide you with an estimate showing the estimated price for parts and labor and obtain your authorization.

How do you know if a mechanic is ripping you off?

The mechanic inspects your car again (charges you for it), suggests a new problem (charges you for it), and does another repair (charges you for that one too). You pay up a second time, leave the auto shop again and find that your car breaks down yet again or that a repair light on the dashboard shows up again.

How long can a mechanic legally keep your car to fix?

How long can a mechanic keep my car? There is no legal limit to how long a mechanic can keep your car. If you are unsatisfied with your service, you can always take your business elsewhere and try to find another mechanic.

How long is a car repair guaranteed for?

Once again that depends on the warranty in question. New car policies will typically last for at least three years or a set mileage – whichever comes first – however some will go up to seven years. Used car warranties will usually be for either three months, six months or twelve months.

Can an estimate change?

Unlike a quotation, an estimate isn’t legally binding and can be adjusted upward or downward due to changes in scope. Project managers often begin a job by providing the client with an estimate, and then change this to a final invoice after more specific details are uncovered.

Are estimates legally binding?

An estimate is usually not legally binding. However, some bids are mislabeled as estimates. A bid is considered an offer under contract law. If an offer is accepted, a contract is established and becomes legally binding.

How far off can an estimate be?

An estimate is just an estimate, and it can be reasonable for the final cost to be anywhere from 5% to 20% above the estimate. That’s why it’s always important to stick to your budget and account for a bit of cushion before you begin any project.

Why do mechanics lie so much?

Car mechanics are notorious for lying to their customers in order to gain extra work for things that don’t really need doing or for charging extra for things if they can tell someone doesn’t really know what they are talking about.