Garage services

Overcharging an issue for 22 million drivers

7 January 2011

Almost two-thirds of drivers expect to get 'ripped off' by garages and mechanics, according to research for the AA.

In an AA/Populus poll of more than 17,000 AA members*, 62% worry about being overcharged when their car is in need of servicing or repair and almost half (48%) expect to be stung for a bill for more than was originally quoted.

Only 22% of motorists attempt to repair their car themselves.

Survey results

Results from the latest AA/Populus poll show that:

  • 62% worry about being overcharged – a concern for more women (67%) than men (59%)
  • 48% expect the cost to be more than originally quoted
  • More than half (52%) don't shop around to get the best value
  • Almost a third (31%) put off getting the work done for as long as possible
  • 94% use a mechanic or garage they've used before or one that has been recommended to them
  • One-in-five drivers (22%) will attempt to repair their car with men (28%) more eager to get their hands dirty than women (12%)


Edmund King, AA president, says: "Our survey shows that overcharging is a serious issue that undermines customer confidence. The majority of garages and mechanics give good value service but, unfortunately, a significant minority take advantage of customers.

"The garage trade has made good progress with the introduction of codes of practice raising standards but our survey shows that there is more to be done to convince consumers that the industry is changing."

Getting the most from your garage »

The Motor Industry Code of Practice »

* AA/Populus panel research: 17,480 AA members interviewed online between 15-22 March 2010.