60% of motorists have had a ‘bad experience’ at a garage, says RAC

Time 8:50 am, March 6, 2015

Screen shot 2015-03-05 at 11.02.02ALMOST two-thirds of motorists say they have had a bad experience at a local garage, according to a new survey published today.

But it adds that more than half – a total of 55 per cent – have also found a ‘totally’ trusted supplier that they regularly use.

This mixed picture was revealed in a survey of 1,400 motorists carried out by the RAC for the launch of the recently-launched RACGarageCompare price comparison website.

Sixty per cent of drivers said they had suffered a ‘bad experience’. Other findings included 38 per cent of motorists said a garage failed to fix a problem with their vehicle and 36 per cent felt they were overcharged. In addition, almost one in four (24 per cent) are concerned about hidden costs when booking their car in for work such as servicing.

More than one in 10 (11 per cent) said they did not trust local garages at all.

On the other side of the coin, in addition to the 55 per cent who have identified a ‘totally’ trusted local supplier, a further 40 per cent have a local garage they ‘mostly’ trust.

Douglas Rotberg, CEO of The Motorist’s Organisation, which is the RAC’s partner for RAC Garage Compare, said this kind of information was invaluable for garages.


He said: ‘This mixed picture shows how motorists often find it difficult to identify a garage they believe they can trust. More than half feel as though they have had their fingers burned at some time. Pricing and quality of work are clearly concerns for many.

‘However, the research also indicates motorists also know there are good garages out there and, once a customer has built a relationship with one that they like and in which they have confidence, they will keep using them again and again.’

Rotberg added that, in many ways, the results revealed customers often felt a sense of vulnerability when they were dealing with a garage.

He said: ‘A car is often a major source of expenditure for a customer and something on which they very much depend for their work and social lives. However, they probably have only a vague idea of how it actually works and taking it to a garage is a stressful experience for them. Will they end up spending a lot on a repair they don’t even really understand?

‘Good garages recognise this and do everything possible to be transparent and place their customers at ease. They know this approach is not just the most ethical and honest but is also the best way to build long-term, sustainable customer relationships.’

The RAC says more than 3,000 independent and franchised garages have signed up as suppliers to Garage Compare since the project was announced in early December.

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Colin Channon's avatar

Colin is a former editor of Car Dealer. He left the magazine in August 2015.

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