YONKERS, N.Y. (Jan. 23, 2015) — Odds are consumers will be more satisfied with an independent repair shop than with a franchised new-car dealership, according to a new Consumer Reports (CR) readership survey.
The annual survey found that independent shops outscored dealership service, again, in overall satisfaction, price, quality, courteousness of the staff and work being completed when promised.
The only auto maker that outscored the independent shops was the electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc., which earned high praise from the magazine for its on-time repairs, courtesy, price, quality and overall satisfaction.
But CR surmised that part of Tesla's success might be due to the company's being new to the market with a relatively small number of customers to satisfy compared with the established luxury brands.
The survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, was based on subscriber satisfaction with repairs on more than 121,000 vehicles — 80,000 of which were repaired at franchised dealerships and more than 41,000 at independent shops.
Luxury and upscale brands topped the chart among franchised new-car dealerships, with Buick, Lincoln, Cadillac, Lexus, Porsche and Acura slotting in behind Tesla, in that order, CR said.
The biggest gripe against the luxury car dealerships was the cost of parts and labor. Mercedes-Benz drivers, in particular, were much more satisfied with the price they paid at independent shops, according to the survey.
Buick dealerships garnered the highest marks in overall service satisfaction for dealerships.