Can a mechanic make repairs to your car without your permission and then charge you?

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Can a mechanic make repairs to your car without your permission and then charge you?

I dropped my car off at a garage and asked them to find out what was wrong with my car. They made repairs. I did not authorize any repairs and they say they are holding my car unless I pay them for the repairs. What are my options?

Asked on February 4, 2011 under General Practice, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, no, you do not have to pay for repairs that were not authorized by you.  What it is is a contract and if there was no "meeting of the minds" then you can not have a contract.  If you thought you were dropping it off for diagnosis and they went ahead and repaired it then there was no meeting of the minds.  But did you sign anything at all when you dropped it off?  If yes, then read it carefully.  If not, then they will claim it was an oral contract.  You may have to bring an action against them to get your car back.  I would seek legal advice in your are on the matter.  Good luck to you.


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