Tampa drivers looking for an auto repair shop need a company that offers convenience, experience and transparent pricing. ConsumerAffairs researched the best auto repair in Tampa to find quality workmanship and comprehensive warranties the next time you need auto service.
Auto repair shops line Hillsborough Avenue in West Tampa and Nebraska Avenue from Temple Terrace to downtown. There’s also a high concentration of repair shops on U.S. 41 from Port Tampa Bay to Apollo Beach. However, with so many available mechanics it can be difficult to find the right auto repair shop in Tampa for your vehicle.
What to look for in auto repair shops in Tampa
Most auto repair shops offer similar lists of services, but some specialize in specific makes or repairs. If you’re looking for help with your brakes, your muffler or an unusual engine on a foreign car, it’s a good idea to seek out companies that have significant experience in those areas. For a general repair shop you can visit for everything from oil changes to complex repairs, expect:
Reliable estimates on parts and labor before the service
An accurate and reliable timeframe for the work; oil changes and tire rotations should be quick enough that you can wait in the shop
Reliable parts — ask if the shop uses aftermarket or original equipment manufacturer parts and what the price difference is
Willingness to coordinate with your insurance company if your car needs repairs due to an accident
High-quality paint — for collision repair, get your original quality and color of paint
Transportation to and from the shop if your car will be in on for long; some auto repair shops offer rental cars while others provide shuttle or ridesharing services
Warranties are also a critical factor. If you already have a warranty on your car, make sure the repair shop will honor it. Find out if any warranties are offered before you have work done in a repair shop. According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, a repair shop must provide you with a legible invoice showing the work and any warranties or guarantees.
Florida auto repair shops don’t need a business license but are required to register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Check with the agency before having work done at a repair shop to ensure it is registered. Most reputable businesses will also employ certified mechanics. The most popular certification comes from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence; those mechanics hold ASE-Certified ranks based on experience and skill.
Be sure the auto repair shop in Tampa you choose has insurance. Your mechanic may take your car onto the road to test it, and an accident could occur. Also, you want coverage if there’s a theft or vandalism at the repair shop and your vehicle is involved. Ask if the repair shop carries garage liability insurance, which is general business insurance, and garage keepers insurance, which protects the property and the cars that are on the property.
How to get estimates for auto repair in Tampa
According to the Florida Bar Association, any repair estimates over $100 must be in writing. If it turns out that repairs will be more expensive than initially thought, the shop must provide another written estimate, and you have the right to cancel the work.
Getting written estimates from several auto repair shops in Tampa allows you to shop around and compare prices before committing to anything. Combined with what you’ve learned about the shops’ workmanship and guarantees, decide which shop will get you the service you need at a fair price.
Auto Works of Tampa
Located on Nebraska Avenue in Seminole Heights, Auto Works of Tampa provides full-service engine and collision repair. The shop specializes in European cars, and all its mechanics are ASE-certified. Local reviewers mention owners and mechanics by name and appreciate the extensive explanations provided before service.
Quality Value Automotive Repair
Quality Value Automotive Repair is a local Tampa shop with ASE-Certified mechanics. It provides a full range of repair and maintenance services and specialize in brakes, air conditioning and exhaust systems. The shop guarantees all work for two years or 24,000 miles. Discounts are available to military members, veterans and University of South Florida students. Customers mention quality customer service and low prices.
Reis Auto Service
Reis Auto Service is a family-owned and operated car repair shop in Tampa providing automotive services and tires. Mechanics are ASE-Certified, and coupons are available online. Repairs can be scheduled online, and the company works with all extended warranties. Customers across Tampa mention the company providing excellent service that’s fast and reliable.