A steadily increasing number of women drivers are seeking advice about fixing their automobiles.
“Because of the increase in calls from women, we’re adding a long list of suggestions specifically aimed at females who are looking for basic information about how — and where — to get their cars fixed,” said Jay Jennings, general manager of Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals Network.
Jennings and three other investors started the network less than three years ago. The company today has 23 independent auto repair shop clients, most of them in the East Valley.
To date, the network has received more than 18,000 inquiries, including visits to its Web site at www.narpro.com. Its clients pay between $200 and $800 a month to be listed.
“The trend is that more women are searching the Internet and our site to research the auto repair market,” Jennings said.
“Years ago, men would change the oil and oil filters in their cars, for example, but not anymore,” said Jennings. “That’s because of the complexity of vehicles. They leave auto repairs strictly to professionals.
“And, they’re asking their women partners to do the research needed for finding a qualified and honest repair shop. Women seem to spend more time and energy when it comes to research.”
The network recently listed suggestions on its Web site specifically aimed at women drivers, including answers to this topic:
“Why Getting A Repair Quote Over The Phone May Not Be A Great Idea.”
“Car owners ask repair shops for price quotes over the telephone mainly because they don’t have useful (technical) information,” Jennings said, adding most callers base their initial decisions mainly on prices quoted over the phone. However, the best and most accurate way to get the best results is to bring the vehicle to the shop and get a first-hand analysis, Jennings said.
“While its easier to sit at home and dial shops, your vehicle cannot get a true diagnosis without having your car inspected by an experienced, certified technician,” Jennings said.
He said the group’s clients offer a second, written estimate free if a customer already has paid for and received a written estimate from a nonmember.