The study showed that 51% of respondents enjoyed a positive experience, up from 44% in 2017, while 39% expressed a neutral view.
In addition, 57% of male drivers were complimentary about the sector, in contrast to 46% of women. Satisfaction was highest among those aged between 18 to 35 (65%).
Drivers were also asked if they had a complaint with their garage (including those related to vehicle maintenance) and, if so, was it resolved. Encouragingly, out of the 49% of respondents who had an issue, 91% said they had successfully concluded it directly with a garage or vehicle manufacturer (up from 87% in 2017 and 83% in 2016).
Reflecting on the findings, Chief Ombudsman Bill Fennell said: “The research which we commission each year provides an important barometer of sentiment amongst motorists in a sector that lies at the heart of vehicle ownership. The results of our latest study paint an encouraging picture of the service and repair arena.”