Yes that’s an odd question, but a recent industry poll of around 2000 people concerning the ATA (Automotive Technician Accreditation) scheme asking amongst other things, who you would trust to repair your car, showed that in terms of public figures, well its Her Majesty you trust the most, or at least 16% of you said that.
Whilst the Queen had trained to become a fully qualified mechanic during the Second World War, it’s still surprising that she’s so trusted on today’s hi-tec motors!
Anyway, figures show that Her Royal Highness beat Tory leader David Cameron, who scored 13%, whilst our Prime Minister Gordon Brown sat behind in the polls at 9%, and was even beaten by Mr X Factor, Simon Cowell who scored 11%.
There was a serious side to the poll, which revealed that finding a technician you can rely on, can be a real challenge as most people have no idea how to check if there mechanic was up to the job. Eight out of ten people admitted finding it difficult to tell a good mechanic from a bad one. 82% of people that responded thought an industry wide standard for mechanics would improve the reputation of the motor repair industry.
When it came to choosing where to get their car serviced, over 80% of people polled thought price was an important consideration. However, about the same number also thought it was important to select a company that employed professionally accredited individuals.
As a shock to car makers who ask there franchises to comply with exacting standards, less than half thought it was important to have somewhere comfortable to wait while there car was being worked on.
I can understand the ATA pushing its accreditation and indeed around 19,000 mechanics in the UK, already hold it. If you are an employer, it might be attractive to you to employ staff that have some kind of formal accreditation, but fact is, when you go to your local dealer, irrespective of franchise, the technicians that work there, undergo very comprehensive ongoing training in the very product you are bringing into them to fix, so you should feel comfortable and relaxed that your car is in safe hands. Its independent mechanics that I would guess need to prove to the customer that they are qualified, as clearly, they don’t undergo the training that a mechanic for the franchise applicable to your car would regularly be subjected to.
In our experience, it’s like anything else in life, you get what you pay for and if you try and cut corners and try to get your car fixed on the cheap, it’s more likely, you are going to have problems. Yes, a main dealer is probably more expensive, but it’s because they have all the facilities, special tools and trained technicians and that’s got to be paid for somehow!
But then thinking about it, I don’t suppose anyone’s yet found out what the Queen’s hourly rate is?