Have you ever dreamed of saving money on your car repairs by socializing on the Internet? Well, it looks like your dream has come true, according to a new report from AutoMD.com. The report reveals that “the wider availability of online repair information in a challenging economy is spurring a sea [of] change in the way car owners approach vehicle repair and maintenance.”
Those who have taken advantage of researching online about car repairs and repair pricing are saving money on the average of nearly 34% on repair shop bills. Having greater access to online repair information in the current economy is helping car owners feel smarter about auto repair.
The information reports that over 3.5 million users have been helped since the current site’s launch just over twelve months ago “We estimate that online repair resources are now saving car owners in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year,” said AutoMD.com President Shane Evangelist. “The potential savings to AutoMD.com car owners using our cost estimator is almost $300 million dollars annually.”
Evangelist says the site helps users, “When factoring in online how-to guides, and the convenience of vetting local repair shop labor rates online, the cost-savings skyrocket. But perhaps the greatest impact of online repair information is taking car owners from disempowered and uninformed, to empowered and informed. And by any calculation, that is priceless.”
Online Repair Information Report Highlights:
– 73% using online repair cost estimates saved money; average savings of 34%
– Nearly one in three who usually go to the repair shop now more likely to perform own repairs
– 59% report greater availability of online repair info and economy driving more DIY
– Over 3.5 million car owners helped by repair site AutoMD.com in just twelve months
Dealerships versus Independent Shops
Although cost is a factor in research car repairs, you also have to consider the quality of work. I found my repair shop by researching online because of my finances. I couldn’t afford to spend a lot of money at the dealership to get a new brake job, which I couldn’t do it myself. But, I did find a trustworthy and reasonably priced local repair shop that did a great job.
Interestingly, a quarter of respondents say the economy made them more likely to go to an independent repair shop versus a dealership, and AutoMD.com site data reflects this trend. The number of AutoMD.com users searching for a repair shop listing (including their local labor rates) quadrupled in January 2011 compared to April 2010.
Seeking and Sharing: Car Repair Info Goes Social
AutoMD.com has seen dramatic growth in the numbers of car owners seeking help online with their vehicle repair issues, whether they are looking for a repair shop, diagnostic information or a repair shop estimate – with over 3.5 million users from January 2010 – February 2011.
Nearly half a million viewed “How-to” repair guides, nearly a million found “fair cost” estimates for auto repairs, and nearly two million checked technical service bulletins (TSBs) and recall information in the site’s first twelve months. And, one of the most rapid site growth areas is the sharing of authoritative repair information with car owners seeking repair information and answers to repair questions.
It looks like auto repair socializing is an effective tool for consumers to share information and research the most cost-ffective ways to repair their vehicles.