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Chicago is Worst City for Auto Repair
Feb 25, 2010 (02:02 PM EST)


AutoMD.com Report Measures Affordability, Price Disparity Range and Shop Integrity

CARSON, Calif., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Chicago, Illinois ranked last overall in AutoMD.com's Advocacy for Repair Shop Fairness Report, the first study ever to analyze how the top-50 most populated U.S. cities stack up when it comes to providing consumers with fair quotes for auto repair. Chicago ranked 46th for Affordability, 30th for Price Disparity Range, and 50th for Shop Integrity.  Memphis was ranked as the best city.

For the report, AutoMD.com mystery shoppers conducted a fairness check of over 600 shops in the top-50 DMAs* (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. To measure pricing integrity, the mystery shoppers called back two weeks later with an industry standard price estimate.  The best and worst list was then calculated based on each city's rankings for three critical factors, Repair Affordability, Price Disparity and Shop Integrity, weighted equally:

  1. Repair Affordability: Chicago ranked 46th among the top 50 US markets for the average price/cost-per-job – with an average quote of $226 for the repair. Miami ranked #1 for affordability with an average quote of $127 for the job.
  2. Price Disparity Range: Chicago ranked #30 when it came to the market's variance in quotes for the same job.  For Chicago, quotes ranged from $150 to $425, representing a 183% variance. Long Beach, California ranked #1, with the lowest Price Disparity Range of the 50 cities tested.
  3. Shop Integrity Factor:  Chicago ranked 50th for Shop Integrity, a measure of the percentage of shops that shifted their original quoted price by more than 5% when presented with an industry standard price estimate. One hundred percent of Chicago shops tested shifted their price. The top ranked city, Memphis, was number one for Shop Integrity.

With Chicago's poor marks in affordability, price disparity, and shop integrity, AutoMD.com recommends that Chicago residents compare shops to make sure they receive the best possible repair shop quote before setting foot into the repair shop.

"Doing your research is critical to getting a fair shake at the repair shop," said AutoMD President, Shane Evangelist.  "Fortunately, car owners now have access to online tools so they can compare local repair shops, establish a local market repair invoice price and make sure that they get a fair deal."

For the complete AutoMD.com Advocacy for Repair Shop Fairness Report rankings, click here.

To read the National Best and Worst Cities for Auto Repair release, click here.

* Designated Market Area

About AutoMD.com

AutoMD.com (www.automd.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts Network, Inc., (Nasdaq: PRTS), is the most comprehensive and unbiased free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best way to repair their vehicles.  Backed by a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner, AutoMD.com allows both car owners and DIYers to 1. Diagnose car problems, 2. Know how much auto repairs should cost, 3. Understand the steps needed and the time it should take with How-to Auto Repair guides, and 4. Find the right local auto repair shop at the right price for their issue.  

Unlike other repair sites, AutoMD.com does not rely on revenue from repair shops or dealerships, so car owners can rest assured that AutoMD.com repair shop listings are completely unbiased and designed to help car owners choose the best, most affordable shop for their vehicle issue.

Contact:


Media Relations

Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (949) 307-1723, melanie@mwebbcom.com

Angela Jacobson, mWEBB Communications, (714) 454-8776, angela@mwebbcom.com




SOURCE US Auto Parts Network, Inc.