Car owners are increasingly placing their trust in local mechanics rather than dealerships, both during and after the warranty period. A recent study reveals that around one in four consumers choose aftermarket servicing for newer vehicles, and this number surges to over half for vehicles aged between six to ten years old. As vehicles continue to age, the majority of owners turn to local mechanics for their servicing needs. In addition, several brands struggle with customer retention, while local mechanics thrive on the trust they have built within the community. Let’s delve into these statistics and explore some notable examples.

Changing Consumer Behavior:
According to a recent study, consumer behavior in the automotive servicing industry is undergoing a significant transformation. Around one in four car owners opt for aftermarket servicing for their newer vehicles, indicating a growing inclination towards local mechanics. As vehicles age, this preference intensifies, with over half of car owners of six to ten-year-old vehicles choosing independent workshops for their servicing needs.

Independant workshops become the go-to option for the majority of owners as their vehicles grow older.

Last car servicing location and age of vehicle

Brand Retention Challenges:
While most car brands perform above average in retaining their customers, some face significant challenges. Let’s examine a few notable examples:

Despite being the market leader, responsible for approximately one in five vehicles sold, Toyota struggles with customer retention. Only one in three Toyotas in the six to ten-year age bracket were serviced at a dealership. This indicates that car owners are actively seeking alternatives to dealership servicing, even for renowned brands like Toyota.

Volkswagen (VW):
VW encounters similar difficulties in retaining customers, despite solid sales figures. We at Titan Automotive, have had the demand for servicing and repairs of VW and brought on a mechanic from a Volkswagen dealership to deal with the demand several years ago. 

Ford, Holden, and Mitsubishi:
Holden’s position at the bottom of the pack comes as no surprise following its exit from the market. However, Ford and Mitsubishi also fall well below the average in customer retention. Interestingly, these three brands, which were once associated with local manufacturing, struggle to retain customers.

This observation underscores the trust that the aftermarket industry has built within the community. More than a quarter of new vehicle owners choose to trust their local mechanic rather than returning to the dealership where the vehicle was purchased.

Car owners are increasingly turning to local mechanics, even during the warranty period, as they recognize the benefits of cost savings and continued warranty coverage through regular documented log book servicing. The statistics reveal a significant shift in consumer behavior, with more than half of car owners of six to ten-year-old vehicles opting for aftermarket servicing. While many brands perform well in retaining their customers, some struggle, allowing independent workshops to thrive.

The trust and reliance placed on local mechanics showcase their ability to deliver high-quality service and foster strong connections within the community.

As car owners continue to prioritize their preferences and seek out trusted local mechanics, the automotive servicing landscape continues to evolve.


Original article published in Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine by ACA Research