Idolizing Independent: Consumer Reports survey shows customers prefer independent shops vs. dealerships for repairs

Toronto, Ontario — A new Consumer Reports survey reveals that customers prefer independent shops over dealerships for automotive repairs.

The survey–based on 10,973 responses from Consumer Reports members on 11,670 repairs at 36 auto repair chains, independent shops and dealerships–further revealed that Hyundai, Jeep and Kia scored lowest for overall customer satisfaction.

The survey asked members to comment on experiences with shops based on repairs made to their vehicle for worn out or broken parts, and also asked a series of questions related to factors such as the honesty of the shop, the price charged, work quality, communication about repairs, whether the problem was fixed the first time, accuracy of price estimates, perks during service, willingness to negotiate price discounts and repair guidelines.

Of Hyundai, Jeep and Kia customers, Jeep customers reported that repairs weren’t being done correctly the first time; while Kia customers downgraded their experience based on poor communication with repair staff.

In response to these results, a Kia spokesperson originally told Consumer Reports that high sales volumes in the United States have pushed service capacity to unmanageable levels, and the company is working to address the issue.

Meanwhile, Eric Mayne, a Stellantis spokesman said that the company—which makes Jeep—uses consumer report rankings to improve.

Also near the bottom of the rankings, Ford tied with Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Nissan. Ford specifically scored low on repair pricing and the time needed to complete repairs.

In the middle of rankings was GMC, Buick, Audi, Chevrolet, BMW, Dodge, Subaru and Cadillac.

However, overall, consumers ranked independent repair shops the highest followed closely by dealerships such as Acura, Lexus, Mazda, Volvo, Toyota, Tesla and Honda.

Other highlights from the survey noted that the older the car, the less likely its owner was to take it to a dealership for repairs, and independent shops received the highest scores for satisfaction with price while dealerships tended to score the lowest. Independent shops were also rated favourably for their reputation and knowledgeable workers while dealerships were praised for the comfort and cleanliness of repair spaces.

Consumers most likely to visit dealerships for repairs owned a vehicle from Tesla, Cadillac, Audi, Ram and Subaru, while those most likely to seek repair shops outside of a dealership owned a Chevrolet, Hyundai, Jeep, Chrysler or Dodge.

To read the full Consumer Reports survey, click here.

The post Idolizing Independent: Consumer Reports survey shows customers prefer independent shops vs. dealerships for repairs appeared first on Collision Repair Magazine.


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