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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, tru welu, Blue Box Blog

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RepairPal Ushers In National Car Care Month With New Consumer Survey on Repair Industry

Overwhelming Distrust of Mechanics, High Anxiety Around Auto Repairs Prevails

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 04/01/13 -- RepairPal (www.repairpal.com), the leading online source for auto repair, today kicked off National Car Care Month with the results of a national online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of RepairPal from March 5-7, 2013, among 2,128 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, of which 1,911 own/lease a car on attitudes and behaviors around care repair. Findings show major distrust of repair shops, high anxiety around repairs and some fun new facts about our personal relationship with our cars. The full presentation of survey results can be found here http://repairpal.com/consumer-survey-march-2013.

Love/Hate Relationship With Our Cars

Many consumers use their tax refunds to spruce up their cars after hard winter driving so April is recognized as National Car Care Month. RepairPal's survey shows that many consumers think of their cars as another member of the family with nearly a third (30%) of 18-34 year olds who own/lease a car give their cars a name. However, a strong distrust of repair shops and anxiety around repairs keep consumers from giving their cars the attention they need. Three in four consumers (75%) who own/lease a car have delayed an auto repair for some reason and more than one in ten (11%) admit to never taking their car in for scheduled maintenance or even if the check engine light comes on.

Distrust, Anxiety and the Gender Gap

The RepairPal Consumer Car Care Survey found that 38 percent of consumers who own/lease a car worry that they cannot trust the mechanic. This sentiment is so deep that two in three consumers (66%) who have taken a car they own/lease for repair think they have been ripped off by an auto repair shop. In addition, 43 percent of people who own/lease a car said "being taken advantage of" makes them anxious about taking their car into an auto repair shop. Anxiety is so high that 41 percent of consumers who own/lease a car would rather do their taxes by hand than get their car repaired.

In addition to general distrust, repair shops have a terrible reputation for their treatment of women. Two in three consumers who own/lease a car (66%) think auto repair shops charge women more than men for services preformed and 77 percent of car owners/leasers think auto repair shops perform unnecessary repairs more for women than for men.

"Getting your car repaired is a little like going to the doctor. You are relying on an expert to provide honest insight based on experience and specialized training that you don't have. It is unfortunate that some shops have tarnished the reputation of the whole industry and created such stress for consumers," said Art Shaw, CEO of RepairPal.com "Our mission is to transform this industry by empowering consumers with the tools and information they need and connecting them with the best repair shops that guarantee quality work and fair prices."

Fair Prices Rule the Day

The number one thing those who own/lease a car want when choosing a repair shop is fair prices (82% of consumers said this was an important consideration) and 72% of those who own/lease a car said "how much repairs will cost" makes them anxious. RepairPal seeks to quell these insecurities by providing the RepairPrice Estimator. Consumers can get an accurate estimate on over 135 repairs for almost every car, no matter where you live. The RepairPal Price Estimator is also available as a mobile app so consumers can double check repair estimates right from the shop.

Part of the problem is that consumers have not had a lot of good options for finding a repair shop they can trust. Two in three of those who own/lease a car (66%) simply turn to friends and family for a referral. One third (33%) of those who own/lease a car say they do not trust online reviews of repair shops and only 16 percent use them.

For this reason, RepairPal created the Top Shop network. Only RepairPal independently and rigorously screens repair shops for quality, skill, parts, price and a proven track record of customer satisfaction. RepairPal Top Shops guarantee fair prices and also guarantee their work for a minimum of 12 months.

Car Talk: Bringing Sexy Back

In honor of National Car Care month, consumers may want to head to RepairPal.com just to read the car care tips and explanations from seasoned mechanics. The survey found that 61 percent of those who own/lease a car and who have a spouse/partner/significant other, think it's sexy when they are knowledgeable about cars. Happy Driving!

About RepairPal

RepairPal is the definitive source for trusted auto maintenance and repair and sets the bar for quality work, fair prices, and customer satisfaction through the RepairPal Top Shop network. RepairPal is the only company that independently and rigorously screens repair shops for quality, skill, parts, price and a proven track record of customer satisfaction -- well beyond traditional consumer reviews. RepairPal further empowers consumers with expert advice from certified mechanics and fair price estimates that are also licensed by NAPA®, Consumer Reports®, and AOL Autos®. This network-wide commitment to quality, unbiased information and integrity brings unprecedented transparency to the industry and ensures that consumers get excellent work and save money. RepairPal is located in San Francisco, California with Top Shop locations in more than 35 states. Find more at www.repairpal.com and or download the app from the iPhone App Store® or Google Play.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of RepairPal from March 5-7, 2013 among 2,128 adults ages 18 and older, among which 1, 911 own/lease a car. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact [email protected].

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us -- and our clients -- stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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