More than a third of British motorists are happy to pay more to use a trusted garage than to get their car repaired somewhere cheaper, according to the findings of a new study.

Research from the AA found that 37 percent of people would happily pay extra if it meant using a trusted garage, while almost a quarter (23 percent) of those questioned said they would go ‘out of their way’ to visit an accredited garage.

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Of the 17,000 motorists surveyed, five percent claimed to have been stung by unscrupulous garages charging them for unnecessary repairs, while a further seven percent said they had been hit with unexpected charges. And despite the fact that almost as many (seven percent) complained of being overcharged by a garage, just 10 percent of drivers say they proactively shop around for better deals.

However, the survey suggests that for some drivers, the problem may stem from a lack of knowledge. One in 10 respondents (nine percent) said they were unsure of how much a service should cost. Olli Astley, director of the AA’s Garage Guide, advised drivers: ‘To avoid unnecessary repairs and being overcharged you should take more care when searching for a garage.

‘It’s worth shopping around and doing your own research when looking for a new garage so you can confirm it offers the services you require at a competitive price. I would also recommend checking reviews online before visiting a garage, as this will allow you to easily assess its reputation.

‘Only consider becoming a regular customer once you’ve had a chance to shop around and have settled on a garage you feel you can trust to take proper care of your car.’