IF YOU need some work done on your car you want to choose a reliable garage that will provide an honest and fair service without overcharging you or doing work that wasn't required.

Advice from the AA is to look for garages that have signed up to the Motor Industry Code of Practice – launched in 2008 to encourage garages to raise their standards and rebuild customer confidence.

The code of practice covers all aspects of garage work from advertising, booking in work, undertaking repairs, staff, invoicing and resolving complaints.

The Good Garage Scheme was formed to ensure effective self-regulation of independent workshops and MOT centres.

The scheme requires members to adhere to a strict code of conduct and offer a 50-point industry standard service. This, coupled with a customer feedback system, means customers have peace of mind when choosing an independent garage.

You can use the Good Garage Scheme to find local independent garages you can trust. Every car repair garage listed performs services to a strict code of conduct and will always have your best interests at heart.

Good Garage Scheme members can carry out all your car servicing and repairs during a vehicle's warranty period without invalidating that warranty.

There are two sides to every relationship and there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of something going wrong as you deal with a garage for car servicing or repair.

Parts of the motor trade have a very poor reputation, not helped by media coverage of 'rip-off garages'. To try to address this the Motor Industry Code of Practice was launched in 2008 to encourage garages to raise standards and to help rebuild customer confidence.

It's the garage's job to know about cars not yours. But it is important that you can explain clearly and precisely what you want them to do. It can help to write it down, particularly if you need a lot of work doing or the symptoms are complex/difficult to describe.