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Four-fifths of motorists feel a garage has ‘kept their car hostage’

Mechanics working on a car

Four-fifths of UK motorists have felt garages ‘held their cars hostage’ following a service or MOT, a new survey carried out by Fixter has revealed.

The survey of 2,020 UK-based car owners’ aged 18 or over, carried out by the independent online garage network, generated an interesting insight into lack of trust many car owners’ have with their garages.

Fixter head of growth, Matt Lewis, said: “It’s important for all garages to establish trust with their customers so it's very disappointing that so many Britons feel as if their car has been held to ransom so that they shell out more money.”

A total of 64% of respondents stated that they use the same garage “the majority of the time”, with this decision being due to costs (74%) and for 22% that they “trusted them the most”.

Fixter’s survey highlighted a lack of transparency among many franchised operators as the main cause of motorists concern about the status of their vehicle’s repairs.

Among the four-fifths who felt their cars were held hostage there was common extra work that garages were insisting on to deem the car road-worthy, with the majority being stated as new tyres (37%), followed by fixing the brakes (25%).

Three-quarters of these respondents disagreed with these findings, but 49% reluctantly agreed to the suggestions, whilst 19% refused to pay extra and demanded their car back. 

Lewis also said: “Garages are usually honest about what needs to be done to your car, but they should never refuse to give it back or allow you to get it re-tested’

“Though consumers should be aware, if their car fails with dangerous faults, it's not safe to drive.” 

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