Youâ€™d better hope your car doesnâ€™t break down in Chicago. According to a unique report by AutoMD, an online auto repair resource, the Windy City ranks as the worst city for fairness and consistency when it comes to auto repair quotes.
The â€œAdvocacy for Repair Shop Fairness Reportâ€ is the first to analyze how the top 50 most populated U.S. cities compare in dealing with repairs. While Chicago fared the worst, Memphis is ranked at the very top.
AutoMD explains the methodology for the report: â€œmystery shoppers conducted a fairness check of over 600 shops in the top-50 DMAâ€™s [Designated Market Areas] (including a range of dealers, independent shops, and franchises like Pep Boys) by requesting quotes on a typical auto repair job: a front brake replacement job for a Ford Focus.â€
To see if the repair shops would stick to their prices or come down, the shoppers called back two weeks later with an industry standard price estimate. According to AutoMD President Shane Evangelist, more than two-thirds of the shops changed their quote when presented with the industry standard price. Even in Memphis, which ranked the best, one in four shops changed its quote.
Along with the price integrity factor, AutoMD used affordability of the repair and price disparity range to determine the results.
Here are the five best and worst cities for auto repair.
Five Best Cities for Auto Repair
4. San Antonio
Five Worst Cities for Auto Repair
47. Washington, DC
Surprised at the results? As Autoblog points out, â€œNot surprisingly, smaller metro areas such as Memphis, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida took the top slots for fairness, while places like Washington, D.C. and Chicago took some of the worst spots.â€ However, Honolulu and Albuquerque also make the worst list, and they donâ€™t exactly fit the big city mold.
Anyway, if youâ€™ve ever had your car repaired (and we know you have), you know thereâ€™s really no winning in that situation. Youâ€™re at the mercy of a repair shop, plain and simple. Itâ€™s up to you to do your research and hope that you found a good one.
For tips on finding a credible repair shop, see our feature on avoiding auto repair rip-offs. If you’re in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year’s best cars as well as this month’s best car deals.