Skip to main content

With so much information available to car owners online, it’s harder for car repair garages and mechanics to take advantage of customers. Of course, unethical mechanics are out there, and they will capitalize on any opportunity to make extra on unsuspecting vehicle owners. While you might be confident in your ability to avoid getting scammed, there are a few things to know. 

Finding a reputable car mechanic is your best line of defense. However, should you discover you’ve been lied to by your mechanic or car repair shop, you’ll want to know if you can take legal action. And then, you’ll need to decide if you should.

Is it possible to sue your car mechanic for lying?

Some car mechanic horror stories are downright outrageous, with bills well into the thousands, cars spending months in the shop, and additional damages plaguing owners when they get their cars back.

This Quora conversation shares a similar situation, in which a respondent’s senior-aged parents were lied to about $2,500 worth of work performed. And if you’ve experienced any of these instances, you’ll be eager for restitution. But can you sue a car mechanic for overcharging, delays in the shop, or lying to you about work performed? 

The short answer is yes. You can technically sue for any wrongdoing you might encounter at the auto shop in small claims court. The real question, however, is whether or not you should. And more importantly, even with all your receipts, second opinions, and documentation, can you win a case in court?

It’s a tall order that’s likely going to cost you more money and time than that overpriced bill did in the first place.

The best line of defense for consumers in car mechanic situations

If you’ve been “taken” by a car repair shop or mechanic, you’re going to have to think carefully about what losses you’ve sustained. You can then compare those losses with any potential gains you might secure with a winning lawsuit. But ideally, the best way out of this predicament is to avoid it in the first place. And that means learning how to vet auto shops and find a great, reputable professional for all your automotive work and maintenance.

Educate yourself in your local area by asking around for car mechanic testimonials and references. Check out the online reviews before booking your shop appointments. Meet with new mechanics first and talk with them directly to see if you find them trustworthy. And if you’re having insurance-related repair work done, share with the mechanic your need for a final inspection or certification, like this Quora commenter did.

Remember to always ask for pricing estimates before any work is performed so you can decide whether or not you want to proceed. And some garages will offer you the “old” components as part of their replacement work. 

Laws are different in every jurisdiction. So, before moving forward with a small claims case, check to see if you’ve met every burden of proof and nuance. And a great-fit attorney partner will be able to tell you whether or not your case is worth pursuing in court. 

Just as you would do your homework on finding a reliable car mechanic, you’ll vet each attorney professional through the same lens. Ask around. Verify online reviews. Take advantage of any free first consultations with attorneys to find someone you feel comfortable working with and representing your interests. 

If a car mechanic lies to you about his age, it’s probably not going to translate to massive financial losses that warrant a lawsuit. But if a mechanic is dishonest about work performed, required fixes, or mechanical failures, you might have a case. In those instances, find yourself a reputable attorney for advice. And moving forward, take every precaution to be extra selective about which car repair garages you choose to work with for repairs and maintenance.


Beware: Car Repair Chains Baiting Customers With Terrifying Interest Rates on Sketchy Repair Loans