Most U.S. Drivers Leery of Auto Repair Shops

Staff Report

COLUMBUS – Two out of three American drivers do not trust auto repair shops in general, according to a new AAA survey. While 64 percent of drivers say they’ve singled out a shop they do trust, 75 million motorists have yet to find a trusted repair facility, leaving them vulnerable when trouble strikes.

The survey found the top reasons that American drivers do not trust repair shops are:

  • Recommendations for unnecessary services (76 percent)
  • Overcharges for services (73 percent)
  • Negative past experiences (63 percent)
  • Concerns that the work will not be done correctly (49 percent)

Older drivers are more likely than younger drivers to trust repair shops:

  • Baby Boomers are twice as likely as younger generations to trust auto repair facilities, with one in five reporting they “totally trust” the industry.
  • Baby Boomers (76 percent) are more likely to have a preferred auto repair shop compared to Millennials (55 percent) and Gen-Xers (56 percent).

Connected Cars:

  • Modern cars collect a variety of data about the health of the vehicle. These “Connected Cars” with built-in diagnostic capabilities can alert drivers to vehicle trouble and help repair shops quickly and accurately address issues.
  • Given security concerns around this data, AAA’s survey found the majority of American drivers want the ability to direct their vehicle’s data to the repair shop of their choice.

Tips to Locate a Trustworthy Repair Shop:

  • Look for a repair shop before issues occur. Ask family and friends for recommendations.
  • Research potential repair shops and find out how long they have been in business. This can be a good indicator of a quality shop. Also, look into how they deal with consumer complaints. The Better Business Bureau, State Department of Consumer Affairs or attorney general’s office can provide those complaints.
  • Visit the shop for a minor job, such as an oil change or tire rotation. While waiting, talk with shop employees and note the shop’s appearance, amenities, technician credentials, and parts and labor warranty. Build a relationship with the technician, so they can get to know you and your vehicle.
  • As a service to the motoring public, AAA helps drivers identify trustworthy repair shops through its Approved Auto Repair (AAR) program.

This program was created more than 35 years ago and includes nearly 7,000 independent facilities across North America. Once a shop meets AAA’s high standards, including certifications, technical training, cleanliness, and insurance requirements, it becomes part of the AAR program where it’s re-inspected annually and monitored for customer satisfaction.

AAA members receive several unique benefits by selecting an AAR facility, including priority service, a 24-month/24,000-mile warranty, discounts on repairs, free inspections, AAA assistance with dispute resolutions and more.

Staff Report

To locate an AAR facility, visit

To locate an AAR facility, visit