CAR OWNERS CAN SAVE HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ON AUTO REPAIRS IN 4 EASY STEPS

AutoMD.com Estimates American Consumers Overpaying by More than $20 Billion on Auto Repairs; New Consumer Guide Launches to Help ‘Repair’ that Problem

Carson, CA – April 15, 2010 – AutoMD.com (www.automd.com) the most comprehensive and unbiased free online auto repair resource, today released its Consumer Guide to Fair Auto Repair, specifically designed to help car owners get a fair shake in auto repair - and to save American consumers almost $20 billion dollars a year on their repair bills.

In a recent nationwide analysis of repair shops by AutoMD.com*, mystery shoppers uncovered dramatic price quote variances for the same repair job on the same vehicle. Furthermore, the report’s mystery shoppers were able to shave an average of nearly 14% from the quoted estimate given by the majority of the shops by countering with online information: i.e., specific, ‘fair’ job estimate based on labor rates and labor hours required, as well as true parts cost.

As an extension of this study, AutoMD.com recently teamed with CBS News for an undercover investigation of auto repair shops; and, as reported on the CBS Early Show on April 14th, the investigation not only revealed repair shops giving overblown estimates, but also multiple instances of shops recommending unnecessary work.

By utilizing tips and information in AutoMD.com’s in-depth Consumer Guide to Fair Auto Repair, which walks car owners through every action they need to take to not only make sure they get a fair price, but to help ensure that they are not paying for unnecessary repairs, the cost savings could be even greater than the nearly 14% achieved in the AutoMD.com study.

AutoMD.com’s Consumer Guide to Fair Auto Repair is firmly grounded in the following four major quick and easy steps, designed to ensure a fair repair experience at the repair shop:

  1. Diagnose Problem Diagnose the problem before you go—with online diagnostics question-tree tools and how-to guides to perform a tangible, physical diagnosis (determine the issue or find questions to ask so you don’t get hit with unnecessary repairs)
  2. Fair Auto Repair Estimate Tell the shop you’ll be using an online website such as AutoMD.com to get industry standard auto repair labor hours and labor rates, as well as true part costs -- and that you want your replacement parts back (this is a little insurance upfront to make sure you aren’t paying for unnecessary repairs). After they provide an estimate, counter with the fair price estimate to make sure the quote is within those guidelines.
  3. Compare Auto Repair Shops Before authorizing work, use an online Shop Finder – at a site like AutoMD.com where you can compare the shops’ average hourly labor rates, reviews and ratings etc. – to locate other area shops and call them to get several quotes over the phone
  4. -- Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate – once you are armed with an online fair price estimate, and quotes from other area shops, ask for a lower price

“With American car owners spending roughly $150 billion a year at repair shops**, AutoMD.com is dedicated to putting that 14% savings (and we believe it could be as much as 20%), equaling over $20 billion dollars, back in their collective pockets,” said AutoMD.com President Shane Evangelist. “Add to that the amount consumers can save by NOT paying for repairs they don’t need, and the savings could double.”

The AutoMD.com Consumer Guide to Fair Auto Repair provides a step-by-step roadmap for car owners: from how to diagnose - to establishing the fair price estimate – to identifying the best and most affordable shops – all interwoven with insider tips from auto repair experts and mechanics covering everything from what questions to ask, what not to say, as well as how to dissect an actual auto repair estimate.

“Bottom line: ‘Repairing’ the auto repair process by encouraging consumers to know before they go is critical for today’s cash-strapped consumer, and AutoMD.com, with its new Consumer Guide to Fair Auto Repair, is designed to do just that,” concluded Evangelist.

* AutoMD.com press release 2.24.2010: AutoMD.com™ Ranks Best and Worst Cities for Auto Repair
**AAIA 2010 Digital Factbook