Why You Shouldn’t Pay Up Front For Auto Repairs

When you come to an auto shop to get your car fixed, you can typically expect for the auto technicians there to do a free evaluation and diagnostic on your vehicle in order to determine the problem and then give you an estimate for what it will cost to fix the issue.

Typically, you then have the option to sign off on the work and agree to pay whenever it has been completed to your satisfaction. However, there is another model which is gaining traction in some areas and with some businesses. That is the pay upfront model. But, this kind of model can cause issues and can sometimes leave consumers in the lurch.

Take a recent story from the CBS affiliate in Sacramento for example (CBS13). The story describes the experience of a woman who came in to a body shop in order to get her Ford Mustang repaired. The shop gave her an estimate of $8,500 to fix the damage and asked June to pay for this work upfront, which she did.

Unfortunately, the auto repair shop then went out of business. June was left without her car and without the $8,500 that she had paid for the repairs which were never completed. June says the check was cashed immediately and she is now attempting to collect some of that money back, but if the business declares bankruptcy (which is certainly not unlikely) she may be out of luck.

This example illustrates why it is usually not a good idea to pay upfront for auto repair work. If the auto shop that you have brought your vehicle to requests that you pay upfront you should usually be very skeptical and ask why this would be necessary. In almost all cases, it is not necessary to pay upfront for the work, unless for example the auto shop has to order an expensive part that they do not normally stock. In that situation an down payment is acceptable.

At Fort Collins Foreign Car Service, you can trust that we will never take your money before we deliver you a usable vehicle and completed any auto repair that was requested. So, next time you need an auto repair shop that you can trust, come in and visit us.