Four in five motorists (80%) seek advice before committing to garage repair work, but almost half (47%) limit that advice to friends and family rather than professional guidance, according to new research by motoreasy, the automotive start-up aiming to disrupt the service, maintenance and repair industry.

Other popular sources of counsel include personal online research, favoured by a quarter of drivers, while one in seven (14%) turn to forums for information.

However, motoreasy experts warn that the ‘knowledge deficit’ means owners could still find themselves agreeing to unnecessary work on their cars.

The data showed that men are more likely to trust their own judgement, with 18% believing they have enough of an understanding to trust the repairer’s recommendations. For female motorists, that figure drops to just 4%.

Duncan McClure Fisher, motoreasy founder, said: “Many drivers don’t feel knowledgeable or comfortable challenging garages over work they say is necessary, or the costs they are presented with.

“The risk is that, unless the source people are going to for advice is a professional mechanic themselves, there will still be a knowledge deficit which could mean paying for work that could have waited or simply wasn’t needed.”

According to motoreasy’s database of 20,000 vehicles, the average car repair bill in the UK is almost £300, but costs can soar to more than £4,000.

Despite seeking additional assurance, nearly half (47%) still feel they have been overcharged for the work and one in four think they may have even paid for work that was never done.

Launched last year, motoreasy was set up to remove the hassle and uncertainty of getting cars serviced, maintained or repaired. The company assigns customers their own personal technician, who negotiates with garages on their behalf, checking proposed work and ensuring that the best prices for parts and labour are sourced.

As well as delivering a concierge-like service for customers whose cars are undergoing work, making workshop procedures as easy and cost-effective as possible, motoreasy also provides MOT, servicing and warranty products, acting as a one-stop shop for all motoring needs.