Most car owners prefer their car serviced by a local mechanic rather than at a dealer-based service centre, according to a study by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA).

A STUDY OF 1500 car owners by the AAAA has found that 86% of car owners in the survey (conducted by The Klein Partnership) claimed to personally know and trust the skill and expertise of their local automotive repairer and are loyal to their mechanic. The study found that “a prestigious premises and even cost was a low priority in decision making”.

The key findings were: 78% of respondents believe that it is important to have a good relationship with their mechanic and 71% of respondents trust their mechanic to select the parts to be fitted to their vehicles. 68% of respondents also like the fact that the person who owns the workshop is also the person working on their car, and 55% of the decisions about where to get a car serviced or repaired are made by women.

The study found that during the past 12 months; 67% of Australian car owners had their car serviced, 52% purchased an automotive accessory and 47% had their car serviced and purchased an accessory.  Accessory purchases were more prevalent amongst family sedan, 4WD and SUV vehicle owners.

Most of those surveyed owned older cars. 31% of the survey respondents owned cars that were manufactured between 2010 to 2014, 23% owned cars manufactured from 2005 to 2009 and 21% owned cars manufactured from 2015 to 2018. 13% owned cars manufactured from 2000 to 2004 and 9% owned cars manufactured prior to 2000. 47% of the vehicles owned by respondents were purchased second hand from an even spread between car manufacturer dealers and independent car dealers.

According to TKP Director Ron Klein, “The results of this AAAA consumer survey outline the growth opportunities that exist for independent repairers and accessory re-sellers. Consumers definitely trust and feel much more comfortable using local repairers with whom they have established relationships, with trust being the factor that overrides all others, including cost, shiny new premises, coffee machines and loan cars.”

“While some misconceptions still exist in relation to the voiding of warranties through the use of non-dealer repairers, the survey results also point toward the progress that the AAAA has made to ensure consumer understanding relating to their choice of repairer. This definitely represents a major opportunity for continued growth for independent repairers across the country,” Klein added.

Speaking about the survey, AAAA Executive Director, Stuart Charity, said “The data gained from this large group of consumers uncovers a number of consumer trends that will assist our members to provide even more trustworthy, efficient and high value services to their customers into the future, as more car owners become aware that their automotive servicing and repair decision is not limited to new car dealerships, no matter how old the vehicle is”.


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