The free, easy-to-use app can be downloaded immediately to help drivers make sure their car is safe before driving off to visit relatives.
The Institute of the Motor Industry developed the programme, which helps locate a garage with ATA-registered technicians you know you can rely on.
Just search for “ATA Find A Mechanic” at the Apps Store on your iPhone. Or visit OKwithATA.com
Don’t forget your car needs regular servicing – don’t just rely on a MOT – especially with the recent cold weather. The IMI also recomends getting your tyres and oil checked before embarking on a long journey this Christmas. And while you’re preparing for your Christmas road trip – a few other top tips from the ATA to help you on your way (other than to perfect your fake ‘It’s just what I’ve always wanted!’ smile):
- Check if the garage employs ATA technicians and/or IMI members, who all possess a membership card to show they are suitably qualified. Alternatively ask if the business is registered with a Trading Standards scheme.
- Ensure that the garage is familiar with your car’s make and model.
- Prior to booking your car in, consider how it’s been running. Be honest – inform the service staff of any problems and/or any recent work carried out.
- Check what is included within the service – ask to see a copy of the service schedule for your vehicle type.
- Check the breakdown of costs, including all parts, consumables, labour and VAT – you should know exactly what you are paying for.
- Insist that no additional work is undertaken without your express permission. If recommended, this should be quoted against, not estimated.
- Ask for any replaced parts to be retained for your inspection upon collection.
- Ensure that you receive a detailed itemised report with a verbal explanation of the work undertaken and/or recommended. Ask about the garage’s quality control checks and make sure your service book is stamped.
- Ensure that the name of the technician that works on your car is detailed on your invoice. Ask to speak to him or her specifically, if you have any concerns or require necessary explanations.
- Ensure that you receive a guarantee. Make sure you know what it covers, check the period of validity and identify the complaints procedure, should a query arise.