Consumer Reports rates batteries by battery group. “Battery group” defines the battery physical size, and the orientation of the posts. Each make/model/year of car uses a certain battery group. The CR ratings typically show certain brands are recommended only for certain battery groups. For other groups, another brand is better. Suggest to visit local library and look up the most recent CR report on batteries. Make sure you know which battery group your car uses beforehand.
My Corolla – if I remember correctly – uses battery group 35. Last time I purchased a battery for it, CR told me the best brand was the Costco brand. That’s where I purchased it, and it has been working fine.
If you are unsure about doing the replacement yourself, your local inde auto shop will be happy to do it for you. I think Costco would have installed my battery for me if I had wanted them. But for a DIY’er it is pretty simple thing to do, esp on an older Corolla.
One thing to consider: Newer cars sometimes don’t like having the battery disconnected. There’s been reports here of certain Ford vehicles that won’ t start after disconnecting the batter. A good shop will avoid this by making sure the car’s computer systems remain powered up during the battery swap.