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Independents trump car dealers in survey

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Some 84% of car owners are very satisfied with maintenance performed at independent shops, compared to 77% at car dealerships.

The results, part of a Consumer Reports National Research Center survey, was published in the magazine's June issue. The survey involved 349,000 vehicles owned by CR subscribers.

Among owners whose cars needed repairs as well as maintenance, the difference in satisfaction (ie., respondents claiming they were "very satisfied") with independent repair shops and car dealers was even more pronounced: 75% vs. 57%, respectively.

"In many cases, we heard that independent shops were more thorough and consumers were more satisfied with repairs they made. There was less of a difference in routine service,” says David Champion, senior director of the CR Auto Test Center.

Survey results can be viewed at www.consumerreports.org.

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