Rating Factors

Auto Repair Shop Rating Factors

Some agencies and organizations regulate or certify auto repair shops while others apply to individual automotive technicians. Training is relevant only to auto repair technicians. Only state licensing is mandatory.

I. State Auto Repair Regulatory Agencies

Some states have agencies that license and regulate auto repair shops and related automotive services businesses. California is listed as an example.


BAR – Bureau of Automotive Repair

Dept. of Consumer Affairs, State of California
Protects and serves consumers by licensing and regulating auto repair shops in the state of California.


II. Shop Certifications

ASE Blue Seal

ASE – Blue Seal of Excellence

Awarded to auto repair shops where 75% or more of the technicians have appropriate ASE certifications.



AAA – Approved Auto Repair

Excellent program with rigorous standards with only 8,000 auto repair shops in the U.S. and Canada (about 2% of the total number of auto repair shops).



Bosch – Service Center

An excellent program primarily for European makes supplying first-rate parts and technical training. There are 15,000 auto repair shops worldwide in this program.



NAPA – Auto Care Center

A well respected national parts store chain offering training and warranty programs for auto repair shops.


I-CAR Gold Class

I-CAR – Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair

Collision repair shops can earn this designation when all technicians meet certain training requirements specified by this industry training organization. It is the highest accolade for autobody shops.


III. Auto Repair Technician Certifications

These certifications indicate technicians have proven knowledge of a specific type of automotive systems or auto repairs.


ASE – Automotive Service Excellence

The ASE has done a great job providing testing to ensure auto repair technician competency. There are a wide variety of test categories. It is important that the automotive technician that works on your vehicle is certified for the type of auto repairs involved. Master Technicians have passed the eight core topic tests and can earn additional advanced or specialty certifications. Individual automotive techs are certified not the auto repair shop. If an automotive technician leaves, the certification goes too.


I-CAR Platinum

I-CAR – Platinum

Autobody repair technicians earn this designation by completing training requirements in all 4 role areas.



SEMA – Specialty Equipment Market Association

Awarded to automotive aftermarket specialty technicians and installers who pass a variety of exams designed to test a candidate’s competency and real world skills.



MECP – Mobile Electronics Certified Professional

Awarded to installation technicians of mobile electronics and aftermarket automotive equipment who show real world experience and technical competency.


IV. Trade Associations

These are the primary trade associations serving the automotive aftermarket industry. Memberships are designated for auto repair shops, not for individuals.

A. Mechanical Repair


ASCCA – Automotive Service Councils of California

The largest association of independent auto repair shops in the state with 28 regional chapters. A model for the rest of the country.



ASA – Automotive Service Association

This is the premier national association of mechanical and collision auto repair shops. They have 16 affiliates and members in all 50 states.



ATRA – Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association

The premier automotive transmission specialist repair trade association since 1954 with 2,000 members worldwide.


B. Autobody Repair


CAA – California Autobody Association

This association was founded in 1967. It has over 1,000 member auto body shopsand 18 chapters throughout the state.



SCRS – Society of Collision Repair Specialists

A national association committed to professionalism in the auto collision repair industry. Has one chapter and 40 affiliates.


C. Tires


TIA – Tire Industry Association

An international association with over 6,000 tire store members.



CTDA – California Tire Dealers Association

Has tire store members throughout the state specializing in automotive tires and wheel selection and installation.


D. Technicican


iATN – International Automotive Technicians

It is the largest network of professional automotive technicians in the world with over 72,000 members in 157 countries.