With the average age of cars on U.S. roads approaching 11 years, saving money on auto repair is a high priority for many people. One of the problems when dealing with auto repair away from home is finding a reputable repair shop. With a smartphone and these websites, saving money on auto repair is right at your fingertips.
RepairPal – RepairPal was founded in 2007 and offers users free access to repair estimates, online storage of vehicle maintenance records, recall notifications, and how-to articles on basic vehicle maintenance. Shops designated with the RepairPrice Guarantee logo agree to honor the repair estimate so you can forget about being surprised by the repair bill. Garages that pass a rigorous screening process receive RepairPal’s Top Shop rating so you can be sure that you are getting quality service at a fair price. A nice feature included with the repair estimate is a breakdown by parts and labor which is great information to have when talking with a repair shop about a quote. RepairPal also has a great mobile app that allows you to get repair quotes on the road and locate a quality repair shop close by.
AutoMD AutoMD has many of the same features as other sites like repair diagnostics, estimates and how-to guides. What sets them apart is a service called AutoMD Negotiator that calls repair shops, emailing you quotes, and schedules the appointment for you. AutoMD repair estimates use average labor costs for each zip code and are calculated for both Do-It-Yourself and shop repair. Another feature is AutoMD’s intuitive “question tree” diagnostic process. This makes it possible for car owners to identify the part that needs repaired. You can have AutoMD locate a qualified repair shop near you or use their library of DIY repair videos, articles, or user posts to tackle the repair yourself and save money.
Autobytel Autobytel includes features like: repair diagnosis and cost estimates, recall notices, service schedule email reminders, and vehicle service record storage. You can also look up the total cost of ownership over the life of your vehicle. One of the best features of Autobytel’s MyGarage is the safety recall notification service. Registered users receive automatic email notifications when a safety recall has been issued on their vehicle. This avoids the delay in waiting for the manufacturer’s notice so you can have the repair taken care of quickly.
DriverSide DriverSide offers advice on how to maintain and operate automobiles as well as new and used car reviews. Users can also visit forums and post reviews about their experiences with car dealers and mechanics. Registered users have access to repair estimates, recall notices, advice from certified mechanics, and special offers and discounts. The diagnostic tool can help you figure out what is wrong with your car before you visit a mechanic. You can even ask expert mechanics for advice about your repair.