Mechanic Advisor

Survey: When Looking For A Mechanic, Reputation Is Key

Posted August 31, 2015 by Bobby Gaglini

A survey analyzed over 900 visitor responses to determine customer behavior in relation to finding, using, and trusting automotive mechanic shops and the motivations for their choices.

BOSTON, MA (April 2014) - Nearly two-thirds of women searching for a mechanic say that reputation is the most important factor when making a decision on where to service their vehicle. In a survey conducted by, a leading mechanic search engine, 62.1% of women named "reputation" as the most important thing they look for when choosing a mechanic.

Reputation was also the most important overall factor given by both men and women, with over 54% indicating it was the most important in their decision making process, followed by price (30.7%), communication (6%), speed of service (6%), cleanliness (2%), and honesty (0.7%).

However, when looking deeper into the data, there were some interesting results. 75% of people between the ages of 18-24 indicated "price" as the most important factor when choosing a mechanic, which was in stark contrast to people above the age of 65, of whom only 12.5% indicated "price" as the most important factor.


When it comes to trust, a common concern among prospective automotive repair customers, price was the most compelling factor. When asked "What is most likely to cause you to distrust a mechanic?" 40.7% of respondents indicated "higher than usual prices" as the leading factor. 22.7% of respondents named "negative online reviews" Among those above the age of 65, 35.7% said "negative online reviews" were the leading factor.

"Poor communication skills" and "Unclean shop and service area" tied for third place with 16.7% and 16% of respondents naming them as the most likely cause of distrust, respectively. And a "lack of an online presence" was named by 3.3% of respondents.

Finding a Mechanic

Unsurprisingly, the highest percentage of respondents found their last mechanic online, with over 32% indicating "online search" as the method they used to find their last mechanic. 50% of people between the ages of 35 and 44 found their mechanic through an online search.  A "referral from someone" was a close second with 30% answering as such, followed by "I drove by their shop and noticed it" (21.3%) and "print advertising" (12.6%) and "radio advertising" (3.3%) picking up the rest.

Frequency of Repair

Despite rapid advances in automotive technology, car owners still make frequent visits to mechanics for repairs. 70% of respondents say that they repair their car "2 or more times per year," with slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28%) getting away with only "1 time per year."

Interestingly enough, 17.3% of respondents answered "5 or more times per year" when asked for the frequency of repairs, although it's unclear if this is a result of unreliable vehicles or poor preventative maintenance.

Types of Shops

When asked "What type of mechanic shop do you tend to trust most?" nearly half of respondents (46.7%) answered "Family-owned shops." "Small one-owner shops" was a relatively close second with 30.7% of respondents. "Mobile (traveling) mechanics" got a 10% response with "Multi-shop chains" and "Nationwide corporate chains" garnering 6% and 4% respectively.

Most Influential

When asked "Which of the following would be most influential to you when deciding where to repair your vehicle?" the top overall results were "Recommendation from family/friend" (26%) and "Online shop reviews" (24%).

"Low price" (22.7%) and "Convenience of location"(18.7%) were followed by "Gut instinct" (5.3%) as the other most influential factors.

When looking deeper into the data, it's revealed that 33% of women indicated "Online shop reviews" as their most influential criteria, and out of people aged 18-24, 42.9% responded with "Online shop reviews."

Methodology analyzed data from a several month-long survey from over 900 visitor responses in order to determine customer behavior in relation to finding, using, and trusting automotive mechanic shops and the motivations for their choices.

About is the largest online mechanic database in the US. Founded in 2006, it has grown into a premier website for consumers to research and connect with reputable local mechanics for routine and specialty automotive repair. The website features customer reviews, articles, and detailed profiles of over 500,000 mechanics across the country. Mechanic Advisor is headquartered in Boston, MA.