Car Talk Rating Methodology

At Car Talk, we know buying a car and finding solid, reliable car parts, accessories and services for it can be overwhelming, daunting tasks. Luckily for our readers, we are an organization of car nerds. We love the entire process and are strangely obsessed with the automotive industry as a whole. So Car Talk is jumping in feet first, so you don’t have to.

Our ratings are here to steer folks towards quality products and alert them to problems or issues we have seen in our extensive research. Our ultimate goal is to take a little of the stress out of the decision making process for our readers, while also highlighting excellence with the industry for those who deserve it.

You can read about our rating levels and methodology below.

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Rating Levels

After we review products or services, they are assigned one of four rating levels.

RatingWhat it means


For each of the products and services we rate, our staff applies a scoring methodology that is consistent within a product or service category. These scores are then weighed and combined to get a final overall rating.

For a given product or service category, we include some or all of the following components in our scoring methodology:

  • Expert Opinion - Mechanics and other professionals in the industry may be interviewed for their input and recommendations.
  • Staff Research - This could involve reading other reviews, talking to the manufacturer, combing through material provided by the manufacturer.
  • Product Features - For each category we create a list of features that are evaluated and some features which are requirements for receiving our top rating. For example, a minimum safety rating for a car, or a minimum coverage level for an insurance provider.
  • Trusted Third Party Ratings - This includes the opinions of institutions such as the BBB, consumer reporting agencies and established publications.
  • Consumer Reviews - We consider written user reviews that we receive and that are found on other trusted websites.