Can an auto repair shop charge if they were not able to find what’s wrong with our car?

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an auto repair shop charge if they were not able to find what’s wrong with our car?

Our van could not start.we had it towed to a garage to get it diagnosed and fixed. The garage guy said he’d only give us the cost estimate when he looked to see what was broken. Now, he says that after extensive checking, he cannot find the fault so he cannot fix the van, hwoever he is going charge us a lot of money because he “checked”. Can he do that, especilly sine the van is still broken?He did not give us a quote until now.

Asked on July 19, 2012 under General Practice, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a licensed mechanic is required to give a customer a written estimate for the costs of repair of a given vehicle. If the costs increase, the mechanic is required to get a verbal telephone approval from the customer.

From what you have written, the mechanic that you took the car to did not comply with the law on the required estimate. I suggest that you advise the mechanic of this and refuse to pay any more money above the estimate given. If the mechanic refuses to comply, I suggest that you consult with an attorney experienced in automotive law.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption