Friday 16 November 2018

At your (very costly) car service ... how one woman paid hundreds she did not need to

'Having someone look over your car each year is a good thing from a mechanical and safety perspective'
'Having someone look over your car each year is a good thing from a mechanical and safety perspective'
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

This is a story that might act as a wake-up call to people who put up small mileage.

You could be wasting hundreds of euro on unnecessary servicing.

It's a lesson one 75-year-old learned in a case with which I am familiar.

She had to pay hundreds of euro for services - at the insistence of a well-respected garage - even though her new car didn't need them.

She was contacted several times - for two years in a row - telling her to bring the car in for a service (minor and full respectively).

She did and paid up, even though the car had only covered 8,000km and 6,000km from new.

She was also charged €54 for a new set of wiper blades. She was told they get dusty and grubby when a car is housed in a garage.

The total bill over the two years came to €770 when, really, the car at most should have had a minor service (cost: €145).

The critical thing is how the garage overlooked the fact the car had a two-year/30,000km service interval from new. Barring a major misfortune it didn't need to be seen until either the date or distance approached.

Now, I think having someone look over your car each year is a good thing from a mechanical and safety perspective. Indeed I would advocate it and would pay a nominal fee for the peace of mind.

I'm not casting judgment on the garage. Things can get lost in computer databases and there can be prompts to remind after a year that may not take your mileage into account. One prompt/alert leads to another and another. And maybe the garage felt an obligation to check.

I'm trying to be fair to all sides here, but I don't blame the owner and her family for being sceptical.

The outcome of it all was that due to persistence in querying the whole exercise, the owner is to be recompensed.

The question is, how many others have paid up and not realised there was no need to? Check and see.

And let me know at eddie.cunningham @independent.ie.

Indo Motoring

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