With today's cars collecting a variety of data about the health of the vehicle, drivers need a trusted repair facility more than ever, AAA said.
“Connected cars” with built-in diagnostic capabilities can alert drivers to vehicle trouble and help repair shops address issues quickly and accurately. Unsurprisingly, given concerns around data security, AAA found that the majority of U.S. drivers want the ability to direct their vehicle's data to the repair shop of their choice — the trusted facility with which they have built a relationship.
AAA said the top reasons U.S. drivers do not trust repair shops are:
- Recommending unnecessary services (76 percent);
- Overcharging for services (73 percent);
- Negative past experiences (63 percent);
- Concerns that the work will not be done correctly (49 percent); and
- Older drivers are more likely to trust auto repair shops than younger drivers.
Baby Boomers are twice as likely than younger generations to fully trust auto repair facilities in general, with one in five reporting they “totally trust” the industry.
Baby Boomers (76 percent) are also more likely to have a chosen auto repair shop that they trust compared with Millennials (55 percent) and Gen-Xers (56 percent).
AAA noted that it has developed a “AAA Approved Auto Repair” program that it contends will help drivers identify trustworthy repair shops. Facilities that meet AAA standards must undergo a “rigorous investigation” conducted by Automotive Service Excellence-certified inspectors, AAA said.
AAA said there are 7,000 facilities across North America that are certified under its program. Shops that are certified must be re-inspected annually and monitored for customer satisfaction.
The AAA offers the following recommendations for finding a trustworthy repair shop:
- Look for a repair shop before issues occur. Ask family and friends for recommendations or visit AAA.com/autorepair to locate an AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
- Research potential repair shops and find out how long they have been in business. Also, look into how they deal with consumer complaints. The Better Business Bureau, State Department of Consumer Affairs or attorney general's office can provide those complaints.
- Visit the auto repair shop for a minor job such as an oil change or tire rotation. While waiting, talk with shop employees and inspect the shop's appearance, amenities, technician credentials, and parts and labor warranty. Build a relationship with the technician so they can get to know you and your vehicle.