When It Comes To Repair Pick a Mechanic With The 3 Cs

AAA Auto Repair Article
By AAA Automotive
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When it comes to finding a reliable auto repair shop, what matters most? According to a recent AAA survey, people said they look for the 3 C’s – confidence, cost and convenience – when deciding where to go for routine car maintenance. You may be asking yourself, is it possible to find a repair shop that has all three? Yes! AAA has Approved Auto Repair facilities across the country that are inspected by automotive experts and must meet specific criteria for certifications, training, cleanliness and customer service. First, let’s learn a little more about the 3 C’s of auto repair.

The First C of Auto Repair – Confidence

Confidence is at the top of most people’s list, with 89% saying that having a trusted relationship is important when picking a repair shop. This isn’t surprising, trust is important in any relationship – professional or personal. Since trust may mean something different to everyone, make sure it includes these basics when it comes to auto repair.

Knowledge – do the technicians that work at the shop have a wide range of experience and expertise when it comes to car maintenance and repair? Are they certified? Do they specialize in certain types of auto repair? Are they able to answer questions in a patient and easy-to-understand manner?

Consistency – do you have the same experience every time you bring your car in? Do you see the same staff or is there a lot of turnover? How are other customers treated? Have you had to bring your car back after service because the issue wasn’t resolved?

Confidence – do you feel the shop only recommends maintenance or repair your car needs? Do you follow their advice with little doubt or concern? Do you feel good when you leave the shop after your car’s been serviced?


The Second C of Auto Repair – Cost

Previous AAA research found that one in three people would not be able to pay for an unexpected car repair bill. So, it’s no surprise that 83% of consumers said cost is the second most important factor when deciding where to take their car for service. It is important to find an auto repair shop that not only charges fair and affordable prices but also is transparent about it. What does that look like?

Get it in writing – always ask for your estimate in writing, whether that’s on paper, via text or email. This will alleviate any confusion about what repairs or maintenance are being done and at what price.

Plan for what you can – routine car maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations are typically done on a specific schedule and at a standard rate. Ask your repair shop to give you a list of the services you’ll need for the next six months to a year along with the cost. This way you can budget as needed.

Take time to get to know your shop – and let them get to know you and your car. This is the best way to build trust plus the more your mechanic knows about your car, the more they may be able to offer advice about potential future repairs. Also, regular car maintenance (i.e. visits to your shop) will keep your car in top shape and reduce the possibility of repairs. All of which can reduce overall costs.


The Third C of Auto Repair – Convenience

Finally, when it comes to auto repair, people want convenience, which makes sense since many things are now available on-demand. When it comes to auto repair, this equals convenient shop hours (78%), location (78%) and the ability to schedule appointments (77%). To find an auto repair shop that is near your home, open when you need it and takes appointments, check out AAA's shop locator. All you have to do is type in your zip code, select what kind of shop you’re looking for (all, mechanical, autobody/detailing or auto glass) and how far you’re willing to go to get there.
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Once you hit “search,” you’ll be taken to a results page that will list the shops near your location. If you see a calendar with a checkmark, this means that the shop takes online appointments. Also, when you click on the shop’s name, you can see more detailed information like hours of operation and the types of services offered. It doesn’t get any easier … or convenient than that!
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AAA understands the importance of finding the 3 C’s of auto repair – it’s why we created our Approved Auto Repair program nearly 46 years ago! We wanted to make the process of finding a trusted auto repair shop easy and stress-free. And we realize one size does not fit all. The AAA Approved Auto Repair program offers a variety of options including shops owned and operated by AAA, dealerships, specialty shops and those owned and operated by individuals or families. While there are many options to choose from, one thing they have in common is that they must all meet and maintain AAA’s standards. Or a fancy way of saying … you can always count on AAA Approved Auto Repair shops to offer the 3 C’s of auto repair.
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