RepairPal, provider of auto repair and maintenance information for consumers, has released its first-ever America’s Best and Worst Cities for Auto Repair study. In the report, Jacksonville, Florida, ranked as the best city for car repair, and Honolulu ranked as the worst.
The recently released study combines a local view of the realistic expectation of the availability of mechanics, how often cars might need to be taken in for repairs and what it costs to fix a car. For the report, RepairPal used information from multiple sources, including its own internal data from shops nationwide. Data sources include:
- Number of auto mechanics per car: U.S. Census American Communities Survey
- Labor rate: RepairPal research on local markets
- Repair invoice totals: Data from local RepairPal Certified shops
- Road quality: Federal Highway Administration
According to the data, the East Coast overall is most affordable for car owners while the West Coast is most expensive. Areas such as Jacksonville, Florida; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia, fared best when taking into account repair bills, mechanic availability and road conditions.
In fact, the best 13 cities for car repair are east of the Mississippi. Hawaiians and Californians can expect the highest car repair bills, with six of the 10 worst cities for car repair located in California. There were few bright spots in the Golden State, other than San Diego, which has better-maintained roads and plenty of mechanics to offset higher repair costs.
Joseph Audette, head of product at RepairPal, stated, “We found that California car repairs are generally much more expensive and road quality there suffers. Meanwhile, on the East Coast, car repair bills were significantly lower, and road conditions are often better.
“This is the most comprehensive view of what we think car owners can expect,” he said. “About 90 percent of American households own a car, yet too many car owners are frustrated not knowing whom to trust to fix their car or what is fair to pay. We feel it’s important to provide as much helpful information as possible to help people gain comfort when looking for a local mechanic and get back on the road.”
The complete study is on RepairPal’s website here.