The RAC Garage Compare site offers motorists the opportunity to book services, check garage reviews and compare prices and offers from a huge number of garages. The site lists thousands of reviewed independent and franchised garages around the UK. Costs for services, repairs and MOTs can be compared and there is an online booking system to book your vehicle in for work. The system is based on your postcode, reg number and the kind of service you need and results show prices, ratings and reviews from previous customers. You can also view the full service schedule before you book so there is complete transparency.
Fears about hidden garage costs
The site recently carried out research which revealed that 24% of people surveyed admitted to being “very concerned” about unexpected ‘extra’ charges. Six in ten motorists (59%) were fearful of hidden charges when booking their car into a garage for service, repair or MOT.
Their fears are justified as more than 12% (more than one in ten) of people found that the bills ended up paying more than the garage had predicted. In the end only 3% of people paid less than estimated. The survey illustrated that 51% of people surveyed rated local garages as ‘good’ in terms of price; 5% thought they were ‘bad’ and 28% (one in three) regarded them as ‘OK’.
Nearly a third of people surveyed ( 31%) thought that it would really help them to compare garage prices before booking any service, repair or MOT.
Other findings in the survey were:
- 90% of people felt it would be useful to see what is included in the various types of service available
- 88% of motorists felt it was beneficial to compare prices
- 80% of people wanted to check out online reviews of garages
- 65% of those surveyed believed that it was a benefit to book their car in for work online
Pete Williams at the RAC Garage Compare said: “Despite most motorists being reasonably satisfied with the cost of their bills one in 10 (11%) claim not to trust local garages at all while a wary 41% say they do ‘a little’ which doesn’t really seem like an overwhelming vote of confidence.
“Even though we now live in a society which is obsessed with comparing prices for almost everything we buy, this behaviour has not become commonplace when booking a car in for an MOT, service or repair. This is partly because it had previously been a case of having to phone around to get prices and partly because there wasn’t an online service simplifying the process.
“With RAC Garage Compare it couldn’t be easier to compare costs for an MOT or service which therefore helps to make the often-expensive maintenance element of the cost of motoring that bit cheaper. But if you would prefer to speak to someone, we have a team of mechanics ready to answer your questions and you can also book a garage over the phone.”
We completely agree; we provide a list of breakers that enables people to compare and contrast car and van parts against price, location, condition and guarantee length. We believe that this puts all the options available in front of the consumer and allows them to make more of an informed choice. As Pete Williams says it really makes sense in this digital age to provide an online source for comparing costs and reviews on garages. It will help to make garages more transparent in their service standards and pricing. Given what has very recently happened with Kwik Fit over the hidden cost of non inflation of tyres this is certainly a hot topic.