Garage-speak baffles most drivers, study finds

Published:  16 November, 2020

56% of drivers have struggled to understand language used by mechanics when describing faults with cars and what needs to be done to fix them, according to a new study.

The research from RAC Breakdown has found that many terms used in garages are a total mystery to customers. 50% said they felt overcharged, with 15% also saying a garage carried out work they hadn’t agreed to.

26% felt the cost of repairs ended up being far higher than estimated, while 18% said the garage could not repair their vehicle for them at all. 46% said they would be uneasy dealing with garages they didn’t know.

Commenting on the findings, RAC Consumer Roadside Managing Director Andy Baker said: “These figures show there’s a sizeable gulf between what garages say, and what the average driver actually understands. At best, this can be frustrating for drivers who need their vehicles repaired, but at worst it could mean they get a raw deal – with baffling language making it much more likely they approve any work, at any price they’re quoted.”

He added: “At the end of the day, getting the right repairs at a fair price shouldn’t come down to how well drivers understand industry terms and acronyms.”

With this in mind, the RAC has developed a guide to garage-speak that explains some terms in simpler language: https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/know-how/garage-speak-our-guide-to-understanding-mechanic-jargon/

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