RAC Compare reveals mixed public perception

Survey identifies customer beliefs

Published:  06 March, 2015

A mixed picture of garage customer satisfaction has been unveiled in the results of a survey conducted by RAC Garage Compare.

Of the 1,400 motorists who responded, almost two-thirds (60%) say they have had a bad experience at a local garage, however more than half (55%) have also found a "totally" trusted supplier that they regularly use.

Among concerns raised were 38% of motorists who said a garage failed to fix a problem with their vehicle and 36% who felt they were overcharged. In addition, almost one in four (24%), are concerned about hidden costs when booking their car in for work such as servicing.

In fact, more than one in 10 (11%) said that they did not trust local garages at all. However, in addition to the 55% who have identified a "totally" trusted local supplier, a further 40% have a local garage that they "mostly" trust.

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

He explained: "This mixed picture shows how motorists often find it difficult to identify a garage that 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 that motorists also know that 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."

Douglas said that, in many ways, the results revealed that customers often felt a sense of vulnerability when they were dealing with a garage: "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?

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

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