60% report garage nightmare

The RAC has uncovered concerning figures showing as many as 60% of drivers have had a bad experience at their local garage

The RAC Garage Compare research raises serious concerns over the standard of service from local independent garages across the country, not to mention confusion over costs.

Almost two-thirds of motorists say they have had a bad experience when taking their car in for a repair, service or MOT. In total, 38% of motorists claim their garage failed to fix the problem and 36% feel they were overcharged.

A further 24% are concerned about hidden costs when booking their car in for work, such as a service or MOT, while as many as 11% don’t trust their cars or money with local garages.

RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams admits the findings are worrying.

‘For many motorists booking in their vehicle for essential work at a repair garage they haven’t used before can feel like an act of blind faith and unfortunately consumers are wary when they receive that final bill,’ he said.

‘It is a real concern to see a figure as high as 60% of people who say they have had a bad experience at a local garage, when we know there are thousands of good quality garages in our towns and cities.’

The survey, which asked 1,400 motorists about their garage experiences, also highlights how it is not all about money when it comes to choosing a garage, as up to 56% say reliability is most important factor.

Customer service is the most important factor for 26%, while cost is king for just 14%. This underlines the fact that customers are not always on the lookout for the cheapest option.

But once motorists find a garage that they can trust, they will go miles out of their way to keep going back.

‘Our research also shows that people are also willing to travel to the places they do trust with their cars, with 20% going up to 10 miles from home to the garage they use most, and 11% willing to go as far as 20 miles,” Pete added.

‘But overwhelmingly the survey results highlight a lack of trust among customers and a sense they feel garages are not being open and transparent enough when it comes to pricing. That is why the RAC has launched RAC GarageCompare, in order to give motorists the full picture in terms of how customers rate their local garages, and where they can find the best value for money.

‘After all, maintaining a car can already be a costly business without any more nasty surprises when it comes to the bill.’

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