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I'm in a point that I have to decide between:

  • Vauxhall Service Center - that I have never used before
  • Local mechanic - which I have done MOT and service checks before and sounds reasonably professional.

Local mechanic has diagnosed that the head gasket is gone (it's very obvious that it has) and has quoted me £1100 for that. (including changing timing chain and all parts inc VAT)

Vauxhall Service Center has quoted the same job £1000.

Other local mechanics more or less come to the same price range, but I have trust problem with them as this is a critical task and if not done properly can cause more costs in the future.

What would you recommend? What do you think?

My car is Vauxhall Astra 1.4 Petrol and is 7 years old.


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I would go with whichever you trust more. Find out whether other people are happy with the work the local mechanic has done - is he registered with one of the review firms ("CheckATrade" or similar)?

I would expect that the Dealer would be more familiar with the car, but the local mechanic would take more care - hence why he's quoting more, as it'll take him longer as he's less familiar with the car, and he'll probably have to pay more for the parts. £1000-1100 sounds like a lot to me for a HG change, but then cars have got a lot more complicated since the last time I had one done - I was quoted £300, and decided to learn how to do it myself (£50ish in parts)!

My gut instinct would be to lean more towards the local independant though.

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Thanks Nick, I was shocked as well with the price, but it's something that is 20% VAT added to it, also timing chain added. I kinda was also biased to the local mechanic as it is someone more quality-caring. so I just called them and gave a go ahead. Fingers crossed now. – Valipour Feb 20 '13 at 15:30

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