A reporter was recently driving along a busy road near his house when his brand new car lost most of its engine power. Limping because it would not shift out of first gear, the vehicle and driver eventually made it home. An effort to get the car to its closest dealer, which was 50 miles away, took 26 hours as he waited for a tow truck. No need to mention the car’s brand and bruise its already damaged its reputation when compared to other manufacturers.
The point of the story is that some places have an abundance of options for fixing a car. Other places may have so few that drivers have to go miles to find a single service station. Fortunately for these cities and towns, few people make decisions about where they live based on how easily they can get an auto fixed.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed Yelp data for auto body shops in hundreds of cities across the country to determine which place had the most such businesses. Additional commuting data for the cities listed came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2019, the most recent to be published. In all the cities on the finalist list, a high percentage of the population drives to work, and thus probably has a greater need for body shops than cities where commuting is more likely to be by public transportation.
The good news for body shop proprietors is that, with the pandemic slowing and many people returning to work or venturing out for travel, meals or entertainment, more cars will be crowding the roads, meaning that their businesses probably will be in greater demand.
The city with the most car repair locations is Bakersfield, California. Here are the details:
- Auto body shops: 878.8 per 100,000 residents
- Average area commute time: 24.2 minutes
- Area workers who drive: 93.7%