In our last feature, We gave a quick overview of ten tips to consider when searching for a workshop for car servicing. This follow-up article discusses the first pointer to help you evaluate credibility. We will highlight three key factors that allow you to assess what you could consider a good car workshop in Singapore.
Your specific situation, requirements and preferences might differ but your motoring needs over the years will include several services. They range from preparing your car for vehicle inspection, car body repair, car painting to car insurance claims. If you are looking for a workshop that takes care of most of your motoring essentials, you need a pair of safe hands for the longer term. Your vehicle is likely to be your second largest investment after your home.
Three Vital Indicators of Credibility
Your search for a credible workshop should not start with googling for a “car workshop near me”. What is the probability that a trustworthy workshop is a stone’s throw away from your home or office? After all, you can drive somewhere within a reasonable distance on this island (unless you just got involved in an accident). A relaxed attitude when it comes to a workshop might be appropriate if you plan to part with your ride within a year or two. However, the likelihood is greater now that you will hang on longer to your vehicle.
According to the LTA, the number of Certificate of Entitlement (COE) renewals was at a new record of more than 41,000 last year. This figure is some 13 per cent higher than in 2018 which held the previous record. So the chances are that you are planning to keep your vehicle for a few more years. An older car requires better care to spot potential issues before they occur. Finding a workshop that you can stick with for the long haul is even more important. A better-maintained car not only provides greater reliability and driving pleasure but also improves the resale value should you decide not to drive it beyond ten years. Every workshop manager will say that they offer quality service and that you should trust them. You simply need to do your own due diligence. So what objective criteria could you use to evaluate a workshop’s credibility? Let us review three key measures.
First, is the workshop authorised by car brands and relevant motoring partners?
There is no better indication of trustworthiness than to be endorsed by major brands. This can be ascertained from the workshop’s website or when you drop by the workshop. You should be able to see from posters and plaques that automotive brands have entrusted the workshop to carry out car repairs and car painting. We are not referring merely to pretty posters that a workshop might put up to give it an air of respectability. We are referring to official endorsements that usually have words like “Certified” and “Approved” by car brands. Is the workshop endorsed by Asian or Continental brands or both? Even if the brand you drive is not represented, could you tell from the brands that have indicated approval that you could trust the workshop?
Second, do the staff have training that meets the brands’ standards?
As you walk around the customer lounge, look out for documentation of training by automakers and other partners. These are somewhat analogous to the certificates that doctors and dentists display in their waiting area or office. See if you can spot the types of training that staff have received or even the location of their training. Automotive courses tend to be specialised and range from basic to advanced levels. For example, Porsche offers Body Repairs and Expert Body Training while Rolls-Royce trains certified workshops on Aluminium Welding. BMW conducts training on Bodyshell Bonding and Riveting while MINI declares that a particular workshop is “approved” by meeting “stringent MINI body and paint standards”. For an authorised workshop to retain the brands’ endorsement, it needs to consistently repair their vehicles according to specific technical standards. This means that each repair stage has to be checked against the automakers’ rigorous body and car spray painting standards.
You can also see if there are credentials for other related services as an indication that it is a good car workshop. For example, is it certified by major insurance companies to handle car insurance claims? This would be helpful in the event of a fender bender or more serious collisions. Or if a well-known detailing brand appoints the workshop as their authorised centre, it is another sign of trustworthiness. It would be a bonus to be able to have your vehicle groomed after car servicing at a credible workshop.
Third, does the workshop use original parts?
This is a basic requirement for any workshop to be authorised by an automaker: that it uses new and original parts. The use of genuine parts is not only an indication of trustworthiness but also an assurance of safety. Nobody wants to pay good money and be given second-hand or even counterfeit parts. A good car workshop would not want to lose its hard-earned authorised status for not using original parts. An authorised workshop provides yet another assurance: should you ever want to check if parts used on your vehicle are genuine, you can reach out directly to the automaker for verification.
In this article, we have looked at three main criteria for assessing credibility. You should be better equipped to select a workshop that you can trust. Space constraints do not allow us to go into more details. We will delve into fascinating technical aspects in future articles that will raise your Automotive Quotient.