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162 of the Best Repair Shops Weigh in on Car Owners, Cars, and the State of Auto Repair

mechanics_bluecar_200We surveyed shops in our RepairPal Certified Shop Network to get their opinions on a range of topics around car ownership, auto repair, and the industry in general. Here are results from the survey. (You can access the official press release at the link below.


Top repair shops say that certification is key when it comes to what car owners should look for when selecting a repair shop:


  • 91% of shops said consumers should look for certified mechanics.
  • 91% said they should look for good consumer reviews.
  • 80% said consumers should look for top of the line technology.
  • 77% said consumers should look for how long the shop has been in business.
  • 46% said they should look for comfortable waiting rooms.
  • And 4% actually said consumers should look for vending machines with delicious snacks!

Explaining to your customer what a service or repair is and why it’s needed is the most important thing you can do besides actually doing the work on their car:

  • 85% of shops said car owners need more education and clarification on what a problem is and why it’s important to fix.
  • Only 9% said they think consumers need guidance on why a repair or service is priced the way it is.


Overall, RepairPal Certified shops embrace new technologies that provide convenience to their customers.

  • 90% offer online appointment scheduling.
  • 55% provide mobile app access to service information.
  • 47% provide cost comparison tools.
  • Only 8%, however, provide online repair progress information.

When it comes to the cost of parts, the majority of RepairPal Certified shops said higher priced parts does not necessarily mean better quality parts.

  • 82% said price does not necessarily equate to quality when it comes to parts.

Yet, the vast majority of RepairPal Certified shops use premium grade oil.

  • 78% use premium oil all of the time.
  • 21% use it some of the time.

When shops were asked what they think is the most reliable make of car on the road today, Toyota was far and away the winner. Yet a significant percentage of shops think all cars being produced today are reliable if they are well maintained.

Here are the top answers for the most reliable makes:

  1. Toyota
  2. All makes if they are well maintained. Many shops said the quality and reliability of cars today is outstanding compared to a few years ago.
  3. Honda
  4. Ford
  5. Lexus
  6. Nissan
  7. Hyundai
  8. Acura, Mercedes, and Subaru tied
  9. BMW, Buick, and Scion tied


The majority of RepairPal Certified shops are embracing the idea of working on hybrid and electric vehicles, despite some drawbacks.

  • 68% of RepairPal Certified shops repair electric and/or hybrid vehicles.
  • And 35% plan to do so in the next five years.
  • 67% plan on investing in training for their technicians in repairs and maintenance for these types of vehicles.
  • An additional 38% see green as the future, and are investing in new technologies and tools to fix hybrid and/or electric vehicles.

Thanks to all our RepairPal Certified shops who shared their knowledge and opinions with us! 

You can read the official press release about the study here.


If you would like to learn about becoming a RepairPal Certified shop, simply fill out the short form in the upper right of this page, or you can call or email us directly.

(800) 969-9204 ext. 2

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