How to choose the right garage for you
When you are deciding on who is going to repair your car there are so many things to consider. For most people the costs are the primary concern, with often little regard to the facilities being offered, experience, legalities etc. coming secondary or sometime not even being considered important at all!
Garages in Tenerife come in all shapes, sizes from main dealers to your little “back street” garage and all those in between. We are going to point out the differences so that when you do need to use/select a garage you make the right informed decision. Some people choose cheap options only to find that they end up having to often have the work redone or that the work charged for has not in fact ALL been done.
All garage premises are different from the salubrious to the up market high end type, think BMW, Mercedes, Porsche etc down to the dingy, although perfectly practical old-fashioned workshops.
Which one should you choose and why?
Is a garage legal or not?
The first most important thing to consider in Spain is, whether the garage is legal or not. If the garage is legal it will display outside and prominently a plaque with a distinctive number which is assigned by Industria to the said garage, this only given once the premises and its owners/staff have adhered to very strict regulations set out for this type of business. The older style licenses were identifiable by two letters followed by number i.e. TF (identifying that the garage is in Tenerife) 1234 for example. This number is individual to that particular business premises and types of work they are legally able to carry out.
The old-style plaques then showed various symbols that would identify what that garage was authorized to do for example with a spanner denotes mechanical work, a hammer and paint gun, chapa-pintura, or body repairs as one would know it in English. The new style plaques are similar but in a slightly different format, the numbers being for example 06 denoting the year, then A452 followed by eight numbers. Both are equally legal. It is important to note that any work carried out for an ITV retest that requires a factura, HAS to be carried out by an Industria registered garage, if not the ITV station will not accept the repairs.
In addition to this plaque the premises must also have a license for the removal of contaminated waste. This license is not exclusive to a garage and you may have seen similar plaques elsewhere in doctor surgeries, hospitals, large restaurants to name a few.
If a garage does not display a plaque then it is most likely not legal with regards to the rules of Industria, the body concerned with this type of activity. That does not mean that the mechanics and the work is not or will not be to an acceptable standard but it is important to bear this in mind and choose carefully.
PRICING AND SIGNS
Again the garage is obliged by law to display their hourly rate, their opening hours and various signs regarding safety of their staff and customers, i.e. for the customers the do not pass sign, no smoking etc. being the most common ones seen. The Insurance of the garage does not cover people outside of the business, i.e. customers to enter into the workplace, as in the case of an accident or injury the Insurance would not be liable, so the garage must ensure that such signs are displayed. If a customer ignores them it is not the garages responsibility in the event of an accident occurring, in other words if the sign says do not pass, stay out!