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Charged too much for work – garage repairs

A garage must charge you a reasonable price for the work they do. This page tells you what you can do if you think a garage has charged unfairly for a repair or service.

Top tips

Unfair commercial practices

Giving you an unrealistic estimate for work or carrying out work that you didn't ask for or which is unnecessary could be examples of an unfair commercial practice.

If you think the garage may have carried out an unfair commercial practice, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

If you agreed a price beforehand

If you agreed a fixed price with the garage before they did the work, you're tied to paying that amount. This is because when you agreed the price with the garage you entered into a contract with them. This applies even if you find out the amount you’ve agreed to pay is a lot more than it should be.

But check whether the price was a quotation or an estimate rather than a fixed price. Your rights are different.

Quotations

A quotation (or quote) is a promise to do the work at the price agreed. If you were given a quotation, you'll probably have to pay what was quoted.

Estimates

An estimate is what the garage thinks the work is going to cost before it’s carried out. The total amount can be more or less than this. For example, a garage might estimate that the repairs would take one day at a cost of £120, but when they come to do the repairs they find they needed two days’ work.

If the problem was worse than the garage first thought or they needed additional parts to complete the work, you should expect to pay more than the original estimate. If you were given an estimate and the final bill is a lot more than what you were expecting, you can dispute it.

If you didn’t agree the price beforehand

You have a right under consumer law to be charged a reasonable amount. This should be what you and the garage consider to be fair.

To work out what's a fair price, ask other local garages what they would charge for the same work. This will give you an idea of a reasonable price. If you think the garage is charging too much, you can try negotiating to bring the price down. If the garage won’t negotiate, you can dispute the bill.

Do you have to pay for work you didn't ask for?

If you're given a bill for work that you didn't ask for, work out with the garage what was said when the work was agreed.

Do whatever needs to be done

If you asked the garage to do whatever needs to be done to fix a fault, you gave the garage the right to decide what work to do. If the work was necessary and the price is reasonable, you’ll have to pay the amount the garage is asking for.

Only do specific work

If you asked the garage to do only a specific piece of work and they have done extra work that you didn’t ask for, you can ask them to undo the work. For example, you can ask them to put the original parts back in. If this isn't possible, you can insist you only pay for what was agreed.

Disputing the bill

If you think a garage bill is unreasonable you can dispute it. You’ll have to tell the garage why you think the bill is too high and what you're prepared to pay.

Next steps

Citizens Advice

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