If you have found an auto repair shop you trust, consider yourself lucky.
Most motorists don’t. A recent AAA survey found that two of three U.S. drivers do not trust auto repair shops, citing overcharges, recommendations for unnecessary services and poor past experiences for their lack of confidence.
“For most motorists their vehicle is their lifeline which they depend on daily to operate safely on the road,” said Montrae Waiters, AAA spokeswoman. “Finding a reliable auto repair shop is important when you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.”
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also has advice about vehicle repairs.
Find out if a repair shop is properly registered with FDACS and if any complaints have been filed against it. This can be done by searching our Business/Complaint Lookup or by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352). If there are complaints on file, be sure to find out how they were resolved.
To find a trustworthy auto repair shop, AAA suggests that drivers do their homework:
- Look for a repair shop before issues occur. Ask family and friends for recommendations and visit AAA.com/autorepair to locate a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility near you.
- Research potential repair shops and find out how long they have been in business. This can be a good indicator of shop quality. 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. If you find the service to be good, stick with them. Build a relationship with the technician so they can get to know you and your vehicle.
- Check for certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
- If your vehicle is under warranty, you may be required to go to a dealership for warranty repairs. Routine maintenance may be performed anywhere.
- Some repair facilities specialize in certain makes. Check to make sure they have the latest training and equipment needed to repair your vehicle.
With today’s cars collecting a variety of data about the health of the vehicle, drivers need a trusted repair facility more than ever. “Connected cars” with built-in diagnostic capabilities can alert drivers to vehicle trouble and help repair shops quickly and accurately address issues. 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 whom they have built a relationship.