A new survey shows that distrust of vehicle repair shops is almost universal among consumers in the United States.
Vehicle maintenance and repairs are creating more confusion and distrust for consumers than any other type of service, including legal, accounting and medical, according to Jerry, a car owner app.
Almost all respondents said they don’t trust their vehicle repair shop to treat them fairly. Nearly nine in 10 claimed they’ve been overcharged or may have been overcharged at one time. More than half (56 per cent) said they’ve probably paid for a service they didn’t need. That number jumps when asking the younger generations — 65 per cent of Gen Zers say so, while it’s 64 per cent for Millennials.
About two thirds (65 per cent) of vehicle owners said they’re frustrated because of a lack of transparency over what repairs and other services should cost at auto repair and maintenance shops. But these frustrations aren’t enough to shop around themselves — 64 per cent said they don’t price compare for repair and maintenance services.
However, the younger generations are most likely to do so — 61 per cent of Gen Z will look for more than one quote for the job while about half (49 per cent) of Millennials will do the same. Just one in five Baby Boomers will price shop.
Furthermore, the survey noted that consumers don’t know where to turn to get reliable information on the services needed for their vehicle and what the associated costs should be. Other than their dealer or independent repair shop, they generally turn to friends and family for information (33 per cent)— and they may be no better informed than them, Jerry’s report said. Gen Zers are most likely to turn to family and friends with 59 per cent saying so.
Only 28 per cent said they research online —less than a quarter (24 per cent) consult an owner’s manual. The older you are, the more likely you will do this, the survey found. While 29 per cent of Baby Boomers and 25 per cent of Gen X will consult the manual, just 17 per cent of Millennials and 18 per cent of Gen Z will flip open the book.
Dealers (40 per cent) nudged out independents (39 per cent) overall for trustworthiness of information for repairs. Dealers led in all age categories expect for Gen X, where 39 per cent said they’ll listen to independents more than dealers (39 vs 38 per cent).
The younger generations trust the dealers far more than older ones — 29 per cent of Gen X will listen to the dealer compared to 23 per cent who trust their independent shop. For Millennials, 41 per cent said dealer, compared to 37 per cent for independents.