Nearly six out of 10 motorists (59%) claim to worry about hidden costs when booking their car into a garage for an MOT, service or repair.

Research carried out by RAC Garage Compare found almost a quarter (24%) of those who admit to being fearful, describe themselves as being ‘very concerned’ about unexpected ‘extra’ charges.

More than one in 10 (12%) report that their bills end up being more expensive than the garage said it would be. Only 3% finish up paying less than they were told it would be.

More than half of the motorists (51%) surveyed rate local garages as being ‘good’ in terms of the fairness of their pricing whereas only 5% class them as being ‘bad’ and one in three (28%) believing them to be ‘ok’.

Nearly a third (31%) of those surveyed felt it would be very useful to be able to compare upfront garage prices for MOTs, services and general repairs before booking.

RAC Garage Compare spokesman Pete Williams said: “Despite most motorists being reasonably satisfied with the cost of their bills one in 10 (11%) claim not to trust local garages at all while a wary 41% say they do ‘a little’ which doesn’t really seem like an overwhelming vote of confidence.

“Even though we now live in a society which is obsessed with comparing prices for almost everything we buy, this behaviour has not become commonplace when booking a car in for an MOT, service or repair. This is partly because it had previously been a case of having to phone around to get prices and partly because there wasn’t an online service simplifying the process.

“With RAC Garage Compare it couldn’t be easier to compare costs for an MOT or service which helps to make the often-expensive maintenance element of the cost of motoring that bit cheaper. But if you would prefer to speak to someone, we have a team of mechanics ready to answer your questions and you can also book a garage over the phone.”

The RAC Garage Compare research also found:

• 90% would find it useful to be able to look-up what’s included in the different types of service for their cars

• 88% of motorists would find it beneficial to compare prices

• 80% would like to check out online reviews of garages

• 65% would benefit from being able to book their car in online

Working on the same principles as comparison websites covering products such as motor insurance and other financial products, RAC Garage Compare ( is designed to provide motorists with absolute transparency over service standards and pricing.

It gives motorists access to thousands of reviewed independent, franchised and fast-fit garages across the UK, allowing them to compare costs for MOTs, services and repairs as well as booking their vehicle in via an online booking system.