Car trouble

Hello everyone

My car has developed a problem and I need some advice please.

I have had a quote from a local garage for new spark plugs, a coil and the leads. Just the parts alone are 210 euros including 59 euros for the spark plugs. I know he’s charging at least 4 times the retail price of the plugs. He’s also quoted 48 euros per hour plus tax for labour but won’t say how long he thinks it might take.

Feels like I’m being ripped off or maybe this is an example of le prix anglais.

Waiting for another quote from another garage but, in the meantime, I was wondering if anyone had any advice or if anyone knows of a reliable mechanic in the Mazamet area (the Tarn).

Thanks in advance.

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When I get a quote from my garage it’s a proper devis, it says how exactly many hours’ labour they have allowed for the job, and the price at the bottom is the price I pay.
Except once I paid a bit less because he had budgeted for replacing a gaiter (or a bush, some bit of rubber anyway) which, once they had taken the gubbins to bits, turned out not to need replacing.
I’d definitely find another garage.

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Is the local garage the agent for your make of car?

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I go to Euromaster, a bit like Kwik Fit but better, all the prices are on the walls. They will tell you there and then how much. For little jobs like this they are easy and accessible and reasonably cheap, nationwide and with a good reputation.(The one in Alencon anyway) We had a problem with our air con, they refilled it and when it leaked they repaired it for no extra charge. There is also Roady they arent bad either and are great for tyres. Feu Vert are a bit hit and miss - you have to check the tyres they put on your car!! I have found the big guys over here better than the local guys - it’s just an opinion though!!

This sounds like he is ripping you off ! I would get some quotes from other garages, is it an old car ?

Hi Mandy,
as Stella highlighted, it’s very dependent on the car, age and type of garage (main dealer or not). EUR 210 for plugs and coils from a Mercedes Benz main-dealer would be a good deal. One thing to note is that some manufacturers have moved to having a coil on each lead which has pushed up the price of these parts & I recall similar costs on a 2003 Peugeot about seven years ago. EUR 48 per hour is not excessive and is way less than that charged by MB but more than a 1 man independent would usually charge.
To me, garages are much like builders, I try not to use anyone who advertises but go by trusted recommendations.
Good luck.

Thanks everyone for replying. I’ve got it sorted now.

I phoned Euromaster who told me they only change these particular parts for French cars (!!!) but gave me the name of a local small garage. I went to see him on Friday and he gave me a devi for 248€ (I drive an ancient Ford Fiesta) and he was able to do the work yesterday. He even pumped up my tyres and checked the fluid levels for free. Fantastic service. I’m very happy.

Strange response from Euromaster. I received an email from them very recently informing me that they can service my Volkswagen if I want to consider using them next time a service is due.

They will happily service mine as well they just have difficulty sourcing the parts for non-French cars so prefer to outsource such work. This is what they told us.

I have an old VW Passat that was in need of new tires/tyres, but would also need a front suspension part and geometrie performed. A new Feu Vert had opened in the next town over and I had received a mail promo advert from them advertising the type of tire I was looking for on sale. Since my local garage was temporarily closed while moving shop, I gave Feu Vert a go. It was a good experience with quite reasonable prices. They are a national chain, which I was always leery of in the states, but these guys were better than OK. Although primarily a tire store they seem to have a broad range of mechanical services offered. They are highly professional and very big on customer satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to try them. My mechanic was a 20 something girl. She knew her stuff… and spoke pretty fair anglais.

I forgot to mention that they have an impressive boutique also. Everything from seat covers and roof top carriers to electric bicycles… remorques too.

I’ve used Feu Vert in the past for brakes and they were great. Sadly, the nearest Feu Vert is a bit too far away now. I use Euromaster for servicing and tyres. They are always good and I get a discount as my car insurance is with Macif.

If you have a Speedy near you - use them, they’re great! (part of the Kwik-Fit group)

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Thanks for the advice. Sadly, the nearest one is about 2 hours away!

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