Our friends over at ClickMechanic have today released a new consumer surveyed revealing that almost a quarter (23%) of people felt ripped off by the price of the last car repair quote they received from a car mechanic.
The study, which surveyed over 2,000 members of the UK public, looked into attitudes towards car workshops and their dealings with the mechanics employed there. It found almost a quarter (23%) are stressed out by the whole experience of visiting a mechanic, and 25% feel nervous about even entering the garage.
Nearly half of people (45%) did not know the cost of the most common repairs to average household car should. In fact, one in three consumers feel awkward quibbling with the mechanic’s quote because of the lack of transparency in how car repair quotes are calculated.
Twenty three per cent thought the quotes they received were based on a guesstimate besed on how long it would take the mechanic to complete the job, whereas a further 10% didn’t even think their mechanic thought that deeply; believing the quote was based on what the mechanic felt they could get away with charging on the day. Altogether, these results show a third of people thought that the prices were completely made up on the spot.
Andrew Jervis, co-founder and CEO of ClickMechanic, said, ‘Most mechanics are reliable and trustworthy, but there are a minority of cowboys taking advantage of the fact that most consumers just don’t know how much their car repairs should cost.
Consumers are paying a lot of money to keep their car on the road and in times of austerity there is an obligation on the mechanic to be honest about the average price of repairs and establish a level of trust.’
As most of you will know from personal experience, trust is key and the research discovered that untrustworthy mechanics lose out in the long term, as price and transparency are two of the most important qualities when people choose a mechanic. 51% of people prefer mechanics who are upfront with the cost of their services, while half look for those who reference industry standard fees to establish a fair provided by the car manufacturers.
Online services can contribute a lot to counter the apparent lack of consumer knowledge, Jervis argues, ‘Price comparison and peer-review websites are already helping consumers find the best car insurers and extended warranty providers, so there’s nothing to stop online tools helping just as much when looking for a respectable car mechanic and how much it should cost. Approaching car repair as you would any other supplier will go a long way towards helping consumers trust their local mechanics more. This is exactly why we have launched our price estimates tool.’