Your vehicle may be of your most important investments. Choosing the right automotive shop for repairs and maintenance is crucial to keeping your vehicle running at its peak performance. One shop may not be appropriate for every type of automobile. Foreign and luxury vehicles may require specialized services and parts that economical models do not.Vehicle owners tend to prefer auto shops that offer competitive pricing and quality workmanship. Finding a shop that meets both criteria can be difficult. It is best to research your choices before you actually need car service so that you can fully explore all of your options.Listed below are some tips you can follow to find the best automotive shop for you.Ask Friends:Listen to recommendations from friends, family, and co-workers. These people can provide firsthand details of their experiences with various shops. Be sure to ask friends who drive vehicles that are similar makes and models to your automobile.Check Complaints:Look on the Internet to see any negative comments that people have posted about local shops. Contact the Better Business Bureau and other consumer organizations to find out what kind of complaints, if any, have been submitted against the shop you are considering.Call The Shop:Simply asking a few questions can help you decide whether or not you should visit the shop. Inquire about the mechanics’ experience with your type of vehicle and find out if they specialize in certain kinds of repairs. Ask how long they have been in business and what kind of licensing they have.Visit The Shop:As you pull into the shop, check out the other vehicles in the parking lot and those being serviced. Take notice if the vehicles are of the same value as yours. Determine whether the equipment looks modern and well cared for. Check to see that the facility is clean and well maintained.Remember That Bigger is Not Always Better: A fancy building and a large staff may look impressive, but many times keeping such a large overhead results in higher prices. Many of these high-end establishments must charge more for their services in order to pay their staff and maintain their building. Don’t be fooled by the modest garages that you see around town. Many times, these establishments have some of the most highly trained mechanics and offer competitive prices.Ask The Right Questions:Be sure to inquire about any warranties that the shop may offer on parts and labor. Find out what kind of replacement parts they use. Many vehicle manufacturers suggest that you only use OEM parts. Finally, ask about theft and fire insurance while your vehicle is on the property.Get Several Estimates:Do not be afraid to call and visit a few shops in your area. Compare prices and services to decide which shop will suit you best. Remember that the lowest price does not always mean you are getting a good deal. Whether you drive a luxury vehicle or a less expensive model, you want to make sure that all repairs and maintenance is done correctly. Shoddy work can damage your vehicle and cause more expensive repairs in the future.Just like finding the perfect doctor, finding an automotive shop is a very personal decision. Follow your instincts and you will find a shop that will serve you well.