UK Car Garages Suffering from a Trust Deficit

How do you feel about the garage you normally use for car service? If you are like the majority of Scots recently surveyed by Confused.com, you probably don’t trust everything your mechanics tell you. The survey makes it clear that UK car garages are suffering from a substantial trust deficit.

The survey paints a brutal picture of the relationship between customers and car garages. Whether or not the reputation garages now have is justified, it is what it is. Here is what the survey revealed about their relationship with car garages:

  • 90% do not trust mechanics to tell them the truth
  • 39% of females and 27% of males worry about being ripped off by mechanics
  • 62% of females believe mechanics treat them differently than their male counterparts.

Interestingly enough, the data does not suggest that Scotland is any different from the rest of the UK. Some 85% of all car owners across the United Kingdom also do not trust their mechanics to tell them the truth. That is an amazing statistic.

An Assumption of Overcharging

When you dig deep into the survey then it becomes clear why people feel the way they do about UK car garages. Most of their negative perceptions are rooted in a reflexive assumption of garage overcharging. In other words, car owners just assume they are being charged too much whenever they take their cars in for repair.

Take your Smart Furfur in for routine scheduled maintenance and expect to pay too much. That’s just how people think. They assume they will be overcharged for a Focus ST remap, an Audi A3 oil change, or transmission work on their BMW 330. It is nearly universal.

Overcoming Negative Perceptions

So what can UK garages do to combat the negative perceptions? One suggestion offered by Confused.com is to change the language. Car mechanics have a tendency of using industry jargon that the average car owner just doesn’t understand. This is perceived as being a way to get customers to agree to repairs that are either unnecessary or too costly. Speak the language the people understand and mechanics are likely to regain some lost trust.

The survey also revealed that just the thought of taking their cars in for repairs makes consumers feel uneasy. Garages could help ease some of that anxiousness by creating a warm and welcoming environment for customers. A comfortable seating area with internet access and a selection of beverages is a good start.

A third suggestion is to be open and transparent about pricing. One of the things that drives consumer fear is the fact that they don’t know how much repairs should cost. If garages were willing to post their pricing alongside comparisons from other garages, they could very easily mitigate a lot of the fear.

It is clear that UK car garages are suffering from a trust deficit. Hopefully something will be done about it so that people can once again take their cars in for service without being afraid of getting ripped off.

Sources:

Express – https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/954398/nine-out-of-10-scots-dont-trust-car-mechanics

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