• 85% of drivers don’t trust mechanics and almost one in three (30%) drivers say they have been cheated by one
  • UK drivers say they have been overcharged £205 on average by mechanics, with one in eight (13%) believing they have been pressured into paying for repairs or parts they don’t need
  • Two in five (39%) women worry they will be ripped off by a mechanic, compared to one in four (27%) men

10 of the best jargon busters:

  • Big End
  • Slipping fan belt
  • Blown head gasket
  • Crankshaft
  • Carburettor
  • Xenon
  • Jacking points
  • Wankel engine
  • Flange
  • Dipstick

Have you ever walked into the garage feeling you are about to get overcharged for car parts that you don’t even need? Well you are not alone…

With nearly 28 million cars going to the garage for MOT tests each year¹, new research by Confused.com reveals drivers distrust the experts responsible for fixing their cars. Car mechanics have been ranked one of Britain’s least trusted professions², and 85% of drivers expecting mechanics not to tell the truth. Worryingly, almost one in three (30%) motorists feel like they have been ripped off by a mechanic and overcharged by £205.09, on average, with one in seven (13%) being pressured into buying parts they do not need.

With gender bias under the microscope like never before, it’s troubling to find women are seemingly more affected. The research reveals one in four (27%) men worry they will be ripped off by a mechanic, while two in five (39%) women believe the same. Almost two in three (62%) female drivers believe they are treated differently to men when they take their car to the garage because of their sex, and more than a third (36%) believe they are more likely to be overcharged. In fact, over half (55%) of women think mechanics believe that women don’t know much about cars.

The research suggests many drivers resent a trip to the garage with over one in five (21%) saying it makes them feel anxious and uneasy and one in seven (14%) admitting they didn’t understand all of the technical language the mechanic was using. And it’s no wonder some drivers are feeling ripped-off, given only one in 10 (10%) drivers feel confident enough to challenge a mechanic.

The cost of paying for repairs also seems to be a major concern for drivers, with two in five (38%) worrying about the cost of repairs. And over a third (36%) are concerned about the inconvenience of waiting times and temporarily not having a car.

Worryingly, one in seven (14%) drivers therefore deliberately avoid taking their car in for a service to repair faults. In fact, almost one in 10 (8%) drivers will try and carry out basic car repairs themselves instead of forking out hefty sums. The most common car repair is replacing worn brake pads (70%), followed by fixing a brake disc (66%) and changing the oil (57%). And while almost half (45%) of drivers claim to know how to change a tyre, only 15% would know how to change their own brake pads.

In order for drivers to arm themselves with knowledge and to potentially cut unnecessary costs, one in seven (14%) take to the internet to work out what is wrong with their car. But only 10% were savvy enough to visit more than one garage to compare costs.

Amanda Stretton, Confused.com’s motoring editor, explains the importance of shopping around: “Drivers have felt exploited by mechanics for long enough. It is a huge concern people are scared to take their car in for servicing for fear of being ripped off. Drivers should read our guide to empower themselves and equip them with as much advice as possible before a trip to the mechanic.


“While there are many reputable garages out there, our data shows people are sceptical because they simply don’t know how much they should be paying for repairs. And many believe mechanics are going to take advantage of them – even if they aren’t!


“We urge drivers to do some research online to investigate the kind of prices they can expect to pay for specific types of repair work. They should consider comparing prices from several garages to ensure they are getting the best value for money. An easy way to do this is using a garage comparison tool to see if they can find a cheaper price elsewhere in their local area.


“With the cost of owning a car constantly increasing, it is important that drivers do what they can to avoid getting ripped-off and shop around to save carloads of cash.”


Notes to Editors

Unless otherwise stated all statistics were obtained from a survey to 2,000 UK motorists. The survey ran between 22nd February and 27th February 2018.