Car services and repairs
Regularly serviced car works better and lasts longer. You can choose the workshop where the scheduled maintenance is performed. It is important that the car's own maintenance program is followed. The workshop is responsible for its work.
You can choose where the periodic services are carried out
Your car’s warranty and product liability remain valid when you ensure that the car is serviced following the manufacturer’s instructions. You can choose where the periodic services are carried out, but the car’s maintenance programme must be followed.
If you do not take your car to an authorized dealership for its services, make sure that the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance programme valid in Finland is followed. Also check that the repair shop has the knowledge and tools required to service your car.
All repair shops have access to manufacturers’ databases on car maintenance programmes. Before you book your car in for a service, you should check that the repair shop will obtain up-to-date information found in the manufacturer’s information sources.
The seller, manufacturer or importer of the car can disclaim any liability if there is a defect in the car due to an error or negligence in the scheduled maintenance. It would be their responsibility to correct the fault if the fault occurred despite the maintenance program being followed. If there is no causal link between the failure to perform the service and the fault, the seller, importer and manufacturer cannot disclaim any liability.
The warranty provider has the right to demand that warranty repairs of the car are carried out at a repair shop they choose.
Repair work order should always be detailed
It is good workshop practice to service a car in a technically and economically appropriate way. A work order is a contract that binds both you and the repair shop, and it should be as detailed as possible.
Before starting the actual repair work, the fault should be defined and repair costs estimated. Repair work can be started when the fault is known and the price has been agreed in written. The verbally agreed price is difficult to prove later on, so it is important to have a written agreement on the price.
If you cancel a work order before the work has been started or completed, the repair shop may charge you for any work it has carried out before the order was cancelled, for spare parts and accessories it has used or purchased for the agreed work as well as for any other directs costs relating to the work order.
The repair shop will obtain the spare parts and accessories used for the repairs unless you have agreed otherwise. If you purchase the required spare parts yourself somewhere else, the repair shop must check that they are suitable for your car before installing them.
The repair shop is responsible for its work also when you supplied the parts. However, the repair shop will not be liable for any faults and defects in the parts you purchased if it was not possible to detect them before installation. In these situations, the vendor of the spare part may be liable, rather than the repair shop. Determining liability is often more difficult in these cases than when the repair shop purchases the spare parts and accessories needed for the work.
- work to be done and spare parts to be replaced, listed in details
- price of the repair work and what it includes
- what the repair shop will do if it discovers a need for additional work during the repairs
- payment terms and conditions
- deadline for completing the workcontact info for reaching the customer enduring the repair work
- spare parts: second-hand or new, warranty, who purchases
- will the customer obtain spare parts somewhere else
How to determine the price of repair work
The price given by the repair shop covers all repairs, including the spare parts and accessories used in it. When the car is handed over, you should go through the work done on the car and the contents of the invoice together with the repair shop representative.
If there is a dispute over the price of the repairs, the repair shop should have proof of the agreed price. The workshop should be able to prove that its billing is based on what’s been agreed.
If you have not agreed on the price of the repairs or service, you must pay whatever price the company asks for, unless the charging is unreasonable high. In assessing whether the price is reasonable, consideration is given to: the content and extent of the work, the appropriateness of performing the work, the general price level, and billing practices.The client needs to approve any changes or additional work
- If the price was an estimate, the repair shop may not exceed the price estimate it gave to the customer, including any additional work, by more than 15% unless agreed otherwise
- If the repair shop agreed to carry out the work for a fixed price, the price stays the same even if even if it takes more time and supplies than expected. This means that the company can charge only the agreed fixed price. On the other hand, the company does not need to reduce the price if the work ends up costing less than expected.
- If you have agreed on a maximum price, the company may not charge more than the agreed maximum price for the work even if its costs turned out to be higher. The price may be reduced, however, if the costs of the work or accessories end up being lower.
Read more about agreeing on the price of services
The client needs to approve any changes or additional work
When the repair shop is repairing or servicing a car, it may find that the best way to carry out the work is different from what you agreed in the work order, or that more work is needed. When the work order changes, the repair shop has the duty to ask the customer’s permission for carrying out additional work. The client needs to approve any changes or additional work.
If the client can’t be reached, the workshop can perform minor and necessary additional work. The maximum costs of additional work can be agreed in advance. If there is no agreement, in principle the cost of such additional work may be no more than EUR 150. Unless you have agreed otherwise, the repair shop may not exceed the maximum price stated in the work order because of additional work.
Paying for car repairs and service
You usually pay for repairs and services of your car when the work has been completed. The repair shop does not have to hand over the car until the client has paid, unless otherwise agreed between the parties.
If there is a dispute over the total amount of the invoice, the repair shop must hand over the car when the customer has paid the undisputed part of the invoice. The repair shop may refuse to hand over the car if the part of the payment the customer withholds is significantly larger than the share the customer has the right to withhold under the law.
The repair shop must complete the repairs by the agreed time. If an exact deadline for finishing the work has not been agreed, the repairs must be done within a reasonable time. When assessing the reasonableness of the repair time, the quality and scope of the work and the agreed additional work shall be taken into account.
A repair job has been delayed if it has not been completed by the agreed time. If no deadline for the work has been agreed, the car must be handed over within a reasonable time period after the contract was concluded, considering the quality and scope of the repairs. In normal repairs, two weeks is considered a reasonable time limit.