Auto Repair Laws in California: Consumer’s Guide

Owning a vehicle amounts to a certain level of responsibility. You probably know by now that it requires maintenance and occasional repair. For whatever reason, you will eventually need to look for an auto repair shop and have your car fixed.

Merely thinking about leaving your car in a shop must be a little terrifying, especially when you’re not familiar with automotive issues and how to fix them.

The good thing is, there are auto repair laws in California to prevent you from feeling intimidated by the possibility of getting patronized by unlawful car experts.


The California Automotive Repair Act

bar logo

To avoid getting scammed by unregistered auto repair shops in the State of California, you have the right to request the establishment to provide their licensing information.

All auto repair establishments must possess registered licenses as a mandatory of the California Automotive Repair Act (CAR Act).

Governor Ronald Reagan signed the CAR Act in 1971 to provide a series of regulations that protect the car owners from improper practices of auto repair shops and mechanics. The Act took effect in 1972.

The primary purpose of the California Automotive Repair Act is to promote fair dealing auto mechanics/business owners and consumers. Also, to avoid unnecessary arguments due to misunderstandings on the absence of written agreements.

The CAR Act has a regulatory agency called the Bureau of Automotive Repair (B.A.R.) who implements the licensing and regulation of the automotive repair industry. Along with this, they also handle all the complaints from consumers and enforces the appropriate actions.


Two major implementations:

  • “The CAR Act requires that all persons or businesses that perform auto repairs for a fee, whether it is an auto repair shop operating at a specific address or a mobile mechanic, must be registered and licensed with the Bureau of Automotive Repair.”
  • “The CAR Act establishes a protocol of how an automotive repair shop treats its customers concerning written repair orders, transparency, and the sharing of information.”


CAR Act: Laws and Regulations for Auto Repair Shops

reputable auto repair shop

The following guidelines are, as expected, observed by all registered and licensed auto repair establishments throughout the State:

  • Keep the customers informed during the vehicle repair process.
  • Include repairs and services that are specifically authorized by the customers.
  • Provide written records of all performed services and parts used for the auto repair.
  • Provide customers with copies of the estimates and final invoices, and copies of all documents signed by the customers.


Illegal Auto Repair Practices

Beware of the most common illicit practices of auto repair shops:

  • They keep customers in the dark with a lack of proper communication.
  • They can also take advantage of your property with a lack of proper documentation.

The Automotive Repair Act ensures that you have a set of rights as consumers in the industry. In response to several reports of exploited customers, the Bureau of Automotive Repair also works hand in hand in the full exertion of the law.


Know Your Consumer Rights

If your consumer rights are in any way violated, you can seek support following the guidelines stipulated in the California Automotive Repair Act (CAR Act).

Reputable auto repair establishments comply with all the guidelines given by the State, and it is your right as a consumer to feel protected during your transactions. By being aware of the auto repair laws, you know how to choose a legit establishment that can deliver honest and quality services for your vehicle in California.

If you’re seeking for a trusted auto body repair shop in San Diego, you can try going to Amato’s Auto Body’s shop located at 3848 Sorrento Valley Blvd, San Diego, CA.


No Comments

Leave a Comment