An auto repair shop is a facility where auto technicians and car mechanics fix vehicles. An auto repair service center, sometimes called a garage, is either located indoors or out on the road to cater to the increasing demand for services. It is one of the biggest car-repair franchises in the U.S. and many auto repair shops are franchises of larger companies. Some franchises offer nationwide recognition while others just offer franchised outlets in certain regions.
A franchisee must follow a set of rules and regulations set by the company. The first is that the shop must be completely enclosed with safety measures. Auto repairs can be risky, even fatal, so it is important that a vehicle being repaired is secure and can be driven away in case of danger. Only repairmen who have received specialized training in vehicle repairs and who belong to a recognized organization are allowed to work on vehicles. The vehicle must also be properly inspected before any work starts.
Another regulation that car owners need to follow is that all auto parts purchased must be original and new. Parts that are refurbished or reconditioned are not considered original, and are not allowed. Refurbished parts may contain damages that were present when the vehicle was manufactured and cannot be proven to be the cause of the vehicle’s malfunctions. Automobile repair centers that do not accept original automobile parts for repairs do not need licensing, since the vehicles involved are usually pre-owned. Automobile owners can buy replacements from authorized automobile repair shops, but they must see the receipts for the price of oil changes, tire rotations, and other repairs.
Before any repairs take place, both the mechanic and the customer must develop a written contract that details all aspects of the services, the cost of parts, and other pertinent information. Before the vehicle is ready to be fixed, both parties must go over the contract, signed in front of a notary public, and then the vehicle will be towed to a garage for in-depth repair jobs. If the vehicle is being repaired in a shop that does not have a written contract, the owner is still legally responsible for the vehicle, unless he or she buys a new vehicle and take it to the shop under his or her own name.
Every auto repair shop also needs to have its own repair shop insurance policy in place. This type of policy will cover any damage that is done to the vehicle during a repair job. It is also necessary to have coverage for any labor and other miscellaneous maintenance costs incurred during the repairs. Without insurance, these costs may never be covered. An employee is not covered for negligence if the body shop has no insurance, so it is important to purchase insurance from a company that has experience with body shop operations.
Auto repair shops that have good customer service and reputation should have their complaints and disputes marked on their websites, so that future customers know where to go for help. If an employee from a shop has trouble with a particular part, he or she should be able to file a written complaint report, which should be attached to the original receipt showing the date and time that the part was replaced. Auto shops should have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all customers are treated fairly and that they do not feel pressured into doing a job that they don’t feel comfortable with.