Garage accused of ‘holding car hostage’ over £5.5k bill

The customer says the garage didn't quote for the head gasket work

Garage accused of ‘holding car hostage’ over £5.5k bill

A motorist from Bournemouth has contacted MailOnline for advice after a garage replaced a head gasket on their car without providing a quote for the work.

The reader asks: “I put my car in to the garage for the head gasket to be replaced. I asked for a quote first but instead of this the mechanic did the work and has invoiced me £5,500.

“I would never have agreed this amount but they won’t release my car unless I pay in full.”

In response, consumer rights lawyer, Dean Dunham, says that the customer is protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. He points to Section 52(2), which says that in the event of no price being agreed, the consumer is only obliged to pay a ‘reasonable price’ and no more.

He advises the customer to ”obtain a written quote from three reputable local mechanics/garages for the same work. You could then offer to pay the average of these three quotes, although to be on the safe side, I would advise you to pay the amount that is equal to the highest quote you received.“

If the garage refuses to release the car after payment, the customer has two options: the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme or take the garage to court.

In both cases, the customer is advised to have clear evidence that no price was communicated by the garage, along with other quotes for the same job.

Source: MailOnline (subscription required)


  1. How much ????? Sounds to be more to the story .

  2. something fishy going on here for sure what was the car a Lambo, Ferrari wow


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