AAA survey: American drivers don’t trust car repair shops

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American drivers don’t trust auto mechanics, according to a new AAA survey. The auto association found that 66 percent of drivers do not trust car repair shops in general, though 64 percent indicated that they have found a repair shop with a reliable mechanic whom they can trust.

The survey shows that “one-third of U.S. drivers — 75 million motorists in total — have yet to find a trusted repair facility, leaving them vulnerable when trouble strikes,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering and repair.

The top reasons that American drivers mistrust car repair shops are:

  • The shop recommends unnecessary services (76 percent).
  • The shop overcharges (73 percent).
  • They have had a negative experience with a shop (53 percent).
  • They are concerned that the work will not be done correctly (49 percent).

Interestingly, older drivers from the baby boomer generation are more likely to trust car repair facilities than are millennials and Gen-Xers. Twenty percent of boomers surveyed say they “totally trust” the auto repair industry. Boomers are also more likely to have a car repair shop that they trust (76 percent), compared with 55 percent of millennials and 56 percent of Gen-Xers.

 Courtesy of AAA

Courtesy of AAA

Americans who are AAA members have access to a list of over 7,000 auto repair facilities that are part of AAA’s Approved Auto Repair program.  “Facilities meet AAA standards by undergoing a rigorous investigation conducted by Automotive Service Excellence-certified inspectors, including quarterly inspections and annual re-certifications that ensures high professional standards for technical training, equipment, cleanliness and customer service,” said Nielsen. “Plus, if something does go wrong, AAA steps in to arbitrate any issues on behalf of its members.”

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Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.